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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:53 pm 
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Hi all,

I've been a helpless soul, bound for CC, for 8-9 years now. A friend of mine told me once, "Hey you should check Frank Zappa out, I think you'll like it". He lent both Strictly Commercial and the DHBIM VHS to my then-hesitant-teen-age self, and that's how I got into this tiny Parallel Universe in the first place. I obsessively hunted every FZ CD I could get my hands on for quite a while. Ah, the good times. Looking at the Wowie Zowie tiny booklet and drooling over what my next batch of purchases would be.

By the time the ZFT mail-order-only releases started materializing, I felt kinda bummed 'cause there was no way that I could afford them. Please have in mind: I'm not bitching, I just opted out and not really out of frustration or anger against the ZFT or anyone. I just had to make a
decision, considering shipping & handling to South America (I'm from Argentina) are usually quite high, and ridiculously high in Barfko-Swill's case. Again, I don't blame them or anyone. They must have their reasons for such rates; I asume it wouldn't be fair to compare Amazon's S&H costs with BS's. As a matter of fact, I didn't shop from Amazon either, as currency depreciation in my country made it quite difficult to me to purchase *anything* that had its price set in dollars.

Anyway, time went by and now it's July (oh wait it's not). After feeling a bit left out of the big party (a/k/a Vault releases) I went -on my own will and, again, not trying to blame it on anyone but me and my crappy financial situation- exploring other musical territories that were both interesting to my ears and accessible to my tiny little pocket. This doesn't mean I stopped listening to FZ because I just couldn't afford the posthumous releases. But it somehow bummed me out and made 'online community involvement' a bitter-sweet afair; you completist or even semi-completists (as I would consider myself) probably can imagine what I mean. I was happy at last some new FZ was being offered, and at the same time felt bummed that I couldn't share all the hoopla.

But another thing further kept me away from online FZ-related interaction: the just plain bad vibes. I didn't know a lot back then about why ZFT kept being bashed by a group of hardcore fans (I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean, if you ever care to talk about ZFT -just as I am doing now- you are some sort of hardcore fan, period). But after the FZ virus crawled back recently to take over my brain once again, I hoped things had changed.

I think the main point of this overlong introduction (sorry) is to let you know what a DRAG it is for an 'outsider' like me to get here expecting to have a good time with like-minded individuals and be presented instead with the sheer amount of bitter shit being onstantly thrown at each other. I'm sure this is just another case of 'outspoken minorities' spoiling it for everyone. I mean, I've read some really interesting and respectful posts as well (otherwise I wouldn't care to write this, I'd just get the fuck off).

But you know, when you get to an argument well after the shit has hit the fan -as I have- you may miss all the tiny details about the confrontation, but you also gain some perspective over what's going on now. As this is my first post, I figured I just had to work up this big fucking post that I hope won't bore you to death, as a way to both introduce myself (sorry if my English is far from perfect, btw) and also make it clear that I am totally unbiased, as I know no one from the forum, no one from the ZFT or the anti-ZFT quarters. I only met Arthur Barrow once in Argentina, though. Cool guy and excellent bass player.

ZFT probably fucked up a lot of times since taking the great responsibility of working with Frank's Vault. Fans that complain about this should:

a) be respectful, which isn't always the case, therefore getting on ZFT's nerves and making things more shitty for everyone.
b) understand that FZ himself probably fucked up a few times as well when handling the same responsibility. I suppose you have heard fans complaining about FZ approved albums as well, cause I sure did. Or maybe that's also you bitching about every little detail? And don't get me wrong, it's ok to criticize ZFT releases, as well as FZ releases, as well as ANYTHING you care to criticize. It's part of musical enjoyment. But I can only imagine it must get kinda tiresome after a while, to always have a bunch of whiners complain because the product released didn't quite match their expectations. It did for Frank (i.e. liner notes regarding fans with quaint fantasy about the original MOI being the only good stuff). It even does for me as a bystander.

