Posts Tagged ‘play the music’

Throttling The Mother

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 Companies™ 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?

Zappateers Festival

Fellow Zappateer Bengt Nilsson writes in:

Hi dear Zappafellows (or Zäppi 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:

Zappateer Festival

Tension = Sales

Stanley Zappa makes an interesting point:

(…) I had occasion to speak with my friend Mark on the telephone. We talked about this and that.

“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.

Zappa Alchimiste II

Remember the Ensemble de Basse Normandie going on tour with a show called The Big Note/Zappa Alchimiste? Sure you do! Now there’s video: here, here, and here. Via The Idiot Bastard.

Status Back Baby

If you haven’t already, we still urge you to sign the petition regarding the ZFT’s recent “Aggressive Actions”. 1208 signatures at this time of writing — not too shabby for a petition that’s been online for 4 days, but the more the merrier, obviously. You’ll find yourself in the company of such illustrious names as Jon Naurin, Robert Kevorkian, Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black, Nigey Lennon and Candy Zappa.
For those of you who wish to be kept abreast (now there’s a wonderful expression): there’s a direct link to the petition at the right of this page. See that little banner with Dr Sharl’s hand waving at you? Indeed.

Meanwhile, these litigations have been gaining interest on several weblogs who specialize in intellectual property and fair use. Couple of links:

Now, when people who are actually knowledgeable in this particular legal field begin to express their doubt as to the validity of the ZFT’s claims, that has to mean something, right?

In other news, a couple of new-ish DVD releases, available on Amazon:

How questionable are these? You tell me.

Boy, I sure hope the ZFT won’t crack down on Amazon.com! :D

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.