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FZ was here.

21st Dec 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Thanks, Frank! Happy Birthday!

Check out the new for 2010 Aaafnraaaa birthday bundle on iTunes… it features new covers from Dweezil & Ahmet Zappa, as well as a hip-hop “Willie the Pimp” (with DMC, Talib Kweli & others) and a cover of “Your Mouth” by Macy Gray.  More, too… I just haven’t had a chance to download & listen to it yet (soon, though).

~Dan – np: Kevin MooreShine

Zappa Plays Zappa’s Apostrophe

5th Nov 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

Dweezil Zappa is taking his Zappa Plays Zappa tour de Frank out again… this time, they’re going to tackle Apostrophe in its entirety.  This one of my favorite records by Frank Zappa… featuring tale of Nanook wandering through the tundra, urged “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.”  Other absolute faves are “St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast,” “Cozmic Debris,” and the groove-tastic instrumental title track jam.

No PacNW dates yet… I’m hoping a few are added as things get rolling along…

Nov 06, ’10     London, UK     London Roundhouse
Nov 07, ’10     Belgium, BE     Leuven Het Depot
Nov 08, ’10     Paris, FR     Olympia
Nov 09, ’10     Hengelo, NL     Hengelo Metropool
Nov 11, ’10     Oslo, NO     Sentrum Scene
Nov 12, ’10     Stockholm,SE     Filadelpia Church
Nov 13, ’10     Gothenburg,SE     The Concert House
Nov 14, ’10     Malmo, SE     The Concert House
Dec 1, ’10     San Francisco, CA     Warfield
Dec 2, ’10     Reno, NV     The Knitting Factory
Dec 3, ’10     Hollywood, CA     The Music Box
Dec 4, ’10     Hollywood, CA     The Music Box
Dec 5, ’10     San Diego, CA     House of Blues
Dec 6, ’10     Phoenix, AZ     Comercia Theatre
Dec 8, ’10     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
Dec 9, ’10     Indianapolis, IN     The Vogue
Dec 10, ’10     Milwaukee, WI     Turner Hall
Dec 11, ’10     Chicago, IL     Congress Theater
Dec 13, ’10     Quebec City, QC     Grand Theatre
Dec 14, ’10     Montreal, QC     Metropolis
Dec 15, ’10     Toronto, ON     Queen E Theatre
Dec 16, ’10     Albany, NY     The Egg
Dec 17, ’10     New York, NY     Beacon Theatre
Dec 18, ’10     Philadelphia, PA     Keswick
Dec 19, ’10     Boston, MA     House Of Blues

Find out more info at:
http://www.zappaplayszappa.com/tourdates.html

In related Frank Zappa news, the Zappa Family Trust is releasing another legendary Halloween show from the Vault in memory of FZ’s 70th birthday.  It’s the 1978 Hammersmith Odeon show (3 CDs), and it features some pretty cute FZ cover art…

~Dan – np: dredgThe Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

REVIEW: Zappa Plays Zappa @ McDonald (Eugene, OR – 6/12/10)

13th Jun 10 (Sun) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Five years running, Dweezil Zappa and his precision-cut Zappa Plays Zappa band have toured the world bringing us a different slice of Frank’s music to our ears. Past tours have featured players from Frank’s own classic ’70s and ’80s band arsenals: Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Ray White and more. There are no “old guard” members present in the 2010 incarnation — but regardless of which musicians surround Dweezil’s guitar mastery, the fact remains that the genius, adventurous spirit birthed in Frank’s songs is still alive.

The ZPZ band this time around is Dweezil Zappa: Guitar; Scheila Gonzalez: Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards & Vocals; Pete Griffin: Bass; Billy Hulting: Marimba, Mallets & Percussion (and lead vocals for a bit); Jamie Kime: Guitar; Joe Travers: Drums & Vocals; Ben Thomas on lead vocals; and introducing Chris Norton on Keyboards & Vocals.

With no opener, the band kicked into their long set a little after 9pm… they played a super tight, super long set.  Having seen the ZBZ band with Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ray White in the past, I was skeptical of this “new guy” Ben Thomas.  He joined the ZPZ band after Ray White left the tour last year.  After the first vocal belt, there was no more skepticism… Ben can sing (and plays a mean trumpet, harmonica and cow bell, too).  He handled the lows and highs, and carried the tunes in a way that would have made Frank proud.

Throughout the set, each band member got their time to shine… “Echidna’s Arf” was probably the tightest song the band played… lightning fast, and spot on.  Dweezil had killer solos on “Florentine Pogen” and “Pick Me, I’m Clean.”  “Big Swifty” & “Mystery Roach” showed off great solos from Billy on marimba, Scheila on sax, and Jaime on guitar.  Joe’s drum solo at the end of “Latex Solar Beef” could have ended the show, but (lucky for us) they stayed out and finished the main set with “Apostrophe” that featured Pete’s fuzzy, dirty bass groove and solo.

