Tag Archives: Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart’s “Trout mask replica”

 

The release on 16 June 1969 of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s Trout mask replica, a double album comprising 28 stream-of-consciousness songs filled with abstract rhythms and guttural bellows, dramatically altered the pop landscape.

Yet even if the album cast its radical vision over the future of music, much of its artistic strength is actually drawn from the past. Beefheart’s incomparable opus, an album that divided (rather than united) a pop audience, is informed by a variety of diverse sources. Trout mask replica is a hybrid of poetic declarations inspired by both Walt Whitman and the beat poets, the field hollers of the Delta Blues, the urban blues of Howlin’ Wolf, the gospel blues of Blind Willie Johnson, and the free jazz of Ornette Coleman.

The album was not so much an arcane specimen of the avant-garde, but rather a defiantly original declaration of the American imagination.

This according to Trout mask replica by Kevin Courrier (New York: Continuum, 2007).

Today is the 50th anniversary of Trout mask replica’s release! Below, a lively and informative introduction to the album.

BONUS: A detailed analysis of Frownland, the album’s first track:

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Filed under Curiosities, Performers, Popular music

Insects in rock ’n’ roll cover art

Insects in rock ’n’ roll cover art is an article and an online database by Joseph R. Coelho, who teaches in the Biology Program at Quincy University.

The article, which can be read online here, was published in American entomologist (L/3 [fall 2004] pp. 142–151). The database (here)  is part of a larger project called Insects in rock ’n’ roll music, which also includes lists of insect-related songs, albums, and artist names.

Above, a classic Iron Butterfly album cover. Below, ants dancing to Ant man bee from the legendary Trout mask replica by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band.

Many thanks to the Improbable Research blog for alerting us about Professor Coelho’s work!

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Filed under Animals, Nature, Popular music, Resources, Science, Visual art