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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:59 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:

So for The Big Note, I concede that the Encyclopedia portions of the book are largely superfluous. But, when added to the comments on the individual tunes, the result is illuminating. For example, for Amnerika, we get some notes on the construction, a quote from Ali Askin about hocketing and then something I never knew...

Granted, a hard-core ear may eventually notice such things, but I never have and will be comparing them in the near future.


Now you will never enjoy the excitement of discovering it on your own. Some night 5 years from now it would have hit you and it would have been far more stimulating. Like a little secret left for you by Zappa.

They're wringing out all of the mystery. Every drop. Zappa thrived on mystery. There's nothing better than experiencing FZ's music on it's own terms. I hope it's still possible. The joy of discovery. Without some paid tour guide whispering in your ear.

As to finding clues on my own, yes, of course you are right. In the last 36 years, I have had numerous such discovery occasions, and its super-fun. But, there is not a prescription for such things, nor do I think there should be. There is no guarantee at all that I could or would make any given cc connection, maybe ever in my life.
I am often reminded of Lord Dorwin in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. He considers himself to be an expert on certain matters because he has read all of the top writings on the subject, while having no first hand experience. Lord Dorwin does not go out and seek firsthand knowledge and the story depicts this as somewhat "less than". And, as a Scientist or Investigator, he certainly is! But, as a Hobbyist? There are certainly worse ways of spending my time than learning FZ info secondhand. If I had unlimited time to devote only to FZ, that would be wonderful... and sad that I'd never enjoy much else.
I have no problem learning from others, then tracing over their lines. FZ is a bigger book than I'll ever be, so learning something from / about him is probably my best bet forward than randomly wading through the ocean of material. I can only listen so much and listening for study is different than listening for enjoyment. Sometimes I prefer one or the other. I have a life outside of FZ and while I am enthusiastic about FZ, I have no interest in being myopic... I'm actually gonna do some song writing and recording this weekend. 2nd time this summer, aka 2nd Time in many years... Forward Dorwin to 1st hand knowledge! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:17 am 
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This is the best book about FZ's recorded output that I have ever read. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about this sort of thing but every single writeup had a fact about that album that I didn't previously know.

If you don't believe that ignorance is bliss, this publication will enhance your appreciation of FZ immeasurably. It is an absolute must-own.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:24 pm 
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TwentySmallCigars wrote:
This is the best book about FZ's recorded output that I have ever read. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about this sort of thing but every single writeup had a fact about that album that I didn't previously know.

If you don't believe that ignorance is bliss, this publication will enhance your appreciation of FZ immeasurably. It is an absolute must-own.

Does it contain any setlists?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:21 pm 
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No. It provides analysis of all the officially released albums. It doesn’t analyze tours and set lists. However, it does sometimes say on what tours certain songs were performed.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:24 pm 
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I initially thought there's way too many books on the market about FZ and that another one is the last thing I need (especially since I own dozens already). But after reading this thread and realizing that the reviews are almost 100% positive, I just ordered it...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:29 am 
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One topic that might be worth discussion is the use of the word "grout" for the transitional pieces on Lather and other albums, as in the material between tiles. I dont recall seeing the term used elsewhere. I think I will find myself using it in the future. The book credits the term to Simon Prentis.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:33 am 
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I got mine for my birthday can't wait to crack it open... :idea:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:21 am 
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This book is certainly not the first use of the word 'grout' to describe the little audio pieces that link the tracks together.

The term was used by Frank himself as far back as Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar, which is the first time I heard it. It might even go as far back as Läther.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:41 pm 
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You know Twenty Small Cigars is one of my (not Donalds) favourite Zappa tracks.............

I've still got the original Chungas Revenge Cassette I brought way back when and spent many hours on the road going interstate listening to the Road Ladies too :smoke:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:02 pm 
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TwentySmallCigars wrote:
This book is certainly not the first use of the word 'grout' to describe the little audio pieces that link the tracks together.

The term was used by Frank himself as far back as Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar, which is the first time I heard it. It might even go as far back as Läther.



This term makes complete sense to me, typically Frank... :idea:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:01 am 
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It's fine. Needs a sidebar on Groupies, GTO or a narrower bit, like Miss Lucy and Miss...what was the second one?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:02 am 
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coevad wrote:
TwentySmallCigars wrote:
This is the best book about FZ's recorded output that I have ever read. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about this sort of thing but every single writeup had a fact about that album that I didn't previously know.

