Thursday, September 10, 2009

Zappatude – September 11, 2009

This has nothing to do with the week's theme. I just like looking at it.

What I've noticed over my Frank Zappa-liking career is that the same things you and I adore about him are what normal people don't – that is, if they know anything about him at all other than his kids' funny names.

The sheer imagination and freedom of expression in Zappa music must overwhelm musical tastes calibrated to narrower bandwidth. The blistering, dissonant guitar, rhythmic complexity, weird textures, wacky topics and all that naughty, naughty talk.

At the core of Frank's formidable armamentarium of sounds and ideas is his attitude. That's what animates everything, from his most intoxicating guitar solo to his most caustic appraisal of human nature, it's the Zappatude that makes it all possible. It's what really closes the deal between Frank and his devotees.

It's doubtful though, that as close as we may feel to what he's saying during various moments of his music, any of us has really taken in the whole of Frank's vision. But when we get it, we really get it.

So that's what it'll be Friday night when I sit in for Scatch: songs laden with Frank Zappaness. Engorged, even.

I always feel compelled to start the show with something that Chas's blues audience can vibe with, so a good, attitudey song for that purpose will be "Nig Biz." Then something else, and something else... and whatever you request.

We'll foment Frankitude for the Sept. 11, 2009 Zen Through Zappa's Grubby Chamber.