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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:43 pm 
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DC Boogie wrote:
Apart from the Kafka connection, TCPMOD is arguably Zappa's finest moment as a musique concrete composer. Riveting.


I agree. I think it's one of Frank's masterpieces
(whether it was designed to freak out LSD trippers or not)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:27 pm 
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ursinator wrote:
The Penal colony is one of Kafkas strongest works. If u don't get into this, there's not much hope for u.
You're generally a pretty reasonable guy, so what do you mean by that?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:09 pm 
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I already answered but my posting disappeared meanwhile, don't know why.
For my taste the penal colony is one of Kafkas best writings. If u don't like this, than u probably also won't like the rest of his work. That's all i wanted 2 say. (Of course otherwise it could help to read something different from FK and discover those subjects that frequently appear in his works.)

I always wondered if the ending of the megaphone piece was meant as parody on the end of a day in the life. The Beatles track that closes Sgt. Pepper ends with a long lasting beautiful pianochord. Megaphone ends with a ugly prepared-piano-type pianosound (is that piano? I think so), as if it wanted to mock the pathetic ending of Sgt. Pepper. Was this intended that way or is this just my personal tendency to over-interpretation?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:12 am 
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ursinator wrote:
I already answered but my posting disappeared meanwhile, don't know why.
For my taste the penal colony is one of Kafkas best writings. If u don't like this, than u probably also won't like the rest of his work. That's all i wanted 2 say. (Of course otherwise it could help to read something different from FK and discover those subjects that frequently appear in his works.)

I always wondered if the ending of the megaphone piece was meant as parody on the end of a day in the life. The Beatles track that closes Sgt. Pepper ends with a long lasting beautiful pianochord. Megaphone ends with a ugly prepared-piano-type pianosound (is that piano? I think so), as if it wanted to mock the pathetic ending of Sgt. Pepper. Was this intended that way or is this just my personal tendency to over-interpretation?


It is quite possible. Frank gently mocked the pomposity of Sgt. Pepper. He did reach out to the Beatles and Paul got back to him that he was fine with the cover parody, etc. Paul has claimed to be a fan of FO and that Pepper was inspired by the thematic unity of FO.

I have always believed that good parody is the sincerest form of flattery. Frank was more opposed to the regimentation of the hippie ethos than he was to Pepper, IMHO.

The Beatles moved away pretty quickly from the excesses of that LP. They did start out as a skiffle band with an affection for the fifties rock and roll. And for Larry Wlliams. I always wondered if Frank really liked Larry Williams, FZ was a big R&B collector (ergo his fascination with Johnny Guitar Watson and Hank Ballard).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:44 am 
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tweezers wrote:
It is quite possible. Frank gently mocked the pomposity of Sgt. Pepper. He did reach out to the Beatles and Paul got back to him that he was fine with the cover parody, etc. Paul has claimed to be a fan of FO and that Pepper was inspired by the thematic unity of FO.

I have always believed that good parody is the sincerest form of flattery. Frank was more opposed to the regimentation of the hippie ethos than he was to Pepper, IMHO.


I think the basic reason for the parody was that the Beatles were celebrated as inventors of the concept album. Even today Sgt. Peppers is listed as first ever concept album in rock and roll encyclopedias (and the white album as first double LP). FZ probably thought that Paul could have said it a little bit louder that FO was their main inspiration for the album. I just wondered about that little detail: both albums end with a piano chord that is given the full time to vanish. Cannot believe that this was accidental.
Incidentally FZ often said that he wasn't very fond of the Beatles' music. I like it anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:47 am 
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tweezers wrote:
It is quite possible. Frank gently mocked the pomposity of Sgt. Pepper. He did reach out to the Beatles and Paul got back to him that he was fine with the cover parody, etc. Paul has claimed to be a fan of FO and that Pepper was inspired by the thematic unity of FO.

I have always believed that good parody is the sincerest form of flattery. Frank was more opposed to the regimentation of the hippie ethos than he was to Pepper, IMHO.


