Thoughts / Experiences / Opinions on Captain Beefheart?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by greenoort, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. greenoort

    greenoort Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hey! I've been listening to Safe as Milk and Trout Mask Replica again for the first time and a while and I forget how amazing they both are. Trout Mask has this certain mystique about it, even almost 50 years later, it kind of stands on this big hill and hasn't been moved like this complex avant-garde / weird music stonehenge. I saw these videos online of someone playing the sheet music transcriptions of songs off the album, and they are absolute bonkers. Constantly shifting in anyway you can think of, its like a puzzle trying to read those. I think reading those alone confirm beefhearts genius, and the dedication of john french (drumbo/ drummer) for transcribing all this wild stuff and ideas from beefhearts piano and crazy imagination to show to the other guys in the band ! Safe as Milk has really great production and hooks, while still having that looming weirdness that's all over his work. Its great for a debut album, and a great place to start with Beefheart. His music has obviously influenced a lot of popular artists like PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, ect. Any thoughts on the captain and his music, myths, ect? is he an overhyped tone-deaf bafoon or is he one of the 20th centuries most revolutionary artists?
  2. ToneLa

    ToneLa Forum Resident

    He's a genius, painting with sounds. Every tone a different colour, the pitches and rhythms decorating the canvas, sending almost visual sensations to the listener. Evocative, form-transcending audio art, sounding everything from stark to fuzzy to red to sand. You can hear the sunlight, you can hear the landscape in his music. Trout Mask Replica is a grabbag of his palettes.
  3. PlushFieldHarpy

    PlushFieldHarpy Forum Resident

    I think he's the closest to a true genius that rock and roll ever produced. Weird that he was childhood friends with Frank Zappa...
    Horse Majeure likes this.
  4. ToneLa

    ToneLa Forum Resident

  5. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    He's everything a nation needs for making hoopla while it feeds the trash compactors, small reactors, mowers, blowers, throwers and the glowers. He's a buy-cent-any-all salute. Two hundred years have gone ka-poot!
    Ah but we have been astute!
    Beatnik_Daddyo'73, Rne and ToneLa like this.
  6. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast 'n' bulbous. Got me?
  7. ToneLa

    ToneLa Forum Resident

    I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird
  8. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Don was a wonderful artist, but unfortunately some band members never got the credit they deserved. He was the creative force, but those songs wouldn't have happened without the arrangements and discipline of John French, Bill Harkleroad and others.
  9. troggy

    troggy Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow

    southern Illinois
    I'm a Safe As Milk guy, one of my favorite albums. I also like the singles he did before that.
    Platterpus, The Killer and ToneLa like this.
  10. Nothing much more to add..Only to say I'm a huge fan and that Mirror Man is underrated classic
    Platterpus and Beatnik_Daddyo'73 like this.
  11. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    Only saw him twice. Once with zappa in 75 and with his own band in 80. Great totally unique artist. I contributed some material to the grows fins box set many years ago through a friend who knew Henry Kaiser.
  12. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Audio material?
  13. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    Yes. Some studio tracks and a few live songs.
    Rne and ToneLa like this.
  14. Beatnik_Daddyo'73

    Beatnik_Daddyo'73 Music Addiction Personified

    “Oh Captain, My Captain”....

    -Trout Mask Replica
    -Mirror Man
    -Strictly Personal (
    I like the “psychedelic bromo-seltzer”)
    -Lick My Decals Off, Baby
    -Shiny Beast

    my favorites in no particular order (well, TMR is probably #1 for me). I discovered this music in my late teens (1989/90) and it wigged me out in a good way. My favorite music and art doesn’t fit nicely in “a box” (rock, pop etc.) and the good Captains’/Magic Bands’ music was my introduction to that ideology.

    I visited the TMR house earlier this year. A very cool neighborhood that I wish I could afford to live in. I could only imagine the goings on in this area in the mid sixties. :D
    midniteinsanjuan likes this.
  15. elvotix

    elvotix Forum Resident

    Marlton, NJ
    Saw the Magic Band open for Jethro Tull, also saw them headline a midnight show at the Tower Theater, where Don cut the show sort after someone yelled out "Get Down, Captain!". The band left the stage, only to have Rockette Morton come back onstage to play a few solo bass numbers, on (if remembering correctly) a double-neck instrument. Saw the later band a few times too, but a favorite show was seeing the Tragic Band at the Main Point, where people were dancing on the tables! got my WLP of Clear Spot signed at that Main Point show, he wrote "To Who - Love Over Gold, Van Vliet".
    RandelPink likes this.
  16. dead of night

    dead of night Forum Resident

    Northern Va, usa
    Is "Get down Captain!" some sort of insult?
    mikee likes this.
  17. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    I've tried several times to get into Trout Mask Replica. End result: no sale.

    I don't think his stuff is my bag.
  18. I could never warm up to his music because his voice has zero appeal to me.
    augustwest likes this.
  19. lou

    lou Forum Resident

    Definitely one of 20th century music's most revolutionary artists - very well put.
  20. elvotix

    elvotix Forum Resident

    Marlton, NJ
    seems like he took it as a negative comment, he replied something like: "Get Down? I'll Get Off!"
  21. ciderglider

    ciderglider Forum Resident

    I was quite into the Captain in my teens, but our ways have parted now. Still love Shiny Beast, but the Captain's persona now strikes me as a bit contrived.
  22. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    Cooder used to have a great story about their tour, which went something like this: "The club would be 3/4 full. By the time we'd finish our set of old time music, half the people were gone. Don would come onstage and blow his clarinet directly into the mike and immediately almost everyone who was left was leaving. The 20 or 30 people who remained were the hard core fans Don wanted to play for."
    boboquisp likes this.
  23. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    Those transcriptions were probably done by yours truly. A real labor of love. Glad to see some people making use of them. I wrote to Van Vliet to get his permission to publish my transcriptions but he wasn't interested. Silly of me to have even asked knowing how he felt about music notation.
  24. greenoort

    greenoort Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Man Decals is also a super strong album. It's like Trouts more "slightly" straight cousin but its not straight at all.
  25. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    I posted this somewhere else, but it applies here too:
    Back in 2000, after savig money for a couple of months, I went to a local record store to buy FZ's The Lost Episodes (I was finishing high school, and I had almost no money at all). To my dismay, the price of the aforementioned release had gone up and I couldn't afoord it. I was extremely pissed off, but I didn't want to go back home empty-handed, so I went to another store and, among the items that I could get whithin my budget, there was Trout Mask Replica. I knew it was produced by Frank, so I took a chance.
    I found it hideously attractive, if you indulge my oxymoron. I didn't like it, I found badly-played (!), but anyway I wanted to listen to it, because I understood I was actually being challenged, and that the album needed repeated listenings. The only track I enjoyed at first was "Moonlight On Vermont". Finally, I understood the music, I ended loving all of it and I became a Magic Band fan. "Badly-played", what a laugh :laugh:
    Zoot Marimba likes this.

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