Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"If anyone owns this album, perhaps he can tell me what in hell is going on"

[Choosing & embedding is as much of an imposition as working; wish I'd given all this some forethought.]

From Freak Out!, the 1966 nat'l. exposure of The Mothers of Invention which, far as I remember, I bought unheard in 1967 pretty much on the basis of the solarized cover & text on the reverse, airplay for weird crap being at a premium, there being no "rock press" to clue me in* (Even now-ancient Rolling Stone was but a gleam in the eyes of its founders.) & certainly none of the other prep school dips I knew at the time were clued in.

Can't remember if it being a double album meant it was priced above the standard three bucks & change 30-35 mins. of musical content would run one in those days, but it's as good a purchase as any this reporter has ever made. And a still a solid hr. of sound. (Let's just see if any of this actually holds up, assuming I'm capable of differentiating legit enjoyment of "quality" from nostalgia.)
"Who Are the Brain Police?"
Biting the hand that feeds you is always best practice:
"You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here"
And of course the extended-beyond-the-two-mins.-30-secs.-radio-limit freak-outs:
"Help, I'm a Rock (Suite in Three Movements)
I. Okay to Tap Dance
II. In Memoriam, Edgard Varèse
III. It Can't Happen Here"
"The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet (Unfinished Ballet in Two Tableaux)
I. Ritual Dance of the Child-Killer
II. Nullis Pretii (No Commercial Potential)"
Liked the pseudo-pretentious titles too.
*What the Wiki sez the press typed:
Pete Johnson of the Los Angeles Times:
I guess you might call it surrealistic paintings set to music. Not content to record just two sides of musical gibberish, the MOI devote four full sides to their type of 'artistry.' If anyone owns this album, perhaps he can tell me what in hell is going on ... The Mothers of Invention, a talented but warped quintet, have fathered an album poetically entitled Freak Out, which could be the greatest stimulus to the aspirin industry since the income tax.