Ed Palermo Interview

From All About Jazz:

It’s got to be love, hasn’t it? Why else would someone bother to transcribe 200 of Frank Zappa‘s tunes? For what other reason would someone dedicate himself for over 15 years to presenting his arrangements of Zappa’s music in the setting of a 17-piece jazz big band, and at a loss to boot?

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Ears Wide Open in Fort Worth

The experimental music scene in Fort Worth, Texas is profiled.

Fort Worth has been growing an experimental music scene, bit by bit, for a decade or so. Herb Levy, a well-known “new music” promoter in Boston and Seattle, has been presenting experimental artists of international stature in classy settings like the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth since 2005. Last weekend, the Metrognome Collective reopened in a new space with the announced intention of providing a venue for experimental sounds. Fort Worth native Michael Chamy is creating some waves with the Zanzibar Snails, his noise/improv outfit, and his Mayrrh Records label. There’s even a house in Arlington that’s been putting on shows by local avant-gardistas.

Some of this music might ring a faint bell for listeners who’ve heard experimental musical influences in movie soundtracks and the work of ’60s rockers like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Frank Zappa or even Lou Reed‘s Metal Machine Music.

But experimental sounds in their undiluted form also resonate for a younger generation who came of age with the entire history of recorded music accessible at the click of a mouse. The twentysomething rock ‘n’ roll kids at the Chat Room Pub have been exposed to frontier-pushing innovators from ’70s-era Miles Davis to prolific Japanese noise artist Masami Akita (who performs under the Germanic moniker Merzbow). Their ears are wide open, and there’s more to hear all the time

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Upcoming Washington DC Shows

From Black Plastic Bag:

* Thursday, April 16: Composer/arranger Ed Palermo will be conducting the U.S. Army Blues ensemble in a program comprised entirely of the music of Frank Zappa. (What.) This takes place at 7:30pm in Brueker Hall at Fort Myer – 400 McNair Road, Fort Myer, VA.

* Friday, April 17: Cuneiform Records artist Beat Circus (Myspace), a rock ensemble whose current lineup includes all kinds of strings and horns (including a tuba), will be at Orion Sound Studios south of Baltimore. Opening is Fern Knight, with whom I’m not familiar but who are described as a mix of “Krautrock, UK folk, and early baroque and renaissance music.” Cool. Orion is at 2903 Whittington Ave., Baltimore, MD. Show at 8pm.

* Saturday, April 18: The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet (Myspace), plus drummer, performing at Orion. This sax quartet has a diverse, fun repertoire that “ranges from New Orleans ’second-line’ to jazz, Afro-Cuban to Balkan, klezmer and beyond.” Show at 8pm.

* Sunday, April 19: Japan’s psychedelic rockers Acid Mothers Temple (Myspace) hit DC9. AMT seems to be constantly on tour, and their shows are semi-legendary for their stoned-out, hazy heaviness. Also, Japanese psych-rock is pretty much just reliably crazy. Show is at 9pm, Sonic Suicide Squad are opening.

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Frank Zappa: A ‘Lumpy’ Legacy

Frank Zappa rehearsing with Ensemble Modern, F...
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NPR Music discusses the latest Zappa release.

Frank Zappa was called many things during his life, but lazy wasn’t one of them. He put out more than 60 records, and unreleased music is still trickling out more than 15 years after his death. It’s part of an effort by his widow, Gail, to keep Zappa’s legacy alive.

The most recent effort from the Zappa Family Trust is a three-disc set titled Lumpy Money. It combines music — released and unreleased — that Frank Zappa recorded in 1967. One session produced the Mothers of Invention album We’re Only in It for the Money, the group’s third release. The other was a surprise.

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Rafael Toral – Space Elements Vol 1
Though this is deceptively entitled vol one this is the third release connected to Rafael Toral’s space project which finds him once more creating a distinctive sound which is best described as space bound improv jazz electronics. Think a less sterile, looser, quirky and human take on Frank zappa‘s latter day Synclavier compositions and your half way there.

Blackout Beach – Skin of Evil
Blackout Beach is essentially a solo project by Carey Mercer, who some readers will know from his band Frog Eyes, a Vancouver based outfit. Frog Eyes music is borderline spastic, a wide-eyed multi-directional backdrop for Mercer’s wordy, hyper-literate lyrics. The man on his own is similar in some ways to his parent band, but diverges in other instances.

Human Greed – Black Hill: Midnight At The Blighted Star
This is the third album from unsettling Scottish mood making duo Human Greed and it finds them bring to life a disturbing and creepy yet at times beautiful sonic rumination on childhood, the place between demented dreams and semi-wakefulness and a very English take on dread.

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Project Object On Tour

Frank Zappa, Ekeberghallen, Oslo, Norway, Janu...
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From Project Object:

In the spirit of Frank Zappa‘s final message to the fans: “Play my music”, the band is delighted and proud to announce that in January/February they will be doing a 15 date tour of the Northeastern United States. Project/Object’s special guests are Ike Willis, Don Preston and Ed Mann, who have had the distinction of recording & touring with Frank for the longest time of any of his band members.

On Tour: January 2009

Thu 29th JAN – Mexicali Blues – Teaneck, NJ – $18/$20
Opening Act: School Of Rock Bergen

Fri 30th JAN – 8×10 Club – Baltimore, MD – $18/$20

Sat 31st JAN – Sellersville Theatre – Sellersville PA – $18/$20 All
Opening Act: Igor’s Egg

On Tour: February 2009

Sun 1st FEB – State Theatre – Falls Church, VA – $18/$20

Mon 2nd FEB – Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA – $20/$22

Tue 3rd FEB – Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI – $12/$15

Wed 4th FEB – Beachland – Cleveland, OH – $18/$20

Thu 5th FEB – The Morse Theater – Chicago, IL – $20/$22.50

Fri 6th FEB – Papa Pete’s – Kalamazoo, MI – $12/$15

Sat 7th FEB – The Tralf – Buffalo, NY – $20/$23


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Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention: In the 60’s DVD

Frank Zappa, Ekeberghallen, Oslo, Norway, Janu...
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A new Zappa and the Mothers DVD is out.

This film reviews the true story of The Mothers of Invention and the music they made during the first incarnation of the band. With group members Jimmy Carl Black, Bunk Gardner, Don Preston and Art Tripp taking up the tale and revealing – often for the first time – what the real Frank Zappa was all about; and with contributions from ‘scenesters ‘like LA wildman Kim Fowley, biographer Billy James, Zappa academic Ben Watson, music journalist Richie Unterberger and English writer and musician Alan Clayson – acclaimed biographer of Edgar Varèse – this program is the most detailed, informative and enjoyable documentary on Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention yet to emerge. Also features rare footage of Frank and The Mothers from throughout the 1960s, archive interviews, seldom seen live performances, and a host of other features.

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