For many people on the first listen Trout Mask Replica just sounds awful. For those of us that grow to love it, it’s a masterpiece. If you don’t entirely get it yet, this 10 minute feature video from Vox nicely picks apart what’s going on and why so many of us consider it to be uniquely special. If you enjoy this and want something more in-depth then have a look at Samuel Andreyev’s analysis of Frownland and his extended conversation with John French.  Read More →

One of the great pieces of footage showing the band at full throttle is their performance of I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby on the German TV music programme Beat Club back in 1972. Then in 2012 The Lost Broadcasts DVD revealed footage form the complete studio session – a couple more run throughs of Booglarize plus versions of Click Clack (twice), Golden Birdies, Steal Softly Thru Snow and Rockette Morton’s Bass Solo. Amazing picture and sound quality! Now, the Beat Club YouTube channel has revealed even more footage from that session. Sadly there are no more songs. But what we do have here is theRead More →

Yes, it’s 50 years since the band’s second album, Strictly Personal, was released. It was October 1968 in the US and December 1968 in the UK. The recording of the follow-up to Safe As Milk had begun back in November 1967 not long after Jeff Cotton had joined the band to replace Jerry McGee. However, these recordings were destined to remain unissued for a few years and the band had a second go at recording the album in May 1968. It was these later  sessions that were to be eventually released by Blue Thumb in the US and Liberty in the UK as Strictly Personal.Read More →

The remastered Trout Mask Replica is at last getting a vinyl release. It is in the capable hands of Jack White’s Third Man Records. Not only are they releasing the double vinyl album but also the mega-rare France-only single “Pachuco Cadaver / Wild Life”. Other bits and bobs are included in this package. Like all Third Man Records this will not be available in a store. You will have to sign up for a subscription on their website … and to get this Beefheart release (Vault Package #36) you’ll need to do it before 30 April 2018. The cost is $60 plus shipping. For moreRead More →

Is it really 50 years since I first heard the Safe As Milk album? Well, yes it is and I still play it regularly. It still sounds fresh and exciting although probably not quite as ‘weird’ as it originally sounded to me all that time ago. Hey, Beefheart soon got much weirder but Safe As Milk is still one hell of a debut album. Not only was it a debut album but it was the first release on a brand new label, Buddah, set up by Kama Sutra Records. They must have had some faith in the band back then. It’s a pity the MtRead More →

Have you ever wanted to a closer look at how the music was Trout Mask Replica works, how the different parts interlock and work with each other? The Radar Station has been contacted by Samuel Andreyev, a composer and music analyst who studied at the Paris Conservatoire. Samuel has a YouTube channel in which he analyses key 20th- and 21st-century compositions by composers such as Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, Earle Brown  and discusses (mainly) classical music in general. In his latest YouTube posting Samuel has analysed the opening track of Trout Mask Replica, the daunting Frownland. He breaks the track down into its component parts using formalRead More →

Warners have been digging in their archives and are about to release a FOUR disc collection on the Rhino label – ‘Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972‘. Due for release on 11 November 2014 this set will include remastered versions of ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby‘, ‘The Spotlight Kid‘ and ‘Clear Spot‘ (but with no bonus tracks). The fourth disc is a collection of fourteen outtakes which have not been previously released legitimately. These are the outtakes: 01 Alice in Blunderland (Alternate Version) 02 Harry Irene 03 I Can’t Do This Unless I Can Do This/Seam Crooked Sam 04 Pompadour Swamp/Suction Prints 05 The Witch Doctor LifeRead More →

Four new tracks released online. It’s been a while since Bill Harkleroad released any new music. Not since 2001, in fact, when We Saw A Bozo Under The Sea was issued. He has just resurfaced, along with a revamp of his website, with four new instrumental tracks each one based on a mask sculpture by Roger Evers. An interesting concept! – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The Radar Station asked Bill a few questions about this new music: Can you tell us some more about the masks and the artist who created them?Read More →

The full Avalon 1966 concert available for the first time. Song List The Avalon Ballroom, 1966 1. Down In The Bottom 2. Don’t Start Me To Talkin’ 3. The Sun Is Shining 4. Tupelo 5. Somebody In My Home 6. Old Folks’ Boogie 7. St. James Infirmary 8. Evil (Is Going On) 9. Harp Instrumental Radio Station, 1967 10. Somebody In My Home 11. Sure ‘Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do 12. Call On Me 13. Yellow Brick Road 14. Plastic Factory 15. Sure ‘Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do 16. Yellow Brick Road 17. Abba Zaba 18. Kandy Korn Notes Publicity blurb: Captain Beefheart & HisRead More →

