Crunching Numbers

Yesterday was let’s mess with WordPress plugins and see if they stick day at Barry Towers.

As you may have noticed, it’s now possible to easily quote someone else’s comment when writing a comment yourself (click the aptly dubbed “Click to quote this comment” link next to every reply and watch how magic unfolds!).

At long last: a proper contact form where you may, you know, contact us!

Over at the FZ discography section, there’s now a “Highest Rated Albums” feature. Here’s how the collective beehive mind (that would be you) have been going about rating so far:

  1. One Size Fits All (9.76 out of 10)
  2. Roxy & Elsewhere (9.45 out of 10)
  3. The Grand Wazoo (9.22 out of 10)
  4. You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol 2 (9.13 out of 10)
  5. Apostrophe (’)/ Over-Nite Sensation (DVD) (9 out of 10)
  6. Sheik Yerbouti (8.91 out of 10)
  7. We’re Only In It For The Money (8.8 out of 10)
  8. Läther (8.75 out of 10)
  9. Zappa In New York (8.73 out of 10)
  10. The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (8.73 out of 10)

I’d say #1 and #2 are obvious. Interestingly though:

  • The Grand Wazoo reaches #3
  • There’s an YCDTOSA in the top ten, at #4 no less
  • No Freak Out!, no Hot Rats, no Apostrophe/Over-Nite Sensation, no Waka/Jawaka and no Joe’s Garage
  • The Apostrophe/Over-Nite Sensation DVD is apparently more entertaining than the records themselves!

More number crunching? Here you go:

  • Total Users Voted: 1,923
  • Total Average: 7.03

“Good student, needs to put in more effort” :)

37 Responses to “Crunching Numbers”

  1. Roland says:

    Anybody who has ever listened to the “Apostrophe(´)” AU20 release once, must vote for it with “forza grande”. What´s wrong here?

  2. schlarb says:

    One Size, Roxy and Grand Wazoo are my top three too! And in that order!
    I feel a strange sense of comfort.

  3. urbangraffito says:

    This really isn’t a competition, is it? That’s why I tend not to vote concerning my favourite FZ/MOI album. I’ve been a freak long enough to know that a large group will always go for FZ’s more lyric filled albums, than those largely instrumental ones (which are my personal favourites, for the most part) like Burnt Weeny, Uncle Meat, Hot Rats, Waka/Jawaka, Jazz From Hell, Yellow Shark, Civilization Phase III, etc. To me, the lyric filled albums get the listener past the front door of the House of Zappa, while the rest of the catalogue is the banquet they sit down to dinner for…

  4. xorg says:

    Not all KUR readers have given a rating for all Zopper’s output, so the numbers although well-crunched may not be an accurate reflection of the overall bee-hive opinion!

  5. urbangraffito says:

    Like all such endeavours, xorg, it’s just the general opinion of those KUR readers that chose to give the albums a rating: no more, no less.

  6. Balint says:

    Nice to see this list. The surprising thing to me is Läther (I prefer the 4 separate albums), and the absence of the postumus releases. In a few years I think we’ll see Buffalo on the list, ZPP WAZOO (on my list, for sure), and I think Imaginary Diseases to be an important one – though I’d really like it with an extended setlist, I DO miss MOntana, Cosmik Debris, etc.

  7. Roland says:

    “Apostrophe,” in Zappa´s own words, “is an album of songs and stories set to music performed for your dining and dancing pleasure.” So when “urbangraffito” talks about “… while the rest of the catalogue is the banquet they sit down to dinner for …” he doesn´t have a clou, what I was talking about! ;-)
    First I had the vinyl, then with the golden age of CDs I bought the CD doubled with “Overnite Sensation”. Two years ago I was lucky and bought a new copy of the “AU20″ release (long out of print, 5000 copies) and it sounds so good.

  8. bernard says:

    Yes, “Roland”, I’ve been listening to it over & over again since it was released. It’s ggreat fun and it continues being fun every time you listen to it. ” Songs and stories set to music performed for your dining and dancing pleasure”. You can’t dance on it. And it happens to put a hurt on their stomach when ( most of the ) people listen to it during dinner.
    Why? Because it’s music for music’s sake. An attempt to be both (1) funny ( it is ) and (2) adding an awful lot of sophistication to ” popular” music.
    However my guess: FZ will be remembered within – let’s say – 30 or 50 years for other compositions: the eraly and the last ones. And people knowing about these will then start discovering the Italian style ” songs & stories” he invented in between.

