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Arts & Entertainment / Re: Parsifal reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: May 04, 2020, 12:32:40 AM »
Saturday, 8 September, 1973
Vorst Nationaal, Brussel, België (Belgium)


Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Jean-Luc Ponty (violin)
George Duke (keyboards, vocals)
Ian Underwood (alto sax)
Bruce Fowler (trombone)
Ruth Underwood (percussion)
Tom Fowler (bass)
Ralph Humphrey (drums)

Set lists

The songs announced by Frank but not on the tape are printed like this.

The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue
Kung Fu
Penguin In Bondage
Dog Meat

Village Of The Sun
Echidna's Arf (Of You)
Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
Music For Broken Drum And Stella Artois
Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen's Church)

Brown Shoes Don't Make It
T'Mershi Duween


Let me begin by saying that this show is abysmally recorded. I have to concentrate very hard to hear individual details throughout, the tape is missing probably half of the show, and it's also very distorted at times. Nevertheless, the calibre of this band's performance makes it an enjoyable listen.

The first few minutes are a soundcheck similar to the 1972 show, in which Frank introduces each member of the band and they perform a little improv. You can tell Frank is in a good mood because Ruth gets introduced as "Stella Artois", and he introduces George Duke multiple times, once for each keyboard in his arsenal.

Frank scolds the local media and insists they stop taking pictures once the band starts playing so the flashes don't distract the audience, and then announces they are going to start with song from their new album, Montana. The "new album" is, of course, Over-Nite Sensation, which was released the day before this concert. However, Frank immediately changes his mind and says they will do The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue first.

After the first 30 seconds of Eric Dolphy, the tape cuts out, skipping over several songs (including, sadly, some new ones) to take us to Frank's introduction of the next medley, the classic Village/Echidna's/Wash combo from Roxy & Elsewhere. Village Of The Sun has an extended instrumental intro that sounds very different from any other version I've heard. It is sung by George, but the tape cuts out shortly after the vocals start and we get dropped into the middle of Echidna's Arf (which Frank introduces as "Excentrifugal Forz", not to be confused with the piece that ended up on Apostrophe (') with that title).

Don't You Ever Wash That Thing is, naturally, the improvisational hotspot it always was. George Duke gets to show off his chops, which is never a bad thing, and then we get a neat little drum solo from Ralph. I have to say that I prefer the Roxy drum duet with Chester Thompson, but this ain't bad either.

Next up, Frank announces that they have a broken drum that needs fixing before the next song, which turns out to be a blessing, as the resulting "Music For Broken Drum And Stella Artois" (Frank's own title for the full-band improv that fills in this gap) turns out to be a show highlight. George starts out playing a basic repeating rhythm on his synth, and other band members slowly join in until we have a bizarre conglomeration of weird noises from various instruments that somehow works fantastically together. Eventually, this quietens down and we get the first (recorded) Frank solo of the night, a quiet but empassioned affair reminiscent of the "Little House" theme that makes me want, for the first time ever, to actually pick up a bottle of Stella Artois.

Next we have another tape cut that lands us in the middle of Montana, which is impressive, given that the recorded part of the song is already nearly 12 minutes long. It turns out that the reason for this extension is that the usual guitar solo has been replaced with an extended solo section, in which George, Tom and finally Frank each get a chance to strut their stuff, and strut they do! The grooviness of these solos is rivalled only by the distortion on the tape, which makes it difficult to enjoy at times.

Frank then says good night, but that before they go, they will play "probably the most difficult number" in their repertoire, and gives a brief introduction to the Be-Bop Tango. This is not the audience participation extravaganza we would eventually get on Roxy, but instead just a quick run-through of the Be-Bop theme. Nice to hear, anyway.

When the band returns for the encore, Frank announces that "the name of this song is Brown Shoes Don't Make It", to raucous applause. This song is an odd choice with the limited vocal talents in this group. George Duke is an accomplished vocalist, of course, but his voice doesn't really suit this song, and Frank takes most of the other parts (there seems to be a third vocalist I can't identify, too). Nonetheless, the musicianship of this group shines through on this complex number, and makes the vocal deficiencies recede into the background.

Unfortunately, the tape cuts yet again halfway through, and the final snippet we get from this evening is a minute or so of what might be the world première of T'Mershi Duween. This is the only track of the evening in which Ponty's violin makes an audible difference, but after just a minute Frank says good night once more, and the tape ends. Sad!

If you are bothered by poor quality recordings, do not listen to this show. You will only cause great pain for yourself. However, if you can deal with a shitty tape of some of the finest musicianship you'll ever hear, this is absolutely a catch. The main highlight is actually the impromptu Music For Broken Drum And Stella Artois, with Montana and Brown Shoes Don't Make It getting honourable mentions from me. The good news is that I think this is the worst quality tape of the entire thread, and I still find this one (just) listenable, so the rest should be no problem.

It is your prerogative of course, but I am more concerned with my beliefs being true :)

And I'm fine with letting you believe what you want. Just please stop wasting people's time with poorly concocted arguments for why they shouldn't maintain the existing UA model.

We can discuss the points within it, but I won’t further discuss issues beyond it - unless you likewise provide published evidence as context.

That's fine by me. As far as I'm concerned, your objections to UA have been adequately refuted, and we can now all get on with more productive discussions in peace.

“Bottom line, I would like you to answer this one question. Is a 9.8 m s-2 proper acceleration in the observer's frame of reference negligible for the purposes of the muon experiment?”

