Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spaces – May 29, 2009

How many times have I heard some muso supremo espouse the notion that, in so many words, "music is about spaces – not the notes, but the spaces between them."

Really? To me, it's about notes. Lots and lots of big fat delicious loud notes. But then I like car chase moves and robot-battle TV shows too (didn't Ahmet host one of those?).

Obviously, as with visual art, music involves use of positive and negative space. And there is plenty of both in Zappa music. So, in my never-ending quest to run Frank music through ever more abstruse conceptual continuity filters, on this week's Zen Through Zappa's Grubby Chamber, we'll enjoy cuts that include one or both of two functions:

• Somewhere within the song, there are no notes being played. There might be hangover decay from the last notes, but technically, there is complete cessation of activity, or

• There's a whole lotta air going on.

Well, there you have it. Spaces, gaps and air, plus your requests on this week's Zen Through Zappa's Grubby Chamber.


Mark McCawley said...

Looking forward to your show, Kevin. A little Mike Keneally will certainly enrich the mix. I've been a long time lover of Mike's music. It's so wonderfully quirky and so un-Zappa while still tipping his hat to his old mentor. Perhaps the trouble some Zappa fans have with Keneally is they expect him to emulate Frank and play nothing but Zappa covers. Keneally has well proven to be a musical genius (and I don't use that word loosely) in his own right. Just take his album Nonkertompf for instance. A masterpiece.


M-Chu said...

Oh crap. I suppose before I ever use that SPACES line again on someone I should first consider that perhaps they’re thinking I’m a total dipshit for using it.

Mark, I wish I had more appreciation for Mike’s music. He’s obviously an accomplished maestro. I saw Keneally’s Dolphins band way back in ’95 and yeah, there wasn’t much room for spaces between all those notes. He was with Vai at a small venue and I caught him outside the club and again, like a dipshit, asked him if he would be interested in autographing some Zappa material for me. He said yeah “catch me later” and I never saw him again. Meanwhile, Vai was inside manglin and stranglin the strings right off of his guitar. Not much room for empty spaces there either.