Friday, 4 February 2011

When Big Joan Sets Up by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

It all starts with a killer riff, then some lunatic (read_ Captain Beefheart) doing Al Pacino impressions before Al Pacino had even created the format for the impression itself to exist.

High-pitched skat.

Riff just keeps going.

Lyrics paint a picture of a monstrously large woman whose hands are too small. This worries her, a relationship is trying to be developed. Rules are set.

Riff keeps going.

Then a squeak of a clarinet, which then goes all jazzy.

Hi-hat snatches.

The song has stopped.

Improvisation occurs around a single note.

Hi-hat restarts the song, riff returns, the narrative plays on about Big Joan and her massive fatness and her paranoia about her small hands.

"You know something's happening or you wouldn't have come out like you did"


"She ain't built for going naked"

Also true.

That riff is now burrowing deep and then the song starts to break down, particle by particle.

Instruments fall apart.

Beefheart emits verbiage that gulps and gobbles.

Guitars vomit.

Hi-hat riffs.

Bass plays the aforementioned killer riff and is soon joined again by a purged guitar.

Honking on sax and clarinet reaching some kind of peak, whilst the story goes on about Big Joan being  too fat to go out in the day time and talking about her small hands.

Al Pacino briefly returns.

Is she a boy?

Screaming mixes with sax honking.

Cold sweats are starting.

The song is imploding.

Rhythm section emphasises the riffs punchline like a killing joke.

Lyrics have long stopped.

Song is driving itself now.

Driving itself around the bend.

Where is Big Joan?

Patterns are exchanged.

When will it end?



Notes are hit in tandem.

Now it's over.

I think.


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