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Musicians who flummox

Music news, rumors, what you're listening to, how you're listening to it and whether it's all on the up-and-up.

Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby pjbogart » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:32 am

Daryl Hall? Meh. Huey Lewis with less pop sensibility. Billy Joel? I've always had a fondness for him... I love the line "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the Saints. The sinners are much more fun." I like The Police, Sting not so much. I respect Zappa, but never really got him... perhaps he's my flummox. Steve Vai? Speed isn't music.

The Smiths? Rolling Stone's greatest albums of all time had all but one of The Smiths album in it, and it was the one that Morrissey and Marr say they like best, "Strangeways, Here We Come." Pretty much the entire Emo culture owes its existence to Robert Smith and Morrissey. If influence is a better gauge of status than album sales, then bands like The Smiths and Pixies are my generation's Beatles.

How Soon Is Now? Never. Listen to There is a Light That Never Goes Out. Really listen to it. The beautiful pop song that's essentially a suicidal dirge. Or Stretch Out and Wait. Listen to the vocals play against the guitar, almost oblivious to its presence but yet so perfectly matched.

The Smiths catalog serves like a John Hughes soundtrack for the 80's. It defines teen angst, doubt and depression. From 1984's Still Ill (1986 Live), 1985's I Want the One I Can't Have, 1986's Bigmouth Strikes Again and 1987's Unhappy Birthday The Smiths changed the landscape of music in the time it took you to get fired from a crappy, part-time job.

The were fucking Gods and I'd cash in my 401k just to buy a ticket to their reunion show.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby christopher_robin » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:05 pm

Ke$ha.

I went from ugh!, irritation, and incredulity eventually to a place where I kind of like her. Not really making any statement on the music, which is uneven, but I like her insane ideals (basically Aerosmith + Beastie Boys + Daft Punk = strong enough for a man, but made for a woman).

Wayne Coyne helped me to sort it out.

I enjoy discovering than an act I thought was atrocious is worth a closer look. Challenging assumptions is a good thing.

Before you run me out on a rail tarred and feathered, I'm still flummoxed. But I am enjoying that state, as it's an improvement over my reflexive "urk!"
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:14 pm

I love Ke$ha. For a couple of years I've been drafting an essay in my head about "Tik Tok." I may get around to writing it one day. Working title: "The Tragedy of Chronology."
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby john_titor » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:18 pm

pjbogart wrote:
How Soon Is Now? Never.

The Smiths catalog serves like a John Hughes soundtrack for the 80's. It defines teen angst, doubt and depression. The Smiths changed the landscape of music in the time it took you to get fired from a crappy, part-time job.


Listening to The_Smiths-Complete set tonight and remembering this comment, I felt moved to respond.

How Soon Is Now? Never.

I don't know what to say to this. Does this mean you don't like the song? Please tell me what is wrong with this song.

Then this:

"The Smiths catalog serves like a John Hughes soundtrack for the 80's."

John Hughes? Really?

So much to answer for;
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby david cohen » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:56 pm

scratch wrote:
Adam Powell wrote:Regarding Frank Zappa
By Gail Zappa
Hi there. This is gonna be about exercising your right to vote. And it is going to be about Frank Zappa -- maybe some stuff you didn't know about either subject but might, given the fast approaching Day of Destiny for our next four years, be of interest to you.
http://tinyurl.com/bqzumoa


Gail Zappa is absolutely my favorite rock widow.



Ouch! More like a Black Widow. She's done more to ruin FZ's legacy than any of the FZ cover bands she has litigated into smithereens. Couple that with her terrible business acumen, her failure to release copious amounts of live archival material (that would certainly earn her a ton of cash) and she is my candidate for "Musician's Wives Who Flummox"!
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:33 pm

david cohen wrote:
scratch wrote:Gail Zappa is absolutely my favorite rock widow.

Ouch! More like a Black Widow. She's done more to ruin FZ's legacy than any of the FZ cover bands she has litigated into smithereens. Couple that with her terrible business acumen, her failure to release copious amounts of live archival material (that would certainly earn her a ton of cash) and she is my candidate for "Musician's Wives Who Flummox"!

Enlighten me, please. What has Gail done to ruin FZ's legacy?

The Zappa Family Trust releases several archival albums every year -- all lovingly mixed and mastered, featuring a variety of material spanning FZ's entire career. They even reissued the original mix of Cruising With Ruben and the Jets, something FZ himself had always balked at doing, to the great delight of many long-time fans. Not sure what more you expect from them, and I think you overestimate how much actually cash would be generated by more live releases. The Zappa catalog is already bloated beyond the size of most people's wallets; more unreleased stuff would only serve to further oversaturate the market, I would think.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby david cohen » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:03 pm

Prof- the FZ archive is huge and Gail allows only a trickle of releases of live material that FZ's ever-aging fan base is (and has been) clamoring for. It's only in the past 2 years that we've seen some movement on her end. Reissuing albums doesn't cut it for me. FZ multi-tracked almost every gig he played. At this point you may be correct on the revenue generation side of this. FZ fans went through such a prolonged dry spell that we've covered most of the important periods via ROIO (recordings of independent origin), so she probably isn't selling as much as she could. That latest 1968 live release was a real treat but many of the archival releases already existed in trading circles for decades. Her ruthless treatment of anyone who helped FZ along the way pisses me off. FZ's players can't even perform his material without paying her a royalty. We even have some local folks in town who have been cease and desisted for posting FZ cover band video on YouTube:( I get it- she's trying to make sure Dweezil's band is the only purveyor of all thinks FZ.

