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A Zappadan Special: It’s Captain Beefheart Day

One year ago today Don Van Vliet, known to the many as Captain Beefheart, a musician (harmonica … referred to as “harp” as in the jazz expression), vocalist and visual artist, died of Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 69.

Beefheart’s ongoing relationship with Zappa, while not always cordial when he and his Magic Band competed with Frank, began before the creation of the Mothers, when they played together around Cucomunga, CA, and in the early Mothers recordings. He was often billed as a lead vocalist with Zappa.

Anyway, you can’t have Zappadan without remembering Van Vliet.

Here’s a piece from Beefheart and his Magic Band:
Ice Cream For Crow

Some details:

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band; directed by Don Van Vliet (with much uncredited assistance from producer Ken Schreiber), cinematography by Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre); Don Van Vliet (vocals, harp), Gary Lucas (guitar), Jeff Tepper (guitar), Rick Snyder (bass), Cliff Martinez (drums); filmed on location in the High Mojave Desert near Lancaster, California; clip rejected by MTV USA as “too weird” upon release, now in the Permanent Film and Video Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; track taken from the 1982 Virgin album “Ice Cream for Crow”

And just to remember Frank as well, here’s a piece with them both:

Orange Claw Hammer

And on this day of forgiveness and charity we present the Republicans of Michigan…

Rick Snyder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

You may have seen in the Detroit News web site how Governor Rick Snyder (R) and many of his Senators and Representatives in the State Legislature are bringing their budget in line. They are closing prisons without making arrangements for thousands of prisoners (and eliminating hundreds of jobs), and making major cuts in the Dept. of Human Services, among other things.

They are toughening rules for State Disability Assistance and reducing money for Early Childhood support. And…get this…no more burials for unclaimed bodies of indigents (perhaps they will be put out on the street.)

And then… think of what you can save on the clothing of foster children:

Caswell - the Used Clothes Guy

A small part of the DHS savings, about $200,000, would come from adjustments to the clothing allowance for foster children, or children of the working poor, of $79 for school clothes. (Bruce) Caswell (R-Hillsdale) said children will still get close to that $79, but would be issued gift cards that can only be used at the Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores.

“The reason is you can get a whole lot more in a resale store,” Caswell said.

“Give me a break,” said Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services.

“Government should not be big brother in telling somebody how to spend their (79) dollars,” she said.

I didn’t see them raising any state taxes on Michigan’s rich, however. If you take away their money, who will pay expensive tailors for clothes?