Zappa.com

The Official Frank Zappa Messageboards
It is currently Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:52 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:26 pm
Posts: 43
Zappa no musical genuis


GRANT SMITHIES







Last updated 05:00 16/12/2012























Share




zappa



Hero or zero? Sorely missed by fans, the late Frank Zappa is not lamented by others.






Music
Shane Warne rocks out with Coldplay Neil Young convinced that 'only people can take back the power' Ten of the best albums of 2016 Bob Dylan 'honoured' by Nobel Prize but he's a no-show at ceremony Grieving One Direction star Louis Tomlinson performs days after mum's death Coldplay brings wrong woman on stage for proposal Shortland Street serial killer still an Aristocrat Kiwi artist Theia makes a splash with first hit single, Roam Madonna, Kesha get emotional when accepting Billboard honours Broods ready to rock home crowd at Riwaka and enjoy family time



Ads by Google

ZERO Fee Reverse *SPAM*.*SPAM*
Get up to $15,000+ more with our New $0-Closing Cost Options. HUD Lender. A+BBB

.
You want to say, "Oh, look, please, go away." You want to poke a finger in each ear like a child and chant "La! La! La! La!" to block out the sound. But good manners dictate that a music reviewer is always on duty, and thus fair game for anyone to approach at parties, pubs and burger joints for a conversation about music.

OPINION: People are forever sidling up to me to proclaim their affections for such insufferable yawn-meisters as Mark Knopfler, Lenny Kravitz or Jack Johnson. I was once waylaid by an earnest stranger who tried to convince me the greatest pop artist who ever lived was former British milkman Sting.

But perhaps the worst offenders are Frank Zappa fans. Zappa died of prostate cancer in 1993, aged 52, and is sorely missed in some quarters. To Zappa fans, dear old Frank was the hot flaming sun around which all other popular music orbited, drawing freely from his warmth.

With a straight face, such fans will assert it was Zappa who taught the young Jimi Hendrix how to use a wah-wah pedal, and Zappa's Freak Out was the album that inspired The Beatles to launch into the unknown with Sgt. Peppers.

These people hate to see their hero slighted in any way. There exists on the internet a "World's Greatest Guitarists" website that had the temerity to rank Zappa at No 77. The comments section is crammed with disgruntled Frank-ophiles, all fuming like a dirty barbecue. "Frank was a real giant compared to all the dwarfs from 1 to 77!" writes one outraged correspondent. "He's a musician that will last throughout the next centuries."

Another writes: "No-one plays like Frank on stage anymore. That's because he is dead, and no-one else is skilled enough to play his music." Brilliant. But this is my favourite: "Frank should be Number One, not only for his guitar playing, but for the fact that he had a better understanding of music than probably anyone on this list. When he wrote music, it was on paper."

Yes, all right, we get it. Some of our more impressionable citizens love Frank Zappa. Each to their own. But listening to his albums 20 years ago, they always struck me as deeply irritating, full of interminable guitar wankery, crappy faux-classical passages and crass sexual satire. Was I missing something?

Time, it seems, to find out. Just last week some sadist at a local record company sent me down a dozen Zappa CDs, the first batch of 60 Zappa albums to be reissued by the end of 2012.

I spent a few days listening to them all, beginning with his 1966 double album debut, Freak Out. And what do you know? It's far better than I'd remembered, offering up a deeply sarcastic pastiche of prevailing 60s pop styles, from teen idol ballads to Byrdsy folk-rock, Motown and early Beatles to acid rock.

Opening track Hungry Freaks, Daddy is an unprecedented pile-up of jazz vibraphone, 60s guitar and gratuitous blasts of kazoo. Who are the Brain Police? is a savage satire of the Beach Boys, in which glorious four-part vocal harmonies are crushed by a Sherman Tank of distorted guitar.


It's a sonically radical record, alive with energy and invention. But then I played the other 11 albums and, apart from a brief glimmer of brilliance with 1969's Hot Rats, every other CD in the pile sucked like a Dyson.

There were half-arsed baroque rock experiments, puerile pop ditties and tiresome spoken word segments. There were entire albums lampooning Stravinsky and 50s doo-wop groups, and multiple unfunny jazz-rock jams about groupies and STDs.

It became clear that Zappa had become more embittered with every new release. Under the guise of provocative social commentary, his songs dripped contempt for virtually everyone: Hippies, conservatives, blacks, gays, Jews, women and, most of all, himself.

After two exhausting days visiting Planet Zappa, I was desperate to leave again. But at least I have clarified my position. The next time a stranger comes up to me in a takeaway bar and proclaims Frank Zappa a genius, I can say, no, my friend, Frank Zappa was a conservative posing as a revolutionary, a snickering teenage boy masquerading as a grown man, a gifted musician happy to squander his talent on cheap smut and fart jokes.

