These Are The Days When You Wish Your Bed Was Already Made

Why, I thought today, as I watched the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing today, would Democrats add a fellow like Jonathan Turley on your panel only to have your counsel race at him with a “that’s a yes or no” question kind of question?

It just seemed like a poorly built pile of Lincoln Logs to me. Why not just make Turley try on the glove while you’re at it? “IF YOU OVERREACH, YOU CAN’T IMPEACH!”

More bizarre was Turley’s position itself. You shouldn’t be impeaching because you can’t point to a specific law broken? Or because you should go to the courts first, for some reason? I’ve seen the video of Turley in 1998, looking quite a bit squeakier than he does today, up in front of the mic goin’ YEAH, IMPEACH THAT MOTHERFUCKER. YEAH, YOU HEARD ME. WHACK HIM WITH A STICK WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, YOU’LL SEE. IN THE BUM.

Ya’ll don’t reckon Jonathan Turley would like to be a judge someday

do you?

Then there was Doug Collins of Georgia, why, here he is in a vintage commercial from like the olden days

I’m sayin’ I believe Collins’ father was a tobacco auction barker and also his mom was a tobacco auction barker too.

He talks fast.

However, he’s worried that these impeachment hearings are going toooooooo fast. It’s about the clock and the calendar, the clock and the calendar, the clock and the calendar, he kept saying. What he was subtly trying to intimate was that Democrats want this thing to hurry up because of this upcoming election deal.

Well he isn’t wrong.

As my favorite New Yorker Randi Rhodes pointed out today on her radio program, yes! Democrats would like to get this thing done well before election 2020.

Because we know that in 2016, the Russkies (is that how you spell that?) were fucking with our elections. And we have evidence sitting in our blubbery laps that Trump and his friend Edmund Jumanji have been trying to get the Ukranians on board with that particular move as well.

And we also know that Trump just telegraphed, in his subtle, clever manner, that he’d be okay if these Untied States of ‘Merka didn’t have a trade agreement with China until after the election. Which, if you run it through a sieve, sounds an awful lot like “we’d like you to do us a favor though.”

Yeah, there’s a reason to get this done soon. And if you like to vote, you should be rooting for it, too.

By the way, here’s a weird effect of one rather bizarre part of today’s proceedings, where Republigoats took bony objections to people trying to finger out what the Founders might thing, something Turley called “necromancy.” As the spiffy John Cole indicates over at Balloon Juice, it rather awkwardly dry-humps the concept of Constitutional originalism.

Yep, today’s hearing was like going for ice cream but the only flavor they have left is garlic.

Good thing it’s Zappadan. I’ve got “Feeding the Monkies at Ma Masion” on the Spotify jukebox, and I’m about to write some nice things about a legendary superstar superhero genius.

Bummernacht 2019

Today is Bummernacht 2019, a day signifying the last day that the great man himself, Frank Zappa, stopped refusing to die. Or, as they teach today in the finest classrooms:

“On this day ’93, we all stopped jivin’ with that cosmic debris”

So I often write up a buncha stuff for this blog space here in outer space for the occasion, and I do not know how much I will have to share here. As I am the Zappadan tumblr man and the Twitter Captain as well, plus as a person who has one of those “job” things, I hope the best I can do in this time is to listen to music, to reflect, and to maybe learn more things.

First, the boilerplate: Zappadan began as a blogswarm many years ago, I think in 1972 or so, back when people were still “blogging.” It is from Dec. 4, the day of Frank Zappa’s permanent discorporation, until Dec. 21, which is that day that my brother was born. And also Frank Zappa was born that day too, yes. Since then it has reached beyond the blogosphere, celebrated today with a modified maypole dance, some rye whiskey, and feats of strength.

And pigs and ponies.

And so today, as I ponder my first discussion of the Zappadan of 2019, I am listening to the svelte shasta sounds of Harry Wayne Casey, who is extorting an audience to “blow yo whistle” and to “let him hear it.” And I wonder what Frank Zappa thought of Casey, known better to all ya’ll as “KC,” of KC and the Sunshine band, if he ever really thought of them at all. I thought of them this evening when I came home and sat down on my toilet. And so I picked up the remote control I keep nearby, and I said into the remote, I says, ALEXA. PLAY KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND ON SPOTIFY. And it played a song by KC and the Sunshine band.

