Sunday, July 31, 2011


This new book on Zappa, was written by Pauline Butcher who was FZ's secretary from 1968 until 1972.

Pauline Butcher says:
"The book, Freak Out: My Life with Frank Zappa, tells my story when I worked for Frank from 1968 to 1972. I lived at the log cabin for four months with his wife, Gail, Moon, and the entourage that Frank gathered around him. After that, I moved along Woodrow Wilson Drive, half a mile from Frank and Gail, and worked nocturnally in line with Frank's hours. Although it was forty years ago, I not only kept a diary but wrote frequent 20-page typed letters to my mother. These are the basis from which I've woven the chapters. I could not have done it without them. Some people may not agree with my view of Frank, but I hope I have been fair and balanced."

Here's a nice interview with Pauline:

and here's more data, from Avo's wonderful site:


If you want to check out Bobbi Humphrey (Don Preston contributed to the fine "Satin Doll" album), go to

-- info: Jan van Kemenade


German band Sheik Yerbouti will be performing the music of Frank Zappa in (open air) concert in Osterspai, Germany, on the 2nd of September !!

2011/09/02 concert 'Burggarten', Osterspai, Germany


Both Soundcloud and MySpace serve as a platform for musicians to share music. Here's the link to Hans Annéllsson's Soundcloud page. It includes the soulful 'Your Tongue', the flash-back in time 'C Anna Brown', and the beautiful 'Letter To Frank', dedicated to FZ.

Check it out!
& if you want more, it's all available from CdBaby, iTunes, Amazon & Spotify.


Manoel Macìa and Luis Gonzales have teamed up to produce a new album.
Info & more:
(the page is available in english as well)


Don Preston and Arthur Barrow recorded with Robby Krieger in the eary eighties. The results can be heard on "Versions", from 1982, and on "Robby Krieger", from 1985.
Both albums were combined on one CD in 1996, and released by One Way Records. The copy that I have, however, doesn't really have a label, and reads RKRCD-030302/130 on the spine...

Anyway, a picture of the album cover has been added to the United Mutations Archives.


I finally uploaded the picture of the "Chicanery" album that Neil Carlill / Warren Cuccurullo released last year. To my knowledge, "Chicanery" is / was only available as a download, or as a cdr-on-demand release.
The download had another cover (do downloads have album covers?). The above pic is the cdr-on-demand one.

As for the music, you get another fascinating side of Warren Cuccurullo.
Read Andrew's review over here:


In a couple of weeks, The Vegetarians will be performing at Zappanale. The Vegetarians feature Hans Annéllsson on guitar and vocals, so I just had to ask him some questions.

UniMuta : Hello Hans. Zappanale is only about three weeks away. Are you familiar with the festival?

Hans Annéllsson : Yes. I've never been there but I know musicians that have performed there, such as Mats & Morgan Band and Zapway.

UniMuta : You've recorded a number of solo albums, and more recently you've founded The Vegetarians. Can you tell us a bit about how this happened? And is there a big difference between recording under your own name and recording as a band?

Hans Annéllsson : On some of my solo albums I've been doing a lot of covers, mostly sung by John Marshall Gibbs. When we decided to do original material we needed a name and The Vegetarians was born. The Vegetarians is not really a band, it's more of a moniker for my songs in English. Recently I've also collaborated with another American singer, Marc Mollan, and he will be the lead singer at the Zappanale gig.

UniMuta : Everybody knows (or should know) that you have recorded quite a number of Zappa compositions on your albums. Both solo and with The Vegetarians. How did you pick the tunes?

Hans Annéllsson : As with all of my cover songs they're songs I really like and when I get an idea for a different arrangement I try to do a recording of the song.
I also find it quite inspiring to mess around with other peoples music every once in a while, it sort of puts my own composing in a new light.

UniMuta : German band "The Yellow Snow Crystals" will be performing Zappa in German. Is there a chance that we will get Zappa songs with Swedish lyrics? What can we expect from the concert?

Hans Annéllsson : First, I hope they've got the necessary permission to perform the songs. The only song that I've received permission to perform (on record or public) is 'Penis Dimension', 'Penisens Storlek' in Swedish.
We won't perform any FZ songs in Swedish. Our setlist will be a mixture of FZ songs (focusing on some not so often performed), some prog covers (Crimson, Genesis etc.) and original material.

UniMuta : You'll be playing on Saturday at the festival. Do you plan to stay for the entire festival? Do you know any of the other bands that will be playing at the festival? Do you want to see any of them?

Hans Annéllsson : We will arrive late Friday evening and stay until Sunday afternoon. I've heard Project/Object (at BB Kings in NY), I know Colosseum and some of the other bands/performers. I would love to hear the Eddie Jobson Band, but we have to get back to Sweden Sunday evening.

UniMuta : I've been enjoying your records and your contributions to Andrew Greenaway's "20 Extraordinary Renditions" and "21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches" a lot. I'm really looking forward to catch you live at Zappanale.
Thank you for the interview & see you soon.

The Vegetarians will be playing at Zappanale on Saturday August 20, 2011.
They'll be the first band on Saturday, so make sure to be there on time!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


part 1 of 9


The next monhts, Eugene Chadbourne will be doing concerts in Canada, the UK, France and Belgium.

He also has a couple of new releases on his Chadula label.

Check it all out at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Avant-garde rock band Doctor Nerve will be performing at Zappanale in about three weeks.
Here's a short chat with guitarist, composer and Doctor Nerve band leader Nick Didkovsky.

UniMuta : Hi Nick, it's good to hear that Doctor Nerve will be at Zappanale. I know that Doctor Nerve has performed all over the world already, but how does it feel to come over to Europe again? Does Doctor Nerve get many opportunities to tour, to perform in clubs or at festivals?

Nick Didkovsky : It's an honor to be invited! Thanks to Charly Heidenreich and everyone at Arf-Society, all our Kickstarter supporters (over 100 people contributed to this effort), and the folks at MidAtlantic Arts. We really worked hard to get all eight of us over here. It was a huge effort and very satisfying to reach our goal with support from so many people.

We've done a lot of touring in Europe, and haven't been back in much too long... so this feels both exciting and familiar at the same time. Nerve's been rolling for over 25 years, so you can imagine the many layers of experience and memories that an experience like this triggers!

We keep moving forward, having recently recorded a number of new pieces in the studio (you'll hear these at the show). We've got new musicians in the band, and we just did some gigs before coming here... so there's a stream of creative activity and forward motion that's apparent when viewed the inside, that may not be obvious to people who know us only through our record releases and European tours.

UniMuta : People with the weirdest taste in music come to Zappanale, but they do have one common factor they're all into the music of Frank Zappa. Will this be influencing your setlist? What can we expect?

Nick Didkovsky : You can expect a seriously high energy cross section of the Doctor Nerve legacy! This includes tunes from each of our albums, some conducted improvisation (one of my favorite parts of the set), and five unreleased pieces which are all European premieres.

Our conducted improvisation uses a compact set of hand signals that lets the band respond quickly to where I want to take them and enables me to respond very quickly to where they want to go. Some of the new tunes follow the heavier direction that our record SKIN ushered in. And a couple of the new pieces were composed by software and are pretty freaky. One of them is going to require some audience participation, so watch for it!

I think Nerve fans are going to dig this show because we're playing a healthy cross section of our existing repertoire, but we're not just look backwards, as we've got a lot of new music in the set. I hope we'll make new friends with those in the Zappanale audience who've never heard us before. I certainly think Zappa fans will relate to the model of a composer-guitarist leading a band that plays complex rock music. But there's a meta-similarity that sort of stands above these kinds of comparisons, where I think a deeper connection will be felt: something like an iconoclastic "we do what we want" commitment that I think we share with Frank and his fans.

While I'm at it, I'm also proud to introduce two new band members: Jesse Krakow on bass and Ben Herrington on trombone. Some of your audience might know Jesse from the Beefheart cover band "Fast 'n' Bulbous". And Ben's been a member of the venerable Meridian Arts Ensemble forever, who are some of the world's finest interpreters of Zappa's music. Ben tells the story of when Meridian visited Frank when he was too sick to travel, and played them their arrangements of some of his pieces, and he was very touched by it.

