Sippin’ Zappa

7 Oct

On Saturday 4 October 2008, the founders of two world-class blogs – Pig State Recon and Impy Malting – met up to exchange thoughts, question assumptions, and simply bask in the formidable glow of Frank Zappa, his well-respected We’re Only In It For the Money LP from 1968, and a limited-edition, Belgian style triple ale (8.2% ABV) brewed by the Laginutas Brewing Co. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album’s release. And bask we did – after dropping the needle on the, er, illegally downloaded MP3s and capping the bottle which had been graciously smuggled from the wilds of Nerdi Gras (aka Dragon Con) by our dearest friend and kick-ass mezzo soprano, Liza. Here’s how it played out:
Impy: So basically this record is about getting crabs? He’s mentioned them three times already. Is this Sgt. Pepper’s derivative?

Mrowster: Yeah, same year or thereabouts. It’s a satire. A lampoon. A political cartoon of a record. I never read those cartoons. I’d rather read Andy Capp. Have you ever met a funny Zappa fan?

I: They’re always overly-intellectual eggheads. Was that a Beatles’ reference? I think that one was referencing “When I’m 64”.

M: There’s like 15 people playing on this record, but it’s all about Frank. You can see him, smell him everywhere. I don’t believe people into heavy drugs were into this. Sure, maybe people smoked pot and giggled to it, but dropping acid to this? No way.

I: So all I know about Triples is the water goes through the mash tun three times, and that it’s strong. And Belgian. I have no idea if this is authentic to the style. I mean, it’s orange. Kinda sour.

photo by Dr000 on flickr, creative commons license.

photo by Dr000 on flickr, creative commons license.

M: My stomach itches. That song “Hot Poop” was more like a lifeless turd.

I: There’s a lively carbonation. Kind of a dog-food nose, but I’m not making up my mind yet. Cumquats, or apricots. Suddenly, I wish it was colder so it would taste less.

M: Ooh – wow – It’s kind of like that taste in your mouth when you wake up in the morning. Zappa was always going on about how he was “influenced by Stockhausen”.

I: Who’s Stockhausen?

M: Just like this modern composition guy. This record is not beautiful or even emotionally complex.

I: It’s munchkin rock. Do you think we should have aged it?

M: The record is already 40 years old, I don’t think it’s gonna ever sound any better.

I: I can’t get past the smell.

M: It’s really tough going. Is there anything about this beer that speaks of Zappa?

I: The colour – I mean, it’s bright orange. It looks like Fanta or something.

M: I don’t know if we can even get through it: 1 pt., 6 oz. and a double album.

I: Wait – it’s a double album?

M: [checks the stream] Sorry, false alarm. It’s only one album.

I: I wish we were listening DIGITAL UNDERGROUND instead. Their “No Nose Job” beats this “What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?” song in every way. Was that a Jesus Christ Superstar reference I just heard?

M: This predates Jesus Christ Superstar. If this is Zappa’s crowning achievement . . . my god. This is completely not what I was expecting from the beer or the man. Man.

I: Did you get the fish note just then?

M: The fish-juice note! Clearly Zappa put a lot of time into this.

I: I guess, but it seems pretty arbitrary to me.

M: I’m just saying there’s a lot going on on this record. It’s just not pleasurable to go into, nor is this beer. Oh man.

I: Did you just get the fish note again?

M: I got the fish note again. Is there anything good we can say about this? I’ve tried to say it’s complex.

I: All I can think about is how he got from this to “Valley Girl”. Should we write the post now?

M: We’ve got to finish the beer first. At least it’s getting easier because of the alcohol content.

I: The beer leaves a kind of nice flavor on my lips. Like Sweet Tarts.

M: You always hope there’s some hidden beauty in Zappa, because everyone says it’s great.

I: Dweezil is kind of cute. Zappa made him. I saw him on Letterman once. Ok, I don’t know if I can finish this.

M: We can change to another Zappa record. But wait, I don’t have another Zappa record. I have some Beefheart though . . .


12 Responses to “Sippin’ Zappa”

  1. mark October 7, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Looks like Motorhead Sherwood may have been in the room with you……

  2. eugene October 8, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    it’s just like being there! overly strong fanta beer and zappa sounds like something magical.
    also, no other zappa? i’m not a huge fan but “over-nite sensation” is great.

  3. mrowster October 8, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    No doubt Lagunitas Brewing will do a tribute ale to Overnight Sensation at some point, so maybe there will be a sequel to this post

  4. mark October 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    I don’t even wanna know what Camarillo Brillo beer would taste like.

  5. mrowster October 8, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    Mark: Like a case of STINKFOOT

  6. mark October 8, 2008 at 8:59 pm #

    Then you get the Desenex burger….aw, damn!

  7. clefnote October 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    I often like your take on bands, especially those in the SST family tree. I think you should maybe give “We’re only in it for the Money” another chance, though. That record was as punk as they got–it was basically a total demolition of the phony media-created Haight Ashbury hype. Not too many people were spitting that kind of vitriol back in 1968.

    Zappa beer I could give a shit about, and yeah, a lot of the later Zappa devotees were like weird(er) Rush fans without the Ayn Rand. But that early stuff, like “We’re only in it…” or “Freak Out,” “Hot Rats,” now that’s different.

  8. mrowster October 9, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Clef: Thanks for the praise. I’ll concede that Zappa got to be an ass-flattening lead gtrist in the 70’s, as good as any that Beefheart ever had at his side, imo. But that still doesn’t help me enjoy Frank’s caustic personality or sense of humor one iota. And it’s those bits that slap me hard in the face when I spin We’re Only In It. Shut Up ‘N’ Play Yer Guitar already, Frank.

  9. mark October 9, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    A little green rosetta/makes a muffin bettah!

  10. Dave Lang October 23, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    Hmmm… ’66-’70 Zappa/Mothers is the shit. After that, it’s just shit. Except for “Hot Rats” and maybe a couple of tracks here and there. Zappa fans are THE WORST, but don’t judge the man by the fans. Actually, Zappa was an asshole, but for 5 years or so in the ’60s, he made a swag of brilliant music.

  11. mrowster October 23, 2008 at 8:42 pm #

    ok ok so I can listen to Over-Nite Sensation through like One Size Fits All without retching. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe I’ve a soft spot for George Duke?

  12. burp January 25, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    jazz fart

    jazz fart

    everybody’s listenin’ to the jazz fart

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