the big nOte files - december 2003

- updated 2003/12/22

ZZZZZ concerts, radio broadcasts and more
ZZZZZ zappa album by the ensemble modern
ZZZZZ zappa surf album - the update
ZZZZZ the latest captain beefheart release: dichotomy
ZZZZZ chris opperman's "klavierstücke"
ZZZZZ the chris opperman update
ZZZZZ the bugs beddow band recorded frank zappa's 'i'm the slime'
ZZZZZ the return of chris opperman
ZZZZZ the wrong object recorded various frank zappa compositions
ZZZZZ the reinecke trio recorded a barkin' pumkin suite, all zappa stuff
ZZZZZ another zappa coverversion uncovered: the manic monday compilation
ZZZZZ a modern bog cover compilation
ZZZZZ german a capella band maybebop recorded zappa's 'dancin' fool'
ZZZZZ the ensemble ambrosius will be touring
ZZZZZ the london sinfonietta will be performing zappa's 'jazz from hell'
ZZZZZ another zappa piece covered on album
ZZZZZ grandmothers tourdates - updated & corrected
ZZZZZ french zappa sites in the picture
ZZZZZ the nasal retentive orchestra unfolds its plans for 2004
ZZZZZ project object member side projects
ZZZZZ ICE-Z: International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology

Let's kick off with some chronological stuff: concerts, radio broadcasts and more...
King Crimson
2003/07/12 concert "north sea jazz festival", 'paul acket paviljoen', den haag, the netherlands

2003/07/12, King Crimson played at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. The biggest part of the concert was broadcast on dutch Radio 2. The broadcast started somewhere during the fourth song.
I didn't see the show live, but the concert sure sounds very impressive. Adrian Belew was in great shape.
  • King Crimson
    • Robert Fripp: Guitar and Soundscapes
    • Adrian Belew: Guitar, Voice and Words
    • Trey Gunn: Stick and backing Vocals
    • Pat Mastelotto: Acoustic & Electric Percussions

  • the construkction of light (cut in the beginning) * happy with what you have to be happy with * elektrik * the power to believe II * dinosaur * one time * red * dangerous curves * larks' tongues in aspic part IV


Voice Of Cheez
2003/11/03 concert buffalo, ny, usa

The Voice Of Cheez did a Zappa tribute set on 2003/11/03.

The set-list:

  • take your clothes off when you dance * what's the ugliest part of your body  * cheap thrills * willie the pimp * i'm the slime * lonesome cowboy burt * we are not alone * lemme take you to the beach * dirty love * suzy creamcheese * village of the sun * lucille * jellyroll gumdrop * go cry on somebody else's shoulder * sofa * magic fingers * strictly genteel (finale)
Cuccurullo Brillo Brullo
2003/11/22 concert 'de tavenu', waalwijk, the netherlands

Opening for the Muffin Men, Cuccurullo Brillo Brullo did a nice job. The audience wasn't too big, neither too responsive, but the band played a fine set and was enjoying it.
I had a nice time.
  • Cuccurullo Brillo Brullo
    • Jan de Boer: bass
    • Winston Scholsberg: drums
    • Boris v.d. Lek: sax
    • Derk Groen: guitar
    • Paul de Jong: guitar
    • Ron v.d. Kraan: vocals
    • Reinier Pernegkuan: vocals
  • special guests (on 'dirty love'): Muffin Men Martin Smith: trumpet and Andy Frizell: sax
  • the torture never stops * crew slut * stinkfoot * lucille has messed my mind up * road ladies * hot plate heaven at the green hotel * trouble every day * watermeleon in easter hay * dirty love


The Muffin Men
2003/11/22 concert 'de tavenu', waalwijk, the netherlands

And the Muffin Men were headlining.  Despite everyone being ill (flu), they played a very impressive show.
Voice-troubled Jimmy Carl Black only sang a couple of songs, resulting in an instrumental 'Willie The Pimp', but it was good to see and hear him again.

After the show, Roddey presented Guus Veldhuis with the Green Muffin award. See picture on the right.

Nice show, proud Guus, memorable night.

The Muffin Men are still touring. Somewhere in Germany. Try to catch them. And if you live in the States, you won't have an excuse either, 'cause the Liverpoolian Lads will cross the ocean to play a Zappa festival in the u.s. of a. somewhere in 2004.

Guus took a bunch of pictures during the evening. Check them out at:

2003/11/30 radio show "classic rock", radio 21, belgian nationale radio station

Belgian radio station Radio 21 did a 3 hour Zappa special on 2003/11/30, Sunday morning.
They played various tracks from the Zappa discography (in chronological order) and commented on the tracks, also getting into what was happening in the world of music around the same time that the Zappa record came out. Nice
2003/12/01 radio show "cucamonga", vrt radio 1, belgian national radio station

"Cucamonga" paid hommage to Frank Zappa as well. The 2003/12/01 show aired parts of Zappa's first and last Belgian concert. (not taking Amougies into account): Brussels 1970 and Ghent 1988.
The Maha-Vista Philharmonic
2003/12/04 radio show "jazz on 3", bbc3 radio, uk

"Frank Zappa Anniversary Session"

"Jazz on 3" presented a specially recorded studio session from some of the players that were instrumental in creating Zappa's music. Commissioned by the BBC, the ex-zappa sidemen called themselves The Maha-Visa Philharmonic.

