Thursday, February 28, 2008

Laff Riot – February 29, 2008

That was a fun show last week. The bouncy-bouncy music really kept me moving, from song to bouncy song, doing the busy DJ thing.

Not much word from listeners though, other than the erstwhile Ron in Richmond. I’m going to assume that everyone was dancing on their coffee tables with lampshades on their heads to the jolly, jolly ever-so-jolly tuneage. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, if only for the visual.

This week, how about we dwell on the joy, the smiles... the laughter. Not Frank’s “comedy music” per se, but songs in which there is actual laughing. Where will that take us?

There are a lot of Zappa songs that include people laughing, sometimes a belly laugh, other times just a snicker or chortle. There’s a bunch on One Size Fits All, and on Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, that crappy ’70s “laugh box” thing crops up on side two in several places.

What else? “The Blue Light,” “Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk,” “Planet of the Baritone Women.” If I wanted to be lazy, and I might just, I could put on “Greggery Peccary,” then sit back and relax because of the part where Greggery greets the ladies in the steno pool. Or I could do the same with “Billy the Mountain,” because of Billy’s reaction to Studebaker Hawk trying to draft him into the armed forces.

There must be more, but I’m not cheating and looking at the discography. It’s all from scratch, with homemade ingredients, fresh from nature’s bounty, for you, the Zappa listener, because we at Zappa’s Grubby Chamber care enough to bring you the best, to help make your lifestyle a lifesmile.

Whatever. Does “Hoy Hoy Hoy” count?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bouncy, Bouncy... Bubbly? – February 22, 2008

Last week's Torpitidy Festival wasn't especially well received. Or maybe it was, the entropic spiral being so contagious that it immobilized everyone, preventing them from writing in or calling during the show.

Actually, one of the regulars (who shall go nameless because his girlfriend might find out) did call during the show and he definitely sounded sedated. But I don't think it was because of the music.

Anyway, I thought a good way to bounce back from all the slow songs on the last show would be to play lots of bouncy-jolly Frank songs this week. And once you start thinking about it, there's a lot of 'em!

"Wowie Zowie," "Wet T-Shirt Night," "Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead," "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink," "Pygmy Twylyte," "Cletus-Awreetus-Awrightus," "Camarillo Brillo," "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance," and more that we'll no doubt get into on the show.

And while we're tapping our collective foot to all this bounciness, why not quaff the latest bubbly bev by our Friend in Frank, Tony Magee of Lagunitas Brewing Company. Tony's minions dropped off some Lumpy Gravy Ale at the studio, and somehow it ended up being consumed along with my birthday dinner. Yum.

Bouncy, Bouncy, Bubbly on the Feb. 22, 2008 Zappa's Grubby Chamber!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Too Adagio – February 15, 2008

The great thing about Frank's vast and eclectic repertoire is that you can pick any concept and find plenty of material – at least two hour's worth – to create a theme show.

So, this week, the secret word is Midwinter Torpor. We're all hunkered down under overcast skies, trying to keep from getting pelted by them raindrops, moving kinda slow... slow.

That's it! The mystery and enchantment of sheer s l o w n e s s.

I've noticed that in any given week, I usually have fairly firm ideas of what I'll probably play that fits with the theme. But sometimes, such as with last week's Sheer Elegance show, I end up not even playing the stuff I thought was key, like "Bolero." You just never know where the music (especially the requests, thank you) will take you.

Well, "Bolero" will fit in just right with the Slow theme, as will "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?" "I Have Been In You," "Sleep Dirt," "Hog Heaven" and many more.

We've got the s l o w w w w w w s on this week's Zappa's Grubby Chamber.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sheer Elegance – February 8, 2008

So much confusion surrounds Frank Zappa.

He didn't care. But I do!

I've spent my damn life proselytizing for Frank's genius. And at long last I've arrived in a place where I know I'm not alone in my appreciation for something so right. Matt, Bob, Ron, Julia, Dave, Russ, Gail, Barry, Ed and the literally several others who brighten my Friday nights during the show – thanks!

As I was saying... part of being a self-appointed Frank Zappa emissary to Earth is disabusing folks of their erroneous notions – sometimes willfully cultivated by Frank (thanks, Frank!) – about Frank and his music.

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of his music is its sheer elegance. No one would argue that there's anything more exalted on the face of God's Great Earth than "Sofa" or "Regyptian Strut." But what about "Strictly Genteel" and "Bolero?"

Beyond the classical-esque tnes, there's the sheer elegance of "Zoot Allures" (I'm thinking of the DHBIM? version), "Evelyn, A Modified Dog" and the ultimate in majestic Frank music, "Watermelon In Easter Hay." And I'll use any excuse I can get to play "Drowning Witch."

So tune in for the eleganza extravaganza!