Tag Archive for 'Frank Zappa'

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The Unfortunate Habits of the Musically Obsessed.

Mat has been operating federal transportation programs incognito in the Deep South this week so I felt I had to fulfill my wifely duty of poking around while he’s gone. And in doing such, I found evidence of a sickness I merely had an inkling about.

Symptom: Mat’s listening habits.

For the last week, he has listened to The Beach Boys 233 times. 233 times. Additionally, he has listened to Dennis Wilson 34 times. By contrast, the man he holds in such high regard that we named our (girl) dog after him, Mr. Frank Zappa, sits sadly at #7 with 7 plays. And the Artist whose picture is framed and displayed proudly on top of our china cabinet is at the bottom of the heap with a pathetic 5 plays.

So we’re talking about a combined total of 267 times that he voluntarily, consciously pressed the PLAY button to listen to the blondies from Orange County that not only launched the musical career of John Stamos but gave life to Wilson Phillips. That means he’s essentially listened to a complete Beach Boys album four times a day, every day, for a week.

Now since I have had no choice but to partake in some of this (i.e. Beach Boys while making dinner, Beach Boys while eating dinner, Beach Boys while talking about the Beach Boys after dinner, Beach Boys in the car, Beach Boys walking to the Metro, Beach Boys before bed, Beach Boys IN bed), I initially grew to have a much greater appreciation for their music than I had ever had before. I found myself singing about “my favorite vegetables” in the shower, in the car, getting dressed, to my best friend’s daughter.

But when he left on Sunday and Marlo came over for dinner, I asked her what she would like to listen to. She unwittingly said: “Oh just hit play and we’ll listen to whatever’s in there”.

But I knew better. I opened the CD player and what do we have? Beach Boys. I pulled the record off the turntable and what do we have? Beach Boys. And what came in the mail from Landon this week? Beach Boys. And what do you think he’s been downloading to the iPod? Beach Boys.

Antidote: The Cure.

The Frank Zappa Equation

So there are a few things that can equate to the ideal Frank Zappa experience. I am sure everyone has their own system for how music or their favorite band or artist or composer can be dumbed down to a simple math equation keeping in to account different factors that can contribute or take-away from a good experience. This is my equation for a good Zappa experience:

+20 Ruth Underwood on mallets/percussion – There is no one better …Lionel Hampton has nothing on this woman …He may have had chops, but she had soul.

+25 Napoleon Murphy Brock on vox/dancing/telephone/flute – Napoleon is a genius on his own. And his work on “Room Service” is beyond amazing.

Proof:

Zappa: Are you a christian?

Napoleon: Am i… yeah, I’m a christian, sure!

Zappa: Isn’t everyone?

Napoleon: Ah, okay, you can bring… Well you can bring some pussy in here if you’re a christian. That’s a difference…

-25 Roy Estrada leaving only to form Little Feat – That’s just silly. His goatee, however, was not.

+5 Vinnie Colaiuta on drums – Yes, he’s a machine and sometimes it can be pretty inspiring.

+30 Chester Thompson on drums – When he gets attacked by the gorilla, it’s priceless. Not to mention almost calling Zappa on his weirdness in “Approximate”. Also born in Baltimore.

-50 Steve Vai on guitar/wank – never before has a guitarist existed solely on wank-factor. Give it up lil’ Stevie.

+10 Ike Willis on vox/guitar – Only because he worked with Zappa on his Zappa’s bizarro quasi-Broadway musical, “Thing-Fish.”

+5 Warren Cuccurullo on guitar – He makes me look like a casual fan who only knows the lyrics to “Dancing Fool.”

+10 Terry Bozzio on drums/vox – While I can’t stand any other work he did, Terry’s work on “Baby Snakes” is insanity. You can’t get more insane and for being so young, he deserves part of the equation. I think he was in his early 20s when he joined up with Zappa. Jesus. Let’s also not forget his contributions in the vocal department to “Punky’s Whips”.

+15 George Duke on piano/synthesizer – Inca Roads. Inca Roads. Inca Roads. He was and still is a pioneer in synthesizers. Up there with Herbie. Simply inspirational. And he totally gave Chick a run for his money.

Of course there are other factors and players in the mix. But these are the most noteworthy for my equation today.

Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny. – Zappa

Happy Birthday Frank

Information is not knowledge,
Knowledge is not wisdom,
Wisdom is not truth,
Truth is not beauty,
Beauty is not love,
Love is not music
and Music is THE BEST

Frank Zappa

I came home last night and as I opened the door a cloud of smoke overcame me. It was a little reminicient of college. The “home improvement” has begun. And since the Contractor is coming before I get home from work and we don’t want Frankie to get in the way, I have put her in the computer room in her crate. And because I love my Frankie so much I started up the web cam again so I can watch her during the day.

How are my New York friends getting around? You alright?