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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:38 am 
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Frank was fond of saying to the public thru-out his career that he had done a bunch of market research before he got into the music business. It seems that he cultivated this interest throughout his career in music.
He also was quite the amateur anthropologist. And you might say on a larger scale He enjoyed finding out what people would do when confronted with the unexpected. But people ARE just plain funny, and like the story of Michael Kenyon, Camarillo Brillo, Dinah Mo-Hum and many others, tales told to him or that he heard about which seemed so preposterously silly or stupid -- he just had to write a song about it.
So putting these together, recognizing the cultural ferment going on all over the world and wishing it to continue in certain areas, recognizing too when certain other folks would take over a field in music or art or social matters* even, Frank could then branch out and tackle other areas he felt folks oughta know about. But the stupid smut
"go in and roll over, I'm goin IN you again, In you again, In you again . . ."
I always took as Frank, doing anthropology, focused on a certain audience with certain songs in order to 'get 'em' listening and then would ALWAYS blow them away with the MUSIC. Which is the best.
To gain and build an audience of horny disafected teenage boys and gals that he could simultaneously freak out with music, and make his 'free-speech' point as well as tell an unexpectedly low brow art statement about performance for thousands of public hearings ON A GLOBAL SCALE.
smart fucker that one

* Frank knew on some early page that if there isn't anybody doin a certain kind of work, then that kind of work wasn't done. Frank knew what the Rolling Stones and the whot-else were doing without having to listen to most of the others' music but saw what many of his contemporaries were doing anyway being out on the road all the time. To me a perfect example of this is implied in the section in TRFZB where Mick Jagger came and visited Frank at the cabin in Laurel Canyon and then proceeded to remove -- theis is Mick we're talkin about here -- a SPLINTER from Frank's big toe. Someone quote it chapter and verse, and another say "Amen."

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:57 am 
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Snobbery and prudish behavior over sexual context on a Zappa forum. Now that's funny. Wish ya'll would of been around when Johnny was all wound up, it was hysterical. Damn, I miss the old forum. 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:06 pm 
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I don't buy the snobbery thing. This is what FZ said when he was asked whether he might be accusable of promoting elitist music:

Zappa: I would assume from that line of reasoning that the ideal music of all time must be that of the crudest form of rock and roll. I don't think that that's elitist music by any stretch of the imagination.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:03 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
You are entitled to support this side of FZ but this doesn't change the way I perceive FZ' sexual parodism to sound gratuituous, and often banal.


For the sake of argument, let's say that that side of FZ is objectively and scientifically proven to be gratuitous and banal.

Do these characteristics bother you?

If so, why?

If not, why did you start this thread?!? :) 8)

vcf

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:06 pm 
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ZardozII wrote:
Snobbery and prudish behavior over sexual context on a Zappa forum. Now that's funny. Wish ya'll would of been around when Johnny was all wound up, it was hysterical. Damn, I miss the old forum. 8)


Me toooooo!! :cry:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:21 pm 
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VCF wrote:

For the sake of argument, let's say that that side of FZ is objectively and scientifically proven to be gratuitous and banal.

Do these characteristics bother you?

If so, why?

If not, why did you start this thread?!? :) 8)

vcf


Hmm, so would you enlighten me about the more intelligent aspects of songs like "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes" or "Dirty Love", for in your opinion there seem to be plentiful.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:31 pm 
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"You're right, I'm too heavy to be in this group. Comedy music . . ." :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:35 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
You are entitled to support this side of FZ but this doesn't change the way I perceive FZ' sexual parodism to sound gratuituous, and often banal.


Why does it seem 'gratuituous' too you? Not attacking you-just honestly wondering.

One could say the same thing of Lenny Bruce and William S. Burroughs..so why the glee among those who discredit Zappa's lyrics?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:36 pm 
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FeralCats wrote:
Considering how many of those people exist, he probably DID meet quite a few. For instance, I strongly doubt that Boulez had any interest in Zappa's comedy songs at all.


