A quick check reveals that it’s been 213 days since I last wrote about Frank Zappa for this website, which is 212 days too long by my count. Yours may vary, but while Jeff is basking in the sea of facial hair, ironic t-shirts and lo-fi bands that is SXSW, I’m instituting a strict Pro-Mothers of Invention policy around here and that’s that. “Peaches in Regalia” which opens Hot Rats, perhaps the man’s greatest work, is low hanging fruit for a busy music-writer on deadline: the track practically praises itself.
An epic virtuoso piece combining Stravinsky keyboard runs, prog-rock drumming and more melodies than Kevin Barnes on adderall, its an easy entry-point (II) for Zappa neophytes and an obvious favorite for hardcore fans. It’s fun too: the song easily switches from orchestral pomp to faux-Chinatown cheese before exploding into a euphoric blast of horns that would serve as the perfect hook for just about any other band. More than the jokey tape pieces or the second-grade toilet humor, it’s this combination of compositional mastery and pure rock-n-roll fun that keep the man’s music in College kids’ playlists everywhere. Well, that and the SXSW worth facial hair.
Fun fact: legendary recluse and all around musical enigma Shuggie Otis played bass on it too.
MP3: Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention – Peaches in Regalia