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Zappa legacy: music and more

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keberoxu 03 Oct 20 - 06:27 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 20 - 06:59 PM
Helen 03 Oct 20 - 11:20 PM
meself 03 Oct 20 - 11:33 PM
clueless don 05 Oct 20 - 07:07 AM
Neil D 06 Oct 20 - 03:00 AM
Helen 06 Oct 20 - 05:40 AM
gillymor 06 Oct 20 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 20 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 06 Oct 20 - 10:12 AM
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Subject: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 06:27 PM

Frank Zappa died over twenty years ago; he has no obit thread,
because, I suppose, his death predates the Mudcat.
He does, however, have a birthday thread.

Metastasized prostate cancer took down Frank Zappa;
lung cancer defeated his widow, Gail, years later.

Their four children are still living, and still active in their individual ways.

Mudcat members who know and admire Zappa's music,
would you care to contribute to this thread?
My own ignorance about Frank Zappa is nothing to be proud of,
however I can't deny how little I know of his music.
Certainly I am aware that fellow musicians hold him and his work
in high regard,
and his music continues to be performed and recorded.

Frank Zappa's cynical attitude and satirical bent
earned him considerable notoriety, and I personally
know him better for the ways he rebelled against big business,
especially music-big-business,
than for his creative output --
maybe I'm just too lazy a musical amateur
for Frank Zappa's exacting musical demands
and his undeniable work ethic.

So, a complicated individual, and one who is not forgotten.
Anyone, please, pro or con?


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Subject: ADD: Don't Eat the Yellow Snow (Frank Zappa)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 06:59 PM

Dawn Berg and I are leading a "Songs about Dogs" workshop at the FSGW Getaway tomorrow, and I threatened to sing "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" is we run out of dog songs. Seems appropriate to post it here, even if I can't work out an a cappella arrangement for tomorrow.


DON'T EAT THE YELLOW SNOW
(Frank Zappa)

Dreamed I was an Eskimo
Frozen wind began to blow
Under my boots and around my toes
The frost that bit the ground below
It was a hundred degrees below zero
And my mama cried
And my mama cried
Nanook, a-no-no
Nanook, a-no-no
Don't be a naughty Eskimo
Save your money, don't go to the show
Well I turned around and I said oh, oh oh
Well I turned around and I said oh, oh oh
Well I turned around and I said ho, ho
And the northern lights commenced to glow
And she said, with a tear in her eye
Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow
Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow

Here's a live performance, because you HAVE to hear this live (or at least recorded live):

But here's the 45 R.P.M. single, all two minutes of it:


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Subject: ADD: I'm the Slime (Frank Zappa)
From: Helen
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 11:20 PM

My Hubby is a major fan of Frank Zappa, and there are some of his songs which I think are brilliant, musically and satirically/lyrically.

A couple of nights after Hubby's own prostate operation we went to a Dweezil Zappa and friends concert. It was a tribute to Frank Zappa's music. Brilliant! Amazing! A total musical experience. Probably the best live performance I have ever seen. Hubby was still suffering the after effects of general anaesthetic and he claims he remembers the concert but, well, maybe he does maybe he doesn't. We had booked the tickets before we knew he was having the op so we went anyway.

Musically, my favourite Zappa song is Dirty Love but one part of the lyrics makes me cringe. I also like Peaches en Regalia, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, and I'm the Slime.

Which reminds me of a little story. I was watching the local TV channel about 30 or 40 years ago and a between-the-programmes short visual and musical segment was shown with no lyrics just music. I thought, I know that tune, what is it? It bugged me for days and then I realised it was music from I'm the Slime. I saw an old school buddy a few years later who used to work at the TV station. I told him about seeing that segment on TV and he told me that the person responsible was sacked when management figured out it wasn't just a catchy, jazzy tune but a cutting commentary on TV stations. Funny! Well not funny for the guy who lost his job, I suppose.

I'm the Slime
(Frank Zappa)

I am gross and perverted
I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I'm the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I'm the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I'm the slime oozin' out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

That's right, folks
Don't touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin' along on your livin' room floor
I am the slime from your video
Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go
I am the slime from your video
Oozin' along on your livin' room floor
I am the slime from your video
Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: meself
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 11:33 PM

That reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver's response to people telling her she should get a TV, because there really are some good shows: "If your tapwater was three-quarters sewage, would you drink it because there is some good water in it?" (Or words to that effect).


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: clueless don
Date: 05 Oct 20 - 07:07 AM

I remember (*doot* *doot*)
I remember (*doot* *doot*)
They had a SWIMMING POOL!


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: Neil D
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 03:00 AM

Huge Zappa fan here. He was a visual artist, filmmaker and brilliant social critic. A view of his interviews and debates on Youtube shows an adept critical thinker. Of course he is mostly known for his music. He was equally creative in Rock, Jazz and Classical composition, demonstrating a degree of harmonic and rhythmic complexity unusual in contemporary music. Not all critics appreciate such complexity: Robert Christgau describes "meters and voicings and key changes that are as hard to play as they are easy to forget." Mr Christgau is considered the dean of music critics, but in this case I think he shows his own limitations. (He also hates Bluegrass and Irish folk.)
Other critics said his music lacked emotion and I do acknowledge that, but no one can be all things to all people. That's why we should listen to a variety of music. If your in the mood for deep empathy with the human condition, listen to John Prine. But if you have a yen for musical virtuosity, accompanied by an iconoclastic sense of the absurd, pick Zappa.
I always enjoyed Zappa's songwriting and sardonic humor but after seeing him live (twice) I really came to appreciate his guitar playing. I'm usually not a big fan of long-winded electric guitar solos, tending to agree with Johnny Ramone who wouldn't be caught dead playing one, but Zappa was an exception. His inventiveness and unique sense of rhythm made a Zappa solo an adventure, like he was writing a symphony on the fly.


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: Helen
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 05:40 AM

Neil, one of the interesting things about the Dweezil Zappa concert (performing Frank Zappa's music) which I attended was that the front two rows of the theatre were filled with jazz lecturers and students from the local music conservatorium. They had attended a pre-concert event where they could meet and talk with the musicians for a couple of hours. They were the ones clapping and cheering the loudest in the theatre. The atmosphere was electric.


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: gillymor
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 07:25 AM

The Mothers- Fillmore East 1971, the one he did with Kaylan and Vollmer. The predominate theme was groupies, great music, a stoner's delight.


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 09:49 AM

I saw Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention at Birmingham Town Hall in 1969. A brilliant show with an amazing variety of music. Love Peaches En Regalia wether on Hot rats or by the Zappa Plays Zappa band. Also his Bolero is a great favourite.


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Subject: RE: Zappa legacy: music and more
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 10:12 AM

Listened a lot to his music when I was a teenager. Saw him several times during the eighties, great memories of a concert with the Mothers, including Flo and Eddie that seemed to go on forever (they were clearly enjoying themselves) during which they sang in Dutch ('Geef mij wat vloerbedekking onder deze vette zwevende sofa') as well as an extended version of Billy the mountain and a another one with the Grand Wazoo, still recovering from the fall in Switzerland, conducting on crutches.

'What's the ugliest part of your body..' still earworms me at times.


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