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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:50 am 
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Thinman wrote:
Am I the only one getting bored by people and their "order", "delivery" and "shopping" stories?

Th.


Yeah, it's pretty tough to choose not to read things people type.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:54 am 
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dlokazip wrote:
ursinator wrote:
WalkerJWalker wrote:

visiting this link again u will find this (not very friendly) user review:

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd compilation marks an uncertain starting point for new fans and is irrelevant for most others November 4, 2012
By David Goodwin
Format:Audio CD
In late 2012, the Zappa Family Trust and UMe embarked on an ambitious reissue program for the near-entirety of the Frank Zappa catalog, which involved producing fresh, remastered versions of many of Zappa's core albums. The previous reissue campaign, conducted in 1995, had involved some remastering work, but was generally aimed at collecting Zappa's oeuvre under the Rykodisc insignia. In heralding its 1995 reissues, Rykodisc initially released two "best of" compilations: "Strictly Commercial," a traditional "best of" (featuring a few rarities for the collectors); and "Strictly Genteel," a collection of Zappa's instrumental work. These efforts would later be joined by the two bargain-priced volumes of "Cheap Thrills" and "Have I Offended Someone?", a Zappa-compiled set of his "bluer" material, most of which was substantially reworked. Zappa's family was none too pleased by Ryko's repackaging efforts, and the release of "Strictly Commercial" apparently soured the relationship between the Trust and Ryko, leading to years of frosty relations, lawsuits, and (ultimately) the re-transfer of the catalog to UMe.

It's now November of 2012, and the UMe reissue campaign is mostly over with; the new remasters have been met with justifiable praise, fixing as they do nearly every questionable decision made by Zappa himself when he prepared his catalog for CD in the 1980s and early 1990s. But while reissues of "Mothermania" (a Zappa-compiled set of his work with the original Mothers of Invention, featuring several rarities) and "Have I Offended Someone?" are on the horizon, there's a big gap where "Genteel" and "Commercial" used to be: an overview of his entire catalog, a compilation to entice new listeners into taking a Tour de Frank. In keeping with the Zappa family's hostility towards compilations NOT put together by Frank himself, they've released "Understanding America," a career overview following the loose theme of American politics, culture, and--deviant sexual practices, really. Zappa compiled this set in 1991 and it has been sitting forlorn in the vault ever since. So does it work?

I recognize that not all may agree on this point, but my answer is a resounding "no": I don't think this functions very well as a career overview, theme or no theme, and it simply is not a very good introduction to Zappa's catalog. First, the track selection is really strange, structured as "pseudo-chronological, but with detours." The first ten tracks on Disc 1 are from the original Mothers of Invention (well, sort of; I'll get to that in a second), after which the set takes a quick detour to the 1980s for "We're Turning Again," dips back to the Flo and Eddie era for "Road Ladies" and "What Kind of Girl," then sampling the 1970s "Over-nite Sensation," "Zoot Allures," and "Bongo Fury." Disc 2 keeps one toe in the 1970s with "Can't Afford No Shoes," "I'm the Slime," and "The Central Scrutinizer" (really?), but is otherwise firmly rooted in the 1980s, and centers around "Porn Wars Deluxe," an expanded version of the not-entirely-universally-loved collage from "Mothers of Prevention" which in this version features additional songs in its lengthy running times. Many of the songs here, incidentally, also show up on either "Mothermania" or "Have I Offended Someone?".

In all, around 16 albums are represented, but is "The Central Scrutinizer" the best way to shill Joe's Garage? And the lack of ANYTHING from fan favorites like Apostrophe or Roxy and Elsewhere is just strange. Yes, there's a "theme," but it's extraordinarily loose and if "Dinah Mo Humm" could fit, then surely "Uncle Remus" or "Cheepnis" could, too. Furthremore, did Frank really think that the awful, dated rap of "Promiscuous" was one of the jewels of "Broadway the Hard Way?" Some of the segues are interesting, but they aren't enough to carry the program.