Here’s what they played:

Setlist: about 2 & 1/2 hours

  • Purple Lagoon
  • Stinkfoot
  • Daddy Daddy Daddy
  • What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?
  • Florentine Pogen
  • Big Swifty
  • Mystery Roach
  • Advance Romance
  • The Blue Light
  • Pick Me, I’m Clean
  • Blessed Relief
  • Echidna’s Arf
  • Keep It Greasey
  • Easy Meat
  • The Little House I Used To Live In
  • Latex Solar Beef (with hints of Willie the Pimp)
  • Apostrophe
  • Encore: Lonely Little Girl
  • City of Tiny Lites
  • Cosmik Debris
  • I’m the Slime

As in the past, amazing musicians this time out. Some of the highlights were the aforementioned tight “Echidna’s Arf,” “Florentine Pogen,” and the more gentle “Blessed Relief.”  The only song I was craving that wasn’t played was “Peaches En Regalia,” but it was nice to hear some older, rarer Frank songs being trotted out in lieu of the “fan fave” Peaches.  As far as sound quality, near the front it was OK, but I heard from people in the middle and back that it was a bit muddy.  Regardless of that downside, the evening showed off a super tight band who gave their all!  ZPZ band, Eugene loves you!  Come back soon!

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Jóhann Jóhannsson& In the Endless Pause There Came Sound of Bees

DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Higher Resolution (18 pics)

Limited to 1200 pixels wide or tall (32 pics)

Tour Dates

  • May 30, ’10 Chilicothe, IL Summer Camp Music Festival
  • Jun 3, ’10 Mexico City, MX Teatro de la Ciudad
  • Jun 5, ’10 Ozark, AR Wakarusa Festival
  • Jun 6, ’10 Kansas City, MO Crossroads
  • Jun 7, ’10 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
  • Jun 8, ’10 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
  • Jun 10, ’10 Ventura, CA Ventura Theater
  • Jun 11, ’10 Santa Rosa, CA Harmony Festival
  • Jun 12, ’10 Eugene, OR McDonald Theater
  • Jun 13, ’10 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
  • Jun 14, ’10 Seattle, WA Moore Theater
  • Jun 15, ’10 Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theater
  • Jun 17, ’10 Richmond, VA Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
  • Jun 18, ’10 Pittsburgh, PA Palace Theatre
  • Jun 19, ’10 Tarrytown, NY Music Hall
  • Jun 24, ’10 Woodstock, NY Bearsville Theater
  • Jun 25, ’10 Providence, RI Lupo’s
  • Jun 26, ’10 Westbury, NY Westbury Music Theater
  • Jun 27, ’10 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
  • Jun 28, ’10 Verona, NY Turning Stone Resort and Casino
  • Jun 29, ’10 Niagara Falls, NY The Rapids Theatre
  • Jul 1, ’10 Bridgeport, CT The Klein
  • Jul 2, ’10 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
  • Jul 3, ’10 Great Barington, MA The Mahaiwe
  • Jul 4, ’10 Oxford, ME Nateva Festival
  • Jul 5, ’10 Moncton, NS Capitol Theater
  • Jul 6, ’10 Halifax, NS Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
  • Jul 9, ’10 Amsterdam, NL Melkweg
  • Jul 10, ’10 TBA, TBA Soon
  • Jul 11, ’10 Weert, NL Bospop Restival
  • Jul 12, ’10 Antwerp, BE Openluchttheater
  • Jul 14, ’10 Tel Aviv, IL Hangar 11
  • Jul 19, ’10 Nice, FR Nice Jazz Festival
  • Jul 21, ’10 Cambridge, UK Cambridge Corn Exchange
  • Jul 22, ’10 Brighton, UK Brighton Centre
  • Jul 23, ’10 Wolverhampton, UK Wolverhampton Civic Hall
  • Jul 24, ’10 London, UK London Classic Rock Festival
  • Jul 25, ’10 Liverpool, UK Liverpool Summer Pops Festival
  • Jul 26, ’10 Glasgow, UK Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
  • Jul 27, ’10 Gateshead, UK Gateshead The Sage

Artists of the Decade – 2000s (#21 to 25)

1st Jan 10 (Fri) 5 comments

So, I can’t / won’t do a Top XX Albums of the Decade… it’s probably more “can’t” than “won’t.” There are so many great albums from the past 10 years… but, what I can do is recount the artists that have been my chief form of musical pleasure for the past 10 years.

But first…

Artist of the Decade – Special Mention

Dweezil Zappa only had a couple albums in the 2000s, but he gets a special call out for carrying on Frank Zappa‘s music since 2006. Dweezil & Co have toured for the past three and a half plus years, playing Frank’s music in a new setting each year. I hope this continues. It’s a fantastic tour, every time I’ve seen it.

