Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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

Tonight is the final night of the First Annual Captain Beefheart Festival. Thanks to everyone who participated as poster, commenter or reader. We'll see you in December for Zappadan, which this year will segue into the 2nd Beefheart fistival.

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.

Possibly the greatest rock musician of all times, and certainly one of the most original and influential geniuses of the 20th century, Don Van Vliet, also known as Captain Beefheart, completely erased all musical dogmas and simply reinvented music on his own terms. Formally, his style blends Delta blues, free-jazz, cacophonous avantgarde and rock and roll, but what is unique about Van Vliet's music is the oblique, skewed, manic, unpredictable and demented structure of his compositions. The desert (where he grew up) could be a better key to understand his art than any of the influences that one can hear on his albums.


  1. What a great assessment of Captain Beefheart! Thanks, Mike. He was able to do what he did because he existed in the world of the unknown. Before bottom line corporate hipsters who thought they knew what their "people' wanted pushed out all the old farts who didn't know anything,m but baut were willing to take chances.
    Van Vliet was a direct link from pure Dada/Surrealism to the blues. He was a naive white boy California Desert genius blessed with mutant dna delta blues vocal chords...he could sing like otis redding or croak like a deranged alien amphibipus insect god from another galaxie.
    But the art of what he did changed the way we play, hear and think about popular music. Even the most chaotic music we hear from him is the result of deliberate composition and as a composer and arranger, sometimes the logic beneath the seeming chaos becomes apparent only after multiple listenings, but more often, once you learn how to breath the atmosphere on his strange planet, the logic and the genius is immediately revealed. This is not music given to us to appreciate, we have to learn how to give ourselves to this music to reap the riches.....
    When The Captain was Funky, it was the funkiest of the funk ever!

  2. Thanks for starting this. Next year when we're a bit more organized, I'm sure their will be more people on board.

    1. Thank you too, zencomix. I really benefited from the daily listening to and digging into CB.