Links For 07-02-2008

  • Flickr: CD Cover Meme
  • The point
  • Why Scratching Relieves An Itch – “The reduced brain activity occurred in the anterior cingulate cortex, an area associated with aversion to unpleasant sensory experiences, and the posterior cingulate cortex, which is associated with memory.”
  • Zappa In Australia – “The object of this site is an attempt to confirm and catalogue everything Australian & New Zealand of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.” (via Maroual)
  • The Scott Thunes Effect – “Frank Zappa bass transcriptions, as played by Scott Thunes”

41 Responses to “Links For 07-02-2008”

  1. urbangraffito says:

    Zappa In Australia. Very informative. Well researched. Lacking in visual stimulation, though (damn, must be that frigid wind blowing from Laurel Canyon).

  2. Maroual says:

    Ok guys.
    I am recruiting members for my new band named… Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority.
    The name of my first album will be Pleasure Of Human Bondage.
    Here is the selected photo for my album cover:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/77495757@N00/2235957600/

  3. Jamez says:

    Frank in Oz ….with added Norman Gunston! The comedian also appeared at Kiss concerts in Australia circa 1980 (Norman .. not Frank!).

  4. bernard says:

    FZ in Australia? Yes, for sure.
    I travelled a lot. Within ( broad ) Europe, and later all over the world.
    Wherever I came, I visited record shops. My wife understood this.
    My criterion about the degree of civilazation of the town I visited was: is there a FZ record for sale? Yep, it’s for sale in many, many places. My wife, being non – musical, just behaved as if she understood this.

  5. bernard says:

    “In -a -gadda -Zappa” reasoning about scratching your head.
    FZ quote is : “Some Scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is
    so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic
    building block of the universe.”
    All over the world science makes progress. That’s great.
    We made discovery after discovery, exploring new fields.
    And over here in Europe, we spend an awful lot of money on reserach. I wouldn’ t dare to mention the financial means. See: http://cordis.europa.eu/en/home.html
    We simply overlook having a look at our brain, the way it works.

  6. lonesome cowgirl burp says:

    I groove to Waka/Jawaka, therefore I am.

  7. bernard says:

    Music in my Head/ Scratching my head
    Some people hear things, others don’t.
    For many of us, FZ music happened to be a mind opener. We heard it when we were younfg enough and that contributed to changing our reasonings & life.
    The same goes for Stravinsky. Just read the comment from http://www.myspace.com/officialevelynglennie, Dame Evelyn Glennie ( by the way she’s almost deaf, however she hears more than the others):
    ” I remember attending a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra of “The Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky at the Barbican in London back in the mid 80’s when I was a student. Coming from a remote part of North East Scotland with no experience of attending concerts by professional orchestras, this was an incredible experience that has remained with me ever since.
    The intensity of the music and how it was performed totally transfixed my whole being to that moment. The extremes of dynamics, sound colour, the fragility and strength of the music, the daring message through sound and the fact that this piece pushed the boundaries of the players when it was first written (and a long time thereafter) are just a few of the reasons why this music has remained one of my all time favourites.”
    See: http://theomniscientmussel.com/ ( Spine Tinglers)

  8. bernard says:

    Very much the same tribe each on their own instruments:
    FZ & Evelyn Glennie, ” Solo Percussionist & Motivational Speaker”

  9. Jur Opean says:

    July 2nd already?
    oh, that’s right. You’re o’ peein’…

  10. Jur Opean says:

    …and I’m not.

  11. Sterbus says:

    I discovered a Morgan interview about Scott Thunes and rehearsing Zappa’s Universe that is very interesting, you should check it out!

  12. Balint says:

    The Scott Thunes Effect – amazing! Great homepage, huge effort!! I LOVE when somebody spends time and energy and shows us details we otherwise would not notice! Now I’ll have to listen to the ’88 shows again, maybe while watching the scores!

