Don would have been 80 years old today. To celebrate that milestone Gary Lucas has written a piece for the Please Kill Me website about the dysfunctional relationship between Don and Frank Zappa. Gary offers his take on the rivalry between to the two old friends and also looks at the recording of the last Beefheart album Ice Cream For Crow. Read the article – Don Van Vliet and Frank Zappa: Two Peas In A Misshapen Pod   Another album that gets mentioned in the article is Doc At The Radar Station which last year reached its 40th anniversary. Gary devoted three of his FacebookRead More →

Track list Ice Cream For Crow Tropical Hot Dog Night Run Paint Run Run Light Reflected Off The Oceands Of The Moon Album overview from Graham Johnston This oddity is a Virgin Records ep from 1982 (VS 534-12). It contains four tunes, the first three of which are readily available on Beefheart’s last three albums. The last tune, Light Reflected Off The Oceands Of The Moon first appeared on this ep and is really an instrumental version of Hey Garland I Dig Your Tweed Coat but with Don’s sax splattered all over the place and a splendid new title. It is now available on The DustRead More →

There was also a great promotional video for the title track of the final album, with its striking shots of  desert landscapes, Don’s paintings, tumbleweeds and the Magic Band earnestly miming with no leads connected to their guitars. Filmed on 7 August 1982 in the Mojave Desert, California. Directed by Don Van Vliet with Ken Schreiber; cinematography by Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). The video, an uncommon concept at that time, was explained by Don as being a more favourable alternative to a promotional tour, leaving him free to get on with the rest of his life. Too weird for MTV at the time, itRead More →

The Witch Doctor Life as imagined by OpenAI

When the Witch Doctor Life throws his silent bones some are crowned kings while others lose their thrones When the Witch Doctor Life throws his silent bones small “O” mouths scream and run to Mama Kangaroo insecure pouches wherein hide beggars and drones and babies and bums and buzzards Mama crouches and smiles her old useful smile and old ego roars – laughs yesterday’s gasses while children and angels gasp and follow a shepherd on crutches When the Witch Doctor Life throws his silent bones some flee the dream some turn to stone and the children sing and the heavens ring worn by the shepherdRead More →

The Thousandth and Tenth Day of the Human Totem Pole as imagined by OpenAI

The thousandth and tenth day of the human totem pole. The morning was distemper grey, Of the thousandth and tenth day of the human totem pole. The man at the bottom was smiling. He had just finished his breakfast smiling. It hadn’t rained or manured for over two hours. The man at the top was starving. The pole was a horrible looking thing With all of those eyes and ears And waving hands for balance. There was no way to get a copter in close So everybody was starving together. The man at the top had long ago given up But didn’t have nerve enoughRead More →

There’s so many things to feel and see while you’re awake they’re just out of reach out of grasp yeah out of reach and just as many; maybe more the minute that you sleep so I got to throw my preach skeleton breath scorpion blush I have a crush on your skeleton watch out unsuspecting stranger you’ll fall off the log headfirst into dreams end up screaming this will comb the wolf and that will comb the fog what will peen the rain what will preen the hog oh you mean earth and hell over you and laugh at your tire tracks if you getRead More →

The past sure is tense they’re heading up for the main event all those people seem to be hell-bent see those people up on top of the fence and the man down there selling knotholes through the fence the little shoe generation man I found your print on a dollar bill I founf your print on an Indian mound I found your print on the statue at the sound I found your print on the elephant ground I found your print in the beautiful mountains the grass no longer grew around I found your print in my mind – the past sure is tense theRead More →

Ink mathematics grey mass ecstatics noggin elastics cerebral tatics cranium classics brainium domics denizen omics grey massmatics quantum puree it’s plain to feel hard to see fission antics abombastics death antiques wrong deductions poor instructions mass destructions peace antiques singing ink mathematics hop along with me ink mathematics moon to a flea ink mathematics I breathe black and white day and night grey gymnastics ink math ah ratics mathfantastics ink mathematics moon to a flea ink mathematics hop along with me ink mathematics moon to a flea (1982) Transcribed by Lloyd Veerman.Read More →

Ice Cream For Crow as imagined by OpenAI

Originally appeared on Ice Cream for Crow It’s so hot looks like you have three beaks crow the moon’s so full white hat on a pumpkin you know there’s something the moon was a stone’s throw stop the show I need to say hello to the crow light the fire piano the moon showed up and it started to show tonight there’d be ice cream ice cream for crow ice cream for crow sun cream by day ice cream for crow ice cream by night ice cream by day the sun ain’t stable ice cream for crow crow pants the scarecrow crow dance ah hoRead More →

Why, not even a rustler’d have anything to do with this branded bum steer world this pirate flag headlong disaster course vessel misguided charted this nautical numbskull hull sink in silence smoke – blow your chest out in hope sits spread-eagle on poor men piled high on truth mountain – last link in clarity’s chain you’ll not be thrown but dive and sink your pockets filled with earthly burdens when they could be filled with light and back with wings the sky is dark in daytime and still the blackbird’s beauty lyrics clean sing ye brothers and end this miserable thing and brush the darkRead More →