UniMuta : You're a computer music program developer, so I guess you're quite well-acquainted with the digitalisation of the musical world. What do you think of the recent developments in the music industry with downloadable albums, iTunes and the ikes versus the old-fashioned vinyl or CD. Do you think that the CD will disappear how do you feel about that?

Nick Didkovsky : Well first I should say that my use of computers in music is focused on writing software that creates compositions. So I am no digital music industry expert! But I do have some thoughts about it.

For experiencing recorded music, I think few things are cooler than the tactile and visual experience of a vinyl record! Staring at the cover art while listening to the music. Reading the liner notes, flipping the cover over, studying all the details of its design. There's also the wonderful notion of an A side and a B side, and how bands used to take creative advantage of that format; as a listener you'd have a favorite side for a while then at some point your tastes might change and the other side would become your favorite. There's that great sound when you turn up the stereo and first put the needle down; you hear that loud "thunk" when the needle hits the vinyl and then slips into the groove, and you brace yourself for the sonic assault. That's delicious. And of course the spinning label when viewed from above, and the optical illusions there... I love vinyl. But honestly I don't miss it much from the point of view of releasing my own music. Mastering a vinyl record's a pain. Out of phase signals are a disaster (we had some cool deliberately out of phase signals on the first Nerve record and it wasn't until the music was re-released on CD that I could hear the sound as it was originally intended). And vinyl hates to get louder as the needle moves closed to the center of the platter, and that may not jibe with the artist's musical intent. And there's no random access on vinyl (you might be familiar with the 44 Nerve Events on our "Beta 14 Ok" CD, each on its own CD track. Listeners can program their CD players to drop these odd little mini compositions between the longer tracks, or put the whole record in shuffle play so you'd get a few of these short pieces between the longer ones). So really I don't miss vinyl, but as a fetish object, let's be honest you can't beat it. As for CD's, it's a very odd feeling for me to buy a new CD, rip it into iTunes and then hold that CD in my hand and feel that its nature has somehow changed. It feels like a dry empty husk, like I sucked everything out of it and now it's not useful any more except as backup storage. Some bands spend a lot of energy on making the CD something special with creative booklet design, and I appreciate that as well as the high resolution audio you get from CD's. But I think the CD object is threatened even more by digital distribution than vinyl is.

What I like about digital distribution is that for the first time in my life I have just as much "shelf space' as any other artist. I mean, you can search for "Doctor Nerve" in iTunes Music Store, and you'll get to my music just as fast as you can get to any other artist. There's no hierarchy. My record is never out of stock. There's no warehouse, no shelf space to compete over, no leaving some CD's on consignment and hoping you get paid for them. These are all good things.

What I don't like about digital distribution is the fragmentation of the body of work that constitutes an "Album". I wonder if the notion of an album will disappear entirely. I think it's almost a little melancholy to think of somebody downloading just one or two tunes based on a few seconds of a preview, instead of experiencing the entire body of work. When I think of all the time and energy I put into sequencing tunes and how they flow into each other, it's a shame that this musical arch is so easily dismantled by selective downloading. I think if we had track-based digital distribution when I was a kid, I'd probably have missed some great music, like the more obscure tracks on a record that tend to grow on you over time. And downloading will never be as rich an experience as going into a small record shop run by music aficionados. Both from the point of view of supporting a small business as well as the relationship you can develop with the guys in the shop who can turn you on to new things every time you enter the store... the small record store run by music fans is a precious resource that I hope can hold on in the face of digital distribution.

UniMuta : Talking guitars, have seen pictures of you with different guitars. What guitar do you usually play? Is that the one that you also take out on the road? what kind of effects & amps do you use.

Nick Didkovsky : The guitar on the first Nerve record was Gibson L6-S with a Dimarzio dual sound humbucker in the bridge position. 24 fret neck, really liked that guitar, it screamed. Although the neck was ridiculously narrow at the nut and I consciously tended to avoid playing down there since it was so crowded! The L6-S was stolen and I bought a Gibson Les Paul from my friend Steve MacLean who worked in a music store at the time (you might know Steve from the first Nerve record, or from his own records on ReR). The moment I played the Les Paul I remember saying to myself, "This is the guitar I should have been playing all my life". It felt that good, that natural. The sustain was awesome. That red Les Paul was the main Nerve guitar for about a decade (in fact I recently "rediscovered" this Les Paul, and it's become my main guitar in my metal band Häßliche Luftmasken). But at a point I felt like I wanted some changes to achieve a variety of sounds, specifically 24 frets, a whammy bar, and coil tapping. I got turned on to Paul Reed Smith guitars (again by Steve!). My PRS Custom 24 is a great instrument, very versatile. I played that starting with the Doctor Nerve SKIN record, where I was exploring a heavier guitar tone. This is the guitar I'm bringing to Zappanale.

More recently I scored a 1967 Gibson SG Special (with P-90 pickups, similar to the one Pete Townshend and Tony Iommi played), and this is probably the single most inspiring guitar I've ever played in my life. For over a year, playing it was the first thing I'd think about in the morning and the last thing I'd do before going to sleep. I'm still obsessed with that guitar (you can see it on all my YouTube Sabbath lessons). More recently I grabbed a '92 SG, this one with stock humbuckers which I think I'll replace with Fralins, and I recently inherited a '65 Gibson Melody Maker that has a very unique tone and feel. All have strong personalities. But I can only bring one guitar on tour and that's the PRS, since I need the versatility.

Amps have been a real head trip. I am in a state of almost continuous dissatisfaction. I crave an amp that will give me a pedal friendly clean tone with a high gain channel that can reach into metal territory, and be able to cover the rock vibe as well. I used a Line 6 Flextone amp for a while, and with its modeling capabilities, I've been able to get a wide range of tones out of it. I recorded the Bone record with it, and have used it live with both Nerve and Bone. But the arrival of that '67 SG broke open an amp quest that's really spun out of control... I've been looking for an amp that will deliver some serious sonics, respond quickly and feel like it's in a tightly bonded relationship with the guitar. I've bought, returned, and sold a lot of amps over the last couple of years... the list is embarrassingly long and is marked both with disappointments and happy discoveries. My current stack is comprised of two Marshall Valvestate 8100 heads and two Harry Kolbe 1x12 closed back ported cabs (some of your readers may recognize the 8100 as the sound of Chuck Schuldiner's guitar in Death). I tune one of the 8100's bright and the other dark and run them in parallel and the sound is pretty intense. Surprisingly the 8100 cleans up well too. But there's some issues with it, so I'm thinking my next amp might be a two channel head built by Ben Fargen, with a Marshall side and a Fender blackface clean side. Fargen's Marshall design solves some problems associated with the original Marshalls, adding more gain on tap, more bottom end, and more discrete eq controls. One amp I really enjoy is the 15 watt Vox Night Train. Not enough teeth for Nerve but it responds to the guitar in a beautiful and intuitive way. I love that thing and won't ever sell it. I used it to record the bonus track for the Hugh Hopper benefit CD The Gift of Purpose (Cuneiform Records), and some beautiful tones oozed out of that amp.

UniMuta : And you're not just into composing and playing. My friend Danny Mathys told me that you produced the Ornithozozy album by belgian band Fukkeduk in the early ninetees (which I fnd fascinating because I live in Belgium). The band only made one album (and featured the great Bart Maris on trumpet). Do yo have any recollections of this project?

Nick Didkovsky : Well I remember laughing a lot. The sense of humor in that band was absurdist and as we got to know each other it got more and more colorful. Fukkeduk was an interesting band because it had such a wide range of personalities in it. Some truly astounding talent in that group, very strong compositions, very strong solos, wide open mind about music... great people, and hilarious too. One of the most rewarding experiences was working with Frank Ghysels on his guitar tone. He was a very intuitive player who could run hot or cold depending on his sound, and I was very satisfied that I helped him achieve a tone that opened his floodgates. He did some great soloing on that record.

It was also the first time my PRS was recorded. The band invited me to do a solo on Jan Kuijke's tune, and as I'd brought my new PRS along to Belgium, I premiered it on Ornithozozy.

