Just a little message to let you know that “Hot Poop – The Blog” has been put to rest and will no longer be updated (as you might’ve guessed by now). However this doesn’t mean we’re no longer blogging! Please check out the new KUR blog at killuglyradio.com and adjust your RSS feed accordingly…
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Not dead yet! Told you so.
Once upon a time, in a decade far far away, I became fascinated with the music of this weird character called Frank Zappa. Then along came the internet, and it didn’t take long before I had my own little homepage dedicated to the man. We’re talking 1999. It was called “The Way I See It Barry“, and it received about 10 visitors per day. It offered transcriptions of interviews, an image gallery and, at about the turn of the millenium, a fun little regularly updated feature entitled “Hot Poop“. Soon, this little feature turned out to be the most popular section of my little homepage.
Fast forward to late 2007, and we’re getting some 2000 visitors per day — Hot Poop visitors exclusively. A chill runs across much of the FZ fan-community as the ZFT issues Cease & Desist letters to KUR, tribute bands and festivals for — well you can read all about that here. Our initial reaction is to just keep spreading the Zappa Gospel, while complying to the ZFT’s idiotic demands. And then it hits — like a brick:
Exactly who the fuck are we going through all this trouble for?
Not FZ, nor his musical legacy — at least not anymore. The internet’s Summer of Love couldn’t have ended more poignantly than with the Zappa Family Trust spitting in our face for attempting to keep the music of Frank Zappa alive, and for attracting new fans. I think I can speak for all of us here when I say that C&D left us with a sour taste in the mouth. We find the ZFT’s morbid tactics of divide and conquer misguided, counter-productive and, well, disgusting. It has taken all the fun out of working on this site. We’ve had enough.
As of now, this weblog will no longer be focussing exclusively on FZ news. Mind you, the official site does a much better job at that, don’t you think?
What FZ news is there around anymore anyway? More releases from a Vault that’s proving to be less and less mythical? Another ZFT endorsed Zappa Beer? New ZPZ gigs with no Special Guests because all of the Zappa alumni are fed up with the way they are being treated like shit? More C&D’s telling fans around the world to bend over and comply?
Fuck that shit. Count me out.
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s Farm no more.
So now what? Stay tuned. Changes are afoot, bear with us. As much as it grieves me to give up on this blog in its present form — a baby I’ve lovingly raised and nurtured for over seven years — it is now time for a radical U-turn.
In today’s Guardian Online Arts edition: Throttling the Mother of Invention, wherein columnist Owen Adams writes about GZ’s “lengthy campaign against those who ride on his [FZ’s – ed.] memory”:
Her recent ire was directed against a laughably bad fans’ monument in the east of Germany.
I wonder what’s more laughably bad:
- A statue of FZ, financed by FZ fans in his memory
- A petition opposing the agressive legal actions by the ZFT — signed by some 2070 fans at this point of writing
- The ZFT prohibiting us from using 100x100px artwork thumbs in our discography
- A ZFT endorsed Kill Ugly Radio beer
- A ZFT endorsed Freak Out Ale
- An official FZ site where valuable information is deemed secondary to flashy, incomprehensible, impenetrable animation
- ZFT Newsletters that prefer to cast aside factual clarity in favor of poorly written pseudo FZ speak (“the frost is on the pumpkins!”)
I’ll just leave that choice up to you. Moving on:
What would Frank think of this barrage of lawsuits against people who just want to keep his memory alive, enraged fans wonder? My guess is he’d approve. He was a self-proclaimed capitalist-libertarian like Ron Paul with a history of lawsuits to regain control of his music.
My guess is FZ would recognize the efforts of these tribute bands/fan sites and value them for what they attempt to achieve: to keep his music alive. Sure, he was adamant about keeping control over his own music, and rightly so — but in this case we’re talking about FZ vs Big Record Companiesâ„¢ and unscrupulous bootleggers looking to make a fast buck. Project/Object, Zappanale et all can hardly be categorized as such.
