Sunday, February 15, 2009

4 comments:

Scissors MacGillicutty said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I think Beefheart was a wonderful performer and composer; he got critical acclaim a-plenty, but that he never enjoyed the popular recognition of his one-time friend, Frank Zappa, was, I think, more a failure of adequate marketing (and maybe a little of Zappa's own doing?) than any alleged difficulties of his music. "Ice Cream for Crow" may have unexpected complexities, rhythmic irregularities, and spiky dissonances, but it's also a rollicking fun song that you can even dance to, and I think that's true of a lot of Beefheart's "difficult" material.

I understand Van Vliet is doing well today as a working artist, selling his paintings and sculptures, but that he counts his days as a musician over. A shame, but the albums are still there, and I see there's more video material on YouTube than I could have hoped existed. Thanks again. :)

Q: which C&T mic to record Beefheart's voice?

Bob Crowley said...

Ice Cream for Crow is a brilliant tune, and I think that Beefheart's influence on punk was very underestimated also.

I'd start with the back of a Naked Eye. Beefheart's vocals switched from a Wolfman Jack tight throat tone, which has a rasp to it, down to bassier, bluesier style, but I don't recall very much "big bottom" in his recordings. I might start by cutting everything below 200, maybe bring up 1-2K a little to make it midrangey, and work fairly close.

Jeff Barnard said...

A bit of apocryphal noise that I remember hearing about years ago was that Van Vliet once destroyed an expensive telefunken studio mic with a scream.

Bob Crowley said...

Well he should have. It is definitely time for some Ice Cream for Crow!