Friday, July 13, 2007

Commanding Officer Jones

Yeah, I agree with Steve about Zappa, (see "Midnight" comments) I love his naughty little songs and some of his guitar work.

The first Mothers had some great singing, I, of course forget the names, he did "America drinks up" sweet voice
I love the Marx brothers style insoucence, but Frank was a bit "too cool", too reserved, unwilling to risk losing control, or make a mistake, because of the jail time I guess and I think that's why his later stuff was a bit monotonous.
The Symphonic stuff didn't do much for me. It was interesting and all, but large works are a whole different kind of composing.

I hope his royal highness McCartney is listening.

That was OUR music you used to save England from bankruptcy, cutie pie!

BEEFHEART on the other hand is (or maybe by now was) a genius. He is what
G. Antheil should have had the guts to be, instead of backing off after "Ballet Mechanique" in order to please that arch enemy of "true" American music, Nadia Boulanger. Or whoever he was trying to kiss up too.

Wake up gang, we are not European. Our music comes from the blood of the people who picked our cotton and scraped our coal out of a hole in the ground.

The snob factor and racism are diseases that still infect the "upper" reaches of the symphonic scene. Where heads empty of imagination float above us to no purpose than to block the light.

A quote from a book I just read "The holocaust was, most of all, a failure of imagination"

Sure you can blow things up, George, but what are you gonna replace it with?.

Sure, you can break a contract and fire a concertmaster, but where's the new one? It's been what? Three years? That's some Dynamic Decision Making, children.

Let's get Woodard and Schartz on a hunting trip with V.P. Cheney and try to get Michael Tilson Thomas up here to straighten those kindergardners at the SSO out.

Any idiot can break stuff, what can you build?

As Duke once said, "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum...and I'm all out of gum".

Unfortunately for me, I am also all out of kickass.

I now turn you over to an anxious and over zealous need to explicate and illuminate, a genius in his own right.
Butch, you are an actor, you comment on everything except my opinion of Branaugh's Hamlet.
If you don't agree that Jacoby brought a whole new dimension to Claudius (or was it Polnonius?) I'll send you to the principal's office. This time I mean it.

GGGG, what is this stuff. I think that my bike trip has promoted some serious muscle building steroids here.
At least it's a lot more fun than the other 'roids I've got.

I am all out of stupid opinions to pad this thing with.

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3 Comments:

Blogger butch said...

Dougie:

Man, you were in FULL RANT mode for this comment! Really full steam ahead, sir, ramming speed, and damn the torpedeos.

Frank Vincent Zappa[1] (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, musician, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa established himself as a prolific and highly distinctive musician, composer and band leader. He worked in almost every musical genre and wrote music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers and symphony orchestra, as well as Musique concrète works constructed from pre-recorded, synthesized or sampled sources. In addition to his music recordings, he created feature-length and short films, music videos, and album covers.

Although he only occasionally achieved major commercial success, he maintained a highly productive career that encompassed composing, recording, touring, producing and merchandising his own and others' music. Zappa self-produced almost every one of the more than sixty albums he released with the Mothers of Invention or as a solo artist. He received multiple Grammy nominations and won for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1988 for the album Jazz From Hell.[2] Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In 2005, his 1968 album with the Mothers of Invention, We're Only in It for the Money, was inducted into the United States National Recording Preservation Board's National Recording Registry. The same year, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #71 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[3]

Politically, Zappa was a self-proclaimed "practical conservative",[4] an avowed supporter of capitalism and independent business. He was also a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion. Zappa was a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship, and his work embodied his skeptical view of established political processes and structures.

Zappa was married to Kathryn "Kay" Sherman (1960–1964; no children), and then in 1967 to Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death in December 1993 of prostate cancer. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa handles the businesses of her late husband under the company name the Zappa Family Trust.

Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet on January 15, 1941, in Glendale, California, USA) is a musician and visual artist, best known by the pseudonym Captain Beefheart. His musical work was mainly conducted with a rotating assembly of musicians called the Magic Band, which was active from the mid-1960s through to the early 1980s. Van Vliet was chiefly a singer and harmonica player, occasionally playing noisy, untrained free jazz-influenced saxophone and keyboards. His compositions are characterized by their odd mixtures of shifting time signatures and by their surreal lyrics, while Van Vliet himself is noted for his dictatorial approach to his musicians and for his enigmatic relationship with the public.

