Buffalo

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Released: April Fool’s Day 2007

Tracklisting:

DISC 1:

  1. Chunga’s Revenge 8:34
  2. You Are What You Is 4:12
  3. Mudd Club 3:02
  4. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing 3:21
  5. Cosmik Debris 3:50
  6. Keep It Greasy 2:58
  7. Tinsel Town Rebellion 4:19
  8. Buffalo Drowning Witch 2:44
  9. Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me? 4:36
  10. Pick Me, I’m Clean 10:15
  11. Dead Girls Of London 3:02
  12. Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously? 1:36
  13. City Of Tiny Lites 9:58

DISC 2:

  1. Easy Meat 9:26
  2. Ain’t Got No Heart 2:00
  3. The Torture Never Stops 23:36
  4. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes 3:39
  5. I’m So Cute 1:38
  6. Andy 8:14
  7. Joe’s Garage 2:12
  8. Dancing Fool 3:36
  9. The “Real World” Thematic Extrapolations 8:53
  10. Stick It Out 5:36
  11. I Don’t Wanna Get Drafted 2:48
  12. Bobby Brown 2:42
  13. Ms Pinky 3:48

Musicians:

  • FZ: Lead Guitar & Vocals
  • Steve Vai: Stunt Guitar & Background Vocals
  • Ray White: Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
  • Ike Willis: Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
  • Tommy Mars: Keyboards & Vocals
  • Bob Harris: Keyboards, Trumpet & High Vocals
  • Arthur Barrow: Bass & Vocals
  • Vinnie Colaiuta: Drums, Vocals
  • Music, Performance, Band & Recordings by Frank Zappa
  • Audience by Buffalo, New York

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16 Responses to “Buffalo”

  1. Iggy says:

    taken off Zappa.com’s forum. Post by Spacebrother:

    Chungas Revenge
    Upon initial listening, Zappa’s guitar tone is fat, Vinnie Colaiuta is immediately working his magic on the skins (absolutely incredible), every instrument is nice and crystal clear in the mix. Funny commentary during band intros……

    You Are What You Is
    Vinnie’s drums are once again fantastic, vocal harmonies are spot on, mix is fantasic, best vocal ensemble.

    Mudd Club
    Once again, Vinnie is phenominal, drum fills are simply amazing, vocal harmonies are spot on, a little slower than later versions but great groove.

    The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
    Vocal Harmonies are simply amazing. Ray White, Ike Willis and Franks vocals compliment each other well. Superb mix, every instrument mixed in well.

    Cosmik Debris
    Nice tight concise version. Bob Harris, Ike Willis and Ray Whites harmonies are great. Nice keyboard work by Tommy Mars. Steve Vai always rips great solos and this one is no different. Sounds like different source tape kicks in from 1:39 – 2:25 but does’nt diminish the clarity at all.

    Keep It Greasy
    Best Version Ever. Vinnie is just fucking incredible here. Arthur Barrow tears up the bass line. Spot on Vocal harmonies. This song is pure energy. When you first hear it, your jaw will be in your lap. Only thing missing is a ripping guitar solo ala’ studio version.

    Tinsel Town Rebellion
    Parts are like the studio version. Difference in arrangement comes in on the chorus lines where they do a V-I chord change. At one point it goes into a freeform segment about 3/4 into the song. Outtro is a combination of main riff and ending riff. I like this version a lot.

    Buffalo Drowning Witch
    Kind of a like “The Dangerous Kitchen” meets “Jazz Dischearge Party Hats” with a free jazz feel.

    Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me
    Funny version where Zappa flubs the vocals four times. Nice arrangement, Vinnies fills are perfect. Vai’s fills are cool here too. Back-up vocals are great.

