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Thread: Captain Beefheart

  1. #51
    Panama Limited "Indian Summer". They changed musical direction on this one, strongly influenced by Captain Beefheart.
    Macht das ohr auf!

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  2. #52
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    In addition to Rustic Hinge what other bands scratch the Beefheart itch?
    The great, late Yukon from Baltimore. I learned about them just in time to see their final show.

    https://newfirmament.bandcamp.com/album/yukon
    Steve F.

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    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

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    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  3. #53
    And some of The Red Crayola's Soldier Talk scratches that itch as well. And another band from the ol' NoMan'sLand-roster; Proof of Utah namechecked the Captain as influence, 'though the music wasn't really in that vein at all.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  4. #54
    Beefheart's fills a particular niche for me as well. Decals is my fave, but TMR was my introduction about 20 years ago. Sounds stupid I know, but Beefheart was one of those I felt like I needed to work my way to, to have some sort of frame of reference. So by the time I got TMR, I thought I had a decent idea of what to expect. I was still totally unprepared and all the better for it, if that makes any sense. Though I've got most of his catalog and have spent plenty of time with it, I can't say it's ever been on regular rotation. But it's there when I need it because nothing, and I mean nothing, scratches that itch. Absolutely a one-off. Hoping the new Sun,Zoom,Spark box will be under the tree this year.

    Anybody read Drumbo's book?

  5. #55
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frippster View Post
    Anybody read Drumbo's book?
    Yes. It's totally thorough - maybe TOO thorough - and could have used a little bit of pruning, imo.

    But it's the definitive 'inside' view and it will probably make you very sad, if you love this music, learning just how much human suffering making this music took.

    Did it have to take this much suffering? Who knows. But it did.

    My favorite part (and the least painful part) is the first (fairly lengthy) where he sets the scene of growing up in the desert before he meets Don.
    Steve F.

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  6. #56
    Member aplodon's Avatar
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    Trout Mask Replica is my favourite by far.

    The others I have (Lick My Decals Off, Shiny Beast and Ice Cream For Crow) have never really clicked with me.
    Guess I'll have to give them another chance, especially Lick My Decals Off, since it seems to be a favourite with many.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Yes. It's totally thorough - maybe TOO thorough - and could have used a little bit of pruning, imo.
    Amazon has the page count at 880!!! Most of the reviews I read suggests Vliet comes off as some unholy combination of eccentricity,dictatorialness,sadism and genius. I can believe that. Heck, that just about describes his music.

  8. #58
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    But it's the definitive 'inside' view and it will probably make you very sad, if you love this music, learning just how much human suffering making this music took.
    "Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience" by Bill Harkleroad is also a good read. It's like sitting down in a bar with Harkleroad and buying him a succession of beers. As he gets more and more sloshed the Van Vliet bashing gets more and more vitriolic, until by the exhausting end of the evening you start to question whether it's the beer talking.

  9. #59
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    John's book is much, much better and much, much better written, imo, than Bill's. I have read both.

    Bill's was interesting to me as a big fanboy, but I couldn't recommend it to anyone, honestly.

    John's has its flaws (well, he isn't a professional writer, so the flaws are totally understandable, imo), but I can easily recommend it.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  10. #60
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I can easily see that viewpoint. It's a pretty opinionated book, full of mostly negative opinions and a slightly inflated self-image.

  11. #61
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    The great, late Yukon from Baltimore. I learned about them just in time to see their final show.
    Just finishing listening to their album on Bandcamp. I can see why you would feel that way -- they're obviously Beefheart-influenced and have a very Cuneiform sound. Anyone in the band ever surface elsewhere? I see these tracks are from 2011, three years old already.

  12. #62
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Just finishing listening to their album on Bandcamp. I can see why you would feel that way -- they're obviously Beefheart-influenced and have a very Cuneiform sound. Anyone in the band ever surface elsewhere? I see these tracks are from 2011, three years old already.
    Their final show was 4/17/2010.

    So, it didn't come out for a year after that and originally only on cassette.

    They wanted me to release it, which is why I went to see them. I liked it a lot and the show a lot, but I didn't think I could attract an audience for them, so after a lot of consideration, I said 'no'.

    They didn't tell me that they were breaking up when they approached me, which really sucks, but also has happened to me more than once before, so my instincts were right that time.

