Zappa (11)

“However, Zappa is the strangest case. I’ve never met anyone (who expressed an opinion) that wasn’t polarized one way or another — you’re either 100 per cent Zapped or you find him so repellent that his work becomes unapproachable… “I sympathize with Penman’s Zappa problem — it is a toughie, but I can’t accept his position that his problem with Zappa fans and Zappa’s stance … Continue reading Zappa (11)

Zappa (9): “Memories of El Monte”

  “Memories of El Monte,” the Penguins, 1963 — written by Frank Zappa and Ray Collins. Not often commented upon (at least from what I’ve seen) is the fact that “El Monte” holds its place in pop history as one of the early sampling records, stitching in, as it does, quotes from eight doo-wop classics, all of which are helpfully listed on the song’s Wiki … Continue reading Zappa (9): “Memories of El Monte”

Zappa (8): Yellow Snow Beer Hum part one

“Thanks to songs like ‘Dinah Moe Humm,’ ‘Titties & Beer’ and ‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow,’ I managed to accumulate enough cash to bribe a group of drones* to grind its way through pieces like ‘Mo ‘n Herb’s Vacation,’ ‘Bob in Dacron’ and ‘Bogus Pomp’ (eventually released on London Symphony Orchestra, Volumes I and II) — in performances which come off like high-class ‘demos’ of … Continue reading Zappa (8): Yellow Snow Beer Hum part one

Zappa (7) : “Louie Louie” part one

“‘Louie Louie’ repeatedly figured in the musical lexicon of Frank Zappa in the 1960s. An early live version of his original composition ‘Plastic People’ (from his You Can’t Do That Onstage Anymore series of live albums) was set to the melody of ‘Louie Louie’ (the official version was released on the album Absolutely Free in 1967). Zappa reportedly fired guitarist Alice Stuart from The Mothers … Continue reading Zappa (7) : “Louie Louie” part one

Zappa (6)

“FWIW, Joe’s Garage is probably one of my favorite albums, and I absolutely hate parts of it, too. But it was very mind-opening for me when I was sixteen, moreso than the early Mothers albums or fusion stuff or post-Demento crap etc. New [Janelle] Monae reminds me of JG in weird ways — self-consciously flimsy conceit keeps getting in the way, mildly amusing in-song narrative … Continue reading Zappa (6)

Zappa (5)

I started responding in the comments box to something from Patrick regarding Zappa and the critics, but I ended up writing stuff I thought would make more sense in its own post, so — I’ll just post it here instead. Patrick mentioned Christgau’s “A” review of We’re Only In It for the Money (as partial proof against my contention that Zappa is the most “critically … Continue reading Zappa (5)