    Pick Me I’m Clean
    Nice ska feel, Vinnie once again is DA MAN. Beautiful harmonies in the vocals. Zappa’s guitar is phat phat PHAT. Nothing like Frank and Vinnie playing off each other. Tape source change from 4:58 – 5:28. Main thing I notice is slightly less bottom end in the mix during alternate tape sections and slightly less full sounding but by no means distracts or takes away from the solo or any other part of the overall mix. The solo would’nt be out of place on SUAPYG. This song is phenominal.

    Dead Girls Of London
    Hard Rockin’ Version, Vinnie and Vai sound awesome on this one. Vocal harmonies are fantastic, real phat. Another amazing Steve Vai solo. Even Better than the one in Cosmic Debris.

    Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously
    Much like the version on YCDTOSA vol.5 except vocal harmonies here are by far better. Nice.

    City Of Tiny Lights
    Ray White is DA MAN. Vinnie knocks this one so far out of the park that every other drummer sounds inferior on this song to my ears. Upon the first notes of Franks guitar solo, the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. You will laugh in joy when you here the tone he uses. Absolutely Fucking amazing. It’s like a combination of an octave divider, wah and overdrive. Around the 3:57 mark he kicks into more of the traditional Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression tone. The interplay between Vinnie and FZ here is unmatched by any other drummer who has ever graced the stage with him. Source tape change at 7:12 – 7:45 – and perhaps again at 9:33. The fade out does’nt diminish this song at all. This one is the big enchilada here.

    Easy Meat
    Not totally unlike the TTR version as far as the arrangemant is concerned. A little different though. Ike, Ray, Frank and Bob Harris sang well together here. Every instrument sounds great in the mix. Unique accompaniment on the solo. Vinnie and FZ interplay just blows my mind. Gotta love the tone of a Les Paul. Funny vocal flub by Ray White at end of song. There may have been a different source tape from the begining of this song until somewhere during the guitar solo.

    I Ain’t Got No Heart
    Similar to the TTR version except Vinnie kicks into some serious ass-kicking drum work. Harmonies top notch. Nicely done.

    The Torture Never Stops
    Vinnie, I can’t say enough about his playing and this one continues to kick. All accompanying instruments and vocals sound fantastic. Source tape change 4:38 – 4:53. Yet another fantastic guitar solo this time with a flanger effect. Starts off with some good tension then release. Les Pauls rule.

    At 10:48 the keyboard solo kicks in with a nice bebop groove. Anyone who hated Tommy Mars’ keyboard tone in the 80′s (Aybe are you reading this?) will be happy to know that he starts out with some beautiful Fender Rhoads work to start out before kicking into some synth. Excellent Tommy Mars moments here.

    At 14:35 Vinnie kicks in. Great drum mix, sounds like a little added processing to the multitrack mix to my ears. Vinnie is my favorite Zappa drummer. He starts out with some nice single and double stroke roll, then goes into some ostinato stuff which leads to thunder drums.

    At 17:31 Frank kicks back into a raga type solo for a few moments until Vinnie jumps in and does some nifty and bitchen change up rhythm work. Great Les Paul overdrive tone. Source tape change at 21:18 – 22:03.

    The centerpiece of the show.

    Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
    Rockin’ version. Vinnie tears this one up once again. Fun arrangement. Harmonies still awesome. Always entertaining.

    I’m So Cute
    Bob Harris sounds fantasic on this one. Hard Rockin’ version. As much as I love Bozzio, Vinnie takes it too different Levels. Always fun.

    Andy
    Ike and Ray are sound great. Hell, all the vocals sound great here. Can I possibly pump Vinnie up any higher. Vai nails the syncopated parts like a true master. Tommy Mars sounds great. Everyone in the band tears this one a new asshole. Simply amazing. FZ’s guitar solo is like cascading drops of pure joy raining from heaven. Vinnies accompanyment is over the top. Arthur Barrow hold it all together. A truly beautifully amazing version of one of my favorite Zappa songs. It was Sublime indeed.

    Band intros followed by a short but sweet Vai solo before ending the song leading up to encore #1.

