Monday, 8 September 2014

Capt. Beefheart: Detroit 80 US review

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Live From Harpos 1980 (Gonzo Multimedia) ***

This is a live recording from Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band only two years prior to the retirement of the infamous persona. This recording is obviously of historical value, as Van Vliet passed away in 2010. The recording here gives an impression as if it was taped by someone from the audience, but the spirit is definitely there. Beefheart's music was always challenging, and he never took an easy way out. 

Such is the case here. At times, this sounds very avant-garde and somewhat difficult to follow. But that's why he was liked in the first place. 

This live set is just another dose of weirdness and psychedelic from Beefheart and the crew. Songs titles alone can freak you out, and then there is the music. On the contrary, there hasn't been anything like Captain Beefheart since his demise. Harpos is a very small club in Detroit, and one could tell by 1980, Beefheart's following had shrinked significantly. No wonder he gave up music for painting. The body of work left behind however speaks for itself. There are new fans still discovering his music. This live set may not be essential, but it definitely shows another face of this unusual artist. 

Mark Kadzielawa


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