Monday, August 1, 2016

Everything That Is Good (Good) comes To An End (Bad.)

Yes, yes, all you professional types with your "jobs" and "schedules" and "lives to lead" and what ever other problem you have, causing you wonder why the delay in finishing this blog already--take your professional person problems, prosper from them, enjoy your life with the surplus capital generated from them and all the accelerated, accentuated rights said surplus capital confers upon the holder, but be not confused! You can't goose me along any quicker!

Look, I want to finish this blog about as much as I wanted the tour to end, which was not at all.

A graduate from the prestegious Princeton Divninity school once said to me that it is through "this music" and through "this music" only that he could enjoy a "present moment."  I for one don't know what "present moment" means but I do know I feel a lot better when I am making end-of-the-world sounds with so-called Ms. Virginia Genta and Mr. David Vanzan.  That said, turning cans of cat food so they all face the same direction is a close second.

But alas, there is a new writing project on the horizion, and since multi-tasking is boolshit, it really is time to cinch this one shut and, along with a heavy rock, throw it into Lake Okanagan, with the rest of the incinerated capitalism excrement.


+ + +

 The fun began at the Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum.

What can I (or you) say?  A slice of ol' Portland, still throbbing right there in North Portland, amidst towers and temples dedicated to food excellence and the profit margin to be enjoyed therein.

There we grooved mightily to the sounds of Fiasco.

Groovy, right?  Sadly no video was taken by I.  Happily, there's plenty here taken by more responsible videographers than I.

That evening the Jooklo Zappa Fruti Tutti Torta was accompanied by the one and only Arrington de Dionyso!  Check it!

The next day, was a super secret (and again, poorly documented) recording session with the gang from Smegma!

Fortunately, the most important facet of the whole music / touring experience was
documented.  Just a little something Jackie whipped up for the gang, no big deal....

Speaking of the gang, how about those hydrangeas?

I am given to understand that the above gang did in fact commit an amount of music to some sort of recording medium.  I got one of the files; when put into Audacity (tm) the audio topography looked a lot like the geography of Saskatchewan.  But I'm no audio engineer.  Enquire of your local Smegma and/or Jooklo for more information.  A wonderful session to be sure.  I MEAN, LOOK AT THAT PHOTO?  WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?

Was it the next day we went for a walk in the park?

There again, total peace under G-d's green canopy.  Selah!

For a moment there, things got squiggly with the travel plans.  Was the Jooklo's SF ride going to show?

Of course the Jooklo's ride was going to show.  What is this, amateur hour?

The more legitimate question is if Mr. Pulitzer Prize over here was going to document the show himself, for this blog he was writing.  Naturally, the answer is no.  That is not to say the show did not get documented.  It did, on a very nice camera, that shoots at 1gig of memory per second, or something like that.  Apparently there are a few terabytes (TB) worth of footage (about a minute and a half) on a hard-drive somewhere between Portland, USA and Kigali, Rwanda (really!)  Please stand by.

And with that, upon the death of the evening's sparse though spirited applause at the lovely Turn! Turn! Turn!, so also died a mindset and mission.  So also died a glorious voyage of music making; a time of question asking, and occasionally not question asking, but getting answers anyway.

As we walked away from the smouldering, groaning heap that was the Jooklo-Zappa tour of the left part of North America, hope was born that the Jooklos could return to Portland for a more extended stay.  Perhaps some time between November and February, when Portland is at it's most hospitable and it's people are at their best.

There was talk of the Jooklos leading an (the?) Orchestra di Freakabastia right there in the city of roses.  A short audition, a small fee, a week of rehearsals, make some merch, rent a space, spray some sound at people, hang with the Jooklos, drink Miller Light from cans (David's favourite beer) after the show, enjoy memories for a life time.

So all you super pro-active freaks of Portlandia and beyond, CLAP CLAP--make it so!  All you microphone and analog reel to reel dorks--dust of your gear, we have a box set of LP's to make.  Because if there's one thing I learned from the Jooklos (well, mostly Virginia) is if you can dream it, you (or someone else) can do it!

T H E   E N D.

(ps, blog disappearing in T minus 10, 9, 8,....)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Seattle (Stop Shouting)

Yes, yes...I know...the Jooklos are already back in Mother Europe and I still haven't finished the story.  You can stop shouting any time.

SEATTLE!  Always beautiful, always confusing--that highway in the middle of everything is a bit intimidating.  At least I was able to find I-5 on the way to Portland.

The plants were wonderful

One afternoon, we went to go visit the one and only Bruce Bickford!

Right now Mr. Bickford is working on a project involving building up layers of glue with a needle.  These cardboard sheets with the raised glue faces are photographed with the light hitting it at varying angles.  Can you possibly begin to dig it?

There were boxes of artefacts and materials from a certain concert film for which Mr. Bickford might be best known.

I was also treated to a quick dialectic (in a not-mean-if-true kind of way) of what it is like working with the Zappa Family Trust. 

If you were to guess, would you guess working with the Zappa machine was an uplifting, rewarding experience in Capitalism?  Would you guess the Zappa Family Trust is, at present, a decent, caring, co-operative partner in the creative process?

