Saturday, May 15, 2010

KFJC Declares Today "Frank Zappa Day"

KFJC-FM, my favorite radio station, as part of its annual "May Mayhem" series of specials, is dedicating May 15, 2010 to the wonderfully indescribable and original music of composer-arranger-guitarist-bandleader Frank Zappa.

I thank Frank personally for expanding my horizons as a listener. After repeated listenings to Mr. Zappa's instrumental and orchestral works in particular, the very cornerstones of cutting-edge 20th century music - from Euro-classical music (in its many flavors) and varied types of world music to post-bop jazz to blues to doo-wop to Sondheim to film soundtrack music to the farthest frontiers of "prog rock" - were no longer utterly beyond my limited understanding.

What was once frightening, incomprehensible or "too old" (A.K.A. yours truly, at that point a Level One Listener, didn't get it) miraculously became music I could both comprehend and enjoy.

Once one "gets" Frank Zappa, the shackles of Level One Listening - marked by the unshakable belief that only a "single melody with accompaniment" format qualifies as "music" - are gone, gone, gone. Those with the patience to learn are rewarded a hundredfold.

click here before the Pacific Standard Time witching hour that ends May 15, 2010 arrives, and enjoy the genre-defying music of Mr. Zappa.

Then check out the inevitable film clip, in this case from a 1976 appearance on The Mike Douglas Show.

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