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 Post subject: Captain Beefheart
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 6:42 am 
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I have just got into Captain Beefheart and i hate his guts!! :evil:

I picked up Trout Mask Replica from the local recordshop and i just hate it!

The most horrible shit i ever have heard!! i just bought it because Frank Zappas name was on the cover. :roll: Anyway... Here is my question:

Does he have any Albums that is more accesible for beginners??? somthing with more "Commersial potensial" ? :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 7:34 am 
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I recommend 'The Best of the Virgin and Liberty Years,' it's much more accessible and features no material from 'Trout Mask Replica' or 'Lick My Decals Off, Baby.' Though I do recommend repeated listenings of Trout Mask, it really does grow on you and once you can see past the superficial random noises you will begin to notice some really complex composition and orchestration at work, it really is one of Beefheart's best albums if you give it a chance. I'm glad you didn't dismiss CB based on one listening!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 7:40 am 
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The first time I heard Trout Mask, I thought it was terrible also.
I would put it on just to laugh at it with my friends...
Then I started noticing little melodies, and interesting lyrics...

It's great !


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:47 am 
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Clear Spot and Spotlight Kid are (personally) both great starters for Beefheart, bits of musical and melody, bits of the wierd. Great great albums and a fine start for anyone willing to try.

also, "The Dust Blows Forward" is one of the only "hits" collections in my whole library, just because it does track his career fairly chronologically and has a lot of amazing songs.

and, if you're going in for the zappa connection, why not try "Bongo Fury" first and see how that goes?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:53 am 
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Bongo Fury is an excellent suggestion, it features a few of Beefheart's free-verse poems to music, great album, plus there's Muffin Man, you can't really go wrong with that one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 9:30 am 
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Apart from the fact they went to High School together, Zappa had reasons for producing Beefheart. He produced Alice Cooper, the GTOs and Wildman Fischer too. He clearly wasn't looking for FZ replicants. Next time you try "Trout Mask Replica" ask yourself "What did Zappa see in this?" You might find something to like.

Beefheart did some amazing things - merging country blues, free jazz and surrealist poetry for example - but not much of it is easy to listen to. Van Vliet is on record calling Zappa's stuff "appeasement" music - for its "traditional" tempos and "intelligible" lyrics I suppose. Zappa claimed his goal was to write music that made people run from the room. For most people Beefheart's stuff meets that standard.

Foyer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 10:03 am 
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Clear Spot is one of my favorites, and since you can get it as a twofer with Spotlight Kid, it's probably the best place to go if you're not into Trout Mask. Clear Spot has some very innovative guitar work by Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo), combining that trademark quirky Beefheart essence with some bona fide hard blues-rock. It's even got 3 great R&B ballads on it - "Too Much Time", "My Head is My Only House Unless it Rains", and "Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles". Just listen to those to hear what a pretty, heartfelt vocal Don could do when he felt like it. But then you still have loud, fast, hardcore stompers like "Long Neck Bottles" and "Big Eyed Beans From Venus" (one of the best songs in Beefheart's entire catalog). On top of it all (and this may turn some people off), it was produced by Ted Templeman, a world class mainstream producer who did (I think) all the Little Feat and even Van Halen albums - so the album's got a nice loud, clear sound too.

Even though Trout Mask is my favorite, I don't fault you for not liking it. I think a lot of people (though probably nobody in this forum) just like it because it's "cool" to like it. If it doesn't speak to you, then that's cool. I would give it some time to grow on you though. I got it at an early age and "wanted" to like it, so I gave it a lot of play until it sunk in.

In essence, its main appeal is just how unique and personal it is. Nobody else could have or would have made music under those circumstances (for more on the circumstances, see John French's liner notes in the Grow Fins box set - it's a hell of a story), and once you begin to understand the unique way HOW it was made, all the details fall into place and you realize what an interesting piece of music it is.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 10:46 am 
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Clear Spot and Spotlight Kid are great places to start as is Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 11:31 am 
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feetlightup wrote:
Even though Trout Mask is my favorite, I don't fault you for not liking it. I think a lot of people (though probably nobody in this forum) just like it because it's "cool" to like it. If it doesn't speak to you, then that's cool. I would give it some time to grow on you though. I got it at an early age and "wanted" to like it, so I gave it a lot of play until it sunk in.


I was fine listening to it at first, once I had discovered Beefheart I decided to ask my Mum to find the weirdest albums he had made, and she did, and I liked them. Wonderful artist, wonderful albums, avoid 'Bluejeans and Moonbeams,' I'm begging you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 11:57 am 
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Thanks! I will by Spotlight Kid tomorow :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:09 pm 
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it's a hard listen at first, but try to be open minded about it and you might just like it.

''I took [Trout Mask Replica] home and put it on. It was the worst dreck I’d ever heard in my life. I thought, ‘They’re not even trying! They’re just playing randomly.’ Then I thought, ‘Well, Frank Zappa produced it, maybe I better give it another play.’ So I played it again and I thought, ‘It sounds horrible, but they mean it to sound this way.’ About the third or fourth time it started to grow on me. The fifth or sixth time I loved it. The seventh or eighth time I thought it was the greatest album ever made and I still do."
- Matt Groening.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:12 pm 
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don't think anyone mentioned Safe As Milk yet? great place to start with the Captain. (he started there too)

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 Post subject: Re: Captain Beefheart
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:22 pm 
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massagio wrote:
I have just got into Captain Beefheart and i hate his guts!! :evil:

I picked up Trout Mask Replica from the local recordshop and i just hate it!