Second, after just having been blessed with some extraordinarily needed upgrades of parts of Zappa's catalog, it's dispiriting to realize that "Understanding America" reverts to the ugly days of old, where Zappa enjoyed layering reverb over everything and over-used his favorite digital devices to ill end. The "Money" tracks, with the exception of the bits from "Porn Wars," all use the much-derided 1980s overdubs; the 1970s albums sound like they were recorded in a cavern; and so on. Several songs, like those from Over-nite Sensation, contain severe audio problems dating to late-1980s mastering efforts that would later be corrected, although it is a small miracle that the songs from "You Are What You Is" and "Tinseltown Rebellion" are missing the truly terrible glitches that plagued most reissues through 1998. Unfortunately, Zappa's over-use of digital compression adversely affects some of the songs that might otherwise function as fan-bait, such as the original mixes of the Man from Utopia tracks which are otherwise hard to obtain on CD.

The TL;DR version: whereas the new reissues could have prompted a "best of" collection showing off the upgraded sound quality, instead we've taken a step backwards. This simply doesn't sound very good. New fans may not care or notice, but after having just spent a great deal of time and energy fixing a lot of the problems in the Zappa catalog, shouldn't the Trust and UMe show off the hard work?

In sum, I can't see this appealing to many people. It's an iffy introduction to Zappa's catalog, playing at times like a home-made, slapped together, proof-of-concept mix tape Frank put together and then justifiably forgot about. It ignores Zappa's instrumental output, is programmed haphazardly, and does not sound very good. It's also kind of ugly, truth be told, and while Zappa's music shows the potential beauty in ugliness, "Understanding America" is on the sloppy side of ugly, not the sublime side. As an entry point for new fans, it may win some, but it's not the precision strike it could have been. As a piece for collectors, it depends entirely on whether the idea of a deluxe "Porn Wars" is worth $20, as the other collectable tracks can be found elsewhere. Everyone else can safely give this a wide berth; there are better compilations available.

In other words: Do u love it, do u hate it, that's the way FZ made it!


Note the name of the reviewer. He runs the Zappa Patio website.


Correct me if I'm wrong....

He also goes by Vivaldinization at the Steve Hoffman Forum
You can marvel at his expertise here:
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... 55&page=39

he also goes by "Raiders" at Zappateers

I'm surprised he's not here at this forum either..........or maybe he is but hasn't chosen to share his love in these parts.

He runs the Zappa Patio? I didn't know that. Thanks.........good to know


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:34 am 
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Dear Vaultmeister - if you check out his other reviews, he's given 5 stars to many of the 2012 Zappa reissues. He's not out to get you. Isn't it a good thing that people take the time and effort to discuss what you do?

Btw fyi, Irmin Schmidt tells the same story of the deteriorating Ampex tapes in the liner notes for The Lost Tapes by Can. And he isn't afraid of distinguishing between successes and fiascos of the past - he says that some of the experiments on those decaying tapes wouldn't have been worth releasing anyway.

UA is an interesting concept, but if it fails as an actual audio artifact, I'm glad someone can tell me straight, so I don't have to waste money and time on something that I ultimately don't need.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:35 am 
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I don't get it Joe, why the concern? So, he doesn't like a compilation, so what? Is this guy some kind of problem?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:41 am 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
I don't get it Joe, why the concern? So, he doesn't like a compilation, so what? Is this guy some kind of problem?


I was wondering the same, Arkay. There seems to be an insinuation of "some kind of problem" with the whole "good to know".

Big Brother is watching - be cool! Yes Sir - we LOVE the compilations! We love them VERY much! :mrgreen:

(On a lighter note, looking forward to the Road Tapes, Joe - (pre?)-ordered mine and can't wait to hear it!)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:50 pm 
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vaultmeister wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong....

He also goes by Vivaldinization at the Steve Hoffman Forum
You can marvel at his expertise here:
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... 55&page=39

he also goes by "Raiders" at Zappateers

I'm surprised he's not here at this forum either..........or maybe he is but hasn't chosen to share his love in these parts.

He runs the Zappa Patio? I didn't know that. Thanks.........good to know


You are indeed correct, Joe!

David is one of a very rare breed... a level-headed, scientifically-minded audiophile.

He's been very vocal about how fantastic the new reissue series has turned out, as seen in his glowing Amazon reviews.

I hope no-one at the ZFT has taken his negative review of Understanding America as a slight against the whole reissue program.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:03 pm 
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dlokazip wrote:
jaypfunk wrote:
dlokazip wrote:
The post office seems to have lost my copy. They have it listed as "Delivered" on their website, but I still don't have it. Not happy. :evil:


go there with an UZI and kill them all


Yes, Master.


