Friday, March 7, 2014

Scrabble Value Letters (Z): Zomby Woof

[Purchase Asphalt Orchestra - Zomby Woof]
[Purchase Frank Zappa - Zomby Woof] 

I learned about Frank Zappa in college, though I had heard "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" on the radio once before when a disc jockey made fun of it. I liked it anyway.

So Apostrophe and Joe's Garage (Act One) and Chunga's Revenge are favorites of mine for their combination of juvenile humor and complex musicianship, Then I lost interest in the man, even if I still bought a number of his albums. He became more of a misogynistic misanthrope to me than anything else--doesn't he like anyone or anything?

When this topic came up, I searched through songs I had in old playlists and the word "zombie" came up. Zombies are a hot topic in movies and TV shows and songs, of course. I considered posting a few that approached the subject from different angles.

Then this song popped into my head. The Frank Zappa and the Mothers version is off Over-Nite Sensation, which has a lot of great tunes, but also some of his rudest, most sexist lyrics. The album version starts out with Frank falling asleep and transforming into Ricky Lancelotti's crazed zombie/wolfman sex fiend, with Tina Turner and the Ikettes on backup vocals (uncredited on the album).

I figured I would check for You Tube videos. There are the requisite guitar jams; they are fine, but just not my cup of tea. And there is the video above. Crazed street musicians taking on the master?

It turns out the Asphalt Orchestra is an offshoot of Bang on a Can, the New York City "new music" promoters..They are professionals, looking like they are having a lot of fun. You have to see it to appreciate it, and man, I do.

At this moment, the Asphalt Orchestra has a Kickstarter Project to record their version of the Pixies' first full LP Surfer Rosa. It might not get funded, but we have not heard the last of them.
The Asphalt Orchestra is a 12 member post-modern "marching band." They have worked with other musicians such as David Byrne, St. Vincent, and Brian Eno.

by Paul Tessene

(SMM welcomes Paul and looks forward to reading his regular postings in his own name starting after this post on his behalf)

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