Tag: Captain Beefheart

But is it normal, Doctor?

I don’t know about you but I reckon there are times when the world around us gets so downright peculiar that it’s only really strange music, the weirder the better, that can hit the spot.
None stranger, of course, than Don Van Vliet – aka Captain Beefheart. Here are two live performances, both recorded in Paris, the first at the Bataclan in 1972 and the second at the Théatre De L’Empire in 1980.
I’ve included the published lyrics if only to show how far Don departs from them. The personnel may differ but both bands are superb, from the train-coming-down-the-track polyrhythms of Click Clack to that uncanny sound of a car windscreen-wiper – faithfully copied from life – which provides the riff to Bat Chain Puller. The good Captain’s car was stopped at a railroad crossing with an apparently endless goods-train trundling past … 
Two trains
Two railroad tracks
One goin’ ‘n the other one comin’ back
There goes my baby on that ole train
I say come back come back baby come back
Click clack click clack
There’s my baby wavin’ her handkerchief down
My ears stand up when I hear that sound
This time it sounds like it’s for keeps
Click clack click clack
I get down on the ground
With the gravel around
I pray t’ the Lord
That the train will stop
Turn right around
‘N never stop till it drop my baby off
Now I had this girl
Threatened ‘n leave me all the time
Maybe you had uh girl like that
I-yuh all time cryin’
Well I had this girl
Threatened ‘n leave me all the time
Threatenin’ t’ go down t’ N’Orleans-uh
‘N get herself lost ‘n found
Maybe you had uh girl like this
She’s always
Bat chain
Puller
Bat chain puller
Puller, puller
A chain with yellow lights
That glistens like oil beads
On its slick smooth trunk
That trails behind on tracks, and thumps
A wing hangs limp and retreats
Bat chain puller
Puller puller
Bulbs shoot from its snoot
And vanish into darkness
It whistles like a root snatched from dry earth
Sodbustin’ rakes with grey dust claws
Announces it’s coming in the morning
This train with grey tubes
That houses people’s very thoughts and belongings.
Bat chain puller
Puller puller
This train with grey tubes that houses people’s thoughts,
Their very remains and belongings.
A grey cloth patch
Caught with four threads
In the hollow wind of its stacks
Ripples felt fades and grey sparks clacks,
Lunging the cushioned thickets.
Pumpkins span the hills
With orange Crayola patches.
Green inflated trees
Balloon up into marshmallow soot
That walks away in faulty circles,
Caught in grey blisters
With twinkling lights and green sashes
Drawn by rubber dolphins with gold yawning mouths
That blister and break in agony
In zones of rust
They gild gold sawdust into dust.
Bat chain puller,
Puller puller
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Rabbiting On Again

Words.
No shortage, is there?
Words, words.
Dictionaries and thesauruses are full of them.
Words, words, words.
Airwaves are abuzz with them.
Words, words, words, words.
Persuaders, hidden or otherwise, bend our ears and break our spirits.
Words, words, words, words, words …

And so, before contributing a further fourpenny-worth to the existing word-mountain, let’s pause a moment to consult two world-renowned authorities on the higher arts of human communication … Chas ‘n’ Dave … whose cheeky erudition goes some way to excuse a whiff of political incorrectness:

You got more rabbit than Sainsburys … honest to goodness, has a better line of poetry ever been written? And if it has, might it have come from the pen of this cheerful geezer?

Talking in Bed

Talking in bed ought to be easiest,
Lying together there goes back so far,
An emblem of two people being honest.
Yet more and more time passes silently.

Outside, the wind’s incomplete unrest
Builds and disperses clouds in the sky,
And dark towns heap up on the horizon.
None of this cares for us. Nothing shows why

At this unique distance from isolation
It becomes still more difficult to find
Words at once true and kind,
Or not untrue and not unkind.

by Philip Larkin

Putting two and two together – and probably coming up with five! – it appears that too much rabbit and related background noise from outside can drown out the delicate inner promptings that allow for meaningful human communication. And if you’ll forgive the comparison of blogging into the blank aether with talking in a darkened bedroom, you may also accept the notion that uncertainty about reception can make it hard to string words together online.

As a little kid I had an invisible friend. I only ever confided in him while sitting on the toilet. I called him Naughty Man and his supposed worldly wisdom must have made him an ideal audience for my secret confidences. Perhaps I was aware that the real people around me could only take so much. Communication breakdown begins early and always remains a possibility, which is probably why I (and, may I suggest, we?) need art to bridge the gap. And comedy. Both bring perspective.