Other recollections include Nic Roseeuw having just gotten a kitten and this little thing was so intense it single-handedly chased a couple of big neighborhood cats out of his back yard... we'd hear this chorus of cat screams and kitten wailing during the great territorial conquest. Later I bought a toy for the kitten but it overstimulated that thing too much and Nic threw the toy away because giving it a toy was like injecting caffeine into a chihuahua. Freaky little cat. Anyway, working with Fukkeduk was a great experience, and I'm very proud to be a part of that record.

UniMuta : That's a great story. I'm glad to hear that you had a good time working with Fukkeduk.
Really looking forward to your Zappanale concert.
Thanks for the interview & see you in Bad Doberan.

Doctor Nerve will be performing at Zappanale on Friday, August 19, 2011.
Better be there !!


Part 9 of Bobby Marquis' Zappa Alumni interviews will be featuring the great Ike Willis.

3:30 pm eastern. Canada/USA
12:30 pm pacific...Canada/USA
1:30 pm central...Canada/USA
8:30 pm ............ in the UK
9:30 Europe

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The Polytoxicomane Philharmonie performed at Zappanale in 2007: psychedelic music, mixed with lots of soap bubbles.

The band has a new album out. It's called "Go Ape" and it's out on the Berlin based Nasoni label.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I am not familiar with the website, but if you search for Zappa and you scroll down the list, you will eventually see a rather mysterious album...

Here's the direct link:

On the Abstract Sound Books label???


-- info: Luc Reniers

Sunday, July 24, 2011


1984 11 29

Here's a nice little story.
The first printing of the poster for the 1984 Zappa concert in Milano carried the wrong date and place. This was corrected with a second printing, but the lot of the first printing wasn't destroyed... The lot got sold.
The picture on the right is from the first printing.
(info from Romano Manara)


"Some of these volumes have been out of print for some time now, and Hall of Fame Records has decided to make the first five (6 cds in total) available again, and by doing so we start a new distribution channel. You can hear all the albums in full streaming in mp3 128k quality, and buy and download each track individually or the full albums at a reduced price and in its full original glory (FLAC, ACC, Ogg Vorbis, Mp3 320k , AVR v(0), ALAC, you name it! "


Jon Larsen's Zonic Entertainment label announced "The Bunk Gardner Story", an album that features Bunk Gardner and Don Preston.
The album should be out soon.


2011/03/26 Pojama People - concert 'Sam Bond's Garage', Eugene, OR

Pojama People =
Ike Willis - Guitar, vocals * Alli Bach - Percussion, voccals * Ted Clifford - Keyboards * Brian Casey - Bass, vocals * Glenn Leonard - Drums, vocals
guest: Andrew Vertal played slide on 'Bamboozled By Love'

  • set one
    Purple Lagoon, Fine Girl, Andy, I Ain't Got No Heart, Love of My Life, Tell Me You Love Me, Dirty Love, Muffin man / A Little Green Rosetta, Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy, KRVM plug, Alien Orifice, Zomby Woof, Whipping Post, Pick Me I'm Clean, Can't Afford No Shoes, Idiot Bastard Son, Lucille, Outside Now, Echidna's Arf / Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?

  • set two
    Pre set crowd/tuning, Treacherous Cretins, Inca Roads, Magic Fingers, Bamboozled By Love, San Ber'dino, Filthy Habits, Sofa, Whipping Post reprise, Eat That Question, Watermelon In Easter Hay, Acknowledgments & thanks, I'm the Slime, Rollo, Pre Encore Crowd

  • encore
    Zoot Allures

A recording of the show can be downloaded (torrent) through etree:


The one, the only
has just released
an Amazing new ceedee,

Gary Pig Gold
just Had to ask him
Eight Questions...


  • evil wings: kaleidoscope
    (2011, cd, italy, fuel / self)

Italian band Evil Wings has been around since 1989 and recorded its first album in 1994. Next September, they will be releasing their sixth album, "Kaleidoscope" !
I had never heard of Evil Wings before, but I'm glad that I got to know them. This is pretty good.

There's only four people in the band: Franco Giaffreda (vocals, guitar), Walter Rivolta (drums), Ricky Zanardo (bass) and Joseph Ierace (keyboards), but they create a very full sound. It's a guitar-orientated band, mixing metal guitar riffs with prog-rock melodies.

Technically impressive, great melodies and excellent vocals.
You need to keep an eye out for this one!!


Songwriters Neil Carlill (formerly of Delicatessen, Brit-pop super-group Lodger, & Chicanery with Duran Duran's Warren Cuccurullo), King Toad and Jeff Mellin, have written an album of songs based on the titles of Bette Davis movies . The songs draw on plot elements, characters, actors, biographic details, or, in some cases, the film titles alone.

You can check out the album in its entirety here:

The album has been made available as:

  • as a limited-edition CD in vintage-style film canister packaging with all sorts of goodies (pictured below)

  • download (also at

  • and as custom Three On A Match matchboxes (with download codes inside). As far as we know, this is the first album ever "released" on matchbox


Kilissa Cissoko was/is a part of The Voice Of Cheese, a band from around Buffalo that performed the music of Frank Zappa. In 2008, Kilissa visited the Zappanale festival where she performed with Underground Sensation (a Doot! project).

In about a week, Kilissa will be hosting the "Airport Musical Workshop" (as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival). If you are in the neighbourhood, or if you know people in the neighbourhood, you might want to attend / spread the word.

Saturday, July 23, 2011



Over at the zappa dot com website, there's a little corner that's called "GZ Sez" in which Gail answers questions.
And here's a very interesting answer. Check out the highlighted part:

On Jul 13, 2011, at 1:32 AM, Steve Miller wrote:

Thanks for tour dates.

When you gonna release a complete CD box set of Frank?


I would love to do that. We will hit 100 Official Releases in 2012. But the first 60 or so are currently out of my hands. One good true and sincere wish from everyone out there would probably really help turn this deplorable situation around. Thanks in advance for your continued good will towards Frank Zappa’s works!


-- info: Luc Reniers


June 2008, Eugene Chadbourne and Jimmy Carl Black did a short tour in Japan.
Two years ago, Eugene Chadbourne made a selection of the recordings and released them as "We Don't Have That In The Home" on his private Chadula label. In the liner notes, Eugene says: "What I have chosen for this CD is in some cases some of our favorite songs."
I like this. I like this a lot.


Well, it's not really a Beefheart festival, but quite a number of the concerts are linked to, and will pay tribute to The Captain.

Place to be is Rochefort En Accords, in the south of France, and some of the attending artists are:

  • Gary Lucas

  • Essra Mohawk

  • Napoleon Murphy Brock

  • Moris Tepper

  • Eric Drew Feldman

  • Nicolas Mingot (who will do a Beefheart tribute concert)

  • Benoit Moerlen

  • Roy Estrada


Every Zappanale, the Arf-team gives us a fine expo. This year, the exhibit will show works by Cal Schenkel, Helmut King, Lothar Taube and Carlos Zerpa. The focus will be an hommage to the great Captain Beefheart.
The beautiful poster has been designed by Helmut King, and Helmut will be handing out signed copies of his Kretzer bills to the first 100 visitors. (Helmut King has invented his own currency: the Kretzer).
The expo opens on the 17th of August and will be open from 10.00 h to 18.00 h until the 21st.


a message from fred h.:
Bogus Pomp is going to perform at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater at 7:30 on Saturday, September 24. This intimate venue is an historic, restored movie theater with all reserved seating. It is managed by Ruth Eckerd Hall, is considered a premier facility and this show should be a nice tune-up to Zappaween in October.

Check out the theater here:

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show.