Hey Garland I Dig Your Tweed Coat as imagined by OpenAI

Hey Garland, I dig your tweed coat. I’ll trade you a domino this size, mothball-scented. The woman silk nude tie painting his chest. One celluloid stay exposed through his nibbled collar. Feet speckled the sidewalk. Faces gurgled through windows. Passing cars gum rubber streaks. Neon plants swim like green seaweed to a deep rhythm of blues. Red thyroid sunsets, flame in speckled chemistry. Pipes run off dark tubes. Erase into marks that pour the dye of darkness. Crystal comes together as silent as ink. “I don’t think I could let it go. I got it at the religious scene” Teeth let go, tobacco juice, anRead More →

My eyes are burnt and bleeding and all that looks like a monkey on a silver bar … big poop hatch with a cotton hatch – hatch holes that the light shows in and the light shows out … and the little red fence … and the wire and the wood … and the barbs and the berries … and the tires and the bottles and the car up on rims … and the heat swims on its fenders and the dust collects and the rust of autumn surrenders into gold … trumpet poop on the ground with peanuts its bell was blocking an ant’sRead More →

You hardly know a day goes by in the cardboard cutout sundown the moon popped up like a gallery duck sipped up gold from the sunny cup and longhorns sawed the buggy grass and a cowboy blew a harp sitting on his chapped ass and the prarie flowers didn’t look a bit queer and the stars struck the sand cartwheeled and poked in the prarie a cactus juice stand the only place the crows couldn’t land the bluebottle flies were as big as a cowboy’s eyes and their buzz was as loud as rattlers a fire engine red whistle blows raspberries in a cloud ofRead More →

1982 UK Original on Virgin V2237 With lyric inner. 1982 German (Ariola Euro Pressing) on Virgin 204 957-320 With lyric inner. 1982(?) New Zealand Original on Virgin Records V2237 marketed by RTC Cover as standard issue with logo andRTC Marketed by RTC P.O. Box 3825, Auckland. Label is Virgin Red/Green but with different layout and MADE IN NEW ZEALAND. Has monochrome lyric insert with RTC logo as cover. Inner sleeve is plain paper. 1982 Australian Original on Virgin V2237 by CBS Records Australia Ltd. (CBS MX 201900/1) Normal Red/Green Virgin Label Promo with This record is manufactured for the purpose of promotion only. It remainsRead More →

A premeditated Captain Beefheart album might seems a tad anachronistic to admirers of Cap’s staunch spontaneity and much of his new album is indeed of less-than-recent material. But the Beefheart bozos will be as relieved as I was when they slap this plentitude of typical warmth and depth onto their turntables. Yes, it is a masterpiece just as I predicted it would be and no, it matters not when Beef first composed these tunes. Even the ones dating back to the early seventies sound totally contemporary and would stand up in the best of company. There are only a few mysteries left in the universeRead More →

It happens every two or three years. Captain Beefheart, easily rock’s most abused underdog, after fifteen years of beating his head against fame’s door, issues another of his brilliant, confounding vinyl missives – vivid demanding documents of colliding technicolor imagery, exhausting primal rhythms divided into bizarre fractious and alien instrumental eloquence and the critics cry “Breakthrough! Hitsville! This is the one!” The rock comics’ oracle has predicted Beefheart’s commercial triumph so many times it’s no wonder the AOR mind-slaves dismiss it as the empty bluster of a few dozen typewriting malcontents. But just maybe this time he’s really pulled it off with this album’s breathlessRead More →

Don Van Vliet, who is better known as Captain Beefheart, is still in the forefront of rock’s avant-garde, more than 15 years after the release of his first album. Although he has polished his music and changed the personnel of his Magic Band a number of times since the mid-1960’s, the broad outlines of his style were already in place the first time he entered a recording studio. They include fractured rhythms; dislocated country blues riffs; disjunct melodies and passages of counterpoint that sometimes recall Stravinsky; extravagantly gruff singing and croaking, and occasional bursts of clattering noise. ”Ice Cream for Crow” (Virgin/ Epic), the 12thRead More →

TO THE casual observer, Captain Beefheart’s vibe must appear to be similar to the window blind painting he has created to adorn his latest batch of surreal surface barking. It looks and sounds a blur, right? No. You’ve got to scratch deep down to relieve this particular musical itch. You’ve got to get some of that dark paint under your fingernails. ‘Captain Beefburger’, as our illustrious Ed mockingly refers to him, wallows deep and silent for years shrouded by his own notoriety and then without warning, emerges into the musical gloom, armed with tunes and words of earthy energy that only he can properly manipulate.Read More →

Recording details: Date – May/June 1982 Studio – Warner Brothers Recording Studios Producer – Don Van Vliet Engineer – Phil Brown Musicians Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, sax, chinese gongs Jeff Moris Tepper – guitar Gary Lucas – guitar Richard Snyder – bass, marimba, viola Eric Drew Feldman – bass, piano Cliff Martinez – drums See Leach’s Listings for a thorough guide to who did what on Ice Cream For Crow, compiled for the Radar Station by Jasper Leach. Track list Ice Cream For Crow The Host The Ghost The Most Holy-O Semi-Multicoloured Caucasian Hey Garland I Dig Your Tweed Coat Evening Bell Cardboard Cutout SundownRead More →