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Friday, 2 October 2015

Dweezil Zappa honors father Frank’s legacy with a splendidly subversive revival at Crossroads KC

Zappa Plays Zappa performed Tuesday night at Crossroads KC.

A frisky rendition of the unofficial international anthem of nerds opened Tuesday’s concert at Crossroads KC. Zappa Plays Zappa’s brief interpretation of the main title theme from “Star Wars” set the tone for an unapologetically geeky and decidedly intelligent performance of splendidly subversive music.

Dweezil Zappa founded the ensemble in 2006 to advance the legacy of his late father, Frank Zappa. It’s a formidable challenge. Many of Frank Zappa’s compositions are too difficult for all but the most prodigiously gifted and extraordinarily dedicated musicians to re-create.

The band acknowledged the 40th anniversary of the 1975 album “One Size Fits All” by playing the recording in its entirety following the initial “Stars Wars” salvo. A combination of jazz fusion and prog-rock, “One Size Fits All” features songs like “Inca Roads” whose lyrics mock the pretentiousness associated with the forms even as the convoluted music revels in the related excesses.

Stripped of the era’s dated production techniques, Zappa Plays Zappa revealed the vitality of the old songs. The soaring rock gem “Andy” sounded like what might have resulted had the classic-rock band Kansas hailed from Berlin rather than Topeka.

“Po-Jama People,” a smug critique of convention, was highlighted by Dweezil Zappa’s guitar solo. His unconventional approach bears little resemblance to the methods employed by other guitar virtuosos.
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Frank Zappa is considered to be one of the most influential rock musicians of the late twentieth century. Between the start of his career in the late fifties and his death in 1993 he recorded and rele..


On September 19, 1985, Frank Zappa testified before the United States Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the Parents Music Resource Center or PMRC, a music organizati..









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