Archive for December, 2010

RIP Captain Beefheart

December 18, 2010

I don’t usually use the word ” artist” in regards to pop musicians, but if anybody deserves the title, it was Don Van Vleit AKA Captain Beefheart.
Even after 40 years of being drowned in the now cliched sounds of electric guitar and drums, his music still sounds unique.
In the shallow, shiny world of pop music, the jarring rhythmic feel, beatnik lyrics, and abrasive vocal style lifted shamelessly from howling wolf, puts most people off right away.
A deeper listener is rewarded with a singular vision. it requires shutting off some filters.
I can name only a few musicians  who fearlessly trusted their instincts like he did.
And they were all in the jazz or “modern classical” realm.
Hard to believe he was on a major music label ( alongside frank sinatra and neil young!) and played the top rock music venues of the day.

Most people assumed his thing was an act,. And he did have a canny post Picasso sense of working the media and managing his image that he may have learned when he was a childhood art celbrity with his own TV show in LA.

Image aside, I think on some level he really was the abstract person he seemed to be.

In fact,  I wonder if he didn’t have ausbergers or something similar.

The dust blows forward and the dust blows back.