NO! It is a dealbreaker! In UA,
that is indeed your proper acceleration, and SR is inapplicable. In RET, your proper acceleration standing on the earth’s surface is ZERO - because the Earth’s surface is in the way! If you’re in free-fall, then yes, now you’re fucked.

In UA, just by standing on the Earth, you are in a noninertial frame. In RET, standing on the Earth, you are in an inertial frame.

Nope. GR says that free-fall is an inertial frame of reference because you are following a geodesic in space-time. Being in contact with the surface of the Earth causes an upward proper acceleration of 9.8 m s-2 to stop you from falling, which is why gravity is a fictitious force. This is the equivalence principle.

So, given that your answer is "NO! It is a dealbreaker!", the clocks in the muon experiment cannot be considered inertial in either UA or RET with GR. As you have already indicated that you accept GR, I don't see how your case remains at all defensible.

Indeed, since you have asserted that a consequence of such a proper acceleration is that our observations would be inconsistent with reality, you must now surely conclude that neither UA nor GR can be valid, but I'll let you grapple with that one on your own.

So we are not at the scale of General relativity, we are in the weak field limit which reduces to Newton.

Please stop with this double standard. Either you can treat a 9.8 m s-2 acceleration as negligible in both RET and UA, or neither. Given that your whole argument is based on treating UA as non-negligible, we must use general relativity in RET to compare apples to apples.

But even if you appeal to GR’s construction of gravity as geometry, that does not posit gravity as a fictitious force in classical mechanics.

Indeed, GR instead posits that classical mechanics is incorrect, albeit useful in many non-relativistic situations. For the purposes of this discussion, the distinction between classical mechanics being wrong and classical mechanics treating gravity as a fictitious force is academic.

What is Einsteinian gravitation? You mean GR?


In UA, we are not an inertial frame. Yes? I think that is clear.  So you can’t USE special relativity.

Then we go back to my point that we are not in an inertial frame of reference according to RET, either. Your argument for why this doesn't matter was that the discrepancy between a non-inertial clock and an inertial one would be negligible in the time it takes for a muon to decay.

Either that argument holds, and special relativity applies with UA, or it doesn't hold and special relativity does not apply with RET. Once again, I would like to ask you to make up your mind.

Bottom line, I would like you to answer this one question. Is a 9.8 m s-2 proper acceleration in the observer's frame of reference negligible for the purposes of the muon experiment?

Fictitious forces are identified by not having a corresponding potential. The coriolis and centrifugal forces are examples. Gravity has a potential, and so derives from potential theory. Hence, by definition, gravity is not a fictitious force.

If you accept general relativity and its description of gravitation, then gravity is a fictitious force. Do you accept general relativity?

Going back to the muon then. If the Earth was accelerating with UA, then we would experience time dilation.

Ditto if the Earth is round with Einsteinian gravitation.

So the muon’s lifetime would be shorter - it would “age” faster.

No, that does not follow. The muon is moving at relativistic speeds relative to us, therefore we observe its decay to take longer. Unlike the equivalence principle, this isn't even getting into general relativity, this is basic special relativity.

If the muon instead was relativistic - rather than the Earth
The results show that the muon lives longer. Ergo, it is relativistic. Not us.

Being "relativistic" is a relative property. I don't feel like this should need to be pointed out, as it is in the name, but here we go anyway. If two observers A and B are moving at 0.9c with respect to one another, then A is relativistic from B's frame of reference and B is relativistic from A's frame of reference. This is, again, basic special relativity.

Thus, a muon moving at 0.9c with respect to the Earth is the same thing as the Earth moving at 0.9c with respect to a muon. This follows directly from the idea that there is no absolute frame of reference, which you earlier agreed with.

It is difficult to respond to your points when you make such contradictory statements, because you are now throwing points we have already established agreement upon out of the window. Do we need to go back to basics?

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Parsifal reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: May 03, 2020, 12:54:30 AM »
Saturday, 16 September, 1972
Oval Cricket Ground, London, United Kingdom


Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Tony Duran (slide guitar)
Ian Underwood (synthesizer)
Malcolm McNab (trumpet)
Sal Marquez (trumpet)
Tom Malone (tuba)
Bruce Fowler (trombone)
Glenn Ferris (trombone)
Ken Shroyer (trombone)
Jay Migliori (flute, saxophone, clarinet)
Mike Altschul (woodwinds)
Ray Reed (saxophone, clarinet)
Charles Owens (saxophone, clarinet)
Joanne McNabb (bassoon)
Earle Dumler (oboe)
Jerry Kessler (cello)
Tom Raney (percussion)
Ruth Underwood (percussion)
Dave Parlato (bass)
Jim Gordon (drums)

Set lists

Big Swifty
The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary
Think It Over
Dog Meat

Penis Dimension
Variant Processional March


This show is from the brief but beautiful "Grand Wazoo" tour, and from looking at the list of band members, it should be immediately apparent what is so "grand" about it. This is, obviously, the London show of the tour, which took place the day before the concert in The Hague (of which there are no known recordings). After the loss of Flo & Eddie, Frank seems to have decided to go back on the road with instrumental music while searching for a new lead vocalist—the only "vocals" in this show are Frank's introduction before each piece.

The concert starts off with an 11-minute live soundcheck, which sounds like it would be really boring but is actually a really nice intro, as we get to hear each musician do a brief solo to make sure the audience can hear them properly. Before launching into the first piece, Frank warns the audience that woodwind instruments "in this temperature" (cold, apparently) have a tendency to drift out of tune, and that they'll check periodically if they're still in tune during the show. It's small remarks like this about the environment that remind the listener that it's a real concert—easy to forget when you're listening comfortably to a tape at home.

