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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:10 am 
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From what I've gathered by reading Starostin's reviews, he clearly prefers the rock side of Frank Zappa to his more challenging and demanding works. In his view, FZ is a brilliant guitarist, an unmatched parodist, a songwriter with occasional flashes of melodic brilliance, but a so-so avant-garde composer making mostly unlistenable noise. Couple this with his opinionated attitude, and it's not hard to see why it's best to take his views with a grain of salt. At least he has a definite edge over many writers a la Barry Miles: he doesn't praise the original Mothers beyond any of his subsequent bands. In fact, he thinks the best FZ album is "You Are What You Is" (1981). I figure that everything sounds good to him, so long as FZ turns up the geetar. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:14 am 
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And he loves Them Or Us. George doesn't do avant-guard in general, not just Zappa avant-guard.

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 Post subject: self-declared critics
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:16 am 
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George, or anyone else who wants to hear themselves talk (or read themselves on the internet), has every right to put forth his or her opinions.

Who really cares!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:19 am 
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I actually like George's reviews a lot. I think he's one of the few reviewers who takes the time to listen to music and ignores it's historical importance, and reviews it based on his idea of what makes good music. He doesn't support what he thinks everyone thinks is cool, but what he thinks is truly good. If he has the right to have his opinion, don't we have the right to think his opinion is wrong?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:32 am 
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Everybody's got rights, and I don't knock anyone who asserts their opinion, or who reads and agrees/disagrees with those opinions, but I just think the the whole world of 'criticism' is akin to the saying "Those who can't do, teach"

Rephrased, those who can't create, criticize.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:38 am 
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Or that rock criticism is "...people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read."

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:39 am 
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yep, that's the ticket - but anyone is free to participate in it, if they want to.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:44 am 
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SonicDeath10 wrote:
Or that rock criticism is "...people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read."


Oh, that's rock journalism in general, not merely rock criticism in particular. But I see the point...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:48 am 
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SonicDeath10 wrote:
I actually like George's reviews a lot. I think he's one of the few reviewers who takes the time to listen to music and ignores it's historical importance, and reviews it based on his idea of what makes good music. He doesn't support what he thinks everyone thinks is cool, but what he thinks is truly good. If he has the right to have his opinion, don't we have the right to think his opinion is wrong?


I think George is a fantastic writer, he does listen closely to what he reviews, and it's always a good read, so I'm not knocking him... but I just don't see eye to eye with him on his views of extended works or otherwise challenging material. It's almost as if he's saying, if it finishes playing and I can't remember how it "goes", then I don't like it. He likes "hooks".

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:20 pm 
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''Well, that's a matter of opinion, and I don't give a fuck about yours''

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:20 pm 
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I think "Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny" is an excellent closer for WOIIFTM. It really lends the whole album a creepy, sinister tone that would not have otherwise been there. It's kind of saying, "Well, all those other songs were all in good fun, but let's take a glimpse at where this world will end up if we let it."


couldn't have said it better myself feets...its also the perfect segue into lumpy gravy if you're listening to the albums in chronological order.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:15 am 
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FeralCats wrote:
I'm always really surprised that people don't like 'The Chrome Plated Megaphone". I think it's one of his best early tape pieces.

Agreed. I like listening to it. Maybe not every day, but I've always seen it as integral to the album.

The problem with that fuckwit George Starostin and his comments on Lumpy Gravy is that he's doing what a lot of scared people do when they don't understand something - shoot first and ask questions later.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:44 am 
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You know what I don't understand though? He admits that he doesn't know about modern classical music. In that case, why is he trying to critique it-- or worse, hold it to a standard he has that's nothing like what it's trying to achieve?

That's like yelling at Conan Doyle for not having a time travel plot.


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 Post subject: that reviewer
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:47 am 
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He's like a lot of people, he rejects the more difficult things in life, and complains that they are hard,

The WOIIFTM/Lumpy Gravy CD has a lot of people seeing the Chrome Megaphone as a segue piece, and, since Frank let it out that way, maybe he did too.

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 Post subject: Re: that reviewer
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:00 am 
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tweezers wrote:
The WOIIFTM/Lumpy Gravy CD has a lot of people seeing the Chrome Megaphone as a segue piece, and, since Frank let it out that way, maybe he did too.


A very poignant point...seems like a perfect lead in to the dark clothes bit under the piano...I used to love to turn people onto "Chrome Plated Megaphone..." just to get their reactions...it would actually frighten people...even to this day, for those who always have this impression of Zappa as the guy who wrote those "dirty little lyrics", you get a surprised reaction of "THAT IS ZAPPA???"

Raymond D

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:03 am 
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I always look for accessible material to introduce someone new to FZ, but on any project (LP/CD) Frank usually included something more ambitious, so even neophytes must get a little taste.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:02 am 
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George Starostin has stopped updating his site, and I think that's sad, I love to read his reviews. There's nothing snobbish and pretensious about George, and if I should disagree with him I still see his point. Mark Prindle's site is also great, he too really likes my particular fave FZ album "You Are What You Is". For years I thought I was alone on that opinion, but the web has proved different.

Most overrated album? For my money that's "We're Only In It For The Money". I simply do not like the way the album sounds. I haven't heard the original vinyl, so I don't know if it's about a lousy master tape or what. On my sound system I often wonder where the hell the bass player is, and the drummer seems to alternate between a cardboard box and a dull thump. Even if the music is good here and there, too much of it is performed and recorded in a too silly manner for my taste.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:27 pm 
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jaypfunk wrote:
Frank Zappa and the term overrated NEVER belong in the same sentence.


