Saturday, March 31, 2007

What Do You Know (complete version)

what do you know (complete version)
volume 1 number 10*
one can easily see how much I learned from my mentors the beatles as illustrated by this abbey road wannabe. the lush harmonies, the interplay of lennon to mccartney vocals, the vox guitar sound, the ringo tom fills, and sustained bass notes: it's all there and I make no excuse for it. I only wish I had thought of it first. it may be that's why I took such great pains to tear this and other songs into little pieces to sprinkle surprisingly throughout op zop too wah instead of letting them stand alone as this does here for the first time ever.
used to be artists made records specifically to be an experience. the idea being you could sit in a comfy chair with a pair of headphones on listening from beginning to end and feel as though you'd been transported somewhere. like going to see a movie. bands like pink floyd for example made a living out of so-called concept albums that are so out of favor these days. I wanted to make one of those.
my concept centered around the use of snippets of songs put together with found sounds in quick ways to surprise the listener in one long musical sentence.
what do you know
was one piece I willingly sacrificed by cutting it into chunks, having one section appear here, another section 10 minutes later when you'd forgotten about it. the ending appears after the record is over (yet one more surprise) and the chorus never makes it to the record at all. I tried surgery like that with a few different songs and the end result remains one of my personal favorites.
op zop too wah ended up being a pretty good rollercoaster ride. but it's also nice to hear this song in its complete form.

*the dust icon will be changing from week to week for a while as I have found some more representations. the one above is a 3-d rendering of a type of pollen.

instruments and vocals: adrian
engineer: noah evens
recorded at studiobelew in mt. juliet, tennessee on august 15, 1995
length: 3:30


  1. Adrian, any comment about the inspiration to the lyrics? It's one of the few songs of yours I can think of that is so directly critical of someone else (there's Mr. Bonaparte, but even that's more circumspect). When I first heard it, I thought of Fripp, but it seems much too harsh for him, even given your estrangement from him during the mid 80s to early 90s. In any case, it's a great song, and I'm looking forward to hearing the chorus for the first time!

  2. strangely my engineer noah asked one day if it was about HIM! no way would I say such horrible sentiments about someone I knew. in fact, it wasn't about anyone, it just seemed the type of lyric it wanted to be.

  3. That's funny, I always assumed it might have been about Fripp, too.

    I'm glad to hear that it's not about anyone in particular.

  4. I'm anxious to hear this complete version but, as a concept, Op Zop is a masterpiece.
    I remember thinking it was difficult to get through the first time or two I heard it but it quickly replaced the mudshark in my mythology. Inner Revolution also has "blatant" borrowing from the Beatles if I am not mistaken but, it's okay because to me it sounds like the closest we will ever get to hearing what might have been.

  5. Adrian-

    Your latest download selection made me chuckle a little. I've made numerous mix CDs of your music over the years, and I have always stuck the "What Do you Know" parts together. I no longer have to do it. Thanks. It's such a cool, cool tune.

    A couple of random questions that you can either answer or ignore at your leisure:

    1. Will you be making any solo live shows available for download (like DGMlive is doing)? Rob Murphree once shared a list of live recordings he had of you and, well, drool ensued.

    2. As someone who often records himself playing mutliple instruments on his albums, in what order do you record the parts? Drums first? Guitars first? Just curious...

    Anyway, thanks for starting this blog. It's always a fun read.

    Also, thanks for playing Chattanooga a couple of years ago. It was a great show, and folks were talking about it for days afterwards. (Thanks for letting me interview you beforehand, too: You were quite generous with your time.)

  6. bill:
    1. now I've purchased the mobile gear to record side 4 with, it's likely I will record more shows to make available online.
    2. it's different depending on how well I know what I want. I have started tracks with many different instruments as the basic one, including japanese koto!

  7. It's great to hear that some live shows may come available. Surely you have some in the archives there as well from days gone by.
    Would love to be able to purchase the complete show from whence Lone Rhino was taken in the download section.

  8. I second that motion Blockie! With the Raisins' opening set, if that was recorded, as bonus tracks!

  9. sadly I have only two more tracks from that very concert.
    bogart's in cincinnati.
    both tracks scheduled as dust rarities to come.

  10. Were the "Plate of..." songs part of a larger piece? I had "Plate of Words" stuck in my head for the larger part of a year. Just that one verse.

  11. Op Zop remains your masterpiece, in my opinion - I suppose it helps that, like THRAK, it was the first album of yours that was "new" whilst I was a fan, but THRAK hasn't held up quite the same.

    I hope I'm not the first person to tell you I much prefer you to anything The Beatles ever did... but there you go.

  12. Does this track really belong to volume 1? Not counting What Do You Know, all the released Dust tracks go up chronologically when sorted by volume/track. But this track falls between 1979's Peas and 1983's Dust.

    Is it merely a coincidence that they've been going up by year? I'm curious ... what is the reasoning behind the different volumes?

    Thanks Ade!

    I need a life ...

  13. Hello Adrian, good to see your blog!
    I've been a huge fan for a long time, seen you a few times when you come thru the midwest, will see you again @ Blueberry Hill in St. Louis!

  14. Hi Adrian,

    I would just like to say hi (for the first time here). I love this blog... great stories about music that was very important to me in my musically formative years. I have been a fan since the Zappa days, and I love what you do. You are a big inspiration.

    I just listened to the song "Eyes Wide Open" on the "Happy to be Happy with You're Happy with" EP. And it hit me the same way it hit me when I first heard it. I gotta tell you... it's one of the most musically beautiful songs I have ever heard. It just does something magical to me. I don't know why.
    I'm not talking about the lyrics. There is something about the interlocking guitars... they dance with each other so perfectly.
    For some reason, I have a feeling that this song was one that you came up with, and presented to the band.
    I prefer the version on that EP rather than the one that came out later, on the official album.