Frank Zappa was irony made flesh: a tireless anti-censorship activist whose songs tested the limits of free speech but, in the end, had nothing worthwhile to say.

Now step aside; I'm waiting for my burger.



- Sunday Star Times


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:28 pm
Posts: 6485
Zappa's not for everybody and some Zappa fans are overly concerned about guitar rankings or whatever. I don't need an unknown self-styled music critic to validate my appreciation for Zappa's music.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:18 pm
Posts: 5633
Location: Between the Badges
2 whole days, huh. Really put in the effort. Most critics suffer from making quick determinations about albums while posturing as though they gave it a fair shot. To be fair, many bands have albums that are ankle-deep, but it is a mistake to assume that any album can be analyzed with a quick listen. Many of my favorite albums were not favorites on first listen. This guy not only thinks he understands all the FZ albums after 2 days, he thinks he understands FZ himself after listening to his albums for 2 days. His final paragraphs prove he does not.

_________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Don't Be Stupid Unless You Want To


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 4761
Critics are completely unnecessary. They are like evangelists. Middle men. Eliminate the middle man. It's an affront. Music is not material. It's invisible. It's not like a car. I don't need a consumer report. I'd feel better if people could just experience "art" on it's own terms once in a while.

Besides
Hardly anyone deserves monetary gain for their opinions about music.

What the hell is faux-classical? It's a term used by faux-writers, I guess.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 4043
Location: Chicago, sort of.
I'm not against critics but sometimes I can't even get all he way through a review. Yawn.

_________________
Everytime we picked a booger we'd flip it on this one winduh. Every night we'd contribute, 2, 3, 4 boogers. We had to use a putty knife, man, to get them damn things off the winduh. There was some goober ones that weren't even hard...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:28 pm
Posts: 4198
Location: in the tiny dirt somewhere
transformation wrote:
...every other CD in the pile sucked like a Dyson.

Opinions are like assholes: you've got many of them...

:roll:

_________________
_________________Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 16519
Location: Behind a ultra-avant laminated, simulated replica-mahogany desk
Image

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:41 pm
Posts: 16333
Listen to what you like and fuck anybody that tells you it's crap.

I once tried to make the point that maybe Frank wasn't a genius (which he is). My point was that music was his life and that's all he did, sometimes to the detriment of his family, it seems. 16 hour days in the studio. Touring constantly. I don't think he had friends that he went out with. If you do nothing but one thing, you're bound to be great at it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 8:05 pm
Posts: 3733
Location: where the dogs roll by
calvin2hikers wrote:
I once tried to make the point that maybe Frank wasn't a genius (which he is). My point was that music was his life and that's all he did, sometimes to the detriment of his family, it seems. 16 hour days in the studio. Touring constantly. I don't think he had friends that he went out with. If you do nothing but one thing, you're bound to be great at it.


Yes.

calvin2hikers wrote:
Listen to what you like and fuck anybody that tells you it's crap.


I tried this but she kneed me in the groin and had me arrested.

_________________
I can't tell when you're telling the truth.
>I'm not.
How do I know anything you've said to me is...
>You don't.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:22 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Approaching Death
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"
~Martin Mull~

_________________
"Everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 16519
Location: Behind a ultra-avant laminated, simulated replica-mahogany desk
^^Not Zappa, right?!


People, I need your opinion, blue or green?

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:22 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Approaching Death
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
^^Not Zappa, right?!


Not according to Mike Johnston, but he uses that line a lot.

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.co ... -mull.html

Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
People, I need your opinion, blue or green?


Purple

_________________
"Everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:51 pm
Posts: 23267
Location: >>==> Wellington New Zealand
the "blog" that transformation posted was an opinion piece by Grant Smithies in NZ's Sunday Star Times printed December 16th 2012.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24302&hilit=finer+moments&start=275

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24302&hilit=finer+moments&start=300

_________________
hey punk, where you going with that button on your shirt?
I, I don't recall


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:28 pm
Posts: 6485
Gray_Ghost wrote:
the "blog" that transformation posted was an opinion piece by Grant Smithies in NZ's Sunday Star Times printed December 16th 2012.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24302&hilit=finer+moments&start=275

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24302&hilit=finer+moments&start=300

Fucking Kiwi's! :evil: :mrgreen:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:15 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:51 pm
Posts: 23267
Location: >>==> Wellington New Zealand
KUIII wrote:
Gray_Ghost wrote:
the "blog" that transformation posted was an opinion piece by Grant Smithies in NZ's Sunday Star Times printed December 16th 2012.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24302&hilit=finer+moments&start=275

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24302&hilit=finer+moments&start=300

Fucking Kiwi's! :evil: :mrgreen:



:oops:

_________________
hey punk, where you going with that button on your shirt?
I, I don't recall


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:18 pm
Posts: 5633
Location: Between the Badges
Image

_________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Don't Be Stupid Unless You Want To


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group