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 Post subject: WHY FRANK ZAPPA SUCKS
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:16 am 
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WHY FRANK ZAPPA SUCKS

- "My problem is, I find the majority of Zappa's albums impossible to listen to. I won't go to the [Holland festival 200 Motels] concert". Rock critic Menno Pot in De Volkskrant, June 8th, 2000.

A normal reaction to Zappa's music. Most of his music only starts to work when you're interested in music that goes beyond standard patterns and when you're willing to listen repeatedly to albums that don't appeal at once. Most people aren't interested and everybody is entitled not to be interested. Here's some suggestions for Zappa CDs and songs that are better possible for the regular listener; the underscored ones can be opened as midi file excerpts:

= Freak Out: Anyway the wind blows
= We're only in it for the money: Take your clothes off while you dance
= Cruisin' with Rubin and the Jets: Cheap thrills, Jelly roll gum drop
= Hot rats: Peaches en regalia
= Apostrophe ('): Don't eat that yellow snow
= Sheik Yerbouti: Dancin' fool, Bobby Brown, Wild love
= Joe's garage, act I: Joe's garage, Lucille has messed my mind up
= You are what you is: Doreen, The meek shall inherit nothing

- "I don't like Zappa. All this male chauvinist stuff, it's repulsive". Mathilde Santink, Dutch singer, in Rails, quoted from memory.

Right again. Zappa's lyrics are about phenomena from society, depicted in a cynical and provocative way. It's more the latter that can get offensive, than the actual content of his lyrics. The "Dinah-Moe humm" story is pretty harmless compared to the script for Roman Polanski's "Bitter moon" or Lou Reed's "Waltzing Mathilda". What's going on in songs as "Wet T-shirt night" is overt sexism. In general Zappa's songs are descriptive, rather than personal opinions, nor do they have to move in the same direction. The following is a quotation from "Drop dead" from "Thingfish": "We (women) are the future, Harry! Not you! We don't need you and your kind, because our kind is the best kind. Man-kind is shit, Harry! Our kind will get rid of your kind, just like wiping off this fountain pen ... (etc.)".

- "Frank Zappa is the most untalented musician I've ever heard... He can't play rock 'n roll because he's a loser...". Lou Reed according to Neil Slaven, Zappa, Project/Object chapter. "He isn't really interested in music...he's using music for ammunition". John Cale in Oor, January 1994.

During the sixties Zappa's Mothers of Invention and The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed and John Cale were competitors for the promotion budget of MGM, for which both groups were contracted. Some serious animosity evolved. On the tapes for Zappa's "We're only in it for the money" The Velvet Underground got mentioned via a musician complaining that he has to play Zappa's creations and to make matters worse, he has to play with the Velvet Undergroud the next day, "just as shitty a group". The sentence was cut off halfway on the original album, but included in total on the 1985 CD re-release, the one with the newly recorded bass and drum parts. The nowadays Rycodisc version has the original tapes restored. Their dislike of Zappa is understandable, but they could have done better in finding arguments, because Zappa can play rock 'n roll, as in Brown shoes don't make it or Disco boy. And using music for ammunition, well Zappa surpassed them with the "Weasels ripped my flesh" title track, but isn't that what the Velvet Underground liked to do in songs as "Sister Ray"?
So if I may make a suggestion: "Frank Zappa is the most irritating musician I've ever heard. His music is nerve-racking and his lyrics are insulting".

- "Because Zappa composed as a playing musician, the structure of his work is weak. He couldn't plan something over longer periods as classical composers do, because he played everything directly into the synclavier. He worked in fragments and layers put over each other... etc." (Roeland Hazendonk reviewing the 200 Motels suite, Telegraaf 13-06-2000).

Since a lot of Zappa's compositions sound as loose ends at first hearing, it can be tempting to write down something like this. Especially 200 Motels, a movie soundtrack, with it's many divers short individually composed pieces, can make a chaotic impression. It's possible however to show the structures in Zappa's music, as Wolfgang Ludwig has done in detail for "Big Swifty" from "Waka/Jawaka". I did something on "Uncle Meat" and "Mo 'n Herb's vacation", a 25 minute atonal piece, that also many Zappa fans consider uncoherent. It's more a matter of frequent listening or maybe you'll just have to be sensitive to his various ways of structuring. 200 Motels was composed on paper in the sixties by the way (see the Songbook for handwritten examples), about 15 years before Zappa had the digital aid of the synclavier. For matter of completeness I'll also have to mention that this review was moderately positive.

Has anybody else read this fucking bologny?

It's probably old news, but i felt i had to share this "Anal-ysis".


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 2:05 pm 
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There never is/was anything remotely intelligent in De Telegraaf.
And most of the other stuff is opinions rather than analysis. And everyone is entitled to dislike Frank's music, and everyone is entitled to be a complete asshole if he allows me to punch him in the face.
With Zappa being as inaccessible as he is, it's not surprising he gets misunderstood a lot. There's a good deal of FZ music I considered offensive until I got the back story (eg Bobby Brown, Thing-Fish) and there's still some that's offensive to me until I finally understand what it's about. To me that's FZ's flaw: music shouldn't require an intense study of the author before you can appreciate it.

