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Are You Hung Up? Or Are You Into Frank Zappa?
Sad attempt at clever thread title

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Probably the closest person I've ever had as an idol, Frank Zappa is one of the most important music artists to ever exist. He has over 70 albums, has earned numerous awards, both musical and otherwise, and he has statues erected of him in places like Vilnius and Baltimore.

Discovering Zappa
My first initial exposure to him was during my "Weird Al" phase of music listening. I was looking up comedy music on, and searching through the comedy rock section, and found this dude. I mentioned him to my dad, and he knew who I was talking about.

It's also worth noting that I JUST started getting into progressive rock around this time, and apparently Frank Zappa made some of that, so I thought to myself "Whoa. Dude makes comedy AND progressive? I wonder what that sounds like". And thus, my journey into the Zappaverse began...

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I wanted to play it safe, so I searched reviews of his albums, and found that We're Only In It For The Money is considered his best work. Now... I wanna point out that I like to buy albums that make me ask "What the hell did I just listen to?". It's a good sign - at least to me - that I'm listening to really challenging music that will reward repeated listens, and this album, right from the start made me say "How did this get five stars everywhere?".

Multiple listens and some research greatly helped me appreciate the album. It's basically about the 1960's and how much it sucked. Zappa mocks Hippies especially, but he also points out that a lot of parents during this period were neglectful materialistic shitbags, the Rock 'N Roll Industry is filled with phonies who act like they're genuinely passionate about what they do, among pointing out many other things, all while satirizing the music fads of the time while establishing some new ideas (Frank Zappa is one of the first people whose music foreshadowed Progressive Rock, and it shows in this album). If you ever want to feel affirmed whenever some old guy tells you "Things were better back in my day", listen to this album, and tell that guy to fuck off.

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From there, I didn't really know where to go. Zappa has so many albums, and he explores so many different avenues, but upon a suggestion from my father, I picked up Joe's Garage.

My opinions on this album are a bit more mixed, but god damn. If not always great musically, this album is one hell of a trip.

Frank Zappa is notorious for a lot of things. For one, he's a genius (Apparently, he has an IQ of 172), but he also strongly believed in freedom of speech, and would fight vigorously to get rid of censorship. He also... had the most immature and vulgar sense of humor I've ever seen an artist have. And that is awesome.

Zappa's vulgar and immature sense of humor shines very heavily on this album, which is a Rock Opera. Don't know what that is? It's basically an album that tells a story through it's music and lyrics. Each song is placed based on it's chronological story relevance. If you've ever listened to Tommy by The Who, you may be familiar with the idea.

So what's this Rock Opera about? It's about how the government's going to get rid of music. And this story is told with tongue firmly in cheek.

It starts with Joe starting a garage band, which gets famous briefly (By means of One-Hit wonder), but fails to stay relevant to pop music and breaks up. This is all explained in the first song.

After that... things get really fucked up. Like... REALLY fucked up.

Joe has a catholic girlfriend named Mary, who enjoys going to rock concerts. She becomes really desperate to see them, and becomes a "crew slut" so she can get tickets to concerts for free. Joe, horrified by her treachery, goes to some place and gets seduced by a waitress named Lucille. They have sex, Joe gets gonorrhea, changes religion to Appliantology, gets told he's an appliance fetishist, goes to a bar called "The Closet" to seduce a male german robot that looks like a cross between a piggy bank and a vacuum cleaner. They have gay sex (technically an orgy since Joe gets blown by a tiny robot thing at some point), Joe accidentally kills the robot during sex, gets arrested, then gets raped by music executives in prison, comes out of prison to find that music has been banned, and... becomes an employee at a muffin factory.

... Why of course! You can get the album here.

I haven't explored much of his other works, since I'm... still a bit overwhelmed and indecisive, but I listened to his album Hot Rats on youtube, and I would like it better if the second song didn't have an annoying clanky sound going on for a large duration. I think that's the only thing that kills it for me. I'm considering getting Uncle Meat, Grand Wazoo, Apostrophe, among a few others, but I'm unsure of which one I should do next.

What else?
Zappa was a very opinionated man, and has said many, many memorable quotes in his lifetime about politics, music, and america. He also named his four children Dweezil, Moon Unit, Diva, and Ahmet. Apparently they idolize him. Dweezil especially; He does lots of tours where he plays Frank's music.

Frankly, I wish I had more to say about him, but I think this will get people's interest enough to check his stuff out. He's both an extremely good musician, and just... really weird and smart. He also made all kinds of music. Jazz-Rock, Progressive Rock, Doo-Wop, Classical, Pop, etc... so if you look hard enough, you're bound to find stuff of his that you like!
That plot (album?) synopsis of Joe's Garage just lost me entirely... but then again, music back then tends to lose you anyway.

I've heard Frank Zappa get namedropped quite a bit, but I've never really gotten around to checking him out, mainly because I admittedly am very lazy when I look at new artists (you kind of have to force me to listen to them) and I already have YouTube Shuffle playlists full of Touhou stuff that I already listen to. I mean, if it's down to me deciding whether I wanna listen to something that I'm not sure will keep me entertained or put xi-on in the background, it's really a no brainer for me.

Buuuut surrealist, progressive rock music made by a genius? I'm intrigued, at the very least. If I ever get some spare time, I might type him in on YouTube and listen to a few things that come up.
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Ooooo... you like Frank Zappa? Markyjoe1990 has good taste in music. Smile

Frank Zappa, along with Weird Al are some of the few people I listen to that arent related to videogames. Most of the songs I have on my playlist are either videogame musics, or are songs which have been featured in videogames. I usually listen to this stuff on my ipod, because the top 40 played on the radio tends to be crap most of the time.

Now if the radio stations played more Frank Zappa, I'd respect them more... but they dont unfortunately.
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