the big nOte files - 2003/01/28

i'm a couple of days to late, i know, but i really wanted to add some of the info that i received at the last minute - thought you'd like it.  here we go...

scheduled releases (grains of salt, please...)
The updated FAQ page at reveals that: Baby Snakes will be out on DVD this year; Trance-Fusion will finally be released sometime this Autumn; there will be a Lost Episodes Vol. 2; there are plans for two Petite Wazoo CDs and a new Beat The Boots set; an Apostrophe (') transcription book is imminent; and more material from the early Mothers will appear...Dweezil has announced that he is ready to rock (with Ahmet) again, and will also be completing some FZ Synclavier compositions as well as his own What The Hell Was I Thinking guitar opus in the new upgraded 2003 UMRK.
-- info: marco 'kallie' kalnenek / piet de doelder

and danny mathys asked tom brown if he knew anything of the third "beat the boots" set.  here's tom's reply:

Danny, ZR has informed me of your inquiry re the supposed BTB III to be issued through Rhino Handmade. Here's the deal...the titles they wish to release are "The Mystery Box" and "Apocrypha." However, it can't be done without Gail's approval which is still pending. I have not been contacted re contributing anything to the project and if I was, I'd tell em' to go fuck themselves. But presently the actuality of this ever happening is months away. Hope the info has been a help.
-- TB

a little while ago, i mentioned a concert the grandmothers would do in leipzig, germany, together with the dresdner sinfoniker.  the concert is part of the strings of fire festival and will be held february 27, 2003.
i asked dirk steiner for some details and he answered:

One thing changed in the programme: The Dresdner Sinfoniker will not play with the Grandmothers!
The GrandMothers will play with the Chamber Orchestra of Invention. An ensemble which was founded in Hamburg especially for the festival. Please check again the strings-site on

The opening night of the festival, the Zappa-Night on 27th, will be live recorded by WSM / Warner Classics. They will release a CD with the highlights from the concert in april 2003.

Best wishes from Leipzig,
-- Dirk Steiner

* * * * *

new releases

the fabulous arf society (visit has some important news:

  • the next zappanale (number 14) will take place from july 24 until 26, 2003;
  • the latest zappanale cd is out - and it's a triple one !!  filled with recordings from last year's edition;
  • and there's not just the audio cd, no sir, they're publishing two seperate dvd's of the event as well!  out now!!


one of doctor chadbourne's (visit his fabulous latest releases, "click clack" includes a banjo arrangement of beefhearts 'click clack'.
his web-site also mentions a new video release that features jimmy carl black called "it's a chad, chad, chad, chad world".

there's a new zappa bootleg out called "santa monica's night owl", a 2cd set recorded live in santa monica 1980.
-- info: hans-peter schmidt
and another zappa boot has surfaced as well: "money demos", including the "we're only in it" demo acetate, a couple of outtakes and five tracks from the 1968 beat club tv show...
-- info: martin herberich

* * * * *

not so new releases  
fester1e.jpg (43628 bytes)
fester2a.jpg (41668 bytes)
  • jeff buckley: grace
        (1994, cd, usa, sony / columbia 475928 2) - feat. gary lucas
    • this classic album features gary lucas on two tracks.  it's a very fine album and i hadn't pasted it in yet, so here it is.
jeffbuckley_grace.jpg (52563 bytes)
  • joe satriani: live in san francisco
        (2002, 2dvd, usa, sony music 54068 9)
    • this is the video version of the audio album.  nice shots, great tracks, and he makes it all look so easy...
joesatriani_liveinsanfran2dvd.jpg (82531 bytes)
  • deus: no more video
        (2002, dvd, eu, universal island records 586 637)
    • belgian band deus released a dvd last year (christmas gift period).  it has 10 videoclips and a lot of extras.  if you're into tom waits & captain beefheart, you'll really dig this.
deus_dvd_nomorevideo.jpg (94117 bytes)
forgot to mention these last time, but they're out, they look good and they sound even better: the last batch of japanese paper sleeve cd edition reprints:
  • frank zappa: frank zappa meets the mothers of prevention
         (2002, cd, japan, ryko vack-1257)
  • frank zappa: jazz from hell
         (2002, cd, japan, ryko vack-1258)
  • frank zappa: guitar
         (2002, cd, japan, ryko vack-1259)
  • frank zappa: broadway the hard way
         (2002, cd, japan, ryko vack-1260)
  • frank zappa: strictly commercial
         (2002, cd, japan, ryko vack-1261) - numbered


patrick neve forwarded the following message to
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003
From: Brett Ingram & Jim Haverkamp <>
Subject: "Monster Road" update #1

"Monster Road" Update #1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hello and welcome to the first e-mail update on "Monster Road," an independent documentary about underground animator Bruce Bickford being produced by Brett Ingram and Jim Haverkamp of Bright Eye Pictures of Durham, NC <>. We are sending this to folks who signed up on our e-mail list and our circle of colleagues and friends. If you'd prefer not to receive future e-mails, just reply and let us know.