On the mark, mister!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:14 pm 
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tweezers wrote:
Everybody's got rights, and I don't knock anyone who asserts their opinion, or who reads and agrees/disagrees with those opinions, but I just think the the whole world of 'criticism' is akin to the saying "Those who can't do, teach"

Rephrased, those who can't create, criticize.

Actually, as a teacher, I find the former statement an insult. I finished my science degree with distinction, so I proved that I can do, but when it came to choosing a career, my main interest at the time was education. I find with teachers, it's just like anything else, you've either got it or you haven't. If you've got it, you still need to do some hard yards to establish yourself, but if you haven't, no matter how hard you work, you're going to be mediocre at best. I've seen many instances where comparing a good teacher with a bad one makes a huge difference to the outcomes.

Now, I know that a lot of people who end up as teachers, did so because they couldn't cut it otherwise, but not even all of those end up as bad teachers.

With music criticism, the problem is that it's all so subjective. I teach physics, and the law of conservation of momentum is not a matter of opinion and I can focus all my energy on making it easier to digest. With music criticism, for example, that George Starostin guy, if he doesn't personally like something he trashes it. That's not music criticism, which involves studying all available types of music and having some idea of what's behind each type of music and then trying to assess examples of each type in the light of what is generally established to be exemplary in each type. Also, a critic needs to be open minded enough to be able to identify merit in ground breaking music, but sadly that usually happens after the ground breaker is dead.

Now, it seems to me, that any critic who can do all that is a freak. I don't think any of us really rises above what we find enjoyable to listen to and in the process of finding out what that is some of us are more adventurous than others. Hell, without the adventure, how do you know what you might end up liking.

In my life there have been times when a good teacher was essential to me, but I've never had any use for music critics.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:41 pm 
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(7 years later... :wink: ) Back to the topic.

When I first heard WOIIFTM I thought it was very overrated, but as I discovered it i started liking it and now it's one of my favourites, even if it's not so musical, everything but overrated.
The most overrated Zappa album is Overnite Sensation, it has the worst Zappa song in my opinion (Dina Moe Humm), I never found Camarillo Brillo that good, or Montana. Fifty Fifty is one of zappa's poorest jazz fusion songs. But Zomby Woof rocks!!! And I'm The Slime was my first Zappa song. Great starter album, but far from his best.

Hot Rats comes at second place. It's like, "oh I only heard 3 zappa albums, hot rats overnite sensation and freak out. All other albums must be a piece of shit, but hot rats is a masterpiece". I love this album, but please, (sorry if you are offended) Willie The Pimp is the most overrated song ever(please, it's only a good solo). Son Of Mr Green Genes is great, as Gumbo Variations. And Peaches, (sorry guys) is also overrated. It's on the same level as Little Umbrellas and It Must Be a Camel (the underrated tracks of the album). Every other jazz record from Frank is on the same level as this, but I don't know why this is consider "the good one", and the others (Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo, Weasels, jazzy tracks on Uncle Meat, Chunga's Revenge) are seen as pieces of crap. Great album, though! Time to give it another listen.

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Last edited by wakawazooinregalia' on Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:55 pm 
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wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
The most overrated Zappa album is Overnite Sensation. Great starter album, but far from his best.

Your talking bollocks. IMO.
TT

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:44 pm 
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I can name you 10 better zappa albums (Apostrophe included)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:59 pm 
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Maybe FZ as (so called) serious composer is entirely overrated? Did he really get beyond copying his own heroes in modern music? Epigonism, perfectly executed, but nothing more? Is THE PERFECT STRANGER album great music simply cause a BIG NAME appears on the album cover?

BTW, i like this kind of timetravels into old threads with all these forum members who are dead now, lost their interest or simply think that only assholes are left in this place nowadays :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:08 pm 
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All the albums with flo and Eddie on them are overrated:-)

I used to not like Thing-Fish very much but have recently come to except that it's actually quite brilliant, never thought i would say that, But to say that about Flo and Eddie i would need to un-evolve lol (is there such a word)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:06 am 
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deuce wrote:
wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
The most overrated Zappa album is Overnite Sensation. Great starter album, but far from his best.

Your talking bollocks. IMO.
TT

wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
I can name you 10 better zappa albums (Apostrophe included)


I have to agree with WWiR here. Here's my take: Camarillo pretty good for this more mainstream rock kind of idiom, "I'm the Slime" good, but SNL Live version is the definitive version of it, "Dirty Love" is where the album begins to lose me, but even that song has a definitive live version: that with Bianca Odin on lead vocals. "Fifty Fifty" good, at least as far as solos go and it's a good piece as a live instrumental. "Zomby Woof", the only song that's best on O-NS, I loathe the 80s arrangements of it. "Dinah Moe Humm" doesn't have any good version of it at all, worst song indeed. "Montana" improved quite a bit in terms of vocals when Napoleon was hired and is also a proof that FZ really overproduced the album, as the instrumentation is a bit too..."processed" compared to how the Feb-Sep '73 band played the song live.

Thank god "Road Tapes 2" is finally out featuring the MOI with JLP as they truly were, not how FZ only used the band as a backdrop for his more commercialised songs designed to appeal to the contemporary adolescent rock audience.

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