Skilleting homefries for breakfast

And eyeing one of those Treasury of World Masterpieces tomes on the shelf, my lawyer asks me if I like Edgar Allen Poe. I do dig him and the bugbird, courtesy of that original hipster and wigger, the finger-poppin' daddy hisself, Lord Buckley. He flipped the wigs of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and uh...Robin Williams, but I had to double-check his hilarious riffin' against the original, and loe, how it aligns itself. Pending question though: Can they see him in Flip City?

Or better yet, why is it that Frank Zappa's vanity imprint, known variously as bizarre or Straight, remains mostly out of print? They came around just once, in the late 80's, and have remained real gone daddies eversince, at least stateside. Methinks it still stems from the fallout between Zappa and Herb Cohen way back when, but I'd have to consult my lawyer for the legalese scoop.

In the meantime, dig the weirdos that led both Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band and Alice Cooper, before Don Van Vliet and Vincent Damon Furnier became the monikers themselves. That little showtune lick in the guitar/marimba section of "Bellerin' Plain" knocks my lobes, and I doubt Miss Cooper ever got so danged purty again.

The biggest shock is which of these has recently come back around. Farewell, Aldebaran, the album made by the Queen of the Beatniks and one of the Lovin' Spoonful, is a strange beast indeed. Part Oxford Book of English Verse, part Christian pamphleture, part sung rounds, and part nonsense, it's one of the oddest acid-folk records ever loosed. "Raider" is my favorite, as its folky beginning, with plucked banjo, downhome singing, and bass slowly coalesce via the layered rounds into something hypnotic and...well, bizarre.

And rather than unpack Tim Buckley (you know, Jeff's dad) and the melting murmur of "Cafe," I'll just quote his fine guitarist Lee Underwood, talking about the song in his book, Blue Melody: "It is a song and a performance perhaps best listened to in quiet, intimate surroundings, maybe by candlelight, deeply relaxed, eyes closed." Close 'em and peep Flip City.