frank zappa Archive

Outside Now: A Conversation with Dweezil Zappa, Part 2

Continued from Part One … While Dweezil Zappa‘s tour will include a few tracks from Via Zammata, most of each show will center around performances of Frank’s challenging material. And Dweezil’s band follows the late Zappa’s onstage approach of building improvisation into the songs. “That’s one of the unique things about Frank’s music,” Dweezil observes.

Outside Now: A Conversation with Dweezil Zappa, Part 1

Last month I interviewed Dweezil Zappa; I wrote three features based upon that interview: one each for papers in Chicago, Richmond and Pittsburgh. But even with that, a great deal of our conversation remained unpublished. Today and tomorrow I present this feature, which combines those three and adds additional content from our interview – bk.

DVD Review: Frank Zappa and the Mothers — The Lost Broadcast

For an artist who seemingly documented nearly every moment of his live and studio performance – and, not unlike John Lennon and Yoko Ono, considered the entirety of it as a single body of work – the early work of Frank Zappa‘s Mothers (of Invention) was, surprisingly, not as extensively captured and saved as one

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Archival Live Albums

It’s time once again to take a stab at clearing out the massive backlog of worthy CDs clogging my inbox. Today, it’s quick reviews of five archival live albums, all previously unreleased. Cheap Trick – Auld Lang Syne By the tail-end of the 1970s (this show was recorded at Los Angeles’ Forum on New Year’s

Album Mini-review: Dweezil Zappa — Via Zammata’

File next to: Frank Zappa, Primus, Tenacious D Today, Dweezil Zappa might sound like a chip off the old block, but it wasn’t always so. On his first release – 1982’s single “Crunchy Water” b/w “My Mother is a Space Cadet” – he sounded like a reasonably talented kid who owned some Van Halen records.

Best of 2015: Video (DVD and/or Blu-ray)

It takes a good bit more time and effort to screen a DVD or Blu-ray than it does to check out an album. With the latter, I can let the CD or record spin while I’m doing something else (I can multitask to some degree), but the former requires sitting in a comfortable chair, watching

Video Review: Frank Zappa — Roxy: The Movie

There’s no consensus among Frank Zappa fans as to which album is his “best.” But most will agree that the 1974 double-live LP Roxy & Elsewhere is a high point. Recorded in L.A. over three nights in December ’73, the album captured The Mothers’ unique mix of bizarre lyrics, astounding and intricate musical interplay, and

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Vol. 3: Feel Released in October 1974, Feel again featured bassist John Heard and drummer Ndugu alongside George Duke, but his guest artists lent a decidedly adventurous air to the disc: husband and wife Airto Moreira (the Brazilian percussionist Duke knew well through his association with Julian “Cannonball” Adderley) and Flora

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part One)

George Duke (1946-2013) was one of the most fascinating figures in music during the second half of the 20th century. Duke was a jazz-and-classically trained musician proficient on any number of instruments, though he is best known as a keyboard player. He got his start collaborating with French virtuoso violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and his early

Book Review: Geek Rock

Rock’n’roll and scholarship make strange bedfellows. At first blush, the idea of approaching the work of rock bands from a scholarly point of view is patently absurd; such juxtapositions give rise to the aphorism (of indeterminate origin) “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” But it can be done – and successfully – if