  13. bernard says:

    Balint, I don’t care about the quality of home pages. That’s something for ITC people who care more about nice, charming design than about genuine content.
    The good thing for musicians ( I’m not) is to offer the scores. Yes, I fully agree: this ST offer is fantastic. S. Thunes happens to be a ” motivational speaker”.
    By the way for 25 years I learned more about music than I did at school while listening to J S Bachs music at 7.00 am on Sunday mornings ( getting up before the rest of the family woke up ) : with the scores in my hand. I listened to it, getting more & more puzzled.
    Way back in the old days you had to look for that sort of scores all over the place before you got them. And you were supposed to pay a fortune to get hold of that. Indeed : it happened to be an expedition to get hold of scores.
    Right now, they’re just available for free .
    Great.

  14. bernard says:

    OK, as for music, I just happen to be a cow watching trains.

  15. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from bernard:

    Balint, I don’t care about the quality of home pages. That’s something for ITC people who care more about nice, charming design than about genuine content.
    The good thing for musicians ( I’m not) is to offer the scores. Yes, I fully agree: this ST offer is fantastic. S. Thunes happens to be a ” motivational speaker”.
    By the way for 25 years I learned more about music than I did at school while listening to J S Bachs music at 7.00 am on Sunday mornings ( getting up before the rest of the family woke up ) : with the scores in my hand. I listened to it, getting more & more puzzled.
    Way back in the old days you had to look for that sort of scores all over the place before you got them. And you were supposed to pay a fortune to get hold of that. Indeed : it happened to be an expedition to get hold of scores.
    Right now, they’re just available for free .
    Great.

    One should always care about how information is delivered, bernard. It goes hand in hand with the intent of the deliverer, and the content of the information itself. I mean, who has ever enjoyed reading a book with an unreadable typeface, or listening to musicians play out of tune instruments: the same goes for a well designed homepage. Bad ones interfere with communication and development of the form (i.e. Zuppo dot com) while well designed sites like KUR push boundaries of both form and content.
    And speaking of scores, bernard, have you ever tried to track down Zappa scores? They are anything but free (and the TRUST charges a fortune, especially for scores that will not be performed live), and usually not available for individual instruments beyond that of guitar. I have had to transcribe most of the FZ songs I play on sax by ear. As for Scott Thunes transcriptions, I welcome them (although I don’t play bass).

  16. bernard says:

    You’re absolutely right, Urbangr. I fully agree.
    ST is a great one.
    I just tried to be provocative. It’s about the spur.
    Compare good, nice looking blogs with good cover art on CDs. Transcribing music to visual arts.
    Music is – still – the best.

  17. bernard says:

    It will take some time before FZ scores become available for free. However it will happen.
    Compare it with classical music scores. Most of them are now available for free. Just google around.

  18. bernard says:

    And again, exploring things the other way around.
    Fifteen years ago I bought all scores from Thelonious Monk, (http://www.monkzone.com/, and now : http://www.monkinstitute.org/) in an obscure shop in Stockholm, when I was ivisiting Sweden.
    I’m very happy to have hose scores around. Scores from another enigmatic.
    I made the same exercise as I did with J S Bach.

  19. bernard says:

    And, yes, indeed, as so many other great composers Thelonious M, happened to be a monster.
    Thelonious Monster.

  20. Balint says:

    OK, as for Bernard’s comments, I just happen to be a cow watching trains.

  21. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from bernard:

    It will take some time before FZ scores become available for free. However it will happen.
    Compare it with classical music scores. Most of them are now available for free. Just google around.

    Unfortunately, bernard, like many of the classical composers scores you speak of as now being available for free, when this happens with the music of FZ, everyone reading this (much as the classical composers) will be cadavers (and the FZ scores of absolutely no use).

  22. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Balint:

    OK, as for Bernard’s comments, I just happen to be a cow watching trains.

    Got room in the pasture, Balint (I’ve got a taste for cud coming on…)?

  23. Roland says:

    So if Thelonious Monk was a monster, where is his big hit single – with a bullet !

  24. Roland says:

    Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch!

