King Kong – Mother of All Monster Songs

From its first introduction in 1967, Frank Zappa‘s “King Kong” was a composition made for solos – horn solos, keyboard solos, drum solos, guitar solos. “King Kong” had them all. It was also a vehicle for extensive jamming. So, no matter the tour, no matter the particular ensemble, Zappa was there to determine exactly how structured the piece would or wouldn’t be, and what kind of atmosphere the particular solos would create – thus making “King Kong” a fan favourite whether it was performed by the original Mothers of Invention, the Hot Rats Band, The Roxy Band, or any of Zappa’s ensembles from the 1980s.
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Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part IV

It’s that time of the month, fellow KUR-Meisters, when I dip into my personal, not-so-mythic, vault of Zappa field recordings to compile the latest KUR mix: the “Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part IV“. What is Part IV? Part IV is 200 tracks from the maestro’s last two touring bands, ’84 and ’88, beginning with a Rehearsal session from December 23rd, 1987. Why 200 tracks? 200 allows for the best performances of each respective tour to shine through…

Click here to listen to the mixtape. Enjoy!

Note: In the tradition of leaving the best for last, the fifth and final installment of the Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix will arrive on July 15th, 2010.

Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part III

In the prior two installments of the Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix, tracks focused on the improvisational abilities of Frank Zappa and those of the individual members of his various bands (through solos). In part three, though, I’ve focused primarily on Frank Zappa‘s guitar work. Track for track, from 1976 to 1984, Zappa is ripping hot, giving the musically educated listener an ongoing guitar workshop. For the non-musician, slip those headphones-to-oblivion back on and prepare yourselves for some sustained guitar therapy as only Frank Zappa can deliver.

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

The Avalon All-Stars

The Avalon All-Stars is a loose-knit house band of the Avalon Ballroom located in San Francisco, CA, and featuring – depending on the night and availability – former members of the Jerry Garcia Band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and others. In the first of the two clips from their December 28th, 2003, performance the set opens with some improvisational scratching around that bloomed into a Johnny “Guitar” Watson number, “You Can Stay But the Noise Must Go.” The second clip is a cover of The Jerry Garcia Band’s “Get Out My Life Woman”.

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Peaches, Peaches, Peaches en Regalia!

Grammy Award aside, Peaches en Regalia is a fantastic song regardless of when it is performed and by whom. These videos show Zappa Play Zappa performing the song from their live DVD; FZ and his 1988 Best Band performing the song live in Stadthalle, Wien, Austria on May 8th; the original version from Baby Snakes VHS; and students from The Paul Green School of Rock performing the track at the Baby Grande, respectively.

The following three field recordings of Peaches reveal how FZ and his bands never performed the song exactly the same way from show to show (it’s excellent fun for a Zappa freak, like myself, to listen for the similarities and differences):

Palladium, NYC, 28 Dec 1976
Montreux Casino, Montreux, Switzerland, 4 Dec 1971
Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK, 28 Feb 1978

Tubes Cover Zappa, 1972

The following tracks are the two Zappa covers done by The Tubes in a 1972 concert. The exact date and location are unknown, but the concert probably took place in a club in the San Francisco area. I wish to thank hasnamus over at Zappateers who first torrented these Zappacovers (while the audio quality is rather poor, these tracks are great pieces of archival audio history):

Trouble Every Day

King Kong

Tuesday Mix: The Golden Era

Let your mind drift back fellow Zappa freaks to that Golden Era of Zappadom: the 1970s. During that decade he did his most prolific touring, began recording his live shows almost religiously, and produced some of the most successful and iconoclastic albums of his career. One might even say the 70s were Zappa’s zenith. It was the blueprint set down during this decade — through his live music, his albums, song lyrics and interviews — which laid down the foundation for the Frank Zappa mythos.

When compiling this particular mixtape, I decided to divide the tracks into suites of songs from individual performances (where possible) instead of just individual tracks (here or there). This way you get a much better feel of the live Zappa experience (the only thing better, of course, is having actually been there in person). There are quite a number of treats and surprises, both for the Zappa newbie as well as the Zappa diehard.

First there was the Mudshark, now there’s the Don PardoDo the Don Pardo, Barry!

Click here to listen to the mixtape (Be prepared, KUR-meisters, it’s another BIG one).

Note: If anyone feels we are infringing their copyright, contact us and we will remove the item in question.

Pygmy Twylyte – Five Versions

I was going through my Zappa collection the other day, and I noticed I had quite a few versions of Pygmy Twylyte. The first four are covers by Tribute/Cover Bands, and the fifth is one of my favorite proto-versions from 1973, Texas:

Ed Palermo Big Band (Sonar, Baltimore, MD, 21 Sep 2006)

Quintette Gaucher (Quintette Gaucher Plays the Music of Frank Zappa)

Project/Object (Visualite Theatre, Charlotte, NC, 5 Jan 2002)

Great Googly Moogly (Fasching, Stockholm, 15 Mar 2007)

Frank Zappa (Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX, 26 Oct 1973)

How do you think these later versions match up to the earlier version performed by FZ’s own band?

Warren Zevon Field Recordings — Internet Archive

On April 7, 2005, the Internet Archive website received permission from Jordan Zevon for live Warren Zevon shows to be hosted at the Live Music Archive, allowing the free exchange of unreleased live Warren Zevon material from their website.

Jordan also wrote at

To any and all at Please allow our members to trade thier live recordings on your site….

As long as there is no charge for exchanging these files, we support trading unreleased live material.

Jordan Zevon

Available on these live concerts are many excellent blues covers, covers of other notable California singer-songwriters songs, jazz standards, unreleased original material, as well as unique versions of other well known Warren Zevon songs from his turbulent career.

from Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK, 25 January 1988, “Sentimental Hygiene”:


from The Shadow, Kansas City, MO, 20 November 1990, “Stop Breaking Down” and “One Woman Man”:

[audio:] [audio:]

from Raul’s Roadside Attraction, Portland, ME, 30 November 1988, “Travelin’ Riverside Blues” and “Trouble”:

[audio:] [audio:]

from The Warehouse, Rochester, NY, 26 November 1988, “Drop Down Mama”:


from Unknown Venue, Atlanta, Georgia, 15 Jun 1993, “Renegade”:


At present, there are 74 live Warren Zevon shows in the archive from which to choose, ranging from radio broadcasts, from which rare bootlegs such as ‘The Offender Meets the Pretender’ (with Jackson Browne) first originated, audience tapes, and soundboard tapes. The Live Music Archive currently has 53,712 concert recordings from 3,113 independent artists, as well as more established artists and musical ensembles with permissive rules about recording their concerts such as the Grateful Dead, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Ween.