Had Frank allowed himself to cheat, cheatily-cheat like all the rest, he could have been merely a distinguished rock and roll icon, or master bluesman, or paragon of neoclassicism, or a Spike Jonesish musical comedian.
But no. Along with all that, he had to go and invent little ditties that the best conservatory-trained musicians struggled to play properly. This would be Frank's "Tinkertoy" music – the tunes with all those little notes that fly by at 8,200 mph, usually set against some impossible time signature.
"Drowning Witch/Envelopes," besides being hilariously imaginative and featuring truly evocative guitar expression, includes some completely bitchin' flurries of notes, including the Hawaiian Punch jingle. In the liner notes to YCDTOSA III, Frank notes that the 1984 band never played in correctly all the way through, and that the 1982 band only came close on one occasion. That's why the album version of the song had to be stitched together from 17 different performances.
There are Tinkertoy-dense songs, like "Moggio," "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast," "Wild Love," and many others. And everyone (except possibly Sam Brownback) adores those two all-time top Tinkertoy tunes, "Peaches En Regalia" and "The Black Page." Of course, many other "routine" Zappa songs are punctuated by mind-blowing micro-note passages.
This tendency may be Frank's most defining characteristic. When you hear those amazing passages, you know right away that you're listening to Zappa music. But he didn't seem to see any musical difference between the impossible parts and the most guttural rock or blistering blues. They were all flavors on his musical pallet, ready for deployment at his whim.
So, for the Nov. 30, 2007 Zappa's Grubby Chamber, we'll play lots of highly challenging (for the players) Frank songs encrusted with jillions of tiny notes, those little quick ones that no one else really ever tried to play.