The Hungry Freaks – Viva Zappa!

Based in Ottawa, Ontario – The Hungry Freaks are English Canada’s only Mothers of Invention era coverband, combining personal and faithful renditions of the early music of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention with their own fresh interpretation (as the video, above, live at Barstorm 7, in Finch, ON, demonstrates). Click here to hear their versions of such classics as “Magic Fingers”, “I’m So Happy I Could Cry”, and “DogMeat” on their MySpace page.
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Trouble Every Day – Live In Philadelphia ’74

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a couple of old friends I knew in High School, and among our collective reminiscences, were those long afternoons we spent listening to my Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention records on my parent’s ancient, mahogany console stereo. “Do you still listen to Zappa? they asked, wondering perhaps if I’d put aside my childish concerns for more adult oriented fare. Of course, it’s their children, now, who are listening to Zappa. Songs like “Catholic Girls“, just a reminder of younger days. What is it about Zappa’s music that turns the average, ordinary fan, musician, into a life-long freaks of his music, I wonder?
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The Mothers on WESU-FM’s Psychedelicatessen

Once a year, on and around Father’s Day, Wesleyan University radio station WESU 88.1 FM in Middletown, Connecticut puts on an Annual Father’s Day Zappa MarathonFather’s Day with the Mothers – hosted by Psychedelicatessen’s Psychedelic Rick. Usually broadcast on each Sunday evening between 9pm-1030pm, Psychedelicatessen is described as “A mind trip through the musical vaults of NYC, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Rio and beyond. FM Radio the way it used to be.”
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Die Beistelltische – Are You Hardcore, Enough?

Die Beistelltische is a German sextet (from Göttingen) that performs Frank Zappa’s music a cappella. In 2007, they contributed a special edit of their a capella version of ‘The Idiot Bastard Son’ to “20 Extraordinary Renditions”, that was released on Cordelia Records. Check out their hilariously funny and offbeat a capella version of ‘Billy the Mountain’ which bounces back and forth between German and English. Are you hardcore, enough?
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Tweezer Glint: Finale – The Roxy Years 73/74 (Part III)

Welcome fellow KUR-meisters to the final installment of the Tweezer Glint series, “Tweezer Glint: Finale – The Roxy Years 73/74 (Part III)”. 120 tracks of raw, unbridled buffoonery amid some of the finest musicianship you’ll hear from this period of Frank Zappa’s career. For those among you who missed earlier installments of the Tweezer Glint series, do not fret, the entire series will be streamed again, in order, later in 2010. For now, enjoy this unique ensemble which played for that all too brief a period known as the Roxy Years – 1973 through 1974.

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, 1968 Mix

It’s completely understandable why many new and old fans alike skip over this particular title in the Zappa catalogue. Of all of Zappa’s official releases, it’s no doubt the most controversial among fans because it’s original version has never been officially released since Zappa reissued it in an alternate mix with newly recorded bass and percussion and added several vocal overdubs and heavily remixed the album in 1984. To many fans, including myself, they are now two distinct albums. Given that only the 1984 mix is made widely available does make any comparison between the two difficult at best. Still, periodically a vinyl rip of the 1968 recording does slip by the censors at YouTube, thus giving new fans an opportunity to hear the original recording in all of it’s doo wop glory – and a little bit of nostalgia for us older Mothers of Invention freaks. Take a listen to these tracks while they are still available:
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Tweezer Glint: Finale – The Roxy Years 73/74 (Part II)

Welcome to the second installment of Tweezer Glint: Finale – The Roxy Years (Part II). Slip on your headphones to oblivion, kick up your feet, and enjoy this unique group of talented musicians which many consider to be the absolute best ensemble FZ ever assembled and took on the road.

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Frank Zappa & the Mothers in Stockholm, 1973

One of my favorite performances by any Zappa ensemble is this particular performance by the early Roxy band (prior to the arrival of Napoleon Murphy Brock and Chester Thompson, and featuring Ian Underwood on woodwinds) at Soliden, Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden, August 21, 1973, which was originally divided into two Swedish television broadcasts (parts of which became the source for the bootleg, Piquantique). There are a lot of extended solos by each of the members of Mothers, making these clips very worthwhile viewing and listening.
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Dick Barber Interview, 1990


Dick Barber was the Mothers‘ road manager in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He also played with great emotion the role of the industrial strength Gypsy Mutant Vacuum Cleaner that Motorhead falls in love with in “200 Motels“. He is also mentioned as one of the people whose name is checked on the cover of “Freak Out!” under the heading “These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them“.
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Son of Tweezer Glint – Part 3B Finale

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.

Click here to listen to the mixtape.