We are all quite familiar with the acoustical duet version of “Sleep Dirt” between Frank Zappa (acoustic lead guitar) and James “Bird Legs” Youmans (acoustic rhythm guitar) on the album of the same name, recorded at the Caribou Studios in Nederland, Colorado, in December, 1974. It is one of the most beautiful compositions in Zappa’s body of work.
The other day, while organizing music tracks, I happened across several versions of “Sleep Dirt” by other artists as well as a live version by Frank Zappa from 1975 which has an eerie resonance when one listens to these later cover versions.
Listen for yourself, then decide:
Sleep Dirt – Henry Kaiser & Mike Keneally – Live at the Freight and Salvage, 2000.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Henry Kaiser – Mike Keneally.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Ed Palermo Big Band – Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, NY, 12 Dec 2007.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Ed Palermo Big Band.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Quintette Gaucher – Quintette Gaucher Play the Music of Frank Zappa, 1996.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Quintette Gaucher.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Zappatistas – Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, Germany, 3 October 2003.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Zappatistas.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Frank Zappa – War Memorial Gym, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 1 October 1975.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Frank Zappa.mp3]
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been just as big a Captain Beefheart fan as a Mothers of Invention fan. True, his is not exactly the music for your everyday, run-of-the-mill music listener who relies on a steady diet of Top 40. Still, the very same can be said about much of the Mothers music. That’s exactly what drew me to Beefheart’s music – the very same eclectic playfulness and creative adventure seldom found elsewhere. That Beefheart (as well as the many musicians who made up the various incarnations of The Magic Band) was so overlooked for so long is, indeed, criminal. As the tracks in this mixtape certain attest, Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band were far, far ahead of their time.
Genius? Egoist? Madman?
Listen and decide for yourself.
Click here to listen to the mixtape, “Captain Beefheart – Hoodoo Hoedown”
Update: Belated thanks and apologies to rik walton – the fantastic photographer of the above photograph of Don Van Vliet – for not asking his permission for the use of said image and for not linking to his site. Both of which I have remedied. Fellow KUR-Meisters, go forth and check out rik’s wonderful photographic images at his website here.
Before I send my own personal, private pair of Zircon Encrusted Tweezers into the shop for some serious re-encrusting — I have one last installment of the Son of Tweezer Glint series, the finale, to present. Among the alternative edits, proto versions, and various live versions are particular titles of note (in my opinion):
“Easy Meat” performed at the Fillmore West in 1970.
“Wonderful Wino” performed at Picnic Piknik, in Uddel, Netherlands in 1970 includes a rare vocal performance by Jeff Simmons.
A rare performance of “Magdalena” in Montreux, Switzerland in 1971 at the Montreux Casino. The Montreux performance (and this mixtape) also includes the complete “Sofa Suite” which includes proto versions of “Sofa #2” and “Stick It Out” in German.
A pre-200 Motels version of “Penis Dimension” performed at the University of Maine at Gorham in 1970. “King Kong Medley” at the same concert, complete with extended solos.
More alternate versions. More proto versions. More live versions. I bring you, “Son of Tweezer Glint – Part 3A”, the second to last installment of the series (which will be up for the next two weeks for your listening enjoyment).
Click here to listen to the 45 tracks which make up this mixtape.
Note: The last installment of the “Son of Tweezer Glint” series will be posted on November 2nd, 2009.
Just when you thought KUR mixtapes couldn’t get any better. Monster solos. Interviews. Alternate versions. Cover versions. Proto versions. Live versions. Unreleased material. I bring you “Son of Tweezer Glint – Part Two“.
Here it is my fellow KUR-Meisters — “Friday Mix: Tweezer Glint (Studio-ized Concert Versions) Part IV” — the last in the series. I have endeavoured to leave some of the best tracks for last. Fifty of them in their full unedited glory.
Welcome to the third KUR mix of four, presented on four consecutive Fridays in May, entitled “Friday Mix: Tweezer Glint (Studio-ized Concert Versions) Part III“. As with the two prior Tweezer Glint mixes, this week’s mix is full of tracks from various FZ live concerts before they were edited into albums of his official catalogue.
Roger Steen (Lead Guitar) takes on vocal duties (I suspect, while Fee Waybill is off stage during one of many costume stages) while Rick Anderson (Bass) are backed up by drummer Jonathan Mover (filling in for an absent Prairie Prince — and he definitely looks like he’s having a ball!). A great version of this classic Mothers of Invention tune.
Roger Steen is another truly underrated guitarist. Click here to find out what he’s currently up to with The Roger Steen Band, as well as links to some online songs and his interview with Ultimate Guitar.
Though, technically, no longer performing with The Tubes, original group founder, Bill Spooner has been keeping busy with his own project, The Folk-Ups. Click here to learn more.
Finally, let’s end off this post where it began, with Frank Zappa and band performing “Trouble Every Day” at KCET Sound Stage B on August 27, 1974.
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