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Thread: The posthumous Zappa discussion

  1. #51
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Anyone has made a connection with Civilization Phase III? I admit of still being rather cold towards it - not that I have spent that much with it (I am giving it another go today).
    It didn't click for me personally, but I also have not given it much of a chance after that initial lack of click.
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  2. #52
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Anyone has made a connection with Civilization Phase III? I admit of still being rather cold towards it - not that I have spent that much with it (I am giving it another go today).
    Yes, i love it. I dont love the dialogue so much but the compositions are out of this world. To be honest i need to listen at night, with headphones, and a nice little buzz doesnt hurt to get me in the "zone". The sounds and production are still ahead of the curve today in 2019, especially considering when it was released. Brilliant stuff, its like a peek inside FZs brain to hear him at his most complex. N-Lite!!

  3. #53
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Anyone has made a connection with Civilization Phase III? I admit of still being rather cold towards it - not that I have spent that much with it (I am giving it another go today).
    An absolute masterpiece, the crowning achievement of FZ's classical/Synclavier side.

  4. #54
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerking View Post
    Most of these would be my picks too for the best of the semi-recent releases. I haven't heard Halloween 77 yet. Buffalo is also a good one, and Chicago 78's second disc is quite good but I find the first disc is not very noteworthy.
    Halloween '77 is a terrific live set. Not much you haven't heard before, it's that "one classic after another" set list common to the period, but as always, little differences here and there. The performances are just top notch. I could do without the lengthy 'audience participation' thing where Frank is bringing people up to dance to the Black Page #2, it doesn't play well on an audio CD... but that's a very minor complaint. Things like Conehead and the 30-minute Wild Love more than make up for it! I'd probably put it ever so slightly above the Hammersmith Odeon release, although that one does have stuff like Watermelon and Little House. Oh, and the amusing Frank introduction to the British audience telling them how lame they've been so far on this tour, while the band is playing Purple Lagoon underneath!

    Agreed about Buffalo, nice to hear an early Vai-era show from '80. And also agreed about the second half of Chicago '78. A more interesting set of tunes there (I'm never crazy about yet another Dancin' Fool. Again, not a complaint).

    For me, these bountiful vault releases have been an absolute joy - and the aforementioned Little Dots/Wazoo albums are outright mind-blowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Anyone has made a connection with Civilization Phase III? I admit of still being rather cold towards it - not that I have spent that much with it (I am giving it another go today).
    I like it a lot, but then I warmed to that style of Frank's music as I got older. If it still doesn't work for you this time around, put it back on the shelf and try it again in a couple of years. It's a mood thing for me.
    www.velvetthunder.co.uk - From the ashes of the Classic Rock Society rises Velvet Thunder!

  5. #55
    I hear you people and trust your judgment

    I glued my bottom on a chair and listened throughout.

    Problems:

    - the Synclavier: still a source of music that sounds mechanical, cold - or simply unfamiliar

    - the Gloom: a far different emotional environment than what I am used to with FZ

    - the Unfathomable Density: I mean N-Lite, it's like presenting non-linear mathematical equations to a school-kid. It's overwhelming. I've faced incredibly complex music by Zappa before, but not on this scale.

    I like the work's structure, with the dialogues etc, its flow. I've already connected with some pieces, like Amnerica or the gorgeous Dio Fa. I think I navigate myself better in the second disc. But I am still far away of grasping this as a whole to have any valid opinion on it - much more effort is required.

    I am willing to do it. I never give up on Zappa.

  6. #56
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    I hear you people and trust your judgment

    I glued my bottom on a chair and listened throughout.

    Problems:

    - the Synclavier: still a source of music that sounds mechanical, cold - or simply unfamiliar

    - the Gloom: a far different emotional environment than what I am used to with FZ

    - the Unfathomable Density: I mean N-Lite, it's like presenting non-linear mathematical equations to a school-kid. It's overwhelming. I've faced incredibly complex music by Zappa before, but not on this scale.

    I like the work's structure, with the dialogues etc, its flow. I've already connected with some pieces, like Amnerica or the gorgeous Dio Fa. I think I navigate myself better in the second disc. But I am still far away of grasping this as a whole to have any valid opinion on it - much more effort is required.

