Results for Frank Zappa

interviews

Van Hunt

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Van Hunt grew up in funk-soaked Dayton, Ohio. Today he counts Frank Zappa and Ray Charles - not to mention Bach - among his influences. That musical adventurousness is just one reason Jim and Greg were drawn to his latest album, 2011's What Were You Hoping For? Van dropped by the studio to perform tracks from the record, and he let Jim and Greg in on the story behind his first independent release. Van got his start in the music biz a decade ago producing R&B and hip-hop tracks for the likes of Dionne Farris in Atlanta. When he went solo in 2004, it was on a major label. But the higher ups at Capitol weren't so thrilled when Van shunned the standard R&B format for a freewheeling mix of sounds that recalled the soul and funk of Sly Stone as much as it did the glam of David Bowie. In 2008, they shelved his third record Popular. Now that he's on his own, Van's free to indulge his genre-blending impulses.

Go to episode 344
specials

Back-to-School Songs

September is a time of mixed emotions. For some, it's an exciting new beginning. For others, it's a time of doom and dread. Either way, here are some of Jim and Greg's favorite Back-To-School songs to kick off the new school year.

Go to episode 145
dijs

Greg

“Strawberry Letter 23”Shuggie Otis

A tour and a raft of new reissues have got Greg thinking about Shuggie Otis again. A guitar prodigy, Shuggie got his start in father Johnny Otis's band at the tender age of fifteen. Just a few years later, he dropped the band gig to explore more avant-garde and atmospheric territory, making some of the most genre-defying guitar music of the seventies. Greats like Al Cooper and Frank Zappa clamored to work with him, but by the mid ‘70s, Shuggie had largely dropped off the musical map. Luckily, songs like Greg’s DIJ pick, "Strawberry Letter 23" haven‘t grown stale with age. Thanks to renewed interest, Shuggie’s back on tour. Listen to Strawberry Letter's psychedelic glockenspiel and guitar solos, and you might just be inspired to check him out live.

Go to episode 386
lists

Rock Operas

For many music fans, when you hear "Rock Opera," you probably think of The Who's 1969 album Tommy. But, Jim and Greg assert that Tommy is neither the first, nor the best, Rock Opera. Credit for the first goes to S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things in 1968. Credit for the best? Well, there's a long list throughout music history, including those listed below. But whatever your favorite, just don't call it a concept album!

  • The Who's Quadrophenia
  • Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • Green Day's American Idiot
  • Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger
  • Janelle Monae's The Archandroid
  • The Pretty Things's S.F. Sorrow
  • The Kinks' Arthur
  • Lou Reed's Berlin
  • David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust
  • Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall
  • The Decemberists' Crane Wife
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Greendale
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar

Share your favorite at 888.859.1800, at interact@soundopinions.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

Go to episode 455

Back-to-School

September is a time of mixed emotions. For some, it's an exciting new beginning. For others, it's a time of doom and dread. Either way, here are some of Jim and Greg's favorite Back-To-School songs to kick off the new school year.

Go to episode 614

Best Instrumentals

The history of rock ‘n’ roll is filled with memorable lyrics, but sometimes it's the wordless songs that stick. This week, Jim and Greg celebrate the Best Instrumentals. Not just any“instrumental”track will do. Both Jim and Greg agree, no“fa fa fa's”or“la la la's”admitted. Here are their lists:

Go to episode 401
news

Music News

The hype of Beyoncé's Lemonade has effectively swept the nation–all 12 tracks rank among the Billboard Hot 100, the phrase ‘good hair’ will never again be used so nonchalantly, and the singer has become the first act to not only reach #1 with her first six studio albums, but also debut at that top spot.

As we've said before, death is always a good career move. And Prince is also having a good sales week. While it remains to be seen who will benefit from such sales, five Prince albums–including some "Greatest Hits"– rank among the top 10. This feat hasn't been achived since 1963. While Jim and Greg understand the outpouring of affection for the Minneapolis singer, they aren't sure why fans need to own multiple copies of "Kiss."

Dweezil and Frank Guitarist Dweezil Zappa, son of rock legend Frank, has made changes to the name of his current tour "Zappa plays Zappa" to avoid a $150,000 lawsuit threatened against him by his siblings. Since Frank's widow Gail Zappa died in October, two of the four Zappa children, Ahmet and Diva, control the Zappa Family Trust. It was this trust that informed Dweezil he did not have the permission to tour under his act's former name. So, he's being forced to tour as "Dweezil Zappa plays Frank Zappa." Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

Go to episode 545

Music News

This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Parents Music Resource Center-inspired Senate hearings in 1985. The PMRC, co-founded by Tipper Gore and Susan Baker, was pushing Congress to clamp down on songs with questionable lyrics because it claimed the music was having an adverse effect on America's youth. But there to testify eloquently in defense of free speech was the unlikely trio of Frank Zappa, John Denver, and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. The PMRC hearings led to the ubiquitous Parental Advisory stickers that many CDs were forced to carry. Some retailers would refuse to stock any CDs that had the labels, which was a major concern in the pre-Internet era when access to music was more restricted. The PMRC even issued a "Filthy Fifteen" list of particularly objectionable songs, including tracks by Prince, Mötley Crüe, and even Cyndi Lauper.

Win Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire, has spoken out against the poorly managed launch of the Tidal streaming service – despite being one of its celebrity investors. He still defends the concept of offering HD-quality streaming, but blames Tidal's struggles on the major labels insisting on a $20 per month fee, twice the cost of Spotify. But Greg and Jim wonder if Butler should be concerned with cleaning his own house first. Despite being signed to the respected indie Merge, Arcade Fire still has deals with major labels for distribution and promotion.

Go to episode 513