About the film:
"Monster Road" is a feature-length documentary exploring the life and work of Bruce Bickford, a a man who may be the only
outsider/visionary/folk artist working in the medium of animation. He's best known for the psychedelic and relentlessly dynamic clay animation he produced for Frank Zappa's films "Baby Snakes" (1979), "The Dub Room Special" (1982), and "The Amazing Mr. Bickford" (1987). Bickford has been producing his dark and magical work for 40 years, but very little
has been seen by the public.

Where we are now: The journey down "Monster Road" began on New Year's Eve 1999, when we shot our first footage, and the final phase--editing and post-production--began in fall, 2002. We are now assembling a rough cut of the film and planning a final production trip to Bickford's home near Seattle.

What's been happening? Plenty of big news. First of all, we are excited to announce that we have found a non-profit agency to act as our fiscal sponsor. DADA, the Durham Association for Downtown Arts <>, has generously agreed to take on "Monster Road" as one of its projects.

What does this mean? That anyone who contributes money to the film, in addition to earning our heartfelt and lifelong gratitude (which, along with a couple of bucks, will get you an espresso), will also be able to use the donation as a tax deduction. This is truly the help we have needed to get the film completed, and we can't express our thanks to the good folks at DADA enough.

And because DADA uses the online payment service Network for Good, donations can even be made via the Internet (yup, this is the part where we ask for money--but it's brief). There's a link on the Bright Eye Pictures web site <> that can take you through the process, if you'd be inclined to make a contribution to
help complete the film. Every bit counts, and we truly appreciate all the support and encouragement we've gotten from all of you (Okay, end of plea for money).

In October, North Carolina State University's Independent Film Series sponsored a visit by Bruce Bickford to Raleigh. An hour's worth of Bruce's animation was shown, accompanied live by a stunning original score composed and performed by Merge Records recording artists Shark Quest <>. The evening was
dubbed "Monster Quest," and was capped off by a Q&A session with the normally soft-spoken Bickford, who was inspired to perform an impromptu blues "rap" with the band. David Fellerath of the Independent Weekly wrote a nice article about the event that you can find here: <>.
We are hoping to present "Monster Quest" again in some form in the near future, we'll definitely keep you posted.

That's it for this update. Thank you very much for your continued support, and if you have any questions or would like to be removed from the list, please get ahold of us:

Brett Ingram <>
Jim Haverkamp <>

in 1998, the britten sinfonia did a three-concerts series called "frank zappa and the fathers of invention".  i added the data for it in britten sinfonia.  if anyone else has other dates / program info (or maybe even recordings of the concerts), please let me know at

and right now, there's also a lot of orchestras performing zappa's music.  the following was found at

the colorado symphony orchestra performed two zappa pieces in denver, colorado, usa

the orquesta ciudad de granada will do two zappa concerts in a couple of weeks:

 the program:

the radio telefis eirann concert orchestra will perform zappa's 'dupree's paradise':

the american composers orchestra will perform a number of zappa compositions in march:

the new england conservatory will perform frank zappa’s ‘be-bop tango’ in boston, massachusetts

fred hemmer has excellent news on bogus pomp, the florida based band that plays the music of frank zappa:

----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 3:29 AM
Subject: Bogus Pomp is alive and well

