Frank Zappa (1940–1993) was an American composer, electric guitarist, record
producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa
wrote rock, jazz, electronic, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He
also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album
covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released
with the band Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. His 1966 debut
album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in
conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and
studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and
experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was
one of rock, jazz or classical. He wrote the lyrics to all his songs,
which—often humorously—reflected his skeptical view of established political
processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream
education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate
for freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship. Zappa was a highly
productive and prolific artist and he gained widespread critical acclaim.
Many of his albums are considered essential in rock history, and he is
regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time;
he remains a major influence on musicians and composers.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks made the first observation of a transit
Scanian War: Forces led by Swedish Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt
defeated the invading army of Denmark–Norway under the command of King
Christian V at the Battle of Lund in an area north of Lund, Sweden.
The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, was first published.
Pan American World Airways, which was the principal international airline of
the United States and which was credited with many innovations, ended
Operation Restore Hope: U.S. President George H. W. Bush ordered American
troops into Somalia to help provide humanitarian aid and restore order after
the dissolution of the country's central government during the ongoing
Somali Civil War.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
grimalkin (n) 1. A cat, especially an elderly female.
2. An old, bad-tempered woman; a crone.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive,
enlightening, familiar and surprising, for the edification of mankind,
pinned down by the conditions of its existence to the earnest consideration
of the most insignificant tides of reality.