The ZFT should -in my humble opinion- be up to what FZ requested as basic professional standards. Remember the '88 band -that is, put up with the shit and be professional enough to do a good job. Despite all. I know, it's damn hard. That's why it's a big responsibility in the first place, and that's why FZ was so serious about it. In that sense, providing deffective liner notes (GZ is free to write the way she writes no matter how much it pisses any of you, but I do think it's incredibly weak for any archival release to not provide a booklet full of details... and then some Zappanese if you will), scarce or plain wrong information about future releases, etc., etc. is just crappy business. Because it's ultimately alienating a lot of fans, and not all of them are trolling the forums as a response. Some people actually stopped buying FZ stuff, out of frustration for what they see as lack of care for the business from FZT, and that just sucks.

But then, some fans are so easily and intensely alienated it's just ridiculous. And I'd like to know if they would have been so disrespectful towards FZ as they sometimes are to GZ or anyone at ZFT if they had the chance to talk to him over a freaking forum. It just makes any attempt at honest, constructive, heart-felt criticism be thrown in the same bag of crap.

One more thing, both pro-ZFT, anti-ZFT, 'independents' and ZFT themselves. We should all remind to ourselves that Frank, the Composer, always had in mind that what he did was Entertainment. So every time you try to 'honor the Composer's yada-yada' you have to remember that Frank's main moving force was to GET the freaking goods OUT. Make his music AVAILABLE (and making money in the process, of course). It was a survival instinct that shows just what a brilliant businessman he was. But ZFT is not Frank, so we should cut them some slack. But I just can't help cringing a bit when I read a lot of uptight stuff about The Composer and His Intent. Hey, LSO Vol II anyone? He released something that he knew was not up to his standards, didn't he? Yes he did, and I thank him for that. He could've gone into some overblown moral argument of Composer Intent not being matched and maybe lose enough money in the project not to feel like releasing anything else. The good thing is, I'm always free to skip any self-admitted substandard project (well, I'm not haha, but you get the idea).

And last but not least: I think the most outspoken pro-ZFT fans are really making ZFT a disservice by trying to force their opinions up everyone's nose. Even if they have a point, their attention-drawing personalities just can't get off the way. After having read quite a few of them, I suspect most of them don't even have a clue of what they're really supporting. Most of their diatribes are just based on crap and heaven forbid they might actually pay attention when someone tries to genuinely discuss something with them.

Jeez, I could go on forever. I won't (you're welcome).

Hope I have a good time here anyway. Now, back to Burnt Weeny Sandwich...


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:15 pm 
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great 1st post, welcome

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:52 pm 
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I'm looking forward to your second post...

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:10 pm 
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Bien venido, hermano Latino... Nice rant!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:47 pm 
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Dam what an entrance. 8) Welcome.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:34 am 
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Hola, fellow newcomer. Amen to all you've said. And your English, btw, is better than most of my college freshman who "can't even speak [their] own fucking language...[they] cant read it anymore, [they] can't write it anymore..."


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:05 am 
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Well said, MatiasR. Your English is fantastic, by the way. Stick around.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:16 am 
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agreed, glad to have ya aboard

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Muy bien amigo, y bienvenido.

( El hombre que se llama "Trendmonger" es un hijo de puta, no lee su escrituras)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:04 pm 
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Wow. Makes my first bunch 'o' posts look like the semi-edgumacated ramblings of the social retard that I so closely resemble. Though indeed, I do resemble that remark. Way to set the bar dude. :lol: Greetings!

Anyway, what he said. I've been hanging out in the wings for quite some time now but it was the militant tone of a few of the posters here that were holding me back. But I kept returning coz there was always tons o' good conversation here. I'm pretty new to the whole online-virtual-me-type-forum thing but I'm finding that the same constant applies here as with any group of personalities, physical or otherwise, that being that the loudest and/or drunkest and/or looniest will tend to dominate the conversation and attract the most ire. Realising that, the occasional (or frequent) vendetta aside, there's a serious crapload of similar-minded people here so I hooked up. Because here I'm not quite as weird. I hope. I guess. Actually I don't care. I'll be as weird as I wanna be. But it's nice to hang with the sort that know who Zappa is for a start. I do get tired of 'who's that?' and 'Turn that shit down!' and 'Stop throwing banana peels in my sunroof every fucking day!'. Ok, the last one is based more on what I'm eating and where they're parking and what they're driving but you get the general idea.

