Monday, November 29, 2010

Rudder show + DVD recording in New York

http://www.ruddermusic.comWe just got the latest newsletter from Rudder in our mailbox. In just two days time the band will play its first gig in New York for more than a year. The show will be recorded for a DVD. Here are the details:

Hello Folks!

We just finished 5 weeks of touring in Europe. We had an amazing trip and we are looking forward to returning next year!

On Dec 1, (this Wednesday), we are playing in NYC at Rockwood Music Hall in the #2 venue (the bigger stage).

This is a special night for us as we are going to be recording a new live DVD - shot with multiple cameras in HD.

We will be sharing our evening with our great friends -- and a KICK ASS BAND -- Snarky Puppy.

You definitely want to check them out.

We expect this to be a pretty full show - as we haven't played in NYC with the full band for over a year.

You can purchase advance tickets on the Rockwood site here:

$15 gets you in for both bands!

For more info on Rudder:

ALso. . some choice video from our tour:

Here's some info on Snarky Puppy:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gaucho is 30 - Part 3 of 4

Our Album of the Month for November 2010; Gaucho from Steely Dan, inspired us to buy a book. And it's all due to the stoy behind the cover:

The cover is yet another one not featuring any band members. This time they went with a photo by one René Burri of a dancing couple found on a mural in Buenos Aires' La Boca district.

René Burri is a Swiss working as a professional photographer since the late 1940's. Among his best known work are the photos of the South American cowboy; the gaucho.

We found ourselves a second hand copy of The Gaucho from 1968.

René himself

(Check back for part 4 of 4.)
Here's part 1 and part 2,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hammersmith Odeon - the review

OK here's the review of the new Frank Zappa three cd set, Hammersmith Odeon (Vaulternative Records, VR 20101):
This is yet another great release from the Zappa family trust. Excellent material (yes, one of my favorite line ups), great sound, not as "close" as Frank used to make them, but the sound is clear and the balance between the intruments and voices is very good. In some selections the vocals are a little too low though.
The sound is compressed BUT it's not overdone, like on the Buffalo album. It's more like the Philly '76 album.
Speaking of Philly '76, this can be seen as Philly's sister album, where Hammersmith is the full blown version. They both feature Bozzio/O'Hearn on drums and bass respectively, and some of the songs are the same but they have developed a bit during one year and four months. Take City Of Tiny Lites for instance, on Philly we get the early raw prototype. On Hammersmith it has turned out to be the dynamic, well orchestrated version that we know from Sheik Yerbouti. To be honest, during the following tours that song would slowly change, or degenerate, into a less enjoyable piece of music.

Hammersmith is a three cd set with many songs on it. They are culled from several shows that took place in London in early 1978. Frank complains a bit over the lame London audiences, and yes, the audience is quite the opposite from the hysterical Halloween 1977 concerts in New York that one can see in the Baby Snakes movie. Maybe the London concerts is when he got the inspiration to write the song Dead Girls Of London.
There are a couple of long awaited songs that we don't get here. I would have loved to hear Wild Love with solos and Yo Mama, but I guess we have to be satisfied with three other "monster songs" we get here, A Pound For A Brown, Little House I Used To Live In and King Kong.
But overall: If you enjoyed Zappa's Philly '76 and Buffalo albums...this one's for you!

1. Convocation/The Purple Lagoon
During the band introduction Frank explains that the show is recorded for radio broadcast in the US. Never happened I guess.
2. Dancin' Fool
I'm even a bit excited to hear this staple song, with this line up.
3. Peaches En Regalia
Nice different arrangement with an acapella part at the end.
4. The Torture Never Stops
This band made the best performance of this song. Frank's Rat Tomago sounding guitar really gets me off. Better sound than the version on You Can't Do That On Stage Vol.1 too!
5. Tryin' To Grow A Chin
6. City Of Tiny Lites
Another song that this particular band did so well! During the next tours this song started to degenerate.
8. Baby Snakes
9. Pound For A Brown
Long awaited long version with some jazzy improvisation. Also includes the Hail Caesar routine, but Patrick's voice is too low in the mix.

