Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Extra Texture

From The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks.
"Pressed shank braised with smoker's phlegm."

Frank was second to none in bringing forth interesting sonic textures. Turning on a dime from syphilitic buzzsaw guitar to cayenne-pepper harmonic climes to flurries of the impish xylophone merriment, Frank danced the blues. Also the greens, purples, burnt siennas and mellow yellows of our imagination.

Frank always had a good beat, funny lyrics, great insights, all enveloped in the most enchanting textural cocoons. Electronic mischief, xenochrony, found items, traditional instruments used in fantastically expressive ways – he just had a way with sound.

"The Black Page #1" is a fine example of Frank's sound sculpting. Terry's drums are adorned with percussive dubs in a merry dance of sound. What about that shimmering cascade after the forst line of "Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?" What could that signify? Here's another one: that woeful vocal sample on "Promiscuous," the one that reacts to Dr. Koop's fascinating lecture? The portentous trombone in "Cheepnis" alone is worth the price of admission.

Some of my favorite Frank soundification is on the vastly overlooked L. Shankar album, Touch Me There. Does anyone else love that genius work as much as I do? The ashy, raspy texture on "Windy Morning" is so delicious. What about the fantastic clash of jammin' guitars and inter-galactic orchestral strings on "Little Stinker?"

Well, there's a lot to choose from. The Nov. 9, 2007 Zappa's Grubby Chamber will be chock full of texture. And maybe, just for texture, I'll read some of James Lileks' favorite dishes. Yum! Send your textural suggestions to or call (707) 786-5486.


M-Chu said...

Touch Me There. I LIKE IT.

Kevin L. Hoover said...

Things went awry in a good way when that Blogs 4 Berownback thing came up. That's why I didn't read any regrettable recipes.

And there were so many requests, I didn't play any Shankar! Oh well, there's always next week.

Good to hear from you again Matt. And you, Ron. And Bob. And Ryan too! There were some other callers but I forgot to ask their names.