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Zappa, Frank: Does Humor Belong in Music? (DVD)

You know you are in for a shock when at the beginning of a concert movie, the artist walks out on stage and says to the audience "Now everyone sit down and get comfortable because we have a very long set to play for you tonight", but yet the DVD you hold in your hands is barely 60 minutes long! This is a major problem with Does Humor Belong in Music, a concert recorded at The Pier in New York City on August 26, 1984. The DVD includes only 14 tunes, many of which are less than 4-minutes long and obviously cut, and at various times throughout the concert footage is interrupted by interviews with Zappa. My question is-why not put the interview footage in the special features section (which is non-existant here), and play the concert out in its entirety? None of the interview snippets have anything to do with the song that was previously playing anyway. For the Zappa afficianado, this will be very perplexing. On a few songs, it is obvious that the band was set to go into some serious musical mayhem, such as "Hot Plate Heaven at the Green Hotel" or "Trouble Every Day" , but the songs just cut, sometimes before a Zappa guitar solo (blasphemy!), and in comes an interview. Granted, the spoken word of Frank Zappa is always interesting, witty, and humorous, but this is supposed to be a concert DVD right?

On the plus side, there are some complete songs here, and it's obvious the band was in fine form here, especially drummer Chad Wackerman, keyboard player Alan Zavod, and guitarists/vocalists Ray White and Ike Willis. Bass player Scott Thunes is also a killer player, not to mention an off-the-wall character. Crowd favorites like "Bobby Brown", "Dancin' Fool", "Dinah-Moe Humm", and "Cosmik Debris" are played splendidly, and the set opens up with a ferocious guitar solo on "Zoot Allures." For the most part though, it looks like they left in most of the "humorous" and took out most of the "music." For Zappa completists this is probably a must have, but for the newbie, start off with Baby Snakes first.

Track Listing
1) Zoot Allures
2) Tinsel Town Rebellion
3) Trouble Every Day
4) Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel
5) The Dangerous Kitchen
6) He's So Gay
7) Bobby Brown
8) Keep It Greasy
9) Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me?
10) Dinah-Moe Humm
11) Cosmik Debris
12) Be In My Video
13) Dancin' Fool
14) Whippin' Post

Added: March 6th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Frank Zappa Dot Com
Hits: 2175
Language: english

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