Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Tuesday Programming Note

Hey: I'm gonna be on one of those new-fangled intertube radio shows -- Lost at Sea -- today.

Between 3-5pm and 5-7pm.

The link for the streaming can be found here (click on the microphone icon).

The first two hours will be my chum Captain Al, whose show it is, playing what ever tickles his fancy, with moi answering our hosts questions about how I feel about the stuff.

The second two hours -- and you can e-mail us at ssimels@gmail.com -- will be part II of the last show I did with Al, and the theme will be, once again, DOES HUMOR BELONG IN MUSIC?

Consumer Note: No Zappa stuff will be played, because I don't think he's funny.

Consumer Note II: I may stray from the theme in the second hour. Including playing some very cool stuff from a recent album tribute to The Records, which has just come out on a certain Australian indie label to which I have sworn eternal fealty.

Anyway -- hope you'll drop by; it should be fun.


Gummo said...

No Zappa stuff will be played, because I don't think he's funny.

See, steve, there's much we don't agree on musically, but we DO agree on the important things!

steve simels said...

That's why you've always been aces in my book, pal.

Brooklyn Girl said...

Oh, c'mon, guys, Suzy Creamcheese was funny.

Um --- after that --- hmmmm --- okay, I see your point.

Jai Guru Dave said...

No love for the all time great album titles?:

We're Only in it For the Money
Weasels Ripped My Flesh (a personal favorite)
and the best of all...Sheik Yer Bouti

By the way, I never listened to any of these all the way through, but the titles make me smile every time I think of them.

Shriner said...

Oh, come on, "Sheik YerBouti" is full of funny songs. Dancin' Fool? Jewish Princess? Bobby Brown? Broken Hearts...? Flakes? I Have Been In You?

That's a classic rock/comedy album if'n ever I heard one.

In general*, his stuff is not overly funny to me with a few other exceptions. But SY, is fabulous (and contains my absolute favorite FZ guitar solo in "Yo Mama".)

steves said...

I just finished reading Elijah Wald's "Escaping the Blues." Not bad, btw.

One pertinent anecdote to the topic at hand: Dave van Ronk had just completed a set somewhere with a rollicking, ferocious version of "Hoochie Coochie Man." Walking backstage, he was shocked to encounter Muddy Waters himself. Muddy embraced him and said, "Nice job, son. But you know that's supposed to be a funny song."

Anonymous said...

Zappa's certainly more amusing than Dickie Goodman. But I've never thought of him as a comedy or novelty act. Comedy, by and large, doesn't hold up well over time. IMO, most of Frank’s stuff does.

Frank was so far ahead of his time people still haven't caught up with him yet. Maybe you don't think "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" is funny. Fact is, it's brutal and intelligent satire on a number of levels. And on the next album he turned his attention to hippie culture and its vapid naivete. Those early albums are unquestionable landmarks for a wealth of reasons.

I don't have much use for stuff like "Yellow Snow," which isn't very musically interesting or funny. But something like his ode to low budget sci-fi flicks of the 1950's, "Cheepnis," is a great piece of music which transcends the punch lines and clearly exhibits his love thereof. And that's OK by me.

I simply loved "One Size Fits All," and was happy to hear that Frank was quite proud of that album too. Musically, Frank had some amazing bands which played very challenging music. I really loved the Ruth Underwood, George Duke lineups of the mid 1970's. Those Roxy shows at the end of 1973 were amazing. Frank always was several steps ahead of us. His shows were challenging even for the audience.

The 1975 Claremont shows at Bridges Auditorium were no exception. Dumb old hippies were calling out “Call Any Vegetable,” while the band and Captain Beefheart played a set of tunes no one had ever heard before. There were two shows that day and I taped them both.

I had recently gotten back to California from my Michigan interlude. I went with a guy who was a near albino named Willy. I called him “Snowflake” because there was an albino ape with that name. Also, Willy frequently indulged in Uncle Siggy’s smelling salts. I did not know about the show until the day of. It was a total spur of the moment thing. Willy had pairs of tix to both shows and no one to go with. I actually used a boom stand and AKG’s to tape. No one said anything about it.

The Mothers played Bridges in 1971 with the Flo & Eddie lineup, which I also attended. But the April 1975 show was the one of the famous prank. Bridges Auditorium had famous composers’ heads and names carved in the stone at the top of the building. Guys like Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, Bach, Schubert. Some students carved Frank’s head and name in Styrofoam and covered Chopin’s head and name with it. They also added a marijuana leaf, something I’m sure Frank wouldn’t have approved of.

A couple of years before this, someone painted Zappa’s head on the side of the Glendora High School gymnasium, as if he was the school mascot. Here’s some pix:




Anyway, about a year ago, the local paper, The Daily Bulletin, ran a story about the ancient prank. But with a twist. The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, a Claremont native and student, gave the graduation speech at Pomona College in 2012. In the speech he admitted that he and a few friends were behind the prank. Though he didn’t admit to it, I think it’s also highly likely that he knew something about the nearby Glendora High School incident as well.

There's no debate that Zappa hipped a lot of people to things which should have been obvious to them in the first place. Some would say that's genius, but Frank would scoff at that. Say what you will about the guy, he was totally dedicated to his craft. He certainly wasn’t for everybody. And many of his fans liked him for the wrong reasons. But that’s the absurdity of life that Zappa embraced.

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should start your own blog, since you seem to have so much to say.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Zappa and George Duke, now neither one of them are with us. George just died from leukemia yesterday. R.I.P. Very sad. Loved his work.

Vickie Rock