[I wrote this last night and choose now to post without reevaluating its content—as I've done at least once before.]
Just spent a minute trying to decide whether I was right that the Mothers' "Call Any Vegetable" is better than the Beach Boys' "Vegetables"—and starting too to wonder which came first and whether it was possible that "Call Any Vegetable" was a kind of parody of "Vegetables" the way We're Only in It for the Money is a kind of parody of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (probably not since I think of the Smile stuff as being post-Pepper [and Absolutely Free is pre-Money],* in which case then though was "Vegetables" maybe Brian Wilson's crazy response to an already way out-there musician, possibly pushing him even further over the edge?)—but then I realized the real answer was that the part of me that likes the Beach Boys is not the same part of me that likes Frank Zappa, and that maybe the difference between those two parts of me is that the one part loves and understands music and the other part is a writer—because what I love about Zappa when I love Zappa is maybe not so much the music as what he's doing with the music...? I think the way I loved that shit when I loved that shit (late '90s) was the way I love a great comedy film: I basically spend the whole thing like, "Did you hear that? Was that not hilarious? Are we in agreement here that what we just saw was one of the funniest things ever?" That's no longer how I enjoy music, but I think it used to be. (Now I enjoy music like this: "YEEEAAAAAHHH!!!!)
It is very possible that everything above is gibberish, a bunch of refrigerator-magnet letters thrown together in a jumble in a bucket like Scrabble letters. Well, not that possible.
|Weird...I feel like both of these guys look at me.† But then I'm tripping balls like Santa Monica Pac-Man right now, so who knows??|
[SIDE NOTE / ADDENDUM / COUNTERARGUMENT / CIRCLE-CLOSER: Thomas Pynchon, whom I used to associate very closely in my mind with Frank Zappa, reportedly came around to loving the Beach Boys. ON A NIGHT JUST LIKE THIS ONE]
* Actually, it turns out that in fact both were released in 1967, although "Vegetables" was recorded during the Smile sessions, some of which went down in 1966, so it's still probably first.
† UPDATE: This was supposed to say look like me. I preserve the typo for purposes of historical perspective.