Recorded in Los Angeles, November 2003:
  • The Maha-Vista Philharmonic
    • Vinnie Colaiuta: drums
    • Tommy Mars: Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, and vocals
    • Arthur Barrow: bass guitar
    • Walt Fowler: trumpet and flugel horn
    • Bruce Fowler: trombone
    • Albert Wing: tenor sax
    • Kurt McGettrick: bass clarinet, baritone sax and flute

      engineered by Bob Stone, produced and mixed by Arthur Barrow
  1. 'Shut Up 'n' Make A Jazz Noise Here' (= Treacherous Cretins, Chunga's Revenge, Five-Five-Five, Inca Roads) (Frank Zappa)
  2. 'Sad Spangled Banner'
Sinfonie Orchester Wuppertal
2003/12/04 concert 'historische stadthalle', wuppertal, germany

"Zappa & Rubinstein"
As a part of the "Die 3. ART" festival
  1. Frank Zappa
    Yellow Shark (Auszüge)
  2. Anton Rubinstein
    Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester a-Moll op. 63
  3. Igor Strawinsky
    Le Sacre du Printemps
    (Das Frühlingsopfer)
    Bilder aus dem ländlichen Russland
The Asko Ensemble
2003/12/04 concert 'paradiso', amsterdam, the netherlands
2003/12/06 concert 'enschede muziekcentrum', enschede, the netherlands
  • The Asko Ensemble
  • Marco Blaauw: trumpet
  • Marc Pantus: bariton
  • Etienne Siebens: conductor
  1. Night School (Frank Zappa, arr. Ron Ford)
  2. 'The Magic Sock (music for an imaginary roadmovie) (Corrie van Binsbergen)
    1. Preview of the continuing story
    2. The return of the son of the man who happened to be the son of the man who happened to be the son of etc.
    3. The Magic Sock
    4. Meeting with a strange, wild, bald-headed girl
    5. Sock-Walk
  3. Outside Now, Again (Frank Zappa, arr. Corrie van Binsbergen)
  4. The Beltway Bandits (Frank Zappa, arr. Ali N. Askin)
  5. Snatches of a Conversation (Peter Eötvös)

    - break -
  6. Some More Upsets (Django Bates)
  7. Outrage at Valdez (Frank Zappa)
  8. The Statue of a Libertine (Astrid Kruisselbrink)
  9. Jazz from Hell (Frank Zappa, arr. Django Bates)
  10. G-Spot Tornado (Frank Zappa, arr. Ali N. Askin)

I was at the Amsterdam gig and, boy, was I blown away. The Asko Ensemble did an excellent performance.

The played G-Spot as an encore.


Ossi Duri
2003/12/06 concert turin, italy

Ossi Duri
celebrated Frank Zappa on december 6.

They also released a new album called "X" (ten years of Ossi Duri), that features lots of Zappa alumni: Ike Willis, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Mike Keneally. More info soon, I hope.

Corrie van Binsbergen
2003/12/06 c
oncert ‘park 3’, harderwijk, the netherlands

Harderwijk presented a double bill on saturday 2003/12/06. First up was Corrie van Binsbergen. I was still impressed by her 'The Magic Sock' composition, performed by the Asko Ensemble a couple of days earlier.
Corrie rocked ! Or Jazzed, or Zapped, or whatever one should call it. This was absolutely great. It made my week.
  • Corrie van Binsbergen: guitar
  • Rachel de Boer: video jockey
  1. More Stories
  2. Zoot Suit
  3. I Wasn't Talking


The Foolz
2003/12/06 c
oncert ‘park 3’, harderwijk, the netherlands

The Foolz played the second concert at 'Park 3' in Harderwijk. They played an impressive set and gave the audience a good time. Playing after Corrie van Binsbergen isn't the easiest thing to do, but The Foolz didn't care about such things. They had fun. And so had we.
  • heavy duty judy * san berdino * joe's garage * why does it hurt when i pee * tryin' to grow a chin * alien orifice * the torture never stops * i'm the slime * let's move to cleveland * lucille has messed my mind up * florentine pogen * i don't wanna get drafted * trouble comin' every day * love of my life * you didn't try to call me * zoot allures * dancin' fool * inca roads * elvis has just left the building * montana * suicide chump * ms pinky * easy meat * peaches en regalia * you are what you is
Wrong Object
2003/12/08 radio show "cucamonga", vrt rad
io 1, belgian national radio station

One week after their Zappa tribute, the "Cucamonga" radio show surprised me with Wrong Object.
Wrong Object is a Belgian jazz ensemble from Liège & Brussels. Zjakki had mailed me their website address, but before I could check it out, "Cucamonga" aired 'Five-Five-Five (Frank Zappa) as performed by Wrong Object. It sounded great.

Wrong Object has a couple of albums out, one of which includes some Zappa compositions.
More info a bit further down this page. In the meantime, check out their site:




  • The Ensemble Modern did it again. First with "The Yellow Shark" and now with "Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions".
    If you ever saw them performing this material, or even if you heard part of one of these concerts on the radio, you'll know what I mean: This is essential. Consider this the latest Zappa album.

    Just click on the link above and take a look at the tracklisting. 25 minutes of Greggery Peckary !!
    Synclavier pieces transcribed by Todd Yvega and arrangements done by Ali N. Askin.

    As I said, essential.


The "Surf Instrumental cover versions of tunes by Frank Zappa" project

Alan Jenkins says: "Cordelia Records are currently inviting submissions for a various artists CD. If you would like to be on this album you have to record a tune written by Frank Zappa and it has to be a surf instrumental. Instrumental guitar music that isn't strictly surf music, such as the kind of thing The Ventures or The Shadows do, would also be perfectly acceptable. Other kinds of instrumentals might possibly be ok too, if in doubt drop us an email at But surf instrumentals are best. If you play in an actual surf band and you record a Frank Zappa tune you're almost certainly welcome, at least at this early stage."

more info at:

deadline = January 2004

- Info: Alan Jenkins


  • captain beefheart: dichotomy
        (2003, cd, uk, ozitcd 8003)
    • The same record company that supplied "gimme that harp boy! - roots of the captain" is back. This time, it's an all Beefheart disc.
      Quality of the recordings varies a lot. It's obvious that their sources are in the tape trading family.
      The tracks itself are very interesting, including the Zappa collaboration 'I Was A Teenage Malt Shop'.