The band launches into a primordial but tight arrangement of Big Swifty, which is essentially just a vehicle for some dooty solos. Now, I don't know this band nearly well enough to tell you who is soloing, but one of the saxophonists takes the first spot. It's a really good solo, and quotes what sounds to me like King Kong, although it's vague enough that it might just be an incidental resemblence.

The next solo is one of the trumpetists, who gives us some more solid doots, but nothing spectacular. Then Frank steps up on guitar, and gives us what may be the most mellow and contemplative Swifty guitar solo I've ever heard. It's unmistakably Frank's playing style, yet he's much more laid back than the rock 'n' roll we're used to from him. Towards the end, he plays what sounds to me like an embryonic form of Zomby Woof—a quote, or is this a composition in progress?

Frank then introduces "something a little peculiar", and gives us a 2-minute overview of the story of Greggery Peccary we're all familiar with, essentially a condensed form of the lyrics on Studio Tan, except that the "philostopher" is named "Quentin Albert de Nameland" at this early stage. The performance itself is essentially an instrumental arrangement of the orchestral parts that would wind up on Studio Tan. It's very well executed and every bit as enjoyable, but without the rock parts and vocals it feels like the story isn't all there. Nevertheless, the "New Brown Clouds" theme is just as satisfying and intense a closer as on the album.

After a brief pause while the PA system eats it and Frank waits until it stops deafening the audience with a grating buzzing noise, he introduces the next song as "Think It Over". This is an early title for what would be released as "The Grand Wazoo". As on the album, this is a very basic melody tying together what is essentially a simple shuffle vamp used as a solo vehicle. We get some dicey sax doots, followed by some brief keys and slide guitar, before being dropped right into the strangest trombone solo you ever heard.

The first 20 seconds or so of this boner are just bending the same note up and down in weird and wonderful ways, really showing off what a trombone does best, before veering sharply into funky town as the rhythm section follows this soloist into uncharted territory. It wouldn't surprise me if this solo was Bruce's work; this alone would explain why Frank kept working with him over the next 16 years.

We get a more conventional trumpet solo next, which is pleasing but fails to stand out to this listener's ear. After a few more doots from the whole band, we finally get a Frank solo, which... fails to impress at all after the majesty of the doots that preceded it. It might just be the mix on this tape, as I can barely hear Frank's guitar at times, but it really doesn't feel like his heart is in it at all.

After Frank, we have a slide guitar solo from Tony, which is far more satisfying, driving this head-boppy shuffle vamp on to new heights. More horn solos follow, but it's very difficult to hear them by this point—I wonder if the crowd in front of the taper got up to dance, because I have no other explanation for the sudden deterioration in quality.

After another run through the head, the piece closes with a short but sweet synth solo from Ian, echoing the chaos the '60s Mothers used to present us with on a nightly basis. This 20-minute rendition is, on the whole, far more enjoyable than the version on The Grand Wazoo, and I wish there were better quality recordings available from this tour.

Frank introduces the next song as "Dog Meat", explaining that it combines "Dog Breath" with "Uncle Meat". This arrangement, with the big band of this tour, sounds a lot like the orchestral one on The Yellow Shark 20 years later. No doubt Frank was thrilled at this opportunity to add a new dimension to his early compositions. I'm going to stop writing and enjoy this now, as it is one of my all-time favourites and this version is damn fantastic.

For the encore, Frank dedicates the first piece to "the lady who runs the Albert Hall", because "this is the piece we were going to play that kept us out of the Albert Hall". Frank invites anyone who knows the words to "hum right along to yourself", and then the band launches into an instrumental arrangement of Penis Dimension. I must say, the value of this composition really shines through without the terrible lyrics. Mercifully, the section that used to be a Mark Volman monologue is now a short but sweet trombone solo from Bruce.

Penis Dimension segues, as usual for this tour, into Variant Processional March, an embryonic form of the Regyption Strut we know and love from Sleep Dirt. Here, it is played somewhat faster than on that album, but all the pieces are there and it's every bit as brilliant.

A rare example of a purely instrumental Zappa concert from the biggest band he ever toured with, this is a tape to be cherished. The quality isn't consistent throughout, but it's mostly very listenable, and the music is impeccable, with the lengthy improvisations really showing off the standards Frank had for his musicians. Definitely well worth a listen, and I'll see ye soon for 1973.

Technology & Information / Post your XCompose file
« on: May 02, 2020, 07:15:40 PM »
Code: [Select]
include "%L"

## Emoji

<Multi_key> <1> <0> <0> : "💯" # 100
<Multi_key> <o> <k> : "👌" # ok hand
<Multi_key> <p> <o> <o> : "💩" # pile of poo

