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Lewis Saul
Tucson, AZ
Lewis Saul (b. 1952) is a composer who lives in Tucson, AZ. He studied composition at Juilliard and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Interests: Music, Film, Literature, Poetry, Judaism
Recent Activity
My favorite was the story about the domesticated birds who escaped their cages and taught their wild counterparts how to swear ~ I could see a whole short story there! GREAT stuff, Ms. Kelley!
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RELEASES #81-94 (2007-2012) 81. The Dub Room Special! (CD, Zappa Records ZR 20006, August 24, 2007) This is the soundtrack for a television program FZ put together in 1974 called "A Token of His Extreme." This planned show was released on DVD for the first time only recently. However, the basic television broadcast was actually one of the very first video projects released by FZ's home label, Honker Home Video, and was entitled "The Dub Room Special." It featured FZ in a video mixing room (wearing the bizarre "stereo" helmet seen on the cover!) and moving between clips of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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RELEASES #68-81 (1998-2007) 68. Mystery Disc (CD, Rykodisc RCD 10580, September 15, 1998) All of this material was previously released on the two discs which accompanied the re-released materials on the first two Old Masters boxes (#43 and #46). Like #64, this disc is filled with nostalgic gems from the early days. Discs like these are certainly not for those new to Zappa. But once you have (burp) digested much the material that forms the corpus of Frank's work ... you tend to start feeling hungry for these sort of bizarre nuggets. For example, "I Was a Teen-age Malt Shop"... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Close. Le boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58 (The Cow on the Roof). DL = one of the reasons I chose this subject was to try and expand your Zappa horizons. It seems like #12 is still your favorite -- and that's fine -- but I wanted you to know that there are NINETY-THREE other choices out there!! The "name" Josh Fogel rings a bell -- but I can't place him. I'll look for images.
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RELEASES #54-67 (1989-1997) 54. You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3 (2CD, Rykodisc RCD 10085/86, November 13, 1989) 25 Tracks Five previously unreleased tracks ("Ride My Face to Chicago," "Carol You Fool," "Chana in da Bushwop," "Hands with a Hammer," and "Nig Biz"). One dramatically different arrangement of previously released tracks: ("Bamboozled by Love"). Six years covered: '71, '73, '76, '81, '82, and '84. 55. The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (2CD, Barking Pumpkin D2 74233, April 16, 1991) Newer cover by Schenkel. Twenty-eight tracks of '88 documentation. Things really get going after an electrifying... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
First I apologize that my comments on #12 are not more extensive. You can be sure that when the "long version" comes out, there will be more to chew on ... At 0:51 in "Happy Together" I can hear *at least* four -- possibly five -- distinct vocal parts. I might have counted EIGHT in 1971. Recall, if you will, the girl who leaked oil from her forehead; and the CLOCHARD who cursed me for all time; not to mention giving the Corsicans what they had coming! My initial comments about the Flo & Eddie period might seem to be negative -- but the average FZ fan has been typically predisposed to NOT LIKE this band. I've been on a mission to change that attitude for years now! Enjoy the rest of the posts and THANK YOU for the opportunity!
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RELEASES #41-53 (1984-1988) 41. Thing-Fish (3LP, Barking Pumpkin SKCO-74201, November 21, 1984) It will soon be 30 years. When this three-album box-set was released, many Zappa fans were severely disappointed. Many old tracks were simply re-recorded with overdubs: ("Torchum" and "Artificial Rhonda" from 1976; "Galoot Up-Date," "YAWYI," "Mudd Club," and "Meek," from 1980; "Clowns" and "No Not Now" from 1981-1982 as well the guitar outro to "Mammy Nuns.") The whole thing seemed outrageous and offensive. The album's storyline is inspired by Broadway theatre, AIDS, eugenics, conspiracy theories, feminism, homosexuality and African American culture. It involves an evil, racist prince/theatre critic... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
thnx John. "Princess" and "Girls" are just two hysterical songs about real people. I'm Jewish and I know *exactly* what he's singing about there! As far as Catholic girls -- don't have that much experience - but it sounds like it could be true enough! :)- (Zappa wrote songs about stupid GUY things, too!)
