Thursday, June 4, 2009

To Pretend That You Are Stoopid – June 12, 2009

A random relic from a foamcore promotional
display for Tinseltown Rebellion.


Frank, unlike those of his contemporaries who were also ultra-competent at their craft, never shied away from sheer, relatively unbridled stupidity. He embraced his inner dunce, parodied stupidity, celebrated and condemned it and – thankfully for us – leveraged it for massive musical reward.

I can't see Weather Report or Return To Forever ever lowering themselves to play "A Little Green Rosetta" or "No Not Now." Why would they, when they can be noodling at 392 miles per hour in 17/9? Only... Frank could do that too, and did, but he also obtained acute enjoyment factors from doing stupid music (I mean that in the best sense of the term).

Of course Frank never did anything genuinely stupid. He couldn't help himself. There's cleverness bombs riddled throughout his most retardated repertoire. Have you ever seen a simulated child's drawing in a TV commercial? Sorry, you can always tell an adult made it. The one element of his music Frank couldn't seem to control was resisting the temptation to imbue even the most dopey ditty with brainy fun.

Hats off, by the way, to Pat Metheny, who doesn't suffer from the "elite muso syndrome" that afflicts so many of his fellow hyper-advanced jazzmen. (Tsk tsk; it's such a tragedy to lose someone to Seriousness.) If you haven't heard "Forward March" off First Circle, all I can say is, it's really stupid and also Zappa-worthy, and that's the highest compliment of all in the musical kingdom. I'll play "Forward March" on the June 12 show.

And our world famous/infuriating Friends of Frank segment will also feature the dumb/dumber doings of the likes of Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Russ Stedman and... wait for it... Frank Fucking Sinatra.

I swear to god, if there's any artist that annoys – no, offends me the most it's Old Blue Mouth. I'd gladly listen to Bobby Goldsboro's oeuvre over and over with low-voltage shocks being applied to my gen-pack for all eternity than listen to Artanis and his asinine croonings. I depise Sinatra and his "wine" voice more than anyone in show biz. Except maybe John Wayne and David Broder. But the Chairman of the Board fucked up big time on a b-side, and you're going to hear it. If you know the backstory, feel free to share once you hear this masterpiece. Again, that'll be during Friends of Frank in the second hour.

So that's the deal: Stupidity Supreme on the June 12 Zen Through Zappa's Grubby Chamber.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Addie & Her Band – June 2, 2009

There are some scintillating discussions going on, as always, over at the ever-entertaining Kill Ugly Radio. It's the best dang Frank blog in the Zappasphere, at least in my booklet. It's my home base for Zappa buzz.

I've been participating in one particular thread, "Conversations with Jimmy Carl Black", and some of my acrid expectorations might benefit from visual aids. Below are two.

The top item is a handbill/flyer/poster for the Grandmothers show in Hayward, Calif. on Halloween, 1980. The one below that is a scan of the '80 Tour Book, which includes what are apparently the original – and much more explicit – lyrics to "We're Turning Again." Click to enlarge.

If you read through that comment thread, you'll see why these items are relevant.

What I want to know is, how do I contact Addie & her Band?