  • chris opperman: klavierstücke
        (2000, cd, usa, purple cow rec pcr 003)
    • Last time, I talked about Chris Opperman's debut album "Oppy Music - Volume 1", a very impressive rock album.
      "Klavierstücke" is Chris Opperman's second album and it's completely different from his first album. It's all piano. It's contemporary classical piano music, but it's also almost modern jazz. I really like this.
      The music on this album takes you away from whatever you're doing. It will ask you complete attention, but you won't be disappointed.
      Produced by Chris Opperman and Mike Keneally
    • You can order it at


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - November 26th, 2003]

Episode # 14: Pardon THIS, you Turkey!

*     Links of Interest
*     Birthday Bash Aftermath/New MP3's!
*     Upcoming Performances
*     Thank You List 2003
*     Speaking of Turkeys

 Links of Interest
    *,1773,2_4__82445,00.html <-- Tiffiny Whitney's review of Josh Groban's "Closer" album (which I believe is pronounced closer as in closer to you, not closer as in the last song of a show even though that's how I keep pronouncing it in my head).
    * <-- Official Chris Opperman website.  
    * <-- My All-Music Guide entry by Sean Westergaard.  The All-Music Guide is only the single best music website out there for those of you who have never checked it out before.  And I'm not just saying that because they gave Klavierstucke 4 1/2 stars, although it does demonstrate that they have exceptionally good taste.  My personal favorite review is the review of Joe Mac & Eman's "One Too Many: Live from New York" album.  Joe Mac, for those of you who aren't up on your boy bands, is Joey MacIntyre from the New Kids on the Block.

Birthday Bash Aftermath/New MP3's!

    First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone for all of the birthday wishes that got sent my way last week, as well as everyone who came out to my birthday party.  What a fun night of music that was!  Definitely the best birthday I've had since moving to LA in 2000.  The audience was fantastic and all of the musicians and acts involved did a great job.  Let's face it, there was a whole lotta music going on.  Hooray.  So thank you so much, everyone, for making that party such a huge success.

    This weekend I'll be working on putting together a couple MP3's from the show for our friends across the rest of the US and overseas who were unable to attend the concert.  The first will be a group improvisation we did called "Sad Teenager Wars" that was pretty inspiring.  Extra props to Jen Kuhn on electric cello for that piece since she was the one who set the tone of it.  The second MP3 will be the song that Kat Parsons sang with us, "To Return to You," which was also composed by Kat.  That came out even better than I imagined it would.  The recording quality is pretty mediocre unfortunately, but I honestly feel that the performance of that song was so exciting and vibrant that it transcends any issues with the actual audio.

    Anyway, if you check the downloads section of on Monday, the new MP3's should be up.  

Upcoming Performances

    California Fire Victims Benefit Concert

    For those of you still in town this Sunday, this concert will be featuring solo performances by a lot of people whose first names mostly begin with either a "C" or an "A."

    Chris Scott, Cleo Antonelli, Adam Lopez, Angela C. Stone, Steven Lomas, Adam Austin, Devin Wallace, and myself.

    Tempest/Acoustic Playhouse
    Sunday, Nov. 30th - Starting at 9 pm
    7323 Santa Monica Blvd. 
    W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $3 cover

    I'm not really sure why the cover is only $3, but I'm not in charge of making those decisions.  You're probably free to give more money if you want to.  All proceeds are going to The Fire Victims Relief Fund.  Anyway, I figured this was the least I could do for all the poor people who lost their homes in the CA fires, so that's what I'm doing.  I'm not sure how many songs I'm playing, but I'll probably at least play "T. Williams," "Melodious Monk," and something else.  Maybe I'll even play "Idaho Potato" since it's kinda appopriate, but that would mean that I would have to sing, so I'm going to go with probably not.

    Special Opps

    The Cat Club
    ** Next Tuesday! ** December 2nd - Starting at 10:20 pm 
    8911 Sunset Blvd.
    W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $7/$5 with this e-mail

    If we get 20 people out to this show, they'll review my band in some local music magazines.  I think it might even be Music Connection, but I don't remember.  I'll have to ask the promoter.  Anyway, this will be the last Special Opps show of the year so although it'll be a relatively short set for us (40 minutes), it would still be really sweet if some or all of you could make it out.  We're going to power trio it up with Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Kahlil Sabbagh on drums, and myself on piano.  We might invite some friends to come play as well.  Who knows?

    The last time I was at the Cat Club, I asked some random girl if she'd ever ridden on the "Highway to Hell."  She said no.  So guys, take it from me, that pick-up line does *not* work.  Just FYI.

 Thank You List 2003

    Since I'm not sure if I'm going to send out another update this year, I wanted to make sure I gave props to everyone who helped make my 24th year as awesome as it was.  This list is presented in alphabetical order and if I somehow forgot to include you although you feel like I really should have, please accept my sincerest apologies.

    First, I would like to thank my parents, sister and family.  Then I would like to thank Cleo Antonelli, Aaron Arntz, Bryan Beller, Nancy Braun, Michael & Lisa Canaan, Scott Chatfield, Johnny Choi, Co de Kloet, Kevin Dooley, Evan Francis, Clark Freeman, Dann Friedman, James Green, Jurjen Hempel, Kyle Kirkland, everyone at Jo Ann Kane Music Services (esp. Bonnie), Mike Keneally, Clint Kenney, Blair Kluberton, Gabi Kochlani, Jen Kuhn, Brent & AnnaDee Locke, Brian McGinty, Sheena Metal, everyone involved with the Metropole Orchestra, Melinda Mondrala, everyone at NPS Radio Holland, Kat Parsons, Michael Petersen, Kahlil Sabbagh, Zach Sinick, Isaac Slape, Todd Lieberman, Mike Sammis, Anthony Saragueta, Nicki Scott, Tanya Smith, Cosette Trombino, everyone at Universal Music Publishing Group that I didn't thank already, Steve Vai, Pieter van Hoogdalem, J Warner (who came up with "Special Opps"), Wendy Wilson, and all the rest of my friends for a truly kick-ass year.  Phew.  Try saying that all in one breath...or not.

