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1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY 95.14 AUD (snopes-Drew51-flambay-ZP)
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Zappa Penguin
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Post 2012-08-30 23:44   [Quote] 
Frank Zappa
October 26th, 1980
SUNY
Stony Brook, NY
Early Show


It's an exciting day today. This is the last known-to-be-recorded Fall 1980 show to be put up on the tracker. While known recordings of the 11/06 show in Montreal and 11/10 in Richfield have yet to be given the coveted Zappateer treatment, I feel safe in declaring that those particular recordings don't count (a soundboard of the Richfield show is already on the tracker, and captures all the truly interesting moments, and the recording of the Montreal show doesn't really have anything in the setlist that gets this particularly discerning Fall 1980 consumer's ears perked). So, with the aforementioned exceptions - and with the additional caveat that a constant stream of new unearthings make any guarantee or accusation of "complete" a rather loose, constantly-shifting term - this marks the fourth tour to be "completely" documented on this tracker, and the first of substantial length. It just barely edges out ahead of Fall 1976 (11/06 Troy remains in the temporary purgatory of the Shoebox) and Fall 1977 (11/14 Denver, an ancient seed from 2005, doesn't meet current Zappateers standards for info.txt and never went through the sampling procedure) - a fact which makes this particularly discerning Fall 1980 fanatic tickled pink. Even better, this is one of the rare few shows for which a tape has been known to circulate, and yet no digital transfer - lossy, NR'd, or otherwise - is known to have been made. That means that this will be a brand-new listen for the vast majority of downloading ears - no mere sonic upgrade, this.

Of course, one passing glance at FZShows may help illustrate just why this show has taken so long to appear on the digital circuit (and just why the author decided to end the previous paragraph with the phrase "sonic upgrade" still echoing in our minds). In a tour heartily splattered with globs of A's and B's, this is the lone, frightening example of a "C" with no comforting "+" close by. A C/C- at that, combining two of the most frightening phrases us live recording enthusiasts ever face (right up there with other, longer phrases such as "source: traded CD-R", and "at first this was really hissy, but . . ."). So what's the deal here? Is this a diamond, long overlooked due to its seeming rough edges, but whose internal facets (and high melting temperature) easily outshine whatever technical imperfections may exist (see also: 9/13/73 Birmingham, 6/02/82 Rennes)? Or is it a brown lump that sorta looks like it might be petrified wood but is really just a long-neglected dog turd (see also: 5/05/73 Rochester)?

First off... (SIT DOWN!) ...the sound maybe isn't QUITE as terrible as the grade suggests. It's certainly (SIT THE FUCK DOWN!) an ugly, ugly recording, made (SIT YOUR ASS DOWN) from the back of an acoustically-challenged (HEY, SIT DOWN!) venue - but once you get (COME ON, SIT DOWN!) used to it, it's bearable - which is more than I (FUCKING SIT DOWN, ASSHOLE!) can say for tapes like Rochester 73 or Cincy 81.

Make no mistake about it though, this is one ugly motherfucker of a recording. Sounds like the levels were set too high and the microphone was buried far too deep inside a concealing article of clothing, made from fabric way too thick, with the taper sitting way too far in the back of a venue better suited for young mens' college basketball than a rock n' roll concert. The end result manages to be distorted, muffled, distant, and boomy all at once, though with a healthy amount of (HEY, COME ON ASSHOLE, SIT DOWN) crowd to liven the dull moments. In a world where Cincy 81 gets a "C", a flat "C" for this one seems quite fair. It's a different SORT of ugly, but it's ugly nonetheless.

The music being played, of course, is what really counts. Chunga's has the usual interesting-sounding Fall 80 stylings (given the quality of this recording, though, I'd say it's a lot more "interesting" than it is "sounding"). Then we get the usual October 1980 Bathroom Break Suite (trust me, nobody's going to fault you for copying the Greasey -> Honey portion of the Buffalo album into the playlist at this point), though here it's enlivened somewhat by the drama unfolding in the rowdy New York audience. Zappa even has to stop Stick It Out just to try and get certain audience members to sit down, with seemingly mixed results judging from the rest of the tape. Whether Zappa returns to Stick It Out or not is somewhat unclear - close listening seems to reveal a subtle tape-cut at the very beginning of Zappa's spoken Cosmik Debris introduction, though the recording quality makes this a bit of an open question. The only other known recording of the Stick It Out > Cosmik Debris pair (11/10 Richfield) has them segue, with no spoken introduction. So did the taper just hit "pause" and forget to unpause until the conclusion of Stick It Out (which would make for a rare non-seguing-into-anything-at-all Stick It Out coda), or did the taper just skip some more of the "please be seated" delay? If all that's missing is more "please sit down" nonsense, this would create an interesting bit of trivia here - this marks one of the rare few times where Zappa interrupts a song in progress and doesn't return to it after matters are dealt with. To my admittedly-incomplete knowledge, the only other "permanent interruptions" were where Zappa decided to take a "permanent vacation" (Detroit 1981, Geneve 1982, and so on) - so I guess I could have just said "the only time where Zappa interrupts a song, doesn't finish that song, and yet does not end the show", but the first paragraph here was so full of qualifiers I decided it'd be best to... qualify it in a different way. Please forgive me.

