Stravinsky’s First Childhood Memory Of Sound

… and I quote:

…an enormous bare legged peasant seated on the stump of a freshly cut tree singing a two-syllable nonsense song and accompanying himself with what we as kids used to call “arm farts.”

… and so:

The young composer-to-be rushed home to his family summer place in the Ukrainian countryside and practiced the technique assiduously until he was so successful at it that his parents forbade him to indulge in such an indecent accompaniment. (“Igor, stop that this instant, or go to your room!”)

Be sure to read John Adams full post.

Hat tip: Jonny Butter

Theydon Bois Reviews Zappa At The Roundhouse

Over the weekend, Theydon Bois has been posting his experiences and thoughts on the Roundhouse event in this KUR thread. In fact, he did such an amazing write-up, I figured it deserves its own post. Many thanks Mr. Bois!

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“Zappa The Hard Way” Reviewed

Quick! Name one artist that deserves a book about his last tour – a tour that ended prematurely? Andrew Greenaway, aka The Idiot, did just that with “Zappa The Hard Way”, a book focused solely on FZ’s ill-fated 1988 tour.

I pre-ordered the book almost instantly, naturally because I’m quite fond of the lusciously arranged live music this tour offers, but also in hopes of finding out more as to why it had to end the way it did: was it all Scott Thunes’ doing? Really?

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Rondo Hatton Report Vol IV

A new Rondo Hatton Report has been published:

Amongst other contributions, this issue features a second submission from Kohjitsu Ohyama, author of two authoritative Japanese books on FZ, proposing a solution to the vexed question of the ‘ultimate compilation’ problem — and from the wilds of Indiana, Prof. Hollinden weighs in with the third installment of his Pigs & Ponies series.

More info and a free download right over here.

Ian Penman: “Don’t Do That On Stage Anymore”

Did Mr Penman get it right back in 1995, when FZ’s back catalog was being re-issued by Ryko? Let’s have a look…

For the pop life of me, I cannot see why anyone past the age of 17 would want to listen to Frank Zappa again, never mind revere him as a deep and important artist, never mind worship at the tottering edifice of his recollected, remastered and repackaged works. Surely the only pertinent use for Zappa was as an interim stage for young lads ‹ scared witless by what they suddenly perceive as the transience or hollowness of popular culture ‹ for whom Zappa represents a gi-normous prefab sneer of self-importance behind which they can shelter for a while. (And, lest we forget: in the pre-Viz, pre-Mayall and Edmondson 1970s, he was the only legitimate supplier of fart and bum and willy jokes).

I beg, as they say, to differ.

Zappa The Hard Way: A Chat With Mr. Greenaway

As you may have noticed, Andrew Greenaway (aka Idiotbastard) just had his book “Zappa The Hard Way” published. The book, which will have its official release at this year’s edition of Zappanale, tells the tale of FZ’s (in)famous ’88 tour, while attempting to shed some light on its unfortunate premature collapse. We’ve been talking about the book over email recently, and so I thought I’d share our conversation here…
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The Rondo Hatton Report #3

A new issue of The Rondo Hatton Report is out, featuring the following contributions:

  • The Origins Of IINK / Román García Albertos
  • Cruisin’ For A Ruben / Sue Barashy
  • Zappa’s Music Is A Time Machine / Guillaume Dauzou & Sabrina Bergamin
  • Nostalgia For The Old Folks? / Tom Demonay
  • I’m A Bandleader / Richard Hemmings
  • Ten (Zen) Commendments / Simon Prentis
  • Pourquoi Vouloir Mettre Un Caniche Dans Un Bocal? / John Raby
  • A View From India / Mahesh Ramchandani
  • There Is Such A Thing As Progress / Hugo Vanneck
  • One More Time For The World / English Versions

The free download is available here for your reading pleasure.

FZ, Popular Music, Politics & A Cheesy Epilogue

Hot on the heels of Urbangraffito’s American Fascism post, here’s a freshly published paper by KUR reader and music academic Paul Carr, entitled “Dickie’s Such An Asshole”: Frank Zappa, Popular Music and Politics.

As afficionados, many of us make the mistake of labeling this kind of introductory information as “obvious” and “duh, nothing new there”. But you know what? I’d love to be that ignorant yet curious fifteen year old kid out there who’s right now reading this post, and clicking that link. In fact, I envy that first, one-of-a-kind thrill of what s/he’s about to discover.