Speaking of Turkeys

     I had to go into work early this morning to help my boss out.  So I went to get a bottle of water and walked past the living room, which is usually blasting MTV 24/7.  However, this morning, maybe just because it was early, there was this TV preacher screaming on the top of his lungs that all the other TV preacher "fools" just want more money and that they aren't really preaching the Gospel.  However, this turkey was going to deliver the "buck-naked Gospel," which I thought was an utterly bizarre adjective to use.  Then he asked for an "Amen!" and he *got* it!  Everyone started screaming in the aisles! 

    Then the turkey got serious and he exclaimed, "I am going to tell you the truth!  FORRRRNICAAAAATIOOOON!  FORNICATION IS WRONG!  IT IS BAD!  IT IS EVIL!  IT IS A SIN!" and all these people in the audience were grinning and agreeing and shouting after every exclamation!  Then he started ranting about the perils of gay marriage (which I obviously think should be legal), but by then I had gotten my water and knew I didn't want to hear any more of that jive.  All I could think about the people in the audience was, "They let these people vote?"

    Anyway, in closing, I would like to say that I hope that each and every one of you manages to get it on during this festive Holiday weekend.  There is *nothing* wrong about it.  Just make sure you do it right.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

-- Chris Opperman


  • the bugs beddow band: bone appetit tour - live at the mid-michigan blues festival
        (1997, cd, usa, glm9701cd)
    •  The Bugs Beddow Band is a rhythm and blues band from Detroit, USA. They have won several awards, including the 2003 Detroit Music Award.
      1997/06/22, the band played a stunning set at the Mid-Michigan Blues Festival. Besides a bunch of r&b classics (Dr.John, ZZ Top, Tower Of Power), the band also played Frank Zappa's 'I'm the Slime'. I wonder who could whistle that one along in the audience.
      Lucky for us, this concert was released on album. And, yes, it does include 'I'm the Slime'. "Bone Appetit Tour" is a very fine album and 'I'm The Slime' is played full blown. Love it.
    • You can order it at 
    • Bugs says:
      CD may be ordered by sending $25 in USD to:
      Bugs Beddow
      po box 240411
      orchard lake


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - 2003/12/04]

Episode # 15: The Mother of Invention (Decomposing Composer)

*     Quick Links
*     Upcoming Performances
*     The Mother of Invention (Decomposing Composer)

Quick Links
    *     My official website: 
    *     My All-Music Guide Entry: 
    *     My CD Baby page (where you can order my music):

Upcoming Performances

With Special Opps
    Tempest/Acoustic Playhouse
    Saturday, December 20th - Starting at 11 pm
    7323 Santa Monica Blvd. 
    W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $6 cover

    This will definitely be our last show of the year!  Featuring at least Kahlil Sabbagh on drums, Isaac Slape on electric and upright bass, and myself on piano, although we may have other special guests as well.  This could be the last show for awhile, so it would be awesome to see you there.  Write it down in your calendar now!  Also, hello and thank you to everyone who was at the Cat Club show on Tuesday and who signed up for the mailing list.

With Steve Vai/Metropole Orchestra
    De Oosterpoort (In-/Output series)
    Saturday, May 22nd, 2004 - Starting at 8:15 pm
    Trompsingel 27
    9724 DA Gronigen
    The Netherlands
Tel: +31-50-3680368
    Tickets: € 30,- ( service charge not included)

    Sunday, May 23rd & Monday, May 24th, 2004 - Starting at 8:30 pm
    Weteringschans 6/8
    1017 SG Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
Tel: +31-20-6264521
    Tickets: € 20,- ( service charge & membership not included)

    So the reason why the Dec. 20th show might be the last Special Opps show for awhile is because I'll be busy, busy, busy assisting Steve with the orchestrations for his premiere orchestral work "The Aching Hunger" as well as performing all the score preparation/music copyist duties, just like I did for Mike Keneally with his orchestral work "The Universe Will Provide" this year.  Steve also honored me greatly by asking me to be the pianist for the concerts.  There's obviously so much I could say about how I feel about all of this but right now the most intelligible thing I can think of to say is "Wow," so I'm going to go with that.  Wow.

 The Mother of Invention (Decomposing Composer)

    Today, December 4th, 2003, marks the 10th anniversary of the death of the man whose music inspired me to become a composer, Mr. Frank Zappa.  A long time ago I decided that the best way for me to pay tribute to Frank and his memory would be to become a composer myself and go out and play my own music with my own band and do something to keep music exciting, fresh and new.  In that regard, so far I feel like I am doing a fairly satisfactory job.

    Anyway, I realized the other day that there are a lot of you reading this who might not know exactly who Frank Zappa was or why his contributions to the world of music are so important.  Since there are numerous sources where one could quickly and accurately learn about his life and political views ("The Real Frank Zappa Book," Frank's autobiography, would be an excellent starting point), today I'm going to concentrate on the music by picking out some of my favorite Zappa albums (out of the 60 released in his lifetime) and talking about them.  Hopefully this will inspire you to go out and pick up a Frank Zappa record for your own collection.  

    #1 Freak Out! (1966) - This was the first album from Frank Zappa's first major-label band, The Mothers of Invention (the "of Invention" was added at the insistence of MGM).  Produced by Tom Wilson (who was also responsible for producing groundbreaking albums by Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Velvet Underground in the late 60's), this record was a first in many ways: It was the first full double-album in rock, the first concept album (exploring the Freak scene in Los Angeles in the mid-60's), and according to the Rolling Stone Guide to Alternative Music, it was the first "alternative" rock record.  Wow.  Features "Hungry Freaks, Daddy," "Who Are the Brain Police?" and "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet," which could be considered the world's very first rave.