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RELEASES #28-40 (1979-1984) 28. Joe's Garage Act I (LP, Zappa SRZ-1-1603, September 3, 1979) 29. Joe's Garage Acts II & III (2LP, Zappa SRZ-2-1502, November 19, 1979) Originally, three discs covering two separate releases. The compact disc era compressed the material and today the CD is one complete release on two discs. These are the final Frank Zappa albums recorded in a regular studio -- after this, everything will emanate from the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, Zappa's home studio. As Zappa distanced himself from corporate control, he seemed intent on releasing a few new singles: "Catholic Girls" (Frank's response to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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RELEASES #14-27 (1972-1979) 14. Just Another Band From L.A. (LP, Bizarre/Reprise MS 2075, March 26, 1972) There is no incarnation of any Zappa band that did not incorporate large doses of FZ-humor into its regular repertoire. However, over the years, this band has come to be known as "Zappa's Comedy Group." They appear only on #11-14 (and a few posthumous releases). If the hard-core early Zappa fans stubbornly refused to give this band a chance -- they missed out on a quite a bit of incredible music! Everything on this disc was recorded on August 7, 1971 at Pauley Pavilion... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Next week will mark the 47th anniversary of Frank Zappa's first release, Freak Out! (#01)* (June 27, 1966). On December 12th, 2012, Gail Zappa released Finer Moments (#94), a beautifully-packaged double-CD of music from 1969-1972. To date, this is the 94th "Official Release" in the Frank Zappa catalog. (The term "official release" is used to distinguish the recognized canon from bootleg recordings, live shows taped by fans, compilation albums, etc.) In addition to the 94 LPs and CDs, Zappa directed two amazing full-length films (200 Motels [1971] and Baby Snakes [1979]); wrote two books (Them or Us [1984] and The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
One more salient point: TAKE FIVE was recorded over a period of several weeks ~ perhaps 20-30 hours for composition, recording and editing. TRUTH IS FALLEN (how many of you readers have ever heard it? [The LP is Out Of Print and there is no CD]). Dave probably spent nearly 1,000 hours composing, COPYING (!), and rehearsing the massive combined forces for the performances and recordings. The disconnect between "good" jazz and "this-is-good-for-you" classical is a deep, uncrossable chasm. LS
Jamie, you nailed two very important points. First, Bartok and Stravinsky were doing things in odd meters in the first two decades of the 20th century -- at least 40 years before "Take Five." What Bartok and Stravinsky is (obviously) infinitely more complex than ANY Brubeck tune ~ but Dave studied that music with Milhaud (who's no slouch with time sigs, either!) and TRANSMORGIFIED that dynamic to the jazz slash pop-music world -- and he did it with elan, polish and style. And you were right (and brave) to admit that many many black pianists were ignored in the 60's while Dave basked in his Time Magazine cover glory. I think he felt much the same way as you did. He LOVED those guys and was most likely slightly embarrassed by all the (white)-media attention... One more great example: Check out Paul Simon's THE TEACHER from his CD "You're the One." In ELEVEN (6+5), but it sounds so perfectly natural and flowing that no one would think of it as an "odd" meter. That's what I meant by following, but "trying to make sense of the past." --Lewis
Very touching. OTOH, I thought the Mein Kampf joke was stupid, unnecessary and not very funny... All & all, great start to Season Five!
Thank YOU for the opportunity. If I turn ONE person on to Ozu, it will have been worth the effort.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2011 on Ozu7 by Lewis Saul at The Best American Poetry
*52. Akibiyori (Late Autumn) (11/13/60) (125 min.) [Sound Color] [buy it here] A girl lives with her mother. Though she has had opportunities to marry, she refused, preferring to stay at home. The widowed mother, however, feels that her daughter is sacrificing herself and attempts to find her a suitable husband. The daughter opposes this until she comes to believe, mistakenly, that her mother is motivated by a desire to remarry. The mother goes back to the apartment and begins her life alone. From the Late Ozu set on Eclipse. A remake of Late Spring with the mother threatening to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
In 1951, Keisuke Kinoshita's Carmen Comes Home became the first Japanese film in color. Two years later, Kinugasa's Gate of Hell became an international hit. Ozu did not like the way red turned out on Eastman Kodak film. It wasn't until he was satisfied with the Agfa red looked that he proceeded to make a color film. Kurosawa waited even longer. In his first color film, Dodesukaden, made in 1970, he was so dissatisfied with the way "reality" looked that he painted most of the sets with loud, garish colors so as to mute the harsh natural colors of his... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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*45. Ochazuke no aji (Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice) (10/1/52) (115 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] A middle-aged, middle-class couple experience a crisis in their marriage. With no children to create a bond, married life has lost its meaning in routine. They both attempt to improve and hence create a stronger marriage. All-regions DVD. This somewhat unusual film is sandwiched between two great masterpieces, Early Summer and Tokyo Story. Hopefully this pic is being considered as a Criterion Collection candidate. It is not in the same league as the above-mentioned films, but it is a very good film.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
I don't mind the labor. The love is something so difficult to express via that massive toolbox of yours -- WORDS! I do love these films. I hope my scribblings will at least pique a bit of curiousity in those who think this might interest them.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2011 on Ozu2 by Lewis Saul at The Best American Poetry
*41. Kaze no naka no mendori (A Hen in the Wind) (9/20/48) (90 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] A destitute woman is awaiting the demobilization of her husband when her child falls ill. She prostitutes herself to pay the hospital. When her husband returns, she tells all. He knocks her down the stairs but later apologizes, suddenly realizing all she has been through. The DVD is all-region. Kinuyo Tanaka is excellent as the wife. Once again, we have the sick child and the wife freaking out because there is no money for the hospital bill. (Health care debate, anyone?)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Today: *36. Hitori musuko (The Only Son) (9/15/36) (87 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] *37. Shukujo wa nani o wasureta ka (What Did the Lady Forget?) (3/3/37) (73 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] *38. Todake no kyodai (The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family) (3/1/41) (105 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] *39. Chichi ariki (There Was a Father) (4/1/42) (94 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] *40. Nagaya shinshiroku (Record of a Tenement Gentleman) (5/20/47) (72 min.) [Sound B&W] [buy it here] ~~~ 34. Kagamijishi (6/29/36) (24 min.) [Sound/Silent B&W clip of 17:36 here] Ozu's only... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Today: *29. Dekigokoro (Passing Fancy) (9/17/33) (101 min.) [Silent B&W] [buy it here] *30. Haha wo kowazuya (A Mother Should Be Loved) (5/11/34) (93 min.) [Silent B&W] [buy it here] *31. Ukikusa monogatari (A Story of Floating Weeds) (11/23/34) (86 min.) [Silent B&W] [buy it here] *33. Tôkyô no yado (An Inn in Tokyo) (11/21/35) (82 min.) [Silent B&W] [buy it here] *** *29. Dekigokoro (Passing Fancy) (9/17/33) (101 min.) [Silent B&W] [buy it here] A subtle and beautiful film about a boy and his father who live together in a tenement, the father working, the boy going to school.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2011 at The Best American Poetry