Here are some more rabbits if you have the stamina, though a minute or three might be enough to give you the idea!

Unsettling, isn’t it? That bloke Kafka hardly knew what he’d started, shuffling off his mortal coil before most of his work was published and after leaving strict instructions that it should all be burnt!

It’s easy to view the wind out there as cold and unforgiving. So it’s a comfort to know that people whose talents I admire and even envy can also struggle to express themselves. But where I whisper into a zephyr, in the intimacy of a personal blog, they often have to shout into a maelstrom.

Image result for joni mitchell quote on music corporations

Another musician-turned-painter was Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. The short film that follows offers a great insight into what made him tick as an artist – it’s also, at least to my ear, hilariously funny. The wobbly footage shouldn’t impair enjoyment too much.

He dedicates his music to animals and children. How cool is that? If I’d known about Captain Beefheart as a kid, it would certainly be him I’d have confided in! He would have known all about the glory of words as well as understanding their limitations.

Hmm, maybe there’s a connection …

Something New #3

Image result for life is what happens when you're making plans

If John Lennon was hard on other people, he was harder on himself. But he was never Nowhere Man. Today it’s his radiant honesty that’s remembered, a shining sincerity that sometimes got him into trouble but more often – and especially since the senseless tragedy of his early death – won the much longer battle of hearts and minds.

Lennon’s originality lay, I think, in his capacity to touch a raw nerve. There was no formula, no going through the motions. His music always retained an improvised edge.

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Lesser artists are often shameless crowd-pleasers. The great ones are themselves usually their own toughest audience. They lead rather than follow taste because what they give us has come through such rigorous quality testing. And the most important quality is authenticity.

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Image result for originality quotesIs it too far-fetched, I wonder, to compare artistic originality with escapology – the evasion of constraints to liberate the self from chains or, to push the analogy, from convention? And if there’s any magic, perhaps it’s in the sudden realisation of freedom. Truth is the touchstone.

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Good news, then, you don’t have to come up with anything new! Let’s stay in the 19th century for confirmation of this.

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Nietzsche once said that, without music, life would be unimaginable. Time perhaps to consult a musician …

Nifty link, huh, even though all I did was type Originality into Google Images?

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Another comparison comes to mind, originality and alchemy – the transformation of base metal into gold. If that seems too supernatural, consider the miraculous implications behind this next idea.

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We may not be original but what we do can be. New writers are often given the following piece of advice.

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After all, it’s one of life’s truisms that we can only ever start from where we are. Duh! But, as so often, Philip Larkin comes to the rescue.

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Ah, takes me back to those ‘possibilities of being’ that were the plus side of Pirandello’s ‘multiple identities’! Perhaps you remember them from Something New #1? And let’s cheer ourselves up some more with a photograph and a playful comment from the person who took it.

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Playfulness is another facet in the jewel that is originality. I play with my granddaughter and marvel at how she naturally and instinctively incorporates whatever happens to be lying around in the creative games we play together. She connects me to my younger self like a bolt of lightning links heaven and earth.

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Striking image, eh? 😉 And speaking of striking images, how about this one?

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The trouble with the visual image, though, is that it can’t really capture the inner nature of an abstract concept like originality. Surface not substance, pose instead of profundity. (Enough alliteration already. Ed.) 

Ah well, let’s plough on …

Image result for ploughing painting

Playing with whatever I find online is fun, though I usually try to acknowledge my sources. Too many to list here but just this once I’ll risk the lawsuits in the interests of, er, art or whatever!

More seriously, a general point emerges – however original people are, or try to be, they should  always credit their guiding influences. And as my WordPress friend Curt Mekemson put it: Creativity emerges from clashing ideas.

I would venture to add that the most vital motivation is a moral imperative – put simply, we care. Which brings me to my final sequence of images.

Luigi Pirandello wasn’t wrong about mutual incomprehension and multiple identities and the clash of vibrant life with inert forms, structures or templates. But William Blake’s law of contraries holds that every negative contains its own positive – much as the Buddhist higher worlds (Learning, Compassion, Realisation) are said to emerge from the lower worlds (Hunger, Anger, Animality, Humanity) – a source of much comfort and no little inspiration to me.

Turns out there’s light at the end of every tunnel.

