Think of Dweezil Zappa not as someone riding on his father’s coattails, but rather as an apologist for and curator of his father’s formidable legacy. One of Dweezil’s first moves as torchbearer (whether or not he would agree) was to distance the Zappa enterprise a few steps from its more puerile and sophomoric elements: a dimension that might have played a little better in Frank’s heyday in the ’70s. At first, Dweezil loved to emphasize Frank’s guitar-heavy and fusion-leaning efforts, like Apostrophe (what ace guitarist wouldn’t?), and somewhat downplay the inflatable dildos and continuous sex jokes that can make some of Frank’s most ambitious music relatively easy to grow out of.
Now Dweezil is going after the seminal Freak Out! the 1966 Mothers of Invention debut and a unique work of drug-free psychedelia that both epitomizes and transcends its era. If high-end guitar wankery is not exactly your thing, this bit of historical reconstruction might be the Dweezil show for you.
– John Burdick
The Bardavon presents Dweezil Zappa: “50 Years of Frank!” on Friday, July 28 at 8 p.m. at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie. Ticket prices range from $50 to $75; $5 less for members. Purchase them at the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072, or via Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For more information, visit www.bardavon.org.