Frank’s Little Houses

For the Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention fan, there is almost always a particular album which they refer to as that album which “hooked” them as long-term fans. For me, that album was the 1970 release, ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich‘, and in particular the more than 18 minute composition, “The Little House I Used To Live In” which functioned as the centerpiece of that album. Zappa’s 1969 solo release ‘Hot Rats‘ might have ensured my long-term Zappa fanaticism, yet ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich‘ solidified it. When I first heard the movements and compound meters of “Little House“, my musical universe was never quite the same ever again.
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Best of Zappa In Australia – 1973 Tour

In the above clip (short as it is), Frank Zappa expounds on what an Australian concert goer might expect from one of the various shows on his 1973 Australian tour. For some FZ fans, this particular ensemble is their favorite incarnation of the Mothers (right next to the Roxy band).
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78 Years Ago Yesterday…

In a house that someone used to live in, little Donny Preston, also known as little Dom DeWilde or little Biff Debrie, was born on September 21st, 1932 in Flint, Michigan.

Happy Birthday, Don!
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Some Nostalgia For The Old Folks…

As a long time fan of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, the names of particular musicians have threaded through much of the music I have listened to and collected throughout the years. Names such as Andy Cahan, Lawrence ‘Stash’ Wagner, and Tom Leavey. Together and separately, through compositions and through associations (sometimes as members and as contributors) they formed links with such bands as Frank Zappa & The Mothers, Lowell George & The Factory, Little Feat, and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, and Geronimo Black.
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Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part V: Encores

While compiling the prior four installments of this mix – I was intrigued by the sheer energy, vitality, and variation Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention brought to each of their show’s encores. Traditionally, Zappa‘s contemporaries might toss out an occasional song or two to satisfy their audience at the conclusion of a concert. In contrast, Zappa‘s encores would sometimes morph into mini-concerts onto themselves – the maestro and the band often returning for two, sometimes three encores. Something truly incredible to hear, especially when compounded one show after another, one tour after another, one incarnation of the band after another.

Listening to these encores – some a little over ten to twelve minutes in length, others almost a full hour – it’s obvious that Frank Zappa and the Mothers had a special connection with their audiences as well as to the music, itself.

A wonderful way to end the Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix, n’est pas?

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Sit back, get comfortable, slip those headphones-to-oblivion back on your head, and prepare yourself for a colossus of a final installment.

Note: for those who require a detail listing of individual tracks, go to KUR’s Frank Zappa Gig List and plug in the date and venue for each encore.

Mothers of Invention on Vinyl

An audio treat for those Zappa and Mothers of Invention freaks who have only heard this music via digital CDs, and a bit of nostalgia for freaks like myself, who first got turned onto the incredibly warm analogue sound of the MOI that you will never get with remastered CDs. Take a listen to the following examples – “Nine Types of Industrial Pollution” and “The Dog Breath Variations” from 1969’s ‘Uncle Meat’, and “Who Are the Brain Police (1966 MONO)” from ‘Freak Out’ – and be your own judge:
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Call Any Vegetable – 1970 versus 2006

One of the fantastic advantages of the advent of current technologies such as YouTube and the Internet, is it allows one to compare and contrast particular songs – in this case, Frank Zappa‘s “Call Any Vegetable” – with particular groups and bands of completely different eras: FZ‘s 2nd MOI band’s vaudeville-style with that of Dweezil’s Zappa Plays Zappa. Merely just a cover? Or an improvement on the original? Zappa Plays Zappa‘s clip is from their DVD/CD released in 2006 of two shows filmed and recorded in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, respectively. While the two Vaudeville Mothers clips (the complete audio) and the edited version, both from the “Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 6 Nov 1970” show. Personally, I’ll always have a bias toward the earlier versions. Still, Napoleon Murphy Brock does one hell of a rendition.
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21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches

The Idiot Bastard:

20 artists were asked to condense the Mothers Of Invention’s Burnt Weeny Sandwich album down to 5 minutes. Some succeeded. The results were handed over to Pete Brunelli, who produced a megamix – an excerpt from which provides most of the soundtrack to this ‘promo video’ for the 21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches CD that Cordelia Records will unleash shortly to mark the 40th anniversary of the Mothers’ album.

More info here!

Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part I

You name it, this KUR mix has it all: keyboard solos, synth solos, drum solos, sax solos, bass solos, trumpet and trombone solos, and, of course, lots of guitar solos – those hypnotically esoteric air sculptures of Frank Zappa‘s which so often levitated his listener into altered states of audio consciousness (albeit all too briefly so) that only a handful of his contemporaries could accomplish to any degree.

Don’t dare skip a single track in Part One of what I call the ‘Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix‘, 121 various soundboard recordings between the years of 1975 and 1984. Part One will remain posted until April 15, 2010.

Now, let’s put on our headphones-to-oblivion boys and girls and prepare to sniff…

Click here to listen to the mix.

The Artisan Acetate

Arranged, compiled, edited and produced by Frank Zappa, this acetate of original live recordings, engineered by Dick Kunc, was 
recorded between October 1968 and May 1969, and mastered at Artisan Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA., in mid 1969. It contains unique original recordings of the Mothers of Invention performing “Wipe Out”, “East L.A.”, “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”, “Kung Fu”, “Igor’s Boogie”, “Passacaglia”, “Copenhagen Night Music”, “Help, I’m A Rock”, “Chocolate Halvah”, “Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask”, “The Cookie Jar Lecture” and “It Must Be Your Breath”. This acetate, known officially as The Artisan RS 6406 Test Pressing (acetate), was ripped by it’s owner RJ and generously donated to Zappateers for torrenting (currently seeding).
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