The Grandmothers at Porgy & Bess, Vienna

This concert was billed as “The Music of Frank Zappa performed by Original Members of the Mothers of Invention”, which is a bit of a mouthful, but the band are basically the latest incarnation of ‘The Grandmothers of Invention’. Bunk Gardner and Don Preston played with the Mothers from ‘Absolutely Free’, forming an important part

A Lament for The Culture

I’m currently coming towards the end of the month’s challenge to create short musical pieces and accompanying photographs based on prompts from FMSPhotoADay. The results so far can be found on my previous post on the subject, but I thought today’s prompt was worthy of a little more in-depth commentary. The Culture The given prompt

Two Lords of Looping

It has been a while since I recommended any music here, but there are two musicians I have been listening to a lot recently who both have new albums out and are well worth investigating if you like instrumental music that is varied, exciting and challenging. Both make great use of digital looping to provide

Thick as a Brick, in Budapest

I can hardly believe it is 17 years since I last saw Jethro Tull, on the “Roots to Branches” tour (in Glasgow). I recall being a little underwhelmed at the time, having the feeling that the fun had gone out of the band, or maybe my musical tastes were parting ways with the past. For

Paris in the Synthtime

I’m just back from a week in Paris where I visited the fantastic Cité de la Musique, home to the Musée de la Musique with its extensive collection of instruments from centuries ago up to the modern era. The focus of the museum is classical music, with only slight nods to folk/world/rock and other popular

Brokeback Cowboy

The latest to come out of the Roy Harper stable is not his long-awaited next studio album, but this little film. It’s a joke you’re probably familiar with, but it’s so well-presented that I couldn’t help but smile. I’d love to see Roy do more of this sort of thing (once he’s finished that elusive

Mad Dog Days

RIP John Martyn Another month, another rock legend passes on… It’s been over 20 years since I saw him perform (as a duo with Danny Thompson). It was the first gig I had been to where I had never heard anything by the performer – I normally dip my toes in with an album or

So Long Lonesome Cowboy Burt

Jimmy Carl Black RIP 1-2-1938 to 1-11-2008 Another rock legend has left the stage… JCB was the drummer with the Mothers in their earlier days and stamped his unique sound onto some of the finest albums in the Zappa collection. What he may have lacked in the technical skill of later Zappa drummers, he more

Gimme Dat Harp Girl

I don’t normally pay much heed to the ‘latest big thing’ in musical circles – there is just so much hype about usually very little substance, but there is a new album by a quite unique artist that has been sitting at the top of my playlist for the past few weeks. I investigated Joanna