    #7 Hot Rats (1969) - Six albums and three years later saw Frank releasing his second album sans The Mothers of Invention (the first being #3 "Lumpy Gravy").  One of the albums that comes closest to being all instrumental, the only vocal tune is a tune sung by his old high school friend Captain Beefheart, "Willie the Pimp."  This is a very beautiful record.  "Peaches en Regalia" is so happy and exciting and it has probably one of the greatest bass lines in rock history.  Anyone that plays the bass would do well to learn the bass line to this song (performed by Shuggie Otis).  "Son of Mr. Green Genes" really displays Frank's arranging abilities.  It really makes me smile.  Out of all the records in this list, I imagine that most of you would probably like this one the best, especially since it's free of any Zappa's more satirical/scatalogical work.  Everyone should go out and buy this record today.  You'll be so glad you did.  I'll definitely be spinning it today myself (if I can find it in my apartment).

    #10 Chunga's Revenge (1970) - This is one of the Zappa albums that I listened to the most growing up and I still listen to it pretty often today.  I love this record.  Most Zappa fans would definitely not pick this as one of their favorites, but I think it's underrated.  It starts off with "Transylvania Boogie" which I must have listened to at least 600 times.  It's just so freaking cool.  "Would You Go All the Way?" is really hilarious.  I don't want to spoil the punchline for you, but I think my friends and I all just about had a cow at the right moment in this song.  I listened to "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink" about a million times as well.  This is a fun record to sing along to and it's nowhere near as offensive as the Flo & Eddie version of The Mothers was about to get on the Fillmore East: Live 1971 album.  At the end of that tour, a deranged fan shoved Frank off the stage because he thought Frank was making eyes at his girlfirend.  Frank fell into the orchestra pit and broke his neck.  That's why the pitch of his voice suddenly dropped a major 3rd.  A week before this, they were playing and someone threw a roman candle and set the place on fire.  Deep Purple saw the fire in the distance and was inspired to write "Smoke on the Water."

    #15 The Grand Wazoo (1973) - While Frank was recovering from his injuries, he turned his attention almost entirely to his composing and arranging skills.  This is a really fun record as well.  This record features a chamber jazz orchestra as opposed to a compact rock unit (probably since Frank didn't have to worry about spending his money on tour support since he was still wheelchair-bound at this point).  "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus" has a lot of very cool brass parts and it's really funny too.  "Eat that Question" is great as well.  This album was conceived the same time as "Waka/Jawaka," which has a song on it called "It Might Just be a One-Shot Deal" that features Zappa's only country-rock guitar solo in probably the most unlikely place in the song.  It also features some sick trumpet playing from Sal Marquez.  "Hot Rats," "Waka/Jawaka," and "The Grand Wazoo" are all available in a box set called "Threesome No. 2" released by RykoDisc last year.

    #16 Overnite Sensation (1973) - says "Love it or hate it, Overnite Sensation was a watershed album for Frank Zappa, the point where his post-60's aesthetic was truly established; it became his first gold album, and most of these songs became staples of his live shows for years to come."  Featuring the extraordinarily sexually explicit (and sexy) "Dinah-Moe Humm" sung in Frank's new low voice, it also feaures one of his best satirical songs to date, "I'm the Slime" and some very tight instrumental playing on "Fifty/Fifty," "Zomby Woof," and "Montana," which features uncredited back-up vocals by Tina Turner and the Ikettes. 

    Lather (1973 - 1977) - This album, now available in a 3-CD set close to the way the album was originally conceived, was delivered as a 4-LP set to Warner Bros. as a way to get Frank out of his record contract with them.  Instead of releasing it the way it was, Warner split it up into genre-specific pieces.  It's much more fun to listen to in it's original form, hearing Frank jump from hard rock to classical in a split second or less.  There are SO many highlights on this album that I'm not even going to bother listing them all.  But the whole thing is fantastic and it concentrates more on the arrangements and compositions than Frank's satirical lyrics (although such songs as "Broken Hearts are for Assholes" are also included).

    #24 Sheik Yerbouti (1979) - One of Frank's most infamous (and most popular) albums, Frank earned his first Grammy nomination for "Best Male Vocal Performance" on "Dancin' Fool," a satire about disco.  He also earned a lawsuit for his song "Jewish Princess," which he refused to apologize for because he insisted that "such creatures do exist."  He responded on his next album, Joe's Garage, by writing a song called "Catholic Girls" to give everyone an equal opportunity to squirm.  Sheik Yerbouti could very well be Frank Zappa's funniest album.  It's also the most hard-rock Zappa album.  "Bobby Brown Goes Down," a song about gay S&M, was a #1 single in Europe.  And just in case you forgot that Frank Zappa's guitar prowess is legendary, side 4 of Sheik Yerbouti ends with "Yo' Mama" which is, well, you just need to hear it to believe it.  It's intense, to say the least.

    #26/27 Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, and III (1979) - A musical about a government that makes music illegal, this album is really amazing.  It also features "Watermelon in Easter Hay," Frank's best guitar composition.  I can't tell you how many times I listened to that solo following along with my Zappa Guitar Book.  It's so beautiful.  The marimbas, the chimes, the guitar tones, the drums, wow, wow, wow.  This also features some of Frank's most hilarious songs although by the time the 3rd act rolls around it concentrates mostly on lengthy guitar solos.

    #28 - 30 Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Box (1980) - Frank shuts up and plays his guitar.  'Nuff said.

    #33 Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (1982) - Frank scored his biggest hit with this record, the single "Valley Girl" recorded with his then 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit.  It introduced the entire world to the concept of the Valley girl and to such phrases as "Gag me with a spoon," and "bag your face."  "Drowning With" is easily Frank's most difficult rock instrumental composition, but easily one of his most beautiful as well.  "Envelopes" is really amazing and it segues into "Teenage Prostitute," a song that blends hard rock with opera music and features some extremely sick guitar work from Steve Vai.