Duh!

Who knew?

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Oh, and don’t get me started on Tribute Bands … deep breath, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 …

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Ah, that’s better! I’ll end this circuitous exploration with somebody way beyond imitation …

 

Something New #1

Reading some Alan Ginsberg poems, I was reminded of his memorable maxim: First thought, best thought. He was a huge fan of Walt Whitman, who also influenced DH Lawrence. Lawrence didn’t go in for rewriting, either, having a quasi-religious faith in the freshness of first inspirations.

So in the spirit of freewheeling abandon I’ll jump headfirst on a metaphorical trolley made of orange-boxes and old pram-wheels and head off steeply downhill … Holy smoke! Did I really do that when I was ten years old knowing full well there was a busy main road at the bottom of the hill – busy, that is, for 1959! – just to impress a few kids? Consequences were for cowards in those distant daredevil days – you could always use your trailing foot as a brake, even though your mum always complained about the terrible rate you got through shoes! One of her favourite words, that was, terrible

I’m getting side-tracked already. That’s the trouble with metaphors, wheeled or otherwise, they can run away with you. This post is supposed to be about, er … well, my previous one was about nothing so perhaps I should continue down that unbeaten trail. My very first post on WordPress was about getting lost. Deliberately. Going off piste. That was the guiding spirit of A Nomad In Cyberspace. A kid heading off with no particular place to go …

Haha, cue song!

Now there’s a side-track for you, if ever there was one! We’re rushing ahead of ourselves. I haven’t even hit puberty yet. At least my youthful persona hasn’t and at this rate he never will, appearing only in extended metaphors which I’m trying to cut down for the sake of getting somewhere specific.

That’s better, Dave, you’re starting to sound more convincing … authoritative, even … eager eyes fixed on a worthwhile goal! Making sense. Nice work if you can get it. It pays to be serious these days. Perhaps I’m falling under the influence of my elders and betters … well, not elders, most of the British cabinet are younger than me … and as for betters, well, that’s a value-judgment beyond the remit of this post.

Remit? This post is remitless. New territory beckons. I’m continuing in the full knowledge that there’s now a wavy red line under the word remitless. Another. Ah, what the heck, let’s throw grammar to the winds and ride bareback into the wild and windy night like there’s no tomorrow!

Like there’s no tomorrow. Simile? Metaphor? Or ghastly reality?

The British cabinet in its venerable collective wisdom has just tried to heal present and future internal and external divisions with a phrase of incomparable genius – ambitious managed divergence. We are clearly not worthy nor ready – too young and inferior? – to comprehend such lofty concepts without help. Here’s Jonathan Freedland in today’s Guardian:

You’re not being fired. Heavens, no. You and the company are merely going through what we call an “ambitious managed divergence”. The torture Brexit inflicts on the English language escalates daily, the latest indignity being the euphemism coined after the tellingly named Brexit war cabinet had an eight-hour session among the whiteboards at Chequers on Thursday. “Ambitious managed divergence” was the agreed description for the planned future relationship between Britain and the EU, a phrase so blatantly designed to stitch together two clashing positions you could see the seams.

“Divergence” is there to satisfy the Johnson-Gove-Fox axis of Brexiteers, while “managed” is meant to placate the Hammond-Rudd rump of remain realists. “Ambitious” is the heroic attempt to dress up what is, in fact, a dollop of fudge chock-full of contradictions and likely to melt on first contact with the heat of trade talks in Brussels.

The phrase I like – nay envy! – is “an eight-hour session among the whiteboards“. Who hasn’t sat in a tedious meeting where a desperate team-leader eventually pleads for a summing up of deadlocked positions? ‘A form of words, that’s all we need, then we can all go!”

Go where? Home? Down the pub? To hell in a handcart? That’s the beauty of living in a free country, see, we get to choose? Mind you, according to the dramatist Pirandello – my latest minor obsession, see the previous post! – choice is an illusion. So is everything else, pretty well, including our notion of individual identity. How, he asks, can such a fragile construct survive …

” … the deceit of mutual understanding irremediably founded on the empty abstraction of words, the multiple personality of everyone corresponding to the possibilities of being found in each of us, and finally the inherent tragic conflict between life (which is always moving and changing) and form (which fixes it, immovable)”?