And I wondered what Frank thought of this musical marvel, built in the solid Caribbean musical tradition of Junkanoo, which will sit beside you all night at a party and swear it has nothing to do with the Indian tradition of New Orleans but holy crap you just keep squinting and thinking you canNOT tell the difference, maybe there’s more whistles or something. But knowing this, that this young man who worked at the time in a record store in Hialeah, Florida, witnessed this cultural touchstone centuries old, perhaps even grew up with it, and thought enough of it to want to try bringing some variant of it into the recording studio, and that that is how you got “I’m Your Boogie Man,” I can tell you that it has made me reach for this previously considered guilty pleasure with more gusto and insight than I had before. Seriously, put on the album “Do It Good” sometime and listen from gavel to gavel, and apply a truly critical ear. You may leave the experience gushing.

I only wish I knew if Frank ever gave ol’ KC and his Sunshine Band any thought. Like, perhaps, he’d named an album in parodied tribute, ever.

But hey, enough of my yakkin’. What do you say? Let’s boogie!

Zappadan 2018…Day 17. I Knew You’d Be Surprised

Zappadan always goes so fast.

I didn’t do as much here as I had thought I would. I haven’t in recent years. It’s difficult to blog about a single topic for 17 days straight and to do it with a new angle.

But, Zappadan these days is not so much about the blogging. I spent some time watching some really great kids doing some serious vlogging, and they managed to make it to pretty much every blessed night. I learned much from these vlog sessions and will probably revisit them. You should note that these two sometimes got chat from some weird old guy. They were extremely nice to their party crasher.

Lot of activity over at the @zappadan Twitter. And, I tried to document the activity over at zappadan.com. I will be adding more stuff and cleaning it up as I have time, and I think I’m going to try to blog over there year-round.

I like the Zappadan thing. It’s weird. But it makes me expand my appreciation. I ended up taking on a few more albums, including Sleep Dirt, which I managed to find on vinyl; The Roxy Performances, Chicago ’78, Little Dots, the Road Tapes albums, Finer Moments. All highly recommended listens, and all brand new to me this year.

And I think if I realized something about Frank this year, it’s that yeah, he was a great musician, a spouter of various wisdom, a brave stalwart versus authority’s fists, and just plain altogether an attitude.

I think the greatest thing about Zappa was that he was the ultimate music fan.

And I think that’s what makes Frank Zappa so undeniable to those of us who revere him.

Merry Zappadan.

The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution

It’s day nine of Zappadan good people, and this morning was a crisp clear mid-30s that makes you draw a breath when you first encounter the naked air. Gorgeous day. Just gorgeous.

I reckon I’m focusing on a cut from Sleep Dirt because it’s the one Zappadan’s newest stars, Alex and Alexa, reviewed on night eight.

What a weird album, but that figures, as it was one of those released by the record company to settle a contract. Probably issued a bit out of the oven too soon. This track, however, is pretty astonishing. I might have to look for this on the original vinyl though to make sure I’m hearing the original poop.

The Marvelous Frank Zappa

I don’t know if many fans of Frank Zappa’s music are likely also to be fans of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. If you’re not, why aren’t you? Why aren’t you watching it right now? If for nothing else then to see Kevin Pollak play the role of a lifetime as Moishe Maisel?

Anyway. If you do watch the show, then you know a frequent character is a fictionalized Lenny Bruce. And, if you’ve gotten as far as I have in the second season, you know that they have Lenny Bruce appear on The Steve Allen Show, where he sings a weird lonely little song. And, as much as you wonder via watching this show if Tony Curtis ever actually compared smooching Marilyn Monroe to smooching Hitler (he did), you wonder if Lenny Bruce ever actually got on The Steve Allen Show and sang this weird lonely little song.