It is done. I have the package. Nobody saw me.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:12 am 
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vaultmeister wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong....
[...]
He runs the Zappa Patio? I didn't know that. Thanks.........good to know


PenguinInBondage wrote:
Big Brother is watching - be cool! Yes Sir - we LOVE the compilations! We love them VERY much! :mrgreen:

(On a lighter note, looking forward to the Road Tapes, Joe - (pre?)-ordered mine and can't wait to hear it!)

That's right, Penguin, Orwellian ZFT at its most blatant. Remember, the guy hears Patrick O'Hearn flawlessly placed in the mix on Hammersmith, moo-aaaah! I wish I had his ears just for one minute --
:)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:45 am 
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buffalo_voice wrote:
That's right, Penguin, Orwellian ZFT at its most blatant. Remember, the guy hears Patrick O'Hearn flawlessly placed in the mix on Hammersmith, moo-aaaah! I wish I had his ears just for one minute --
:)


Yup, absolutely "flawlessly".


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:05 am 
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vaultmeister wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong....

He also goes by Vivaldinization at the Steve Hoffman Forum
You can marvel at his expertise here:
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... 55&page=39

he also goes by "Raiders" at Zappateers

I'm surprised he's not here at this forum either..........or maybe he is but hasn't chosen to share his love in these parts.

He runs the Zappa Patio? I didn't know that. Thanks.........good to know


Jesus. Does staff at the ZFT have the time to stalk various internet reviewers???? I don't care about his "expertise", but he makes a personal and very well-articulated review on amazon, and so what? Take him off the x-mas card list, and get on with your life and doings. "Good to know"??? Another fruitless lawsuit in the brewing???

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:39 am 
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vaultmeister wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong....

He also goes by Vivaldinization at the Steve Hoffman Forum
You can marvel at his expertise here:
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... 55&page=39

he also goes by "Raiders" at Zappateers

I'm surprised he's not here at this forum either..........or maybe he is but hasn't chosen to share his love in these parts.

He runs the Zappa Patio? I didn't know that. Thanks.........good to know



He is, and he does, but he's often too busy with other things.

Look, I'm sorry that I don't like "Understanding America"; it isn't meant as an attack on the reissue programme as a whole, which I completely understanding that you and everyone else at the ZFT (not to mention Ludwig, Sax, and co) has invested a great deal of heart, soul, and effort into for the past year and change. I love the reissue program! Like others here, I was greatly anticipating the keystone release of UA; uncharacteristically, I caved and bought it on iTunes (which I never do). An audiophile friend of mine, meanwhile, has been curious about getting into Zappa for a while, and asked if this was the way to do it. The email I wrote him prompted the review, as did a list of some first impressions that I prepped for another forum.

I recognize that UA is an interesting compilation, and I'm not telling anybody else that they're wrong to like it, or that they shouldn't. The segues are cool, to a point, and it's certainly an idiosyncratic collection. But it is not one that I would recommend to newbies, and on an audiophile front, what you guys achieved with the rest of the 2012 remasters far exceeds the state of the catalog as represented by UA. Others clearly disagree with me, and I welcome those divergent viewpoints and comments on the title (needless to say, I'm working on getting an UA page up posthaste and those viewpoints will of course be included). And yes: UA was compiled by FZ, but I've never taken the position that FZ approval alone was enough to make something worthwhile. Heck, the party line for years was "don't blame Ryko; this is Zappa's fault!"

If my penance is to continue to write five-star reviews of the remastered titles, while enthusing about them on various fora--as I have been doing--I'm happy to suffer that as a welcome punishment. However, I'd prefer there not be any bad blood based on one critical review, although the tone of your message makes me think that it's too late for any corrective action on that front. Que sera.

In any case, don't mind me and as you were. I am but one in a sea of many, and those many are far more important than I.


Last edited by Xenu on Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:12 am 
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Joe's first move - a halfassed attempt at character assasination. A much less fruitful way than discussing the points raised in the review earnestly. "Listen... and pay attention to this man's music [insert: intelligent criticism]. Because if you don't, you might miss something important, and we wouldn't want that to happen to you. You need all the friends you can get." FZ, Amougies, 1969

Edit: A little adjustment in the Amougies quote (about CB) to get it more exact than I had from memory. The bit about "be quiet" is left out intentionally, because it's good that Joe participates here.