If you don't believe that ignorance is bliss, this publication will enhance your appreciation of FZ immeasurably. It is an absolute must-own.

Does it contain any setlists?

No. It just lists the tours on which each song was played. There is a main entry for each song within the album where it first appeared.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:12 am 
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I ordered my copy away back on June the 28th, after no less than seventeen e mails with a mix of estimated time of arrival and order resent, I had zero expectation of ever actually getting my mitts on this book. Hit the post office box this morning and low and behold a hefty parcel in the box, I assumed it was a trade related master catalogue of some description, I get bombarded at this time of year.....Back to headquarters, opened up the weighty package, woo hoo "The Big Note" in the flesh.....I had a silly grin on my face for the rest of the day.
The parcel looked like it had been back and forth through the mill a couple of times, but thanks to the cling film the book was undamaged.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:29 am 
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Gray_Ghost wrote:
I ordered my copy away back on June the 28th, after no less than seventeen e mails with a mix of estimated time of arrival and order resent, I had zero expectation of ever actually getting my mitts on this book. Hit the post office box this morning and low and behold a hefty parcel in the box, I assumed it was a trade related master catalogue of some description, I get bombarded at this time of year.....Back to headquarters, opened up the weighty package, woo hoo "The Big Note" in the flesh.....I had a silly grin on my face for the rest of the day.
The parcel looked like it had been back and forth through the mill a couple of times, but thanks to the cling film the book was undamaged.


great news , I KNOW you gonna dig it ! :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:15 pm 
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tinkamok wrote:
Gray_Ghost wrote:
I ordered my copy away back on June the 28th, after no less than seventeen e mails with a mix of estimated time of arrival and order resent, I had zero expectation of ever actually getting my mitts on this book. Hit the post office box this morning and low and behold a hefty parcel in the box, I assumed it was a trade related master catalogue of some description, I get bombarded at this time of year.....Back to headquarters, opened up the weighty package, woo hoo "The Big Note" in the flesh.....I had a silly grin on my face for the rest of the day.
The parcel looked like it had been back and forth through the mill a couple of times, but thanks to the cling film the book was undamaged.


great news , I KNOW you gonna dig it ! :)


Cheers tink'

looks excellent

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:07 pm 
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This book is very informative. It contains a chapter on each of FZ's albums up to and including 'Dance Me This' from 2015. While other albums were released after 'Dance Me This', the author briefly discusses some of them in the album chapters from which they are related to. For example, Roxy The Movie and The Roxy Performances are mentioned under Roxy & Elsewhere. Crux of the Biscuit is mentioned under Apostrophé. Meat Light is mentioned under Uncle Meat. And so forth. So up to the last minute (book is copyrighted 2018), the author was able to keep it current and make mention of the most recent albums that have been released.

One section of the book highlights the touring chronology of the members of all of FZ's performing bands from May 1965 to June 1988, including which instruments they play and also the albums that particular band played on. In keeping up with the releases after June 2015, he gives mention to which bands played on Road Tapes Venue #3, Chicago '78, Little Dots, and Halloween 77.

The introduction itself is fascinating, giving insight to FZ as a composer, bandleader, arranger, lyricist, and editor. The author explains FZ-specific concepts such as Project/Object and Xenochrony.

The album chapters are done alphabetically from Absolutely Free to Zoot Allures. An appendix is devoted to the first two Beat The Boots series.

Each album chapter provides details of recording dates and musicians heard on the album. It also indicates the number of tracks, breaking down how many are vocal, instrumental, and spoken. Each chapter discusses each song in order, including running time, who sings lead, who plays solos, and a myriad of other information about the song.

Sidebars are included about relevant people and other topics.

While many other books discuss FZ's life and maybe his position in music history, this book is devoted entirely to the music. The book is extremely thorough and is almost 800 pages in length. It's a great resource on FZ's music. Very detailed with the proverbial no stone left unturned, it's a treasure trove of information. Great job to Mr. Ulrich for devoting so much time, energy, and research to create such an informative book.

P.S. The chapter about Läther is extensive and explains the problems FZ experienced with WB concerning its release.

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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 2:16 am 
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Just order my downunder White Library copy, gunna cost $70 bucks and take 2 weeks to get it, I'm Sure Donald wont mind :smoke:


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:48 am 
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Got my white "downunder" House copy and like it but surprised the Albums are listed alphabetically rather than Chronologically- might have to have a Congressional hearing on that :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:03 am 
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I'm lovin' it, made the top of the stack beside the maroon sofa with the bullet.....

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