Friday, December 17, 2010
Man, first Blake Edwards and now this...it seems that Don Van Vliet, known to many as the notorious Captain Beefheart, passed away today after a very lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis. A musical genius to his fans and a musical tyrant to those equally blessed and cursed to be in his Magic Band, Captain Beefheart pushed the envelope about as far as it could go even within the realms of experimental and avante-garde music. His albums Safe as Milk, Trout Mask Replica and Doc at the Radar Station, to name only three, are not only genre defining within the outsider subculture, but genre defying because they can't be pegged as blues, rock, psychedelic or any other, and yet fans of all can find something to admire as well as scratch their heads over from his unique and intriguing view of music. Though he stopped putting out albums of new material with 1982's Ice Cream for Crow, his influence and sway over the musical community has quietly built over the past three decades and his slanted light will surely be missed in this world. Undoubtedly he and Frank are cooking up something special in rock n roll heaven even as we speak.
Here's a live take on Big Eyed Beans from Venus off of my favorite, Clear Spot.