Zappa corner. bung it here.

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Charlie O.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Charlie O. » 25 Jun 2016, 05:19

Meanwhile, there are two "new" Zappa albums coming ou next month:

Image Image


When I first saw the images (in a spincd.com e-mail, I think it was), I assumed that they were "grey area" live releases, but no - they're on Zappa Records. They need a new graphics person, if you ask me.

The Crux Of The Biscuit was created in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa's 1974 album Apostrophe('). As part of the ongoing Project/Object Audio Documentary Series, it contains rare alternate mixes, live performances & studio session outtakes.

Frank Zappa For President? You betcha! We know at various times he wanted to run for office. In the spirit of the 2016 dramatic presidential election adventures, comes a release that gives us a glimpse into what could have been. This album is comprised of unreleased compositions realized on the Synclavier along with other relevant tracks mined from the Vault with a political thread tying it all together. Don t forget to Register and Vote!
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby C » 25 Jun 2016, 10:06

Thanks Chas

I fancy the first and not so much the second- I am not a big Synclavier fan

Nay, I am not a big Synclavier fan

Check them out here (UK):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crux-Biscuit-F ... he+biscuit










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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby zoomboogity » 25 Jun 2016, 14:59

Wow, the font choice on the left just screams bootleg. As for the other one, artwork and all, no comment necessary.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Jeemo » 25 Jun 2016, 16:22

£23 each for a single disc. Fuck off Ahmet.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby C » 25 Jun 2016, 19:39

Jeemo wrote:£23 each for a single disc. Fuck off Ahmet.


I was think the same thing lad

I'll keep an eye on the price on Amazon - it may go down

Then again, pigs might fly







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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby zoomboogity » 25 Jun 2016, 19:41

Looking at the various albums linked on that Amazon page, a lot of them seem to be of dubious legality, judging from the names of the record labels. Yet there they are. Good thing Dweezil didn't put them out himself, it would be Katy bar the door!

Seeing the same song titles over and over again reminds of an interview Frank did in the '80s, I think it was with John Swenson in Guitar World. He said that he had a lot of road tapes in the vault that he wanted to release, but up to a point, otherwise it's just "another version of Pound For A Brown or whatever" - seems that whoever's allowing all this stuff out is doing just that. Vultures picking at the bones. They won't be getting anything out of me. That old Toyota commercial comes to mind: "What will you do with all the money you save?"

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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Charlie O. » 25 Jun 2016, 20:44

Jeemo wrote:£23 each for a single disc. Fuck off Ahmet.

$12.62 on Amazon US... (the other one is under $7)
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Jeemo » 25 Jun 2016, 22:01

Charlie O. wrote:
Jeemo wrote:£23 each for a single disc. Fuck off Ahmet.

$12.62 on Amazon US... (the other one is under $7)


Because of the fact that all ZFT albums are only available in the USA. The price rockets...
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Jeemo » 25 Jun 2016, 22:02

zoomboogity wrote:Looking at the various albums linked on that Amazon page, a lot of them seem to be of dubious legality, judging from the names of the record labels. Yet there they are. Good thing Dweezil didn't put them out himself, it would be Katy bar the door!

Seeing the same song titles over and over again reminds of an interview Frank did in the '80s, I think it was with John Swenson in Guitar World. He said that he had a lot of road tapes in the vault that he wanted to release, but up to a point, otherwise it's just "another version of Pound For A Brown or whatever" - seems that whoever's allowing all this stuff out is doing just that. Vultures picking at the bones. They won't be getting anything out of me. That old Toyota commercial comes to mind: "What will you do with all the money you save?"


There are a lot of radio broadcasts released
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Charlie O. » 26 Jun 2016, 01:12

zoomboogity wrote:Wow, the font choice on the left just screams bootleg.

The font choice, the layout, the title... honestly, give me twenty minutes on MS Paint and I could come up with something more professional looking (and that isn't a brag).

I kinda like the President design... but it still looks like a bootleg.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby zoomboogity » 26 Jun 2016, 08:20

Charlie O. wrote:(and that isn't a brag).


No, I hear ya. I can just see my old graphic design instructor giving it the once-over: "Sorry, I'm not feelin' it. C-minus because I'm in a good mood today. You have until Friday to do it right if you want a better grade." One thing about Frank - no matter how goofy or "amateur" his album covers were, they were always appropriate, right from the start. How much effort would it take to go through the pull-down menu in Photoshop and find a font that looks right? Maybe someone can put them on youtube. Beat The Boots, Phase Two!