1. I Have Been In You
Is introduced by Frank telling the story behind the song.
2. Flakes
Great song, good version! But it's understandable that Frank made overdubs on the Sheik Yerbouti version. Needed those massive vocal overdubs. This recording was made when the "I'm a moron and this is my wife" section did not have any vocals and was rather a solo spot for Adrian Belew.
3. Broken Heart Are For Assholes
4. Punky's Whips
Always great to hear this one, but I wonder if the London audience ever got the story of Punky.
5. Titties & Beer
6. Audience participation
7. The Black Page #2
8. Jones Crusher
9. Little House I Used To Live In
Actually an arrangement of the piano introduction from the Burnt Weeny Sandwich album. Then some cool improvisation featuring Tommy Mars on keyboards and vocals.

1. Dong Work For Yuda
Great almost acapella version with big band type groove during the choruses.
2. Bobby Brown
Frank tells the audience what inspired him to write the song, the story about "the three assholes".
3. Envelopes
Previously released as an instrumental on Ship Arriwing Too Late album. Here we get the original version with vocals (!) by Tommy Mars. Great, but for hardcore fans and completists only.
4. Terry Firma
Mr. Bozzio whips it out.
5. Disco Boy
6. King Kong
One of the greatest versions of this song. This is a tight ensemble!
7. Watermelon In Easter Hay. Prequel.
An early version of the instrumental that would later find it's form on Joe's Garage. Fast tempo. Sounds as if Frank had not decided yet what to do with this musical pattern. Starts off in a surprisingly romantic mood.
8. Dinah-Moe Humm
9. Camarillo Brillo
10. Muffin Man
11. Black Napkins
12. San Ber'dino
The end of the concert is made up of the standard encores that the band used to play at the time. Probably a great set of "hits" if you were there 1978, but today's Zappa fan has heard them so many times on different releases.
//Siggy, Radio Dupree

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beatles finally on iTunes

After years and years and ... years the music of The Beatles' albums is now available to buy on iTunes.
The question of course how many will buy the digital files online. Yes, the re-released CD:s and box-sets seem to have a prosperous audience willing to buy the albums again and again, but how many on iTunes feel like paying £10.99/$12.99 for an album or 99 pence/$1.29 for a single song?

The Beatles on iTunes is an exclusive deal that will expire in 2011. And then we'll probably find The Beatles for sale in other digital online stores as well.

More here and here and here and ... here. (Amongst other places...)

Meanwhile Fox News fumbled the facts and stated The Beatles' place of origin as Manchester rather than Liverpool. Ooops!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gaucho is 30 - Part 2 of 4

“Donald and I followed a certain line of thinking to its logical conclusion, and then perhaps slightly beyond—that was what we realized when we'd finished Gaucho: it was not as much fun...It wasn't fun at all, really.” -- Walter Becker in Mojo, 1980.

And as we continue our weekly posting regarding our Album of the Month; Steely Dan's Gaucho, we grab a couple of paragraphs from Wikipedia:

With the phenomenal success of "Aja," Donald and Walter are under considerably less pressure to release new material quickly. ABC releases a Greatest Hits package in November 1978 which includes one unreleased track "Here At The Western World." This collection also goes platinum and reaches #30 on the charts. Tiring of the L.A. scene, Becker and Fagen move back to New York to start recording their new album.

While recording "Gaucho", Becker and Fagen had to endure various misfortunes which delay the release date: Becker is hit by a car, one of their favorite new tracks "The Second Arrangement" is accidentally erased by an assistant recording engineer, and there is a dispute over which record company has the rights to their forthcoming album.

Becker and Fagen had already signed a new contract with Warner Brothers, but ABC (now owned by MCA) claims that they are still owed one more album. MCA wins the contract dispute and then decides to increase the album's list price to $9.98, one dollar more than all the other albums. Donald and Walter continue to hold back the album while they unsuccessfully fight the price increase. Finally, "Gaucho" is released in November, 1980.

