Archive for Captain Beefheart

Dylan, Velvets, Beefheart: November Will Be Historic

Posted in Music with tags , , , on October 28, 2014 by johnbuckley100

The Basement Tapes in their entirety will be released one week from today in a 6-CD set.  Yes, 138 out of 140 or so songs recorded by Dylan and The Band in ’66 and ’67 will finally be available legitimately (not as low-fidelity bootlegs).

You don’t have to be a Dylanologist, you don’t have to even really love rock’n’roll, to understand what an important event in American culture next week will be.  A victory by Republicans may set the clock back on election night, but our palliative will be to return to the bygone era in which The Basement Tapes were recorded — The Band plus Dylan crowded in The Red Room (Dylan’s place in Woodstock) or Big Pink (The Band’s group house) playing old folk songs, some of Dylan’s most enigmatic originals, Johnny Cash covers and the like.  And it will all be available next week.  (Picture us rubbing our hands together.)

On November 17th, we get to listen to Sun, Zoom, Spark: 1970-1972, a four-disk box set that spans Captain Beefheart’s least celebrated, yet hugely satisfying post-Trout Mask Replica period.  For the first time ever, Lick My Decals Off, Baby will be released on CD in its entirety.  And in addition to a new mastering of the sublime Clear Spot, we get rarities from the period.  (Drool forms in the back of the mouth… It’s so close now, how can we wait three weeks?)

The Velvet Underground  — the band’s third, and best, record will be released, along with contemporaneous live tracks never before legitimately set into the wild, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Maybe the surviving Velvets (John Cale and Mo Tucker) are so concerned with family values, they wish us all to be able to discuss the rarities over dinner with the relatives?)

Who knows.  What we do know is that we have likely never gone into a November believing that we will need to lock ourselves away with headphones to listen to the 16 disks — 16 disks — of music we have longed for years to be able to hear, all to be released in this single month…

Our Friends At SnagFilms Let You Watch This Captain Beefheart Doc — Right Here

Posted in Music with tags , on October 8, 2011 by johnbuckley100

Captain Beefheart – Under Review | Watch the Documentary Film Free Online | SnagFilms.

Free streaming.  All you can watch.

Good Lord, Huntsman Actually Does Know His Beefheart

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 6, 2011 by johnbuckley100

Okay, we’ll say it: if Jon Huntsman survives until the D.C. primary — is there a D.C. primary? — the entire staff of Tulip Frenzy will march down to that polling booth and… and… sorry, fingers can’t quite type it… well, we’ll think highly of him.  Okay?  (Editor: Not good enough.  You promised to endorse him.)  Okay, okay, based on this apparently genuine interview in Slate in which Huntsman does appear to answer a few of the questions we posed a few weeks back, it would, er, um, appear that Huntsman has earned Tulip Frenzy’s endorsement.  (Editor: Go on.)  Okay, okay.  So, Tulip Frenzy Endorses Huntsman.  Okay, we said it.

(Hat tip to Mark McKinnon.)

White Denim’s “D” And How Don Van Vliet’s Band Fared In Probate

Posted in Music with tags , , , on June 11, 2011 by johnbuckley100

Thirty seconds into “It’s Him” on White Denim’s new album, D, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Devendra Banhart inherited The Magic Band from Captain Beefheart. “To Byron Coley, Mr. Van Vliet left his ashtray heart. And to Mr. Banhart, he left his cassette player, his top hat, and his band.”

“Southern Prog” is how some have termed the expansion of White Denim from a trio to a double-axe murdering foursome, but this isn’t progrock.  This is sweet pop music rehearsed in Tex Watson’s garage, after an afternoon sipping jimson weed tea. Yes, the reference to The Minutemen is apt, but less so on D than anything that came before it. The addition of the perfectly named Austin Jenkins on second guitar doesn’t make it “Southern,” though having an additional guitarist adds a formalism to the rehearsed-within-an-inch-of-its-life machinery.  And when we say pop music, not Southern Prog, we mean that White Denim seem slightly closer in spirit to neighbor Jack White’s buddy Brendan Benson than to Duane and Dicky jamming with the Flaming Lips.  Moreover, progrock as a reference point only counts if a band like Citay can be thrown into this particular patch of prickly pear.

We did not expect ever to want to play a White Denim album for company, for they’ve previously been headphone stalwarts, guaranteed to clear a room waiting for the PTA meeting to start.  Yet D is such a tour de force we could see it entertaining a Mensa convention while anyone who ever loved Clear Spot could tap her feet and nod.  This is music for a late-night drive to the border, music to be played after that all-nighter as the sun rises over the Salton Sea.  More immediately, this is music to play as our Summer ’11 anthem.

