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The origins of that stereotypical Chinese nine-note riff

Kat Chow, with NPR's Code Switch, put together a short piece on the history and the prevalence of the well-known nine note "stereotypical Asian theme." As described in a 2005 Straight Dope forum question: You know, the one that goes dee dee dee dee duh duh dee dee duh. Featured heavily in braindead Hollywood flicks made by clueless directors who want to give a scene an "oriental" feel. Also a variation of it can be heard in David Bowie's "China Girl." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 28, 2014 - 46 comments

"Ray Collins, we love you!"

Los Angeles, late 1962. A bar-band's guitarist invites a drunken carpenter on-stage to sing "Work with With Me Annie". Louie Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
 
As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the death of Frank Zappa, let us pause to celebrate the life and ponder the fate of Mother Ray Collins, who passed away last December.
 
Ray Collins was one of Zappa's earliest collaborators, the Mothers' lead vocalist, an under-appreciated contributor to the Mothers' sound (and to "conceptual continuity"), one of a very small number of people to share song-writing credits with Zappa, carpenter, taxi driver, dish washer, world-class procrastinator, a perennial "where are they now" subject since 1968, and finally unofficial Village Greeter of Claremont, California. [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Oct 24, 2013 - 29 comments

Producer Tom Wilson

WMFU DJ Irwin Chusid has put together a tribute website to music producer Tom Wilson. Wilson was born in 1931 and died young at 47 in 1978. Among the musicians he worked with: Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Pete Seeger, The Mothers of Invention, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Gil-Scott Heron, and Professor Longhair. Some of his notable and more far-out productions, include the Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone" session which was the subject of the much repeated Al Kooper organ riff anecdote. He had been president of Harvard's Young Republican club, graduated Harvard cum laude, and was African-American. He was also friends with Wally "Famous" Amos, and it was through Wilson, that Amos, at the time an agent at William Morris, came to represent Simon & Garfunkel.
posted by larrybob on Sep 9, 2013 - 5 comments

George Duke has died

Keyboard legend George Duke, known for his work with Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, and Stanley Clarke, as well as for many solo projects, has died.
posted by thelonius on Aug 7, 2013 - 22 comments

Frank Zappa and his Naked Lunch

Frank Zappa Reads NSFW Passage From William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch (1978) The occasion was the Nova Convention in 1978. Recordings of it were released as a double album.
posted by Eekacat on Mar 26, 2013 - 11 comments

Classic Albums, covering 3 decades of popular music

Classic Albums is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 1, 2013 - 33 comments

REMINGTONELECTRICRAZORREMINGTONELECTRICRAZOR

How did an unused 1967 commerical jingle produced by Frank Zappa lead to the Simpsons Theme?
posted by The Whelk on Aug 27, 2012 - 41 comments

Peefeeyatko. Bigfoot for "Give Me Some More Apples"

Frank Zappa - Peefeeyatko Documentary covers Frank Zappa's later Synclavier computer compositions. Features Boulez, Xenakis, and a guy who knows Bigfoot personally. Previously
posted by Dr. Fetish on Jun 21, 2012 - 13 comments

Frank Zappa documentary

Frank Zappa documentary: Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five.
posted by twoleftfeet on Feb 3, 2012 - 21 comments

I wish Motorhead would come back...

Euclid James "Motorhead" Sherwood, 1942-2011. Motorhead Sherwood from the Mothers of Invention passed away on Christmas Day. He was one of the original Mothers, appeared in 200 Motels and Uncle Meat, and was on all of the albums with the original Mothers line-up. (He even showed up again with Jimmy Carl Black, the Indian of the Group, on 1981's You Are What You Is.) An immensely talented saxophonist, Motorhead played on both Cruisin' With Ruben & The Jets AND the album For Real! by the real Ruben & The Jets.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Dec 26, 2011 - 18 comments

Mr. Leonard Bernstein Explains It All For You

Inside Pop - The Rock Revolution is a CBS News special, broadcast in April 1967. The show was hosted by Leonard Bernstein and is probably one of the first examples of pop music being examined as a 'serious' art form. The film features many scenes shot in Los Angeles in late 1966, including interviews with Frank Zappa and Graham Nash, as well as the now legendary Brian Wilson solo performance of "Surf's Up." (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Apr 29, 2011 - 15 comments

Digital Hygiene Dilemma

Frank Zappa's 200 Motels has finally seen an official DVD release, presented by co-director Tony Palmer. Sadly, it appears to be kind of a bumpy ride. (Previously)
posted by mintcake! on Oct 2, 2010 - 56 comments

200 Motels

WTF? Achtung! Nothing here is safe for anyone ever. Ringo Starr as Frank Zappa / Centerville / Dental Hygiene Dilemma / Lonesome Cowboy Burt / Mystery Roach / Magic Fingers / Finale / Special Bonus: Penismobile / Specialer Bonus: The Making of 200 Motels 1 2 3 [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb on Jan 29, 2010 - 32 comments

Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa

Dweezil Zappa has turned 40. As if you cared.
posted by twoleftfeet on Sep 5, 2009 - 24 comments

The Zappa Drummers

Frank Zappa was renown for his quality band members and even more for his legendary audition process. The Drum Channel has a 7 part video series which brings together Zappa's drummers from his previous bands (Ralph Humphrey. Chester Thompson, Terry Bozzio, Chad Wackerman and Ruth Underwood) to discuss the behind-the-scenes process of these auditions(Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7). It also culminates in a drummer jam. [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Mar 29, 2009 - 30 comments

The Yellow Shark [NOT MUDSHARK-IST]

In 1993, we said goodbye to Frank Zappa, fallen victim to prostate cancer. A 1993 Today Show interview with Frank. A 1993 BBC documentary about Frank. {Parts 2, 3, 4.} "Outrage at Valdez," from 1993's The Yellow Shark. [Zappa mega-post previously on MeFi]
posted by not_on_display on May 17, 2008 - 43 comments

ZAPPA! Do you speak it?