    I am willing to do it. I never give up on Zappa.
    It's modern composition, man. Definitely not the easiest FZ to listen to, but then again his chamber, classical, and guitar solos challenge some folks too. Christ, so does early Mothers stuff. It's just another side of a coin out of huge handfuls of change that made up what he was all about. I can see hardcore fans not digging it, but that's cool, I think he wouldn't mind to be honest.

    "Everything in the universe is ... is ... is made of one element, which is a note, a single note. Atoms are really vibrations, you know, which are extensions of THE BIG NOTE ... Everything's one note. Everything, even the ponies. The note, however, is the ultimate power, but see, the pigs don't know that, the ponies don't know that ..."
    Last edited by chalkpie; 04-19-2019 at 03:22 PM.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    It's modern composition, man.
    With my Motorhead voice: so is Yellow Shark, but you didn't see me complaining about it.

    I am listening again with headphones. I start to like this - or convince myself that I do, which amounts to the same.

  8. #58
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Civ III is the best of those for me - the take done by Ensemble Modern on various pieces is just far more inviting and warm.

  9. #59
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    What I like about Dance Me This and Feeding the Monkies over CPIII is: no piano people nonsense.

  10. #60
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
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    The most recent Live in New York box has wreaked havoc on my private chart of favourite Zappa archival (live) releases, because it is soooo good that I am tempted to put it in the lead. Acting conservatively my top 15 would be the following, but the NY '76 set may still go up:

    1. Road Tapes #2 '73
    2. Wazoo '72
    3. Live in New York '76
    4. Roxy Performances '73


    5. Carnegie Hall '71
    6. Token of His Extreme '74
    7. Imaginary Diseases / Little Dots '72
    8. Halloween '77
    9. Hammersmith Odeon '78
    10. FZ: OZ '76
    11. Joe's Menage '75


    12. Road Tapes #1 '68
    13. Chicago '78
    14. Philly '76
    15. Road Tapes #3 '70
    Last edited by Jay.Dee; 05-19-2019 at 06:53 AM.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay.Dee View Post
    The most recent Live in New York box has wreaked havoc on my private chart of favourite Zappa archival (live) releases, because it is soooo good that I am tempted to put it in the lead. Acting conservatively my top 15 would be the following, but the NY '76 set may still go up:

    1. Road Tapes #2 '73
    2. Wazoo '72
    3. Live in New York '76
    4. Roxy Performances '73


    5. Carnegie Hall '71
    6. Token of His Extreme '74
    7. Imaginary Diseases / Little Dots '72
    8. Halloween '77
    9. Hammersmith Odeon '78
    10. FZ: OZ '76
    11. Joe's Menage '75


    12. Road Tapes #1 '68
    13. Chicago '78
    14. Philly '76
    15. Road Tapes #3 '70
    Nice list and I want them all

  12. #62
    Road Tapes #1 again, and it feels so good! The Orange County Lumber Truck 20min suite is fantastic, Don Preston destroys the electric piano at the end of it. Add to it some Freak Out classics and Varese's Octandre in a heavy metal version and you get an essential recording.

    The posthumous Zappa is so much alive, so much more alive than anything around me.

  13. #63
    I broke my Orchestral Favorites diet to listen to Civilization Phase III in its entirety. It's an absolutely stunning work of art. People should know this. They should teach this in schools.

  14. #64
    Would love a vinyl release of Civilization Phase III.

  15. #65
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    I broke my Orchestral Favorites diet to listen to Civilization Phase III in its entirety. It's an absolutely stunning work of art. People should know this. They should teach this in schools.
    Agreed. It's knotty, thorny, dense, and very beautiful and frightening all at once. It's a LOT to take in too, I'm convinced that this music exceeds our brain's abilities to "hear" and "process" the entire thing in one go....this is a work to be listened to over a lifetime. imo.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  16. #66
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auxfnx View Post
    Would love a vinyl release of Civilization Phase III.
    Thy should make vinyl-r recorders/players
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Agreed. It's knotty, thorny, dense, and very beautiful and frightening all at once. It's a LOT to take in too, I'm convinced that this music exceeds our brain's abilities to "hear" and "process" the entire thing in one go....this is a work to be listened to over a lifetime. imo.
    I couldn't say it better. I really felt that this work exceeds my understanding, not because of its "hardness" or density but because it presents an aesthetic proposal which is alien to anything that surrounds us. Even being a Zappa connoisseur does not help that much.

    Humanity must evolve to truly appreciate this work.

  18. #68
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Thy should make vinyl-r recorders/players
    They did, for over twenty years.

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