## IPA

### Letters

<Multi_key> <a> <a> : "ɑ" # open back unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <a> <o> : "ɒ" # open back rounded vowel
<Multi_key> <B> <B> : "ʙ" # bilabial trill
<Multi_key> <B> <b> : "β" # voiced bilabial fricative
<Multi_key> <E> <E> : "ɛ" # open-mid front unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <E> <a> : "ɜ" # open-mid central unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <e> <a> : "ɐ" # near-open central unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <e> <i> : "ɘ" # close-mid central unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <e> <o> : "ɤ" # close-mid back unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <G> <G> : "ɢ" # voiced uvular stop
<Multi_key> <g> <h> : "ɣ" # voiced velar fricative
<Multi_key> <g> <i> : "ɟ" # voiced palatal stop
<Multi_key> <g> <n> : "ɲ" # palatal nasal
<Multi_key> <h> <g> : "ɦ" # breathy-voiced glottal fricative
<Multi_key> <I> <I> : "ɪ" # near-close near-front unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <l> <l> : "ɫ" # velarised alveolar lateral approximant
<Multi_key> <m> <g> : "ɱ" # labiodental nasal
<Multi_key> <N> <N> : "ɴ" # uvular nasal
<Multi_key> <o> <c> : "ɔ" # open-mid back rounded vowel
<Multi_key> <r> <d> : "ɾ" # alveolar flap
<Multi_key> <R> <R> : "ʀ" # uvular trill
<Multi_key> <R> <r> : "ʁ" # voiced uvular fricative
<Multi_key> <r> <r> : "ɹ" # alveolar approximant
<Multi_key> <s> <h> : "ʃ" # voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant
<Multi_key> <T> <h> : "θ" # voiceless dental fricative
<Multi_key> <u> <o> : "ʊ" # near-close near-back rounded vowel
<Multi_key> <v> <v> : "ʌ" # open-mid back unrounded vowel
<Multi_key> <v> <w> : "ʋ" # labiodental approximant
<Multi_key> <w> <h> : "ʍ" # voiceless labiovelar fricative
<Multi_key> <X> <X> : "χ" # voiceless uvular fricative
<Multi_key> <Y> <Y> : "ʏ" # near-close near-front rounded vowel
<Multi_key> <z> <h> : "ʒ" # voiced palato-alveolar sibilant
<Multi_key> <question> <h> : "ʔ" # glottal stop

### Spacing diacritics

<Multi_key> <g> <g> : "ˠ" # velarised
<Multi_key> <h> <h> : "ʰ" # aspirated
<Multi_key> <j> <j> : "ʲ" # palatalised
<Multi_key> <w> <w> : "ʷ" # labialised

### Combining diacritics

<Multi_key> <bracketleft> <bracketleft> : "̩" # syllabic
<Multi_key> <braceleft> <braceleft> : "̍" # syllabic above
<Multi_key> <bracketright> <bracketright> : "̯" # non-syllabic
<Multi_key> <braceright> <braceright> : "̑" # non-syllabic above
<Multi_key> <d> <n> : "̪" # dental
<Multi_key> <h> <period> : "̥" # voiceless

### Suprasegmentals

<Multi_key> <colon> <colon> : "ː" # long
<Multi_key> <apostrophe> <apostrophe> : "ˈ" # primary stress
<Multi_key> <comma> <comma> : "ˌ" # secondary stress

As you can see, I've been accumulating quite a lot of IPA key combinations. This is helpful for unambiguously representing pronunciation across a variety of different languages. The logic for which combinations produce which letters isn't always consistent, but it makes sense to me (it's usually based on the orthographies of languages I have already learnt, or else visual similarity to the IPA letter).

Furthermore, think back to your physics course. Did you compute a block sliding down an incline? I’m sure you did. How did you do this problem without introducing fictitious forces that arise from a noninertial frame?

How would you do this without the fictitious force of gravity?

You do not need a clock at the inner core, because on the timescales of the experiment (really it’s the spacetime interval) the clock on the core and another on the surface will remain synchronized (enough).

I agree. But this is equally true in FET as in RET, which is my whole point. (Except, of course, that there is no inner core in FET, so replace "the core" with "an inertial frame of reference beginning at rest with respect to the clock on the surface".)

A point on the Earth is orbiting the sun, orbiting the center of the milky way, rotating, and standing on the surface means you are not in free-fall.

All of these things mean that a location on the Earth is not an inertial reference frame.

Actually, only the last one means you are not in free-fall. An orbit is a free-fall.

I think a lot of this argument is about semantics.

It is not. The point, which has apparently been missed by all involved, is that a frame of reference using a point on the Earth's surface as a fixed point approximates a non-inertial frame of reference precisely as well in FET as in RET. In both cases, there is a proper acceleration of 9.8 m s-2.

Oh dear, well it looks like this discussion has reached an impasse. Not sure where all the anger is coming from.

There is no anger, but I agree we seem to have reached an impasse, as you continue trying to "explain" incorrect physics to me rather than respond to my points. Teaching other people generally will not get you anywhere if they do not recognise you as more knowledgeable than they are.

“The Earth is not a frame of reference.”

Yeah...this stuff is covered in like the first week of physics I. The earth is taken as a reference frame all the time. Look in any physics text. Literally ANY.

Look, this is not correct, and I have studied physics at university level. The primary reason the Earth cannot be a frame of reference is that, particularly in RET, different parts of the Earth are moving at different velocities as it rotates. That is, different places on Earth are in different frames of reference, even in Newtonian physics.

Now, it is common in introductory physics textbooks to use one fixed point somewhere on the Earth's surface to define a frame of reference. This is very, very far from using the Earth itself as a frame of reference, which simply makes no sense at all.

The reason this is significant in this particular discussion is that it is possible in RET to select a point on the Earth—namely, its centre of mass—to define an inertial frame of reference, given modelling assumptions that ignore external forces such as the solar wind and meteor showers. But unless you have access to a clock measuring muon decay times located in the inner core, this is entirely irrelevant.

So it is clear that there is misunderstanding of the basics, yet you are accusing me of being wrong about them - and being rather rude about it too.

