Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Zappadan 2010

 GdL16 - Where Strange Jason usually spends his Decembers. #music #frankzappa #zappa#zappadan

I'm over to this year. 
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Monday, December 21, 2009

One More Time

Zappadan 2009 is in the bag but the spirit of FZ continues all year round.

Happy Holidays
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Saturday, December 19, 2009


Nearly two weeks and almost two days until it's over and I haven't written anything for Zappadan.

My excuse was going to be "Oh, didn't you know? I was celebrating by my ZFT impersonation. Did you like it? Promise a lot up front but provide only delays an disappointment?"

After all, 2009 is almost over and what has come from the fabled vaults? The Lumpy Money Project and Philly '76.

Which is unfair. It's been a rough year for everyone. Even if they came out with five to ten different releases (the Roxy movie, the suspected Edgard Varèse album, 40th anniversary sets for 'Absolutely Free,' 'Crusin' with Ruben and the Jets,' 'Uncle Meat,' and 'Hot Rats', for instance) who would have the spare cash to buy them? And ultimately, out of possibly some unreleased 'Hot Rats' music, would my life be enhanced with such material?

Probably, probably not. No clue, really.

Ultimately, I've spent this Zappadan listening to some of the music but feeling, like noted in the previous entry, tired. Not tired of the music, for I was glad it was there. I'll be glad it's there on the nine-hour bus ride that awaits me in a few days. I'll be glad for it in a month when I'm stranded in an office building, typing away and in need of rescuing from the terminal boredom.

It's just a season where the exhaustion of the world, or at least, my very small slice of it, has left me quiet.

Though, thanks for Jon for the ideas. If this blog doesn't go into hibernation after the 21st, we'll see what comes of his good ideas. I should get him to write for this place now but he does most of the work over at already.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nap Time

I first heard bits of 'Everything is Healing Nicely' on the streaming radio, understanding it to be an extension of 'The Yellow Shark.' The song 'Nap Time' is uncharacteristic for FZ's work, in my opinion, because it's very slow and soft. The song adeptly conveys a sense of tired, of exhaustion and a need for sleep. Since FZ, in the latter stages of the cancer that would prove fatal, was known to have low energy at the time, it's hard for me not to read deeply into the manner and presentation of the song.

In the while an alphorn laments to a series of percussion instruments, a woman recites Japanese poetry.  

I have met my love.
When I compare this present
With feelings of the past,
My passion is now as if
I have never loved before.

Though I know indeed
That the night will come again
After day has dawned,
Still, in truth, I hate the sight
Of the morning's coming light.
Such a strange but lovely composition. It's one of my favorites and it's hard to find its mate, or songs of similar composition to play alongside it. I am with little energy these past few days. Such wild musical forays leave me depleted and it's hard to maintain a mental pace. I am grateful for this song.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Zappadan

Frank Vincent Zappa, d. Dec.4th 1993.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Real Dynamite Show

Sometime in October of 2001, I got badly drunk in Central Pennsylvania.  Because I was inventing the process, having not been taught how to get drunk nor inherited the knowledge through my DNA, I made a mess the first few times out the gate. In 2001, I made a horrid display of myself through a series of increasingly bad choices in drinks.

Before it all happened, I went with a pair of friends and one of their girlfriend's to a brew-pub. The Bullfrog. I have since reversed the position that I held that evening, passing on the beer to eventually drink harder liquor. Today, I will step over a shot for a pint. In two years, I think I will stop drinking altogether and see what a bit of complete temperance will do for me. Lord knows it would have saved myself from the wicked hangover that plagued me the following morning back then.

While I recovered on my friends' couch, watching either a football game or them play a series of video games, I recalled a peculiar moment at dinner time. As I said, I passed on beer. I was sober when this happened, though I can never really account for my mental state.

Whoever was manning the club's PA system was hip or wild or just plain freaky because though I didn't hear the looming introduction ("The way I see it, Barry....") I instantly recognized the opening ditty of 'Lumpy Gravy.'

In the half-hour that followed, there were moments that the buzz of the restaurant, the overall din of ever table's conversation, rose and lowered together, as if someone was twiddling the volume knob. Sharp dashes up/down, followed by swooping crests. It's hard to describe and I was the only one who experienced it.

The effect ended shortly before that instrumental 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance' played around. I would finish my meal, get terribly drunk, eat at midnight and vomit.

(Jack Daniels, Bacardi, Wild Turkey, Tequila.)

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Imaginary Diseases

Probably my favorite posthumous releases is 'Imaginary Diseases.' It's a very nice collection of songs. In particular, 'D.C. Boogie.' The first time I heard that song, it was suddenly a summer's afternoon on a idle street in a small town. There's a sensation to those days, where the sunlight gets into the brain and the division between energy and matter doesn't seem so finite. This is a little hyperbole but it's a nice song that invokes these feelings. It's these treats which continue us to mourn FZ's passing and look with anticipation at the rest of the Vault. Who knows, though? Can we ever be satisfied as fans?
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