I listened to that Dweezil interview with Marc Maron. Man, is that sad.

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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Neige » 27 Jun 2016, 14:06

zoomboogity wrote:I listened to that Dweezil interview with Marc Maron. Man, is that sad.


It is,

Meanwhile, here's an enlightening article from the Trust Advisor newsletter.


Frank Zappa Trust Cuts Heirs Out Of $40M Family Name
May 19, 2016
By Scott Martin, Contributor

Fight over how to embody the countercultural giant’s notoriously litigious legacy feeds nothing but bad feelings between brothers at an emotionally fragile moment. If you ever needed an example of why independent trustees are critical to dynastic harmony, this is it.


Throughout history, there have only been a handful of guitarists with the legal right to perform under the name of Zappa, and one of them has been dead for decades.

Now there are none. The trustees that oversee the family legacy have pulled the “Zappa” license from brother Dweezil Zappa – Frank’s son — forcing him to jump through new licensing hoops just to play his dad’s music.

On the surface, it’s a straightforward case of protecting the trademarks from pirates. But since the family already cracked down on other tribute performances, there really aren’t any outsiders left to infringe.

The music is notoriously difficult. Dweezil is one of the few people on the planet who can even attempt some of these arrangements with anything near Frank’s aplomb.

And since Dweezil was actively paying license fees and playing the songs, all the trustees may have bought here is a whole lot of tension and reduced cash flow for the estate they all share.

Either way, while the decisions may ultimately boil down to hard business, the fact that it’s all being conducted within the family doesn’t help. It’s too bad the Zappas don’t have an independent trustee to mediate on the behalf of all the stakeholders.

Who are the brand police?


Zappa was always more of an underground sensation than a breakout commercial success. His “big band” approach ensured that touring would lose money, so he recorded 66 albums across 27 years instead.

Unfortunately, the fan base was loyal but narrow. They’d buy each album once or twice and maybe pick up some shorts or other memorabilia, but that was really the core source of his estimated $40 million career earnings.

And since the business model relied on a steady stream of new material, his death in 1993 forced some serious strategic decisions.

Frank saw the economics of the music industry shifting late in life and urged his wife Gail to cash out and go.

Instead, she opted to consolidate his legacy, paying litigation fees to round up all the outstanding rights and suing even theoretical competitors into oblivion.

When the family didn’t have the recordings, she pushed the publishing rights in order to chase royalties there.

The problem there was that the Zappa catalog is pretty distinctive. If you’re not playing it more or less like Frank and the Mothers of Invention would have done it, there’s not a whole lot of point.

Copy the original too closely, and Gail sued for infringement. Either way, once the Zappa name was locked up in active trademarks, the cover bands had a hard time marketing themselves and making money for anyone.

Dweezil got by over the last decade because his mother let him perform under the “Zappa Plays Zappa” trademark under license.

Supposedly he paid a healthy fee in order to do so, but because he was one of the beneficiaries of the family business, he got a piece of that money back.

However, Gail died last year, passing on control of the Zappa Family Trust to two of her four children who promptly pulled the license from their brother.

He’s mad. And he’s effectively called their bluff.

Don’t eat the golden eggs

A dead artist’s estate isn’t only in it for the money, so to speak: it also exists to protect the creative legacy.

Sometimes these priorities intersect. Sometimes they conflict, making the executors lean in one direction or the other.

Looking at the decades Gail ran the estate, it’s fairly clear that she leaned on the side of protecting the legacy.

The story of the Zappa Family Trust is one of building barriers to keep other people from making a penny on Frank’s genius. That’s the family’s right.

But if they want to make money, throttling the people who are still trying to commercialize the songs is not often the best way to do it.

Gail kept Frank’s music off iTunes for years. Arguably Dweezil was the biggest “brand ambassador” the family had, and he was not exactly a stadium act.

“Zappa Plays Zappa” played a lot of shows, averaging 50-60 dates a year recently. They sold t-shirts, posters, the works.

They kept the Zappa cult relevant, vibrant and alive. And they kept the revenue flowing.

Maybe the trustees simply don’t want that. If so, it’s unfortunate because their job is to manage the trust assets to the maximum financial benefit of all the beneficiaries.

