Captain Beefheart Admiration thread.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:40 pm

It appears there are a number of Rugby fans who are big Captain Beefheart fans.

So I thought I'd start a thread.


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Post by maestegmafia on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:55 pm

My favourite songs

Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles

Electricity, (definitely prefer the album version on the Safe As Milk album to the live ones on The Live 68 album)

Tropical Hotdog Night

Beatle Bones 'N Smokin' Stones

My Human Gets Me Blues

Lick My Decals Off Baby

SugarNSpikes on Trout Mask Replica


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Post by maestegmafia on Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:18 pm

Jon Savage
guardian.co.uk, Wed 22 Dec 2010 13.46 GMT
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There's one Captain Beefheart song that I haven't been able to get out of my head since his death was announced. Sue Egypt (from 1980's Doc at the Radar Station) has many of the Captain's trademarks: sudden rhythmic breaks and twists, otherworldly sounds, a super-killer slide riff and vocal pyrotechnics taken into another dimension.
The whole track explodes with energy, from the opening guitar figure through the saturated mellotron to the way that Beefheart's voice swoops through the phonetic lyrics: "Boats to forever/ Boated ether/ Creep to ether, feather/ Sue Egypt." Despite the dark imagery – "voices pick you, crows hex you" – you're left with a feeling of deep joy and total exultation.
Captain Beefheart has been presented as some kind of weirdo, but contrary to what you might think, he was popular – particularly in the UK, where Trout Mask Replica went top 20 in early 1970; Lick My Decals Off, Baby reached No 21 a year later. Thanks to frequent UK shows and the patronage of John Peel, he was a major figure in the counterculture – a charismatic charlatan/shaman.
Don Van Vliet was a complex, contradictory creature. As has been well-documented, he was controlling, if not dictatorial, but at the same time possessed a deep love for the natural world. He was a carny, a visionary, a hustler, a utopian – as crazy and as focused as a desert fox. But what matters in the end is the work. And there is so much to admire that has stood the test of time, and that indeed will last as long as any 20th-century popular culture.
Since Van Vliet's death, many people have focused on Trout Mask Replica, his 1969 double album, as his absolute pinnacle, and it remains his most concentrated and ambitious work – a dizzying mix of lo-fi, free jazz, rumbling blues, instant catchphrases ("fast and bull-bous"), sound verite and tumbling rhythms. The opening Frownland could be Beefheart's manifesto and testament: "My spirit's made up of the ocean, and the sky 'n the sun 'n the moon."
I like the Captain best when he's making his pop moves. The Magic Band's first album, Safe As Milk, takes some beating, with its Ry Cooder-enhanced hymns to white light (Electricity), protests against dehumanised work (Plastic Factory) and American archetypes enhanced (Yellow Brick Road). Other highlights include a cover of Robert Williams's tortuous Grown So Ugly and the staccato Dropout Boogie – later adapted by Edgar Broughton.
1968's Strictly Personal is no slouch either, with songs such as Kandy Korn – particularly when you hear the extended versions later released on 1971's Mirror Man. The production has long been criticised but I really like phasing, backwards tapes and weird mutterings. The idea that this was an inauthentic rendition of this sacred music was a bit of a joke, considering how his persona and mythos were so constructed.
The early-70s were Don's purple patch. The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot contained perennial classics such as Big Eyed Beans from Venus – a passionate hymn to femininity – and Blabber and Smoke, an inspired appeal on behalf of the environment: "Clean up the air/ 'N treat the animals fair/ I can't help but think you treat love like ah joke/ Time's runnin' out." And then there's the sly humour of When It Blows Its Stacks.
Like a lot of 60s vanguardists, Beefheart began to lose his way in the mid-70s. Two simpler albums, Unconditionally Guaranteed, and Bluejeans and Moondreams, were widely derided, but both have moments of tenderness. A few years in the wilderness followed, before the eventual release of 1978's Bat Chain Puller and 1980's Doc At the Radar Station – by which time the Captain's children were all over radio and the alternative charts.
His influence has been well traced, but the most notable example would have to be Johnny Rotten – who took the phrase "old fart" from the song Old Fart At Play on Trout Mask Replica, and turned it into that perennial generational insult. Beefheart, a beacon of open experimentation, was Rotten's musical weapon against the simplistic straight-jacket within which Malcolm McLaren sought to confine him.
After 1982's Ice Cream for Crow, Beefheart never made another record and, from then on, concentrated on painting. His withdrawal was totally in character. In his finest songs – like the nakedly emotional 1975 version of Orange Claw Hammer recorded with Frank Zappa – Beefheart channeled a secret history of America, the underbelly of a continent and a culture that has now all but vanished along with one of its greatest poets.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:17 am

Captain Beefheart got his name from a party trick he had where he would squeeze his man hood and hten say 'look it looks like a beef heart'.
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Post by maestegmafia on Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:40 am

An equally fascinating and disgusting fact.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:29 pm

I bought Trout Mask Replica ages ago, really struggled to get into it (although there's some good stuff on it) and never gave Beefheart much more thought; then a year or so ago I bought Safe as Milk and I absolutely loved it. The sound of the record is fantastic, and that's before you get to the quality of the songs themselves. They're all great, but my favourites are 'Zig-Zag Wanderer', 'Yellow Brick Road', 'Plastic Factory', 'Dropout Boogie', and best of all, 'Electricity'. It's one of the most incredible things I've ever heard. That beat is the most insistent ever, you listen to it and it's in your head for the rest of the day.

Still can't quite get Trout Mask Replica, though.

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:49 pm

I missed the chance to see the good Captain live in the early 1980s because I was only vaguely aware of who he was at the time. Pity.
I would rate Shiny Beast and The Spotlight Kid as my favourite LPs of his.
Trout Mask Replica - you have to be in the right mood, although I could listen to Moonlight On Vermont any time.

He's not as avant garde as Sun Ra though Smile

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:30 pm

I like listening to a bit of Beefheart, but can't say I'm the biggest fan (So much music to listen to, so many genres...)

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:05 am

Have you heard Avalon

Supposedly, this was recorded live in San Francisco in 1966, although the decent fidelity, as well as the absence of crowd noise, suggest that these might be demos. Anyway, it's a hellacious little slice of Chess Records-style blues-rock, with none of the twisted avant-gardisms with which Beefheart would make his mark. It sounds like an American counterpart to the very early Rolling Stones, and Beefheart sounds very much like Howlin' Wolf (Wolf's "Evil" is one of the tunes). A fine, too-brief look at Beefheart's straight blues-rock roots.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/avalon-66-mw0001007720

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:42 am

Cheers - I'll def check it out when I get home, it sounds interesting...

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:43 am

I bet that sounds great. I love the R'n'B-ness of 'Safe as Milk'.

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:00 am

Lovin 'Old Folks Boogie' at the minute - good spot Maes!

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Post by Cyril on Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:56 pm

New Magic Band gigs lined up for 2013!

March 2013
1 - Concorde 2, Brighton
4 - The Fleece, Bristol
6 - The Continental, Preston
7 - Band On The Wall, Manchester
10 - HMV Picture House, Edinburgh
14 - The Duchess, York
16 - Under The Bridge, Fulham, London

I'm going to the York one again Smile


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Post by Cyril on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:44 am

Listening to Doc at the Radar Station a lot at the moment.

Probably his best stuff of the later years.

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