Archive for the ‘Zappa Misc’ Category

Baby Your Face Is Mutated

The Tubes are a San Francisco-based theatre rock band founded in the early 1970s and known for their live performances which combined lewd quasi-pornography and wild satires of media, showbiz excess, consumerism and politics.

Influenced by the Mothers of Invention and Captain Beefheat & his Magic Band — The Tubes performed covers of Frank Zappa’s ‘More Trouble Every Day’ and ‘King Kong’ in a 1972 concert, and recorded a cover version of Beefheart’s ‘My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains’ on their 1977 album, NOW.

Their 1978 album, What Do You Want From Live, is considered by many to be the quintessential “live” album. I tend to agree. I was also fortunate enough to see The Tubes live myself in 1981. I was not disappointed. Their live shows are legendary. After they broke up in the late 80s I thought that was it for The Tubes, but fortunately for new fans, after the release of their 1996 “return to form” album, Genius of America (after several disappointing efforts in the 1980s), a reformed line-up of The Tubes began touring again, including:

Fee Waybill (lead singer/songwriter)
Roger Steen (lead guitar/vocals)
Prairie Prince (drums/percussion)
Rick Anderson (bass)
David Medd (keyboards)

(Note that David Medd was invited to sing on Genius of America by Gary Cambra who has since left The Tubes to do solo projects).

If you can’t see The Tubes live, yourself, there’s always The Tubes Wild West Show on DVD (Unlike the live album, it doesn’t have any of those nasty “bleeps” the record company censors loved so much in the late 70s).

BTW, I know who I’d like to dedicate this particular video to…

Where’s Zappateers?

I’ve had a couple of emails asking me this, and I’d noted their site had gone offline myself sometime yesterday. I’ve no idea what’s happening but a quick domain name lookup says:

Domain Status: Registered And No Website

Perhaps a minor domain name hick-up — we’ll see…

Zappa Alchimiste

affiche_zappa_killo.gif

Something pour nos amis français: the Ensemble de Basse Normandie is on tour during January with a show called The Big Note, Zappa Alchimiste. Because I’m lazy, find all the information at zappa.hu.
Toot your own toot, Balint!! Toooot!!

On Being A Zappa Completist

So you’ve bought the entire “official” catalogue (and in the case of some of us more silver-tinged freaks, more than once, and in many different formats: vinyl, cassette, compact disc), what do you do now? Just sit back and listen and leave it at that? Or do go on to collect every different variation and remix of those albums available to the rabid Zappaphile, comparing each and every CD release to its vinyl era counterpart? Do you collect every available bootleg and field recording (a much easier task now with the advent of the internet than during the era of “tape trading” and snail mail – those Zappa completists are a very tenacious bunch, indeed). Where does one draw the line? Is there a line? At what point did this simple enjoyable pastime become an obsession of epic proportions? When did this freak I see in the mirror suddenly become a completist? Tell me, Doctor Barry, is there any hope for me?

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” :)

Homage to a Freak

I first met Royce in the summer of 1977 at a second-hand record shop. Greg, the gray haired, pony-tailed, slightly obese proprietor had just gotten a mint vinyl copy of Mothermania, and had absent-mindedly promised it to both of us. His solution: to the highest bidder would go the spoils. Being that I was still in my teens, and Royce was about 12 or so years older and far more gainfully employed, he quickly outbid me and paid for the album. Dejected, I was just about to leave when he suddenly invited me over to his place to listen to the album while he taped it. “Sure,” I said.

By taping, I figured Royce had meant cassette tapes. But when we arrived at the house he rented with his girlfriend, Keri, I found out by taping he meant reel-to-reel tapes. Royce taped every LP record and 45 he had ever bought onto reel-to-reel tapes. I’d later find out why. His stereo was an elaborate mixture of different components, some German, some Japanese, some American. The sound it produced made me ashamed of my own little dinky stereo. I heard things on his stereo I never heard on mine. By the time we finished listening to Mothermania, I was almost glad that he had outbid me. Almost.

Given that I’d first discovered the music of Frank Zappa and The Mothers as an eight year old on my cousin’s turntable, I was a pretty cocky teen when it came to the music of FZ, and I was rather proud of my ever growing collection. Royce soon put me in my place, though, when he revealed his own private vault. On the main floor of the house his rented (and any other subsequent house he rented) was a room whose sole purpose was to store and protect of all the albums he collected over the years. Beyond a door secured with two deadbolt locks, and behind windows which had been blackened and insulated, was a room that was filled with at least five or six thousand albums (I never had the chance to actually count them). Among them were more Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums than I even knew existed. All in mint condition. Official releases. Bootlegs. Royce was more than just a collector. He was a completist.