Hi gang,

I am so glad to write and report that Bogus Pomp is going to continue and they will not be disbanding. Thanks to the contributions of a handful of supporters, enough funds have been pledged to pay for the travel costs to fly their drummer back and forth from Jacksonville for rehearsals.  Bogus Pomp will play Zappaween, one other Tampa Bay area upscale event and one out of town event. Talks are already underway for another orchestra related event and for their inclusion in the annual Zappanale festival in Germany.
The money was pledged by people under the following scenario. For each $200 contributed you will get two tickets to Zappaween and two tickets to the other local event. Priority seating and/or entry will be provided to insure the best seating. You will also get two free T-shirts for Zappaween. If another CD is printed you will get one of them. Other things such as attendance at a rehearsal will be offered too as opportunities become available. Jerry said he may even show up and serenade you on your doorstep!
If you would like to participate under this plan, or make any contribution, please e-mail me. We have established a Bogus Pomp Fund at Peoples Bank to hold the funds and I have agreed with the band to control all disbursements for rehearsal expenses. While we have enough pledges to make the commitment for the next year, additional funds could help continue the project even longer.
If you have any questions please e-mail me.
This is GREAT news and I am so excited that these guys will continue with their outstanding project. That "last" show was really emotional as it appeared that their end had come. To have things reversed like they did has the guys very excited.
I will provide updates soon!

-- Fred

and here's josh ronsen with a mail art project.  he's from austin, texas.

Hello. My name is Josh Ronsen and I am a Mail Artist and musician living in Austin, Texas. I have embarked on a long term collaborative project that I have been calling the Pierre Boulez Project. Years ago, French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez wrote that "All art of the past must be destroyed." Before and since writing that statement, he has made a living in presenting many art works of the past, from Handel to Beethoven to Wagner to Stravinsky. In my project, I am collecting recordings of Boulez's work as a composer and a conductor. Once I have assembled a sufficient number of recordings (and books and scores), my comrades and I will destroy them through various means in a performance creating a new work of art of the Present.
I ask that you submit any unwanted Boulez recordings to my project. I will duly credit all submissions on my web site and as well as the programs and final documentation of the project. If you wish, I can keep your donation anonymous.
Please see the Pierre Boulez Project web site at You will find a list of current contributors as well as the most comprehensive index (in English) to online information about Boulez, including links to a number of interviews with him.
An article about my Mail Art activities can be found online here:

I thank you for your time,

-Josh Ronsen
PO Box 7896
Austin, TX 78713

OFF THE CHARTS: THE SONG-POEM STORY by San Francisco filmmaker Jamie Meltzer
will premiere february 11, 2003, in san francisco

OFF THE CHARTS: THE SONG-POEM STORY Will Air Nationally on Independent Lens on February 11, 2003 at 10 pm.

Jamie Meltzer's debut film, OFF THE CHARTS: THE SONG POEM STORY is a fascinating, at times unsettling, documentary that exposes the strange underworld of the song-poem industry.  In this little known subculture, "ordinary people" respond to come-on ads on the back pages of magazines ("Send in Your Lyrics and Make $50,000 in royalties!"),
> mailing in their heartfelt but often bizarre poems to "music industry" companies that, for a fee, turn those poems into real recordings. 
Through interviews with several song-poem writers, the jaded producers and musicians who set their words to music, and a few of the growing number of zealous song-poem connoisseurs, OFF THE CHARTS explores a truly unique, never-before-seen slice of Gothic Americana.  OFF THE CHARTS will air nationally on PBS on February 11 (check local listings.)

Like a warped fun-house mirror, the song-poem industry has run parallel to the mainstream music business for close to a century; it's estimated that over 200,000 song-poems have been recorded since 1900. The genre's durability can be traced to three of our deepest American desires - to be in show business, to get rich quick, and to share and express our deepest feelings.   We meet several of the "songwriters" - from an elderly woman to a young African-American man to a small-town Iowan with big-time dreams - each of whom has been in the "business" for awhile, churning out odd compositions that cover the waterfront of American obsessions, from Jesus to genitalia, from politics to Elvis. We also meet the producers (often known as song-sharks) who hold out the tantalizing promise of fame to their eager customers, and the has-been musicians who sit in studios, day after day and year after year, interpreting some of the weirdest lyrics ever written.  Through fellow musicians and his son, Ellery Eskelin, one of the most eloquent fans of song-poem records, we learn about the life and tragic death of the man aficionados consider the greatest song-poem interpreter of all time, Rodney Keith Eskelin.  Using a variety of stage names, this would-be classical composer brought an eerie beauty to many of the song-poems he recorded before ending his career and life by jumping onto a Hollywood freeway.

As filmmaker Meltzer says, "The beauty of Song-Poems is that they are a result of the intersection, or collision, of ordinary people's expressions and the desires of musicians/businesses to make a quick buck, making the music as fast as they can, usually in one take.  When those two forces combine, they create strangely compelling songs that are unlike anything you've ever heard."  Shocking, funny, and heart-wrenching all at once, OFF THE CHARTS is a fascinating look at one of the strangest subcultures in our American landscape.

