Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Banned from Utopia|
So Yuh Don't Like Modern Art
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Patrik Lemberg | Tammisaari Finland | 08/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You do not have to be a Frank Zappa fan to appreciate this music, although being one will probably help you like it, as 5 of the 10 tracks are FZ compositions. The music is very well performed by 11 inspiring musicians (plus some special guests); a band that basically consists of Zappa's tour-band from '88 (some of whom had played with him since the 70's.)
The only one who didn't play (at least not record) with him is guitarist Mike Miller, but there's a great guitar and drum predominated track written by him in FZ's spirit called "Bad Dog," and features very fine drum playing by Chad Wackerman (who plays drums throughout the album.)
The other BFU members are A.Barrow, B.Fowler, T.Fowler, W.Fowler, T.Mars, K.McGettrick, A.Wing, Bobby Martin and Ed Mann (Ray White visits on "Jailbait Babysitter" - an up-tempo rock song.)
There's a big variety of styles - it's not just head-scratching calculator fusion. There's a litta bitta country ("Freeway Vigilante"), jazz (the double-bass driven FZ 1970 composition "Twenty Small Cigars"), a needed hot dish of modern art and a dessert consisting of the humorous rap, jazz & blues combined Bruce Fowler composition "Christian Coalition Blues."
The album is crammed with moods of a lifetime: humor, seriousness, beauty and ugliness.
It's really nice to hear that there are still creative musicians honoring great composers like Zappa in this way. These guys will play any leading mainstream band under the table any day.
I've seen the DVD of this band (known then as "The Band from Utopia") performing at the Stuttgart Jazz Festival in 1994, and the only thing missing from this album, as opposed to the DVD, is the voice of Ike Willis.
Great music by great composers and great musicians (what else could one want???)!"
Spotless Zappa Covers
Geoff Pointer | Adelaide Australia | 09/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Frank Zappa wrote songs he did it in a very particular way mostly based around satirical lyrics but not always. Sometimes he was poking fun at the song itself and it was satire of a certain genre but other times he used songs as a medium and they contained deeper messages. He claimed he did it because he had to as part of the package of taking a rock band on the road and that he'd rather spend his time on just writing music. But I for one care more for them and am glad that he wrote all those songs. They stand out as unique works of art and are a significant part of what I admire and still enjoy about his work.
This album from Banned from Utopia has several Zappa instrumental covers which in themselves are worth the purchase price. They are meticulously and artistically performed. The album also has some vocal numbers, not Zappa covers but the band's own work and personally they're not a patch on Zappa's song writing. I have downloaded all the Zappa covers from the disk - which are all brilliantly performed - and one of their own tracks - their only instrumental (probably because I'm part guitar head) - onto my iPod and I listen to these often. I hardly ever listen to the vocal numbers which I just can't take to.
The non Zappa track called Bad Dog was composed by Mike Miller, whose guitar kicks butt and ironically is the only member of the band who's not an ex member of one of Frank Zappa's enembles. And he's not just a Zappa clone, his style is his own and very polished and raw at the same time - his solo work on Filthy Habits is also well worth the listen.
I strongly recommend this album to anyone interested in Frank Zappa in spite of my opinion of the original vocal numbers. The difficulty I had giving this album a star rating was that the Zappa covers get five stars from me and the original vocal numbers get three stars - so four stars was the average. The Zappa covers are very well played and the solos by various members are all engaging. The band's rendition of Twenty Small Cigars is particularly noteworthy. I seriously hope they have some other covers planned."