Over the rest of that summer and into the winter, Royce and Keri became not just fellow freaks, but good friends, too. I received my education in all things Zappa and the Mothers listening to their reel-to-reel tapes, and their sordid stories about the times they saw them live at the Kinsmen Field House here in Edmonton in 1970 and 1971. Or the years they saw Zappa live in Vancouver at the Agrodome and again at the War Memorial Gymnasium. “It was like Christmas whenever we got back,” Royce would say. “We’d always come home with brand new boots to tape.”

It was through Royce’s vault that I first discovered the works of various Mother’s alumni like Lowell George in Little Feat, Henry Vestine in Canned Heat, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Flo & Eddie, and Captain Beefheart.

Two years later, in 1979, when Royce and Keri got married, I had an old Serbian painter I knew paint a 4:1 scale copy of the cover of Shiek Yerbouti in oil on canvas as their wedding present. It cost a pretty penny, but it was worth every cent.

Zappa Legacy

With all the verbose verbiage over the Zappa legacy lately, I found the posting “on pop 13: mike keneally & the zappa legacy” over at Eugene Baak’s weblog, Another Beautiful Day, quite insightful.

Skip.

google.com/search?q=zappa+wazoo:

zappa-wazoo-google.jpg

I rest my case.

To be perfectly clear: I think the Zappa/Wazoo release is fantastic. However this is how the “official” page shows up in Google (and other search engine) results — “skip”, the link that allows you to bypass the introductory flash animation, being the only one single word that gets to be picked up, and therefor shows up in search results. Is it any wonder that people end up clicking on other search results?

Howard Kaylan Interview

When Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman joined the Mothers, they were used to being judged by the last record they made. “That’s bullshit!” Frank said. “Your life is your artistic canvas…” Hear more about this, as well as more on the history of The Turtles, The Mothers, Flo & Eddie, and his solo project on the 4-part Podcast interview with Howard Kaylan: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

The Year Of The Freak Is Imminent

Oh yes it is. Let’s see which sites, bands and organisations have had legal action taken against them by the ZFT in recent weeks, shall we?

Quoth The Idiot Bastard:

Apparently Gail has even threatened to remove and destroy the likeness of FZ that is in Bad Doberan – “Yes, we would definitely consider having it replaced with something we do approve,” she said.

I know you’re getting sick and tired of this dear reader — so am I.

That’s the point.

Spread the word if you can, by any means.

A permanent page, objectively documenting the progression of any of these Law Suits is in the works, and will be published as more information becomes publicly available.

Update: had to add tribute band Ugly Radio Rebellion to the list as they too are now being sued by the ZFT for alleged copyright infringement.

A Frank Zappa Street For Amsterdam

Following Berlin’s example comes a Dutch initiative to have a street in Amsterdam named after FZ: Frank Zappa Straat dot nl. Care to give your support? Sign the petition here!

Hat tip: Han Zijlstra

Zappadan

…starts right about now:

Yes, we’re calling out to you – you over there with the hair on your head – step on up here and tell us what you can do to contribute to The Festival of Zappadan.

Not quite sure whether there’s anything more to this beyond tricking you into buying a T-shirt, but there you have it.

Today may be a sad day for you Zappa freaks out there, but why not make it a celebration of FZ’s music? Put on your favorite FZ record! Dance The Be-Bop Tango! Freak Out!

Thank you, Uncle Frank. You’re gone, but not forgotten.

PS: how’s the coffee up there?

Special Delivery

This just in, fresh from the Zappa List:

My copy of the ZPZ DVD arrived today with TWO disc Twos & NO disc One. Has this happened to anyone else? What would be the best way to contact the ZFT to let them know of the error? — David

How’s that for a fuck-up? Foo-eee! As for me, I’ve yet to receive my copy of Zappa Wazoo (and Trance-Fusion, and The Dub Room Special CD; yes I’m a slow buyer), even though Barfko-Swill mailed me on November 2nd saying:

Your order has been shipped by IMEX STANDARD.

Apparently the “IMEX STANDARD shipping method” involves a detour via Ouagadougou, then Zimbabwe through to Machu Pichu via Saskatchewan — skipping Siberia, if you’re lucky. Oh and obviously my credit card has already been charged, regardless of whether I actually received the goodies.

What are your experiences with regard to ZFT/Barfko-Swill product delivery?

Gail On Air

Gail Zappa in an interview with Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist, radio host and filmmaker (who really needs to clear his throat every so often).

Son Of T’Mershi Duween

Andrew Greenaway’s regularly updated Idiot Bastard Son Zappa fan-site has found a new home — a Dot Com™, no less! Gone are the occasional questionable pop-up ads and unrequested spyware downloads (which were beyond his control, obviously). Time to update your bookmark, or bookmark now if you hadn’t already: idiotbastard.com.