MAILBAG: Zappa Fan Freaks Out


I have never understood the whole music critic phenomenon, which basically seems about self promotion. After takingzappa5.jpg all your lame pot shots at the musicians and the audience, do you really think you have convinced anybody that you are cooler than all of us?

OK, so you don’t get Zappa’s music. Guess what? People like you aren’t supposed to. How would you suggest updating the arrangements? Techno beats? Let’s take the music of probably the most unique individual the pop music world ever produced and make it sound like every other piece of garbage spewing out of a drum machine. Good idea! How does it feel to completely miss the point of the whole endeavor?

Serious dude, there’s only so much snide, egotistical sarcasm this 21st century mind can take.



[Ah, the completely humorless Zappa fan, awakened from his subterranean perch in his mother’s basement, and enraged that anyone would have temerity to blaspheme Saint Frank — thought we might hear from you. For the record, I ‘get’ Zappa’s music, and I am especially fond of his work with the raver.gifMothers Of Invention — you see, I was one of those ‘dorm room non-conformists’ I referenced in my review and “Billy The Mountain,” all 24 minutes and 34 seconds of it, well and truly blew my motherfucking mind. And for the record nowhere did I say, nor imply, that I was somehow above the audience. The Inquirer hired me to render an opinion, and that’s what I did. Sorry it’s not your opinion. As for updating the arrangements, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with this ‘modern’ music I speak of because you kinda date yourself when you say “Techno beats” — Techno was, like, 10 years ago, dude. No, when I suggested updating the arrangements for modern ears I wasn’t saying making them more suitable for a rave. I was thinking more along the lines of ditching the shitty, dated chorus-pedal guitar tone, taking away the drummer’s China Splash, and maybe establishing a groove and holding it to serve the song once in a while, instead of showing off your agility at effortlessly jumping through time signature changes just to prove you got ‘chops’.–The Ed.]


Can you actually type a sentence where you don’t call somebody a name? Or when you say that I have no humor and and still live with my mother, was that you talking to me as a peer?

The music is what it is. It happened at a point in history and the stated intent of the Zappa Plays Zappa project is to reproduce those points in history as faithfully as possible. That includes period instrument sounds. “Establishing a groove and holding it to serve the song” runs directly counter to that idea, and it doesn’t strike me as what most of the fans who attend these shows want. I know dumbing it down so that it sounds like the Hold Steady or G. Love or some other flavor of the week certainly isn’t what I want.

You not being able to count the groove is not the same as there not being one. And if you thing the rhythmic ideas expressed in some of these songs are just there to “prove you have chops”, then you’re notspidermandancing.gif getting it as well as you think.


[For the record, I didn’t call you ‘name’, I merely inferred that you were humorless and lived with your mother — I stand by the former but will allow that the latter was a cheap shot, however, the blogosphere has a minimum quota for gratuitous snark and I was just trying to hit mine — nothing personal. In truth, I’m pretty sure you don’t live with your mom. But no, to answer your question, we are not peers. I understand that the music ‘is what is is’ and I am well-acquainted with the historical circumstances and technical limitations that shaped it — despite what you took away from the review, I’m not some gum-snappin’, big pants-wearin’, iPod-havin’ MySpacer who showed up at the Dad-rock show to make fun of the old coots. And as for not “getting it” this is what I find most annoying about Frank Zappa fans: They are convinced, somehow, that they are the only one’s that ‘get it.’ Lighten up, Don, it’s just one man’s opinion.–The Ed.]

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