Friday, May 28, 2010

Frank Zappa - The Freakout List DVD

(Sexy Intelectual) Like many of the DVDs in this series this is basically a video Wikipedia entry on a rock n roll legend, made more lofty or pretentious (depending on your ear) by having lots of British accents involved. But unlike the straight biographies or album profiles of previous discs, this has a pretty interesting concept. They take the list of influences Zappa included in the Mothers of Invention's debut and try to explain what they're about, meaning that the Wikipedia quotient is increased to the nth degree as the particulars of modern classical composition, the work of Edgar Varese, and the appeal of doo wop music has to be succinctly summed up (the latter with the help of Chicago's own Robert Pruter). There's some nice love given to Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and an overlong explanation of the birth of Jazz fusion, balancing Miles Davis' innovations and Zappa's that seemed like it was meant for another documentary, but overall this is pretty good. Had it delved deeper into the list, or more formally tried to show who everyone on the lengthy list was this might have been better.

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