Monday, February 27, 2012

Captain Beefheart Festival 2011-2012 - 18th Night of the Living Van Vliet

Here's the explanation of the origin and the dates.

Thanks to Microdot for the title of the Festival.

Zen Comix has joined the festivities.

From Wikipedia:

Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) is the tenth studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. Released in 1978, the album was produced by Captain Beefheart and Pete Johnson and released by Warner Bros. Records.

Shiny Beast emerged out of the production difficulties surrounding Bat Chain Puller, an album Captain Beefheart recorded for DiscReet and Virgin Records in 1976. DiscReet cofounders Herb Cohen and Frank Zappa feuded over the production of the album, because Cohen funded the production with Zappa's royalty checks.

Captain Beefheart recorded a new album, Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) due to Zappa withholding the master tapes of the original Bat Chain Puller album. Shiny Beast was praised by music critics.

Bat chain
Bat chain puller
Puller, puller

A chain with yellow lights
That glistens like oil beads
On its slick smooth trunk
That trails behind on tracks, and thumps
A wing hangs limp and retreats

Bat chain puller
Puller puller

Bulbs shoot from its snoot
And vanish into darkness
It whistles like a root snatched from dry earth
Sodbustin’ rakes with grey dust claws
Announces its coming in the morning
This train with grey tubes
That houses people’s very thoughts and belongings.

Bat chain puller
Puller puller

This train with grey tubes that houses people’s thoughts,
Their very remains and belongings.
A grey cloth patch
Caught with four threads
In the hollow wind of its stacks
Ripples felt fades and grey sparks clacks,
Lunging the cushioned thickets.
Pumpkins span the hills
With orange crayola patches.
Green inflated trees
Balloon up into marshmallow soot
That walks away in forty circles,
Caught in grey blisters
With twinkling lights and green sashes
Pulled by rubber dolphins with gold yawning mouths
That blister and break in agony
In souls of rust
They kill gold sawdust into dust.

Bat chain puller,
Puller puller.


  1. Outside of the Zappa catalog I know next to nothing about Capt. Beefheart--with one exception. The soundtrack from "The Big Lebowski" includes one of Beefheart's tunes, "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles". It's very, very good.

    1. Be careful, listening to this stuff can be hazardous to the health of all the other music you think you like.

  2. Great piece...early 80 released on Shiny Beast, but the original version was recorded in 1976 and was meant to be the title track of a recording produced by Zappa called Bat Chain Puller. It was never released because of legal problems between Zappa and his management m(herb Cohen). The recording was finally released late last year! It is available now on the Zappa Family Marketing label, Barfko-Swill and the final mixing was done by John French of the Magic Band.
    Being an ex railroad guy...I was going to tell you what a bat chain was, but you beat me to it!

    I have a story for you...another Karaoke related shooting in Texas this time...something about Karaoke and guns...a kind of death with for an's the link:

    1. I think we picked up on that kaeaoke story when it came out.

      Only in America, baby.

  3. mike, this is a new story. not the father shooting his the way,m the son forgave pappy and doesn't want to see him go to prison. This story was just 2 days ago in Houston and the victim was singing Somo mas Americanos...the song by Los Tegres del a club called Osteria Mazlatan.
    This was a homicide.

  4. Los Tigres del Norte sing a lot of corridos (story songs like Marty Robbin's El Paso) about the narco drug wars/drug smugglers and immigration. Evidently, somebody got pissed off about hearing the truth.
    Here are the lyrics in English:
    They have shouted at me a thousand times I should go back to my country.
    Because there’s no room for me here.
    I want to remind the gringos: I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed to me.
    America was born free, but men divided it.
    They marked a line so that I jump it.
    And they can call me “invader”.
    And that’s a very frequent mistake.
    They took from us eight states.
    Who’s then the invader?
    I’m a foreigner in my own land.
    And I didn’t come here to cause you trouble.
    I’m a hard-working man.

    And if history isn’t lying.
    The powerful nation settled here, in the glory.
    Among brave warriors,
    Indians of two continents mixed with Spaniards.
    And if we take centuries into account.
    We are more American.
    We are more American than the children of the Anglo-Saxons.

    They got from us without money the waters of the Río Grande.
    And they took from us Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
    Also California and Nevada were taken away.
    Utah was not enough, so they took Wyoming as well.
    I’m the blood of the Indian.
    I’m Latin American, I’m mestizo.
    We are made of all colours.
    And of all trades.
    And if we take into account centuries.

    even if it hurts our neighbours.
    We are more American.
    Than all of the gringos.

    orlin sellers

  5. I had to check Los Tigres out...great song...great bass line!