I believe it too.

At the other extreme of this spectrum, Jean Luc Ponty fell out with FZ because JLP didn't like the direction the Mothers was taking at the later part of 1973 and the two parted ways in acrimony (according to JLP anyway).

For the record, I should clarify that a little sexual parody is actually tolerable if it's compensated by good music. There's a huge difference between "I promise Not to come in your mouth" and "i have been in you". Or "penis dimension" and "Would you go all the way". if the music transcends the subject matter, it's ok.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:39 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
VCF wrote:

For the sake of argument, let's say that that side of FZ is objectively and scientifically proven to be gratuitous and banal.

Do these characteristics bother you?

If so, why?

If not, why did you start this thread?!? :) 8)

vcf


Hmm, so would you enlighten me about the more intelligent aspects of songs like "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes" or "Dirty Love", for in your opinion there seem to be plentiful.


I agree that that side of FZ is gratuitous and banal. It used to bother me, but it doesn't anymore. I wanted to intelligently discuss our shared feelings. 8)

But I don't want to anymore. :P

vcf

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:57 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
VCF wrote:

For the sake of argument, let's say that that side of FZ is objectively and scientifically proven to be gratuitous and banal.

Do these characteristics bother you?

If so, why?

If not, why did you start this thread?!? :) 8)

vcf


Hmm, so would you enlighten me about the more intelligent aspects of songs like "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes" or "Dirty Love", for in your opinion there seem to be plentiful.


Hey, let's not deal with 'Broker Hearts are for Assholes' it's a great song if your dealing with a divorce. It made me laugh instead of crying in my Jim Beam and Coke. There are redeeming qualitites even though you fail to see them, 'Dirty Love' schidt I've never looked at a poodle the same way that song always seems to pop up when I see how stupid little old ladies have made them out to be. Enlighten you? I don't think that is possible. Then isn't it great that humans have the ability to determine what their own interpetation is on something so insignificant as the meaning of a song. Compared to what affects us in our lives. 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:19 pm 
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FeralCats wrote:
Aybe Sea wrote:
You are entitled to support this side of FZ but this doesn't change the way I perceive FZ' sexual parodism to sound gratuituous, and often banal.


Why does it seem 'gratuituous' too you? Not attacking you-just honestly wondering.

One could say the same thing of Lenny Bruce and William S. Burroughs..so why the glee among those who discredit Zappa's lyrics?


You know what?

I don't tolerate mediocre or bad music mixed with vulgar lyricism, to tell the truth. I've survived the popularity peak of that dreaded Bloodhound Gang ("The Bad Touch" anyone???) when all the teenagers were brainwashed with that drivel. Likewise, I've heard stuff like "Licensed To Ill" by the Beastie Boys, which is crap compared to their other good albums. It's just so juvenile and lame, ugh and musically not very redeeming either. And Blink 182 has to be one of the worst offenders. It just appeals to the lowest common denominator. As you can see, I've been confronted with some rather grossly stereotypical approaches to politically incorrect popular music and so when FZ makes average three chord pop structured songs and sings about the very subject matter subsequently preferred by any bad alterna-rock group with sexist and macho agenda, then naturally that shit turns me off. Hopefully now you see where I come from.

Likewise, as I pointed out above, FZ' satire sometimes is astute. And here's a question: did all FZ' targets deserve ridicule? Was there ever a point when FZ went too far?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:24 pm 
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Frank Zappa's comedy/satire was a WONDER at the time it was done. Now, post-cable-tv and audacity overkill, it may seem banal to some, trite or too commercial to others. But it was ballsy as hell to do this stuff, stuff he THOUGHT WAS FUNNY (it was not done just to pay the bills or fund his more artsy, later stuff....he liked to laugh then, before his accident, and he liked to make others laugh). No chance of radio airplay; that was huge then, to make that decision consciously. I can recall trying like hell to do all the bleeping necessary to play some cuts on the radio. Until MONTANA, it was a real pain.