Two new Zappa bootlegs have been spotted:

Frank Zappa - Two Cosmik Nights @ San Carlos, which is a 3CD set,

and "Frank Zappa - Pop History", a 4CD set.

cd1 - live at fillmore west, san francisco, november 6th 1970
cd2 - live at william patterson college, wayne, november 11th 1973
cd3 and 4 - live at mid hudson civic center, poughkeepsie, ny, september 21st 1978


Belgian TV did a broadcast of a Jaco Pastorius concert xomewhere in 1985. I remember seeing it, but I couldn't have put a year on it.
The TV show was entitled "So What" and I found a snippet over at YouTube

Looking a bit further, I found that this show is up for grabs over at DimeADozen.

a. Dolphin Dance 10:20
b. If You Could See Me Now 4:32
c. drum solo - 3:53
d. drum and sax solo - 5:56
e. Three Views of a Secret 7:20
f. JP solo - 0:34
g. Continuum 3:26
h. America 4:10
i. Twins - 1:12
j. Liberty City INC 2:48

Jaco Pastorius - Bass
Michel Hatzigeorgiou - Bass
Toots Thielemans - Harmonica
Paul Mousavizadeh - Guitar
Jon Davis - Keyboards
Azar Lawrence - Sax
Paco Sery - Drums

And browsing Dime, I also came across this Jaco Pastorius tribute. Never heard of it before.

This tribute also features Michel Hatzigeorgiou and Toots Thielemans !!


Klara is a belgian national radio station that broadcats mostly classical music, but that also has some nice jazz shows. I don't know if they still do it, but a couple of years ago, the Klara radio station also organised a festival.
The CD-sampler for the 2007 edition included a track by two of my favourite bands: Flat Earth Society, and Aka Moon. Too hard to resist...

Here's some more Aka Moon


Late 1974, Barbara Ann 'Bobbi' Humphrey recorded her fifth album for Blue Note: "Satin Doll". Most of the tracks were written, performed and produced by Larry Mizell, Fonze Mizell and Chuck Davis, while Bobbi sings and plays the flute.
It's a very smouth, soulful, jazzy album and it features Don Preston on moog!!

The album got re-released on CD in 2002. Both the vinyl & CD aren't too hard to find.
Cover pictures and data have been added to the United Mutations Archives.

Friday, July 22, 2011



U.S. jamband Phish has (again) made a number of their liveshows available. The shows can be downloaded, or can be ordered as a CDR.
Two of these shows included Phish playing Zappa's 'Peaches En Regalia'.
They look great and sound even better. There's nothing like listening to a fine Trey Anastasio solo while typing data in the United Mutations Archives.
Very nice.


The Yellow Snow Crystals were one of the memorable bands at the Mosae Zappa Festival last May. And those of you who weren't there, will be getting a chance to see the band at Zappanale.
Here's a short chat with trombone player Paul Hubweber.

UniMuta : Hello Paul, it's good to hear that you will be playing at Zappanale. Will this be your first visit to little Zappa-town Bad Doberan?

Paul Hubweber : Hello Peter. Thanks for your interest in this tiny little teenagejazzpunk combo. And, yes, this will be our first visit to Zappanale.

UniMuta : I really like the line-up of The Yellow Snow Crystals. Was this something that you envisioned from the start? How did the band come together?

Paul Hubweber : 1st of all - what we do is play music that is infuenced by FZ.
My latest solo record "Loverman" includes 11 love songs and it will be out soon on Cadence/NY. On this album, there is a version of 'Evelyn, A Modified Dog'. So my mentor Werner "Stinkfuss" Huppertz asked: "What about doing a Zappa project?"
I was not in the mood for another solo project and so I thought of bringing a small band together for this. At that time I did some work with Simon Camatta, our drummer. I heard Alex Morsey playing bass and tuba in a concert and noticed that they both work together. So that's how we started.
After our 1st performance, I became tired of playing trombone, singing, and organizing everything....and that's why I looked for a performer who would be able to take care of most of the vocal parts. I thought of poet Gerhard Horriar with whom I had once done a short session that includes Zappa material.

UniMuta : Singing Zappa's songs in German might reduce the amount of international listeners, but I can imagine that you get a lot of positive reactions from a German speaking audience. How and why did you decide to translate the lyrics into German? Do you try to keep as close as possible to the original?

Paul Hubweber : For me, the sound is the most important thing - Sound is emotion. That's why I have no doubt about the listeners. We have had lots of positve reactions, for instance at the Mosae Festival in Maastricht (NL), even from people who are not able to understand German. The thing is to find our own sound and colour. So if you understand the words you can have fun, but understanding the lyrics is not a necessity. The sound of the words and the music are the most important part.Some of the German lyrics are based on the translations of Carl Weissner but some of it has to be adapted by Gerhard to get a rhyme. The original lyrics are the basis but not everything works. He went into the mood of "got that feeling but it has to be music".

UniMuta : I love the fact that you take the Zappa compositions and that you turn and twist it around completely. You sung Sun Ra-like chants when you entered the stage, I heard some sort of throat singing by Alex, and there's a big jazz approach in the soloing. How do you decide which direction you want to take when playing a song. And how do you pick the Zappa tunes that you want to play?

Paul Hubweber : It's great to hear that you love our approach.
It's all music. One is influenced by others. Invention is a utopia. To me, not one single person, musician or composer is able to find THE music. Every sound IS. We are in it to bring it to the next and the next and so on.... FZ did very many fantastic things but even he was no the innovator of music. It's like the stone in the water. it grows and grows....
About the direction we take for a certain song... I was sitting on the train and one of my favorite rhythms touched me: "Free is when you dont have to pay for nothing or do nothing we want to be free - Free as the wind" - 7874 ! This made me play with that motive. That's what we do - we take an idea, like 'Don't Eat That Yellow Snow' and improvise.
For The Yellow Snow Crystals, what I prefer is the rougher material. I am a blues and jazz and barok musician and I love to go into a groovy orgy - why not with the fantastic FZ material.

UniMuta : The demo is great, and if my memory serves me right, you told me that you were preparing a CD. How is it coming along? Can you already tell us which songs will be on it?

Paul Hubweber : I hope that the record will be ready at Zappanale - fingers crossed.
The album includes "Schleim" (Slime), "Bon" (Token Of My Extreme), "Tourmädels" (Road Ladies), "Schnee" (Yellow Snow), "Stinkfüsse", "Promis" (I Promise Not To Come....), "Freundlicher Filz" which is an improvisation based on Friendly Little Finger and Filthy Habits, "Die Tuba Will Deine Mama Töten" (My Guitar), "Strandgut" (Let Me Take You To The Beach), König Gong and one non FZ piece "Directly From My Heart To You".

UniMuta : Great. We're looking forward to it.
The Yellow Snow Crystals astonished most of the Maastricht crowd at the Mosae Zappa Festival, and I'm pretty convinced that you'll do it again at Zappanale.
Thanks for the interview & see you soon !!

The Yellow Snow Crystals will be performing on Friday, the 19th of August, at Zappanale. Be there!


Recorded in concert in Portland in 2010: Smegma and Jozef van Wissem.

Out on van Wissem's Incunabulum label. On vinyl.


I received Don Preston's "Poems And Stories" book last week. It's a real treat.
Counting 50 pages, the book presents some fascinating stories (The Tower Of Maxt !!), some fine poetry and a couple of nice pictures and drawings.
I really like this.
For those of you who are wondering if this D.I.Y. product will meet your standards, I can happily say that this is a beautiful, professionally printed book, well-worth your money.


Good morning.
George Duke's latest release is called "Live In Prague" and it got recorded at the Agharta Jazz Festival in Prague in .
It's a very impressive release (besides the cover drawing, that is). "Live In Prague" takes you through George's different musical styles: starting with southern american inspired tunes, through jazz and rock (Hendrix), over Zappa and his own recent album (Dukey Treats) into the funk of George Clinton and James Brown.
I just rewatched 'My Piano', the Zappa Tribute ('Cosmik Debris', 'Inca Roads' and 'Uncle Remus'), and the DVD is still funkin' in the background right now. The George Duke Band sure knows how to throw a party.

What a nice way to wake up...

Available through George Duke's website.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


from the Saturn newsgroup:

On July 13, 2011 Michael D. Anderson did a 2 hr. Sun Ra radio show on WFMU where he discusses the arkives plays some great tunes.

download 128 kbps mp3


Latest news says that the Sun Ra box set that is being prepared by the Transparency label is counting 30 discs !!

30 CDs...

All Sun Ra...