Couldn't help but notice your focus on Dutch outtakes (Volkskrant, Rails, Oor, Telegraaf). And I couldn't help but notice your avatar doesn't work.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:21 pm 
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It's just another opinion and not worth disscussing.That's just my opinion.IMO :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Hi,

Honestly ... if you have to depend on reviews to decide for yourself what is and what isn't ... you will never enjoy anything in music, anywhere, because someone always has something bad to say, regardless of what it is ... and to me, be it Lou Reed, or John Cale ... making comments, it's like saying that what they were doing in New York is more valuable and important than what was being done in LA ... which you know is ethnocentric bullshit and crap! Not to mention so fucking xenophobic as to be down right sick and even more pathetic!

All in all, you either respect the state of music, or you don't. I don't think that Frank went out of the way to trash music, although there are some rich tidbits here and there and I really think it was a joke ... from the guitar hero ... to his fan! ... and if you did not know the difference, it's your loss.

If you know, understand, and play your music, you don't need London or New York, or Tokyo to kiss your ass. It would be nice to have a bit of their money ... and you can sell the smelliest shit to those people and they will buy it ... so Frank is G-Rated for them and the rap music that came out of those places!

But, on the other side of things, I would think that the problem with the re-releases is just that ... the ZPT is making sure that it is all that stuff and nothing else ... when we know that there are just as many instrument and rock versions of everything that do not have lyrics that would show and display the maturity of the music all around.

But you will NEVER see, hear, or know that stuff, as long as the ZPT is about the guitar god and the rock hero. And of course ... the smelly, ugly and dirty underwear that these rock bs'rs love to give you to separate themselves from you ... just anther midling that has no talent, when they are making money off it! Their words are no more important than mine or yours ... and you can NOT live by that!

:smoke:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:12 pm 
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massagio wrote:

- "Because Zappa composed as a playing musician, the structure of his work is weak. He couldn't plan something over longer periods as classical composers do, because he played everything directly into the synclavier. He worked in fragments and layers put over each other... etc." (Roeland Hazendonk reviewing the 200 Motels suite, Telegraaf 13-06-2000).
.


Stupidest thing I've ever read about FZ. But we all know what Frank said about music journalism.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Star Thrower wrote:
massagio wrote:

- "Because Zappa composed as a playing musician, the structure of his work is weak. He couldn't plan something over longer periods as classical composers do, because he played everything directly into the synclavier. He worked in fragments and layers put over each other... etc." (Roeland Hazendonk reviewing the 200 Motels suite, Telegraaf 13-06-2000).
.


Stupidest thing I've ever read about FZ. But we all know what Frank said about music journalism.

I would put the 'FZ eating shit onstage' before that idiotic critics review,but not by much!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Star Thrower wrote:
massagio wrote:

- "Because Zappa composed as a playing musician, the structure of his work is weak. He couldn't plan something over longer periods as classical composers do, because he played everything directly into the synclavier. He worked in fragments and layers put over each other... etc." (Roeland Hazendonk reviewing the 200 Motels suite, Telegraaf 13-06-2000).
.


Stupidest thing I've ever read about FZ. But we all know what Frank said about music journalism.


I'm inclined to agree with you. If "Civilization Phaze 3" took years to complete, then isn't it proof that FZ was able to work on a single idea over longer periods and plan a sustained development in his works?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:57 pm 
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I just found out about Frank Zappa and I do not think he sucked, as a matter of fact I think he is cool.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Little_Sally wrote:
I just found out about Frank Zappa and I do not think he sucked, as a matter of fact I think he is cool.

Right on lil sister! 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:07 pm 
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How I first heard about frank zappa, Is there a thread already about this ? if so let me know ! Thanks in advance :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:44 am 
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Little_Sally wrote:
How I first heard about frank zappa, Is there a thread already about this ? if so let me know ! Thanks in advance :D


Sure:
http://www.zappa.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7447
http://www.zappa.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9628

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:29 am 
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John Cale says that "Thing Fish" made him hate Zappa.

http://www.uncut.co.uk/john-cale/john-c ... ic-feature

Well, isn't "Thing Fish" largely dissed as Zappa's nadir to begin with? You never hear comments how "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" made one hate Pink Floyd or "Out of Reach" made one loathe German kraut-rockers Can, now do you?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:30 am 
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Inneresting thinkin' EOM.
My initial reaction was to agree with you! Generally, I won't knock a band for having an album that I don't like as much as others.
Then I thought "Hmmm... yeah, those albums did lower the respect I had for PF. Not Syd since he was gone by then, but the rest of the guys went downhill with each record being worse than their prime(s).
And Can.... someday I hope to hear a Can album that I want to hear again. I've heard 3 or 4 of them and every time its harder to give em another chance.
John Cale seems to do more brooding than thinking....

