Rachel Verinder

Well-known member
Then there were all the attacks on fundamentalist Christians coupled with campaigns to get people to register to vote

yeah, look at american government 2004-style, it really worked didn't it, all those attacks and campaigns?

quoted in a 1992 interview: "capitalism is flawed but i'll go along with it any day in preference to communism."

therefore, part of the problem, not the solution.
WOEBOT said:
the trick is, i suppose (ahem) to have such a tight rein on your baser mores that you can just lay it down without recourse to noodling or repetition. i suppose everyone is thinking "derek bailey", but no, what about the minutemen. one take. or bug kahn and the plastic jam. made in three minutes. the beatles didn't practise in hamburg, they played their level best every night.

really paul, i'm surprised that you of all people (a disciple of magick!) are so hostile to this. i think your point about magritte (who's a bit chocolate boxy) is slightly by-the-by. it's more about how you get from a to b, from idea to manifestation. though an over-polished turd the like of which dali produced is a sure sign of planning run rampant.

to return to FZ. zappa is so in thrall with an afterimage of "famous dead composer" that he ends up writing scores!!! gasps! what a moron! that's why classical music is so fucked! it relies for any life-force upon genius interpreters like menuhin to figure out some way of invigorating it. as any fule kno in the days when classical music really was alive the composer/performer was far more prevalent and the score was probably more of an afterthought.

as a final thought, this detachedness from the evidence of creation is almost certainly why modern electronica is going backwards. the whole "infinite palatte of sound" that electronic instruments provide these days is antithetical to delineating the process of creation itself. the sound of an orchestra can be conjoured at the press of a button, the act devoid of any representative energy, and thus empty of significance. the sounds themselves "untrue", "fake". no wonder grime's playstation approach makes so much more artistic sense, there is a conspicuous materiality to the sound.

I don't get the classical music is dead DEAD (in a creative sense)! -- sure, commercially, its not a force by any means but look beyond sales figures and you some really good composers today (and yesterday!) (most classical music I listen to is post-1950) working with either ensembles (the orchestra has been broken down somewhat into smaller sized ensembles; additionally I think string quatets are written by a wider variety of composers today than symphonies) or individual performers on getting the music down onto the score/discussing performance strategy...just in the same way that a producer works with MCs on new tracks or when assembling a mixtape etc. Its also ironic that minimalism, the most commercially successful of current western classical musics, is the one that seems to dissolve the performer-composer relationship the most in favour of machine like rhythms. And from listening to quite a bit of electronica the whole 'sound' of it cannot be conjured up at a press of a button, there may be a lot of really awesome rhythmic push/pull but much of the time it does come down to a 'hot beat'. Much grime reminds me of itwith rhythms being diff and the MC being 50% of the whole thing.

to go back to the beat, that was something beefheart wasn't really keen on -- and as I recall at the time of TMR beefheart got a piano and the drummer to write the music down on paper after he'd improvise on it. But much of it sounds improvised, not composed (its like john cage using chance procedure and locking the 'randomness' in a score). songs with seemingly improvised parts - its scary stuff! Put it this way: listen to that then put some improvisation on and its not a million miles away from it. Beefheart and frank had a stronger relationship to classical (they grew up at the time when it wz a stronger presence in the kulcha, i guess): beefheart wz a control freak (which many composers are) and zappa wanted respectability from that world.


Mercury Blues
johneffay said:
'Good or better' are obviously matters of opinion.


Was all that just sneering cynicism as well, or is it only sneering cynicism when he attacks things you believe in?


Grievous Angel

Beast of Burden
Ooh, the thread has spawned -- good, I missed the ending last time. Excellent points from Matt...
WOEBOT said:
i mean "good" in the sense of "true", "honest", "ethical" as opposed to the term necessarily being a qualititative assesment
OK as far as it goes -- one could pick holes but lets not be picky.

saying that "properly-made" art will inevitably wear it's own construction like a badge
Think I get it... but is is Zappa "properly made"? Question of game rules I think. Sometimes he follows orchestral composition game rules, sometimes he does doo-wop, sometimes he does weird art pieces. That's a lot of badges!

i'll grudgingly concede there is some element of a priori organisation, he would hum them their parts certainly.
Bit more than a priori organiation on good Beefhart!

practise is anathema isnt it? i mean who here actually writes anything but from the top of their head? that's how i write! i get all the necessary raw info in hand and then splurge, maybe a bit of tidying up at the end. it's the only way to write isnt it? you jump up in the air, do your funny move, and land. end of story.

No, practice isn't anathema at all. Don't forget, you've done lots of practice. At your age, with your experience, you've got chops. That's why you're at a professional level of writing, sometimes in the economic sense. Lots of people on Dissensus either have real world economic experience of professional writing, and most of them have the skills (acquired through practice) of a pro writer. Practice isn't just scales.

Animation takes longer to get really hot chops, and you've probably not been doing it as long.

really paul, i'm surprised that you of all people (a disciple of magick!) are so hostile to this.
No K's on magic this year, darling! (And no I'm not hostile :).) However, the comparison with magic is a good one. Magic isn't about intuition. It's about putting the work in, putting the practice in, to be able to deploy intution and other skills to engage with... whatever it is. It really isn't about just doing the jump in the air and doing your thing. It's about acquiring the imaginative discipline (Eden's favourite word! and I note you used the word disciple :)) and obtaining the practical and esoteric skills that enable you to, when the moment takes you, just jump in the air and do your thing... and it works.

Music production works much the same way.

though an over-polished turd the like of which dali produced is a sure sign of planning run rampant.
Ah, we're departing from the orthodoxy of Coil now, so... :)

to return to FZ. zappa is so in thrall with an afterimage of "famous dead composer" that he ends up writing scores!!! gasps! what a moron!
Well, facilely, lots of musicians write scores, probably including many you like but... yeah, he does play the composer game, and sometimes the "famous dead composer" game. So what? Some of it's alright, some of it I'm not so keen on. But let's cut to the chase with a list, which is where this was always heading. I suspect you just haven't been listening to the right Zappa albums (lets face it, he did so many, few will like them all).

So, you want free-flowing emotion and artistry without (too much) artifice? And you want a kinder, gentler Zappa with less of a cynical overlay and more authentic humanity? I'm guessing here, but that's my impression. OK.

Well, your first port of call should be Broadway the Hard Way. If you don't like this then that's it -- so if you you've heard this already and it didn't work, you just don't like Frank Zappa and we should give up now cos the man simply winds you up! It's got tunes a-gogo basically. You should also give Joe's Garage a try, probably not all of it but the title track certainly and some of the weird "Dumb All Over" disco. For pure freeform uncomposed improv you should perhaps try Shut Up and Play Your Guitar, though it is all solos :), or one of the You Can't Do That Onstage Anymore series, probably the one with the fantastic version of Dickie's Such An Asshole.

Basically, I know what you're saying, but Zappa isn't Rush :).


Well-known member
As Paul has started the Zappa list game, I'll just add that if all you jazz snobs ;) really want to hear him with a band doing incredibly good improv, you should check out 'The Purple Lagoon/Approximate on Zappa in New York.