-- info: Danny Mathys


Not the Zappa composition, but a Zappa-inspired 20-minute piece by Julian Cope.
You can find it on his new "Rome Wasn't Burned In A Day" album.

-- info: Danny Mathys


Chris Opperman worked with Mike Keneally (orchestrating Mike's "The Universe Will Provide") and with Steve Vai (orchestrating and taking part in the performance of "The Aching Hunger"), but you might also know him from his impressive solo albums.
As Chris will be performing at Zappanale, I thought the time was right to ask him some questions.

UniMuta : Hi Chris, last year your released "The Lionheart" (I'm listening to it right now!). It's a beautiful album, and you've obviously spent a lot of time on the sound, on the instrumentation. When you're composing a piece, do you already have the different instruments in your head? How does it work?

Chris Opperman : In the case of The Lionheart, a lot of the arrangements were based on the sound of that specific ensemble because we had been playing the tunes live for years. However, I would often consider things like, "It might be nice to have Jen Kuhn play a solo here," or "When Frank Macchia takes his solo, why don't we have the drums burst into double-time for some extra excitement?" A lot of those kinds of ideas were worked out in rehearsal or at shows. When composing some of the larger works, like "The Porpentine," I would usually write the next section on the piano, program it into Finale, and then paint all around it. Then sometimes things are totally accidental. There are a couple of instances where someone made a mistake in the session and engineer Neil Citron and I decided to keep the mistake and then I'd edit the score accordingly.

UniMuta : Again, you've surrounded yourself with an impressive batch of musicians. How did you / do you find them?

Chris Opperman : At this point, musicians are generally referred to me and I have a pretty large roster of people to call on. There have been some isolated incidences where someone has let me down, but thankfully those occurrences are few and far between.

UniMuta : I really like "The Lionheart". It's a very versatile album. It has a lot of suprises, and I haven't even mentioned 'The Porpentine' yet, the magnum opus. It completely absorbed me.

Chris Opperman : That's fantastic! I'm so happy you've enjoyed it so much!

UniMuta : I was pleasantly suprised to find out that you dedicated 'The Porpentine' to the great Neil Gaiman. I have his "Black Orchid" somewhere, and "Mr.Punch". Two projects that he did with Dave McKean. Tell me a bit about your fascination with graphic novels. Who has impressed you lately?

Chris Opperman : "Black Orchid" is very cool, but I haven't read "Mr. Punch" yet. When I was a teenager, my two jobs were working the door at a comic book show and selling comic books for another dealer at various other shows including the Chicago Comic-Con, so comic books have always been a part of my life. Well, you can't go wrong with Fables by Bill Willingham and (mainly) Mark Buckingham. 106 issues in and the series is still going strong. Mark Waid's Irredeemable I found interesting, and Mike Carey's The Unwritten is truly unique. Almost all the comics I buy are from Vertigo, except for Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo which is published by Dark Horse. But my list of comics that I read is pretty short.

UniMuta : And then, of course, there's Zappanale. Will you be performing? Solo, or as a guest? What can we expect? (and what do you expect from the festival?)

Chris Opperman : You can expect a lot of surprises! I will be performing a set with Project/Object and Bobby Martin and we'll be playing a combination of original pieces and music by Frank Zappa and others. I don't want to give away much more than that! What do I expect from the festival? I expect to see some amazing performances, meet some interesting people, and enjoying a wild celebration of the music and the man Frank Zappa.

UniMuta : I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for your time & see you soon!

Chris Opperman will be performing at Zappanale on Sunday, August 21, 2011 !!
Better be there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The Yellow Snow Crystals perform Zappa's music in an unusual setting: double bass, vocals, trombone and drums. And the lyrics have been translated into German.
They're good. And they're fun.

The band will be playing in Aachen next Friday, and will also be performing at Zappanale !!

  • 2011/07/22 concert 'Raststätte', Aachen, Germany

  • 2011/08/19 concert "Zappanale", Bad Doberan, Germany

Monday, July 18, 2011


June 1990, Sun Ra and his Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra played three nights in London. The last one of these concerts got released on three 10" LP's in a limited run (by The Wire) in 1990. Fortunately, it got re-released on CD in 1996 on the Blast First label.

The actual concert is very good. A nice mixture of big band music and free jazz soloing. Sun Ra's keyboards are very prominent on this album. Great stuff. Great solos.
And the album not only includes the typical Arkestra chants, but if features Ra on lead vocal on 'Down Here On The Ground' and June Tyson and James Jackson on 'Cosmos Song'.

The only minor thing is that "Live In London 1990" is an average audience recording. The sound isn't too good and you can even hear people talking during the concert. Too bad, 'cause the concert itself is great.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Dutch painter Dennis Teunissen says:
"My painting "Is this what Uncle Frank was talking about?" from 1999 is a very popular painting. I could have sold it for many times, but for sentimental reasons I could not part from it. This is a painting of a Mercedes car, once a status symbol, but now in disrepair and disuse, and abandoned in a barn.

"Uncle Frank" is a reference to the deceased composer and guitarist Frank Zappa. The car’s license plate bears his initials, flanked by his birth and death years."

Dennis is selling a limited number of prints of this painting. Want one? Check out his website:


Don Preston is releasing (& re-releasing) some new titles on his DIY Brain Records label:

  • don preston: an evening with don preston and friends

  • don preston's akashic ensemble: tetragrammaton

  • don preston / andrea centazzo: escape from 12/2012

  • don preston: filters, occilators & envelopes

  • harry scorzo & don preston: twenty six pieces for violin and piano

  • don preston: io landscapes

  • don preston: blood diner - music from films by don preston

Don is displaying images of these new Brain Records releases on his Facebook page.
In the meantime, I've pasted the titles & images into Don's United Mutations entry.



Sandro Oliva and his band will be backing Essra Mohawk for a performance at Zappanale #22.
Andrew had a fine conversation with Essra.
So I thought I'd ask Sandro some questions.

UniMuta : Hi Sandro, the last time that I saw you, was probably some ten or fifteen years ago when you were part of The Grandmothers. You did a couple of tours, and you also recorded some great albums. How did you become the guitar player in The Grandmothers?

Sandro Oliva : A couple of tours? I did 7 European tours and one extensive US tour with the guys!!

I happened to know Jimmy in early 1993 when he was living in Vicenza, Italy. His second wife (Husta Landers) had a job there as a teacher for children of the US troops. Jimmy had been booked as special guest by a local Zappa tribute band, YAHOZNA (you should remember them, they've played at the Zappanale too). I was in the area for business, so they invited me to sit in with them. I put together a quick HELP I'M A ROCK on the spot, and Jimmy was rather impressed by this (check out the video on YouTube, he was TOTALLY drunk!).

One month later he came to Rome to visit me, and we spent a few days in my studio recording songs for a project that should have been called "THE BLACK OLIVE". That project never happened as the story developed in a very different way (but I've completed those recordings, and I have included in another project).
When Jimmy moved to Germany and Muffin Records asked him to reunite The Grandmothers, he called Don & Bunk plus his Austin bandmates Ener Bladezipper (bass) and Roland St.Germain (formerly his keyboard player and kind of musical director, who moved on to guitar). I booked them two gigs in Italy, and opened for them in Rome. As the band was obviously underrehearsed (they were also playing a lot of pop rubbish from Jimmy's Austin pub era which Don and Bunk hated) I proposed them to stop one week in my studio to rehearse properly.
They would have paid me back recording something for my new CD (WHO THE FUCK......).

During that time Don and Bunk came to know me and my music rather well. So, at the end of the tour, they fired Roland and asked me to join as guitar player AND COMPOSER. After a while I became Don's assistant in putting the show together (Assistant Musical Director), and co-produced "WHO COULD IMAGINE" with him.

When Don quit in 1998, I became the Musical Director, and we hired my keyboard player Mauro Andreoni, plus my drummer Stefano Baldasseroni to let Jimmy concentrate on singing. I produced the "ASTORIA" CD out of the 1998 tour (but I found out so much more material from the Paris concert from the same tour, that I could put out an "ASTORIA AND ELSEWHERE" double cd!!

UniMuta : Touring with original Mothers Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston and Bunk Gardner must have been quite something. How do you look back on it? Can you share some of the best moments with us?

