7 items from 2016
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words takes its title from a song found on the composer’s 1972 fusion album The Grand Wazoo, and there may be no better preparation for the Frank Zappa revealed in director Thorston Schutte’s extraordinary documentary than this command to consume, and then presumably digest and defecate out, the sort of journalistic queries Zappa routinely endured, with patience, smarts and inescapable sarcasm, throughout his career. “Being interviewed is one of the most abnormal things that you can do to somebody,” Zappa explains during a TV interview to a reporter whose expression, an uneasy mixture of intimidation and confusion, remains constant throughout their encounter.
The composer’s testy relationship with the media is one of the threads that unites Schutte’s somewhat unusual approach—there are none of the usual associates, scholars and friends on hand to tell you secondhand (at best) what a genius Zappa was, »
- Dennis Cozzalio
In 1963, a young Frank Zappa appeared on “The Steve Allen Show,” where he used drumsticks and a bicycle to create a vibrant cacophony of sounds that must have been equally aggravating and fascinating to the generally square viewers of the program. After listening to Zappa’s bicycle-based orchestra, Allen gave a short speech defending artists […]
The post ‘Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words’ Is A Doc For Fans & Newcomers Alike [Review] appeared first on The Playlist. »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
When a friend of Fats Domino's invited filmmaker Joe Lauro to hang out at Domino's New Orleans house in the early 2000s, he knew he had to make a film about the rock & roll architect. More than a decade later, Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll will air tonight, on Domino's 88th birthday. The film captures how the New Orleans pianist cut what many believe is the first rock & roll record, 1949's The Fat Man, and went onto sell 65 million records, making the Billboard pop chart »
It would be somewhat easy to do a straightforward documentary on Frank Zappa: zoom in on some grainy B&W pictures of him as an R&B-loving teen; chart his rise from Sixties avant-rock bandleader to symphonic composer, from antiestablishment iconoclast to anticensorship activist; interview some of the dozens, if not hundreds, of musicians inspired by him; drop in a few nuggets of We're Only In It for the Money or 200 Motels–era concert footage. Of course, Zappa was never one to do anything the easy, or easily comprehensible, »
In 1963, a young Frank Zappa appeared on “The Steve Allen Show,” where he used drumsticks and a bicycle to create a vibrant cacophony of sounds that must have been equally aggravating and fascinating to the generally square viewers of the program. After listening to Zappa’s bicycle-based orchestra, Allen gave a short speech defending artists who have the courage to push the boundaries of their medium, ending it by wryly telling Zappa, “I congratulate you for your far-sightedness. As for your music, don’t ever do it around here again.” Allen’s opinion seemed to encapsulate mainstream music fans’ initial reactions to listening to Zappa: They might not like what they hear, but it’s hard not to respect his dedication and staunch professionalism when it came to finding new avenues in musical expression, regardless of what genre the music business was exploiting at any given time. Zappa always did his own thing, »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Pat Harrington Jr., best known for playing scene-stealing superintendent Dwayne Schneider on CBS sitcom One Day at a Time, has died at age 86. The actor had been battling Alzheimer's and was recently hospitalized following a fall, The Hollywood Reporter reports, and passed away Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
"Dear friends, it is with the most unimaginable pain and sadness, that I tell you my father, Pat Harrington, Jr. passed away at 11:09 Pm this evening," his daughter Tresa Harrington wrote Wednesday in a Facebook post. "We were all with him today and tonight: crying, »
His daughter, Tresa Harrington, announced the news Thursday on her Facebook page. She did not reveal the cause of death, but wrote in November that her father’s health was rapidly deteriorating after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“My heart is broken to pieces and I will cry and cry until I just won’t,” she said in the post.
Harrington won a Golden Globe (in 1981) and an Emmy (in 1984) for playing building superintendent Dwayne Schneider on the groundbreaking CBS sitcom, which aired from 1975 to 1984. The show starred Bonnie Franklin as an single mom struggling to raise two daughters (played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli).
“He turned out to be the comic strength of the show,” show co-creator Norman Lear once said. »
- Maane Khatchatourian
7 items from 2016
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