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Zappa Plays Zappa @ Town Ballroom

Kanada Kev

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There hasn't been an official announcement that the DVD was available but I read they were selling like St Alfonzo's pancakes in Paris which means the PAL version is available. Whether or not the NTSC version is ready or not is another question.

On a somewhat related note, the newest Frank Zappa concert Release "Wazoo" is available for pre-order from www.zappa.com

This one looks awesome.

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The humour is very in the moment. For instance, they did What's New In Baltimore last night and they tossed in a few Buffalo references. Ray White intro'd a tune talking about how he had bought a shirt in Buffalo. During one segment they ask for a random word/sentence, which Ray then freestyles a new set of lyrics with while the band jams (last night was "Police lights flashing with ladies dancing in silhouette" ... a story Dweezil had about being on a flight talking with LL Cool J )

The musicians in this band are top-notch. Such a treat to see this complex and wonderful music being honoured in the live setting. Go and see them next time they are close.

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Here's what Dweezil had to say after the show last night:


7 November 2007

Lengthy Blog #2

Hello Friends,

We just finished playing to a very enthusiastic crowd in Buffalo. We all had a really good time on stage. Illinois Enema Bandit seemed to have a special spark to it tonight. Maybe it was because Joe Travers' dad was in the audience. Who knows, you might be hearing that version on a record one of these days.

People have asked me, what happens after the show? What do we do? I'm not exactly sure what the rest of the band does since I usually don't see them until I get on the bus. I'm sure their rituals include eating and relaxing as well as using that Internet thing. I'm almost positive they don't get together for a prayer circle. I'm also pretty sure I've never seen them playing Twister and drinking hot toddies.

I sometimes end up onstage signing things and talking with the fans immediately following our performance. It's nice to hear directly from people how much this endeavor means to them. So many folks have a deep connection to Frank's music and they are thrilled to have the opportunity to see/hear it played live. I've certainly met a lot more young fans on this tour. It is common for them to tell me about how inspirational the show has been for them and how much more they've learned about Frank's music through watching the show and hearing the variety of music that we perform.

I remember watching Frank play on stage when I was 12 and first starting to become serious about playing guitar. It was awe inspiring to see him play and hear his band. It made me want to practice and practice and practice then practice some more. I had the thought in the back of my mind - way back then - that I would one day love to be able to play Frank's "stunt" guitar parts. Now it is reality. All of the practice has paid off.

Another thing I occasionally do after shows is read fan reviews online on zappa.com. It's a good way to get some extra feedback from the fans. The band has been known to do this as well from time to time. There was a gentleman from Providence RI who recently posted something that is actually worth correcting.

He says that I erroneously introduced one of Frank's compositions, calling it Dog/Meat when in fact it was called Dog Breath. Well as much as I appreciate his efforts to try to correct a mistake, he himself is mistaken.

The composition we played, and continue to play on tour is indeed called Dog/Meat. It is comprised of 2 compositions, Dog Breath and the theme from Uncle Meat, hence the title Dog/Meat.

There was also a debate on the RI reviews about my guitar playing vs Frank's guitar playing. One thing that I found interesting was that another gentleman mentioned that Frank had a great atonal style of playing. He did utilize atonality in his music. He used it more frequently in his compositions - especially orchestral works and exercises - and less in his actual guitar playing.

While Frank did play atonally on occasion he mostly played melodically in key and seemed inclined to use Lydian and Mixolydian tonalities quite often.

One of the things that I've always loved about Frank's playing is how he just completely went for it. Even if it was not something he was technically prepared to execute. He was fearless as a guitarist. I try to imbue my own playing with as many of Frank's characteristics as I can. I do this in order to play more in context to his music.

I have not had as much time to devote to learning as many of Frank's idiosyncrasies as I would like but eventually I will. Those tend to be the hardest things to duplicate and to practice. His phrasing is what made his playing so remarkable. He did not think like a traditional guitarist. He was coming from another place rhythmically and melodically. You have to try train your mind to think and react differently in a musical situation in order to really get close to his playing. That is an extremely challenging thing to do. It requires a lot of concentration and practice.

I do my best to incorporate all of these things but as I have said many times, I'm not Frank. I'm not trying to be Frank. I am just trying to respectfully present his music as accurately as I can to all of his fans as well as introduce it to new fans.

The ultimate goal is for more new people to hear him play his music.

Regards, DZ

POSTED BY DWEEZIL ZAPPA AT 2007-11-07 16:39:45

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the expensive ticket prices scared me away last time... I really got to see this!!

You can't put a price on magic!

Here's the setlist from the Buffalo Show:


dumb all over



suzy creamcheese

brown shoes

america drinks


how could i be such a fool

ain't got no heart

I'm not satisfied

pygmy twylyte

duprees paradise

uncle remus

willie the pimp

gas station

san berdino


zoot allures

dog meat

illinois enema bandit


cosmic debris

G spot

muffin man

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