And to get the facts (?) from the two in question; Donald and Walter, we'll take a peek at what they wrote in the liner notes to the 2000 CD remastered reissue of Gaucho.

(Incidentally those liner notes are a perfect excuse to buy the seven remastered albums released in 2000 even if you have the vinyl or some other version. They are a fun read that continues from the first to the last of the CDs).

Speaking of the Gaucho album proper, it can truly be said that never before or since in the sorry annals of pop music has so much been expended by so few for so long in the service of so little - or something like that. We come to the table ready and willing to concede to our harshest critics that it is undoubtedly true that at some point in this doleful enterprise we did indeed go well past it - the only remaining questions being exactly what "it" is and how blindly fast/excruciatingly slow we were moving at the precise moment when we crossed the line.

At the time, it all seemed worth it, especially because with the eventual completion of the recording, mixing and mastering of the album would come the long-promised and much-anticipated Weekend at the aforementioned La Samanna resort with two of the loveliest waitresses in all of midtown.


Sitting in the bar by Gate 72, we could scarcely contain our enthusiasm for the Lost Weekend to come, and, as it turns out, we may have overdone the alcoholic stimulation thing while waiting for the ladies to turn up. Because, while the girls flew on, alone together, to St. Maarten/St. Martin (where they drank, smoked, snorted and humped each other into oblivion for three delirious days and nights), the boys, in their inebriated state, having argued briefly about the relative merits of Chico Hamilton (?) versus Charlie Persip (!) and then lost track of one another somewhere in the terminal, boarded the wrong plane (in the case of Becker) or bus (in the case of Fagen) and turned up two to three days later in Kahului, Hawaii, or the Stanhope Hotel, respectively, each heartbroken, alone, enniless, with heads like watermelons and hearts like lead sinkers and, oddly enough, a hit single blooming on the charts. Go figure.

- Donald Fagen & Walter Becker, 2000

*For those voracious fans who may be interested, an alternative (but equally valid and just as realistic and somewhat more upbeat) version of the events described in these reissue notes is available privately - just send $35 plus postage to Craig Fruin, P.O. Box 1838, San Francisco, CA 94159-1838, and you will receive a deluxe mimeographed copy of "Steely Dan - the Watergate Years", signed by Craig Fruin himself. Act fast - supplies are limited.

(Check back next Sunday for part 3 of 4.)
Here's part 1.

Donald Fagen sends Hendrik a Melodica flyer

Hendrik Hertzberg is a senior editor and staff writer at The New Yorker.
In his Friday blog post he writes about a flyer that Donald Fagen has sent him. The flyer came with a cheap Melodica bought by Donald Fagen and - as Mr. Hertzberg puts it - "illustrates the hazards of relying solely on Google Translate and/or a Chinese-English pocket dictionary".

Read more here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hammersmith Odeon songs on Radio Dupree now

Frank on the loo, again! From the Hammersmith Odeon booklet.
Today the Radio Dupree staff received a copy of the brand new Zappa 3 cd set, Hammersmith Odeon.
First impression is that it is a spiffy item! Sound is similar to the Philly album. Good balance (not like the boomy Halloween audio dvd) and not too much compression (like the Buffalo cd). Review coming up here soon.
A couple of songs from the album already spinning on Radio Dupree. Then in December we will have the album as Album of the Month, and you can expect a lot of Zappa music that month...the celebtration of what would have been Frank's 70th birthday you know...December 21st.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ask Keith Carlock a question!

With the group Rudder touring Europe Rhythm Magazine has given all a chance to ask the drummer Keith Carlock (Steely Dan/Sting/John Mayer etc) a question. Read more here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Gaucho is 30 - Part 1 of 4

Our Album of the Month in November is Gaucho. The seventh and final before Steely Dan broke up or at least put everything on hold for more than a decade. As it was released in November 1980 it is 30 years old this month.