At the risk of devolving this discussion into personal attacks, might I point out that you have been accusing me of not understanding basics as well, even though your grasp of them is very obviously lacking? I don't appreciate the double standard of being called rude for returning the courtesy.

I would appreciate it if we could focus on the subject matter rather than you avoiding responding to my points by just telling me I don't understand basics.

Anyway, back to your point. I think you may have some confusion between inertial frames versus rest frames. I tried to help delineate this for you in my post (that you said you didn’t read).

I never said that. You're the one who, for some reason, keeps claiming I didn't read a post that I responded to, not me. Given that the post in question is utterly wrong, and contains such absurd phrases as "a noninertial frame with respect to", I don't have much regard for what you think I might be confused about.

Lemme know if you’d like to start fresh. We can renormalize to the crux of the matter, which is the distance and time scales where taking the Earth to be an inertial frame is appropriate and when it is not.

Sorry, what? You don't "take" a frame of reference to be inertial, it either is inertial or it isn't. Furthermore, the Earth is not a frame of reference, it is an object consisting of mostly rock and water. Objects are not frames of reference.

The reply before - which is what you are referencing, did not make that claim.

Not explicitly, no, but you did imply it:

Inertial frames reside within this framework, but if you leave it and reference, for example, the CMB, then nothing is an inertial frame.

The CMB has absolutely nothing to do with whether something is an inertial frame of reference or not. Indeed, since inertiality is not a relative property, no other frame of reference is relevant. I'm not even sure why you brought it up.

Yeah, that’s what my previous reply said...glad we agree.

No, your previous reply went off on a tangent about the CMB, as though that is some sort of absolute frame of reference. I ignored everything after the point at which you made that error, because any argument based on a flawed assertion is also flawed.

What is an inertial frame? What absolute standard of rest do we reference?

There is no "absolute standard of rest". This has been generally accepted in the context of Einsteinian relativity for over a century, and Newtonian relativity for far longer. Once again, I invite you to publish if you have evidence to the contrary.

To answer your question, an inertial frame of reference is one without a proper acceleration.

That is not quite correct either, because the muon lifetime has been pinned down using other collision experiments. Hence, We also can identify the inertial frame to be the Earth.

Have you published a paper on this? I'm sure modern science would be fascinated to know how you concluded that (the surface of) the Earth is an inertial frame of reference, given that it would discredit the past century of modern physics.

If the Earth was hurtling towards the muons at near c then the muons would take 10 times longer to decay.

Your reasoning here is completely backwards.

You start with the calculated speed of these muons based on observations combined with the RE model. You then plug this RE-derived speed into the FE model (using a frame of reference corresponding to the Earth's velocity hundreds of years ago, for some reason) and conclude that the prediction of their decay time doesn't match observations. No shit?

That's not how science works. The only variable in this entire calculation that has been directly measured is the muons' decay time, which tells us their speed relative to the Earth. Any and all calculation of other variables must be done using a consistent model.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Parsifal reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: April 25, 2020, 12:54:20 AM »
Saturday, 27 November, 1971
The Ahoy, Rotterdam
Geef mij wat vloerbedekking...


Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Mark Volman (vocals)
Howard Kaylan (vocals)
Don Preston (keyboards)
Ian Underwood (keyboards, alto sax)
Jim Pons (bass, vocals)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)

Set lists

All tracks authored by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

Zanti Serenade
Call Any Vegetable
Anyway The Wind Blows
Magdalena (Howard Kaylan, Zappa)
Dog Breath
Divan (Once Upon A Time/Sofa/Stick It Out/Divan)
A Pound For A Brown (q: Grand Wazoo)
Sleeping In A Jar
Wonderful Wino (Zappa, Jeff Simmons)
Cruising For Burgers

Peaches En Regalia
Tears Began To Fall
Shove It Right In
Billy The Mountain

200 Motels Finale
I Want To Hold Your Hand (John Lennon, Paul McCartney)
Who Are The Brain Police?


This concert couldn't be more different from last year's shows. Although the band still has Flo & Eddie on lead vocals, the combination of their role being somewhat more restrained and the new material (particularly the two rock opera-style epics, "Divan" and "Billy The Mountain") actually makes their undeniable vocal talents a blessing rather than a curse. Most of the official releases from this band come from a handful of shows, of which most were from the more embryonic US tour and one was the final show of the tour in London using borrowed equipment (after all their touring gear was burnt to a crisp by some stupid with a flare gun in Montreux). This makes tapes such as this one an especially precious resource.

The show opens, as does every European concert from this tour, with Zanti Serenade. This is essentially just Don Preston fooling around with his synth as the rest of the band slowly joins in, in an orgasmic sort of group improvisation. This version is better than the one on Playground Psychotics (from the London show) but not as long or out there as the one on Swiss Cheese/Fire! (from the Montreux show).

We then run through a couple of Mothers classics, including an absolutely kickass Call Any Vegetable guitar solo and a much-better-than-1970 closing monologue from Frank, talking about all the crap that comes floating down to Rotterdam from the rivers in France and Germany. We get a nice segue into Anyway The Wind Blows by means of a story from (I think) Howard about his visit to Amsterdam's Red Light District. The song itself is, as always, excellent, and played at a slow tempo like the one on Swiss Cheese/Fire! and not at all like the one on Freak Out!.

