Posts Tagged ‘Frank Zappa’

FZ Toy

You won’t believe this – a cut-out figure of Frank Zappa. Oh yeah(found on Fuck Yeah Frank Zappa!)

FZ Interview – KYUU-FM San Francisco, 1984

In this three part KYUU-FM radio interview with Frank Zappa broadcast on May 17th, 1984 in San Francisco, California, Zappa talks about some his early guitar influences (Johnny Guitar Watson and Clarence Gatemouth Brown, for instance), the reasons which led to his decision to stop writing orchestral music after the Berkeley Symphony performance of his orchestral work at Zellerbach (and some of the ugliness of that world which he describes at length), his views concerning the usefulness and place of drum machines in recording music and concert performances, as well as other Zappa news circa 1984. This interview certainly reminded me how much Zappa became a bridge for me across so much of the awfulness which became known as 80s music.
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UG’s Semi-Orchestral Low Budget Memorial Barbecue

This month I have put together a special mixtape for Zappa/Mothers Die-Hards with many of my favorite instrumental, semi-orchestral, and orchestral Zappa works – many of which I’m mixing here for the first time – from some of the best of Zappa‘s individual bands to the Petit Wazoo Band to his Grand Wazoo Orchestra to The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra to the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra to the Ensemble Modern to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to The Orchestra of Our Time to Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest & Cappella Amsterdam – punctuated with interviews by and about Zappa from Kent Nagano and David Ocker and Studs Terkel.
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Who IS The REAL Frank Zappa, Anyway?

Sometimes I am quite delighted to discover a fan-made Frank Zappa video like the one posted above. It reinforces my belief that the future of FZ’s public image is in the right hands: creative, open-minded, technology embracing hands. This is how I always envisioned Zappa’s legacy being spread.
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Asphalt Orchestra – Bang On A Can

Created by Bang On A Can, New York City’s Asphalt Orchestra is Bang On A Can’s street band. A 12 piece ensemble of brass and percussion, Asphalt Orchestra brings together “odd meters, virtuosic playing, and general tech-dorkery under the vibrant, visceral auspices of totally fun street performance” re-imagining the marching band, drawing their repertoire from rock, jazz and classical. Their self-titled debut (out this month via Cantaloupe) attempts covers of Frank Zappa, Bj√∂rk, frenetic Balkan jazzer Goran Bregovic, tech-metal kings Meshuggah, and NYC’s own Tyondai Braxton of Battles.
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Spotlight, Swedish TV, 1971

While in Stockholm, Sweden on December 4th, 1971 during a short European tour, Frank Zappa and The Mothers appeared on the Swedish TV show entitled “Spotlight“. The 34 minute broadcast had interviews with Zappa mingled with music clips from 200 Motels [“This Won’t Take Long”, “The Final Solution”, “Centerville”] and included performances of “The Air”, “Dog Breath”, “Mother People”, “You Didn’t Try To Call Me”, “King Kong”, and “Who Are The Brain Police?” from Palais Gaumont, Paris, France on December 15th, 1970.
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Frank Zappa – Sleeping In A Jar (Animated)

This piece of early animation set to “Sleeping In A Jar” excerpted from the Swedish TV program ‘Spotlight: Stockholm, Sweden‘ originally broadcast on December 4, 1971, begins and ends with Frank Zappa’s commentary on the possibility of the merging of music and animation mediums in advertising. Given the date, era and technology, it is truly amazing how much of a witting futurist Zappa was with MTV and music videos another ten years away, and the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web another ten years after that.

ALL ZAPPED OUT – Ben Watson Interview

Like him, hate him, despise him, abhor him – the one thing you cannot do with Ben Watson is ignore him. No matter what your position is when it comes to Frank ZappaBen Watson’s thought provoking, sometimes shocking, sometimes scurrilous perspectives are always bound to generate volatile responses among Zappa fans, especially hardcore Zappa fans (are there really any other kind? Ever heard of a casual Zappa fan?). (more…)

Zappa, Palladium Shows, October 31st, 1981

What has gone down in history as probably two of the worst produced Frank Zappa concerts are the early and late Palladium shows from October 31st, 1981. Neither presented in their entirety then or since. MTV broadcast one live and a slightly shortened and modified rebroadcast of the late show (omitting Sinister Footwear). To add insult to injury, what could have been a distinctive live concert experience of Frank Zappa in the 1980s – on par with the 26th – 29th December 1976 Palladium shows which made Zappa In New York a quintessential example of 70s Zappa – were cut up and delivered piecemeal to Zappa’s fans, instead. The promise of the Big One – still unfulfilled almost thirty years later. Yes, like all fans of these shows, I have all the various recordings and DVDs, both unofficial and official, including most recently, The Torture Never Stops (which also has Sinister Footwear omitted). Until that day comes when these shows are released in their entirety, and given the treatment they deserve, I’ll have to enjoy these sporadic YouTube clips – “Sinister Footwear II“, “Black Napkins“, “Black Page #2” – and dream:
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Zappanale 21 – ZAPPATiKA!

ZAPPATiKA! is a British-born Frank Zappa tribute band of international musicians who presently live near Amsterdam, Holland, that tour all over Europe playing their own original and very alternative music to live audiences, sometimes performing Frank Zappa tribute shows. Formed in the late 1990s by Keltik minstrel McINNES and bionic Indo-Dutch drummer BATTATUTTI – their intention was to perform Frank Zappa’s music and further develop and further modernize certain concepts and rhythmic and melodic principles contained in Zappa’s enormous catalogue of compositions as well as their own original compositions.
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