    #42 Jazz from Hell (1986) - Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Frank's true love, the Synclavier.  The Synclavier was like the Mercedes-Benz of sequencers (Frank used to say that lots of rock artist took their millions and stuck it up their nose, but he took his and stuck it in his ear) and Frank was more than a little excited about the possibilites that this machine could bring about.  Finally, thanks to the computer, he could hear his music the way he heard it in his head performed with 100% accuracy.  After London critics complained about the lack of "human element" on this record, Frank released "London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 2" which was riddled with wrong notes and mistakes and said, "Here's your human element."  Frank won his first (and only, in his lifetime) Grammy for this album, for Best Rock Instrumental Composition for the song "Jazz from Hell."  Frank was shocked considering that was the most dissonant, out there piece on the album.  This is a very bizarre record in general, but I love it.

    #53 The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life (1991) - One of three albums culled from the 15-piece 1988 "Broadway the Hard Way" tour (the other two being "Broadway the Hard Way" and "Make a Jazz Noise Here"), this album features, of all things, off-the-wall covers of songs such as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" (in which the entire horn section doubles the original guitar solo), Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love," and the "Theme from Bonanza."  It also features big band arrangements of some of Frank's classic songs such as "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" "Andy," and "Inca Roads."  The playing on this album is so ridiculously tight that I can't even believe that it's actually live.  This tour also introduced the world to guitarist Mike Keneally.  The guitar solo on "Zomby Woof" is so good that it makes me freak out every time I listen to it.  This was the best live ensemble Frank Zappa managed to pull together, and is easily one of the best live outfits of all time.  The '88 band knew how to play upwards of 300 songs and they played them with an enormous amount of skill and finesse.  I can't even tell you how amazing that band was.  Wowie zowie, for sure.

    #57 You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (1992) - Disc 1 of this two-disc set is dedicated to live renditions of all of Frank's songs about sex.  Disc 2 is dedicated to more instrumental affairs and is one of my favorite Zappa albums to listen to.  "Thirteen" is of particular interest since it features electric violinist L. Shankar and introduced a 15-year-old me to a world of polymetric time since Frank explains how to count in 13 at the beginning of the song.  Other highlights include "The Illinois Enema Bandit," "Crew Slut," and "Black Napkins."

    #59 The Yellow Shark (1993) - Released only a month before Frank Zappa passed away from prostate cancer, the album is culled from the 1992 live performances of Frank's classical works by the Ensemble Moderne.  This is an essential release.  The Ensemble Moderne was the only classical ensemble to play Frank's music with the kind of accuracy and "eyebrows" that Frank was looking for.  Every song on this album is a highlight, but I especially love "Outrage at Valdez," "The Girl in the Magnesium Dress," "Ruth is Sleeping," "Food Gathering in Post-Industrial America, 1992," "Welcome to the United States," and "G-Spot Tornado."  There are a million and five things to love about this record.

    #60 Civilization: Phaze III (1994) - The first album to come out after Frank's death, this was the last album he completed before he died.  99% recorded with the Synclavier (it also includes some improvisations with the Ensemble Modern), this piece features dialogue recorded for his first solo album, "Lumpy Gravy," interspersed with new recordings from 1991.  10 years later and I'm still in awe every time I listen to this record.  It's a very creepy album to listen to because it just reeks of impending doom and you can almost feel Frank fading away.  If you go to today you can read the liner notes and listen to the very last song on Frank Zappa's very last album, "Waffenspiel."  It's interesting that Frank chose this as his final composition, since he sort-of returns to his roots with it.  Frank was inspired to be a composer in his teenage years by Edgard Varese's piece "Ionization" for 15 percussionists.  "Waffenspiel" is very much a percussion piece since it features mostly gunfire, chirping birds, and barking dogs.  The absence of "music" from this piece makes it extremely chilling and the liner notes about the crop-dusting plane coming and spraying toxic substances on the audience is especially creepy now.  Overall, this is definitely Frank Zappa's master work, wrapping up some of the themes he began with "Freak Out!" and is a fitting end to Frank's prolific career as a composer. 

    I'd better get to work now.  Hope to see you all on the 20th.

-- Christopher


  • the wrong object: malign siesta
        (2003, cdr, bel, private release)
    • The Wrong Object is a belgian jazz / rock quintet. (from Liège - Brussels). The band has been together since 2002 and recently released its second album, "Malign Siesta".
      The band's repertoire consists mainly of original compositions, but they do play a set of Zappa compositions as well. For our enjoyment, they included a couple of these on "Malign Siesta".
      The album presents a nice balance of jazz compositions (by Delville) and Zappa pieces.
      I know that those of you who heard 'Five-five-five' on the belgian cucamonga radio show a little while ago don't need to be convinced. This is an excellent album, and not just because it has a nine-minute version of 'King Kong - the George W. Bush version'. "Malign Siesta" is an excellent album that shows the talent of The Wrong Object, in their own compositions as well as their rendition of Frank Zappa material.


  • reinecke trio: music from the last century
        (2003, cd, italy, bongiovanni gb 5127-2)
    •  A couple of months ago, Charles Pater told me about the Reinecke Trio. The Reinecke Trio is a chamber music ensemble and they recorded a piece called "The Barkin' Pumpkin Suite": eight Frank Zappa compositions, arranged by Roberto Molinelli.
      The chioce of the pieces that make up the "Barkin' Pumpkin Suite" is excellent. It sounds as one composition with different movements.
      The performance is stunning. The balance between the instruments is perfect. One one side, you've got the piano, ont the other side, the violin and the clarinet. When playing together, the violin and clarinet sound as one instrument. Absolutely stunning.
    • A must have !

