It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper

It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper was intended to be the name of the second Captain Beefheart album, a double album recorded late in 1967. This album never saw the light of day, which has given rise to not a little speculation and discussion among fans of Captain Beefheart. Tracks from the original sessions have been used on several re-release and compilation albums, but until now no record company has attempted to reconstruct It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper as an album in its own right. On July 22nd, Sundazed Records will do just that, when they release aRead More →

Rhino release a downloadable Beefheart sampler In a flurry of no publicity at all, Rhino Records have released their first scratchproof Captain Beefheart album. It is available only as a download. Rhino Hi-Five: Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band is a compilation of five tracks recorded between 1969 and 1978. It includes two live cuts and what Rhino describe as a remastered LP version of the song Bat Chain Puller. Bat Chain Puller was remastered to its sonic advantage for Virgin/EMI’s 2006 Captain Beefheart re-release CDs. The live tracks are from Rhino’s limited edition Beefheart CD, My Father’s Place. The other two tracks are takenRead More →

It has been a while since we last had news of a performance from Big Eyed Beans from Venus, the Athens, GA based Captain Beefheart tribute band. This week there are two. This Thursday, May 22nd, sees them play at Lenny’s in Atlanta, “This we be the most awesome show yet heard by man or woman alike,” as Lenny’s website informs us. On Friday, May 23rd, Big Eyed Beans from Venus turn up at their old floppy boot stomping ground in Athens, Caledonia Lounge. I’m told that the set list will be mainly compositions from Trout Mask Replica and earlier. At Southern Shelter you canRead More →

Beefheart Night at New York’s Knitting Factory on April 9th has prompted many eye-witness accounts, photographs, and audio and video files from the event. Here are links to some of them. David Lynch reads Pena Robyn Hitchcock & Gary Lucas perform Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do Glenn Kenny’s account Photographs from Prefix Mag / Lori Baily Gary Lucas’s blog Monday April 14, 2008 ‘An Inspired Evening of Beefheartiana’ by Steve Holtje As soon as Culture Catch’s film of the event is released, we’ll link to it here. Peter Warner wrote this review of the evening: For the Love of Don… And what a gloriousRead More →

Beefheart Night at The Knit, the April 9th tribute to Captain Beefheart in New York, promises to have even more treats and surprises than we listed at Up Sifter here on February 23rd. There are so many more treats and surprises in fact, that Fast ‘N’ Bulbous: The Captain Beefheart Project’s performance of Don Van Vliet compositions has been put back from 10.00 to 11.00 to fit them all in. Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, incidentally, will be previewing some arrangements from a planned second CD, as well as playing material from their first CD. Among the additional speakers to have been added to the already burgeoningRead More →

This item has been updated with a new post, Even more treats at The Knit, 2 April 2008. Update – 9 March 2008 Wednesday 9th April at The Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard Street, New York City. Gary Lucas curates Beefheart Night at the Knit, a salute to the Music, Poetry and Art of Don Van Vliet, a/k/a Captain Beefheart. Proceedings beginning at 8:00pm with a screening of rare Beefheart videos and documentaries and the spinning of unreleased tracks. This is followed by a reading of Don Van Vliet’s poetry, and reminiscences by special guests including: Lee Ranaldo Alan Vega Roswell Rudd Kurt LoderRead More →

During the filming of The Magic Band DVD Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) remarked that the music of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band was, “like bluegrass only weirder”. Mark Boston’s potential epithet sprang into my head last night when I read an article by Danny Barnes, the former Bad Livers frontman, and guitarist and banjo-player of blue-grass, alt-rock-country, jazz-frisell, and various other genres. In his essay, Danny describes his take on what Don Van Vliet achieved in his recording of Trout Mask Replica. Danny is particularly interested in Captain Beefheart’s synthesis of different musical and sonic elements and he points out some potentially exciting musicalRead More →

In June of 2007 I read a plug for “I Wanna Find Me A Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go” in Kyle Gann’s blog. The composer Art Jarvinen had used Don Van Vliet’s composition to illustrate an article which he had written about metametrics. This aroused my interest because it didn’t strike me that Captain Beefheart was a normal point of reference in the contemporary new classical music or conservatoire world. My feeling was, that in that milieu, Beefheart was more of a footnote than an example. If he was used as an example, wouldn’t he exemplify a particular professor’sRead More →

If you went to the 1972 Bickershaw festival you probably have great memories of it. There were some excellent bands playing and the Beefheart set was supposed to have been particularly inspiring. For years an audience recording of the performance has been circulating and despite it’s sound quality failings you can still hear that the band were on top form. This recording has now been released commercially by Ozit. What do we think of it … what do you think? Read the full reviewRead More →

Hobo

Several home-made versions of Captain Beefheart numbers have been posted at nearby websites in the past few days. EvilFactman’s work in progress, Big Dummy, is at iCompositions. The vocals are not so far included. Matt LeGroulx’s versions of Hobo Chang Ba, Hot Head and One Red Rose That I Mean along with a Sugar ‘N Spikes (which is also waiting for its vocal track) are at his MySpace page. Matt says that Rockette Morton helped him out with cds of the individual guitar, bass and drum parts to make it easier for him to figure them out.Read More →

