Sunday, October 02, 2005

Can't Stop The Slime

A comment on this post from Xtcfan reminded me of Frank Zappa. Unique. Brilliant, with a twisted sense of humor. Disrespectful of the establishment, holding the religious, the self-righteous, and the hypocritical up for ridicule and in obvious contempt. Some of my readers may have missed the links to his appearances on Crossfire from the late 80’s, back when there was an ongoing debate about warning labels on records. Did they not know who it was that they were attempting to "debate?" Definitely worth watching.

It is hard to believe that it was all the way back in 1973 when Frank Zappa released the hilariously perverted, musically dazzling “Overnight Sensation.” As the AMG review points out, many will find his misogynistic and juvenile toilet humor offensive. I actually believe him when he says that it was intended as satire, but the adolescent in some of us can't help but laugh along. Can we blame him that he also was entirely amused by his own cleverness?

Who else could have written the lines:

"I'll ignore your cheap aroma
And your Little Bo Peep diploma
I'll just put you in a coma
With some dirty love?"

From that album comes one of my favorites. Relevant and timely, more so today then the day that he wrote it.

I'm The Slime
by Frank Zappa

I am gross and perverted
I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little had changed
I am the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin' out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't got for one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

That's right, folks..
Don't touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin' along on your livin'room floor

I am the slime from your video
Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go


Anonymous blue girl said...

Ahhhh. I used to date a guy who was totally into Zappa. I haven't thought about "Dirty Love" in years and years...

What a truly creative and unique character he was.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

I'm once again reminded of another artist I need to get better aquainted with...

Yeah, Frank, you...

Where're ya goin' - shit, get back here -

Hell, I'll never catch up...

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Decatur Dem said...

Ah, Frank Zappa. I would refer the Zappa neophyte to "Trouble Every Day" from (I think) Freak Out, or maybe it was Absolutely Free. It's a song about racial strife and the Watts riots, and specifically the TV coverage of same. The words are great. But you have to listen to the song, played LOUD, to really get the impact. I haven't heard it in about 25 years, but I can still hear it: the insistent, thumping, driving, irresistible elemental thrust of the thing. Maybe this is how good rap music sounds to my sons.
And please appreciate the cognitive dissonance that occurs when I write the phrase "good rap".
For a Zappa experience that has no sociopolitical context at all, and lyrics in only one cut, I can't recommend too highly the album Hot Rats, with Ian Underwood on sax and Jean-Luc Ponty on violin. Devastating.

...That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day...

6:57 PM  
Blogger Nobody said...

Another artist who's flown under my radar until now. If he's half as good as Dylan I better check him out.

Interestingly, I've never seen one of his cd / records second-hand, which must mean *something*.

7:27 PM  
Blogger XTCfan said...

Good, topical choice, Al. Lucky for me, my older brother and sister bought all his albums as they were released, so I remember being a tween and being quite freaked out -- and amused -- by the early Mothers records.

And I remember getting high and laughing along with friends to Overnite Sensation (you've got to love his sense of irony in naming this most-commercial of his albums up to that point). It's a great one -- fantastic percussion, helium-inspired backup vocals, and that blazing guitar solo on "Montana."

Frank, how we miss you ... we could use you now.

8:06 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

>I'm once again reminded of another artist I need to get better aquainted with...<

>Another artist who's flown under my radar until now. If he's half as good as Dylan I better check him out.<

"Eclectic" is the right word for Zappa. My choice for the unititiated would be "Overnight Sensation," but ask 10 Zappa fans and you might get 10 different answers. As Decatur Dem pointed out, "Hot Rats" is a fine choice, but it is a different sort of record. If I remember correctly, only one song has vocals, ("Willie The Pimp") and they are rendered by Captain Beefheart.

One thing you can do is read his bio and discography at All Music Guide and see which description sounds like the one you would like.

You might ask Neddie his opinion as well.

6:44 AM  
Blogger David said...

he was brilliant - and a sad case of degredation. But he could rock the house.

9:27 AM  
Blogger David said...

I am not lying, I once went to a Jewish wedding at the beverly hills hotel dressed as Sheik Yerbouti. I barely remember it but my brother, who was more sober, tells it to me over and over again. I had the head scarf thing, a brilliant colored bathrobe and huge black sunglasses - came off the elevator with flair. I don't remember the rest of the day, oh well

9:34 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

>I am not lying, I once went to a Jewish wedding at the beverly hills hotel dressed as Sheik Yerbouti.<

Hilarious, but you couldn't really get away with that today!

9:59 AM  
Blogger cali said...

Seems like I just heard part of an interview with Zappa's kids. They were saying that he was an emotionally 'absent' father in the extreme. From how they described him, he sounds like he had Asperger's syndrome: almost zero interpersonal skills but a master musician.

Here's a weird factoid: I went to the same high school as Frank but years later, obviously.

3:46 PM  

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