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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:34 am 
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Civ Phaze III is traditional "Christmas season" (Zappadan, really) listening for me, but in the past few years I feel like it's only gotten more relevant.

Obviously, I'm talking politically and sociologically (blah blah)...sorry (does this place even have) mods! But, for a long time, even critics who claimed to be sympathetic to FZ would talk about how Civilization Phaze III was "obviously dated" etc because of it's synth sounds...imo it sounds more relevant than ever to the work of folk like FlyLo ("You're Dead!") and Western art composers (like Heiner Goebbels, and younger folk) who are more openly indebted to FZ.

Just wondering, since it seems like in the first decade this beautiful thing existed everyone was already willing to consign it to the grave---do you listen to it often? When you do does it strike you as a relic of it's time, or as relevant?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:44 am 
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FeralCats wrote:
(does this place even have) mods!

you rang?

actually, let's get down to some business.
i like your style, feral. truth be told, i have not perused your back catalog too thoroughly (yet?),
however, so far so... let's just say - i am seeing flying colors-esque potential within your input.

having said that, i would enjoy taking the time to respond accordingly to this vibrant thread, but
(there's always a but, right?)... as of right now, i am up to my collarbone in editing, deleting, and reshaping files.

please give me about a week and a half to come around the mountain.


and i thank you,
mngmnt

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:21 am 
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It is my favourite Zappa album. With totalitary and nationalist governments lurking around the corner in all corners of the world it has lost none of its relevance, and now that post-apocalyptic settings are en vogue, it might even be fashionable! Ha!

Last year I was lower than usual on Zappa but I play all albums once a year, and Civ 3, like many decent albums, only gets played once a year at Zappadan. In fact CP3 crowns Zappadan for me on December 21st.

I limit my playing of some gold material - I've definitely experienced the shine can be "listened" off music by overplaying it. CP3 is my Special Occasion album.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:46 am 
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Civ III remains relevant today if only because it's the last work of the composer. Had he continued to compose, maybe CIV III might be seen today, in the same way as WOIIFTM was considered in 1993, (ie a very cool political/social satire of the hippy movement but not at all relevant to what was going on in society in 93). What is unescapable though, is that since CIV III came out, we have been sucked into a tempest of questionning about our future, not as a society, but as a species. We can only wonder what CIV IV could sound like.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Irrespective of an answer is really good to have FeralCats back on board...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:08 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
Irrespective of an answer is really good to have FeralCats back on board...


+1

I'm not big on the relevance tag, I can say that Civilization Phaze III is an enduring favorite in the cave.....


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:39 am 
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I think it's as relevant as it ever was, but that's not my issue with it. I find it a bit patchy. There are some really good tracks on it and I am liking more of it than I have done in the past, but I find particularly, Beat The Reaper and Waffenspiel, a bit boring.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:18 am 
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Listened to it again, what a wonderful album! I love the slower last two tracks, they sort of give you a break from the intensity of the earlier music. That said I do believe disk 1 is better than disk 2, and not just for Amnerika (and Mike's bloody annoying).

It's a very Christmas-y album isn't it? The album refers to X-mas twice.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:34 am 
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Boring, but last track makes me sad every time I listen to it (I read somewhere that it was the VERY LAST RECORDING made by FZ alive).
Anyway, I find it less boring than "Dance me this".


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 11:40 pm 
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CPIII is the masterpiece from the musical point of view, regardless of if you listen to it now, or you listened to it twenty years ago.
Because it's the music, that matters at the end, and music is the best, you know.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:34 pm 
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Listened to this recently. Only has grown on me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:25 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
...I find particularly, Beat The Reaper and Waffenspiel, a bit boring.

I think Waffenspiel was sort of a goodbye note to his family: particularly to Gail. I believe all the sounds in the piece were recorded around the house.

I'm sort of intrigued by the gunfire. Was there a shooting range near their house? Or did yahoos just like to go out in the open space around the top of Laurel Canyon and play with their guns? (Waffenspiel literally translates as "gunplay")

Did this happen often, or was it just a special occasion?

In any case, it's the final piece on Frank's final album. Clearly it had meaning to him, and that's all that really matters...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:45 am 
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I've invested a huge intellectual effort over a long period of time in understanding all kinds of music, but if it doesn't grab me by the vitals, none of that can make any difference, no matter how hard I try. On the other hand, FZ's situation towards the end of his life just completely broke my heart and is one of the biggest shocks to my system I've ever had - that grabbed me by the vitals - almost as big as when much later I got really sick and almost died myself. I can relate to that meaning through my own experience and all the upset my family went through on my behalf when I was sick, but what happened to FZ doesn't make Waffenspiel any more engaging as a listening experience.