Lewis Taylor’s slightly sought-after version of Trout Mask Replica has hitherto been available on the web only in dribs and drabs . This weekend it is downloadable in its entirety, along with a mish-mash of other Lewis Taylor rarities at Okayplayer. [now removed]  Lewis Taylor retired from the music industry in 2006. Findlay Brown, on the other hand, released his first recordings in 2006. One of the A-sides of his second single was the Captain Beefheart song ‘I’m Glad’. The Guardian described his live rendition of this song as a “luminous ballad“, while The Times heard it as “Johnny Cash-borrowing“. I’m Glad is downloadable atRead More →

Lick My Decals Off, Baby is simply not a composition which readily lends itself to being performed. So when I found Puttanesca’s video of one of their Lick My Decals Off, Baby rehearsals at their MySpace page I wrote to ask them to send me all sorts of obsessively interesting details about it. Weba Garretson, the group’s vocalist, promptly responded with an an engaging account of their work on the piece and included a scan of part of the transcription they used (click on the image for a readable version). [wp_quote]Decals is an evolving process for us. The version on the CD is similar toRead More →

Herb Bermann, the legendary poet who wrote most of Captain Beefheart’s Safe As Milk lyrics (and some more) appears on a new DVD recently recorded at a poetry reading at Beyond Baroque. Good-Bye to the Rodeo Grounds is a sort of momento of one of the last artist communities in Los Angeles, evicted to make way for a state park. In his interview for this website Herb talked about this, and of course about his involvement with Captain Beefheart. The DVD is available from Custom Flix or Amazon. There are several excerpts from it at YouTube, including an 8 minute sequence of Herb Bermann readingRead More →

Film of Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band performing Diddy Wah Diddy and Who Do You Think You’re Fooling was broadcast on Dick Clark’s television show Where The Action Is on 24th May 1966. Shot on location at a Californian beach Captain Beefheart’s sexy glowering beatsters played their music to an audience of gyrating valley girls and boys. This film is a joy to watch, so now that it has been pulled from YouTube for being used without permission we can only hope that Dick Clark Productions, Inc., the copyright owners, have plans to let their film be more widely seen elsewhere. Film of CaptainRead More →

Our competition to win the 5 sets of EMI/Virgin’s remastered Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band CDs attracted hundreds of entries from around the planet. It’s heartening to find out that in over 20 US States, in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, in the Middle East and right across Europe and Scandinavia there are so many men and women with enough interest in Captain Beefheart to take part. Everybody answered the question correctly so congratulations all round, and thanks for all the complimentary remarks about this website and the work which goes into it. The title of the Don Van Vliet painting whichRead More →

Virgin/EMI are to rerelease their entire Captain Beefheart back catalogue on CD on Monday 7th August. The albums have all been remastered and Captain Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes has written informative liner notes which set out the context and circumstances of the creation of each album. The Virgin/EMI publicity machine should ensure that Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band get more publicity in the near future than they have had in years. Some people will come to listen to Captain Beefheart’s music for the first time, others may be tempted to listen again after many years. The Virgin catalogue has a range of Beefheart’s musicalRead More →

Virgin Records have kindly offered to send complete sets of their six newly remastered Captain Beefheart albums to five lucky visitors to this website. All you have to do is send us an email telling us the title of the Don Van Vliet painting which is reproduced on the front cover of ‘Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)’. You’ll find plenty of information about Don Van Vliet’s art by clicking on the ‘art info’ link at the top of this page and following the links at the new page which opens. If we receive more than five correct answers we’ll put all the correct entries intoRead More →

Virgin Records has found in its vaults a previously undocumented film of Captain Beefheart in concert. A digital copy of the film has been produced to help promote Virgin’s six forthcoming Captain Beefheart CD releases. It isn’t very often that previously unseen film of Captain Beefheart in concert is released, so I’m especially happy to be able to report this news here. The film is captioned as having been made in London, though to my knowledge there was no film crew present for the London concerts at that time. I tracked down one of the directors of the film to ask him about it. HeRead More →

Anyone into downloading music legally but without the annoying restrictions that come with most online music services may be interested to know that several Beefheart and Beefheart-related albums are available on E-Music now. E-Music offers top quality mp3s free of all DRM restrictions – you can copy them, keep them, burn them to CD, transfer them to a portable, delete them and download them again all at no extra cost. It’s also very reasonably priced. You will currently find the following Beefheart related items on E-Music: Grow Fins (essential Beefheart rarities box set from Revenant) 21st Century Mirror Men (excellent reformed Magic Band live album)Read More →

Ozit have released another Beefheart 2CD set. This time it’s a recording of the last live show ever played by Don and the band – the 31st January 1981 show at the Golden Bear. As usual with Ozit an opportunity has been missed. Find more info in our bootleg section here – http://www.beefheart.com/datharp/albums/boots/captainslast.htmRead More →