Eventually, appetites were regained.  Our hosts worked at a co-op!

Virginia cooked up the usual magic.  Risotto a la co-op!

The first performance was at the 1412 Gallery.  They have been making it happen for quite a while now, G-d bless their souls!  Verily, do check the scene!  Greg Kelley, Virginia Genta and Wilson Shook, cold chillin right out front!

The second performance was at the Blue Moon Tavern with Hound Dog Taylor's Hand and Kate Olson.

We sold a few posters

The one and only Arrington de Dionyso was in attendance.  He and the Jooklo's go waaaay back.  Small world!

Next stop, Portland!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Happy Birthday David Vanzan!

David Vanzan:

a.  Drummer
b.  Today's Birthday Boy
c.  Living Testimony
d.  American Gospel Fanatic
e.  All of the above

If you picked "e" you are right!

If you picked "c" you are extra right!

Living Testimony is the song David would sing each morning when making coffee for everyone before they awoke, (after finishing up any dishes from the night before.)

Did you know David has five PhD's?  His PhD's are in: (1) Funky, (2) Good Vibes, (3) Party, (4) Abstract Electronica, and, most importantly (5) the History of Gospel Music in the United States.

As a gospel fan, it was his 5th PhD that interested me the most.  As part of his incessant Post Doctoral oral defence of Gospel Music in the United States, David (again and again) acquainted us with a his favourite Gospel greats.  Here are just a scant few of the many, many Gospel songs David inundated us with through out the tour:

A very happy a joyous birthday to Italy's greatest gospel fan, DAVID VANZAN!  If and when you see him, make sure you buy him a can of his favourite American beer!

Now back to our regularly schedule programming.....

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Outsourced Documentation Continued

For your enjoyment, a longer video from the Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum, featuring the one and only Arrington de Dionyso!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Outsourced Documentation!

Someone who is not me once said "Once there is total surveillance, then history will begin."  Because we were a little too sftanza to properly document ourselves, we rely on the interest of others.

Here's a fun gem from our friend Owl Waltzing.

There is also some youtube action. 

This one is from Edmonton

From Seattle (part one)

Seattle (part two)

And at the Alice Coltrane Memorial Colliseum in Portland (part one)

and part two

Just a small sample of the fun!

Vancouver was great (duh!)

It is simply cruel to take anyone, let alone the Jooklos to Vancouver for just one day.  Obviously the did-not-do's outnumbered the do's by a long measure.  We didn't even get to Value Village on Hastings.  What kind of crap is that?  Worst driver ever.

What down time we had in Vancouver was filled with good vibes!

Cassette Merchant opened the show at Merge.  Witness the scene!

Merge is a great (and by great I mean comfortable) place to see a show, listen to a show or ignore a show while drawing in your journal.

Sadly, he who recorded the show just wrote to say that in fact he did not record the show.  Since I imagine everyone who was at the show is reading this blog, hanging on my every word, I ask you--did you record the Jooklo-Zappa show at Merge?  Any zeros and ones you could send would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanking you in advance.

After the show, it was only a few hours of awake time before we were speeding towards Seattle.  Vancouver, we hardly knew ye!

Let's begin at the end

On the final night of the tour, after I left the Jooklo Duo at their host's house (in deep South West, a mere 50 minutes from where I was staying in deep North East) I got comfy on the inflatable mattress, got out the camera and readied myself for an enjoyable look back at the 1500 or so pictures and movies taken in phase 2 of the Jooklo-Zappa tour.

I pressed the little arrow button and what did I see?  NO PICTURE and a little empty box, underscoring the point.

Immediately a most familiar wave of nausea overtook me--a nausea so strong that no amount of herbal remedy was able to cure it.


As you can imagine, this begat a philosophical journey not only into the land of "why" but into the land of "what for."

Was the past 3 weeks of music in the service of music or was it in the service of photo opportunities?  Is the past over?  If so, what good are photos?  Will anyone give one  scintilla of a micro fuck now that the Jooklos are back to a civilized European existence entirely free of North American boolshit?  Can I call upon the open source reporters of the last week to send their zeros and ones my way so I can pretend the past is still happening?

I know the Jooklos' own private, personal computer is in a state of disrepair and trapped inside are millions of bytes worth of their art and music...the Jooklo digital curse?

The next morning, my kind and knowledgeable hosts were able to sort through the SD card and access the photos and videos.  All 32 gigabytes worth.

While that nausea tangent was muted, the larger, over arching nausea was not.  The past is over.  The Jooklos are gone, back to an entirely boolshit free European utopia where everyone carries themselves like ladies and gentlemen, and not like savages.  The party is over.  The butler forgot to do the dishes.  He/she also forgot to water the plants in the green house.  Easy come, easy go?  Small wheel turn by the fire and rod, big wheel turn by the grace of God?  Just because I had a great time with the Jooklos doesn't mean the trenchant, unyielding boolshit disappeared.  In fact, it may have only been multiplying in power and force while I was away.

32 gigabytess is a lot to work through, and when your mind is working at 1980's Apple II+ speeds, parsing all the music and memories of a typical Jooklo visit, let alone a 3 week Western North American Odyssey takes time.

So sit back, relax and stay tuned for more nostalgia!