Sunday, December 4, 2016

David, In Today's Correspondence, Reminded Me To Underscore The Centrality of John Coltrane

Recorded on 11 / 11/ 66.  Is that awesome or what?  That's just about 1 month and 50 years ago!

50 years prior to 1966 was...1916.  How pressing was the music of 1916 on the collective improvising musical consciousness in 1916?  Did they even have music in 1916?

They certainly did have not have music like that of John Coltrane, nor that of Rashid Ali.

David`s love of John Coltrane was something that we bonded over almost immediately.  Which John Coltrane CD to play in the car next?

And of course, David (like myself) is also a huge fan of Albert Ayler--we`re going to get to him in a later episode of Jooklo Zappa European Freakabastia Spring 2017.

Isn`t it amazing how well this music kept?  And isn`t it amazing that it has taken 50 years before "we" got our minds and ears around this sound?  When it first came out, more people than less would have told you that what Coltrane was doing on 11 / 11 / 66 was not music.  Well, there sure have been a lot of people trying to play this exact not-music, for the last 50 years.

Maybe it isn`t music--secular music anyway.  Maybe it`s gospel music?  Those hymns, once established, sure have stood the test of time.  Could it be that John Coltrane was the great hymn writer of the modern day?  Will any group surpass what you hear in the above video?   Does anyone need to surpass what you hear in the above video?   Out Coltrane Coltrane as it were?  Lord knows there`s no end of people trying.

And maybe that`s not such a bad thing?

Is it better or worse than Elvis impersonators?

Do Elvis impersonators--the really good one--have the same impact upon listeners as the real Elvis did, way back when?  This young whipper snapper sure seems to have an effect on Ellen!

Here`s hoping the Jooklo-Zappa Offshoots of Delusion give you the same joy in your European and Scandinavian town, in 2017 (provided there is a 2017)

Friday, December 2, 2016

David, the ever vigilant correspondent, sent us a fantastic link to "TV Gospel Time"! Thank you David

Perhaps you haven't heard, but David Vanzan has 4 PhD's:  Funky, Party, Good Vibes and Gospel Music.

In David's most recent correspondence (he writes me so often!) he included the above video.  In so doing, he (and my best friend youtube) alerted me (and now us) to TV Gospel Time.

David has promised that we are going to listen to lots and lots of gospel music when the Jooklo-Zappa Tractor-Trailor of Rainbows hits the great joyous highways of Europe and Scandinavia!  Not like the Jooklo-Zappa Tearful Believers listen to much in the way of secular music anyhow...

Before I leave you to TV Gospel Time (a big thanks again to David for sharing this with us!) can instrumental be anything other than secular?  Can instrumental music be "gospel" or, more to the point "holy" and in the service and exultation of "the Lord"?  If so, how?  

Please write answer in English in the comments section. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hello again Europe (and Scandinavia!)

Hi again Europe and also Scandinavia!

While it is true that David has four PhD's (Good Vibes, Funky, Party and Gospel) it is also true that David has more MA's than I can count.

One of David's MA's is in Animal Behaviour.  While it is true the above gesture (paradoxically) means "hire me" as well as "I quit", David (were he here and at all interested in participating in this aspect of the upcoming tour's promotion) would be quick to explain that in the animal (especially the Pit Bull) kingdom, the above is known as the "play bow".  It is both an announcement of and physical preparation for impending Fun!

So what does that have to do with the Jooklo-Zappa Fluffy Cat Freakabastia tour of Europe and Scandinavia in 2017?

I'll explain

Imagine if you will your ear-drums are a trampoline

Imagine now, the Jooklo-Zappa Love-Star Liner Express is a Rotweiler.

Are you beginning to understand the kind of fun, and by fun I mean musical  pantonal, panrhythmic freakabastia the Jooklo-Zappa (insert name here) is going to drop on your European / Scandinavian trampoline eardrums when we come to your town?

If not, keep watching the video!*

* (Though now memorized by all members of the ensemble, the above video is one of the "visual scores" assiduously rehearsed and expertly mastered perfectly for performance) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hello Europe!


Greetings from Canada! 

It seems like only yesterday the Jooklo Zappa Daughters of Heavenly Glory were scooting from one delightfully hospitable Canadian locale to another, sharing our feelings in the form of David's four PhD's: good vibes, funky, party and gospel appreciation.

Since then, feelings have been felt, America has a new first lady, and feelings are being felt anew.

Q:  What would happen if Europe was covered in rainbow coloured maple syrup hockey stick puck butter coloured Buick muscle car lots of little notes and high pitched drums?

A:  Throw away your black turtle neck sweaters! We will have brightly coloured shirts and posters for sale at the shows!

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.....