December 24, 2008 Playlist


"Hot Rats" by Frank Zappa (1969)
Frank Zappa  "Hot Rats"  1969 (USA)
December 21 was Frank Zappa's birthday, so every year around the winter solstice he is honored with a CAOTW.  This year, the classic album is Frank's second "solo" album and one of the most highly regarded gems in his lengthy discography.  Fusing jazz, rock and classical music, and featuring assists from heavy hitters like Captain Beefheart, Jean-Luc Ponty and even obscure soul legend Shuggie Otis, Hot Rats has a groundbreaking sound and is still ahead of its time.  For one thing, this is not a proper "super session" album -- most of the instruments are actually overdubbed by Zappa and his right-hand man from The Mothers of Invention, the multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood -- and are often sped up to produce"unnatural" textures, a rather mundane effect in our current day of synthesizers and computers, but which was cutting-edge back in the analog 1960's.   
The Zappa Family Trust is pretty ruthless when it comes to enforcing copyrights of Zappa's music and video, but here is Frank's most famous instrumental tune from this album, "Peaches En Regalia" as performed by ZappaPlaysZappa, the repertory band led by Frank's son Dweezil.  The jam band Phish has also been known to play this song in concert a lot, so here's their version of "Peaches" from 1999.  Finally, here's an interesting bit of documentary footage about Zappa and his connections to the jazz world from Australian TV, and here's more of Zappa's band in 1973 playing "RDNZL" from that same TV appearance.
(N) = New Release
(R) = Listener Request
Artist Song Album Year Country
Neil Young Star Of Bethlehem American Stars & Bars 1977 Canada
Love Live Life + One Runnin' Free Love Will Make A Better You
1971 Japan
Plastic Ono Band
(Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Eric Clapton)
Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)
   / John, John (Let's Hope For Peace) (live)
Live Peace In Toronto
1969 Japan/UK
Jefferson Airplane (R) Greasy Heart Crown Of Creation 1968 USA
Jefferson Airplane (R) The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil
   / A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You, Shortly
After Bathing At Baxter's 1967 USA
Pavement Haunt You Down Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
(bonus 7" included with original LP)
1994 USA
Bachman-Turner Overdrive Second Hand Not Fragile 1974 Canada
The Guess Who Share The Land
   / No Time (live)
Live At The Paramount 1972 Canada
The Mothers Of Invention
(Frank Zappa)
Mr. Green Genes Uncle Meat 1968 USA
Frank Zappa Son Of Mr. Green Genes Hot Rats
1969 USA
Frank Zappa Chunga's Revenge / The Clap Chunga's Revenge 1970 USA
Frank Zappa It Must Be A Camel Hot Rats
1969 USA
Matmos Reconstruction The Civil War 2003 USA
Spectrum Confederate Dead
   / Mary Reprise
Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis: Indian Giver (N) 2008 (Birdman) UK
Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic Sound Valentine Dawn Of The Cycads (N - reissue compilation) rec. 1983 (2008 Cuneiform) USA
Sinkane Autobahn Color Voice (N) 2008 (Emergency Umbrella) Sudan
Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid Arrival NYC (N) 2008 (Domino) UK/USA
Universe Narrows Green Red & White The Little Machine (N) 2008 (Cossack) USA
Pharoah Sanders The Creator Has A Master Plan Karma 1969 USA
James Brown Hey America James Brown's Funky Christmas (compilation) rec. 1970 USA
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