  9. Roland says:

    Well “bernard”, I think your guess seems with a pretty good eyesight to all his releases – and I think you´re pretty right, Waldorf (if I may call you so, from time to time). Albums like “Fillmore East ´71″ will definitely not be remembered in 30 to 50 years. They are hardly remembered now by the public ear. Albums like “Freak Out” or “We´re only in it for the money” and for example “Civilization Phase III” will be the ones beeing remembered. Not the boring reggae backed guitar solos from nowhere to anywhere. (This is a quote for you jane23 …)

  10. bernard says:

    I think I’m right. And, yes, I hope I’m wrong.
    The great achievement of KUR is exactly that genuine & honest discussion.
    I truly believe ( the FZ hard way ) that the future of music is about overlooking borders.
    Bringing together people who right now seem to be back to back. A sort of generally accepted separation avoids contacts. Compare it with people living in ( state ) border areas.
    Thus. Youngsters against older people. Jazz against pop rock. Classical music against popular culture. Each in their own thoughts. That’s not the future.
    The futureis : you just jump and combine. In the best case : you’ll innovate combining both of them.
    By the way the latest trend in classical music programming is about combining renaissance music and contemporary classical music. See : http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/01/early-and-late-music-reaches-new.html.
    Nobody so far seems to have created an innovative bridge.
    That sort of remarks is partially the result of having listened to FZ music.

  11. urbangraffito says:

    Roland, the full quote goes:
    “To me, the lyric filled albums get the listener past the front door of the House of Zappa, while the rest of the catalogue is the banquet they sit down to dinner for…”
    This wasn’t a criticism of albums such as Apostrophe(‘) and Overnite Sensation and Freak Out; rather, I was suggesting that because they were more accessible than much of the instrumental/classical albums that they often introduced new fans to FZ (the House of Zappa) wherein they find more than they expected (just the humourous FZ).

  12. Roland says:

    To “urbangraffito”: It was not meant to be serious, I just tried to make a funny remark. I understood perfectly what you were saying. I have to re-think my kind of humour, I guess … ;-)

  13. Roland says:

    To “bernard”: Bridges have always been good things, they are buildings to bring people together, they are for crossing rivers, the sea, valleys and in musical terms different kinds of music. Ans still we have walls… :-(

  14. Dr Sharleena says:

    “Roland”; “Bernard”:
    do you do the “Air quotes” when you guys “talk” to each other? Does it look anything “like this“? Just “curious…”

  15. sterbus says:

    …and the three favorite songs?

  16. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from sterbus:

    …and the three favorite songs?

    No data on that… my totally uneducated guess:
    1. Watermelon In Easter Hay
    2. Sofa (#1 or #2, take your pick)
    3. The Black Page (#1 or #2, take your pick)
    Note: this does not necessarily reflect my own favourites :)

  17. bernard says:

    That’s the back to back way, Sharleena. People who keep turning their back to each other. People refusing to have an open mind.
    ( FZ was about other minds).
    It’s not about ” hot air ” , nor about “pie in the sky”.
    It’s the opposite of being stubbornly sticking to just one idea.
    - For instance. Within electric guitar world. Point of departure is electric guitar & renaissance chants. Result : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyUL6flJgvU&feature=related
    - Another example is Brian Eno. He just keeps producing U2. Their next album as well. Meanwhile , for instance :
    http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/01/eno-adds-ambience-to-adolescent-angst.html
    Does FZ world need another cover band? No.
    New, young & other musicians should just start building on this lagacy.

  18. bernard says:

    By the way both artists started from ObladiOblada.

  19. bernard says:

    And, yes, both played music in Top Of The Pops.

  20. Roland says:

    Dr Sharleena, you made me laugh the first time today. Okay. I will stop doing the air quotes … Hi bernard, how are you doing?

  21. Roland says:

    “By the way both artists started from ObladiOblada.”
    I didn´t catch that, bernard, what do you what to say?
    Oops, I did it again “this” …

  22. bernard says:

    No, it’s about ICT systems disarming people.
    This system just doesn’t allow a post with more than one internet link to enter automatically.
    It’s about reinventing borders, ICT helping.

  23. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Roland:

    To “urbangraffito”: It was not meant to be serious, I just tried to make a funny remark. I understood perfectly what you were saying. I have to re-think my kind of humour, I guess … ;-)

    Hey, Roland, I can take a joke. Just ask mcnastie. I’m not always the clueless, futurist lamenter, know-it-all graying poofter that I often come across as: sometimes can I even string a sentence or two together without the aid of a spell checker or a dictionary. Now that’s progress, don’t you think?

  24. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from sterbus:

    …and the three favorite songs?

    1. The Purple Lagoon (Zappa In New York)
    2a. King Kong Itself (Uncle Meat)
    2b. King Kong II (Uncle Meat)
    2c. King Kong III (Uncle Meat)
    2d. King Kong IV (Uncle Meat)
    2e. King Kong V (Uncle Meat)
    2f. King Kong VI (Uncle Meat)
    3. Little House I Used To Live In (Burnt Weeny Sandwich/Poughkeepsie)

  25. Roland says:

    Hey urbangraffito, as I said a couple of times before: You´re a laugh – absolutely meant positive, without anything else in mind!

  26. Roland says:

    bernard, I still don´t get this: Are you into Herrman Hesse or Philip K. Dick at the moment?