    The drummer was the leader and the lead singer. This is by him:

    https://newfirmament.bandcamp.com/album/gift-of-mithra

    I haven't played it.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by FrippWire View Post
    And once when I was driving Jeff Moris Tepper around Detroit we were listening to Gang Of Four's Solid Gold and he thought they were totally ripping off Beefheart.
    Hmmm. I sorta want to know more about Tepper, but I guess I'll just say this: Gang of Four is excellent. I never thought they sounded like Beefheart, but, hey, if it turns some people on to them, then I'm for it. (Their last album was an excellent return to form.) Of course, there's like ten of us in this thread and it's the same ten guys from the Cardiacs thread and the Henry Cow thread and the Knifeworld thread and the Trojan Horse thread and . . .
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  14. #64
    There is also a strange but vague similarity between the first Mad River album and some proto-TMR antics. If you can stomach the bizarre vox of Laurence Hammond, this is totally worthy of investigation:

    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  15. #65
    chalkpie
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    I might bust out Rune 205 tomorrow in honor of this thread (Fast 'N Bulbous - Pork Chop Blue Around The Rind). Its been years since I heard this.

  16. #66
    Ive been rediscovering his early stuff, especially "Safe as Milk", a gem, not avant like Trout Mask and what came after, but still inventive, also an album that lives in its own time and world. Bat Chain Puller is also grabbing my attention, as well as Ice Cream for Crow. Yep, Ive been on a Captain trip myself

  17. #67
    A shame the new mastering on Decals from sun zoom spark is much less dynamic than the old cd, with some unecessary goosed bass and treble.Not listened to the other stuff yet.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werbinox View Post
    "Safe as Milk"
    Still my favourite. A sort of warped psych-blues sound, great stuff, though I've never been thrilled by the sound quality or the poor stereo mix.

    With 'Trout Mask Replica', I don't find most of the music particularly hard to assimilate- indeed, the playing is marvellous! The vocals/lyrics, though not without touches of humour or strident social comment ('Dachau Blues'), are a little harder. But it's an album still out on its own, that's for sure.

  19. #69
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    They didn't tell me that they were breaking up when they approached me, which really sucks, but also has happened to me more than once before, so my instincts were right that time.
    A contract with Cuneiform probably keeps many bands together.

  20. #70
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    A contract with Cuneiform probably keeps many bands together.
    No, it doesn't do that. Believe me.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  21. #71
    Member hippypants's Avatar
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  22. #72
    Boy, Amazon is just getting brazen with releasing boots, ain't it?
    http://www.amazon.com/Muffin-Man-Goe...ds=frank+zappa

    That Zappa/Beefheart/Mothers album is one of my all time favorites even if it's more pastiche than album. I guess I could get on one of the torrent sites and download a full show, but wouldn't it be nice to to see the ZFT (or whatever they are now and whatever deal they have with whatever outlet) put out a full show from this tour already?
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  23. #73
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Someone over at the Hoffman site pointed out that the Trout Mask House Sessions disc from the OOP Grow Fins box is coming out on CD:
    https://www.amazon.com/Trout-Mask-Ho.../dp/B06XXL94B3

    The cover photo's got to be 5 years earlier than TMR.

  24. #74
    Had TMR from when I was a kid, but pretty much like all the discs except for Bluejeans and Moonbeams. Had Ice Cream for Crow out and in regular listening rotation not too long ago...

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Did it have to take this much suffering? Who knows. But it did.
    In a way, I can see why.

    Don Van Vliet was a fairly limited musician - he could sing, but that was about it. And although he had a vision, he didn't have the tools to realize it on his own or communicate it easily and effectively. Monk, Mingus, and FZ (to name a few other noted musical eccentrics) could realize their visions on their own, could communicate them well, and thus could attract the first-rate players their music needed. But Don would have had trouble doing that, trouble finding expert musicians willing to take the leap of faith needed to recognize that yes, he did have something happening, and to realize his unique abstract, outside take on the blues.

    So I guess it made a sort of sense for Don - or at least made sense to him - to find a bunch of fairly young and inexperienced musicians, become a sort of musical cult leader, and intimidate them into playing his stuff and realizing his vision. No matter the misery he made them endure - like a number of artists, he seems to have been too single-minded to care about how he treated others in pursuit of his goals. But notice that later in his career, he had people like Bruce Fowler playing with him; and although I don't know for sure, I strongly suspect he quit the cult-leader business at that point because musicians of Bruce's sort would never have stood for it.
    Last edited by Baribrotzer; 06-08-2017 at 11:16 AM.

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