Next up is the Dutch première of Magdalena, sounding much like the Just Another Band From L.A. version, except that this time Howard is going to buy her windmill clocks and wooden shoes. Thankfully, the segue into Dog Breath has survived intact, as one of the better pairings from this band. Dog Breath is also played as on Just Another Band—for my money, the best version of this song that ever was—but with a couple of tasty little guitar solos that were presumably edited out of that album to fit it onto the LP.

Then the show really kicks into gear. Frank announces "the moment you've all been waiting for, the Mothers of Invention singing in Dutch for eight bars". The first part of Divan is, of course, Once Upon A Time (as heard on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, vol. 1), but instead of the usual German lyrics, we get "geef mij wat vloerbedekking onder deze vette zwevende sofa". According to Frank, the Lord then had to speak in German for the rest of the song to fulfil his contractual obligations, telling the crowd "you can sleep through this part", to which Mark replies "we do". Thus, we are sadly deprived of a version of Divan entirely in Dutch, and the band launches into a Sofa like the one we all know and love.

If you've heard Swiss Cheese/Fire!, Divan proceeds much as on that liberated bootleg. If not, we get a brief monologue from Frank to introduce God's girlfriend and her magic pig, taking us to the original version of Stick It Out. This is nothing like the version that would wind up on Joe's Garage. For one thing, it's not disco. For another, Flo & Eddie sing it much, much better than Ike Willis ever could. This is a song that must be heard before you die. No, seriously.

The final part of Divan (released on its own as simply "Divan" on Playground Psychotics, because apparently Frank couldn't bring himself to release any of his compositions in one piece) has Flo & Eddie chanting ambiently over a quiet waltz beat while the conclusion to the story is told in a variety of very Zappaesque ways that are difficult to describe. I love this song but it's really beyond words. Just get a copy of either Swiss Cheese/Fire! or Carnegie Hall and listen for yourself.

After that mind-blowing experience, we're back in familiar territory with the Pound For A Brown theme. This heralds another fantastic guitar solo from Frank. Where are the official releases of this stuff? How did we get countless fragments of Flo & Eddie chatting about inane crap on Playground Psychotics while beautiful music like this exists? I'm just grateful a community of tapers existed and a community of enthusiasts exists to share recordings like this one, so this material is not lost forever to the ages.

The Wonderful Wino/Sharleena/Cruising For Burgers combo is another classic, showcasing just how enjoyable Flo & Eddie's improvs could be when they're not making penis jokes constantly. This grouping has been released on both Playground Psychotics and Swiss Cheese/Fire!, and there's not much to note here that isn't on those albums. But holy fucking shit can Mark and Howard sing.

After a brief intermission, the band returns to the stage and we get some nice teases from Frank on guitar and someone (I think it's Don) on synth. Then the band launches into Peaches En Regalia, to tremendous applause. This is, of course, the first part in another great medley with Tears Began To Fall and Shove It Right In, which Frank infuriatingly gave us half of on Fillmore East—June 1971 and the other half on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, vol. 6. The full thing can, of course, be heard on Swiss Cheese/Fire!, and all of these releases are representative of what is played here, though that doesn't diminish its enjoyability. For the record, Shove It Right In is much less dull than most of the 200 Motels live material, which is probably why Frank kept it and dropped the rest.

Then Frank turns it up another notch. He starts by announcing that they're going to play a new piece for the first time anywhere in Europe (which is provably not the case, but anyway) called Billy The Mountain. By now we have several official releases of this, of course, but for the benefit of 1971 concert-goers he gives a brief summary of the story. The song itself is, as usual, adapted for the local audience, with a narcotics crackdown in various named Dutch towns "and numerous others this reporter can't even begin to pronounce", and Queen Juliana being the one seeking a criminal indictment.

Studebaker Hoch is, naturally, a Dutchman in this rendition. The whole band continues making tasteful (unlike in 1970) local (unlike in many later years) references throughout the midsection of the song, making this already a candidate for my favourite Billy The Mountain. But the best is yet to come, as the second half of this 52-minute performance is mostly taken up by the solo section that was tragically cut out of the Just Another Band release.

Don takes the first Billy solo tonight, generally putting the Playground Psychotics version to shame and setting the standard for many George Duke and Peter Wolf solos in years to come. Ian whips it out next on sax, reminding us of why Frank hired him in the first place with some of the most beautiful doots this group ever bore witness to. Even Aynsley gets a turn here, and while he doesn't have the same technical proficiency that later Zappa drummers would, he knows how to rock out and he's not afraid to show us.

Finally, the master steps up to play his guitar. Aynsley's drum solo falls back to nothingness and Frank starts throwing blues licks at us with no accompaniment at all. He eventually picks up a rhythm which both the band and the audience join in with, sounding a lot like the track "Heidelberg" from One Shot Deal. Without a doubt, this is the best guitar solo I have ever heard from Frank at such an early point in his career. And once again, how the hell is there nothing like this on the official catalogue? (Disclaimer: I have yet to hear the Carnegie Hall version, but from what I know that guitar solo is not like this one.)

Frank's solo segues seamlessly back into the Studebaker Hoch theme and the end of this incredible masterpiece, which sounds basically the same as on Just Another Band. Don't fuck with Billy, everyone. The band gets a well-deserved round of deafening applause as they leave the stage.

When Frank returns for the encore, he announces that they are going to play the finale from 200 Motels, to more applause. This version sounds exactly like the one on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, vol. 6, except for Howard's closing monologue, in which he encourages women to follow his bus back to the hotel in Amsterdam so he can get laid.