The Magic Band are now touring the UK and are playing a date in Germany see their site for links to buy tickets. 25 May 2014 Newcastle Upon Tyne – The Cluny 27 May 2014 Leeds – Brudenell Social Club 29 May 2014 Manchester – Band On The Wall 30 May 2014 Liverpool – Eric’s 31 May 2014 Aldershot – West End Centre 01 June 2014 Brighton – The Haunt 03 June 2014 Colchester – Colchester Arts Centre 05 June 2014 Bristol – The Fleece 06 June 2014 Hertford – Hertford Corn Exchange 07 June 2014 London – The Garage 08 June 2014 Tanworth InRead More →

It’s almost 40 years since Don played the Troubadour in Los Angeles… and far too long since the Magic Band have played in the US. At long last a venue has had the commonsense to book the band so some of our American cousins can see what they’ve been missing. The date of the show is Monday 7th April. Find out more on the Troubadour’s Facebook page for the gig.Read More →

A new Magic Band website announces a new Magic Band tour. The new site provides us with a suitably Magic web presence; my favourite bit being the archive of press reviews of many of the reunion shows. It’s a pleasing reminder that the reunion has been consistently booglarising us for over 10 years now, and the tone of the reviews is as equally thrilled and disbelieving in 2013 as it was in 2003. John French, Mark Boston and Denny Walley, along with their bandmates over the last decade, have achieved something truly remarkable. So get yourself out there if you can, witness an unforgettable show, revelRead More →

Thanks to Groucho Kangaroo we are able to post this warning to all Beefheart fans about this latest vinyl atrocity. Captain Beefheart: “The Rarest Previously Unreleased 1970s Live And Studio Tracks” Ozit-Morpheus / Dandelion Records, LP, 2013 Side 1: 1. Steal Softly Through Snow – obviously not the Magic Band, newly recorded? 2. I Wanna Find A Woman… – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 3. Hair Pie Bake – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 4. Golden Birdies – BEAT CLUB session for Radio Bremen, Bremen, April 12th 1972 5. Space Age Couple – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 6.Read More →

This DVD was announced earlier this year and touted as a “documentary,” but even at the announcement stage there was little cause for optimism. Let’s start with the fact that the person pictured on the cover of the package is not even Don Van Vliet, but rather some anonymous mustachioed fellow captured in mid-yowlp – clearly an indication of the level of care and attention likely to be put into the package. Given how many plainly sub-standard CDs and LPs have been issued by the likes of the execrable Ozit records, there was little hope that this would be anything more than yet another sleazy,Read More →

Gideon Coe

BBC Radio 6’s Gideon Coe will be playing a Beefheart concert on his evening show Wednesday 22 May (starts 9pm BST). It’s not clear what it will be although our best guess is the 1968 Peel sessions. If you miss the show I think it should be available via the BBC 6 website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sjs73 (Thanks to Nulsh for the heads-up)Read More →

Zappa.com have announced their intention to release the “definitive” Trout Mask Replica in May 2013; initially on CD but with a vinyl edition “coming soon”. Available for preorder now, Zappa.com states: The Legends of Lancaster (California) converge. Two albums Produced by Frank Zappa are registered with the National Preservation Board (Library of Congress). This is one. Note: We here at UMRK determined that the TMR Master was damaged somewhere in the years of its return orbit. The Vaultmeister created almost in its entirety a new Master from our own Vault safety copies. And as if that wasn’t enough chocolate for your Sunday sundae, we hadRead More →

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

The World of Captain Beefheart is a special concert featuring Gary Lucas with the 60 piece Metropole Orchestra performing symphonic Beefheart. Date: Sunday 17th February 2013 Venue: the main hall of Amsterdam’s Paradiso Special guest vocalist for the night is legendary Nona Hendryx (pictured below with Gary), who is also a big Beefheart fan. This event has been put together by Co de Kloet (the Dutch radio presenter who did the last lengthy interview with Don on the phone in the early 90’s). It will be broadcast live on Co’s radio show on national Dutch radio, NTR. It is also being filmed for possible broadcast. ViewRead More →

Updated: 26 Jan 2013 Woo hoo! Yes, prepare to be booglarized again … the guys are back in the UK for another tour. So far the following dates have been set up: March 2013 1 – Concorde 2, Brighton 2 – Arts Centre, Colchester 4 – The Fleece, Bristol 5 – Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton 6 – The Continental, Preston 7 – Band On The Wall, Manchester 9 – Arches, Glasgow 10 – HMV Picture House, Edinburgh 11 – The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne 13 – Erics, Liverpool 14 – The Duchess, York 15 – Sub89, Reading 16 – Under The Bridge, Fulham, London ForRead More →

If you haven’t got a copy of the Beefheart/Zappa Commemorative box set put together around Freddy Banister’s book “There Must Be A Better Way” then there are perhaps further reasons to get a copy. Two more stealth recordings of Frank Zappa concerts have now been added to the set: 1970 Frank Zappa at the Bath Festival and 1978 Frank Zappa at the Knebworth Festival. This makes it a total of 10 CDs (7 Captain Beefheart and 3 Frank Zappa), plus the T shirt and poster which are still included … and the price remains £49.99.Read More →