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:53 pm 
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You got a point there. Whenever somebody asks you for your opinion on a band you don't know very well (but you want to hide that from them), a good way to mask it is to say "the early Dog Fashion Disco or their later albums?". It worked with me when I tried to continue my hard-rock-image at high school and was asked how I felt about Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Except for CP3, Zappa jumped the shark, to me, when he got the UMRK. He immediately started overproducing. His studio album YAWYI and any studio track he produced afterwards, is crowded. 'Course, I do love SATLTSADW, that was my first non-comp Zappa album. And all the other stuff. But I can't help but feel the ol' Synclavier sounds outdated.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:11 pm 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
someday I hope to hear a Can album that I want to hear again. I've heard 3 or 4 of them and every time its harder to give em another chance.


While it seemed that the original Mothers of Invention counted as one of the key influence for early Can, it is safe to say that these Krautrockers' aesthetic was in fact far removed from what Zappa was really after. Zappa was after humanly impossible rhythmic compositional techniques, yet he could not achieve such ideals with players that were more prone to inarticulacy, mantric repetition, grunginess and extraneous noise as were the musicians of Can. No, he had to make do with conservatory trained players, who's normally the only bunch in the USA that could ever hope to be exposed to all sorts of hard rhythmic modulations! So essentially many post-Mothers Zappa groups just sounded a bit polished, even clinical. Even their improvisations were more steeped in standard soloistic jazz, unless Zappa of course conducted them to be a bit more off the wall. This is different from Can's style of improv, which perhaps indicated more of a "nobody solos, everybody improvises" approach. I'm listening to Can's "The Peel Sessions" compilation, containing recordings from 1973-75 and it's unbelievable how these guys could crank off fluid yet edgy "instant compositions" (as Holger Czukay would call them) on the spot. Zappa would have to tell his cats what to do (the one example: the Imaginary Diseases lecture on the Arlington 1973 concert where FZ would give instructions for playing "virus music"). Can could play more telepathically.

Many die-hard Zappaphiles get a little defensive when all other bands than the 60s Mothers of Invention are routinely slagged off. Then again, it was this first group with which Zappa influenced a future generation of musicians to come. Including some of the German kraut-rock scene. Who in turn gave rise to a fair generation of post-punk musicians both rock and electronic. Perhaps many people's musical needs here are being met the best by the highly polished Helsinki period Duke/Brock Mothers. However, in terms of revolutionising the music scene, the first batch of Mothers full of raw, intuitive and somewhat grungy players, was where it was at. After that, the only way Frank Zappa as a musician stood out was that he was arguably the first rock composer who proved to be equally fluent in classical/orchestral/art music.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:03 pm 
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BBP wrote:
You got a point there. Whenever somebody asks you for your opinion on a band you don't know very well (but you want to hide that from them), a good way to mask it is to say "the early Dog Fashion Disco or their later albums?". It worked with me when I tried to continue my hard-rock-image at high school and was asked how I felt about Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Except for CP3, Zappa jumped the shark, to me, when he got the UMRK. He immediately started overproducing. His studio album YAWYI and any studio track he produced afterwards, is crowded. 'Course, I do love SATLTSADW, that was my first non-comp Zappa album. And all the other stuff. But I can't help but feel the ol' Synclavier sounds outdated.



sounds like you need a fairly large hat for that head of yours.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm 
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BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
BBP wrote:
You got a point there. Whenever somebody asks you for your opinion on a band you don't know very well (but you want to hide that from them), a good way to mask it is to say "the early Dog Fashion Disco or their later albums?". It worked with me when I tried to continue my hard-rock-image at high school and was asked how I felt about Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Except for CP3, Zappa jumped the shark, to me, when he got the UMRK. He immediately started overproducing. His studio album YAWYI and any studio track he produced afterwards, is crowded. 'Course, I do love SATLTSADW, that was my first non-comp Zappa album. And all the other stuff. But I can't help but feel the ol' Synclavier sounds outdated.



sounds like you need a fairly large hat for that head of yours.

maybe so.....
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:50 am 
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You've finally reached the point where King Crimson can't save you from being off my ignore list.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:54 am 
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Bodhisatva !

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:53 am 
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BBP wrote:
You've finally reached the point where King Crimson can't save you from being off my ignore list.

Little_Sally wrote:
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I see the insurance finally paid for your sons operation,LS. I know your a big supporter of the GLS&T equal rights movement. He/she did his/her poppa proud! :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:18 pm 
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you mean that isn't bbp?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:58 pm 
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BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
you mean that isn't bbp?

As Esther used to say to Fred on Sanford & Son, "Watch it sucker!"

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Kirk, thanks for taking it up for me, but if I wanted a shitstorm I'd cause it myself. Just ignore.And don't quote because then it's no longer hidden behind my ignore button.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:50 pm 
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BBP wrote:
Kirk, thanks for taking it up for me, but if I wanted a shitstorm I'd cause it myself. Just ignore.And don't quote because then it's no longer hidden behind my ignore button.

You got it Bonny. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:55 pm 
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KAPT.KIIRK wrote:
BBP wrote:
Kirk, thanks for taking it up for me, but if I wanted a shitstorm I'd cause it myself. Just ignore.And don't quote because then it's no longer hidden behind my ignore button.

You got it Bonny. :wink:

what a shill KK has Become

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