by Rick Rockwell

Yes, indeed, here we are late to the party. But honestly, we didn't even know the party existed until halfway through the festivities. So we have to make up for lost time.

In case you've been missing the fun too, this is all about the Festival of Zappadan.

During this crowded holiday season, do we have room for yet another solstice festival? Fans of the late Frank Zappa (1940-1993) think so. And count this Zappa fan in too.

This is only the second year of Zappadan, so if you too weren't aware, you haven't been missing the fun for long. For those looking to add yet more activities to your holiday calendar (or perhaps as a Zappaesque protest against the over-commercialized holidays) it's rather easy to participate. All you need to do is play some Zappa for every day of the festival, or create something that embodies the satirical and creative spirit that embodied Zappa. Sorry to say, there are only two days left in the festival, but with a burst of creative energy, it's still possible to throw yourself into this celebration. And perhaps in the spirit of anarchy that Zappa encouraged, maybe it's best to join the festival when you see fit and in your own original way.

The festival is a creation of Zappa fans in the blogosphere, and runs virtually from Dec. 4 (the date of FZ's death) until Dec. 21 (the date of FZ's birth). So you see, the end of Zappadan is neigh. Best to dig through that vinyl collection for Hot Rats or Weasels Ripped My Flesh, and quickly.

Some of my favorite blogs tipped me to the existence of this event. So credit DarkBlack and the Guys from Area 51 for alerting me to the festival's existence in the first place. But their writing led me to the Zappa fan site, KillUglyRadio. And eventually, it was on to the festival's source: The Aristocrats. (And although others created the festival, note that Zappa's homepage has a votive candle on the splashpage through Zappadan.) Now, some have criticized Zappadan (already!) as a festival merely to sell t-shirts. And sure enough, The Aristocrats are selling such shirts (see graphic at right or link here). But the shirts also raise money for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which fights for free speech issues and also wants telecom companies held accountable for assisting government spying. So the charitable part of the festival is also in keeping with Zappa's spirit.

And to hold up our end, check out Zappa and his band playing "Zoot Allures" and "Trouble Every Day" from a concert in 1984 below. Enjoy the rest of Zappadan!

(Graphic © copyright DarkBlack and used with permission. For more material like this, please see DarkBlack's blog.)

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Anonymous said...

fantastic you tube clip.
thanks for that!

Anonymous said...

Time for some Zappadan! Hope you are celebrating.

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