Zappa Tribute Update: The Cover Freak Zappa Tribute is progressing nicely. There’s still time to get involved if you’d like. Details are available here. If you’ve already contributed a song, thanks. If you’ve promised me a song and haven’t gotten it to me, please be sure to get it to me by mid-November.
My neighbor owns a house in southwestern Michigan. It’s the house she grew up in. After her parents died she tried renting it out. Her last tenant was a meth freak who sold everything that wasn’t nailed down and a few things that were. When the gas company cut off service because she didn’t pay her bills she started taking doors off the walls and shelves out of the closets and burning them in the fireplace.
My neighbor has since evicted the meth freak and decided to use the house as a vacation retreat. My family is helping her furnish and repair it, so my thoughts have turned toward home furnishings lately.
Ensemble Ambrosius “Sofa No. 1” (Frank Zappa)
Since I started out talking about FZ I figured I’d post a cover of one of my favorite FZ songs. It’s a beautiful, sentimental melody even if the alternate version has German lyrics that don’t make a whole lot of sense in English or German. The Ensemble Ambrosius does a wonderful job with it. Nobody has stepped up to cover this song for the Cover Freak Zappa Tribute, but there’s still time. Not that I’m hinting or anything. Special thanks to Uncle Flakey for sending this song my way.
Rotary Connection “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp” (Jimi Hendrix)
The original version of this song is pretty grand and trippy, but Rotary Connection came up with an arrangement that would make Jimi proud. It’s full of soaring choral vocals and orchestral flourishes.
Inspiral Carpets “Tainted Love” (Gloria Jones)
Most of the rooms in the Michigan house have wall to wall carpeting. It’s nice enough, but not particularly inspirational. Or inspiral, for that matter.
Shelby Lynne “Breakfast In Bed” (Dusty Springfield)
Since my neighbor is using her childhood home as a sort of clubhouse for her friends we’ll be needing a few more beds so we can maximize the number of folks who can sleep there. Then we can all have breakfast in bed. This song comes from a Dusty Springfield tribute album that Shelby Lynne put out a few years ago.
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman “Rockin’ Chair” (Louis Armstrong)
My neighbor’s house is a 1950s ranch house, so it doesn’t have a front porch. As a result there’s not a huge need for a rocking chair, although it still might be nice to find one for the place.