Other bulletpoints regarding the Bathroom Break Suite, for those who decided not to tough it out themselves: Tinseltown Rebellion is still in the "rock n' roll" version. The opening of Drowning Witch is rendered partially unlistenable by the sudden eruption of... pleas? aggressive solicitations? exhortations? ...to sit down. I don't mean "unlistenable" in the sense that I find the Zappa/Stone "remaster" of You Are What You Is to be "unlistenable". I mean, you really cannot listen to the first minute or so of Drowning Witch on this recording, because you cannot hear it, because people are furiously advising each other to SIT THE FUCK DOWN. I suppose this might bump it up a notch in the tiers of Fall 1980 Drowning Witches. Beyond this, it's basically the same-ol' same-ol', with the occasional barely-discernable secret word or SIT DOWN, ASSHOLE to perhaps liven things up a bit - and the same goes for the rest of the typical pop songs on the setlist.

As for the rest of the solos: Pick Me is your typical "guitar god" solo, with Frank, then Vinnie, then finally Mr. Artie each eventually abandoning the vamp, culminating in about a minute of inner-orbit schenanigans which hint at the Pick Me sickness that would develop towards the end of November. City of Tiny Lights features some particularly sick guitar-wrangling towards the end (which is unfortunately mostly buried in the haze of saturation and echo that soaks this recording - a clean soundboard of this could be very interesting!), though most of the post-sola Ray White coda is lost to an unfortunate tape-cut. To make up for this, we do get an interesting paranoid rant from someone near the taper that's unfortunately a bit difficult to make out, but seems to generally involve somebody who - you guessed it - refuses to SIT THE FUCK DOWN. Andy probably suffers the most from the cruddy tape quality - between the very loud full-band vamp and the typically-intricate guitar effects, this one is obviously not exactly what the Maestro intended. It's still fun and loud and chaotic, and one can tell that it's a damn fine listening experience even if one cannot fully listen to it. The sound quality actually brightens after the cut - not to say it isn't still shitty, but at least it's shitty in a different way. Unfortunately, this comes too late to potentially save (or at least alter the inherent shitty sound of) any solos, since it's all pop songs from that point on.

This leaves Torture, an imposing 20+ minute beast of a song (I believe the last Torture of the tour that clocks in at under twenty minutes is the relatively disappointing one from the underwhelming Houston snoozer a few nights back). Butch and the Mongolians get namechecked during the cocktail jazz section, and evidently our anti-hero evil prince occasionally eats the sweaters and underpants before the snouts and trotters (other times he just holds them up to his nose). As for the solos, the first guitar solo is rather short by Torture standards, and - with the standard "the sound here is crummy so really who fucking knows for sure" disclaimer - uninteresting. Certainly not "bad" or anything, but think "vanilla Torture Never Stops solo" and you pretty much have this one. For 99% of human beings who have ever picked up a guitar, this particular solo would be a life-long triumph, but we expect more eyebrows from Mr. Frank. This quickly gives way to a very nice electric piano solo from Tommy - it starts off much more mellow than his usual Torture stylings, with some very nice psychic bass from Arthur. We even get a Zavodian "volcano" that serves as the transition to the usual more-upbeat bouncy Tommy stuff, which leads into Tommy's Tortuous Progressive Opera stuff (no actual "Mystery Opera" here, though listen to enough Fall 1980 Torture solos and you'll start hearing the Mystery Opera all over the place). Vinnie's drum solo makes for two straight solos relatively unaffected by the sound quality (sure, everything's saturated as hell, but at least you generally know what the instrument's doing) - some nice drum-synth stuff too; with some careful editing of the more manic hyperactive portions you might even be able to convince someone this came from a Fall 77 Envelopes.

