Download The Words and Music of Frank Zappa by Kelly Fisher Lowe PDF

By Kelly Fisher Lowe

The phrases and track of Frank Zappa strikes past the main points of Frank Zappa’s existence (1940–93) towards a concentrated remedy of the rock and pa songs of this nice American composer. at the present time Zappa’s song might be favored as an entire, rising as a coherent, considerate, and innovative—if a little bit daunting—body of labor. writer Kelly Fisher Lowe has left no element of that paintings unexamined, from Zappa’s position as a satirist of the top order to his position within the style of “progressive rock” and his value as an influential critic of yank tradition and society. The quantity starts off with discussions of Zappa's function as a satirist and his musical variety, then proceeds to an in-depth exam of his albums. via this prolonged engagement with Zappa’s tune, a shockingly transparent point of view on his own perspectives emerges, laying off gentle on his therapy of such themes because the falsified concept of affection in pop culture, the compromising effect of cash on renowned track, and the concept that of freedom in a systematized society. The booklet comprises an respectable discography and an up to date bibliographic essay.

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Example text

The lead singer for the seminal rap group Public Enemy, once argued that rap was black America’s CNN, and Zappa seemed to see himself the same way, as a repressed America’s CNN. Although the idea that he is just telling the truth can be an intellectual cop-out (as it seems to be with someone like Howard Stearn, who feels he can say odious things and then, because he occasionally takes a shot at himself, is an equal opportunity offender), it seems to be less so in Zappa’s case because he did not shock audiences with comments unrelated to his desire to expose the false ideas of society.

Wet T-Shirt Contest’ is about a wet T-shirt contest”); these chapters offers a more critical reading of Zappa’s work. Once one digs below the surface of his songs and begins to understand the, at times, elaborate musical and lyrical jokes, one can see that Zappa was working on a much more complex ideological project. Indeed, the many supposedly simple songs that Zappa wrote with lyrics that the composer himself called stupid hide a complex argument that comments on the very nature of simplicity and stupidity.

For once, Zappa is directly stating the target of his satire. What makes Zappa’s critique of “I’m in You” that much more interesting is that, after Zappa has stated his the- Satire and the Art of Frank Zappa 21 sis, he develops it by presenting a scenario that puts into practice his theory about rock lyrics, arguing that the people who listen to these songs, especially young women, enter into a fantasy relationship with the singer (who is “Aryan and eats a lot of crumpets”). The problem with this relationship is the disappointment inherent in any sort of fantasy.

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