Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Outside Now

Depending on how well you know me, it may or may not come as a surprise to you dear reader, that this is where Kill Ugly Radio ends.

There are quite a few reasons why I decided today was a good time to put this old and rusty site to rest, but I won’t go into that. Instead, allow me to say it has been an honor and a pleasure to host KUR during the past 11 years. I’ve learned so much from your comments and emails, laughed my ass off at some of them, and believe me when I say that without KUR, I would have never met some of the brightest people within the Zappa community. I’m proud to say some of them remain close friends to this day.

I hope KUR has been a source of fun, discovery and inspiration over the years. Perhaps it gave you a chuckle, or perhaps you became acquainted with music you’d not heard before, perhaps you engaged in, or read some really erudite discussion on a variety of topics. A huge thank you goes out to fellow contributors Balint, Urbangraffito, Dr Sharleena, SOFA, Magicfingers and Alex — and to you silly people for having been with us all these years.

If you’re reading this, pride yourself in knowing you were once part of

It’s been a pleasure talking to you — and don’t forget to register to vote.

Today’s Ear Worm: The Game

Das Pop are a Belgian band who first became known through their victory in the 1998 edition of Humo’s Rock Rally. I never really thought much of them though I did buy their debut album “I Love” when it first came out, which left me underwhelmed.

Fast forward to the here and now, and Das Pop have a new album out called “The Game”. I haven’t heard the full album yet, but the title track I must say is an absolute gem. The retro-style introductory vamp, the vocals, the guitars, the production: this is as close as a pop song gets to being perfect.

Don’t take my word for it though — check out the official video (which itself isn’t too shabby either!):

Update: For those who cannot view the above video, Urbangraffito has provided this Grooveshark link.

Have an ear worm to share yourself? Do tell.

Zappa & The Mothers – Does Geography and Media Influence Musical Tastes

Having grown up on the Bible Belt of Western Canada where the only sources of musical entertainment for the longest time were the local Country & Western and adult easy listening radio stations, it’s hard to imagine such a place nurturing such a Zappa and Mothers freak as myself. That’s right, two stations on the AM dial. The rock music format did not even reach Northern Alberta until the mid-60s, and then, it was top 40 radio, and the usual repetitious one that so many are accustomed to with that particular format. FM radio wouldn’t even appear until the mid-70s. So, local record stores followed these top 40 stations as a guide on what to order, and likewise promoters on which touring acts to bring through town.
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From Hungary With Love

I discovered Frank Zappa’s music in the early years of the ’70s, back in my home country, Budapest, Hungary. I was about 20 years old, and just went through eight years of music training, and four years of art school, and all I cared about was art and music (big coincidence, huh?). Of course, I had some interest in girls too, but since I had no formal training regarding that matter, I thought I shouldn’t mention it.

Nice, long article by Gábor Csupó, creator of (among others) the Lost Episodes CD-cover – about youth, about music, about FZ.

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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King Kong – Mother of All Monster Songs

From its first introduction in 1967, Frank Zappa‘s “King Kong” was a composition made for solos – horn solos, keyboard solos, drum solos, guitar solos. “King Kong” had them all. It was also a vehicle for extensive jamming. So, no matter the tour, no matter the particular ensemble, Zappa was there to determine exactly how structured the piece would or wouldn’t be, and what kind of atmosphere the particular solos would create – thus making “King Kong” a fan favourite whether it was performed by the original Mothers of Invention, the Hot Rats Band, The Roxy Band, or any of Zappa’s ensembles from the 1980s.
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Mothers of Invention on Vinyl – Are You Experienced?

When I came across these posts on YouTube, I could not help but share them here at KUR. Not because of the individual tracks themselves (which have been digitalized) – “Aybe Sea” (above) which closes side one of Burnt Weenie Sandwich and Uncle Meat‘s “Nine Types of Industrial Pollution” (below) – but because as these videos illustrate so well, a way of experiencing music which newer technologies have so hurriedly bypassed. I’m speaking of the whole tactile experience of listening to the vinyl record, itself: from how you held it in your hands, set the vinyl on the turntable, adjusted the amplifier and equalizer, then sitting before your stereo system, examined the album cover in your hands while the music filled the room.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #13

Growing up as a Canadian teenager in the 1970s, one could literally count the number of well known “homegrown” musical groups and artists on the fingers of one’s hand (okay, maybe two). The trouble was that, at the time, Canada really didn’t possess a viable recording industry. For any Canadian musician or group to “make it”, they literally had to leave the country to do so. Whether you were Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, The Guess Who, The Sparrows (who would become Steppenwolf upon their move to the U.S.), Denny Doherty (of The Mamas & the Papas), or Neil Young you had to relocate south if you wanted any kind of career.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #11

The choice of this week’s Sunday Big Note was an easy one as it is also one of our webmaster’s favorites as well. Indeed, it put a smile on my face to learn that he had this very recording in his own private collection for a long time now. On Friday, October 22nd, 2010, in his post entitled “Hey Nineteen“, Barry said:
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Zappa’s Coven of Drowning Witches

On more than one occasion, upon seeing the colossal size of my Frank Zappa music collection, I’ve been asked, “How many versions of Zappa songs do you really need?” Of course, to someone who isn’t a fan of Zappa’s music, or is new to the maestro’s music, wouldn’t understand. Especially in regards to live versions of Zappa’s work.
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