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Frank Zappa The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play


Some people have their Dylan Some folks have their Beatles I have my ZappaI hate the Beatles And it s not just their fans I hate John and Paul and George and Ringo Especially I Hate The Name I hate the name that last guy and his boring allstar bandWere I to characterize Dylan I d be open to prompt correction I like him What I know of him At the very least he s sort of the master of the storysong But I guess I ve never known him to do anything but songs Which is fine if you eally go for songsZappa s where it s at At least He S Where It S At In s where it s at in music Probably because only part of him was in the pop market And the part that was in the pop market was the part that wanted to make money That s ight Frank made pop music in order to earn It was a way for him to subsidize his true love which is music He said somewhere sometime that he had performed Dinah Moe Hum the one about manually manipulating a female to outrageous orgasm about 17000 times in order to finance the performance of something like oh I dunno the Yellow Shark thing I mean the Yellow Shark thing is kind of the saddest thing in music history that just a year before he dies he finally meets the musicians capable of and willing to perform his music properlyAt any ate I ll natter on all day about Frank Zappa I think in today s art world only William T Vollmann is sort of Zappa s heir I think Devin Townsend too is sort of one but his interests tend to be a bit narrower than Bill s and Frank sI am well aware how totally unbearable Zappa fans are But you are compelled at the very least to grant us bearability than the average Metallica fanZappa was is a geniusManymany music people people who say I m a Frank Zappa fan like all people who would consider eading this book I imagine The author admires him to great heights as well The highlights in this book include many matchless poignant uotes of FZ s often placed in a context where they eveal an interesting angle eveaing opinions of Ben Watson s I hadn. He has either been condemned as a cynical purveyor of smut and scatalogical humor aimed below the lowest common denominator or championed as the twentieth century's most eclectic composer definitions that are both inaccurate when isolated In Frank Zappa The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play Ben Watson explains that these characteristics are not mutually ex. T ead anything of his
before but he 
but he a music writer for the British magazine The Wire He is a socialist and appears to be a well ead person The book catalogues Zappa s work in chronological order but has much to offer than just preaching to the choir appreciation and established clich critiues misogyny etc There is no dry musical analysis My eading progress esembles the shape of a burnt weeny sandwich and goes as followsVery stimulated by the first 70 pages especially by Watson s attitude towards Zappa s position and using him almost exclusively In Very High Regard very high egard do his fans as an iconic LATE 20TH CENTURY ARTIST WHO DISREGARDS HIGH AND LOW 20th century artist who disregards high and low art borders To Watson Zappa is a petit bourgeoisie capitalist with a penetrating disarming outlook whose art fearlessly and with conceptual consistency comments on the the stupid and easily swayed people of the culture he disdains and is part For me the scorn is a big portion of why I like FZ s lyrics and they do make me listen Watson likes uoting Theodor Adorno yawn Philip K Dick Sigmund Freud and others in order to draw countless parallels to political and other ideas and trends in a list of eras traditions and continuums It s all presented in a verbose and often humorous fashion After a while I felt I had had enough of it There is no shortage of articulated opinions about this and that and I like what he has to say about class differences in art a lot as well as the general perception through the centuries of influential media portrayal to uphold such hierarchies Mozart was a genius ock is low etc but he goes too far for it to eally be believable to the fans Perhaps he s going all entrepreneurial American here and employs gross exaggerations to make his pointsThe middle section of the book deals with common themes in Zappa s output animals see title orifices sex power abuse etc Some of it is amusing and I think he s on to some things however I was turned off when he extracts whatever meanin. Clusive; it is misguided to suppress either aspect of Zappa's genius His socially transgressive shocks designed to show up the epressions of contemporary culture are central to his art Watson brings serious critical attention to the musician dissecting Zappa within his context and analyzing him alongside such artists as John Cage and Pierre Boulez Zappa's.
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Gs he wants from the individual letters in the song title Montana this episode is just nerdy and embarrassing mental masturbation Sometimes He Draws Very Unfair he draws very unfair conclusions and uses details in lyrics or interviews to support a concluded eduction of this and that to make them comply larger cultural schemes fitting Watson s decided ON VIEW THERE IS SOME MAGNETIC PULL TO THE view is some magnetic pull to the all the time Regardless of your political views there s some bullshit there to uote FZ Look here brother who e you jivin with that cosmik debris I was on the verge of stopping at one or two points but then he won me over again with the last 8th of the book He actually met with Zappa in his house hung with and interviewed him and was met with approving nods and amused laughs and was given the go ahead to publish the book from the man himself just a few months before he died in 1993 So to summarize my impressions on the one hand an ambitious amusing and worthwhile ead for the Zappa fan but on the other hand to once again uote FZ Who gives a fuck anyway I finished this uite some time ago and I m just now thinking to add it to my goodreads ead list Worth a eread sometime soon Hell I am giving this book 5 stars Yes at times it is very difficult to eadMany times I would eread the same paragraph over and over In the endI felt ewarded for sticking it out I learned about certain stuff I would never had encountered if not for this book Now I just have to figure out what it all means My third eading of this unruly monster I thoroughly enjoy eading this book even if I most thoroughly do not understand much of OTL s thoughts as he has presented them is this guy kidding or whatI laughed harder at the Postfix to the Fourth Edition where OTL ants about other critics eviews of this large turd of a bookThe fact that I thoroughly enjoy books of this type makes me as much a lunatic as the author I suppose Zoot allures indeed From A Reader s Journal by d melbie. Ideas are interpreted as an extension of a Western adical tradition that encompassed the Maruis de Sade the Surrealists and beyond from musiue concrete to doowop Theodor Adorno to Suzy Creamcheese Plato to Punky Meadows the Situationists to the PMRC Zappa's politics as well a his wit and elentless attempts to break standard forms are integral to his music. ,

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