The most horrible shit i ever have heard!! i just bought it because Frank Zappas name was on the cover. :roll: Anyway... Here is my question:

Does he have any Albums that is more accesible for beginners??? somthing with more "Commersial potensial" ? :mrgreen:


Why don't you like Trout Mask Replica?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:34 pm 
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king: Why dont you like trout mask replica?

Well........... The music sounded like just plain noise to me. It sounds like a bunch of lunatics going bananas in a recording studio! Noise and weird sounds. Garbage. Thats all. Maybe ill love it some day just like Matt Groening?! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:42 pm 
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massagio wrote:
king: Why dont you like trout mask replica?

Well........... The music sounded like just plain noise to me. It sounds like a bunch of lunatics going bananas in a recording studio! Noise and weird sounds. Garbage. Thats all. Maybe ill love it some day just like Matt Groening?! :wink:


Just to elaborate on my previous post. According to John French ("Drumbo", the drummer), the basic song ideas came about from Beefheart playing (randomly?) on a piano, with John French "transcribing" what he heard onto paper, and then arranging the results for full band. It's a very unlikely and strange way to compose music, but the band took the results and rehearsed it all for months on end with very little sleep and practically nothing to eat in some run down house that they all lived in together. According to French, Beefheart himself just slept most of the time while the others worked on getting the strange parts played just right. So in a sense, it's random noise, but it's HEAVILY REHEARSED arrangements of random noise. That's what's so weird about it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:51 pm 
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I heard somewhere that the Captain had said that Zappa tried too sabotage the Trout Mask Replica sessions! Is this true??? If it is, i totally understand him :mrgreen:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 1:56 pm 
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massagio wrote:
king: Why dont you like trout mask replica?

Well........... The music sounded like just plain noise to me. It sounds like a bunch of lunatics going bananas in a recording studio! Noise and weird sounds. Garbage. Thats all. Maybe ill love it some day just like Matt Groening?! :wink:


Listen to it carefully through some good headphones... it certainly isn't just noise. If you do listen carefully I can guarantee you'll find something that you think sounds good in amidst its somewhat harsh, punishing audio exterior.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Safe As Milk hands down a five star album, better than any zappa album there is, cept Buffalo.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 4:24 pm 
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evitageN wrote:
Safe As Milk hands down a five star album, better than any zappa album there is, cept Buffalo.


"I'm Glad" makes me cry.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:06 pm 
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feetlightup wrote:
evitageN wrote:
Safe As Milk hands down a five star album, better than any zappa album there is, cept Buffalo.


"I'm Glad" makes me cry.


good cries?

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLECTRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYY!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:03 am 
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Trout Mask is a difficult listen at first, but get into it and it will serve you with years of entertainment. Sign of a good album, new things pop up with each listen.

Put simply -

John: We don't even understand our own music
Spider: It doesn't, does it matter whether we understand it? At least it'll give us . . . strength
John: I know but maybe we could get into it more if we understood it
Spider: We'd get more strength from it if we understood it?
John: Yeah
Spider: No, I don't think so, because--see I think, I think our strength comes from our uncertainty. If we understood it we'd be bored with it and then we couldn't gather any strength from it
John: Like if we knew about our music one of us might talk and then that would be the end of that


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:39 am 
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Quote:
According to John French ("Drumbo", the drummer), the basic song ideas came about from Beefheart playing (randomly?) on a piano, with John French "transcribing" what he heard onto paper, and then arranging the results for full band. It's a very unlikely and strange way to compose music,


It actually doesn't sound me as all that strange. Even someone who can't play the piano properly can use their mind to relativley figure out how to make a 'melody', or something close, on a piano. Then, you transcribe it, teach it to a band, and in that form-when in the full band- you start tweaking it to be an actual composition.

That's probably what Beefheart meant when he said he composed 'Replica' in 8 hours, and him taking 8 months to teach the band how to play it.

If you're having trouble with Beefheart, you could try to get to him through his influences. If his voice sounds like random screaming, try Howlin Wolf..get some Mingus too. When it all comes together, Trout Mask is a very cohesive album. Uncle Meat's sister.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:37 am 
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Feral said that Trout Mask Replica is Uncle Meat's sister !
My two favorite albums !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:43 am 
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so that makes it Aunty Meat?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:56 am 
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evitageN wrote:
feetlightup wrote:
evitageN wrote:
Safe As Milk hands down a five star album, better than any zappa album there is, cept Buffalo.


"I'm Glad" makes me cry.


good cries?

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLECTRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYY!


Yeah, good cries. It's a pretty tune. Come to think of it, I don't think it ever made me actually cry, but you know what I mean.

:cry: I'm Glad... Glad about the good times... That we had.... :cry:

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