Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Mo’s Vacation

Funny how some people who adore FZ’s “regular” music tend to shy away from his “more serious”, “classical instrumental” music. They tend to see it as impenetrable, obscure, entirely inscrutable — in short, way over their heads.

Not so.

The key, I think, is to listen to Zappa’s instrumental tunes as if they were cinematic accompaniments to one’s very own imaginary movie. They are visceral soundtracks wanting to cater to the stories that are in your very own mind.

Case in point: this rare, unreleased version of Mo’s Vacation below. I’ll hit play, close my eyes, listen, and make up my very own story – you try it too:

There… Was it as good for you as it was for me?

What was your story?

This One Goes To Eleven

Yes, the entire internet may have beaten me to it, but what the hey.

Happy New Year everyone!

Life In Music

Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #5

From the very start, Led Zeppelin was a band whose essential ingredients were a ”crushingly loud interpretation of the blues”, “heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound”, a style that crossed many music genres, and their unbound male sexuality. It pulsed beneath the surface of every Zeppelin album. Unlike the plethora of hard rock and heavy metal bands which would rise from their wake in the 1980s – none would possess any of the mystique of Led Zeppelin.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #4

Anyone familiar with Frank Zappa’s 1988 band is no doubt familiar with the unique guitar and lyrical stylings of multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally, that band’s “stunt guitarist“. It wasn’t very long after the demise of Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa‘s band ‘Z’ that Keneally formed his own recording and touring band, Mike Keneally & Beer for Dolphins. It was around this time that I seriously took an interest in the music of Mike Keneally, who some critics consider “a leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era.”
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #2

It would be another year – the last week of April and the early weeks of May 1973 – before the Mahavishnu Orchestra found themselves on the road opening for Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention on the tour promoting Zappa‘s Over-Nite Sensation album. Yet, as the above clip of Ruth Underwood illustrates, the Mahavishnu Orchestra had a profound effect upon Zappa and the direction which his music took.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #1

Over the last few weeks and months, fellow KUR-Meisters, while compiling the various mixtapes for Kill Ugly Radio, I had an idea for an ongoing weekly “listening session” of various artists and groups, both Zappa-related along with his contemporaries, as well as others, from various field recordings, FM radio broadcasts, and internet webcasts.

I brought the idea to Barry who also shared my enthusiasm for a weekly “listening session” and he gave the project an enthusiatic green light. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a near rabid love of recorded live music, so it can pretty much be guaranteed that my contributions to the “Sunday Big Note” listening sessions will be of the “live music” variety. What the other SBN contributors will contribute, though, will be as much a surprise to me as it is to you.

Without further ado, for your listening pleasure, I present The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band at McAlister Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 18th, 1976:

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Yugen & Rock In Opposition

For as long as I have been a music listener, it has very often perplexed me that the music, and the artists, with which I listened to on an increasingly regular basis, and increasingly over the years and decades – artists such as Zappa, Beefheart, Henry Cow, Univers Zero, The Cardiacs, The Residents, etc. – never got radio play, or if they did, very little, and quite often outside the mainstream media of the time. So, it came as little surprise, at least to me, when a movement, Rock In Opposition, emerged in the late 70s promoting these elements:
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Elvis Has Just Left The Building

Have you ever wondered where Frank Zappa got his inspiration for his song, “Elvis Has Just Left The Building” which appeared on his 1988 Broadway the Hard Way album?
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And Now For A Bit Of Perspective

The Powers Of Ten.