Most people associate Steely Dan with the sound on Gaucho and its predecessor Aja; jazzy, studio-slick and laidback. If you do take the time to listen to all seven albums from the debut Can't Buy A Thrill released in 1972 to Gaucho in 1980, you'll find seven albums with a distinctly different sound compared to each other. And a group that changed and evolved.
If Gaucho had been the final finale it would have been a suitable end to an impressive body of work.
As we now know Steely Dan came back alive touring in 1993 followed by - so far - one live and two studio albums.

Apart from the seven tracks on Gaucho we will play, and already are playing, alternative versions of the songs this month. A couple from the 1995 Steely Dan live album Alive In America, but most will by other artists. From Swedish duo Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist's version of the title track to Luciana Souza's Were You Blind That Day. The original lyrics-version of what eventually became Third World Man.

(Check back next Sunday for part 2 of 4.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Zappa 3 CD set - live 1978!

What a fantastic surprise! Barfko-Swill is now taking pre-orders for a thrilling 3 CD set, Hammersmith Odeon. Live 1978.
In honor of FZ's 70th & his favorite holiday, Halloween!"

- - - UPDATE November 11 - - -

Here are the tracks on the album:

Disc One:

  1. “Convocation / Purple Lagoon Intro”
  2. “Dancin’ Fool”
  3. “Peaches En Regalia”
  4. “The Torture Never Stops”
  5. “Tryin To Grow A Chin”
  6. “City Of Tiny Lites”
  7. “Baby Snakes”
  8. “Pound For A Brown”

Disc Two:

  1. “I Have Been In You”
  2. “Flakes”
  3. “Broken Hearts Are For A*******”
  4. “Punky’s Whips”
  5. “Titties And Beer”
  6. “Audience Participation”
  7. “The Black Page #2″
  8. “Jones Crusher”
  9. “The Little House I Used To Live In”

Disc Three:

  1. “Dong Work For Yuda”
  2. “Bobby Brown”
  3. “Envelopes”
  4. “Terry Firma”
  5. “Disco Boy”
  6. “King Kong”
  7. “Watermelon in Easter Hay”
  8. “Dinah Moe Humm”
  9. “Camarillo”
  10. “Muffin Man”
  11. “Black Napkins”
  12. “San Ber’dino”

Monday, November 01, 2010

Radio Dupree Top 20 - November 2010

1. Frank Zappa - King Kong (edit) - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore - Vol. 3

2. Frank Zappa - Goblin Girl - Have I Offended Someone?

3. Frank Zappa - Holiday In Berlin - Freaks And Motherfu*#@%!

Elton John & Leon Russell - Gone To Shiloh - The Union

5. The Beatles - Within You Without You - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Marillion - Assassing - Fugazi

7. Frank Zappa - Inca Roads - The Lost Episodes

8. Frank Zappa - Stick It Out - Buffalo

9. Marillion - Punch & Judy - Fugazi

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - She's So Fine - Axis: Bold As Love

Brian Eno - Baby's On Fire - Here Come The Warm Jets
12. Return To Forever - Medieval Overture - Romantic Warrior
13. Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention - Andy - One Size Fits All
Atomic Rooster - Friday 13th (US version) - Atomic Ro-o-ster
15. Steely Dan - Chain Lightning - Katy Lied
16. King Crimson - The Sailor's Tale - Earthbound
17. Steely Dan - Glamour Profession - Gaucho
Steely Dan - Fire In The Hole - Can't Buy A Thrill
19. Santana - Riders On The Storm (featuring Chester Bennington & Ray Manzarek) - Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time
20. Jethro Tull - Wond'ring Again - Living In The Past

Chart compiled by listeners voting
on the songs they hear on Radio Dupree

How appropriate: Yesterday it was Halloween and now Frank Zappa, an artist who was known for his special Halloween concerts, is topping our chart with three songs - a real hat trick! One of the songs being Goblin Girl that has a certain Halloween flavor.
And Zappa songs dominate this list of the songs of your choice. Six out of twenty are FZ tunes.
Two Marillion songs sneak in (on #6 and #9). Hmm, would you all like some more-a?