  25. bernard says:

    Thelonious music sounds like “songs”, ordinary things. Some people say : music gfor silent movies.
    However they’re very multi leveled.
    Give it a try. You started playing piano some three yeas ago? You think I’m mastering that instrument +/- ?
    Just get hold of Thelonious scores and you’ll notice : it’s a nightmare.

  26. bernard says:

    That’s the major difficulty: combining ” high” and ” low” art.
    US invented it. US is still very puzzled about how to manage things.
    Europe might look miles ahead, however it isn’t.
    Have a look at another great Jazz band. The Art Ensemble of Chicago. A number of the band members died.
    The good news is that the sax player Roscoe Mitchell has now been named “Darius Milhaud Chair In Composition ” . At Mills College/ Oakland / CA / US. http://www.mills.edu/. In Europe we don’t have anything like that.
    And, yes, FZ, if still alive would have accepeted the same nomination. For sure.
    The same might happen to Elvis Costello.

  27. bernard says:

    Getting things even more complicated.
    - FZ was basically inspired by Edgar Varèse. And Civ. Phase 3 was Conlon Nancarrow based. In both cases : taking things further.
    - Evelyn Glennie, personionist & educator, initially got it all from Stravinsky.
    - Elvis Costello’s Juliet Letters are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitri_Shostakovich , based.
    As “low”, popular art. Commercial thinking seems to be dominant.
    No genuine bridges , so far.

  28. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    A quote from Balint:

    OK, as for Bernard’s comments, I just happen to be a cow watching trains.

    Got room in the pasture, Balint (I’ve got a taste for cud coming on…)?

    Dr Sharl and I also wish to join the pasture. Where do we sign up?

  29. bernard says:

    OK, Barry, that’s FZ like thinking.
    From both sides.
    Pleased to meet.
    And, just have a look at the rehearsels in Frankfurt & L. A. for Yellow Shark. It’s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LYPsasYlHY&feature=related
    3x 9 minutes.
    Beginnng ofp art # 2: “John Cage fills the improvisation area”.
    Artists are enigmatic. My guess is that this tells us much about the shape of things to come. Just decode things and you’ll hear the future.
    And we, ordinary people , are just cows, watching trains.
    By the way I like both Cows & Trains.

  30. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    Pastures?
    Reminds me of the Bon Jovi Classic “Wanted”
    “I’m a Cow Pie, in a field of oats I lie,
    I’m warm and – covered with flies…
    Sometimes I stink, sometimes I steam for days.
    Every cowpoke I meet, they all walk a different way.
    Sometimes you tell your days by the volume that you shrink;
    Sometimes when your alone, you think your you don’t stink…
    I’m a Cow Pie, in a field of oats I lie,
    I’m warm and – covered with flies…”

  31. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Barry’s Imaginary Publisher:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    A quote from Balint:

    OK, as for Bernard’s comments, I just happen to be a cow watching trains.

    Got room in the pasture, Balint (I’ve got a taste for cud coming on…)?

    Dr Sharl and I also wish to join the pasture. Where do we sign up?

    Just put on your cowbells (the cowbell is a symbol of unbridled passion as you may know) and mosey on over to the communal salt block (next to chewing cud and watching trains, nothing better than licking a big block of salt while our big brown cow eyes glaze over at bernard’s pontifications).
    Okay, at 7/5 time now…
    MOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  32. Hugh says:

    Check out the interviews on the Scott Thunes site. Great stuff, not to be missed. Love the Zappa related stuff. Scott is a one of a kind personality. I agree with Thunes about woman giving you the cheek instead of the lips . . . okay, I’ll draw the line with woman with mustaches.

  33. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Balint:

    The Scott Thunes Effect – amazing! Great homepage, huge effort!! I LOVE when somebody spends time and energy and shows us details we otherwise would not notice! Now I’ll have to listen to the ’88 shows again, maybe while watching the scores!

    When you track down those complete scores, Balint, let me know. As shown, the bass transcriptions are somewhat hard to follow as presented, even with the accompanying music playing. Perhaps this is another example of the widespread paranoia of the ZFT who would never, never, ever, ever, allow anything approaching a complete score to leave their hands (even if only for educational purposes) without signed contracts and payments in full beforehand (I’ve got the sinking feeling that I’m going to be transcribing by ear for a very, very, very long time yet).

