“Captain Beefheart is the shingle that gave me shingles,” complains Don Van Vliet in Lars Movin’s gentle evocation of Don’s life and circumstances since he became a full-time painter. “It makes me itch to think of myself as Captain Beefheart. I don’t even have a boat!” I don’t even have a boat – calling the Captain is a charming misty travelogue of the road leading to the place where Don Van Vliet has found himself as a painter, and the shoreline – land, sea and sky – which Don inhabits and describes. Waves lap, seabirds dry their wings, fishing boats bob and seals bask as
The Red Hot Chili Peppers closed the last concert of their 2006 tour by playing the Captain Beefheart composition Peon as final encore. John Frusciante took the guitar part and Flea played bass. Rolling Stone recently noted that John Frusciante is owner of some original Don Van Vliet paintings. Flea frequently name-checks and quotes Captain Beefheart, sometimes in the most unlikely of contexts such as his NBA blog. This is not the first time Flea and Frusciante have attempted to play this tune. On 15th October 2002 Flea wrote, “John and I can play “peon’ by Captain Beefheart all the way through now. It is
Rockette Morton and Denny Walley joined Big Eyed Beans from Venus for the second set of their Captain Beefheart covers concert in Atlanta, GA on November 16th. The concert can be heard at Southern Shelter or at Dime a Dozen (torrent ID 122352). The Fast’n’Bulbous concert of Captain Beefheart covers in Amsterdam on November 17th was recorded by Dutch radio for future broadcast (and hopefully webcast too) . We’ll post full details as soon as we learn them. Thanks to all concerned.
Generations of fans can testify just how difficult it used to be to find women who had any interest at all in Captain Beefheart’s music. Captain Beefheart always said that his music was for women, but not until recently did this message seem to be getting through. The Magic Band reunion concerts were notable for the number of women who attended and demonstrably appreciated the music. Now, in Trondheim in Norway, two hard rocking female students are hosting a weekly radio show called Ella Guru. Captain Beefheart’s Ella Guru is their theme tune. Thea Aarbakke and Sara E. Grønvold are Ella Guru’s DJs. Sara (to
I’ve just received the following message from Spencer Pope: Big Eyed Beans from Venus, the Athens GA based Captain Beefheart tribute band, are playing in Atlanta GA on November 16th. We will be joined by Rockette Morton and Denny Walley. The show is at the Five spot, starts at 9:30 and costs 7 dollars. Many thanks for the tip-off Spencer, if any beefheart.com visitors make it along to the gig please do post your comments here.
A nice feature about Captain Beefheart has just gone online in one of The Guardian’s podcasts. Beefheart fan Jon Dennis chats to John Harris (author of the Guardian’s recent Mission: Unlistenable) about how best to get into Beefheart and why people should bother. Their conclusion? Leave Trout Mask Replica to the hardcore weirdos, Clear Spot is one of the greatest albums ever recorded and everyone should be listening to it. It’s hard to disagree. I have often felt that our tendency to bang on about Trout Mask Replica as a pinnacle of artistic achievement in music (which I think it is) has probably done Beefheart
Fast ‘N Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project, featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston, have just announced a short European tour. Friday, Nov. 17th BimHuis, Amsterdam, Holland Saturday, Nov. 18th Taktlos Festival, Bern, Switzerland Tuesday, Nov. 21st Porgy and Bess, Vienna, Austria Thursday, Nov. 23rd Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia I’ll post more information here as I receive it. Update: 6 August 2006 Two London dates now added to the Fast ‘N’ Bulbous tour Wednesday, Nov. 15th Pizza on the Park, London Thursday, Nov. 16th Pizza on the Park, London Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston, with Richard Dworkin, Joe
The singer Freddie Wadling lay hyperventilating and nearly unconscious in the emergency room of Stockholm’s Sabbath Hill Hospital. His blood pressure was down and his stomach was as hard as a board. To Johan von Schreeb, a dark-haired surgeon with an eye of glass, Freddie’s symptoms were classic and life-threatening. Freddie had a burst stomach ulcer which had to be operated upon immediately or he would die. But Freddie’s wife Bella, who was present in the hospital, saw von Schreeb as a stranger in a white robe who wanted to stick a knife into Freddie. She refused permission to operate. Von Schreeb had seen Freddie
A fascinating concert programme which includes an unusual new arrangement of Bat Chain Puller has been announced by Zeitgeist, the eclectic new music ensemble from St Paul, Minnesota. Zeitgeist’s Bat Chain Puller is scored for MalletKat (a mallet keyboard synthesizer), another keyboard synthesizer, bass clarinet, and drums. Perhaps most interestingly the vocal part is taken by a soprano, Janet Gotschall Fried. Heather Barringer, Zeitgeist’s artistic director told me, “She doesn’t sound anything like Captain Beefheart. In fact, that’s why we decided to use a female as our vocalist. I wouldn’t have wanted someone to come onstage and do an imitation of Captain Beefheart, because our
Big Eyed Beans From Venus, that bunch of Beefheart botherers from Athens GA, have announced another two dates for their ongoing assault on the auditory senses of that city. They play the 40 Watt in Athens this Wednesday, the 14th, and play there again on October 8th when they open for the Circulatory System (friend of theirs from Olivia Tremor Control). There are still audio links to their Beefheart covers at MySpace. But when will they get out of Athens and start touring?
The New Haven Advocate reviews the appearance at the Zappanale festival in Germany of Doctor Dark. Doctor Dark are notable not only for being a Captain Beefheart tribute band, but also, apparently, for featuring “the only person in [New Haven’s] history to run for mayor in drag” in their line-up. The same paper also interviewed Doctor Dark in late 2003 about their previous appearance at Zappanale.
A Mongolian “throat-singing heavy rock band”, Yat-kha, have released an album of cover versions featuring Captain Beefheart’s “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles”, along with tunes by Joy Division, Bob Marley, Kraftwerk and Hank Williams. A recent article in The Independent newspaper said: Kuvezin’s growling vocal harmonics emerge from his deepest regions, resonating around the changing shape of his mouth-cavity. In the case of Captain Beefheart’s number, this is not too far removed from its original practitioner’s approach, but these techniques sound quite startling when imposed on the likes of “Man Machine” and “When The Levee Breaks”. You can hear a couple of mp3s
Walt Michelson mailed with news of his 50 synesthesia-musicboxes. Each of these pays homage to a different musician. His Beefheart musicbox, Ant Man Bee Massacre in Beeftroutwinter, is currently on show at Galerie Otto Schweins in Köln. Which particular Beefheart music you hear when you look at it is, I suppose, entirely up to you. For further explanation see Dr Michelson’s email.
Fast ‘n Bulbous, the acclaimed Beefheart brass band which includes Gary Lucas on guitar, take the stage at Jazz em Agosto Festival in Lisbon at 21.30 GMT on 13 August 2005. The performance will be broadcast live from Portugal to your computer at Rádio Interna do Instituto Superior Tecnico.