With no announcement or warning, the band then launches straight into a deadpan rendition of the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Incidentally, this is also the last song this band would ever perform—in London two weeks later, a fan would get annoyed with Frank for making eyes at his girlfriend during this song, prompting him to climb on stage and push Frank into the orchestra pit. It's a little eerie to hear for that reason.

The final number for tonight is Who Are The Brain Police?, which this band has obviously become extremely comfortable with by now—it has never rocked harder, and Frank gives us one last badass solo effort on his way out. The audience claps along the whole way through, which muffles the sound of the band somewhat but adds a feeling of joviality. And honestly, after a show this good, can anyone blame them?

This 164-minute behemoth is a unique document of the Flo & Eddie band at its peak. The following week, the band's equipment would be destroyed in a fire in Montreux, and the week after that, Frank would get seriously injured by a deranged fan in London, breaking up this band for good. Flo & Eddie would never perform with Frank again. There are no more recordings available of Dutch shows from here until 1976, so the next few shows will be from other countries to fill in the gap. I don't expect them to live up to the majesty of this performance, though. Until next time, vloerbedekking!

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Parsifal reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: April 19, 2020, 12:46:53 AM »
Sunday, 6 December, 1970
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Late show


Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Mark Volman (vocals)
Howard Kaylan (vocals)
George Duke (keyboards, trombone)
Ian Underwood (keyboards, alto sax)
Jeff Simmons (bass, vocals)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)

Set lists

All tracks authored by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

Paladin Routine (q: Have Gun—Will Travel (Bernard Herrmann))
Call Any Vegetable
Penis Dimension (q: Wipe Out (Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, Ron Wilson))
Easy Meat

Little House I Used To Live In
Mudshark (q: 409 (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher))
Holiday In Berlin
Cruising For Burgers
What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening? (q: One (Harry Nilsson))
What Kind Of Girl?
Bwana Dik
Latex Solar Beef
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
Do You Like My New Car?
Happy Together (Gary Bonner, Alan Gordon)
King Kong (incl. Igor's Boogie, Chunga's Revenge)

Who Are The Brain Police?


This appears to have been taped by the same person as the early show, as the tape suffers from many of the same level and noise problems. To make matters worse, this show is nearly twice as long as the early show and consists of much of the same material. I have a feeling I'm going to regret this.

The show kicks off with the Paladin Routine, which is more of Flo & Eddie clowning around on stage, this time pretending to be cowboys. I won't bore you with any more detail than that.

The first actual song is an extended version of Call Any Vegetable. At its core, this is the same arrangement from the VPRO TV broadcast, but it runs for 18 minutes. There are two reasons for this. The good reason is that the solo section has been extended, and we get lengthy solos from both George and Frank over a much more relaxed vamp. The bad reason is that after the solos, we get Frank blathering on about European pornography and how important the closing words of the song are while avoiding singing them for as long as possible. The one saving grace here is that we learn that the "pig book" and "dog book" referred to in Strictly Genteel are actually European porn magazines, and Flo & Eddie chant "it's the same girl in the pig book as in the dog book" a few times, which is of course entirely necessary to get the point across.

Penis Dimension is next. If you've seen or heard 200 Motels, you know exactly how sophomoric this song is. If you've read the title, you also know exactly how sophomoric this song is. The great blessing here is that Frank has extended this song to 13 minutes for live performance, which is coincidentally how old Flo & Eddie sound while performing it.

Easy Meat is a surprisingly groovy treat to round out set 1, sounding a lot like the 1978 arrangement as heard on Saarbrucken 1978, complete with a tasty guitar solo from Frank—though obviously not yet on the same level of tastiness that we'd get in '78. It's easy to see why this is one of the few pieces from this era that survived to later tours, as despite the lyrics being about as adolescent as everything else in 200 Motels, the music kicks ass.

The next set begins the same way that Fillmore East—June 1971 would, with Little House I Used To Live In, but instead of just singing "la la la" here, Flo & Eddie make themselves sound even less sophisticated, with chants of "penis dimension" and "my penis is a monster" over the top of what was once a classic instrumental. Mudshark is mercifully brief here, dropping us into Holiday In Berlin.

I love this piece even when it's an instrumental, and it's one of the few early Flo & Eddie numbers with lyrics that don't talk about a penis in any capacity, so this one gets a thumbs up from me. This version is like the one on Freaks & Motherfu*#@%!, complete with the guitar solo section that would soon be transplanted onto Inca Roads. The guitar solo itself is nothing spectacular, but not bad. It might just be hearing it hot on the heels of an onslaught of penis jokes, but this is a highlight of the evening for me. It makes a nice pair with the following (after a segue) Cruising For Burgers, too.

Once the applause from Cruising For Burgers dies down, Frank has the courtesy to warn us that what's coming next will be familiar to anyone who was at the early show, presumably so that anyone affected can ready their earplugs. Please read yesterday's review for a full description of how mind-numbingly dull this next medley is. I can't bring myself to write it out again.

The happiest moment of my life came when Happy Together made an awkward segue into a 21-minute rendition of King Kong, which closes the main set for tonight. Aside from the occasional exclamation or squeal from Flo & Eddie for some reason, this gives us a welcome break from this band's usual antics and a return to musicianship.

George goes first, starting out on piano with no accompaniment, and going through a scat section much like The Nancy & Mary Music from Chunga's Revenge (which is a King Kong extract from earlier in this tour). Then we get another piano solo, this time over full-band accompaniment. A very agreeable performance.

