Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

John Lennon’s 70th Birthday

Imagine Peace.

In the Beginning…

In the beginning there was a word, and the word was secret, and the secret word was…Mudshark! And for fifty years the Mudshark ruled supremely as the only secret word on the planet Earth, but one day the Mudshark became older, and began to turn yellow, and decided to go onward and upward into the cosmos as a Yellow Shark…But, in his wake, he left a void…filled by MTV and Supermarket Shopping Musik! And the family of the Mudshark became so bloated that they didn’t know what to do anymore with the legacy which the Mudshark had left behind him…They became concerned with the question of whether or not a Fish, or a beard Fish, or a Zappatika or a Central Scrutinizer Band could be a Mudshark!¬†And how we can stop them swimming in the waters of the ocean! And the Mudshark looked on from high, and scratched his head, and scratched his beard, and he picked something living out of it, and he ate it. Then he pondered the question…”I wonder if there’ll ever be a new secret word?”

“The Secret Word”, ZAPPATiKA! Live at Zappanale #21

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Le Noise

Nobody plays distorted guitar in the absence of Crazy Horse the way Neil Young does it – Long May He Run.

Impact (Part Deux)

I was really quite enthusiastic about the whole idea when Barry first tagged me on Facebook and proposed it. At first, it sounded all too simple, too easy.

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

Hmmmm. Fifteen albums that had a big impact on me in fifteen minutes.
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Impact (Part One)

If you’re on Facebook, you may have come across a recent meme there which states simply:

15 albums that have had a big impact on me.
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

Myself, Alex and Urbangraffito ended up posting our fifteen minutes of fame albums “that have had a big impact on us”, and thought it might make for interesting blog fodder. As first in a series, here’s my list – in no particular order, and annotated for good measure.

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Gil Scott-Heron – Me and the Devil (2010)

I recall the first time I ever encountered the work of Gil Scott-Heron, I was in my mid teens and I had just borrowed a load of records, among them his 1971 release, Pieces of a Man from the public library on a whim (I had never heard of him before). I did that a lot back then – borrow whole batches of vinyl records during the summer vacation and listen to albums all week long. When I got home and slipped Pieces of a Man onto the turntable for the first time, Gil Scott-Heron blew my mind, especially with spoken word and vocal jazz tracks like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “Lady Day & John Coltrane” (all video clips below) to name just a few.
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Some Nostalgia For The Old Folks…

As a long time fan of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, the names of particular musicians have threaded through much of the music I have listened to and collected throughout the years. Names such as Andy Cahan, Lawrence ‘Stash’ Wagner, and Tom Leavey. Together and separately, through compositions and through associations (sometimes as members and as contributors) they formed links with such bands as Frank Zappa & The Mothers, Lowell George & The Factory, Little Feat, and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, and Geronimo Black.
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Who IS The REAL Frank Zappa, Anyway?

Sometimes I am quite delighted to discover a fan-made Frank Zappa video like the one posted above. It reinforces my belief that the future of FZ’s public image is in the right hands: creative, open-minded, technology embracing hands. This is how I always envisioned Zappa’s legacy being spread.
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KUR’s 2nd Annual Virtual Zappanale Mix

Welcome to KUR’s 2nd Annual Virtual Zappanale Mix for August 2010. For those of us who cannot make it to this year’s festival in Bad Doberan, I have compiled an eclectic mix of some of my favorite FZ covers by well known alumni – and some other not so well known. On this virtual stage, time and space does not matter as acts appear fresh from 1969, while others are temporarily brought back from the hereafter for just one more kick at the can, so to speak, all together in one mix. Of course, I’d love to be there in Bad Doberan, and perhaps I will go there one day, myself. Until then, enjoy the music of the maestro. And the spirit of the Mothers…

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Note: my sincerest appreciation and thanks to Andrew Greenaway and MagicFingers for their assistance in the compiling of this mixtape.

Zappa & Zin

Next August 24, The Ed Palermo Big Band will be playing at the City Winery, which is cool because they’re one of the superior FZ tributes out there IMHO — but there’s a twist:

As the night progresses we will find opportunities to pair Zappa tunes with a selection of world-class wines that pair with the different period and themes of Frank’s career. The wine focus of this educational and entertaining night will be Zinfandel, a truly original American wine with its roots in the Old World, but a product of the hard work of immigrants, just as Zappa created a truly unique and original sound from his humble beginnings.

Cute, though I’d personally prefer a beer themed venue: a nice Duvel to kick things off with Titties ‘n Beer, a lovely Grimbergen to go with Cruisin’ For Burgers perhaps — oh the possibilities!