Sandro Oliva : It's been a magic experience, but after a while I could understand WHY FZ was so stressed that he HAD to disband the Mothers in 1970 (Pamela Zarubica confirmed that it wasn't easy to work with them even for Frank ; and I wasn't HIM, I mean THE BOSS!).
You know, great artists have to have their ways, which sometimes come to conflict with yours.
And I'm an artist too (born bandleader, after the Grandmothers project, this Zappanale with Essra will be my second time in 43 years in music that I will not be THE BOSS, though the band's director).
But Don and Bunk are great people, and Jim has been one of my best friends.
Also, working with Don is an amazing experience, as his knowledge of music (and music related machinery) is even broader than people can imagine. And Frank himsef has learned a lot from him, both BEFORE and DURING the early Mothers era).

As for Jimmy, he had become a dear personal friend, and I still can't believe he's not with us anymore, mostly because I can hear his voice almost every day when I work on one of the hundreds recordings I have (live or in the studio).

The most memorable gig with the Guys must have been Frank's Memorial in Amsterdam the night the press gave the new of his passing. The venue sold out since the afternoon, every european TV, radio or newspaper wanted to interview us (even me, who had joined since one month), and we did an incredible 3 hour show with a lot of guests (that was when I started to propose Mother-oriented craziness to perform).

Another one was the first time in Paris next year, big sold-out theatre, stuffed with people screaming Beatle-style (we also had to run out Beatles style, fromthe back door!!).

Or the final US tour (52 gigs in 3 months, and in S.Francisco we had Motorhead with us on stage. All of a sudden I realised I was conducting BROWN SHOES with 4 original Mothers on stage waiting for my hand signals, and a lot of original Mothers fans (with children and even grandchildren) in the audience!! And after those oldies, they even enjoyed my songs a lot.

I guess I should write a book to tell all the stories which happened on the road. And I should put out many bootlegs with all the weirdness whe have performed live (I think the 1994 band was the closest thing to the M.O.I. that has been around after 1970). I have recorded most of the gigs (and a lot of bus and dressing room conversations!), so I'm playing all the time with those tapes (as well, of course, with my own stuff; well, in a way THAT'S MY STUFF TOO!!)

UniMuta : You released some great music as a solo artist. Your third album, the exceptional "Who The Fuck Is Sandro Oliva?", came out in 1995. I also have the very fine "Heavy Lightning" album that you released in 2004. Your website ( does mention a lot of other releases and includes some titles that sound very interesting. Is the website up-to-date. Are all of these releases still available? Will you be bringing some of these to Zappanale with you?

Sandro Oliva : HEAVY LIGHTNING was born as a solo album, then Jimmy and Ener recorded all the songs that we included in the 1998 Grandmothers shows, so we were almost putting it out as a Grandmothers album. After the band split-up, I went back to the original project. I have now mixed a beefed-up edition, which includes ALL of the recordings from both versions. I have made more, but unfortunally there's no record companies that want to handle that kind of material anymore, so I put part of it on the web. I have ready "OSSI SACRI", a kind of Electronic Contemporary Music work, with Jimmy's vocals. Then "SERGIO'S HAREM", a collection of live and studio recording with Don, Bunk, Jim, and other guests. And my new one (in Italian) that I will finish mixing as soon as I will find someone intersted in it. And a double CD "bootleg", BIRRA & SALSICCE in limited edition, which I will bring to Zappanale.

UniMuta : You somehow vanished from the scene after the 2000 Grandmothers Tour. What have you been doing the last ten years?

Sandro Oliva : After the US tour the band collapsed, and Jimmy and I decided to go on without Don & Bunk. We had booked a big Europe tour in 2002 with Candy Zappa as special guest. Right before buying her plane ticket to Europe, we found out that a booking agent was selling in Europe another "Grandmothers" band, with Don, Bunk, Roy and Napoleon. Promoters started to cancel our gigs, afraid to get into legal trouble. That year, THEY couldn't get gigs for a tour, and we had to cancel the one that we had already booked.
So I told Jimmy I had enough of the Grannies (I had spent MONTHS to put together the new repertoire and my new studio where we should have rehearsed).
Jimmy and I stayed in touch anyway. He came here on holidays a few times, and I called him to perform with my band on special occasions. But basically, this GM thing had made me sick of the music business. I decided to go back on the road only two years ago, after Jimmy passed away. I felt that I had to carry on what we had started.

My combo is now the closest thing to the Grandmothers show that we had in the end (less FZ stuff and more originals, which people seemed to appreciate). No FZ cover band here. And if we play Zappa songs on special occasions, it is the ones that I used to perform with the guys (and which I have proposed them to keep out of the closet, like BROWN SHOES and SLEEPING IN A JAR).

UniMuta : I was very happy when I heard that you would be coming to Zappanale with Essra Mohawk. Have you worked with Essra previously? How did she get to contact you, and who are the other people in the band? You mentioned that the London gig is being rescheduled to 2012. Does this mean that a tour is in the works?

Sandro Oliva: I met Essra in Nashville in 2000. We (The Grandmothers) rehearsed there for 10 days before hitting the road, and she guested us at her place. So we became friends, and decided that one day we would do something together (she also opened the first and the last gigs of the tour in Nashville, so I also had a chance to jam with her way back then).

Yes, the London gig has been canceled for now. Essra will have a DVD out next year so it looked better to do it then. I will open with a set of my of music, an then we will turn into HER band.

The band at Zappanale will be a part of my group, minus the sax player/lead singer (Essra doesn't need one). And on keyboards we have Mauro Andreoni, who replaced Don in 1998/2000 (except for the US tour). He's a great jazz player.

UniMuta : I know that you have been to Zappanale before (as a GrandMother). Do you remember what it was like?

Sandro Oliva : I remember we all had a wonderfultime, but I know that the event has grown up quite a bit, so I'm curious to see what it is like now.
We might even play one of my songs (with Essra Lyrics) if we'll have time to rehearse it before the show. We will even recreate a short GARRICK TEATHRE flashback with us playing a Mothers medley from that era, with Essra as backing vocalist the way she used to do back then!!

So, guys, that's all for now.



Thank you Sandro. And, yes, we're looking forward to see you at Zappanale.
Essra Mohawk is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 19, 2011. Better be there.


Slivovitz is preparing theire next album, "Bani Ahead". Due out on the MoonJune Records label.


Jerry Ford posted this link over at Facebook.
The Geronimo Black Band in concert, featuring Geronimo Black on guitar, Darell Black on drums and Bob on bass. This was recorded at the Edge Of Texas. 2010.
Geronimo and Darell are Jimmy Carl Black's sons.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


UniMuta: Hi Candy, about "To Be Perfectly Frank", I like the idea of putting audio snippets between the music. How did you pick these? And what's the link with the Neonfire album?

Patrice 'Candy' Zappa: Actually, the CD was re-mixed by Greg Russo, author of "Cosmik Debris", a book about Frank, and my friend and lawyer Larry Rogak put the snippets of Frank in between the songs.

UniMuta: What other things have you been doing lately? Any plans for the near future?

Patrice 'Candy' Zappa: I've been getting my second publishing of my book, "My Brother Was A Mother, Volume 2" together and i will be doing a live interview with Bobby Marquis on, a Canadian radio station on Thursday, July 28th between 2 and 3pm, Pacific Standard Time.
My husband, Nolan Porter, and I have been working on music and plan to get another band together to do some local gigs in the near future. We will be holding auditions in the soon.

UniMuta: That sounds good. In about a month, we'll have another go at Zappanale in Bad Doberan. How do you look back on your visit to the little german Zappa-town.

Patrice 'Candy' Zappa: My memories of the Zappanale are wonderful and exciting! I had the best time there and met so many Frank fans and I was there for the dedication of the bust of Frank in the park.
I also got to perform some of Frank's songs and the Ed Palermo Band was terrific! i loved it there and was hoping to be invited back.

If you want to find out more about Candy's new book, or if you want to listen to some of her music, be sure to listen to CKCK-FM on 2011/07/28.


Bobby Marquis keeps up the good work over at CKCU-FM.
On 2011/07/20 he'll be doing an interview with Glenn Leonard!