One hopeful note is found in the phrase “the possibilities of being”. Luke Rhinehart comes to mind, throwing dice to expand his range of life experiences. Couple that with the idea of life “always moving and changing” to discover the potential, at least, for continued human evolution. Technology may have stopped us evolving physically but it has multiplied our chances of cultural and social change.

Some people baulk at this, perhaps fearing the rise of a repressive society in lockstep to a prescribed beat. The following interview with Captain Beefheart, arguably the most creative and original performing artist in the colourful history of rock music, is a vivid reminder of both the dangers and delights of so-called popular culture.

I’ll leave it there for now. My next post will consider the value of originality at a time when unthinking conformity is, perhaps surprisingly, pushing us all further and further apart. Perhaps we do need to be ambitious if our divergence is to be, er, managed …

 

Captain Beefheart (Slight Return)

Anyone who read my recent post Of Bob & Beefheart & A Big Old Hat may feel a sense of deja vu. I’m repeating the final section on Captain Beefheart (with a few additions to encourage re-reading) because my earlier post broke the 15+ tag prohibition and consequently didn’t show up on the WordPress Reader. Too many tags and too long-winded (just ask my friends, if you can wake them!) so I’ve cut to the chase, trimmed the fat and left you the juicy bits. Let’s see if this shows up on the radar … 

                                 

                                   Key   Brown for sound, big arrow on left to return to text

I like to imagine Bob Dylan tearing pages out of the rule book and feeding them one by one to a roaring fire on the windy beach in Mister Tambourine Man. But perhaps the best candidate for Most Complete Musical Rebel of the 1960s was Captain Beefheart. Don Van Vliet, to use his civilian name, certainly ticks all the boxes … though I can’t imagine he would enjoy filling in the forms.

There’s a filmed interview where Beefheart describes the bom-bom-bom-bom-bom of commercial music as ‘the mama heartbeat’ – a hypnotic that sent people into a trance, he believed, a cataleptic state from which he sought to shake them with his fractured and wildly unpredictable music. And just down the beach from Bob Dylan, here we see The Magic Band pretending to imitate the surf boys but please click on Diddy Wah Diddy to spot early signs of subversion.

Debut album Safe As Milk was conventional by later Beefheart standards with a commercial touch provided by Ry Cooder, whose favourite track was Autumn’s Child. I’ll plump for the even more surreal Abba Zaba, the only song I know that celebrates a private childhood mythology about a chocolate bar. Babbette Baboon was his secret name for the monkey on the wrapper …

The ‘difficult’ second album was Strictly Personal, wrecked or rescued – a matter of personal taste – by its trendy use of phasing effects. In my view, the material was strong enough without fancy production tricks. The controversy doesn’t stop there because John Lennon was reportedly offended by the pastiche of Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin Stones which pokes fun at the childlike elements in Strawberry Fields. This is ironic because the waspish Beatle never showed pity towards the objects of his own barbed lampoons. The irony deepens when you consider how childlike Beefheart was, still the young boy who won the sculpture competition but was prevented from taking up a six-year scholarship in France because his parents thought the art world too ‘queer’. You couldn’t make that up, could you? But it goes some way to explain what drove the guy. Yeah, strictly personal …

Widely acknowledged as The Magic Band’s masterpiece, Trout Mask Replica broke new territory in sheer Dadaist daftness. Almost as weird is the story of this monster double-album’s making as told in the excellent 1997 BBC Documentary – public broadcasting, yay! – narrated by John Peel, the DJ who made the band famous in the UK.

Come to think of it, why are you wasting time reading this when you could be watching the documentary?

trout-mask-replica-501d04ad4c085Oh no, you’re still reading … I expect you want to know what I think of the album. The short answer is, I’m trying hard not to. That front cover gives me the heebie-jeebies and this back cover scares me shitless. Who are these crazy people, that they invade my dreams and point their alien death rays in my direction?

06trout1band

I have it on very good authority that anyone who makes the mistake of listening to these hideous jungle rhythms will never be the same again … so don’t say you haven’t been warned. By all accounts, the follow-up album Lick My Decals Off, Baby is even more scary. Let’s keep Halloween a wholesome family festival, I say … and will therefore take absolutely no responsibility for what might happen if you click on Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop which sounds to me like a foreigner of terrestrial or even extra-terrestrial origin pretending to speak English …

OK, feeble attempts to be funny aside, time to come clean! My name it is nothing (thanks for that, Bob) and I am a Captain Beefheart junky. I like everything he did, the weirder the better. TMR is a bona fide work of genius which should be heard all the way through at one sitting – hence no tracks here – and LMDOB, though it doesn’t always hang together, isn’t far behind.

