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ROB DELANEY/Live at the Bowery Ballroom: For all you Twitter cynics, here's something for you to chew on. Delaney has ridden Twitter to glory even faster and harder than Dane Cook rode the Internet to glory. What's there for you to chew on? In addition to being a very funny fellow, Delaney is a recovering alcoholic that has been battling depression. That might say something about the Twitterverse, but three cheers for him to still be standing and prospering. Oh yeah, with one Tweet, he sold out a hall in seven minutes and he's being hailed as the funniest guy on Twitter. The paradigm has shifted. One thing that hasn't shifted is that a comedian has to make you laugh and Delaney is one of the new kids at the head of the class even if he's doing it from the back row. Doing stand up comedy as filtered through the observational lens of the class clown, I spiritually haven't heard from this guy since a bunch of us were failing organic chemistry and just gave up. We never met but I'm glad to hear from you again. This cd is the roll off from his Internet special and his every man humor will rattle your funny bone to the point of dislocation. Three cheers for our mad geniuses that do the heavy lifting so the rest of us can sit back and enjoy it. This is a four star laugh riot.

FRANK ZAPPA/Meets the Mothers of Prevention: Ah, 1985. This was Zappa's last studio album to feature vocals. It also found him presaging Puff Daddy by sampling Congress and turning their words in to pig grunts. Highlighting his fight with PMRC and other things that pissed him off at the time, this wasn't a last hurrah, it was a guy with cancer tired of swimming against the tide and trying to make sure his family would be taken care of after he sailed off in search of the cosmic Dinah Moe Humm. All this and Al Gore admitting to being a Zappa fan. You can't get through this set without lapsing into classic snicker and smirk as Zappa bridged the 60s into the 80s and found all of it deserving of his classic sneer. Not really a classic entry in the canon, the funny thing about it is that it has all the earmarkings of a classic.

FRANK ZAPPA/Francesco Zappa: Actually, this isn't Zappa's riff on his own PDQ Bach. He actually found some guy in ancient classical music that had the same name and applied electronics to the elder's works. Among all the entries we called odd ducks in the canon, ok, this is the oddest and might only click with you if you are a fan of Joshua Rifkin's baroque fantasies.

FRANK ZAPPA/Broadway the Hard Way: The first of a troika of collections documenting his last world tour in 1988, this album has an oddity to it--when Zappa delivers the punches to the labonaza, he names names. How does it fare to have guest star Sting sticking it to Jimmy Swaggart today? You guys barely know who der Stingle is any more. Swaggart? The guy that condemned Sting? Never mind. Depending on your level of fandom, you'll either see this as a negative or a meh. Be nice, he even covers Oliver Nelson here, and it isn't no jazz from hell.

Volume 36/Number 8
November 8, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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