Fans of his later work sometimes get all snobby about the stuff that made Frank's earlier works so seminal, so amazing, ASIDE from his musical prowess. If you weren't there at the time, you can't know the impact and importance of the statement he was making with his comedy/satire work. And it came about NOT as a result of 'market research' but as a result of hanging out with really funny people who inspired him. He had a way of taking random snippets from conversations, overheard or otherwise, and turning them into hysterical song lyrics.

That stuff was hard as hell to sing, too. Kudos to those who managed to do it. Nobody's trying now.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:49 pm 
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The first time I ever heard FZ was listening to Sheik Yerbouti. I laughed so hard that night that I had painful stomach cramps the next day, no joke. Not massive pain, but still. I didn't have to think about whether the stuff was funny or if it was a certain type of funny, I just laughed cuz I couldn't help it.

Also, I believe that VCF's question merits an answer:

VCF wrote:
For the sake of argument, let's say that that side of FZ is objectively and scientifically proven to be gratuitous and banal.

Do these characteristics bother you?

If so, why?



The reason I post that question is because this thread is hampered by words with variable definitions. Something that is banal isn't necessarily bad and even if something is bad, like "shit" for example, that doesn't necessarily mean that all songs should exclude the word "shit".

I knew a Christian guy in college who found out that I was into FZ and he said something like "Oh, Zappa is great! But... you don't listen to the lyrics do you?". I wanted to start laughing, but he was very serious, not to mention a musician who could play some serious shit. So, we ended up talking FZ now and then, but stuck to the musical side of things. People are different and like different things. If someone wants to skip certain tunes, words or whatever but select others, fine with me. Some people like anal sex and I can't figure out why people would want shit on their dick. Different strokes, eh?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
did all FZ' targets deserve ridicule?


..........Yes.

Aybe Sea wrote:
Was there ever a point when FZ went too far?


..........No.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:49 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
FeralCats wrote:
Aybe Sea wrote:
You are entitled to support this side of FZ but this doesn't change the way I perceive FZ' sexual parodism to sound gratuituous, and often banal.


Why does it seem 'gratuituous' too you? Not attacking you-just honestly wondering.

One could say the same thing of Lenny Bruce and William S. Burroughs..so why the glee among those who discredit Zappa's lyrics?


You know what?

I don't tolerate mediocre or bad music mixed with vulgar lyricism, to tell the truth. I've survived the popularity peak of that dreaded Bloodhound Gang ("The Bad Touch" anyone???) when all the teenagers were brainwashed with that drivel. Likewise, I've heard stuff like "Licensed To Ill" by the Beastie Boys, which is crap compared to their other good albums. It's just so juvenile and lame, ugh and musically not very redeeming either. And Blink 182 has to be one of the worst offenders. It just appeals to the lowest common denominator. As you can see, I've been confronted with some rather grossly stereotypical approaches to politically incorrect popular music and so when FZ makes average three chord pop structured songs and sings about the very subject matter subsequently preferred by any bad alterna-rock group with sexist and macho agenda, then naturally that shit turns me off. Hopefully now you see where I come from.

Likewise, as I pointed out above, FZ' satire sometimes is astute. And here's a question: did all FZ' targets deserve ridicule? Was there ever a point when FZ went too far?


That's a main difference between us, I've never been polluted by a lot of the garbage music that came out over the past 20 years or so. I'm still lost in the '60s and early '70s, I still listen to Quicksilver Messenger Service, Neil Young, early Rolling Stones, Johnny Winters ect...the shock factor music has never effected me. I don't like rap, hip hop, my only heavy metal is the original Black Sabbath w/Ozzie. I'm not judging I just feel there hasn't been any good music is years so I gravitate backwards looking even further for some treasure from the '40s and '50s mostly blues.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:47 am 
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This is an interesting topic in that it gives us a small view of the differences between the young listener and the older ones.

Zappa's lyrics were considered very very politically incorrect long before that term came into our vocabulary. In those days saying fuck was considered a statement but talking about fucking was a no no. The young people now are inundated daily with what was called filth 20 years ago, so you have to put that in perspective.