But if your own strangeness threshold is set lower than mine you may be on safer ground with the album many folk say is the place to start – Clear Spot. Made with the intention of establishing a more commercial direction, its clean sound and crisp delivery can be heard on tracks such as Big Eyed Beans From Venus … but wait a minute, what’s with the weird song title? … and those people on the album cover with that spooky thing that looks like a spaceship command module … I think one of them might be Chinese …

Clear_Spot

Hang on, unless I’m imagining it, I can hear these like well weird words …

Mister Zoot Horn Rollo / Hit that long lunar note / And let it float …..

The_Spotlight_Kid

By contrast, the cover of Spotlight Kid shows the good Captain as a model of sartorial elegance, albeit a little dandified. But spin the platter and any suspicion he’s become a lounge lizard is dispelled after a few notes. We hear the old brain-mangling rhythms, the wild lyrical pastiche, the whole crazy circus – as here, in a live and dangerous version of the album’s most compelling track, Click Clack.

The mid 1970s were his wilderness years. Soft rock and singer-songwriters held sway and there seemed to be no place for this eccentric genius, never a friend to fashionable formulas. It took the rise of punk to bring him back in favour but Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) was no garage record. Adventurous horn arrangements created a distinctive new soundscape for his usual flights of vocal fancy.The title track was an attempt to replicate the rhythm of windscreen wipers on a car at a level crossing with a train lumbering slowly past … his composing method always more like painting, daubing sound in layers. If all art aspired to the condition of music, as the Victorian critic Walter Pater believed, then you could count on Don Van Vliet to be moving in the opposite direction.

For fans of Beefheart’s weird side, Doc At The Radar Station was even more welcome. Here he returned to late 60s demos and created new songs around them, like Dirty Blue Gene, just as good live in 1980. And as for his last ever record, the third of his acclaimed come-back albums … would his newly-diagnosed illness and his return to painting find him muted and mellowed, taking the company shilling, selling out to the man at last? Anyone would have forgiven him for taking it easy.

The opening shot in the next clip looks promising. There he is, silhouetted against the golden evening sun, standing calm and quiet in a big old hat … tell you what, why don’t we give the old reprobate one more chance to prove he’s a reformed character? Let’s hit the album’s title track, kinda sweet idea ain’t it … Ice Cream For Crow?

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Of Bob & Beefheart & A Big Old Hat

                                Key   Brown for sound, big arrow on left to return to text

Half a year in and one theme runs through all my WordPress posts so far – breaking the rules. Rules aren’t laws, right? Rules are more like blueprints. The Tin Pan Alley blueprint encourages music written to a formula because it is easily duplicated by low-paid hacks with drum machines. But the music that hits me hard enough to burn the moment of first hearing on my brain always breaks the mould – sometimes musically, sometimes lyrically, more often with a startling new combination of melody and rhythm and words.

How does this happen? It’s well known that sentient beings respond more intensely to novelty than to routine, a trait perhaps evolved to enable rapid ‘flight or fight’ decisions. So maybe it’s just newness that clicks the camera of my mind? Nah, there must be more to it than a dumbass kneejerk reaction.

And anyway, haven’t we stopped evolving physically because the development of culture keeps us protected from nature? We’re a complex life form, or so they say. Me, I like to keep things simple. As I understand it, the left side of my brain handles words and reasoning while the right side processes music and rhythm and emotions. Science shows that poems set to music get the two hemispheres conversing and the brain lights up like those spaceship lights in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. You remember … Da-di-dum-di-da

xunlmeygp3go3rqv0qtuGotta strange feeling I’ve only just scratched the surface here. What I do know is that I have complete recall of hearing Mr Tambourine Man for the first time. Captivating poetry to a lovely folk melody, of course, but the clincher for me was Dylan’s trick of adding an extra phrase to each verse so that come the end we have a breathtaking litany of wonders and the song becomes a hymn to life lived in the moment …

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind / Down the foggy ruins of time / Far past the frozen leaves / The haunted frightened trees / Down to the windy beach / Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow / Yeah to dance beneath a diamond sky with one hand waving free / Silhouetted by the sea / Upon the circus sands / With all memory and fate / Driven deep within the waves / Let me forget about today until tomorrow …

I like to imagine Bob Dylan tearing pages out of the rule book and feeding them one by one to a roaring fire on that windy beach. But perhaps the best candidate for Most Complete Musical Rebel of the 1960s was Captain Beefheart. Don Van Vliet, to use his civilian name, certainly ticks all the boxes … though I can’t imagine he would enjoy filling in the forms.