    Joe’s Garage
    By this point, I’m so blown away at what I’ve just witnessed that I’m running out of adjectives here. Tasty Vinnie drumming. Harmonies simply amazing. Guess you only get one chance to play a song that goes like……..

    Dancing Fool
    Vinnie, Vinnie and more Vinnie. The guy is sick. Picture perfect harmonies, accompaniment and groove. Probably the best version of Dancing Fool ever. Whats a girl like you doing in a tampoon encrusted place like this.lol…………

    The “Real World” Thematic Extrapolations
    Extremely funny commentary to the ending groove of Dancing Fool about trying to get laid at a disco. Funny ass shit.

    Stick It Out
    High octane version. Everyones firing on all cylinders here. Source tape change from 1:42 – end of show.

    I Don’T Want To Get Drafted
    Starts off enore #2. Similar to the single version. Excellent. Well Executed.

    Bobby Brown
    Good version of a standard song. Great harmonies, nice Hammond Organ accompanyment.

    Ms Pinky
    Rockin’ Version. Everything spot on perfect. Vinnie grooves this song like nobody else. Funny final band introductions.

    Overall – Most excellent release. I probably missed a couple tape change edits. The main difference I noticed was that on one source, the bass and fullness of the mix is bigger than the other two. I’m assuming the cassette soundboard 2 track master has the least bass response of the 24 and 8 track tape sources.

    Vaulternative rocks, keep ‘em comin’.

    Nice job and thanks Joe Travers! YOU DA MAN! I am giving you a virtual online hug for this wonderful treat! Thanks again!

  2. Irving says:

    Wahay!!!!!. Someone at the ZFT had the right idea here. For those of you who wore out your vinyl copies of PERSONALITY. This is the gig for you. A perfect sounding complete gig that nobody already has as a boot. Crystal clear killer bass and drums and FZ solos a plenty. The worthiest release in years!!!!

  3. Dan DiPaolo says:

    Eyebrows:

    I enjoyed Tommy and Stevie’s fills in the Yowza Yowza Yowza section of Dancin’ Fool! Also, nice metrical re-interpretation in the “top popped open” section of Cosmik Debris. Is that a feature of other boots from this era? It hasn’t come up in the ones I’ve heard.

    Vinnie and Arthur and Tommy make everything instantly better, but this was quite a “rocky” set, no? I was hoping for some more variety, although that is more a matter of preference. Vinnie, however, seems to make every song an “event,” something special. Bob Harris’s voice was under-utilized here as well!

    I think Iggy needed a cold shower before he wrote that totally hyperbolic review!

    Dan
    Ich finde in New York statt

  4. david says:

    This show was the second rock concert that I ever attended. I am ecstatic to have an audio record to add to nostalgia.

    I remember, I was in seventh grade, and I made friends with a guy named don at Festival East concerts that knew my dad through his union. A day before the tickets went on sale, He called me up and gave me a heads up. I landed fourth row tickets, and then had to find a way to convince my parents that I could make to the Memorial auditorium to see some guy named Frank (they had NO clue who he was– I would have been better off telling them it was polka music). Still, I made it, and cemented my love of music, and most of my future career over the last 27 years.

    I might even still have the bootleg T-shirt somewhere.

    I would give a in-depth review. but who needs anything else. Simply fantastic. the guitar solos are still fresh in my mind, and well the drum solo, I can still picture it.

    Alas, youth, wasted on the young.

  5. ZarFT says:

    Well, this really is more like what we had in mind for vault releases. Our hope was to find many complete concert recordings that could easily be transferred to commercial product. Folks, that’s just not the case. Most of what we have is incomplete, not as one would hope and not commercially viable.

    Frank filled the vault – no doubt about that. It’s a lot like digging through anyone’s basement, though, after they’ve passed on. It’s a treasure trove of stuff, but – like any basement – there’s good, bad, ugly and mostly unfulfilled dreams. Face it, Frank was a putz!!!

