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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sound Check: Zappa Plays Zappa in all of its intricacies

After nearly eight years, Dweezil Zappa’s mission for his Zappa Plays Zappa — a group dedicated to the music of his father, the late Frank Zappa — has remained largely unchanged.
“We’re trying to focus on the things that really display his compositional prowess and give people more of a broad and better-educated view of Frank’s music,” explains Zappa, 44. “We need to re-educate the audience to give them a better overall understanding of what he did. 
“I think your casual fans’ perception equate him with Weird Al Yankovic; ‘Oh, he’s the guy that writes the funny songs.’ They only know ‘St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast’ or ‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow,’ ‘Dancin’ Fool’ and all that stuff. That’s certainly part of Frank’s repertoire, but it’s a much smaller part than the more sophisticated music that exists throughout.
“That’s really what we want them to walk away with after they see us.”
Zappa and company — and occasionally alumni from Frank Zappa’s bands — have cut a broad swatch through the elder Zappa’s catalog during the 500-plus shows they’ve done since 2006, handling more than 275 of his songs. This year the troupe is playing the critically lauded 1974 live album “Roxy & Elsewhere” in its entirety, some of which have not yet been played by Zappa Plays Zappa. It’s complex material, but Zappa doesn’t think any of it is inaccessible.
“It always has sounded like music,” he says. “I think the fact that people are able to see it in a live setting is really the key factor that makes it work, because sometimes when you’re listening to something and you’re distracted by 10 million things in your home, you might not be getting the full ramifications of what is happening and it might not sink in the right way.

FRANK ZAPPA AT GONZO
The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99

The Interview Sessions
CD - £9.99

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