Glenn Leonard has been a part of Project/Object and is now drumming for Pojama People, performing the music of Frank Zappa.
Glenn has performed with various Zappa alumni, and he hosts his own radio show in Eugene, Oregon.

  • 3:30 p.m EST in Canada/USA

  • 12:30 p.m. PST in Canada/USA

  • 1:30 p.m. central in Canada/USA

  • 8:30 p.m in U.K

  • 9:30 p.m in Europe


Go to
and click on “Luister” to enjoy

  • FUMIO HAYASAKA – Ahirumanho (“Record of a living being” by Akira Kurosawa)

  • PJ HARVEY – Let England shake


  • ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – What would I want? Sky

  • AMOS & CREW – Key role fragments

  • XTC – Pulsing pulsing

  • ALTHIA & DONNA – Uptown top ranking

  • ASTRUD GILBERTO – Non stop to Brazil

  • HOLGER HILLER – Hose (Paul Tree & Russell)


  • TOM RECCHION – Stodgy old sayings

  • KAA ANTILOPE – Tribute to Walter Spiess (Live)

  • TAPE CUTS TAPE – Heavy



  • THE KLINIK – Vietnam

  • FIVE OR SIX – Chalk circle

  • LUC VAN ACKER – Untitled n° 17 (Taking snapshots)


SUN RA ARKESTRA under the direction of Marshall Allen : Three Day Residency

  • TUES 6 DEC '11 • 8PM • £22 / £25 on the door

  • WED 7 DEC '11 • 8PM • £22 / £25 on the door

  • THURS 8 DEC '11 • 8PM • £22 / £25 on the door

The Sun Ra Arkestra returns!

The Sun Ra Arkestra
Tues-Thurs 6-7-8 December 2011

We love a big band, and the Arkestra is perhaps one of the most influential big bands of all time. This will be their fourth residency at Cafe OTO, and many will remember the five extraordinary concerts they gave when the Icelandic ash cloud made them our house band for a few precious days. They've been keen to get back to OTO, and we're thrilled to give everyone a chance to see them dip into their vast songbook in such an intimate setting.


Mike Keneally, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Orianthi, Dweezil Zappa,...
July 10, 2011 at the Benefit for Cliff show at the House of Blues.


from CKCU-FM Radio:

"Patrice Zappa-Porter will be calling in LIVE from LA to discuss her upcoming book: Volume 2 of "My brother was a mother", (in reference to her brother,) Frank Zappa. We will also talk about "life with Frank" and other fun stuff. "


  • 5:00 pm EST in Canada/USA

  • 2:00 pm PST in Canada/USA

  • 3 pm central in Canada/USA

  • 10 pm in the UK

  • 11 pm in Europe


1981 saw the release of the first Grandmothers album. It was a superb collection of demos and recordings by the early Mothers: Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black, Bunk & Buzz Gardner, Eliot Ingber, Motorhead Sherwood, ...
Shortly thereafter, Panda Records released a Fan Club Talk album. It was not just an album as the package included a newsletter, an offical fan club membership card, an autographed picture and a Cal Schenkel art piece (the cover) on an iron transfer.
The first edition of this Fan Club Talk album was issued on a white 'square' vinyl album. It was a cut-out of a 12" disc, resulting in some sort of 10" square vinyl.
After the first edition, 500 copies of white vinyl, Panda did a second release of 450 copies on pink vinyl. The vinyl was cut in the same way as the first edition.
In 1983, Panda records re-released the Fan Club Talk Album as a picture disc. Actually, it got released shortly after the "Looking Up Granny's Dress" album.
In 1982, Rhino release the third Grandmothers album, "Looking Up Granny's Dress". The album included fragments of a live concert in Denmark from 1980, and some interesting bonus material, including a very early version of 'Deseri' with Ray Collins, Frank Zappa and Ronnie Williams.
After "Looking Up Granny's Dress" & the 1982 tour, the first part of the The Grandmothers story ended, only to return in 1988 when Jimmy Carl Black assambled a band that he called The Grandmothers.
Data and pictures have been added to the United Mutations Archives.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


One of the artists that can be heard on the "Pal and Original Sound Studio Archives" that have been made available by Greg Russ and Paul Buff is Johnny Fisher, who also recorded as Johnny Atlan.

For more info on the 35-volume set of the Pal and Original Sound Studio Archives, check out Greg's Crossfire Publications website:

Johnny Fisher released the third single on Paul Buff's Emmy label: 'Tell Me Yes'.

About 5 years later, Johnny Fisher made name as a producer. The following track, 'Suspicion' by Terry Stafford, was produced by Johnny Fisher. As I said, this was a couple of years after his PAL recording sessions. The following track is not a part of the Pal and Original Sound Studio Archives. It only shows that Elvis has just left the building.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The first time that I went to the Zappanale Festival was in 2002. It was an overwhelming experience and I've been going back to Bad Doberan every year.
It was in 2002, that the Arf Society inaugurated the Zappa statue in Bad Doberan and they celebrated it with an enormous cast of musicians: Thana and Bob Harris, Mike Keneally, Ed Palermo, Don Preston, Ike Willis, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Jimmy Carl Black, Scott Thunes, Bunk Gardner, Roy Estrada,... and Candy and Bob Zappa (and not Carl Zappa as I stated earlier...).

Frank Zappa's little sister, Candy, performed with the Ed Palermo Big Band, and also with Nigey Lennon and John Tabacco.

Three years later, Candy contributed to Gregg Russo's "Neonfire" album, a fine and underrated record.

And now, Candy's back with her first solo release.
On "To Be Perfectly Frank" the music alternates with audio comments and statements by Frank Zappa that were taken from various sources like interviews, radio and tv-shows. The music sounds good. About half of the pieces that were recorded are Frank Zappa compositions. It sounds like quite a few were recorded live (maybe even at the 2002 Zappanale festival) and I think I can distinguish the Ed Palermo Big Band, Ike Willis and even Don Preston. It's too bad that there isn't any info on the recording dates & on the participating musicians.

Some of the tracks on "To Be Perfectly Frank" can also be found on the "Neonfire" album. Still, this disc is a nice listen.


Marco Minnemann recorded a 51-minute drum solo, and sent it to various guitar players. He asked them add their input. Results of this "Normaliser 2"-project have been released by Mike Keneally, by Trey Gunn, and by Alex Machacek, to name just a few. I've heard both the Mike Keneally and the Alex Machacek records and these are both stunning.

And here's Phi Yaan-Zek's contribution to Marco Minnemann's project.
"Dance With The Anima" is a very impressive album. One second, Phi Yaan-Zek's melody lines flow alongside Marco's polymetric rhythms, while the other second, the guitar takes it one step further, adding zappa-esque twists and turns. I love it.
Top notch instrumental fusion.

Check out the Phi Yaan-Zek website for audio samples


Here's a YouTube clip that shows the Sun Ra Arkestra at the Pescara Jazz Festival 1976-07-10, taken from an Italian TV broadcast. It also includes a little interview.
This is something that I'd love to see on a big screen in better quality...

-- info & link from the Saturn Newsgroup

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Terry Bozzio Power Trio at The Iridium NYC July 9 2011

  • Terry Bozzio: drums

  • Doug Lunn: bass

  • Alex Machacek: guitar

Thanks to BuffaloVoice !!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Dear Phriends,
two more Phish shows that feature Zappa's 'Peaches En Regalia' were offered for sale through the "Live Phish Download" series. The albums are made available as mp3, FLAC and (!!) as CDR.,606/Phish-mp3-flac-download-6-18-2011-Time-Warner-Cable-Music-Pavilion-Raleigh-NC.html,622/Phish-mp3-flac-download-7-1-2011-Super-Ball-IX-Watkins-Glen-NY.html

-- info: Danny Mathys

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Graphic artist Gary Panter's latest musical project is called "Gary, Ross & Devin" and the trio has just released an album on the Arbitary Signs label.

  • gary panter, ross goldstein & devin flynn: four corners
    (2011, lp, usa, artibtary signs)


June 2011, Roby Hitchcock and his Imaginary Band performed the complete Captain Beefheart "Clear Spot" album at a number of concerts.

