Gary Lucas is bringing his Beefheart Symposium to Los Angeles two days before Don’s 70th birthday. During the symposium Gary will show rare footage of the band live, play unreleased tracks, and project slides of Don’s paintings and drawings, discuss the history of the group and many of the great musicians who came through the ranks of The Magic Band, and also illustrate Don’s quirky and idiosyncratic methodologies and techniques on his guitar. So at 8pm, 13 January 2011 try to join Gary and ‘special guests’ at The Echoplex 1154 Glendale Boulevard Los Angeles 90026 Tickets: Seating – $15 adv; $17 dos / Standing –Read More →

Film curator, writer and lecturer, Gerry Fialka, is interviewing John French as part of his ongoing series of MESS (Media Ecology Soul Salon) interviews: Echo Park Film Center 1200 N Alvarado St. (at Sunset Blvd.) Los Angeles Saturday 9 October 2010, starts 7pm Tickets: $5 The evening begins with a showing of the Crows Milk documentary about the Magic Band reunion. At 8pm Gerry will be talking to John French. This will be followed by the showing of the film of the 2003 Shepherds Bush show plus some of John’s home movies of Don. John will also be signing copies of his book. Sounds likeRead More →

Here are some golden birdies, bits, bobs and doodads for your delectation: Moris Tepper has a new CD out called A Singer Called Shotgun Throat, a title suggested by Don apparently. Full details can be found on Moris’s website. For those manic collectors out there I’ve been trying to document all the Beefheart titles available as flexi discs. These are strange releases emanating from Russia and Poland. Check out what I’ve found so far on this Russian flexi discs page. If you’ve got others please let me know. YouTube continues to be a great source for hearing attempts at Beefheart covers. Here’s a selection ofRead More →

Here’s a treat if you can make it to: The Magic Room Gallery 155 North Beacon Street, Brighton, Massachusetts 02135 On Friday 10 September 2010 – 8pm until 11.30pm Tickets: $20 Gary Lucas will be presenting a Captain Beefheart Symposium where he will will give a lecture and musical demonstration devoted to his mentor and childhood hero Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart. This will involve Gary showing rare video footage of the man and the band, delve into his complex artistic oeuvre as both a composer — by performing some of his fiendishly difficult solo guitar compositions live — and as a painter byRead More →

Trout Mask tattoo

I had a message from Claire from Brooklyn: A few months ago I was getting tattooed by Myles Karr at Three Kings Tattoo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I asked him what his specialty was. “Anything weird.” he said. “Oh, so like, the cover of Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’?” I asked, referencing the first “weird” thing that came to mind His eyes widened. “YES. Anywhere you want it, as big as you want it.” In his excitement he quoted me a ridiculously cheap price. I couldn’t really pass up such an offer from one of Brooklyn’s finest tattooers….  So now I’m wearing my very own ReplicaRead More →

Skeletonbreath – the band at MySpace. Invincible Czars perform Upon the My-O-My at YouTube. Ty Segal performs Dropout Boogie at YouTube. Album review of Lemons at Pitchfork. Snow Patrol include a reworked Observatory Crest in their Late Night Tales compilation. The version Snow Patrol have chosen is not the original Bluejeans and Moonbeams cut but the A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond version which is prefaced by Eric Drew Feldman’s intro to Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee. Odd. Bob Dylan’s album Theme Time Radio Hour, Season 2 on Ace Records includes Ice CreamRead More →

Captain Beefheart’s celebrity gate-crashers bring gift of beetle bones: It would be hard to find two rock stars who are more fixated on Captain Beefheart than Alison Mosshart of The Kills and Jack White of The White Stripes. Both groups have recorded Beefheart songs and continue to play them live. Jack White dressed up as Captain Beefheart on the photo shoot for Get Behind Me Satan and in interviews Alison Mosshart regularly expresses her yearnings to be with Don Van Vliet. There’s one musician who’s alive but isn’t working any more that I would do anything to do something with – and that would beRead More →

Messin With The Kid - Benjamin Horrendous

I have great respect for anyone who attempts to cover any of Beefheart’s songs. So what do you say when someone decides to cover a whole Beefheart album! Well, that’s just what Benjamin Horrendous has done. Singlehandedly, he’s (in his own words) ‘messed’ with each song from The Spotlight Kid to come up with his own vision of this great album. Find out more about it at Benjamin’s site.Read More →

Fast N Bulbous Waxed Oop

We’ve just received an announcement about the Fast ‘N’ Bulbous performance scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th in New York. Fast ‘N’ Bulbous performs at (Le) Poisson Rouge Tuesday March 10th 2009. NOTE: GUITARIST GARY LUCAS HAS FALLEN ON THE ICE AND INJURED HIS ELBOW. HE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY, BUT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO APPEAR AT TUESDAY’S PERFORMANCE. HOWEVER FAST ‘N’ BULBOUS WILL STILL PERFORM AS SCHEDULED, AND PLAY MUSIC FROM THE NEW RECORD. GUITARIST PAT IRWIN (B52s, Raybeats. Eight-Eyed Spy) WILL FILL IN FOR GARY FOR THIS GIG. COME ON DOWN FOR A GREAT SHOW! Celebrating the release of theirRead More →

Captain Beefheart at The White House The next time you’re visting The White House please do have a glance at your hosts vinyl record collection. According to Rolling Stone magazine The White House Record Library includes at least one Captain Beefheart album, Trout Mask Replica. Whether The White House copy of Trout Mask has ever been played, or whether the collection has been added to since 1981 is not mentioned. Mighty Boosh and the £23,000 Van Vliet Noel Fielding of Mighty Boosh has reportedly bought his parents a painting on canvas by Don Van Vliet. The Sun newspaper writes that he paid £23,000 for theRead More →

Alison Mosshart of The Kills has again been committing her thoughts about Captain Beefheart to the media. This time, in The Independent, she fantasizes about Captain Beefheart dueting on Harry Irene with Kim Gordon, Moe Tucker on drums and Guy Picciotto on guitar. He sounds haunting, forceful, confident and humorous, of the future and of the past, all wrapped up in one whip of the tongue. The Black Keys version of Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles will appear on a new compilation of classic songs taken from Warners back catalogue and covered by present-day Warners artists. Covered, A Revolution in Sound: Warner Bros.Read More →

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]Read More →

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.”Read More →

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 MarketRead 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 →

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 DaphneRead 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 →

Recent music links Here I Am I Always Am played by The Black Keys at SXSW 2008 in Houston on March 12th. Andy Haas (former Martha and the Muffins saxophonist, now better known through his work and associations with the NY downtown music scene) offers an unusual and reflective version of Abba Zabba (two minute sample here) on Radio I-Ching’s new CD, The Fire Keeps Burning, available from CD Baby. Another Abba Zabba involving several other NY downtown musicians performing as Fast ‘n Bulbous was recorded at WFMU in 2004. Here it is at YouTube. Benjamin Horrendous has just put up 4 Beefheart covers, andRead More →