Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play
ISBN 10: 0312141246 / 0-312-14124-6
ISBN 13: 9780312141240
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 1996
Too iconoclastic, too rude, too idiosyncratic to be easily embraced by the music world or the critics, the late Frank Zappa lives on by having established the avant-garde musical seat in the pantheon of artistic genres. Here, Watson details the esoteric and ambitious work of one of this century's most dedicated and unclassifiable masters of freedom and imagination.
There is probably no figure of modern popular music who so deserves the sort of scholarly exercise undertaken by Ben Watson in this book, and I am personally convinced that Zappa will be regaled by 21st Century music historians as a "crux of the biscuit" of 20th Century music.
And this 700 page tome will certainly be cited by our music historian descendants. In fairness, it may confound today's Zappa fans with it's copious references to Adorno, Freud, and Marx, but is likely to delight the erudite with its excerpts of the playfully situationist lyrics of Zappa, completely deconstructed by Watson. There is no doubt that Zappa was a genius--albeit a peculiarly American sort--and there is no doubt that no book has yet attempted such a thorough (albeit peculiar) analysis of his genius. Highly Recommended.
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