  • 2011/06/03 concert 'The Garage', London, UK

  • 2011/06/04 concert "Wychwood Festival", Cheltenham, UK

  • 2011/06/05 concert "Bath Fringe Festival", Bath, UK

  • 2011/06/24 concert "Glastonbury Festival", Glastonbury, UK

Recordings of the London and the Bath concert have surfaced on DimeADozen.
I'm curious to find out what it sounded like.

-- info: Danny Mathys


October / November 2011, The Philarmonie Essen will host the "NOW - AMERICA: CAGE REICH ADAMS ZAPPA" Festival.

At least three concerts will feature Zappa (or Zappa-inspired) music:

"NOW! AMERICA: Cage Reich Adams Zappa" Festival”

2011/10/20 Bochumer Symphoniker - concert "Naive and sentimental Music", 'Philharmonie Essen', Essen, Germany

  • David Moss, Sprecher * Omar Ebrahim, Sänger * Bochumer Symphoniker * Steven Sloane, Dirigent

  • program

  • John Adams: "Christian Zeal and Activity for unspecified Chamber Ensemble"

  • Frank Zappa: "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary"

  • John Adams: "Naive and sentimental Music"

2011/11/11 Werner Neumann / Frank Sichmann / Mickey Neher / Stefan Hüfner - concert "!Zappata!", 'Philharmonie Essen', Essen, Germany

  • Zappa-inspired music

2011/11/30 MusikFabrik – concert “musikFabrik: Frank Zappa”, 'Philharmonie Essen', Essen, Germany

  • MusikFabrik * Benjamin Kobler, Klavier * Carl Rosman, Dirigent

  • the program

  • Frank Zappa: "Big Swifty" für Horn, zwei Trompeten, Posaune, Tuba und Schlagzeug

  • Frank Zappa: "T'Mershi Duween" für Horn, zwei Trompeten, Posaune, Tuba und Schlagzeug

  • John Cage: "Radio Music" für einen bis acht Interpreten mit je einem Radio

  • John Cage: "Credo in us" für vier Interpreten

  • John Cage: "The perilous Night" für Klavier

  • Edgar Varèse: "Ionisation" für Schlagzeugensemble

  • Frank Zappa: "The black Page" für fünf Schlagzeuger

  • Frank Zappa: "The black Page #1" für großes Ensemble

  • Frank Zappa: "The black Page #2" für großes Ensemble

  • Frank Zappa: "RDNZL" für E-Gitarre, E-Bass, drei Schlagzeuger und Keyboard

  • Frank Zappa: "Echidna's Arf (of you)" für großes Ensemble

  • Frank Zappa: "Don't You ever wash that Thing?" für großes Ensemble

-- info: Harald Haering


Greg Russo has made the entire 35-volume set of the Pal and Original Sound Studio Archives available in lossless format.
Go to Greg’s Crossfire Publications website for more info:

Today we’ll take a closer look at Johnny Fortune.

The first release on Paul Buff's EMMY labe was by Johnny Fortune, released in september 1959. The Pal and Original Sound Studio Archives includes both the singles that Johnny recorded at PAL, as well as three unreleased tracks.

In 1963, Johnny Fortune had a smash hit with 'Soul Surfer'. Later, he recorded with Sam Cooke and appeared on various TV-shows with his Johnny Fortune Band.


In the latest issue of the Arf Dossier, Ulli Schäfer mentioned that John French is trying to organise a UK tour for The Magic Band in November, and that the Sundazed record label might be scheduling three new Magic Band releases !!

read more here:


The Dutch Doelenensemble and Doelenkwartet, cond. Matthew Rowe, will be performing the music of Frank Zappa in concert on 2011/09/30 in concertgebouw 'De Doelen' in Rotterdam, NL, and on 2011/10/01 at the 'Muziekgebouw Aan 't IJ' in Amsterdam, NL.

  • Renard Aust - nieuw werk (première)

  • Frank Zappa - The Perfect Stranger

  • Frank Zappa - Naval Aviation in Art

  • Frank Zappa - Outrage at Valdez

  • Frank Zappa - Girl in Magnesium Dress

  • Frank Zappa - Dupree's Paradise

  • Martin Fondse - nieuw werk (première)

  • Frank Zappa - The Adventures of Greggery Peccary (dutch première)

-- additional info: Harald Haering


I first heard about The Muffin Men at one of Guus' Zappadays in Eindhoven in what must have been 1991. I don't recall where I first saw them. Might have been Eindhoven. Or maybe it was at the Ghent Festival.
I did catch them quite a number of times, actually, and saw some great concerts. For me personally, the highlight was the gig in 'De Wollewei' in Turnhout, with special guest Ike Willis. A close second would be a concert, any concert, that The Muffin Men did with the late Jimmy Carl Black. Thinking about Jimmy singing Van Vliet's 'Plastic Factory' still gives me goosebumps.

According to the liner notes of "Just Another Band From L4", it was Jimmy Carl Black who kept telling the band that they should record an album with their own material. The result, "Just Another Band From L4" (L4 is an old district of Liverpool, the band's home town), sounds pretty good. One can tell that the band listened to a lot of 70s British progressive rock music in their younger years.

Highlights are the Jimmy Carl Black tribute 'Jimmy Oh Jimmy', a beautiful doo-wop tune, and the live tunes that were recorded at Zappanale and that feature Ray White, Robert Martin, Denny Walley, not forgetting Ben Watson!

A tip to the hat for The Muffin Men who have been keeping FZ's music alive for the last twenty years and who made another fine record. Or as we say over here "¡Viva Los Hombres De Galletas!" (we don't actually speak spanish, but "Lang Leve De Koffiekoeken Mannen!" just doesn't sound that good.)

The perfect addition to your Muffin Men CD collection!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


The brand-new George Duke DVD "Live In Prague" includes a Zappa Medley. The George Duke band performs 'Cosmik Debris', 'Inca Roads' and 'Uncle Remus'.

-- info: Luc Reniers


Finnish band Alamaailman Vasarat that you might remember from their impressive Zappanale performance in 2008, has just released a DVD: "Haudasta Lomilla".


Ed Palermo says:

THE BAND RETURNS!! But this time, we are joined by our very favorite guest artist, the one and only NAPOLEON MURPHY BROCK.

Napoleon is in town to record with us on our next studio album, so including him in this show was a no-brainer.

2 SHOWS-8+10 PM

212-582-2121 for reservations

If you've never seen us with Napoleon, you are in for a TREAT! He's an amazing performer who knows Zappa's music intimately because he sung with Frank all throughout the 70's and beyond.

We hope to see you August 3!!


The Iridium.
1650 Broadway (51st)
New York, NY 10019.
For reservations (212) 582-2121.


Eugene Chadbourne and Jimmy Carl Black did a lot of concerts as the Jack and Jim duo. A lot of recordings of these shows got released by Eugene and / or Jim on their own labels. Both fascinating and hilarious.

Last year, Eugen Chadbourne released "We Don't Have This At The Home", a CDR with recordings from the 2008 Jack and Jim tour.

Available from Eugene Chadbourne's "House Of Chadula".

-- info: Danny Mathys


J21 has a new album out. It's called "Beyond The Holographic Veil" and it features a.o. Scott Thunes, Don Preston, Ed Mann, Robert Martin.

You can listen to one of the tracks on J21's MySpace site:

-- info: Danny Mathys

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm assuming that you already noticed that the artist who has been getting some major attention in this very blog lately is called Phi Yaan-Zek.
Phi Yaan-Zek (who's real name is Philippe Ansari) has recorded four solo albums to date. "Solar Flare" was his third release. It's from 2005, and it was made eight years after his previous "Anomalies" album.

"Solar Flare" is a (mostly) instrumental guitar album. The emphasis lies on the beautiful melodies, the sometimes complex rhythms, the zappa-esque twists (or should I call it exceptional 'speech-guitar') and eastern infuences. I like this very much.

Also note that the album features some fine guests. Marco Minnemann takes care of the most drum & percussion parts, and Bumblefoot throws in some fretless electric guitar solos (!!).

Highly recommended.