Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

This Is What Frank Zappa Heard – Sept.9th,1973

Napoleon Murphy Brock’s physical CD, This Is What Frank Zappa Heard, recorded live at the Red Noodle in Waikiki, Hawaii on September 9th, 1973 gives an example of what Frank Zappa heard when he was looking for a lead singer for the Roxy band. Available from CDBaby for $19.00 (US). Listen to brief samples here.

Cheaper the Better – Lyrically Zappa

While many focus on Frank Zappa, the composer, so very often Zappa, the songwriter, is overlooked. Perhaps due to the nature of Zappa’s lyrics, themselves, which often take direct aim at human sexuality, and sexual mores in 20th Century American culture – satirizing its norms, its values, its purported virtues of family, of home, of church. From the release of Freak Out onward, Zappa took direct aim with his songs, and his lyrics, at the foibles he saw and witnessed about him. No one and no thing was beyond the scope of his sardonic eyebrow.
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You’ve Got Mail!

I’ve been rather busy outside of this website as of late, and wouldn’t you know it: that’s when people start sending in all sorts of interesting stuff hoping I’ll relay that stuff here. Without further ado…

  • Regyptian Strut guitar solo tablature as notated by Mark Hawling who says: “I just get sick of seeing them doing nothing on my HDD when there must be some nutter out there interested in something like this.”
  • “Waltz For FZ”, as featured on Utopianisti. Says Markus Pajakkala: “I’m a composer/multi-instrumentalist/producer from Finland.”
  • From Ab Stammehaus: “Warren Cucurullo’s new band Chicanery with new album coming up: listen to edited preview songs on the website.” (They’re also on MySpace)
  • Lee Mezcallo raves about the Genkin Philharmonic and hastens to add: “they’re quite good“…

Band From Utopia @ Cologne’s Tanzbrunnen, 1994

While initially invited to perform at the Jazz Open Stuttgart in Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany on July 1st, 1994, Band From Utopia also had one other gig two days after Stuttgart at Cologne’s Tanzbrunnen on July 3rd, 1994. Watch these recently posted videos of Band From Utopia’s Cologne (courtesy of TheCaveStudioFilms) performances of “Tink / 13″ (above) and “Village of the Sun / Echidna’s Arf (of You) / Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?” (below):
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The ESO plays Zappa

Almost eight weeks ago I learnt that one of The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra‘s 2010-11 Symphony Specials would be a performance of Frank Zappa compositions by a rock group fronted by two Zappa alumni – Ed Mann and Ike Willis – and backed by the ESO on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 7:30pm at Edmonton’s Enmax Hall in the Winspear Centre (see above).
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The Scott Thunes Effect Reloaded

Ever since The Scott Thunes Effect (later known as Bass Notation), went offline, I’ve received numerous requests of people asking if I or anyone else could provide them with Thunes’ bass transcriptions for many of the ’88 band’s tunes, as they were originally listed there.

Today I’m happy to report that we’ve managed to salvage 44 pages of transcripts (with a couple more to follow). A huge thank you goes out to Stewart Cable, who had downloaded the transcripts back when they were still available. He was more than happy to email them to me, so that I could share them with you – so cheers Stewart!

Without further ado, here’s where you can now once again view and/or download these files:

Note: by putting this material online, I am not claiming any authorship and/or copyright. If not for Steve D who did the original transcripts, these files would not even exist.

And finally, as Steve noted in this AFFZ thread with regard to Scott Thunes:

… He’s a big scary man who shouts at people who displease him, so I don’t want him thinking i’m a stalker or anything…

Mr Thunes, if you’re reading this: I second that emotion…

Frank Zappa – Penguins In Bondage, 73-74

Ah, the memories, Barry. Especially from the 8th November 1974 WXRT radio broadcast of “Penguin In Bondage” from Frank Zappa’s performance at the Roxy on December 1973 (above) with various visual memories added later. Then a soundboard recording of “Penguin In Bondage” from St.Paul, Civic Center Arena on November 27th, 1974. Followed by a November 15th, 1974 performance of “Penguin In Bondage” at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York. And lastly, “Stockholm In Bondage” in Stockholm, Sweden on August 21st, 1973 for the Swedish program ‘Opopoppa Special’ (below).
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #17

Of all the live concerts in my music collection, today’s particular show had proved to be one of the most difficult to find because of it’s uniqueness and it’s rarity among live show collectors. It had been on my most wanted search list for a very, very long time. Of course, I’m talking about the group known as Mallard, formed in 1974 by Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo), Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) and Art Tripp III (Ed Marimba) after leaving Captain Beefheart‘s Magic Band. It was during Mallard’s European tour in 1976 that they performed the German TV Show ‘Rockpalast’ on September 7th, 1976.
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Space Brothers and Mike Keneally @ Red Dock Saloon, 2009

I’d like to dedicate this particular post to my friend, and fellow KUR-Meister, Balint, who recently reminded so well that sometimes it’s worthwhile just to post just for the fun of it all, and for the love of the music, itself. Nothing could come closer to that description than the few videos I recently discovered while surfing about the internet of The Space Brothers and Mike Keneally (also featuring Bryan Beller) performing on August 16th, 2009, at the Red Dock Saloon in Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan, on the lakeshore of Lake Michigan – a venue well known for it’s good food, cold beer, loud music, and nasty bathrooms. Although the audio is somewhat muddy at times, the guitar work in these videos is often absolutely sublime – especially the guitar work in their cover of Frank Zappa‘s “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama” (above). There are instances I am reminded how much I miss FZ’s live guitar improvisation, and why Keneally is considered “the leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era”. Listen to their cover of “Cosmik Debris” as well as a riff from “Inca Roads” (both below) and decide.
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Scott Thunes on PlanetZappa

Another Scott Thunes interview, from planetzappa.com (2001):

PZ: Is there any question you’ve never been asked that you would like to answer?
ST: Probably. Actually, there is: Do you believe that it was a mistake to work with Frank Zappa instead of staying in San Francisco and continuing to attempt to get into the Conservatory of Music as a Conducting Major, also taking composition lessons with David Sheinfeld and playing in a band with your brother, Derek? Yes.

What I have now has very little to do with my previous musical endeavors. Without getting too metaphysical about it, I didn’t meet my wife through music or anybody having anything to do with my musical life. I might have a nice career teaching music somewhere, or playing piano in a nice piano trio. I have a good bass I like to play, I have a couple of bass amplifiers that I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I would trade all that for a steady classical gig. What I ended up with from my time with FZ was a hatred of professional rock music and most rock musicians. A despising of wasting my personal time with idiots who care nothing for me as a person. At least with a straight gig, I can come home to my lovely family. In ROCK, you have to stay away from all that you love for months at a time, and have people who you didn’t choose to be with (road managers, roadies, t-shirt people and truck drivers – both of the latter groups of people who are usually MUCH nicer to hang out with than the ‘standard’ rock associates).

I’ve been told by FZ tour managers that any of FZ’s musicians can be replaced easier than roadies. You want to spend your time with these types of people that shit on you whenever they want while you’re trying to play impossible bass parts and keep your head on straight while roadies are helping the other band members fuck with your head? IT IS NOT WORTH IT!