Of course, avid listeners know that a Fall 1980 Torture really comes down to Frank's Second Solo. An excellent Frank's Second Solo can elevate an average Torture into the highest tier, just as a mediocre Frank's Second Solo can turn the entire experience into a bit of a dud (Houston, anyone?). As the final saturated, boomy thuds of Vinnie's solo fade into the saturated, boomy saturation of this tape, the question in all our minds remains: "Why does it hurt when I hear?". Unless you've finally reached the Zen of this particular recording, of course (persevere, young Grasshopper, it can be done if you listen long enough), in which case the question is probably more along the lines of "so, how's that there Frank's Second Solo?". The answer can be given not with a paragraph, nor a sentence, nor even a single word. All it takes is one character: *. A big ol' asterisk. I'm sure one can guess the exact reasoning here - it seems really, really good, with Frank hyperactively switching styles like Mel Blanc switching voices, with a magical Frankian coherency across the entire outing. Of course, I say "seems" here, because it's hard to get an objective listen to this solo thanks to - say it with me, folks - the crummy tape quality. For all I know it's just Frank channel-surfing on guitar, with my subconscious ear filling in the blanks and making the whole piece seem more coherent than it actually is - a victory for post-modernism, to be sure, but not a victory in Frank's usual sense. No Alien Orifice teases here that I can hear, which lends an interesting "on-again, off-again" nature to the pre-Halloween existence of Alien Orifice teases in Torture ("on" on 10/22, 10/25, and 10/28, "off" on 10/24, 10/26, and - hopefully, or this entire cockamammy tangent goes to shit - the currently-uncirculated possibly-spurious 10/27 show in Virginia). How's that for random, useless trivia?

I think if I were to sum this tape up in a word, my choice would be "interesting". Not an understated "interesting" which is code for "downright fascinating", nor is it a euphemistic "interesting" shielding an otherwise-negative opinion. It just... you know, has its moments. Oddly, it doesn't leave me yearning for an upgrade the way some other bad-sounding tapes do (Rennes 82, Birmingham 73, even the compartively-okay-sounding Tulsa 1980 tape or the Madrid 79 AUD with Inca Roads). Sure, an upgrade would be nice, but if I was in the Imaginary Director's Chair of the Imaginary Director, where I get to CHOOSE these things, I'd pick any of the aforementioned tapes over this one in a heartbeat. I guess I could go as far as to wish that the sound quality of this one was swapped with the late show (with the less-interesting YAWYI-heavy setlist), but that's about as far as I can go in this particular direction. This tape doesn't leave me regretting the entire experience a la Rochester 1973 or Cincy 81, and it doesn't even leave me distinctly non-plussed like Chicago 71. It's just a bad-but-not-quite-wretched-sounding tape with some fun Conceptual Crowd Chatter Continuity and the standard Fall 1980 set items. It's... interesting.

LINEAGE:
SNOPES + DREW SUITE: Original Recording > ? > Maxell XLII Cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A cassette deck > Tascam US-122L > Sound Forge Pro 10.0 (record/edits/resample) > FLAC Level 8 > flambay

FLAMBAY VARIATIONS: FLAC files > Soundforge 10: speed correction, channels fixed/mixed (as described below) > flac TLH lvl8 (no SBA) > ZP

AS ZP EXPLAINS IT: > FLAC files > FLAC Frontend (decoded to .WAV) > CDWAV (tracks split) > GoldWave (Dangerous Kitchen and Andy stitched back together) > FLAC Frontend (encoded to .FLAC) > Trader's Little Helper (SBE's corrected, resulting files deleted, TLH reconfigured to not add "-fixed" to the end of everything, SBE's corrected again, resulting files deleted again, TLH reconfigured to put the files in their own special directory so it won't continue to add "-fixed" to the end, TLH given a strong tonguelashing by ZP, SBE's corrected again) > FLAC Frontend (Andy decoded to .WAV for additional pitch correction) > WaveLab (last portion of Andy adjusted down an additional -5 cts per flambay) > TLH (ZP stares menacingly at TLH, then manages to correct SBE's on the first go) > foobar2000 (ReplayGain added, tags added using Live Show Tagger) > you, the people

FLAMBAY ANNOTATIONS:
speed correction info:
side 1: -30cts
side 2a: -35cts
side 2b: -50cts
side 2c: -80cts

channels fixed/Mixed as follows
(to do away with the originally noticed "phase offset" impression):

side 1, 2a, 2c:
Left channel left untouched,
Right channel: mixed 70% from Left with 30% from Right channel

side 2b portion:
Left channel left untouched,
Right channel: mixed 80% from Left with 20% from Right channel

FZSHOWS:
Quote:
1980 10 26 - SUNY, Stony Brook, NY
Early show
90 min, Aud, C/C-

Chunga's Revenge, Stick It Out, Cosmik Debris, Keep It Greasey, Tinsel Town Rebellion, Drowning Witch, Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me?, Pick Me I'm Clean, Dead Girls Of London, Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously?, City Of Tiny Lights, The Dangerous Kitchen, I Ain't Got No Heart, The Torture Never Stops, Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, I'm So Cute, Andy, Joe's Garage, Dancin' Fool


THIS SOURCE:
95 min, Aud, C

FZSHOWS CORRECTIONS AND ERRATA:
As touched upon above, I'd give this one a flat C for "Crummy", but not quite "Crappy". Might be worth appending "(interrupted)" to Stick It Out, c.f. Detroit 1981 and most other interrupted set items, but not exactly a critical edit.

