Frank Zappa, Part 2 preceded by a BBQ Report

It’s BBQ season!. Yesterday, profiting from the excellent weather, I cooked up my 3rd BBQ of the year. I FB’d a picture of the new oval charcoal Weber I bought (shown here for those non-FBers). This time around we did sausages (merguez is the French term), lamb chops, veal chops and burgers. Very yummy. Next up: Fino’s Bday BBQ with ribs starring Blake’s Atlantic Coast BBQ sauce – can’t wait for Sunday!!

Now, on to our regularly scheduled blog post about Zappa. Tonight, I wanted to mention what is probably my favorite Frank double-album – Apostrophe / Overnight Sensation. In fact, it was released as a double album by Rykodisc but in fact is two separate albums recorded in 1973 and 1974 respectively. They feature more or less the same principle artists but as you will see had special guests as well.

Overnight Sensation represented a commercial breakthrough for Zappa in 1973. It includes classics such as “Camarillo Brillo”, “Zomby Woof”, “Dirty Love” and “Dinah-Moe-Hum”. The other tracks feature some great guitar work (“I’m the Slime” and “Montana”) and some general Zappa craziness (“50/50”). Some interesting studio musicians here include Ian Underwood, Jean-Luc Ponty and even Tina Turner and the Ikettes (uncredited). It is a short (34:30) but incredible album that remains a landmark in Frank’s vast catalog.

Apostrophe from 1974 starts out with an incredible musical odyssey in the arctic where we meet Nanook and learn about his mother’s warning “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow”. The adventures of Nanook include his avenging his favorite baby seal from a fur hunter attack by rubbing the aforementioned yellow snow into the seal hunters eyes.  The now blinded hunter then stumbles off and into some Christian outposts for “St Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast” and “Father O’Blivion.” A romping good time is had by all. The second side of the LP had some classics including “Cosmik Debris” about snake-oil salesmen and “Stink Foot” about the olfactory effects of not taking your boots off for a few weeks. There is also a great instrumental here (the title track “Apostrophe” featuring Jack Bruce of Cream and Jim Gordon of Derek and the Dominos) and a few humorous interludes (“Uncle Remus” and “Excentrifugal Forz”). The 9 tracks run for a short 31:52 but you still are wishing for more.


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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