  34. Clark Gwent says:

    Well that explains it all: Twatson didn’t “get” Zappa until he was a grown up and a student!

  35. Balint says:

    Well, Urbangrafitto, I’m not a musician myself, cannot even read a score, but anyway, it is fun to follow the tiny black dots going up and down – sometimes I manage to follow it! And it shows me the richness of this, it shows me richness of the tecture, etc. Emphasises a different aspect of the 82-84-88 tours – great experience!

  36. Grimpoteuthis says:

    I think Scott Thunes Effect deserves a permanent link on the home page.

  37. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Balint:

    Well, Urbangrafitto, I’m not a musician myself, cannot even read a score, but anyway, it is fun to follow the tiny black dots going up and down – sometimes I manage to follow it! And it shows me the richness of this, it shows me richness of the tecture, etc. Emphasises a different aspect of the 82-84-88 tours – great experience!

    One doesn’t need to be a musician to love FZ’s music. I dug FZ’s music long before I ever picked up an instrument and learned to read musical notation, which, by the way, only further increased my awe at the man’s music genius. Scott Thunes’ transcriptions are an example of how FZ wrote for every instrument (and I certainly have enjoyed ST’s bass playing on many a FZ composition). Like attempting to understand a book from reading only excerpts, appreciating a score from its component parts is plain aggravating at best (unless you’re a bass player, that is). What surprises me, though, is that while alive FZ demanded a certain musical knowledge and education among the musicians that performed for him — but now deceased, the copyright holders of those scores keep them locked up tighter than a dry well. Thus, if musicians are to fulfill FZ’s request to “play my music” they’ll no doubt have to transcribe it themselves if they wish to learn this fantastic music in the first place (students of music tend not to have big orchards of money from which to pluck the necessary funds to pay for these scores like large orchestras).

  38. Steve says:

    I hope that they’re fun to look at even if you don’t read music… I read that FZ would look at scores when he was a kid, and just, y’know, dig the way they looked without knowing what was really going on… you can tell that he got a kick out of seeing a page full of dense black notes, strange beams and ratios and instructions, and i’m sure he composed with ‘how bitchen it would look on paper’ as a partial consideration
    so, even if people don’t understand what’s going on, I hope they can be enjoyed as simply eyeball food

  39. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Steve:

    I hope that they’re fun to look at even if you don’t read music… I read that FZ would look at scores when he was a kid, and just, y’know, dig the way they looked without knowing what was really going on… you can tell that he got a kick out of seeing a page full of dense black notes, strange beams and ratios and instructions, and i’m sure he composed with ‘how bitchen it would look on paper’ as a partial consideration
    so, even if people don’t understand what’s going on, I hope they can be enjoyed as simply eyeball food

    Ever since I spent a long weekend transcribing FZ’s “Sofa” by ear from ‘Zappa In New York’ whenever I hear that composition, I can’t help but see little black notes floating in the air before me (perhaps this is what FZ meant by “air sculptures”). Enjoyable eyeball food, indeed, Steve.

  40. bernard says:

    ” Air sculptures”, that’s exactly why I talked about transcribing music fo visual arts. For FZ it was the other way around.
    Zappa scores ( elementary sites, not complete, just the beginning):
    http://www.zappa-analysis.com/browntxt.htm
    http://www.science.uva.nl/~robbert/zappa/files/
    Piano transcriptions: http://www.arf.ru/Biblio/songb1.html
    Others looking for FZ scores:
    http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=175869
    No scores, however an interview: a composers opinion on FZ. Starting point is a book by Slonimsky on scales and harmonies that attracted Zappas attention. From Other Minds ( San Francisco):
    http://www.archive.org/details/SlonimskyOnZappa

  41. bernard says:

    My oldest daughter is just back from New York.
    She told me that an awful lot of FZ scores are for sale at a reasonable price in a shop in the Bowery.