TRACKLIST:
01. Chunga's Revenge [5:37]
02. band introductions [1:45]
03. Stick It Out [1:13]
04. Cosmik Debris [4:01]
05. Keep It Greasey [3:01]
06. Tinseltown Rebellion [4:20]
07. Drowning Witch [2:35]
08. Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me [4:14]
09. Pick Me I'm Clean [7:24]
10. Dead Girls of London [2:51]
11. Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously [1:37]
12. City of Tiny Lights [8:55]
13. The Dangerous Kitchen [4:21]
14. Ain't Got No Heart [2:02]
15. The Torture Never Stops [22:28]
16. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes [3:44]
17. I'm So Cute [1:41]
18. Andy [6:18]
19. simulated encore [0:44]
20. Joe's Garage [2:14]
21. Dancing Fool [4:07]

NOTES:
Each tape-side ends with multiple cuts, as if the taper repeatedly stopped the tape to see how much was left. City of Tiny Lights cuts at 2:56, 7:09, and 8:07, Dangerous Kitchen cuts at 0:04 (this seems to be the "actual" tape-flip), Andy cuts at 4:44 and 6:18, and Dancing Fool cuts at 2:32. It is thanks to this meticulous work of the taper, judiciously using every last millimeter of magnetic tape, that we are not deprived of precious few minutes of Dancing Fool - whew!

FFP:

Quote:
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 01 Chunga's Revenge.flac:34aaf1d19bc7a5c6e108ffb641b87a32
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 02 band introductions.flac:68988337b39353267c72576e02be5084
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 03 Stick It Out.flac:94770a92059186eba26b14f11aed2c2b
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 04 Cosmik Debris.flac:73bdb871e306a13e961c564df9239ec1
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 05 Keep it Greasey.flac:1925ca191a6bd4aeae536ff78d8d0f68
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 06 Tinseltown Rebellion.flac:3ff6fd626156632d712488be55b1ff7a
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 07 Drowning Witch.flac:b2dbfea293ebc94835157ee3b555736a
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 08 Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me.flac:72645efd493fbd77cc6516cc31e7ec5c
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 09 Pick Me I'm Clean.flac:e1240f0cb0fceaa6b530e461222e84ac
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 10 Dead Girls of London.flac:42c09cc5c0f767441f3bdb4c7a2aea21
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 11 Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously.flac:21798d2043138c00250b6fca48c7f3cb
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 12 City of Tiny Lights.flac:f4f14f2b9f1b97ad2bfdfdc30da6df95
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 13 The Dangerous Kitchen.flac:23b743df73488fb2233498541a4565d8
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 14 Ain't Got No Heart.flac:d7bfe31963f5f7e1f10b69adca7aed14
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 15 The Torture Never Stops.flac:f462bf3219e318682d0793395446fd43
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 16 Broken Hearts Are For Assholes.flac:0d6ffe6d604608fb07ad26b1a603346a
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 17 I'm So Cute.flac:0ae423be24eecef4570d322ae7b2e501
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 18 Andy.flac:3281c51d45973187b642ef3640e02c1d
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 19 simulated encore.flac:3030e1080a6ca068205a3d9d518c6538
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 20 Joe's Garage.flac:ca3282ae078f610a43e01710e3e3968c
1980 10 26 (E) Stony Brook NY - 21 Dancin' Fool.flac:bedd2e99c736c5fd292efef64b51a423


REQUESTS:
Do not buy high. Do not sell low. Make sure never to flip your tapes until they flip themselves. When attending a concert in a venue with seating provided, kindly make use of aforementioned seating. Keep circulating the tapes.

