Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Graded on a Curve: Frank Zappa, apostrophe (‘)

I spent my formative years getting high with pig farmers. I’d recommend it to anyone. We drove through the high corn on moonless nights with the headlights off and did other dumb ass shit, and we listened exclusively to Frank Zappa. Ours was a total Zappatista cult. We thought being Zappa freaks made us look smart and avant-garde and weird. He was our badge of intellectual superiority over all the lunkheads listening to Bad Company, and the symbol of our status as unrepentant heads.
Odd thing, though. I haven’t listened to Frank Zappa in more than three decades. I can’t. His music annoys the fuck out of me. Why, it’s almost enough to make me believe smoking pot really does make you stupid. (It doesn’t.) I can’t stand his juvenile sense of humor (yellow snow, etc.), his big bland jazz (Sun Ra he wasn’t), all those annoying xylophones and sound effects, or the smug, sneering, hipper-than-thou tone of his voice. His music is a four-way intersection with a non-working red light where rock, jazz, orchestral music, and musique concrète collide, and everything happens too fast. When I listen to him now (which I don’t, but I did for this review) all I really want to hear are the guitar solos.
The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99

The Interview Sessions
CD - £9.99

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