Zappa Plays Zappa 12.14.12 (SOLD OUT)
The Fox Theatre
Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel
Welcome to an absurd world of kazoos, caricatures, mockeries, but most importantly... spectacular musicianship. It is the world of Frank Zappa, and it is being inhabited by his son, Dweezil. Frank once said, "progress is not made without deviation from the norm." Dweezil pointed out in his first DVD release that Frank's entire career was spent "absurdly corroborating that statement." Dweezil is keeping that torch ablaze, and lighting a new generation on fire.
I tend to think in life, people are their purest near birth and near death... in the middle, our obligations distract us from what is most important in our lives. Perhaps Dweezil feels the beginning and end of Frank's career were the purest. Dweezil skipped the middle era musically, and concentrated on the bare bones, garage tunes of Zappa's early work, before venturing to the orchestral, refined sound of his later years. Both possess a purity of vision, a clarity of purpose, and a disregard for mainstream popularity. Zappa's desire to push boundaries often had him turning new corners and creating new ideas. As a result of his prolific career and his relentless pursuit of innovation, Frank created music across genre lines, and worked in orchestral settings as well as in his rock bands. This often locks the Zappa door for listeners. He had so much output that it was nearly impossible for a fan to be crazy about all of it. Those that were, were mesmerized by the whole. In the end, Zappa alienated many potential fans simply by creating music that was outside their normal stylistic preferences.
ZPZ is literally and figuratively the next generation of Zappa, and the world has Dweezil to thank for breathing life into a sleeping giant. Frank was a composer born into a world on the verge of a rock and roll renaissance, and he used his music to point out the beauties and the dangers of our new culture simultaneously through mockery and satire. Dweezil continues to magnify the absurdity, sharing the experience with fans who never had the chance to see the original.
Brad's Photo Gallery