Well, we've been through the 'Cults that made Music' section,and its various offshoot,so its logical to have a go with 'Groups who behaved like cults', one of which was probably the greatest abstract blues band that ever existed,although I can't name you another one....Captain Beefheart and his/the Magic Band.
It's also not only the fiftieth anniversary of the Moon landings,Woodstock, and the Manson murders, more importantly its a half a century since the greatest hour and twenty minutes in musical history were captured on tape.The fiftieth annivesary of when the Moon landed on the Earth,and when Beefheart turned down a slot at Woodstock.
One mentions Charles Manson,well Van Vliet had a lot in common with Manson's methods.The cult members were plyed with lashings of LSD,even though Van Vliet insisted that the band were completely drug free, and they had to sit and listen to his poetry read out loud daily by Antennae Jimmy Semens/Jeff Cotton.
In the only existing interview with Antennae Jimmy Semens,he even mentions this(he said he enjoyed it!?) and that the Captain knew Charlie M. Which was obviously possible. Jimmy also reckons that Don was far more powerful than Manson;but thankfully we didn't see the charming Antennae Jimmy,or Zoot Horn,or even The Mascara Snake stabbing any Hollywood starlets.Jimmy's only atrocities, if we could call them that,amazingly they are still people who regard the whole of 'Trout Mask' an atrocity(!?),were the genius guitar work and magnificent vocals on 'Pena' and 'The Blimp'.
An ephiphanal moment for me came as a Punk infected teenager, when I heard the first few notes of "Frownland" for the first time,and knew imeadiately, that the next 79 minutes were going to be special. I instantly 'got it', unlike the many other TMR fans who said it took three or more listens????..Nah!....this was the music I had been waiting for, like hearing the Pistols for the first time,but this was the next step up, like PiL was giant leap from The Pistols.
This album collects the attempted 'Field Recording' versions of the songs that Zappa wanted to capture,as if it was a nature programe capturing an abstract blues concept band in their natural habitat.
So 'Grow Fins' was a special opportunity to hear the songs without the vocals obscuring the shear genius of the massively complex arrangements, and there are none more complex, or as short, as that achieved for "Frownland" (just check out this in depth analysis of Frownland by a very serious composer...click HERE!)It's only one minute forty seconds long, but,it achieves the effect of an hour long symphony,with all the unecessary bits bypassed.Leaving the most perfect contraction of musical innovation that took lesser lights, like Wagner, 6 or 7 hours to achieve, then still fail.
It seems, that to create 'Great Art' you generally need a single vision, which a rock band very rarely has.Normally the Drummer wants to include one of his songs, the Bass player wants his bass louder,and the keyboardist wants to know why the notes are discordant,and why it sounds 'terrible' before handing out a score for the string arrangement he worked out last night.
Baring that in mind, it begins to make sense as to why Beefheart used these brain-washing tactics to get his vision into reality.
Of course most of the band members (Not Jimmy Semens I have to add,even though he frequently got beaten up!?) have spent the ensuing years moaning about not getting the credit they deserved, the bits they wrote,and what a asshole Van Vliet was.
The work stands up for itself in the perfection of its imperfection.
"A Squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast'n'bulbous...got me?"......yup.
1 Untitled 1 4:59
2 Untitled 2 8:18
3 Hair Pie: Bake 1 5:04
4 Hair Pie: Bake 2 2:44
5 Untitled 5 1:04
6 Hobo Chang Ba 2:02
7 Untitled 7 1:57
8 Hobo Chang Ba (Take 2) 3:08
9 Dachau Blues 2:06
10 Old Fart At Play 1:23
11 Untitled 11 1:01
12 Pachuco Cadaver 4:08
13 Sugar N Spikes 2:40
14 Untitled 14 1:00
15 Sweet Sweet Bulbs 2:30
16 Frownland (Take 1) 2:51
17 Frownland 1:52
18 Untitled 18 1:10
19 Ella Guru 2:33
20 Untitled 20 0:08
21 She’s Too Much For My Mirror 1:30
22 Untitled 22 0:35
23 Steal Softly Through Snow 2:22
24 Untitled 24 1:51
25 My Human Gets Me Blues 2:53
26 Untitled 26 1:05
27 When Big Joan Sets Up 4:32
28 Untitled 28 0:04
29 Untitled 29 0:56
30 China Pig 4:14
31 Blimp (Storytime) 5:09
32 Herb (Storytime) 1:06
33 Septic Tank (Storytime) 0:51
34 Overdub (Storytime) 5:26
DOWNLOAD the trout as captured in the wild HERE!