Unless they have better options on the line when it comes to live performance, pulling the plug on a money-making venture doesn’t really seem to be the way to do that.

And there were other ways to manage Dweezil’s participation in the family business.

If he’s simply trading on the family name, he pays the licensing fees just like any other cover band. Those fees go on to enrich all the children and he gets to keep playing.

However, if the licensing fees rise beyond his desire to pay, the family can shut him down. He’s unhappy because he doesn’t get to play Frank’s music any more and the revenue dries up for everyone.

I’m not convinced there’s a whole lot of money at stake here either way. It looks more like the trust lawyers trying to establish a precedent and applying it without favoritism – even if your name really is “Zappa,” you can’t squat on the trademarks.

The problem here is that Dweezil can’t legally be alienated from his own last name because his relatives own the marks. He can promote gigs as “Dweezil Zappa,” pay no licensing fees and the fans will figure it out.

That’s apparently what’s happening this summer. He can play the songs. There’s not a huge amount of money in it, but it keeps the brand active on the performance circuit and the music alive.

The trust now has to sue or keep quiet. Since he’s their brother, it’s a fraught decision. And since he’s the Zappa child who gets in front of the fans, a lawsuit can generate unfavorable publicity on that side.

Maybe there’s a little sibling rivalry involved. If so, an independent trustee might have handled things differently to get the best outcome for all the kids collectively.

But it’s too late for that.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby zoomboogity » 27 Jun 2016, 17:43

Interesting article, except the title is misleading. Even if Frank left an estate of $40M, Dweezil claims that there's no money left. There again, that may just be what he's been told, so who knows by this point. What a mess.

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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Charlie O. » 27 Jun 2016, 21:27

Neige wrote:
zoomboogity wrote:I listened to that Dweezil interview with Marc Maron. Man, is that sad.


It is

Yep.

Not sure I buy the Medea Complex theory, though.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby zoomboogity » 28 Jun 2016, 05:42

Perhaps, but the way he fishes around for a word to describe his mother then finally settles on "solipsism"... well, the word that he thought of first and tried to avoid, wonder what it was.

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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Charlie O. » 08 Jul 2016, 07:21

Saw this tonight:




I enjoyed it, but with reservations. On the plus side, there's some neat footage - interview and performance - that I hadn't seen before (no complete tunes, natch), and considering that most of it was originally filmed/taped for TV it looks surprisingly good.

On the minus side? Well, I've watched a lot of FZ interviews (including a lot of the ones in this), and I was surprised that they made some of the choices they made. I thought they devoted too much time to some things (like 200 Motels, which has its OWN documentary) and perhaps not enough to others (the "porn wars"). I thought some of the performance footage choices were questionable as well.

And of course there's the little fact that the majority of Frank's best, most insightful interviews were not done in front of cameras.

So you might wanna see it, and if you don't have your hopes too high you'll probably like it okay.

Alternatively you could maybe just spend a few hours on YouTube.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Fonz » 11 Jul 2016, 17:18

Bonanza!

All the Road Tapes are £10 and Lumpy Money £20 on Amazon at the moment.
Probably cheapo repackages, but still...
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Neige » 19 Jul 2016, 12:49

Fonz wrote:Bonanza!

All the Road Tapes are £10 and Lumpy Money £20 on Amazon at the moment.
Probably cheapo repackages, but still...


Cheers for the heads-up, just ordered Lumpy Money for incredible €18.50 and added the Julee Cruise Asylum Years set for €12.60 to get free postage. :)

The Road Tapes were still quite expensive at amazon.de, though.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Jeemo » 19 Jul 2016, 12:57

Fonz wrote:Bonanza!

All the Road Tapes are £10 and Lumpy Money £20 on Amazon at the moment.
Probably cheapo repackages, but still...



I saw them in hmv last week, similar prices. They can fuck off till they pay Dweezil what he's owed.
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Re: Zappa corner. bung it here.

Postby Fonz » 19 Jul 2016, 13:28

Jeemo wrote:
Fonz wrote:Bonanza!

All the Road Tapes are £10 and Lumpy Money £20 on Amazon at the moment.
Probably cheapo repackages, but still...



I saw them in hmv last week, similar prices. They can fuck off till they pay Dweezil what he's owed.


I hear you, but I want the music. Maybe my £50 might put enough in their bank account for them to set up a payment plan for the Dweez.

FWIW I also bought Via Zammata!
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