There’s a filmed interview where Beefheart describes the bom-bom-bom-bom-bom of commercial music as ‘the mama heartbeat’ – a hypnotic that sent people into a trance, he believed, a cataleptic state from which he sought to shake them with his fractured and wildly unpredictable music. And just down the beach from Bob Dylan, here we see The Magic Band pretending to imitate the surf boys but please click on Diddy Wah Diddy to spot early signs of subversion.

Debut album Safe As Milk was conventional by later Beefheart standards with a commercial touch provided by Ry Cooder, whose favourite track was Autumn’s Child. I’ll plump for the even more surreal Abba Zaba, the only song I know that celebrates a private childhood mythology about a chocolate bar. Babbette Baboon was his secret name for the monkey on the wrapper …

The ‘difficult’ second album was Strictly Personal, wrecked or rescued – a matter of personal taste – by its trendy use of phasing effects. In my view, the material was strong enough without fancy production tricks. The controversy doesn’t stop there because John Lennon was reportedly offended by the pastiche of Beatle Bones ‘N’ Smoking Stones which pokes fun at the childish elements in Strawberry Fields. This is ironic because the waspish Beatle never showed pity towards the objects of his own barbed lampoons. The irony deepens when you consider how childlike Beefheart was, still the young boy who won the sculpture competition but was prevented from taking up a six-year scholarship in France because his parents thought the art world too ‘queer’. You couldn’t make that up, could you? But it goes some way to explain what drove the guy. Yeah, strictly personal …

Widely acknowledged as The Magic Band’s masterpiece, Trout Mask Replica broke new territory in sheer Dadaist daftness. Almost as weird is the story of this monster double-album’s making as told in the excellent 1997 BBC documentary – public broadcasting, yay! – narrated by John Peel, the DJ who made the band famous in the UK.

Come to think of it, why are you wasting time reading this when you could be watching the documentary?

trout-mask-replica-501d04ad4c085Oh no, you’re still reading … I expect you want to know what I think of the album. The short answer is, I’m trying hard not to. That front cover gives me the heebie-jeebies and this back cover scares me shitless. Who are these crazy people, that they invade my dreams and point their alien death rays in my direction?

06trout1band

I have it on very good authority that anyone who makes the mistake of listening to these hideous jungle rhythms will never be the same again … so don’t say you haven’t been warned. By all accounts, the follow-up album Lick My Decals Off, Baby is even more scary. Let’s keep Halloween a wholesome family festival, I say … and will therefore take absolutely no responsibility for what might happen if you click on Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop which sounds to me like a foreigner of terrestrial or even extra-terrestrial origin pretending to speak English …

OK, feeble attempts to be funny aside, time to come clean! My name it is nothing (thanks for that, Bob) and I am a Captain Beefheart junky. I like everything he did, the weirder the better. TMR is a bona fide work of genius which should be heard all the way through at one sitting – hence no tracks here – and LMDOB, though it doesn’t always hang together, isn’t far behind.

But if your own strangeness threshold is set lower than mine you may be on safer ground with the album many folk say is the place to start – Clear Spot. Made with the intention of establishing a more commercial direction, its clean sound and crisp delivery can be heard on tracks such as Big Eyed Beans From Venus … but wait a minute, what’s with the weird song title? … and those people on the album cover with that spooky thing that looks like a spaceship command module … I think one of them might be Chinese …

Clear_Spot

Hang on, unless I’m imagining it, I can hear these like well weird words …

Mister Zoot Horn Rollo / Hit that long lunar note / And let it float …..

Ah, those crazy old times! Let’s flash forward ten years to Beefheart’s final record, the third of three acclaimed come-back albums. Surely by now he will have mellowed, taken the company shilling, sold out to the man? The opening shot in the next clip looks promising. There he is, silhouetted against the golden evening sun, standing calm and quiet in a big old hat … tell you what, why don’t we give the old reprobate one more chance to prove he’s a reformed character? Let’s hit the album’s title track, kinda sweet idea  ain’t it … Ice Cream For Crow?

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