If Only We Were Up For Traveling

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 24, 2011 by johnbuckley100

This is the best news we have read in months:

June 2, 2011 – Windsor, UK at Fire Station TICKETS.


To celebrate Captain Beefheart and his life on Earth, Robyn Hitchcock and the Imaginary Band will perform the album ‘Clear Spot’ and a few other Beefheart compositions at the Garage, London, June 3th and Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham, June 4th. “In the early Soft Boys we tried to cross Abbey Road  with Trout Mask Replica”, says Robyn: “It didn’t always work but it was some hybrid. The most exciting show I’ve ever seen was Beefheart and The Magic Band in 1973. This won’t be as accurate as the John French/Magic Band gigs a few years back, but Clear Spot is quite a party album, and we’re planning to have quite a party”. The Imaginary Band will be Paul Noble and Terry Edwards on guitars and bass, Jenny Adejayan on cello, and Stephen Irvine on drums.

June 3, 2011 – London, UK at The Garage

June 4, 2011 – Cheltenham, UK at Wychwood Festival

A Proper Send Off To Don Van Vliet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 18, 2010 by johnbuckley100

When we read that Captain Beefheart had died, we wrote our friend Byron Coley, who had introduced us to his work ’round about 1976.  (Yeah, we were late.) Here’s the reply, which does tend to wipe that bad New York Times moron-obit writing taste right outta our mouths:


yeah, the news traveled fast. best to you this season, as well.

here’s what i wrote to my little newsgroup.

although he was reportedly felled by complications from his long-standing condition of MS, i offer an alternate theory — he was killed by trying to read that recent, endless, infernal john french book, through the eyes of magic. that book was enough to kick almost anyone over the edge. guh.

but it’s rotten news, what can you say? beefheart has been one of my own hallmarks of friendship and brotherhood since trout mask came out in ’69. after that rolling stone cover feature me & my friends almost all decided to dip in. but very few could stand the heat of the weird water. we who tried to figure it out, even though we were only 13, 14, 15, have proven to be my best friends ever over the years. and the fact that i was known as a beefheart expert was the reason i got my first paid writing gig — interviewing beefheart in ’78 for new york rocker. things might have gone very differently in my life without beefheart. from the girlfriends i swayed to with clear spot in ’73, to the many shows i saw and the many weirdos i met via them. so many of my best pals were quiet fanatics for the doc. it was never worth making noise about because so few understood. but, just as syd barrett fanhood was a path to lasting friendship in the early ’70s, so beefheart-ism remained, even through the relatively ‘mersh tours of the later ’70s.

anyone who doesn’t miss the guy is suffering from a profound misunderstanding of underground musical culture. or is an architect.

as don once told me, “an architect is someone who wants to crawl up yr penis, pull down the shades and type all night.”

so long, sir. you made this planet a whole hell of a lot more bearable for weirdos. and here’s to you.

byron coley

Incredibly Sad News: Don Van Vliet Is Dead

Posted in Music with tags , on December 18, 2010 by johnbuckley100

When Don Van Vliet ceased recording as Captain Beefheart, long about the early ’80s, the word was he had health problems, as well as a hankering to be a fine artist.  Now, lucky us: when we saw him in 1980 at New York’s Beacon Theater, he was in fine fettle, and it was hard to reconcile the jovial man with the myth, and subsequent reports of illness.  We’ve subsequently seen many of the paintings, and sometime in the ’90s went to a one-man show of his in a gallery in New York.

But the music — that Delta’n’ dustbowl growl, the multi-octave rollercoaster ride his voice would go on, those syncopated traffic jams his master musicians lurched through — that’s what we’ll remember him for.  That he lived as long as he did was a glory to the world.  That he is dead tonight (see  this notice in the New York Times posted a short while ago) is sad, sad indeed.

UPDATE: Ben Ratliff is a moron.  Oh Heavens.  To write a bio of Captain Beefheart and say the high point of his work was Trout Mask Replica shows he’s probably never even listened to anything Von Vliet did.  Or that he prepared for the obit writing by reading from a book. Hello, NYT?  There was early genius (Safe As Milk), and late genius (Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) and Doc At The Radar Station.) There was even under-appreciated greatness in his most accessible album, Clear Spot.  But reducing Captain Beefheart to Trout Mask Replica is like reducing The Rolling Stones to Satanic Majesties. Gimme a break.


UPDATE 2:  Well, Mr. Ratliff’s full obit of Captain Beefheart is up and it is much superior to what he posted last night, and worth reading. For starters, he doesn’t have Don Van Vliet’s life and importance peak with Trout Mask Replica.  It seems to show evidence of his having stayed up all night reading the liner notes to Dust Blows Forward, which is ok, cuz they’re good.

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