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Last edited by Dark Clothes on Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Xenu wrote:
Look, I'm sorry that I don't like "Understanding America"; it isn't meant as an attack on the reissue programme as a whole, which I completely understanding that you and everyone else at the ZFT (not to mention Ludwig, Sax, and co) has invested a great deal of heart, soul, and effort into for the past year and change.


There is no need for apologizing for your opinions. I am sure that Frank Zappa would have understood that part of the freedom of speech (oh, gasp, I know it is strictly forbidden here to contemplate what Frank Zappa would have thought......). But he was a great artist and personality in my view. The times he was mean, he was it in a cool way.

This Joe the Drummer was probably caught on a bad day.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Quote:
There is no need for apologizing for your opinions.


Agreed, but while I'm not apologizing for my opinions, I am apologizing for any hurt feelings they may have caused--an unintended outcome. In one's haste to be "helpful" (scare quotes depending on your perspective), it is easy to forget that behind each release can be years of work, investment, passion, and sweat. For example, I and others have described the non-remastered titles in the 2012 campaign as being "the same" as the old CDs, but as Mr. Travers has explained, that is not strictly the case; each title was re-transferred from the original digital masters, an agonizing process given the tendency of certain tape brands to decay with age. That we can blithely describe them as "the same" may describe the outcome, but it hardly does justice to the process.

I stand by my review, but I also acknowledge that 1) it is one among many, and 2) it may not do justice to the effort required to put it together. That's all.

And with that: back to cursing at my non-delivery of Road Tapes Vol. 1.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:01 am 
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HJ wrote:
This Joe the Drummer was probably caught on a bad day.

...having erased the Dance Me This master...
:) Flawlessly


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:47 am 
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Xenu wrote:
Quote:
There is no need for apologizing for your opinions.


Agreed, but while I'm not apologizing for my opinions, I am apologizing for any hurt feelings they may have caused--an unintended outcome. In one's haste to be "helpful" (scare quotes depending on your perspective), it is easy to forget that behind each release can be years of work, investment, passion, and sweat. For example, I and others have described the non-remastered titles in the 2012 campaign as being "the same" as the old CDs, but as Mr. Travers has explained, that is not strictly the case; each title was re-transferred from the original digital masters, an agonizing process given the tendency of certain tape brands to decay with age. That we can blithely describe them as "the same" may describe the outcome, but it hardly does justice to the process.

I stand by my review, but I also acknowledge that 1) it is one among many, and 2) it may not do justice to the effort required to put it together. That's all.

And with that: back to cursing at my non-delivery of Road Tapes Vol. 1.

What the Zappa Patio does is so much appreciated over here. Thank you for the good work! Keep doing it and don't let censorship creep in!

Thinman

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Thinman wrote:
Xenu wrote:
Quote:
There is no need for apologizing for your opinions.


Agreed, but while I'm not apologizing for my opinions, I am apologizing for any hurt feelings they may have caused--an unintended outcome. In one's haste to be "helpful" (scare quotes depending on your perspective), it is easy to forget that behind each release can be years of work, investment, passion, and sweat. For example, I and others have described the non-remastered titles in the 2012 campaign as being "the same" as the old CDs, but as Mr. Travers has explained, that is not strictly the case; each title was re-transferred from the original digital masters, an agonizing process given the tendency of certain tape brands to decay with age. That we can blithely describe them as "the same" may describe the outcome, but it hardly does justice to the process.

I stand by my review, but I also acknowledge that 1) it is one among many, and 2) it may not do justice to the effort required to put it together. That's all.

And with that: back to cursing at my non-delivery of Road Tapes Vol. 1.

What the Zappa Patio does is so much appreciated over here. Thank you for the good work! Keep doing it and don't let censorship creep in!

Thinman


Quoted for truth. The Patio is one great base of knowledge.

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 Post subject: re: zappa patio
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Thinman wrote:
What the Zappa Patio does is so much appreciated over here. Thank you for the good work! Keep doing it ...
Image 1

BillyDaMt wrote:
Quoted for truth. The Patio is one great base of knowledge.
also wisdom, beauty & the odd bit of information

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:45 pm 
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interesting post, for what it's worth i must say that i don't like it either, and don't see the point of it, so what if FZ put it together? it's not more then a days work for him, does not meen it should have been released, after the glowing sound of the re issues this is a bit of a let down in my opinion, why do we have to have stuff like this when there is so much other worthy stuff still not released, if they want to release something Frank did himself how about "Dance Me This" ?????