    We hoped we could bring many of his dreams to life. Sadly, we are not up to the task. The vault is a myth.

    Enjoy Buffellow while you can. There’s not much more like it. Don’t ditch those boots…

  6. urbangraffito says:

    ZarFT — The vault is a myth? Hmmmm. I think it’s pretty much a given that since 1965 Frank recorded everything he did. And I’ve seen enough documentaries with glimpses of the vault to validate it’s existence in reality. But exactly what he filled that vault with is another matter, and where I agree with you in many respects: “there’s good, bad, ugly and mostly unfulfilled dreams…”

    I don’t think the vault was ever supposed to be regarded as an endless repository of releasable material; rather, the odds and ends and in-betweens of a life devoted to those black little notes: artifacts, bits and pieces of brilliance, glimpses of genius. In another word…GRAVY.

    That said, anything that comes out of the vault has to be viewed in that light. That so many posthumous releases have already found their way out is nothing short of amazing, and a credit to the ZFT (no matter one’s opinion of their business practises). I am quite certain that we haven’t seen the last of these posthumous releases (I am still pining away for the near-mythic Roxy DVD), but I do not expect a masterpiece to suddenly materialize out of the vault. Those we already have. I do not think there are any unfinished symphonies hiding in there, either. Ultimately, what seems to be the myth is the wild expectation of what is inside — and I agree, that myth should go.

    Still, how many versions of “The Black Page” or “Zoot Allures” or “Idiot Bastard Son” is enough for a bona fide Zappa freak?

    Counting the number of Zappa boots on my hard drive the answer is simple…never enough!

  7. ZarFT says:

    so…we are in basic agreement then?

  8. urbangraffito says:

    so…we are in basic agreement then? Yep. That Frank was a putz! No. It’s no one else’s job to bring many of Frank’s dreams to life but Frank. He’s gone. All that’s left of those dreams are whatever fragments are to be found in the vault. Like I said before, of fragments do not finished products make, but they are very interesting to listen to nonetheless.

  9. Keefa says:

    Just listening to it now for the first time and had to come on to express by disbelief at the speed and accuracy of the Keep It Greasy on here. Awesome in the truest sense of the word.

  10. Dave Lee says:

    I have greatly enjoyed all of the ZFT releases thus far and am looking forward to Buffalo (just ordered today from Barfko Swill). I hope that the Vault tapes can eventually be preserved in a place like Iron Mountain in Virginia. Sub zero temps will hold the gelatin of the movie film stock inert for future generations to scan to their current HD formats and enjoy. Looking forward to see Dweezil come to Seattle again this November 19th!! The show was amazing last year, it rivaled the Band from Utopia in Seattle in 1995.

  11. Marco J says:

    OK, everyone who has reviewed at length before me is so uniformly RIGHT ON, I feel that there is little to add except the following:

    1. This is the hands-down absolute FINEST FULL ZAPPA CONCERT EVER RELEASED IN ANY AUDIO FORMAT.

    2. I have not been able to stop listening and re-listening to it ever since I got it.

    3. This band was fucking incredible, the richness of the vocals, the jaw-dropping rhythm section of Vinnie and Barrow, the tightness of the entire band….

    4. Kudos to the FZT: they (Dweezil, Joe Travers, Gail) have delivered BETTER LIVE MIXES THAN FRANK did. I’m dead serious here: listen to “Buffalo”. The separation between instruments isn’t ridiculously encapsulated, the vocals aren’t a 1000 db louder than the rest of the instruments, and the whole shebang SOUNDS LIKE A KICKIN LIVE BAND. If you need any further evidence that the FZT folks mix Zappa live better than Frank did, listen to Dweezil’s mix of the DVD re-release of “Baby Snakes”. It is a STELLAR job.