~*~*~*~*~

Artists of the Decade – Honorable Mentions

Tori Amos ~ In the 1990s, she ruled. I still love what she does, and she’s very important in the foundation of my musical interests. The fact that she’s still active with albums and touring all throughout the decade gets her an honorable mention.

Her best albums of the decade…

Celldweller ~ He’s only released one regular album in the entire decade… had he done more, he’d probably make the proper 25 list. Despite the one album, he has released a mostly instrumental soundtrack, a handful of internet-only singles and Eps and a skad of remix CDs and EPs. He’s been far from lazy. I look forward to the 2nd full length Celldweller release sometime in the 2010s.

His most excellent debut and instrumental “score” release…

Iron & Wine ~ I got into Iron & Wine mid-decade, but immediately fell in love with Sam’s flourishing vocals and interesting guitar work. He has a beautiful whispy voice, a penchant for storytelling, and a great eye for videos (prior to music, he taught film down in Florida, and the videos he’s produced for his band and other bands have been fantastic).

My favorite release of his this decade…

King’s X (and related solo & side projects) ~ Between the regular band albums, all three solo members’ albums, the side projects, the live albums, and the indie demo issues – there are probably close 30 releases in the 2000s. Prolificity abounds. This is one band that keeps on ticking, and for that, I am grateful.

A few gems from this decade…

Derek Webb ~ Creative and exploratory since leaving his first band, Caedmon’s Call, Derek continues to push the boundaries of what a singer-songwriter is supposed to do. His latest, Stockholm Syndrome, is a fantastic exit from the 2000s and entrance into the 2010s. Rumor is that he’s working on one (or multiple) Caedmon’s Call-related releases with his old band, too… should be interesting.

My faves from this decade…

~*~*~*~*~

Artists of the Decade

25 ~ Ben Folds (solo)

The Five were no longer at the turn of the decade / century / millennium, which left the name sake on his own. Ben Folds was one of the first to ditch the full length and rapidly release several EPs all in one year. He saw the writing on the wall for the eventual, slow death of the CD format… and his solo albums (all in the 2000s) were generally fantastic – yeah, they are always a few tunes on each one that are doozies. He ended the decade with a cute (and enjoyable) acappella tribute album to himself from various college singing clubs. I was skeptical, but once I got it, I was very pleased with the covers.

~*~*~

24 ~ Peter Mulvey

Peter Mulvey is one of my favorite singer-songwriters around. He’s a hard worker, touring all around from Alaska, the entire U.S. (including Alaska) and Europe.  He’s put out more albums to count on two hands in the past 15 years.  He started off the decade with the stunning The Trouble with Poets and ended the decade with the fantastic Letters from a Flying Machine.  He’s a truly wonderful storyteller, and if he comes near your town… GO!

~*~*~

23 ~ Opeth

From singer-songwriter to Swedish death metal… roar!  Opeth came along with the “getting into prog band Porcupine Tree” period of the decade for me (check in later for Porcupine Tree’s position).  The string of three Opeth albums produced by PT’s Steven Wilson rank among the BEST metal out there… ranging from melodic rock to sweeping progressive movements to the in your face “cookie monster” vocals.  The first in the series, Blackwater Park, may be my favorite metal album of all-time (sorry, Dave Mustaine, you’ve been trumped).

~*~*~

22 ~ dredg

I showed up early to a Coheed & Cambria show and was blown away by the opener… once I dug into dredg’s music, I really fell in love.  They run a tight ship of well-crafted, melodic neo-progressive rock music.  Gavin’s vocals and lyrics are a major selling point, too.  Their latest album (The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion) is my favorite album of 2009 – hands down.

~*~*~

21 ~ Holy Fuck

Starting out as a more experimental “live electronic” noise-jazz band and evolving into a more groove-oriented electronic jam band, Holy Fuck shot up on my hot list quickly.  Their 2nd full length is superb, and their live show is not to be missed.  Raw energy, dual keyboards, groovy rhythm section, crazy film-reel instrumentation, and uncanny dance-ability.  They’ve also embraced the vinyl comeback… score!

~*~*~

The rest of the decade recap to follow in the next few days… more musical variety awaits…

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

Oh, and for those who say that the decade ends at the end of 2010… meh. I’m starting with 0 and ending with 9 (like a LOT of people). Rationale: the 80s, the 90s… you don’t say the 80s went from 1/1/1981 to 12/31/1990 or the 90s from 1/1/1991 to 12/31/2000.

Zappa Plays Zappa @ McDonald Theatre (canceled)

28th Nov 09 (Sat) Leave a comment

So, I just got a call from TicketsWest… the Zappa Plays Zappa show for tonight has been “canceled due to inclement weather in California“… boo… no word on a reschedule.  Tickets will be refunded at the place of purchase.