The following article first appeared in SPIN in October, 1985...

You Too Can Be A Recording Star!

by John Trubee

Stevie Wonder's penis is erect because he's blind. This ludicrous line was invented out of sheer boredom and homicidal frustration as I labored as a cashier in a convenience store in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1975. I'd scribble some poems and weird phrases on a legal pad to vent my seething anguish. Writing on the job was a kind of self-invented therapy to prevent the onset of mental illness due to occupational stress and severe teenage alienation.
In late spring of 1976, I bought one of those horrible sleazy tabloids you find in supermarkets by the check-out stand. I had to keep up on my UFO sightings and mass hatchet murders.

In the back pages of the Midnight Globe (not the National Enquirer, as erroneously reported elsewhere -- was it Time?), I scanned the geeky little ads and saw: "Cowrite on a 50-50 basis, earn $20,000 royalties, send your song poems to ..." some outfit in Nashville, Tennessee. I thought to myself: wouldn't it be fun to send these people the most ridiculous, stupid, vile, obscene, retarded Iyrics to see their response?

In five minutes of stream of consciousness (or unconsciousness), I hammered out the following:


Peace & Love

I got high last night on LSD
My mind was beautiful, and I was free
Warts loved my nipples because they are pink
Vomit on me, baby
Yeah Yeah Yeah.

Stevie Wonder's penis is erect because he's blind
It's erect because he's blind, it's erect because he's blind
Stevie Wonder's penis is erect because he's blind
It's erect because he is blind

Let's make love under the stars and watch for UFOs
And if little baby Martians come out of the UFOs
You can fuck them
Yeah Yeah Yeah.

The zebra spilled its plastinia on bemis
And the gelatin fingers oozed electric marbles
Ramona's titties died in hell
And the Nazis want to kill everyone.

Stevie Wonder's penis is erect because he's blind ... etc.


I wanted to get an emotional letter from the jerks in Nashville. I wanted them to tell me I was crazy. I wanted them to curse me out in writing so I could show all my friends.

Several weeks later I received a letter from Nashville Co-Writers which began:

Dear John,

We have just received your lyrics and think they are very worthy of being recorded with the full Nashville Sound Production. ... I am enclosing a contract of acceptance. Please sign and return along with $79.95 to cover the cost for each song to be completed ...

 They wanted my money. If I sent them the money, they would send me a tape and a record of my lyrics set to music. Although $79.95 was a lot to a minimum wage teenager, I signed the "contract of acceptance" and returned it with a check. Several weeks later I received a 7-inch, 45 RPM record that had a label and grooves only on one side.
Typed on the white label was "Peace & Love" (John Trubee-Will Gentry). I immediately rushed upstairs and put this little gem on the turntable for a listen. Over the lamest, most minimal country track was some country hack singing the lyrics I wrote. I was stunned.

They did change one line, though -- they excised all mention of Stevie Wonder and had the singer croon repeatedly "A blind man" instead.

Also enclosed with the disc (actually an acetate) was a photograph of Ramsey Kearney, the guy who sang the damned thing. Wearing a butterfly-print polyester shirt, Ramsey looked like the perfect man to sing these demented lyrics.

Several weeks later, Nashville sent a teeny 3-inch reel tape of the song in extreme stereo -- one channel had only the prerecorded rhythm track while the other channel featured Ramsey singing those idiot lyrics with a little slap-back echo thrown in.

For years I had recorded hours of tapes of my teenage band, prank phone calls, studio demo tapes, synthesizer blurbles, and various recordings of an unusual nature. I wanted all this hard work to be heard, and I loved distributing my tapes simply to annoy people and sometimes even to enlighten or entertain them. I am a music fanatic, a recording fanatic, and I needed to get this material out. It was my response to a world that seems always to have told me that I am small and worthless. Putting out music for the hell of it was my way of giving the finger to a universe indifferent to my existence.

In December 1982, I received a call at work from Ron Stringer, guitarist for the Fibonaccis, an L.A. art band. Earlier that year at a gig at Al's Bar, I had given him a John Trubee sampler cassette, which contained my Nashville prank song, "Peace & Love." Ron evidently played the tape for record producer Craig Leon, who was helping the Fibonaccis release their song "Tumors" on vinyl. Craig liked "Peace & Love" so much that he wanted to release it as a 45.