Van Vliet joined the newly forming Magic Band in 1965, quickly taking over as bandleader. Their early output was rooted in blues and rock music, but Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band gradually adopted a more experimental approach. 1969 saw the release of their best known album, Trout Mask Replica, which was produced by Van Vliet's childhood friend Frank Zappa and is today regarded as a groundbreaking and influential masterpiece.[1] Van Vliet released several further albums throughout the 1970s, but his group was beset by shifting line-ups and a lack of commercial success. Towards the end of that decade he settled with a group of younger musicians, and his three final albums, released between 1978 and 1982, all received critical acclaim. Van Vliet's legacy is one of limited commercial success, despite a devoted following; however, his influence on later punk and New Wave music and other genres and musicians has been described as "incalculable".[2]

Since the end of his musical career around 1982, Van Vliet has made few public appearances, preferring a quiet life in his northern Humboldt County, California, home where he has concentrated on a career in painting. His interest in art dates back to a childhood talent for sculpting, and his work — employing what has been surmised as a "neo-primitive abstract-expressionist aesthetic"[3] — has received international recognition. Several of Van Vliet's former band members recently reformed as a group, and toured as The Magic Band from 2003 to 2006.

I have to agree with you that Sir Paul McCartney great symphonic efforts have been cyber-silly, and fairly pedestrian. They put his debut symphony on PBS, and made a gala out of it, and I got weary of it, and quit taping it. I wonder if his name had been Douglas Palmer or Lane Savant if the media would have been so hot to hoorah it?

Nadia Boulanger (September 16, 1887 – October 22, 1979) was an influential French composer, conductor, and music professor. An outstanding music educator at the highest level, she taught many of the most important composers and conductors of the 20th century.

George Antheil, Qunicy Jones, and Burt Bacherach all studied with her I found out. Yeah, let's hear it for that ass-thumpin' Mississippi Delta Blues, that jazz that has infected the world, that rhythm and blues that turned into rock and roll, right?

Michael Tilson Thomas (b. December 21, 1944), aka MTT, is an American conductor, pianist and composer who directs the San Francisco Symphony.

Your John Wayne quote sounds "right" nor nearly right. I wonder what movie that was from?

As to your comments on Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET (1996) --I just dug the references. I really did not feel the need to respond. But if you insist. Yes Derek Jacoby is a hugely talented actor. Back in the 60's his PBS series, I, CLAUDIUS (the Roman)set new standards for mini-series. His newer PBS series, the episodes on BROTHER CADFAEL are also excellent. In HAMLET, his Cladius was very decisive, very manipulative, very clever, giving Branagh the kind of foil he needed for his dark prince strut. Branagh's Hamlet did not have the balls that some others have had. I was suprized. His HENRY V was macho as hell. In his film he got Julie Christie to play Gertrude, and she was my second favorite actress to do so. By the way it was Richard Briers who played Polonius. At 225 minutes, this version of the Bard went on like a 5 act play. Kate Winslet was OK as Ophelia. Brian Blessed was the Ghost of Hamlet's father. In the cast were John Geilgud, Judi Dench, and Gerard Depardieu. But to many's dismay he included some American actors who were in over thier talented heads, folks like Jack Lemmon, dreadful as Marcellus, Charlton Heston as the Player King, Billy Crystal as the First Grave Digger, and Robin Williams as Osric.

My favorite version of Hamlet was Franco Zefferilli's HAMLET (1990). Mel Gibson played the prince like a warrior, and a mad man, will balls the size of cannon fodder. Alan Bates was a superb Claudius, and Glenn Close was the best Gertrude I have ever seen. Ian Holm was terrific as Polonius. Helena Bonham Carter did a great Ophelia. The wonderful Paul Scofield was the Ghost. This verson came in at a slim 130 minutes. It zipped right along. This is one of the best roles Mel Gibson ever had.

Most people point to Laurence Olivier's HAMLET (1948), with him as Hamlet, as the definitive version. It was very good, but stilted and stagey. He had old trouper Basil Sydney as Claudius, with Eileen Herlie as Gertrude, Stanley Holloway (yes of MY FAIR LADY)as the Grave digger, Felix Aylmer as Polonius, and a young delicious Jean Simmons as Ophelia.

There were some good moments in Tony Richardson's HAMLET (1969), with the ascerbic Nicol Williamson raving as the Danish prince Hamlet, with the stalwart Anthony Hopkins as Claudius, and Judy Parfitt as Gertrude, and the lost but lovely Marianne Faithful as Ophelia.

Then there was the filmed play in John Gielgud's HAMLET (1964). Richard Burton blew the roof off as Hamlet. Alfred Drake was Claudius, and again Eileen Herlie was Gertrude ( a good piece of trivia that), with Hume Cronyn as Polonius, and John Gielgud himself as the Ghost.

A real challenge would be to view all five of these films in one weekend, and really compare the performances. What a dash of culture that might be.

They have medical salves for the kind of roids you have, sir.

Glenn

11:15 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Actually the "Duke" quote is from my Duke Nukem video game. "Duke" may have taken it from Duke. I heard it in the Army too.
I love the game especially the program that lets you build your own little worlds to blow up.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more: Nadia Boulanger has had F A R too great a negative influence on American music. I have taught at a university dominated by her disciples. Glad you are NOT one!!!!
-- Anonomann

4:37 PM  

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