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: The Swell SeasonStrict Joy

Current Tour Dates

  • Nov 19, ’09 – Austin, TX – Stubbs Amphitheater
  • Nov 20, ’09 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
  • Nov 21, ’09 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
  • Nov 23, ’09 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
  • Nov 24, ’09 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up
  • Nov 25, ’09 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
  • Nov 27, ’09 – Lake Tahoe, NV – Montbleu Resort
  • Nov 28, ’09 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theatre canceled
  • Nov 29, ’09 – Spokane, WA – Bing Crosby Theater
  • Nov 30, ’09 – Bend, OR – Tower Theater
  • Dec 01, ’09 – Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theater
  • Dec 02, ’09 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theater
  • Jan 3-7, ’10 – Carribbean Ocean – Jam Cruise 2010
  • Jan 8, ’10 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live
  • Jan 9, ’10 – Tampa, FL – The Ritz Ybor
  • Jan 11, ’10 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
  • Jan 12, ’10 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
  • Jan 13, ’10 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
  • Jan 14, ’10 – Richmond, VA – The Hat Factory
  • Jan 15, ’10 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
  • Jan 16, ’10 – Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theatre

REVIEW: Zappa Plays Zappa @ the Hawthorne Theater (Portland, OR – – 1/2/09)

3rd Jan 09 (Sat) 2 comments

Boo… no concert photos this time around… they wouldn’t allow cameras into the venue at all. :(

(Dweezil = rock)

This was my 3rd time seeing the Zappa Plays Zappa tour (aka Tour de Frank)… each one being different (set lists, lineup, promotions).  This time was at Portland’s Hawthorne Theater as the “You Can’t Fit On Stage Anymore” variation of the tour.  The venue had a small capacity (~300), you get a download code at the venue to get the entire recorded show after they mix it down (about a month?), you have a chance to win a free Hagstrom guitar (at each show), and you get to help choose the set list for the night.  Of the 68 available tunes in the ZPZ band’s repertoire, here were my selections: Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, Inca Roads, Montana, Peaches En Regalia, and Sofa. They played two of my choices. I was really hoping for “Montana,” though.  Eh, choosers shouldn’t be beggars.

Dweezil came out first and talked about the download code and how it wouldn’t quite be ready within 8 days, but that it’d be worth the wait.  I’m sure it will, as it’s gonna be 3 CDs of professionally recorded audio for “free.”  Free in that it’s part of the pricey ticket.  But, it’s not like I have to pay for it again, eh? :)

The band was very similar (if not the same) as when I saw the 2007 tour at Moonlite Gardens in Cincinnati, OH.  Different set list, of course.  They had a few technical difficulties during the show, but veryveryvery minor, and they rolled with the punches very well.  Outside of Ray White, they were all pretty much playing for the entire show, and even Ray only had a few breaks when he wasn’t needed to sing.

The ZPZ Band this time around is:

  • Dweezil Zappa: Guitar
  • Aaron Arntz: Keyboards
  • Scheila Gonzalez: Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards & Vocals
  • Pete Griffin: Bass
  • Billy Hulting: Marimba, Mallets & Percussion
  • Jamie Kime: Guitar
  • Joe Travers: Drums & Vocals
  • SPECIAL GUESTRay White: Guitar & Vocals

(Ray White is the pimp)

Setlist: (any help in filling in the blanks is appreciated)

  • Peaches En Regalia (a fave of the set)
  • City of Tiny Lights
  • Inca Roads (a fave of the set)
  • I’m Not Satisfied
  • Pygmy Twylyte
  • Idiot Bastard Son
  • Cheepnis (partial) then back to Inca Roads (??)
  • Hagstrom Guitar Giveaway Jam (I didn’t win… boo…)
  • Chunga’s Revenge with solos
  • Billy the Mountain (28 minutes) (a fave of the set)
  • Andy
  • Dirty Love (a fave of the set)
  • Uncle Remus
  • Willie the Pimp (a fave of the set)
  • Wind Up Workin’ in a Gas Station
  • San Ber’dino
  • Yo Mama
  • Black Napkins
  • Encore: ____________ (missing name, more guitar solos)
  • Muffin Man (a fave of the set)

All in all… fantastic show… 2 hours and 40+ minutes of amazing musicianship… the only things to make it better?  My own pictures perhaps… oh, and winning the guitar would have been nice. :)

I hope they come around again in the fall… I’ve seen all three of the ZPZ tours.  And this was technically the “2008” tour, even though it was in 2009 (obviously).  Seeing as I wasn’t into Frank’s music before he died, this is the next best damn thing.  Thanks, Dweezil and Co.!

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Ryan AdcockFinished -LP-

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