I seem constantly to be linking here to Gary Lucas website because of the seemingly endless Captain Beefheart related information to be found there. At his tour page, for example, you can check out how the 2009 Fast ‘n’ Bulbous tour is shaping up. Three European concerts of Captain Beefheart compositions are so far listed for March – in Holland, Czech Republic and France. There will be more news of that tour later I’m sure. Gary recently mentioned at his blog that the only punk/new wave band checked by Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet as being any good was Throbbing Gristle, which was news to me.
Two more entries have appeared at John French’s blog.The third and final part of his story about his new album City of Refuge is supplemented with news about his new band which will soon be touring to promote the album. Go to his MySpace page for all the details. City of Refuge will be released in Europe on November 10th and in North America on November 18th. Meanwhile, Sebstian Palmer got in touch to promote an interview he did with John ‘Drumbo’ French during the 2005 tour of the reformed Magic Band. He has made it available at Sounds From the Funky Goat.
The Smithsonian Institution investigates the meeting of pop culture and palaeontology in a new blog at its website. In one of the first entries Captain Beefheart’s song The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or the Big Dig) has its skeleton made good by a dinosaur expert. For all you need to know about La Brea Tar Pits and what they contain see the entry Dinosaur Blues at Smithsonian.com‘s blog Dinosaur Tracking.
Mikko Kapanen, lead singer and guitarist of Helsinki, Finland based “psychedelic hard rock” band Spektriis wrote in. The band is currently finishing up work on its debut album which they are hoping to have released some time in the first half of 2009. “The reason I’m telling this,” Mikko wrote, “is that we had the immense pleasure of getting Bill Harkleroad to record a guitar solo for one of the tracks. We have uploaded five out of the ten tracks on the album to our MySpace profile at http://www.myspace.com/spektriis including the track in question, called “Black Hole Eyes”. We made a point of not mentioning Harkleroad’s participation
That Don Van Vliet’s compositions are danceable is without question. Two German comedians, Ulan & Bator, have formalised that pleasure by getting close to a diamond (or a rabbit) at YouTube. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8qS9RpSL-c]
Drumbo’s publicity people at Proper Records have recently been trickling information and soundbites from his new album City of Refuge, due for release on November 10th. This is of course the album which features five former Magic Band members – John French himself, Bill Harkelroad, Mark Boston, Greg Davidson and John Thomas. Now for the first time Proper Records has posted an entire track from the album. Get So Mean can be heard at a new page at Proper Records website, where you can also download some high resolution photographs and read the press release for the CD. At John French’s MySpace page there are
A review at IGN.com of a new HD version of WipEout, a Play Station game, contains some tantalising information about the custom soundtrack, “which is a cinch to port over, though from our experience Captain Beefheart doesn’t make the best accompaniment to the world of anti-G racing and homing missiles.”
Some time ago Barry’s Imaginary Publisher produced a poster to be used as a prop in the documentary film, Freak Out in Cugamonga. There is a short illustrated article about the making of the poster, Captain Beefheart vs. The Grunt People, at moonbug.org. Copies of the poster are now available from Cafe Press, priced at $19.99.
Some of Don Van Vliet’s drawings are now on show at Michael Werner Gallery in New York until October 25. An exhibition there, called Series Drawings, juxtaposes historic and contemporary works on paper by artists including Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Aaron Curry, André Derain, Peter Doig, Jean Fautrier, Jörg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Markus Lüpertz, Henri Michaux, A.R. Penck, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, Eugen Schönebeck, Louis Soutter and Don Van Vliet. Michael Werner, 4 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075 Tel: +1 212 988 1623 Fax: +1 212 988 1774 email@example.com
Jimmy Carl Black Benefit Concerts A benefit concert for former Mother of Invention and Magic Band member Jimmy Carl Black has been arranged for November 9 at Bridge House in London. Jimmy recently underwent an operation for lung cancer in Germany and the proceeds from this event will go towards his expenses. Among those appearing will be Zappa and Beefheart cover band The Muffin Men and Zappacademic writer Ben Watson. Tickets cost £20. The Muffin Men are contributing to several other JCB benefit gigs. The first of these is Stockport For Jimmy – Indian Aid on Sunday October 26, 4-8pm, Bakers Vaults, on the Market
Last night’s broadcast of Don Van Vliet’s 1993 interview with Co de Kloet, with musical accompaniment recorded in 2008 by Gary Lucas, can be heard until 10th September at the Dutch radio station NPS website [no longer available]. The programme is two hours long. Tom Waits, says Don, “.. had the nerve to think he could sing like me.”
As ‘Daffy Duck’s Rhapsody’ faded out, Bob Dylan introduced the next record on his Theme Time Radio Hour – Birds Mel Blanc did a lot of voices – our next artist just did one – but it’s a heck of a voice. Don Van Vliet was born in Glendale, California – he stopped performing in the 80s to focus on his painting. He’s a really good painter but I wish he’d made more records. [tangent about the Corvids – crows and rooks etc] Here’s a song that goes as straight as the crow flies – Captain Beefheart and Ice Cream for Crow. Bob had previously
Gary Lucas and Don Van Vliet – I Have A Cat ‘I Have A Cat’, the broadcast of Don Van Vliet’s last lengthy interview in 1993, combined with Gary Lucas’ specially commissioned guitar score recorded earlier this year, will receive its world premiere on Wednesday, September 3rd, 10pm to midnight Dutch time, on NPS Radio 6. Also in Holland, in March 2009, will be Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project, featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston. Two dates have so far been announced at Gary Lucas’ website, more are to be arranged. John French’s City of Refuge It was in 2005 that we first
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 a
John French, the legendary Magic Band drummer, has bought a new set of drums and hopes soon to be playing them on tour. We await an announcement about the name and line-up of John’s new band (this will not be a Magic Band tour). In the meantime John has let us know that after over twenty years of musical partnership with his Rogers Holiday drums he has decided that now is the time to let them go. Here is your chance to become the proud possessor of a genuine piece of Magic Band / O Solo Drumbo / Crazy Backwards Alphabet / French, Frith, Kaiser,
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 taken
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 can
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward took this photograph of Don Van Vliet wearing a Harris Tweed jacket in Vancouver during the last days of the final Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band tour in January 1981. Two more of Alex’s photographs of Don can be seen at Alex’s website. I particularly like the concert shot which shows Don in eyeball to eyeball contact with a member of the audience who had had too much to think. Many thanks to Alex Waterhouse-Hayward for allowing us to reproduce his photograph here. Hot Head at the High School Talent Show A spirited rendition of Hot Head was recently performed at Daphne
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 glorious
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 burgeoning