Craig managed to have the record pressed by Enigma, a new indie label based in a warehouse in Torrance, CA.  I got 50 free promo copies of the record. We didn't discuss any specific deal. Any sort of greed, bitchery, money hassles, or small-minded haggling might have discouraged Enigma from marketing my record. I felt that they were doing me a favor by bothering to press it and give me some free copies. In retrospect, this attitude was one of profound naivete borne of youthful inexperience.

When I drove to Torrance one night after work to pick up the 50 copies of my beautiful record, some guy from Greenworld (Enigma's distribution company) approached me and, referring to the 250 copies they had pressed, said, "We already invested $20 in this record, and we don't want to have anything more to do with it."

The records were in plain white sleeves and had blank white labels. For $16 I had four rubber stamps made at a stationery store so I could stamp each record with the pertinent information. I also bought several hundred plastic record sleeves from a local Licorice Pizza and designed and photocopied my own little cover to insert along with the record.

With my original 50 copies, I did a promotional mailing to Dr. Demento and various radio stations, not expecting any response whatsoever.

I sent a copy to Los Angeles TV vampiress Elvira aka Cassandra Peterson who at the time hosted a show at progressive radio station KROQ-FM in Pasadena. She sent a postcard explaining that she'd attempt to play the record on her show, but she wasn't sure she would be able to due to the offensive lyric content. I shrugged it off, put her postcard in my files, and forgot about it.

That Sunday, Zoogz Rift, in whose band I played bass, called and told me to quickly turn on KROQ. I did so and was astounded to hear them play my wicked little ditty. The enlightened and godlike DJs at KROQ thereafter regularly played it and it spread across the country to innumerable college stations.

Enigma re-pressed the record, adding it to their catalogue and christening it with the new moniker "A Blind Man's Penis," even designing a groovy little label for it. Matt Groening (in his incarnation as a music critic years before he created 'The Simpsons') devoted his entire Sound Mix column in the Reader, a weekly Los Angeles tabloid, to the convoluted story of how 'Blind Man's Penis' came into existence. Matt's article was brought to the UK by music journalist Barney Hoskyns who arranged to have it reprinted in NME, further spreading the infamy of my serendipitous teenage prank.

I'm currently working on my second Enigma LP with my band, the Ugly Janitors of America. You, too, Mister Composer/Musician, can put out records if you bother to go to the trouble of sending obscene lyrics and suicide notes through the U.S. Postal Service as I did. The obsolete and idiotic machinery of the music industry requires the irreverent pranks of ugly outsiders if it is to survive its keening descent into hermetically-sealed grayness, smug mediocrity, and tortured self-destruction by endlessly redigesting its own putrid bodily wastes.

Fresh oxygen is required to revitalize a stagnant pond.

-- John Trubee

our friends at ralphamerica say:

Hey Residents Fan,
Just a note that we just got some copies of the latest Signal To Noise magazine, which has a great article on The Residents written by Jim Knipfel (great writer, and author of Slackjaw and other novels). It may not be easy to find in yer town, so we picked up a few copies for y'all.
Come on down to the RalphAmerica store, and pick up yer favorite Residents goods, and stay tuned for more RezWinterWear coming to you soon.

news from afroskull - 2003/01/30:

Subject: Afroskull FRIDAY 1/31

Greetings once again Afroskull fans.  Apparently our next gig was omitted from our last email update.  So here is the list of our next few gigs (again), this time beginning with Friday night. 

Friday 1/31:  Le Bar Bat - NYC - 311 W. 57th St. @ 8th Ave. 

Saturday 2/8:  Da Funky Phish - Bay Shore, Long Island

Friday 2/14:  The Elbow Room - NYC - 144 Bleecker St. - THE VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE featuring Afroskull and The Corporation  (bring a date)

Saturday 2/15:  Union Square Lounge - Merrick, Long Island

The band is really sounding hot lately, so come on down and let your favorite funk/rock orchestra drop the bomb on ya.

john trubee shares the following:

Hey You Kids -- Feel free to use these album titles when your groovy band releases its groovy music!

Hippies Shooting Up Heroin

Bloody Rampage Of The Rogue Policemen

Bloody Execution Of The Rogue Policemen

Obese, Infantile Yuppies Pushing Themselves

In Front Of You To The Head Of The Line

Little Miss Vomithead

Naked Barbie's Carnal Frolic

Murderers Run Free Forever

>       And here's the quote for the day:
"Be grateful for the small things because one day you'll be left with nothing at all."
 --John Trubee

additions / corrections / ...

want more?

go to:

or visit again next week.

talk again to you soon,

-- peter van laarhoven