Frank Zappa - The Gigantic Spoken Word Project. Numerous volumes of a very large collection of Frank Zappa spoken word releases. They consist of radio interviews and journalist reporter type personal interviews. During the radio interviews sometimes music was played as background or added before the broadcast in between questions and answers. Sometimes FZ acts as D.J., plays records from his collection and talks to the radio audience. But the main focus of this series is FZ interviews which to me is as interesting as his music. (Just a quick warning; the download mechanism is a tad annoying)
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jul 5, 2007 - 6 comments

Oh nooooo. Not... GALLAGHER!

Frank Zappa. Musical Innovator. Actor. Straight man. Dance Judge. Monkee.
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 5, 2007 - 30 comments

In Soviet Russia, Snow Pees On You.

Don't Eat (or Drink) The Yellow Snow!

note: it is our surmise that that this snow is probably not toxic. trust us. we're russia.
posted by Hat Maui on Feb 2, 2007 - 13 comments

ce n'est pas une bicyclette

In 1963, a full 3 years before his first MoI recording, a young, beardless Zappa appeared live on the Steve Allen show playing a musical composition on bicycles. Jerry Hopkins, the show's talent coordinator, discusses how the young musician's debut performance came about. Hardcore zappaphiles can view Part 1, Part 2 (Danger: long & grainy B&W YouTube clips, diamonds in the rough).
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 26, 2006 - 24 comments

My Name Is Larry! My Name Is Larry!

Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Wild Man Fischer. Larry "Wild Man" Fischer was a schizophrenic street musician on LA's Sunset Strip back in the hippie daze. Frank Zappa took him under his wing and produced a double album entitled An Evening With Wild Man Fischer (full audio available) [mi]
posted by jonmc on Dec 29, 2005 - 40 comments

the long tail of the poodle

Did Frank Zappa invent the iTunes music store?
from zappa.com:
"Every major record company has vaults full of (and perpetual rights to) great recording by major artists in many categories which might still provide enjoyment to music consumers if they were made available in the right way. MUSIC CONSUMERS LIKE TO CONSUME MUSIC . . . NOT PIECES OF VINYL WRAPPED IN PIECES OF CARDBOARD."
posted by Silky Slim on May 10, 2005 - 29 comments

Amazing Mr. Bickford

The Amazing Mr. Bickford. Most Zappa fans know of Bruce Bickford for his claymation work in Baby Snakes and other Zappa movies. Recently a documentary was made of him and now he has his own web site which features a small sampling of his story board work. For some other claymation samples (not by Bruce Bickford), try here.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Apr 1, 2005 - 10 comments

Zappa Inspired Art

Paintings Inspired by the Music of Frank Zappa. The cynical and humorous representations of show business appeared to be reflected in the music they were listening to at the time - the music of Frank Zappa - which led to the next series of paintings, inspired by and celebrating the music and lyrics of Zappa.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Mar 25, 2005 - 16 comments

Zappa in nature

Natural phenomena named after Frank Zappa "This series of articles describes a variety of Natural Phenomena - marine, terrestrial and extra-terrestrial - which have been named in honour of Frank Zappa, the smallest being a gene belonging to a bacterium, the largest being an entire planet."
posted by dhruva on Jan 19, 2005 - 13 comments

It's All About Words.

In 2004, we had Jon Stewart on Crossfire. In 1986? There was Frank Zappa...
As Zappa once said, "There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another." (I don't know of any song that could ever inspire me to love John Lofton, though... compared to him, Tucker Carlson is simply delightful!)

In 1986, I was a 19 year old art student. One Saturday afternoon I found myself volunteering at an event at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood where Frank Zappa was scheduled to speak about censorship. I was not that familiar with him or his music at the time, but he was so funny, eloquent, and intelligent as a speaker that his many "words" made a major impression on me that day. In this interview conducted on March 16, 1986, Frank Zappa talked further about his appearance before the US Congress and his involvement in the fight against censorship.

BTW, this is my first post. I hope it passes muster! ;)
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 20, 2004 - 73 comments

I want Frank Zappa's Rolls Royce.

I want Frank Zappa's Rolls Royce. It's up for auction on Ebay Motors.
This statement of proper British elegance was the daily driver for iconoclastic composer/guitarist and Mothers of Invention founder Frank Zappa. Shortly before purchasing the automobile, Mr. Zappa let his driver's license lapse and never made the time to renew it. However, he thoroughly enjoyed the comfort of this Rolls and as a result, he was driven by a chauffer. Purchased new, it served as a vehicular counterpoint to its owner's avant garde learning. Also up for sale: Dweezil's Aston Martin
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jul 4, 2002 - 6 comments

Griffin Dunne as Frank Zappa

Griffin Dunne as Frank Zappa in VH-1's movie "Parental Advisory". [Link won't tell you much about the movie but it was all I could find] The movie based on senate hearings regarding music censorship. Aside from Dana Carvey's Zappa imitation I don't recall any other actor playing him. Would Dunne have been your choice?
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Mar 30, 2002 - 14 comments

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