27 December 2010

Captain Beefheart R.I.P.

It is quite disheartening to hear that another icon of the alternative/innovative music scene passed on in recent weeks (17 Dec 2010): now it is the turn of Captain Beefheart. Don Van Vliet, his name by birth, was one of the most iconoclastic "rock" artiste since the 1960s whose unique vision in the blues, jazz and folk managed to re-invent rock music into a mutant form which, up to today, is still unsurpassed. Together with the various incarnations of the Magic Band from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Captain Beefheart and his Magic men had been concocting powerful amalgams of avant-blues weird rock-jazz jams which perplex and fascinate in equal parts. My personal favourite is Trout Mask Replica, with its neo-dada cover design to the many spoken word-blues holler mini-epics (and many weird instrumentals to boot as well), I have gone back to it time after time since I bought it 12 years back. It is time you try catching up with him, even though you know, he would always be miles ahead of you.


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