Tuesday, February 22, 2011

LIBRARY : captain beefheart / the biography

Wire contributor Mike Barnes' biography CAPTAIN BEEFHEART (Omnibus Press) presents the reader with the curiously entertaining, and sometimes sad tale of Don Van Vliet, that is, Captain Beefheart, musician, visual artist, poet and control freak. With the death of the Captain a month or so ago, Barnes' words become especially poignant... "the extraordinary story of a counterculture legend," written with the participation of many of the creative musicians who populated Beefheart's group during his active years, this 360 page critical history is a compelling read. From blues to free-jazz, from arguably his masterwork 1969's Trout Mask Replica, through a few horrible stabs at commercial viability, this book presents the whole story in mesmerizing detail with no stone left unturned. Thank Mike Barnes for a perceptive look at an artist who left us several surreal gems that continue to amaze and dazzle a new generation.

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