Surely you can’t accuse a band playing such obtuse music as Zappa’s of being only in it for the money?
To ask such a question is to answer it.
Myself, I’d much rather hear a Zappa-informed act like the Spinto Band than a huddle of Zappa acolytes recalling Brown Shoes Don’t Make It and Why Does It Hurt When I Pee. Somehow, the Mother of Invention is the only one capable of making profane songs sacred.
The issue at hand is not about what any given Zappa fan would like to hear — it is about the alleged illegality of grassroots fan sites and small time tribute bands. It is about whether such litigation, should it ever come to court, would even hold ground.
In all: a poorly informed mish mash of an article, Mr Adams, if you don’t mind my saying so. You, Sir, are terminally clueless. Admit that, at the very least. I know: takes balls though, does it not?
- 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”
Fellow Zappateer Bengt Nilsson writes in:
Hi dear Zappafellows (or ZÃ¤ppi perhaps),
We the Zappateers would like to invite all of you to our mini-festival in Nijmegen Holland on March 14-15. It’s an indoor event, rather a party than a festival with hopefully some 120 attendant plus the bands.
I’m loving the promotional poster by the way — click for full view:
“Tension equals sales” said Mark.
“It sounds like Gail took marketing 101”
Tension equals sales. (Tension = Sales)
At first it kind of sounded like Reich. In the end it just sounds like the devilry it is.
- Zappanale 19: tickets on sale now! – “Due to many concerned calls and mails, we hereby want to relieve our fans and artists: there is absolutely no need to be worried. Zappanale 19 will be realized as planned.”
- Moon Zappa’s Phone Message after Frank died – Lest we forget: “Just play his music, if you are a musician, and otherwise play his music anyway.”
- Internet providers don’t have to name downloaders, says EU court – Compare this to what’s happening back in the US…
- NPR Music: Sun Ra: ‘Cosmic Swing’ – Download the entire 54 minute program for free.
Maroual writes in with the following question:
Could the Gala-Salvador DalÃ Foundation send a C&D letter?
… and refers to this post he made on the ZÃ¤ppÃ® forums:
The Zappa Wazoo liner notes mention “Cover Art ‘Mundo Invisible’ (oil on canvas, 60″ x 72″) by Christopher Mark Brennan, 2003″ which itself is a derivative work of the excellent Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire (oil on canvas, 46.5″ x 65.5”) by Salvador DalÃ, 1940.
Actually I was curious to know whether any permission was needed and/or requested to the DalÃ Family Trust (la FundaciÃ³ Gala-Salvador DalÃ) prior painting and then publishing. This painting should not fall in the public domain before 2010 thanks to the copyright extensions, right?
Does this constitute a copyright infrigement? Does this respect the original intent of the painter?
- “From today, feel free to download another 25 million songs — legally” – QTrax launches. Another 25 million crappy ads, yay! Sarcasm aside, I wonder where this will be going.
- Robert Plant | No love for new music – “Wrinkly Robert showed his age with the rant at two of the world’s biggest bands as they were played over the stereo at Fifty Five Bar. He rubbished Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers – and then demanded to hear weirdo rocker CAPTAIN BEEFHEART instead.”
ZFT’s Cease & Desist against the Zappanale festival made it into this week’s issue of leading German magazine Der Spiegel. When asked for her reasons to fight a worldwide juridical war against Zappa fans, Gail’s answer was she “needs to do this for profitable needs“.
Ho fucking hum.
- No Porn Pledge Dot Com – “This site is a place for you to publicly declare your porn-free status.”
- G-1000 Guitar Amplifier – “One channel is called the HAPPY channel. The other is called the ANGRY channel. For damn good reason. One sucks your face, the other gnaws your foreskin off.”
- Ancient mask returned to Alaska ghost village – msnbc.com – Check that mask yo! Hat tip: Old Leadfoot.
- Title Details – Rockaway Records – “1969/1970(?) original 12-song stereo LP acetate Master Reference Dub (unable to date exactly) of largely unreleased MOI material.” Got $12000 to spare?