  • reinecke trio: live with orchestra
       (1998, cdr-promo, italy, private release)
    • April 1998, the Reinecke Trio did a concert with the Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (conductor Walter Proost). The recording of this concert was made available as a promotional record for the Reinecke Trio. The album includes the 'Barkin' Pumpkin Suite", but this time arranged for clarinet, violin, piano and orchestra".
      The 'Philharmonic' sound is great, but I prefer the more dynamic sound that the trio produced on "Music From The Last Century".
      Nevertheless, this is a beautiful recording.


  • various artists: manic monday
        (1998, cd, nl, steam records 002)
    • Released in 1998, but as far as I know never mentioned in the Zappa related files, is "Manic Monday".
      In 1998 The Watchman organisation celebrated is 5th anniversary for organising concerts on monday evenings in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
      The album includes 'Muziek! t.v.', a track on which Eva Heerdink recites a poem, backed by B'wana Dik's band, playing Zappa's 'Chunga's Revenge'.
      Very nice. 


  • various artists: ghosts are very strong
        (2003, cdr, bel, lama 011)
    • I played this at the office at work, and people walked out of the room; I played it at home and the kids loved it; I played it in the car yesterday evening (after seeing Whatchamacallit in concert) and it made Ive laugh out loud.
      This is a beautiful, very funny album.
      Bands from all over the world pay tribute to Modern Bog, belgian's best kept musical secret.
      If you're into the early Residents stuff, this is a must have ! You will keep on playing it until you can whistle it along.
    • I will get back on this. This is just too good.
      In the meantime: order this little dittie at:



  • maybebop: maybe not bob
        (1997, cd, ger, contrapunkt cp 970 101)
    • Here's another one for the Others Of Invention files: MayBeBop, a german a capella band, recorded Frank Zappa's 'Dancin' Fool'.
      Nice album, good coverversion.


The Ensemble Ambrosius has been mentioned a number of times already. They did a beautiful "The Zappa Album" and played at the Umeå Internationella Kammarmusik Festival a couple of months ago.
Now, the good news is that they will be touring ! June 25, they will perform in Brugge, Belgium, at the 'concertgebouw'.

the program:

  • Frank Zappa
    • Uncle Meat
    • Zoot Allures
    • Big Swifty
    • Moggio
    • Let's Make the Water Turn Black
    • Harry You're a Beast
    • The Orange County Lumber Truck
    • The Idiot Bastard Son
    • Echidna's Arf (of You)
    • G-Spot Tornado
    • Night School
    • Dupree's Paradise
  • Olli Virtaperko
    • Cantatori sauna finlandese & Questa storia del mago non mi convince
    • Lullaby
    • Metrix
    • New piece

info: Tom Baeten


The London Sinfonietta is to perform a Frank Zappa composition.

March 6, 2004, they will be performing at the 'concertgebouw' in Brugge, Belgium.

Together with the FuseLeeds04 festival, the Brugge concertgebouw comissioned Jonny Greenwood (ex-Radiohead) and jazz pianist Django Bates to write and to arrange some pieces for the London Sinfonietta.

  • 2004/03/06 concert 'concertgebouw', brugge, belgium

London Sinfonietta

  • Django Bates: leader
  • Valerie Hartmann-Claverie
  • N.N.
  • Ernst Kovacic: violin
  • Tara Bouman: horn
  • Will Gregory: electronics
  • Evan Parker: sax
  • Paul Lytton: drums

the program:

  • Vioolconcerto (wereldcreatie - Django Bates)
  • Life Line (Markus Stockhausen)
  • ??? (Jonny Greenwood)
  • Premature Celebration (for Evan Parker) (wereldcreatie  -  Django Bates (arr.))
  • Jazz from Hell (Frank Zappa / arr. Django Bates)

info: Tom Baeten

I'm pretty sure that the London Sinfonietta has performed a Zappa piece before. If anyone has info on that, please let me know.
The Asko Ensemble also performed the Django Bates arrangement of Zappa's 'Jazz From Hell'.


Italian Jazz pianist Stefano Bollani recorded Zappa's 'Let's Move To Cleveland' on his "Smat Smat" album.

info: Andrea Iacoponi


There have been some minor changes in the The Grandmothers Re:Invented tour: one extra date and one replacement (Helmond, NL by Weert, NL).

Here's the list:

  • 2003/01/09 concert 'moods', zurich, switzerland
  • 2003/01/10 concert firenze, italy
  • 2003/01/11 concert ‘kino’, ebensee, austria
  • 2003/01/12 concert ‘kset’, zagreb, croatia
  • 2003/01/13 concert ‘hirsch’, nürnberg, germany
  • 2003/01/14 concert ‘colos saal’, aschaffenburg, germany
  • 2003/01/15 concert ‘tante ju’, dresden, germany
  • 2003/01/16 concert ‘speicher’, schwerin, germany
  • 2003/01/17 concert ‘gewerkschaftshaus’, erfurt, germany
  • 2003/01/18 concert ‘fabrik’, hamburg, germany
  • 2003/01/19 concert ‘columbia fritz’, berlin, germany
  • 2003/01/21 concert ‘garage’, bergen, norway
  • 2003/01/22 concert ‘rockefeller’, skien, norway
  • 2003/01/23 concert ‘rockefeller’, oslo, norway
  • 2003/01/24 concert ‘rytmeposten’, odense, denmark
  • 2003/01/25 concert ‘r”ucherei’, kiel, germany
  • 2003/01/26 concert ‘harmonie’, bonn, germany
  • 2003/01/27 concert ‘musiktheater rex’, lorsch (bei mannheim) , germany
  • 2003/01/28 concert ‘cc’, sint niklaas, belgium
  • 2003/01/29 concert ‘concorde 2’, brighton, uk
  • 2003/01/30 concert ‘the robin’, wolverhampton, uk
  • 2003/01/31 concert ‘the borderline’, london, uk
  • 2003/02/01 concert ‘de bosuil’, weert, the netherlands
  • 2003/02/02 concert ‘spirit of '66, verviers, belgium
  • 2003/02/03 concert ‘kulturpunkt. friedenskirche’, krefeld, germany
  • 2003/02/04 concert ‘paard’, den haag, the netherlands
  • 2003/02/05 concert zaandam, , the netherlands

addition info at:


There are two french Zappa sites where you can find all sorts of info about what's (Z)happening in France: concerts, tributes, books, ...

info: Christophe Delbrouck


The Nasal Retentive Orchestra has two albums scheduled for 2004: one live album (recorded at the FZ tribute festival in boradeaux, france) and one album with new material (about Greggery Peccary & some others animals from the FZ imaginary context).

info: Christophe Delbrouck


André Cholmondley says:

Hey folks. Here is some info on some Project-Object members and their shenanigans for DEC 2003..shows are in NYC, NY... New Hope, PA...Red Bank NJ
Have great, safe, musical, healthy + fun filled holidays!!

WED December 17 @ Lions Den NYC
there are five bands performing, including
- The Paul Cox Project      feat. Jordan Shapiro -  guitar
- Dark Sweet Cherries    feat. Robbie Seahag - guitar

SAT December 20 @ John and Peters. New Hope, PA
Insidious Rays - with PO's Dave Johnsen on bass

SAT December 20 @ Synapse Studios Red Bank NJ
Jfk's Lsd Ufo - with PO's Andre' Cholmondeley on guitar/synths


ICE-Z: International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology

Message from Militant Esthetix

Dear all
This should be of some interest to you in one way or another.....


As announced in The Wire for January 2004 ...
ICE-Z: International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology
will take place on Friday, 16 January 2004, 10.00-5.30
at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT
Nearest London Underground station: Mornington Crescent. (Also close, King Cross.)

Admission: 3 Pounds Sterling or 4 Euros
Drawing its speakers from Vancouver, Rome, Leipzig, Paris, Cambridge and Manchester  and London, ICE-Z is a summit meeting for theorists and activists who believe an entertaining, scabrous and CRITICAL popular culture is both possible and necessary. We are Marxists who take seriously Brecht's comment about the proximity of dialectics to laughter. The event is suitable for Zappa fans, Zappa detractors, radical philosophers, anti-capitalists, musicologists, adornoites & pop-studies victims everywhere. It is TOTALLY unfunded by any commercial or academic institutions. Please SPREAD THE WORD!!! United Mutations & Intercontinental Absurdities Inc are today REBORN (and let's not forget the Everpopular Intercontinental Lentil) ...
Er, Where Were We?
The pressure of competition forces cultural producers to niche-market their wares to specific layers of the social totality, thus - whatever their "ostensible politics" - confirming capitalism's division of labour. Yet currently the image of "global unity" has never been so widely invoked, both in politics (the Don't Attack Iraq demonstrations of 15 February 2003) and pop music (an international market). What would a GENUINE UNIVERSAL MUSIC sound like, and could we bear to listen to it? Frank Zappa's rebarbative cocktail of Dada, Avant, Shock Rock and Rhythm'n'Blues still obsesses those of us who demand mass art gives us experience rather than identity. This is the first time these off-piste cultural irritants have collected together, but it won't be the last. Come and stick your oar in while the water's fresh.
Papers (some academic, some, er, less so ...) include: 
Marco Maurizi (Rome) on Theodor Adorno's piano compositions for children, pigs & ponies, Zappa's principle of structural interruption.
Kiki Benzon (Vancouver) on Frank Zappa & Felix Guattari.
Simon Prentis (Hampstead) on "The Torture Never Stops".
Stu Calton (Levenshulme) "Water Melon In Easter Hay: the Poverty of the Individual Spirit".
Sean Bonney (Vauxhall) on the poetics of Trout Mask Replica.
Gamma (Kentish Town) on Snorks, Shopping Bags & Madness.
Keston Sutherland (Cambridge) on Zappa's Prosody.
Dominique Jeunot (Paris) on Animals & Dogs in Zappa's Oeuvre.
Esther Leslie/Ben Watson (Somers Town) "Some Reflections on Zappology as Gnomic Ritual".
Jürgen Gispert (Leipzig) on The Conservatism of Easy Rider: Zappa's Critique of "Freedom".
Richard Hemmings (Leicester) on Randomness in Zappa's Oeuvre.
Paul Sutton (St Mary's) on Iain Sinclair, Zappa, Para-Science & Alchemy.
Francesco Gentile (Rome) "Xenoarrangements, or, Insane Grafts Day-Dreamed by a Zappa hardcore Fanatic not inclined to exit his Monomaniacal World".
Les Fils de L'Invention (Paris) Tableau Vivant concerning the baroque composer and cellist Francesco Zappa (fl. 1763-88).
Eleanor Crook (Cheshunt) moustache installation.
In the evening (7.00pm) Evil Dick & the Banned Members will play their fiendish glitz-rock randomness'n' tunes at the College Arms on Crowndale Road. DJs. Quiz. Prizes. Sandwiches.
Did someone say Fast 'n Bulbous?
What you see damp, Parasitic!
e-details from <> press Entree and then click on
 "ICE-Z: International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology", or, if you prefer, try <> and choose the ICE-Z option
This conference has been organised by Ben Watson, who communicates best via telephone (020) 7388 8679 and meetings in the Halfway House pub in Camden Town ...
This Xmas is ugly and it wants to die

!!!  !!! !!! !!!
Get you to
Jeder Mensch seine eigene Website.........


Steve Vai / Metropole Orkest in May 2004


or read Chris Opperman's update above.


additions, corrections, ...


  • frank zappa: rotter-damned
        (2003, 2cd, ger, moustache's magic music mmm-03-33/34)
    • the 1980/05/24 concert. Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

      In the meantime, a new boot, called "Breast" has also been spotted.


the concert calendar * the concert calendar