So I digress like a signifigantly off-kilter son-of-a-bitch and will say and do inappropriate things every now and then and you are all more than welcome to try and set me straight as you feel the need. Unlike the latenight ads on tv I cannot guarantee any long-term success however.

Where was I? Oh yeah, here.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:41 am 
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Sam I Am wrote:
'Stop throwing banana peels in my sunroof every fucking day!'.


People tell you that? You pool soul. Here, have some cocoa.
:wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:22 am 
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Thanks for the welcome, everyone! Glad to hear you enjoyed my rant, or at least didn't mind reading through it. I left out many others topics that were in queue, waiting to be pulled out, but I figured it'd be best to direct each ramification of the Big Rant to its respective thread, elsewhere in the forum. However, some things I just wouldn't know how to work out into separate posts designed for specific topics, so I hope you don't mind a bit more of rambling. I'd like to know what you all think.

When I decided to write that first post, it was the very nature of this forum that I had in mind as an underlying subject. With mainstream crap oozin' out of your tv set, people who have a real interest in music are left to their own devices. That's always been the case of course, and not just with music. Nothing new, so far. The slime keeps smelling progressively worse but that comes as no surprise, either.

Now, enter the 'internet revolution' (Ha! I wonder what FZ would have to say about that). For better or for worse, internet has taken the burden off of mainstream media's shoulder to provide us with any alternative. The very nature of 'mainstream' is self-referential as long as you can take it. That's why tv and radio no longer speak to a lot of people who take music (or anything) as something that goes beyond its place as a mere social commodity that defines 'who you are' as much as cars do for some people (cf. Rudy's Cadillac Extravaganza).

In this light, a forum hosted at the artist's official website is likely to be visited by a few of those who are curious about his music. Most will probably download a few official albums (or the entire discography) instead. No matter how much it hurts some people here to admit it, that's today's practice standards. I won't get into my thoughts about that here, but anyway, some people will come here to get in touch with FZ's world / folklore. What will they find?

It sucks to see FZ's Universe being involved in so many sour grapes and bullshit now that the man has been physically gone for some time. So much uptight attitude in all the wrong places. Some of the people that insist on speaking in his name in an attempt to validate their agenda (if you be dogma-fied...) would be surprised about the sheer quantity of public (written, taped) statements by the man himself that question and/or refute their hastily proliferated propaganda. That is, of course, if they ever cared to double-check their assumptions. But they don't. They are delusional enough to believe FZ's view of things has been somehow merged with their own. Amazing stuff.

While sifting through the threads here, I encountered quite a few exceptionally well-written posts, with obvious research done, stating facts when discussing facts, stating opinions when due, but always with the main goal of engaging into a conversation.

Quote:
Unfortunately, there were some people who simply DID NOT WISH TO KNOW, and that's why, on his way home from the office one night, GREGGERY was attacked by a RAGE OF HUNCHMEN!


Frank's work & ideas are painfully misunderstood -when not completely ignored- on the 'outside world'. But I thought people exposed to his thoughts would know better. Despite the serious musicianship, the complexity and original nature of his music, and being way ahead of his time, he still managed to stay away from the pretientiousness usually lurking around those confines. He managed to do that by working his ass off instead of drifting into tepid musings about 'composer's intent'. High standard? Hell, yes. But that's what you'll naturally be confronted with if you speak in his name.

Technically speaking, no one can speak in his name. Not even the ZFT, simply because they are not Frank. I think we can all agree on that. For instance, I don't think anyone in my family could really speak for me without distortion occurring. Not to mention Frank could have changed his mind about many things if he was still around.

Now, I'm not implying the ZFT try to speak in his name; I don't know if they do. But some of the most radical pro-ZFT trolls fail to make any distinction between FZ and ZFT. ZFT have every right not to give a shit about this. However, considering some members of the family are using this medium as far as I could see, it saddens me to see such a wasted opportunity.

