Modern Day Varèse

Interesting review of a recent concert by the Manhattan School of Music Percussion Ensemble performing Edgard Varèse. A notable quote:

Having grown up surrounded by hiphop, industrial, and electronica, these kids find nothing unusual in the idea of a piece which is all about sirens, noise and thunderous percussion. In fact, I think they get a work like Ionisation in a way that most classically-trained musicians of previous generations have a lot of trouble wrapping their heads around.

Via aworks which also links to an mp3 download of Ionisation.

Список форумов!

Информационный форум. Здесь все желающие могут размещать актуальную информацию (статьи, интервью etc.) о Заппе и музыкантах когда-либо сотрудничающих с ним!
So yeah, I had no idea there was a :)

The Voice Of Cheese: Joe Cronin

It’s a joyous day here at KUR as we kick off our Voice Of Cheese series! The first contribution comes from Joe Cronin. Joe says:

It’s pretty strange but seems to have a circular sort of logic about it… I am a Big Zappa fanatic. Have known Scott Thunes for 25 years. He was a roomate of mine a million years ago — long story… Now he is a neighbor, here in San Rafael Cal.

The track is called “PLINK”. Click the arrow to have a listen:


Like it? Download it.

Announcing The Voice Of Cheese!

Now then: about that poll. At this time of writing, out of 257 voters, 39% (a nominal 99 votes) declared they not only play music, but have recorded some of it as well.

The plan, as obvious as it must have probably been, is to showcase a KUR reader’s recording, say once per week. I would host your track, have the commenting masses do their thing, and we’d hopefully find some gems in the process here and there. To be clear: your tune needn’t be Zappa-esque or avant-garde or something like that. Anything goes — from hillbilly country-music through Klezmer to high-brow electronic music.

So here’s how I got it worked out practically:

  1. Those interested: feel free to drop me an email!
  2. Subject line: “KUR Reader Music Submission” (this is important as otherwise your submission shall go the way of the dodo)
  3. Body of email contains name of track, your name and/or band-name and preferably some more information
  4. Please do not attach any mp3’s in your email
  5. I will contact each contributor for details on how to obtain the track
  6. Your track will be hosted at KUR should you not dispose of your own online hosting facility
  7. Contributions will be posted chronologically — that is to say: in accordance with the email queue
  8. Each track should be in .mp3 format, and should not exceed a 6Mb size limit (this includes the 25 self-declared Eric Claptons)
  9. By entering, you confirm that the track’s copyright is yours.

Care to join the Voice Of Cheese? You know the drill! :)

Kent Ohio ’73

Someone somewhere must have been extra nice to Barry this week; not only did I get bread with my gruel, but he also insisted that this week’s show should be May 1st 1973. And, as Barry always gets what he wants, May 1st it is.

Now, I don’t know many people who dislike the 1973 tour (actually, I don’t know anybody), and as this is one of the best shows from that year, it becomes essential listening in my book. This happens to be the final night of Kin Vassey’s short stint with the band. Interestingly, it’s also the one and only FZ show I know of that begins with the complete Yellow Snow Suite.

Highlights? Dupree’s Paradise, Big Swifty, and the Son of Mr Green Genes/King Kong/Chunga’s Revenge encore. Oh yes, and the rest of the show.

You’ll enjoy this one.

How Does Ry Cooder Use iTunes?

Like so:

Then Mr. Cooder noticed something else: When he burned a copy of the album using Apple’s iTunes software, it sounded fine. He didn’t know why until one of his younger engineers told him that the default settings on iTunes apply a “sound enhancer.” (It’s in the preferences menu, under “playback.”) Usually, that feature sweetens the sound of digital music files, but Mr. Cooder so liked its effect on his studio recordings that he used it to master — that is, make the final sound mixes — his album. “We didn’t do anything else to it,” he said.

12 Questions For Pete Townshend

Via Here Comes The Flood, 12 questions for Pete Townshend:

Our music was quite vengeful in a way. The uplifting subtext came from a mixture of humour and a genuine belief that music could set us all free. It seems trite – and I think we knew that if music could do anything at all it would do it only for a short period – but that is what we believed. So, we were truly passionate.

Not at all trite I would think, Mr Townshend…

God Hates Fags: News At Eleven

Get this (via):

One of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music. Parents should keep careful watch over their children’s listening habits, especially in this Internet Age of MP3 piracy.

… which I guess pairs nicely with this hideous “OP/ED” on a site that has our pal John Lofton listed as one of the “editors”.

Modernism In Music

Bernard sent in this link which I thought was an interesting read: Music is the Healing Force of the Universe:

Why is that modernism in the visual arts has received so more widespread acceptance than modernism in music? Virtually everyone knows who Picasso is, and could probably recognise one of his works if they tried, but mention Schoenberg or Cecil Taylor or Captain Beefheart and you’ll either get a bemused, non-comprehending look or a sigh of disgust.

Sidenote: I think the above title may well be the most high-brow piece of writing ever to have appeared on this weblog.

Captain Midnight

A creepy incident occurred at Chicago’s WGN-TV on 22/11/’87:

The pictures on the station monitors in the studio suddenly began to jitter and twitch. Across Chicago, countless other televisions did the same, as Dan’s clips of the Bears game were lost in a brief flurry of static and replaced with the sinister, grinning visage of Max Headroom.

And that was just the beginning. View the clip here.
Related: The Wyoming Incident.