As an example, there's an amazing piece in this "class" (I'm reluctant to label it) of music that I find very engaging and that's Ilhan Mimaroglu's Wings of the Delirious Demon. But, I haven't written Waffenspiel off. One day, I might listen to it and suddenly decide I like it - I try to keep my mind open. I've got very strong opinions, but don't take anything I say as absolute.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:29 am 
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Musically, it remains relevant as ever and continues to amaze. As with much of Frank's music, listening to it is an ever-evolving learning experience. As far as the dialogue, I've long ago eliminated much of it from my own personal mix.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:15 pm 
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lapsed maps wrote:
... please give me about a week and a half to come around the mountain.
By your own quaint sense of measure, that's about 18 times around the mountain since then.

        :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:46 pm 
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MentalTossFlycoon wrote:
I'm sort of intrigued by the gunfire. Was there a shooting range near their house? Or did yahoos just like to go out in the open space around the top of Laurel Canyon and play with their guns? (Waffenspiel literally translates as "gunplay")

Did this happen often, or was it just a special occasion?


I imagine, given the gun situation in the US that there must be plenty of gun ranges to go around. I'm guessing he wouldn't have had to go far to get such recordings. He may have even commissioned family members or employees to make recordings.

Guns are much less prevalent here and there's no in your face gun culture. None the less, when you travel in the country you notice many road signs with multiple bullet dents. Farmers get all kinds of exceptions for gun use and I'm pretty sure, at the very least, there are plenty of teenagers fooling around with all kinds of weapons out there. Spot lighting is common enough here because rabbits are a pest and killing them is encouraged.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:43 pm 
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spider: we can get our strength up by making some music
john: that's right
monica: yeah... yeah
john: but the thing is, you know what?
spider: what?
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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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:54 am 
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Lumpy Gravy wrote:
spider: we can get our strength up by making some music
john: that's right
monica: yeah... yeah
john: but the thing is, you know what?
spider: what?
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


One of the snippets I kept. Outstanding.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:20 am 
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I play it more often than the guitar solo albums. But I've broken it down to favorites, and I mix it with other instrumentals. I've not been able to integrate any lumpy gravy into the playlist. But other tracks as old. Dwarf Nebulaxetc.
Fascinating how one can compose while not playing a real instrument. In the sense of timing etc. All has to be in your head. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:24 pm 
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@FeralCats: I've been meaning to comment on this more fully for some time and have finally got around to it. These comments aren't comprehensive and I could probably explain myself a lot better with more effort.

FeralCats wrote:
Obviously, I'm talking politically and sociologically ...
There are many things said by FZ that I don't agree with, but his basic stance on the corruption of the US establishment and erosion of democracy were sound. Neoliberalism has been continuously dragging the clock backwards throughout the western world since at least the sixties. It's become much worse since he passed on and so a lot of his commentary still applies - even more so.

FeralCats wrote:
But, for a long time, even critics who claimed to be sympathetic to FZ would talk about how Civilization Phaze III was "obviously dated" etc because of it's synth sounds ...
Vintage synths have become a premium in recent years - many people are paying serious money to get a hold of them. Anyway - it's about a lot more than synth sounds. FZ wasn't just using stuff out of the box, he used samples of a wide variety of sound sources. Do critics consider Varèse's Poème Électronique dated? How many of the usual instruments that people play these days were invented less than a hundred years ago? Datedness is a tricky concept to navigate and in the end, I guess it's in the ear of the beholder.

FeralCats wrote:
... imo it sounds more relevant than ever to the work of folk like FlyLo ("You're Dead!") and Western art composers (like Heiner Goebbels, and younger folk) who are more openly indebted to FZ.

Indeed. Caveat: I was already familiar with some Heiner Goebbels but I had to check out FlyLo's "You're Dead!" on YouTube.

FeralCats wrote:
Just wondering, since it seems like in the first decade this beautiful thing existed everyone was already willing to consign it to the grave---do you listen to it often? When you do does it strike you as a relic of it's time, or as relevant?

It's definitely not a relic. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word boring referring to the last two tracks, that seems unnecessarily harsh in retrospect. I haven't given up on them and still listen to them every now and then. I can't see myself as ever finding any of this album dated.

And, while I'm at it, I like Dance Me This just as much.

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