The Sentinel

micro-blog from music lovers sharing their passion

Tag Archives: Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band-Electricity (Cannes Live 1968)

Don and His Magic Band (who truly live up to their name here) juggle fiery demon blues and witchy Americana; managing to keep all the volatile ingredients in place and delivering grooves and thangs. Also, was nice to see this song referenced in Twin Peaks: the Return. Did anyone notice?

Advertisements

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Moody Liz

The sister/companion piece to the bands ‘Kandy Korn’, ‘Moody Liz’ takes the listener from tumbling psych, country Blues, through a slow, steady musical incantation, and onto a finale that is just pure loveliness. Don and his (truly) Magic Band at their best; circa 1967.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)

One of the many wonderful pieces from the Trout Mask Replica jigsaw; this time with the music actually being played by The Mothers of Invention whilst a Magic Band member delivers the vocals via the medium of telephone. Wonderful stuff.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Ella Guru

By the time one gets to the 4th track of 1969’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’, it feels like the album has started to hit its stride (foolish, but understandable on first listen), as ‘Ella guru’ is grooving; albeit in a ramshackle, rickety, jagged fashion.Like the rest of the album, the simple set up of drums, bass, guitar and vocals teases out astonishing, gnarled and debased music of Blues origin. So much has been said about ‘Trout Mask Replica’, and most of it’s true. Praised and hugely rated, but in no way overrated; an absolutely extraordinary Avant-Garde free Rock album.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Glider

After 1971’s ‘Lick My Decals Off baby’, an album that was possibly the closest thing to Don Van Vliet’s vision, the man himself decided that the music was ‘too far out’; this, according to John ‘Drumbo’ French, was after deciding that the music wasn’t far out enough (before ‘Trout mask Replica’). The albums that followed started to get a lot tamer, before bouncing back (think ‘Doc At the Radar Station’, the unreleased ‘Bat Chain Puller’, and ‘Ice Cream For Crow’) and hitting the same heights as the ‘classic’ period. The reigning in period resulted in two of the worst albums in Beefheart’s back catalogue, ‘Unconditionally Guaranteed’ and ‘Bluejeans & Moonbeams’. It has to be said that those two albums aren’t even really beefheart, although that’s a whole other story and not one to be explored here. The two that followed ‘Decals’ are the, frankly, overrated ‘Clear Spot’ (it has great moments, but then there are tracks such as ‘Low Yo Yo Stuff’ –  nuff said), and the album that this track is from, ‘The Spotlight Kid’. ‘Clear Spot seems to get all of the praise from this period, but ‘The Spotlight Kid’ beats it hands down. From the opener ‘I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby’, right through to this track, the closing ‘Glider’, we’re getting straighter Blues….but still Blues as imagined by Don Van Vliet. ‘Glider’ is a great closing song; a track where you can almost see the sun setting around you. It’s a shame because the band members reported hating making the album; and playing songs from it live. Zoot Horn Rollo stated that ‘it sucks’, and a lot of critics complained about the tempo’s and labelled the album as ‘ponderous’. Don’t let the criticism put you off, let The Spotlight Kid shine down on you.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Odd Jobs

The Sentinel would like to celebrate what would have been Don Van Vliets 74th birthday today with a brilliant and touching ode to an odd job man from Don and co; taken from the ‘Bat Chain Puller’ album (which was unreleased at the time). The moment when the song changes from the spiky intro; where Don is delivering what is essentially spoken word over restless music, into a ‘groove’ which he starts singing over; is truly, truly magical. From 1977.

Captain Beefheart w. Frank Zappa – Orange Claw Hammer (1975 radio performance)

This was performed live on KWST radio in 1975; Don Van Vliet accompanied by Frank Zappa on guitar on an incredible rendition of a track that was originally on 1969’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’. Anyone familiar with the original will know that the track consists of Don’s spoken word and nothing else. This radio performance sheds light on the possibility that it may have originally had some musical backing. Outstanding!

Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band – When Big Joan Sets Up

It was the anniversary of Don Van Vliets death yesterday, as he died on the 17th of December 2010. The man was a true musical legend and the Sentinel doesn’t need much of an excuse to post his music. this track is from the famous ‘Trout Mask Replica'(1969), an album that manages to get in every top 100 albums list despite its radical, uncompromising sound.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Live on John Peel’s Top Gear, BBC Radio 01/24/68

The title speaks for itself really. the tracklisting is….

1. Yellow Brick Road

2. Abba Zaba

3. Sure ‘Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do

4. Electricity

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Pachuco Cadaver

There is a moment in this brilliant track when the stomping, ragged blues dissolves into free-form avant-rock; the Captain’s lyrics tumbling over the juggling act performed by the Magic Band. It is truly a wonder to behold, with something akin to the reverse happening shortly after; the vocals carrying on at the same pace with the music suddenly tightening up and taking a solid form once again.

This is from the truly astounding ‘Trout Mask Replica’ (1969), an album that twists and turns in so many directions, forming multiple shapes at once at certain points. This song does all of that in the space of just over four and a half minutes.

Laurence Johns

Curator of Counter-Culture, Personal Development Consultant & Writer

Bubblegum Cage III

UK Post-Rock, Laptop Electronica, '90s Rap

atomicbark

Sci-Fi Radio Series...

Fractal Meat

Processes & Experiments /// Radio show on NTS /// Short-run tape label

Graham Dunning

Art | Music | Education

The eie Consumer Emporium

sound and art resource for irr. app. (ext.) and related projects

K R A U T L A N D S

"You made a believer out o'me"