After George finishes his thing, the band runs through performances of Igor's Boogie and Chunga's Revenge, which act as a bridge into Frank's very interesting and off-the-wall guitar solo. After an awkward 20 seconds or so of quiet vamping, Aynsley takes the next spot, delivering an enjoyable if subdued effort.

Then, 2 minutes before the end of King Kong, Frank decides that just the thing needed to destroy this piece too is to conduct the audience through mimicry of some of the noises Flo & Eddie have been making while the band behind them does their best to ignore it. Fortunately, this doesn't last very long before Frank ends the song and says goodnight.

The band comes back to do the groovy rearrangement of Who Are The Brain Police? as an encore. At least they left on a positive note.

This show reaches something approximating enjoyable four times: During Easy Meat, Holiday In Berlin/Cruising For Burgers, King Kong and Who Are The Brain Police?. For a 2-hour concert, that is a shocking track record, although it is an improvement over the early show. Before these reviews, I hadn't listened to any 1970 shows in years, and it is my strong hope to repeat that streak now. Good riddance.

Technology & Information / Re: AMD's new 7nm Ryzen 3000 - thoughts?
« on: April 18, 2020, 02:59:30 PM »
Encoding a 4.2 GB DVD image from MVK to Mp4 used to take 2-3 hours.  Now it took 3 minutes.  God damn, I love this processor.

That doesn't make any sense. Matroska is not a codec, it is a container format that encapsulates other codecs. MPEG-4 is a set of related standards, of which one is a container format and one is the video codec H.264.

If you have a Matroska file which contains H.264 video, then there is no video transcoding involved in converting it to MPEG-4, only copying it into a new container. I suspect this is responsible for the enormous difference you see.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Parsifal reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: April 17, 2020, 06:13:11 PM »
Sunday, 6 December 1970
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Early show


Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Mark Volman (vocals)
Howard Kaylan (vocals)
George Duke (keyboards, trombone)
Ian Underwood (keyboards, alto sax)
Jeff Simmons (bass, vocals)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)

Set lists

All tracks authored by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

The Oak Tree (incl. White Christmas (Irving Berlin))
King Kong (incl. Igor's Boogie, q: Chunga's Revenge)
What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?
What Kind Of Girl?
Bwana Dik
Latex Solar Beef
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
Do You Like My New Car?
Happy Together (Gary Bonner, Alan Gordon)
Who Are The Brain Police?

Concentration Moon
Mom & Dad


Well, my luck was bound to run out eventually. After a run of very good quality tapes, this is the first where the recording quality actually makes the concert difficult to enjoy. It's technically a stereo recording, but it might as well not be, as the only thing I hear that's not perfectly centred is hissing and distortion, and the band itself sounds like it's at the opposite end of the concert hall from the taper (which it probably is). A lot of echo, muffled sounds and poorly balanced mixing plague this recording throughout, and Frank's voice is nearly inaudible. Unfortunately, Flo & Eddie's voices survived intact.

Still, it's not the worst tape I've heard, so let's try to listen past that. The show opens with a Christmas story called "The Oak Tree", "while we fix the electric organ". According to Frank, this is a popular story with Germans because of the way it ends. It's actually very hard to follow the story, partly due to the poor recording quality and partly because a lot of the jokes seem to be visual—there's a lot of laughing going on while nobody in the band is saying anything. As far as I can tell, the band is clowning around on stage and someone—I believe Jeff Simmons—is playing the part of a reindeer. From what I've heard, this was one of the main reasons why Jeff wound up leaving the band, as he didn't enjoy this kind of performance.

The first actual piece of music we get is King Kong, which is an awful lot like the version from the VPRO TV broadcast. George Duke quotes Chunga's Revenge during his solo, and after Frank and Ian take their turns we get a nice drum solo from Aynsley. (The VPRO performance contains extended drum fills in between Ian's playing, but nothing I would call a drum solo.) The tape is muffled enough, however, that it makes all these solos difficult to enjoy.

After King Kong, Frank spends a few minutes introducing the next set, which begins with "What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?" from 200 Motels. He gives a brief overview of the subject matter, the details of which I will spare you. The band then plays the song, which I usually find to be a dull one, but here it is a welcome respite from Frank talking about it.

Next we get the big medley that would wind up on Fillmore East—June 1971—well, almost. In this early incarnation, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" takes the place that "Willie The Pimp" would on the record, and hence "Latex Solar Beef" consists of just Flo & Eddie screeching the words without the Willie vamp. The rest is largely performed as on Fillmore, from the delightful slow blues of "What Kind Of Girl?" (always a treat in spite of the lyrics) to a 10-minute rendition of "Do You Like My New Car?" (no, the extra 3 minutes aren't any funnier, but we non-Americans do get an explanation of what "the bullet" is).

By the time "Happy Together" rolls around it's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. To round things off, we get a kickass rock 'n' roll version of "Who Are The Brain Police?" (as heard on Disconnected Synapses), probably by way of apology for giving Flo & Eddie microphones. The concert then ends with a couple of We're Only In It For The Money songs, sounding much, much better rehearsed than they did on VPRO TV 6 months ago, and much more like the versions on Playground Psychotics.

The main redeeming quality of this show is that the poor quality tape is mostly recording poor quality Flo & Eddie material. The Fillmore medley sounds horribly disjointed by the fact that Latex Solar Beef does not yet have proper backing music, and this King Kong isn't remarkable by comparison with other, better recorded, performances. The last few songs redeem the concert somewhat, but it's too little too late. This is why I prefer to forget this band.

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