Saturday, December 18, 2010

Farewell Captain

“If you want to be a different fish, you gotta jump out of the school.”

Captain Beefheart died yesterday, December 17 2010. Beefheart was simply one of the most singularly strange, goading, galvanizing musicians of the 20th century. He led the Magic Band, one of the tightest and most bizarre of all rock bands, with his remarkable vocal style covering four-and-one-half octaves and employing everything from grunts and groans to hoots, howls and ear piercing screams. He experimented with idiosyncratic rhythms, absurdist lyrics and an unholy alliance of free jazz, Delta blues, modern classical music and rock & roll to create a singular body of work virtually unrivaled in its daring and fluid creativity. While he never came even remotely close to mainstream success, Beefheart’s impact was incalculable, and his fingerprints were all over punk, new wave and whatever comes next. He was one of modern music’s true innovators. We were very lucky to have him.

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