    5. Every live Zappa release should sound like this. Wowie Zowie.

    6. This is the best posthumous Zappa release yet. I cannot believe how wonderful these 2 CDs are.

    7. Every self-professed Zappa fan should own this release. Period.

  12. moggio moves to cleveland says:

    I want to get a copy of this finally but now it seems it is only available thru ZFT now? I put off buying it and now I have no choice but to give money direct to the matrix?

    Say it ain’t so!!

  13. Mark G says:

    Yeah, the best live reproduction thus far, now, as good as FZ was, why is it that someone else generally masters an artist’s finished work? Objectivity. Now FZ was a bit hit and miss imho, yet I don’t ever get a sense of “I wish someone else did this”. Keep it Greasy is brutal on this release. I only wish that City of tiny Lites wasn’t truncated and faded, otherwise… That said, I prefer the line-up for Tinseltown Rebellion, and that jam inside of Easy Meat is sublime.

  14. Potatohead Pecary says:

    I waited A while to get this disc and now I ask myself “how could i be such a fool”

    The quality of the recording is steller. The instruments sound “alive” and at any moment they might jump out of the speakers. A lot has been said about Vinnie’s drumming on this release and I couldn’t agree more. He literally sets these tracks on fire. His feel, his energy, his virtuosity. I think any aspiring drummer should hear this. He dominates the CD yet never gets in the way or drowns out the other players. I don’t even know how this is possible.

    During Franks solo’s they are right there with each other. Phrasing together and answering each others musical questions. (and they are asking each other some weird questions).

    Each new release should be put out for a reason.
    Wazoo was necessary , OSD was variety, OZ was obscurity, This is one is quality.

  15. Thinman says:

    Everybody who thinks this is sounding good should get their ears checked. This clearly suffers from bad modern time mastering habits. The thing is compressed until the waveforms are a square blocks and it is just loud. Don’t confuse loudness with sonic quality. This is squashed dynamic range until there is no dynamic range at all. Unlistenable and painful instead. The same problem with Trance-Fusion.

    I don’t want a Frank Zappa recording to be destroyed by incompetent producers and engineers. Listen to this and afterwards to the Tinseltown Rebellion recordings (preferable the EMI-CD) from the same tour: what a relief.

    Read additional info on the topic of “Dynamic Range” here: http://www.dynamicrange.de

    and here, where I have posted screenshots from Buffalo and Tinseltown waveforms to illustrate the problem: http://www.zappa.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17588&start=0

  16. davidrog says:

    While I’m grateful for this release, I do have a few problems with it.

    The recording of this concert is excellent, but I don’t think it measures up to the KBFH recording FZ made from the July 2nd & 3rd 1980 shows. That broadcast was a masterpiece of editing and production, with Frank’s guitar prominent in the mix. Yes, these two recordings feature different band members (and everyone loves Vinnie and Steve Vai, myself included) but I still like the overall sound of the Biscuit recording a lot more.

    FZ already had a full Paris 1980 show recorded (and on videotape as well.) Why didn’t the ZFT release that one as a CD/DVD package? Maybe they don’t have the rights to it, but I prefer that show to Buffalo as well.

    As for the concert itself, I like the set list and the band is great, but a lot of Frank’s solos seem uninspired and meander too much. There’s a lot of atonal noodling that makes me flinch rather than enjoy it. This 2-CD set features the first official live recording of “Chunga’s Revenge,” but it’s not as good as the KBFH version. And the 23+ minute “Torture” is way too long. Frank could have fit at least 3 more songs in that part of the set list.

    Perhaps Dweezil was compelled to release the entire Buffalo shows when he first heard the ungodly noises that FZ unleashes on his “City Of Tiny Lites” solo? Like Iggy said, those bassy sounds definitely get your attention.

    BTW – If the ZFT is so dead set against bootleg releases of Frank’s concerts, isn’t it hypocritical of them to use audience recordings to patch some of these songs? I realize it’s necessary to use them to complete the recording, but the irony of using that method bothers me. And where did they get the recordings?

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