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:23 am 
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vaultmeister wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong....

He also goes by Vivaldinization at the Steve Hoffman Forum
You can marvel at his expertise here:
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... 55&page=39

he also goes by "Raiders" at Zappateers

I'm surprised he's not here at this forum either..........or maybe he is but hasn't chosen to share his love in these parts.

He runs the Zappa Patio? I didn't know that. Thanks.........good to know


You still haven't rectified the impression of this post, and I wonder if you stand by the passive/aggressive sentiment and innuendo that most people have found in it. Your intervention against an honest critic is disturbing, especially because you're working for the estate of a great spokesman for free speech. Some kind of apology/explanation would be much appreciated.

Read Xenu's posts carefully if you need an example of how to incorporate the opponent's perspective in your own understanding.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:29 am 
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mistrijah wrote:
[..] if they want to release something Frank did himself how about "Dance Me This" ?????

+1
Man, since this comes from a digital source, chances are good that it'll be a flawless ZFT release.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:12 am 
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BillyDaMt wrote:
The Patio is one great base of knowledge.
IMHO, the Patio is even invaluable and still alive thanks to you know who aka Xenu and nobody else.

I also feel immensely honoured each time Joe Travers and Gail Zappa spend time to discuss here with us, even if they do not always agree with some of us (they actually do not have to).
At least, they have contacts with the fanbase, and I think the good choices they made with this impressive 2012 release campaign prove that they do way more than just read us.

Now I really hope that Joe finally understood that it was just one person's impressions on just one release.
Arguing would just not give justice to anybody and would be at best a loss of time.

Now I confess that, it is still not in my plans to buy UA so far as I do not have enough clear and official information about it.
My confused and distorted French mind progressively evolved from the possibility of a compilation made by Universal to a selection made by FZ himself, but I really need to learn more before buying anything.
Many FZ fans in Europe do not even speak English, I do not imagine them randomly spending their money on a product they do not understand in the middle of an economic crisis.
I was really pissed off when I bought the Cheap Thrills series.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:15 pm 
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[/quote]IMHO, the Patio is even invaluable and still alive thanks to you know who aka Xenu and nobody else.[/quote]

The sentiment is greatly appreciated, but I should definitely point out that Bossk(r), his predecessors, and everyone here/on ZT/on AFFZ made the site possible.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Maroual wrote:
...

I also feel immensely honoured each time Joe Travers and Gail Zappa spend time to discuss here with us, even if they do not always agree with some of us (they actually do not have to)...


Hmmm... I used to feel that way before they started occasionally posting. I thought: "Wow, they are not only talking to us, they are probably reading what we have to say and therefore considering the fans". I no longer think this way.

Above, I asked Joe to clarify what he meant by ostracizing a forum member, because near as I could tell (still the case) he has problems with Xenu. Joe doesn't owe me an answer, but I still don't know why he attacked Xenu. I am at least holding on to the hope that Joe didn't simply do it just to attack because he felt like it. Xenu's posts have been polite as near as I can tell and I appreciate the Zappa Patio as an online resource. As vaultmeister, Joe has authority here and since he won't clarify his comments, imo, he has abused that authority.

Now that I have seen ZFT posts long enough to determine that they rarely offer useful information to the fans on this site, the FZologist, the consumer or really anyone or anything beyond the ZFT-as-an-institution, I would prefer it if GZ, Joe and DZ refrain from posting. The results of their posts have been AT BEST: Confusing. From there they go to insulting, to xenophobic, to paranoid, to the above which seems to ultimately be a request that we help the ZFT with a bit of witch-hunting. Drag.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Xenu wrote:
The sentiment is greatly appreciated, but I should definitely point out that Bossk(r), his predecessors, and everyone here/on ZT/on AFFZ made the site possible.
Of course :smurf:

The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
Joe doesn't owe me an answer, but I still don't know why he attacked Xenu.
Well, I assume that Joe may have just been working very hard on the tapes restoration process and then on the 2012 release campaign, so it is not very difficult to understand how and why his feeling could have been hurt reading a straightforward comment about one of his babies.
I also suspect this non-event is partly due to a few misunderstanding on every side, but we should not take our actions and reactions here and there too seriously, life is too short for pointless disputes.


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