  27. jane23 says:

    This is completely off topic, (as though this has never happened before), but I am selling a United Mutations Certificate from 1969 on Ebay. If this announcement is inappropriate for this forum then please feel free to delete this post.

  28. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from jane23:

    This is completely off topic, (as though this has never happened before), but I am selling a United Mutations Certificate from 1969 on Ebay. If this announcement is inappropriate for this forum then please feel free to delete this post.

    Why should your selling an artifact on ebay and announcing it here on KUR be deemed inappropriate? I’m sure there is some rabid completist drooling at this very instant…

  29. Sterbus says:

    1. The adventures of Greggery Peccary;
    2. Echidna’s arf / Don’t you ever wash that thing?;
    3. Promiscuous :)

  30. Roland says:

    1. Love Me Do
    2. I Want To Hold Your Hand
    3. She Loves You

  31. bernard says:

    I’ll try to explain what I’m actually trying to explain.
    - I hope it’s not boring.
    - I apologize for my poor english, it’s just my third language.
    - And , please, do not hesitate to make me look like a ridicoulous guy. I adore criticism.
    Fourty years ago ( now I’m 54) my point of departure was the classical music avant garde. This might be different from yours. Over then in 1967 / 8 / 9 I happen to be puzzled by the music ( Varèse, Boulez, Stockhausen) I heard while being the youngest pupil( 13-14 ) of our local & small ( however glorious) Music School.
    All of a sudden I discovered FZ ( on the radio). That music seemed more accessable. No haughty crap like – for instance – Pink Floyd.Just good music. I thought : here’s something I understand. The same goes for Gil Evans, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.
    Back to FZ. I wanted to attend the Amougies ( BE ) festival. My father said : no I won’t drive you to A. OK.
    FZ music is still puzzling. Any serious classical composer, jazzman, pop artist knows about it. A tiny minority of these people happen to be courageous enough to say what they think about it, how they feel.
    Over then, in the sixties / seventies I listened to a lot of pop / rock music. In my opinion : good music. And I started discovering – step after step – jazz music. That’s another story. Much later my children helped me discovering new jewels, such as for instance Massive Attack.
    Meanwhile – yes, the result of having listened to FZ much earlier – I kept exploring border crossers in music. Musicians: disregarding, overlooking genres.
    So what’s my point?
    - The long shadow. The long tail reaches out. It’s very interesting :trying to discover which musical FZ scores people right now still like most. That’s about saveguarding a legacy. In my opinion : more important is to figure out how long his shadow (into the future ) happens to be. This is not about cover bands, it’s about musicians, who invented new things, smartly & partly starting from a FZ inspiration. My guess is that they’re plentiful.
    - Respect. FZ succesfully made one of the first bridges crossing pop / rock and classic. He just did it. Just have a look at the others ( from his generation who made an attempt) , nobody’s still interested in their crap. Right now others- starting from pop / rock ) succeeded in delivering exactly the same. I wouldn’ dare to mention names – ( two of them, see earlier posts).
    Sorry for behaving like an animator.
    Music hasn’ died anywhere.

  32. Dr Sharleena says:

    “Roland”, please come back with the quotation marks!! I miss them!!

  33. Roland says:

    “Doctor, doctor give me the news
    I’ve got a bad case of lovin’ you”
    This is only for you Dr. Sharleena,
    Yours truly,
    “Roland”

  34. jane23 says:

    inappropraite posts:
    the reason i hesitated to post something for sale on ebay in this forum was because i was concerned about turning KUR into a garage sale/flea market atmosphere as well as issues regarding the not for profit aspect of this site, so, i posted it anyway. i don’t want to step on any toes or further jeopardize this site by inspiring more cease and desist nonsense, having said that, i have a pocet knife i found on the floor at a Grand Wazoo concert in NY, any takers? (just kidding)
    But, let’s examine what it means to be a completist, shall we?

  35. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from jane23:

    inappropraite posts:
    the reason i hesitated to post something for sale on ebay in this forum was because i was concerned about turning KUR into a garage sale/flea market atmosphere as well as issues regarding the not for profit aspect of this site, so, i posted it anyway. i don’t want to step on any toes or further jeopardize this site by inspiring more cease and desist nonsense

    Perhaps if there’s enough interest (or demand), somewhere in a tiny little corner of KUR, Barry might erect a tent and a table for those who dabble in such Mothers artifacts and other FZ ephemera.

  36. jane23 says:

    as for highest rated zappa albums:
    absolutely free i played on a cheap phonograph until the it turned grey
    Burnt weenie sandwich i played every day for two years
    i loved the 200 motels soundtrack rock band + orchestra = !!!
    one size fits all: fantastic
    they were all great
    a couple of clunkers here and there like man from utopia
    and ship arriving too late but still, there was always at least one amazing piece of music on each to make it worthwhile.
    and in terms of being a completist, you could collect every concert by the Dead but who would give a shit?

  37. mcnastie says:

    my top 5:
    lumpy gravy
    200 motels
    uncle meat
    civilization phaze 3
    shut up ‘n play box