Really, I'm not taking anyone's side on this 'cause I just ignore what went on. All I say is, it's such a shame to find out that even though Gail is around (and probably others? I don't know), there is hardly any serious communication. This would be a potentially great tool to establish a connection between the Trust and some of the people on the other side that have kept FZ's art alive through appreciation and are willing to keep doing so. And, in a less romantic tone, also purchasing products that will hopefully allow the ZFT to pay the bills, as well as to afford future product manufacturing.

But, judging from what I see, Gail has had enough crap to care too much anymore. This is my impression, I might be way off. In some way, I feel for her. I mean, I can't deny I was disappointed to hear a lot of stuff regarding ZFT's actions. But people can be obnoxious. And deranged fans are particularly gifted in that art. In the end, it's everyone's loss. I hope it gets better with time. The good thing is, it's always up to the people involved.

I nominate Burnt Weeny Sandwich as FZ's Best Album Ever (for today). Thanks for reading. I would like to know your opinion on any of this. Please attach your Best Album Ever (for today) nomination at the end. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:15 am 
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Your well-though-out, and even-handed look at the ZFT is appreciated by those of us who try to be fair.

Frank's art only attracted individuals who were/are intellectually liberated and musically sophisticated enough to work through it and to be led somewhere by it. I believe that you should expect that those who are self-possessed enough to prosetylize for FZ will be forthright in their opinions on any number of subjects.

I personally disagreed with some positions that Frank had, but not his art and think it is foolish to expect that anyone would agree totally with anyone else who had such a clear view on so many things.

I have been listening since 1968 and I still find new things in the music, and there is so much of it and it is so diverse that when I play something I haven't heard in a while, it may be like rediscovering it all over again. I have no problem with the wide dispersion of opinions that I get here, but I draw the line when certain posters attack less-Zappa-informed posters, for their lack of 'knowledge' - that's fucked - since so few people are even willing to give the music a try.

Waka/Jawaka for today (and a lot of the time it comes in number one, with Uncle Meat always a close second, sometimes edging into first place.......

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:47 am 
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btw, do you do mercado libre ¿

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:07 am 
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MatiasR wrote:
Hi all,.........

BRAVO!!!! 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Welcome.

MatiasR wrote:
Technically speaking, no one can speak in his name. Not even the ZFT, simply because they are not Frank. I think we can all agree on that.

Amen to this. It has been said many times by many who visit but unfortunately not all here do agree. What can you do?

MatiasR wrote:
For instance, I don't think anyone in my family could really speak for me without distortion occurring. Not to mention Frank could have changed his mind about many things if he was still around.

I dread to imagine that any member of my family could end up speaking on my behalf, and I actually do like some of them, but that's not the point.

MatiasR wrote:
I nominate Burnt Weeny Sandwich as FZ's Best Album Ever (for today). Thanks for reading.

This album is definitely up there with me, but for the life of me, I can't pick a favourite. I start to try but very quickly realise that choosing a favourite Zappa album is an NP Hard problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:36 pm 
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I never read any post over two paragraphs long.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:49 pm 
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Not even your own?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:06 pm 
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Rock has revealed his Kryptonite.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:33 pm 
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I like the new av, Sabbie.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:46 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
MatiasR wrote:
I nominate Burnt Weeny Sandwich as FZ's Best Album Ever (for today). Thanks for reading.

This album is definitely up there with me, but for the life of me, I can't pick a favourite. I start to try but very quickly realise that choosing a favourite Zappa album is an NP Hard problem.


Oh I hear you, my only solution is just picking the first one that comes to mind and disregarding second-thoughts, haha. I was actually listening to BWS as I typed that, so that should give you an idea about how serious and scientific the nomination process was.

By the way: today's favorite is... Absolutely Free. Gonna play that sucker now.

And now a third paragraph just to prevent Help I'm A Rock from wasting his time here. I wasn't sure the quote would count as a paragraph so, there. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:08 am 
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MatiasR wrote:
And now a third paragraph just to prevent Help....


Welcome. Don't feed the troll.

[size=0]Isaac[/size]

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:27 am 
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Isaac wrote:
MatiasR wrote:
And now a third paragraph just to prevent Help....


Welcome. Don't feed the troll.

[size=0]Isaac[/size]


Translation:

Never reply to Isaac.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:49 am 
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SPOO!


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