You must also admit that many many a Zappa fan would never of approached the statistical density of "The Black Page" if it were not for the song "Titties and Beer" on the same album, or what Jazz was without a song about a "peinguin in bondage" on the same album. And the list goes on and on...Just never forget that it was and is "Entertainement". Nothing More, Nothing Less.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:16 am 
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it might be banal to some people, but the way frank does 'comedy music' is not just funny... it's witty.. lines like 'her rancid panocha'
are hilarious. great use of language.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:28 am 
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timm0 wrote:
it might be banal to some people, but the way frank does 'comedy music' is not just funny... it's witty.. lines like 'her rancid panocha'
are hilarious. great use of language.


I agree, he had an amazing grasp of words and was incredibly articulate. Then he created these bizzare phrases that you just have to laugh at. It doesn't matter to me how many times I hear them, they're as funny every time because of how he says it. Also, I applaud the political incorrectness of his lyrics, he'd be having a field day if he were still around today.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:39 am 
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Initially I just liked the instrumental pieces best, but after a while the comedy really grew on me.

It's all good. :P


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:14 am 
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Aybe Sea wrote:

For the record, I should clarify that a little sexual parody is actually tolerable if it's compensated by good music. There's a huge difference between "I promise Not to come in your mouth" and "i have been in you". Or "penis dimension" and "Would you go all the way". if the music transcends the subject matter, it's ok.


Very interesting thread thus far.

Question though, by who's standard's are we gauging
whether or not the music transcends the subject matter?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:17 am 
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BillyDaMt wrote:

Very interesting thread thus far.

Question though, by who's standard's are we gauging
whether or not the music transcends the subject matter?


You did notice how i cited "Penis Dimension" for example?

That was one song Frank Zappa performed with the Grand Wazoo orchestra and they did an instrumental version out of it which i rather liked. So maybe that's where the point is: this particular song is so well composed it can stand on its own, without any lyrics added at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:26 pm 
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Thinking about it though, Dynamo Humm and Dirty Love actually sound like they'd be pretty good instrumentals with the right orchestration. And slight tweaking. Notice when I speak of Dynamo Humm, I mean it's 'head'..before the rap. And it wouldn't be one of his best, but it would work, I think.

I've always been impressed with some of the stuff that goes in the back of Overnite Sensations 'comedy songs'. Not enough to obsess over it, but still. At times, it seemed to me like he just kept on adding things to songs so there wouldn't be any unwanted 'empty space'.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:26 am 
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The_Acadian_2 wrote:
This is an interesting topic in that it gives us a small view of the differences between the young listener and the older ones.

Zappa's lyrics were considered very very politically incorrect long before that term came into our vocabulary. In those days saying fuck was considered a statement but talking about fucking was a no no. The young people now are inundated daily with what was called filth 20 years ago, so you have to put that in perspective.

You must also admit that many many a Zappa fan would never of approached the statistical density of "The Black Page" if it were not for the song "Titties and Beer" on the same album, or what Jazz was without a song about a "peinguin in bondage" on the same album. And the list goes on and on...Just never forget that it was and is "Entertainement". Nothing More, Nothing Less.


You hit the nail on the head. Political correctness/incorrectness wasn't even in our vocabulary. Besides Zappa was never mainstream, he just had a following and we knew everytime he released a new album. Except for Overnite Sensation his albums were diverse in content, then within the same 12 month period OS came out so did Apostrophe' which the two albums are totally different from each other. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:37 am 
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The_Acadian_2 wrote:
This is an interesting topic in that it gives us a small view of the differences between the young listener and the older ones.


I don't think age has anything to do with it! I for instance am too young to have ever been able to hear FZ live. But I think his lyrics and social commentaries are still painfully up-to-date. If he still would have lived he would have come across the same mentality as he was ridiculing back in the late '60s, '70s, '80s and early '90s.

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