I think the basic reason for the parody was that the Beatles were celebrated as inventors of the concept album. Even today Sgt. Peppers is listed as first ever concept album in rock and roll encyclopedias (and the white album as first double LP). FZ probably thought that Paul could have said it a little bit louder that FO was their main inspiration for the album. I just wondered about that little detail: both albums end with a piano chord that is given the full time to vanish. Cannot believe that this was accidental.
Incidentally FZ often said that he wasn't very fond of the Beatles' music. I like it anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:49 am 
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You must mean it!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:45 pm 
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As I said before, which got lunched, read my initial post again - which is possibly unclear. But, In The Penal Colony is a short story - very short - in book form you can only buy it as part of a collection. The book I bought was a massive collection of Kafka's writing. I read In The Penal Colony first because that was the story I was seeking for the Chrome Plated Megaphone connection. It wasn't too bad a story. After that I took some time over reading the other stories in the book. He had interesting ideas, but in general, I found that once I understood the point in a particular story it became very tedious to continue.

I realise that literature is not just about the plot, in large part it's about the prose. Patrick White for example, whose stories are not always that interesting but the way in which he wrote is captivating. It could be that Kafka's magic was lost in the translation, it could be that there was no magic in the first place. I get that he was a catalyst in reviving modern German literature, but beyond his ideas I found his preoccupation with portraying in detail some of the most boring types of people in existence lacking in entertainment value.

Patrick Suskind on the other hand, is a very captivating writer and I've read his stuff in translation. Perfume was particularly unputdownable. Unlike Kafka, who I believe was unable to rise above his own self doubt, Suskind is able to engage you in the story and transport you without thinking he might be indulging his own personality or mental instability. A typical comment about Kafka: "The self-destructive mania, the need to torment and humiliate himself, the sense of personal emptiness and helplessness".

Mind you, if someone's personality is interesting, it can be quite entertaining if they indulge themselves.

Virginia Woolf is another author who comes to mind. If you have any tendency towards depression and are genuine about rising above it, I would steer clear of her writing if I were you. She succeeded in direct suicide whereas Kafka was only a chump and in the end only managed to self destruct.

So, no need to assume that my opinion is unconsidered.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:09 pm 
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Very interesting that these writings can have deep impact on some people and leave others more or less cold. Don't think that the translation can ruine very much, cause Kafka didn't use a very complicated or extravagant speech in any way (contrary to Joyce for example).
It is indeed possible that this kind of writing (or respectiveley the person who wrote it) is attractive in the first way to people who are similar in terms of emotional instability. It is very remarkable how much figures in the history of art, music, writing or whatsoever were exactly this kind of suicidal person (or at least chumps, suicide or not so suicide). As if their output were an extra kind of genre. Some like it, others don't. Even the fact that people waste their time by out- and/or inputting fictional stories, paintings or music might be absoluteley incomprehensible for a truly sane mind.
As u surely found out, Kafkas stories exceed the pure plot and work in a more symbolic and metaphorical way.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:39 am 
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ursinator wrote:
Even today Sgt. Peppers is listed as first ever concept album in rock and roll encyclopedias (and the white album as first double LP).


Quite ironically, because there is hardly any "concept" in Sgt. Pepper.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:08 pm 
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The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny may have been the inspiration for Lennon's Revolution 9.
Or one inspiration.
We're Only In It for The Money was released early in '68, and by the time Lennon wrote Revolution 9 (a couple months later, in response to the French Spring), he had had time to hear it-- by that time Lennon was keeping an eye on Zappa's music, he wasn't going to write I Want To Hold Your Hand anymore.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:04 pm 
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IMO The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny fits in well with the rest of the album. If I didn't like the track, why would I want to listen to the intro to 'Who Needs the Peace Corps?' ? In fact, why listen to the album at all if The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny offends the listener?-- in that case the Best Of the Cowsills might be just the thing for a more conventional listener. Or Justin Bieber's Greatest Hits; all five of 'em.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:08 pm 
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BTW, the title of Nasal Retentive Calliope Music is referring to Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite-
that's no-brainer.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:21 pm 
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This piece is about the genital area on a child's doll.

The title itself is named after the small, circular wind-hole found in place of genitalia on the common toy doll. It decided whether your doll was a boy or girl and thus, according to Zappa, was the "Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny". Near the end of a never released 1985 Baltimore interview Zappa explains the same story and then adds the message of the track: "What do you think that does to the imagination of a kid when he finally finds out that on a human being that little chrome doo-dah ain't there? You know, it's a big breakthrough that they are putting the little plastic dorks on some of them now. That is "The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny": What you don't know can hurt you.""


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:39 pm 
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Mystery solved.

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