I sure miss Frank. I attended a Congressional Hearing back in 1986 when they excoriated him about profanity in his recordings. Later that winter he came back to Washington for 3 shows and did a fan poll on the meaning of the PMRC (Tipper Gore's group). The top vote getter is still relevant 25 years later: Pre Menstrual Republican Cocksuckers:)
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:32 pm

I think you underestimate what a large job it is prepare all those live recordings FZ made for proper release. Not only is it extremely time consuming, but it's expensive (someone has to get paid for the effort.) Just because multi-track recordings exist does not mean they automatically meet the standards of a Zappa. The Barfko-Swill site lists 20+ recordings which have been released posthumously, many of which are multi-disc sets. Zappa's only been dead for 20 years, which means he's putting out more music every year in death than most living performers do. Are you suggesting they should just dump 600 or so live shows on the market at once and expect any kind of profit or goodwill to be the result?

Now, I tend to agree with you that the ruthlessness of stopping unauthorized performances borders on insanity, but it's not like Frank didn't share those feelings -- The Real Frank Zappa Book makes it abundantly clear that Frank felt that as a composer, he was never properly paid and constantly being ripped-off, and he had little respect for most musicians, including many he worked with over the years -- so there's little reason to assume he wouldn't fully support such efforts. As he predicted, few cared about his compositions until he was dead, and dead guys don't get paid.

When you said Gail was ruining his legacy, I assumed you had some stories about her mangling his music, selling it for nefarious purposes, or at the very least, dishing unflattering tales about him. It would seem all she's doing is continuing Frank's long-standing tradition of demanding to be paid handsomely for his work, and fuck everybody else (I mean, this was a guy who sued major record companies as a hobby, looked down his nose at the majority of his fans, was vehemently anti-union, and, if the stories of his band members are to be believed, routinely stole their ideas without giving them any credit.)
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby scratch » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:21 pm

david cohen wrote:
scratch wrote:Gail Zappa is absolutely my favorite rock widow.

Ouch! More like a Black Widow. She's done more to ruin FZ's legacy than any of the FZ cover bands she has litigated into smithereens. Couple that with her terrible business acumen, her failure to release copious amounts of live archival material (that would certainly earn her a ton of cash) and she is my candidate for "Musician's Wives Who Flummox"!


As to the main thrust of david cohen's thoughts, I pretty much agree with Prof. Wagstaff. But let me just add that in the competition for favorite rock wife, some of the other contestants are Yoko Ono, Courtney Love, Rita Marley, and Sharon Osbourne. I guess I'm mostly referring to rock widows who have involved themselves in a major way with managing the dead hubby's output, so many rock widows haven't figured in my endorsement of Gail. Other than Sharon Osbourne--who is not yet a widow--I think she's been the best steward of the old man's stuff, certainly better than Rita Marley who isn't even running Marley Inc. anymore.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Detritus » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:57 pm

scratch wrote:As to the main thrust of david cohen's thoughts, I pretty much agree with Prof. Wagstaff. But let me just add that in the competition for favorite rock wife, some of the other contestants are Yoko Ono, Courtney Love, Rita Marley, and Sharon Osbourne. I guess I'm mostly referring to rock widows who have involved themselves in a major way with managing the dead hubby's output, so many rock widows haven't figured in my endorsement of Gail. Other than Sharon Osbourne--who is not yet a widow--I think she's been the best steward of the old man's stuff, certainly better than Rita Marley who isn't even running Marley Inc. anymore.

What about Barbara Orbison?
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby city2countrygal » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:37 am

AKA the wife of Lefty Wilbury

My fav song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwqhdRs4jyA

From the comments:
"One of the greatest band of misfits I ever heard"

Vol 3 was dedicated to his memory
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:09 am

Barbara, whom I knew, was a great steward of Roy's legacy and a prodigiously successful businesswoman. She was very kind to me.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby david cohen » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:15 pm

I can see where you are coming from on Gail Zappa's stewardship of his material. I just think she could make more money if she'd sell more live performances, and i hate that she has litigated his fellow bandmates into non-existence. The Zappas have everything they need, in house, to pump out a release a month for the next 20 years. But like I said, the audience grows smaller every week:( It must be tough being a rock widow. Jerry Garcia's widow effectively blocked releases for a decade until his kids sued her.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby scratch » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:33 am

david cohen wrote:I can see where you are coming from on Gail Zappa's stewardship of his material. I just think she could make more money if she'd sell more live performances, and i hate that she has litigated his fellow bandmates into non-existence. The Zappas have everything they need, in house, to pump out a release a month for the next 20 years. But like I said, the audience grows smaller every week:( It must be tough being a rock widow. Jerry Garcia's widow effectively blocked releases for a decade until his kids sued her.


Compare Gail Zappa's performance to Rita Marley's. The market was flooded with Bob product, former band members and other acquaintances were driven away, and as far as litigation, Marley Inc. has been pretty hardhearted regarding understandings Bob may (or, of course, may not) have had with longtime band members. Then there's the embarrassing 'moving Bob's body to Africa' gambit, and a situation where it's unlikely anyone will ever sort out the rights to all of Bob's stuff. In compariosn GZ looks like an icon of doing right.

I don't think FZ, had he lived, would be inclined "to pump out a release a month" either, but who knows? And BTW--which "Jerry Garcia's widow"? I'm just curious, but from what I read in Rock Skully's and a few other not-so complimentary later Jerry bios, there were more than one of Garcia's former companions involved in litigation.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Mean Scenester » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:42 am

Who knew hippies were such a litigious and avaricious lot?

** cough **
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