CREDITS:
snopes - Tradin'
Drew - Transferrin'
Flambay - Pitchin'
ZP - Seedin'

SEEDED:
To Zappateers on August 30th, 2012

Enjoy!
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Al Fresco
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Post 2012-08-31 00:01   [Quote] 
Nice intro, ZP. thumbsup
Many thanks to all for their -in┤ Smile
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manxzx
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Post 2012-08-31 00:58   [Quote] 
Shocked
wow
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Zappa Penguin
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Post 2012-08-31 01:06   [Quote] 
Sorry about the delays in getting this seeded - for those of you not in the know, uTorrent 3.x is a titanic, enormous, downright colossal piece of shit, far far worse than even the most bloated versions of Azureus/Vuze. Even when more recent versions of Vuze bug out and maintain a constant 100% CPU load, at least they continue to fucking seed properly.

Watching this crawl along at 40k/sec was the final straw - I "downgraded" to uTorrent 1.8.2, and everything seems to be moving smoothly so far. Using the exact same settings (for anyone worried about the "pain in the ass" factor: Don't be, all the torrents from 3.x automatically showed up after installation, even the incomplete stuff) and now we seem to be at around 300k/sec - now that's more like it! I highly recommend anyone else having BitTorrent problems do the same Very Happy


Last edited by Zappa Penguin on 2012-08-31 01:08; edited 1 time in total
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elviszappa
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Post 2012-08-31 01:07   [Quote] 
Oh, my god dude, I have to be sober to read your rambles..........LOL Love it!
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Overnitefreak
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Post 2012-08-31 01:10   [Quote] 
Laughing Good to see you back in action on the tracker B. Nicely done.

Kind regards,
Overnitefreak
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Zappa Penguin
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Post 2012-08-31 01:14   [Quote] 
elviszappa wrote:
Oh, my god dude, I have to be sober to read your rambles..........LOL Love it!

Who needs Bill W. when you have Z. Penguin? Laughing
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BengoFury
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Post 2012-08-31 04:21   [Quote] 
Nice one Wink

Absolutely NO problems with uTorrent 3.1.3 here... running smooth on both XP & W7, you must have some other problems...
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HughGotIt
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Post 2012-08-31 04:36   [Quote] 
Well Zappa Penguin your "ramblings" sold me. Smile
Thank you for all the work gentleman.

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Zootfranšois
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Post 2012-08-31 06:23   [Quote] 
Many thanks!
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marcomat
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Post 2012-08-31 08:05   [Quote] 
Zappa Penguin wrote:

this marks one of the rare few times where Zappa interrupts a song in progress and doesn't return to it after matters are dealt with. To my admittedly-incomplete knowledge, the only other "permanent interruptions" were where Zappa decided to take a "permanent vacation" (Detroit 1981, Geneve 1982, and so on) - so I guess I could have just said "the only time where Zappa interrupts a song, doesn't finish that song, and yet does not end the show"


It comes to my mind Cocaine/Nig Biz in Palermo 1982.
Anyway, nice review, ZP.
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father-0blivion
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Post 2012-08-31 08:09   [Quote] 
It took me twice as long to read ZP's excellent comments than it did to download the show!! (What our friends who don't have English as a first language make of these circumlocutions is anybody's guess.......) Smile

Thanks for the show and the review!
FOB.

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''Just consider this..... You can be scared when it gets too real...''
(FZ: ''It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal'')

'' 'n pretty soon, there won't be no street, for dummies to jog on, or doggies to dog on, religious fanatics, can make it be all gone...''
(FZ: ''Dumb All Over'')
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frank2441
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Post 2012-08-31 08:44   [Quote] 
Thanks
One down .... some more to go!

Great work
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WIU2B
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Post 2012-08-31 09:14   [Quote] 
father-0blivion wrote:
It took me twice as long to read ZP's excellent comments than it did to download the show!! (What our friends who don't have English as a first language make of these circumlocutions is anybody's guess.......) Smile


ZP's prose should be collected, printed and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize!

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No wonder . . . it's not exactly normal, but what the fuck?'
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flambay
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Post 2012-08-31 09:40   [Quote] 
Many thanks, Zappa Penguin.
also and especially for this excellent, instructive and most entertaining write-up.

Just one note:
Zappa Penguin wrote:
No Alien Orifice teases here that I can hear, which lends an interesting "on-again, off-again" nature to the pre-Halloween existence of Alien Orifice teases in Torture ("on" on 10/22, 10/25, and 10/28, "off" on 10/24, 10/26, and - hopefully, or this entire cockamammy tangent goes to shit - the currently-uncirculated possibly-spurious 10/27 show in Virginia). How's that for random, useless trivia?

Maybe hard to tell with this C/C- type recording
but in fact this Stony Brook Torture Monster does also include an Alien Orifice teaser:
You can hear the corresponding AO harmonies here from about 8:00 into the track right until 10:45 (start of the Vinnie solo).
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