He did:

Now, if you’re a fan of the album We’re Only In It For The Money by The Mothers, then there’s another Lenny Bruce bit you might want to hear.

Madge, I just couldn’t help it, dog-gone it.

Oh No

Today is Dec. 8, 38 years since the bizarre assassination of singer-songwriter John Lennon and, incidentally, 14 years since the bizarre assassination of Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell.

There are interesting places in the Zappa story where John Lennon and Frank Zappa’s points meet. One of the most intriguing that I discovered this year was the intent and meaning of a song I’ve been listening to for most of my life: “Oh No.”

Zappa did not dig the “love song” much. He called it “the ultimate form of absurist comedy.”

In fact, the song “Oh No,” as presented with lyrics on the album Weasels Ripped My Flesh, is a general refutation of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” which was initially released as a non-album single in July 1967.

I think it’s pretty straightforward in the lyrics…

Oh no, I don’t believe it
You say that you think you know the meaning of love
You say love is all we need
You say with your love you can change
All of the fools, all of the hate
I think you’re probably out to lunch

Oh no, I don’t believe it
You say that you think you know the meaning of love
Do you really think it can be told?
You say that you really know
I think you should check it again
How can you say what you believe
Will be the key to a world of love?

All your love
Will it save me?
All your love
Will it save the world
From what we can’t understand?
Oh no, I don’t believe it

And in your dreams
You can see yourself as a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can’t believe you are such a fool


Archived Comment:
Al Stone on December 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm said:
Another link is the mixing of 4/4 and 3/4 time. While the Beatles track is basically in 4 with with 3/4 at the end of phrases, Zappa alternates to give an essentially 7/4 feel.

Over The Camp In The Valley

Frank Zappa and his family moved to California in 1952. He was 12.

The practice of putting Japanese-Americans into interment camps in California and elsewhere ended in 1945.

Frank Zappa likely spent many of his formative years profoundly aware of the quite recent history of Japanese-American internment during World War II. In Monterey, where the family first moved, he would have been 6 minutes away from the Manzanar War Relocation Center. He would have grown up in his formative years with a profound understanding of the history.

Trust a kid who grew up in Kent Ohio. That shit becomes you.

So it should come as no surprise that the song “Concentration Moon” is in some respect about these camps.

Here is how Frank Zappa explained it to an interviewer named Studs Terkel:

FZ: Well, we have a song coming up, called Concentration Moon which is … ah … a make-believe story about some very real concentration camps, that the US government built to house Japanese people during World War II. These people were snatched up out of their homes …
ST: Relocation camps.
FZ: Yeah. You’re doing them a favor you’re relocation ’em … the American government’s so nice to get them a place to stay during the War, and they snatched these people off of the street and they stick in these camps and I guess they turned them loose later but the camps’re still there, and it was a popular myth – let’s hope it’s a myth – among the hippies on the West coast, that very soon … ah … any dissatisfied, potentially non-conforming person person in the US is about to be rounded up by the government and stashed away in these camps. That doesn’t mean just hippies, but they’re probably thinking that militant Blacks and militant Latin and militant anybody or even passive people …
ST: … pretenders …
FZ: Yeah, anybody, who doesn’t go along with the main stream of the hokum of the government is speeding to you is gonna be stashed away, so … ah …
ST: It starts with the concentration camp …
FZ: It starts with that and then goes on to the story of Mom & Dad, which is a … ah … middle class couple, who have been informed by one of their children, that … ah … their daughter has been killed in the park, by the cops, because she just happened to be there laying in the grass with a Hippie. And, ah, the attitude of the song is, that the parents say, well, it served her right, that she had associated with such trash. And then we have Bow Tie Daddy, which is another song about those same people, who are … didn’t care when their child was killed by the police, because they were embarassed that their child should have anything to do with a Hippie, and we have Harry You’re A Beast, which is a song about the sexual attitude of the parents, giving a little insight into why these people should feel that way about their child, finally winding up with What’s The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?, a song about … the intelligence of the parents.
ST: The Ugliest Part Of Your Body turns out to be …
FZ: … the mind.
ST: The mind.

…and now you know the rest of the story…