This Saturday, October 31st, the first annual ZAPPAWEEN will take place at Urban Artifact! That means a superband with some of Cincinnati’s finest musicians will be performing a very special Frank Zappa album in its entirety on the most twisted night of the year. There’s no cover. The mystery album will be performed live in its entirety beginning at 9pm, and a set of Zappa favorites will follow at around 11:30. Expect wildness and frivolity–and join in the freak show yourself, wearing your craziest costume and acting like characters in Frank Zappa songs. To slightly misquote a song from the first Mothers of Invention album, “Who could imagine…that they would freak out…in Cincinnati?”
Exactly what Frank Zappa album will be performed, it turns out, is a bit of a mystery. Actually it’s more than that: it’s a great BIG mystery, and I was hoping that, since I knew Dominic Marino personally and have from time to time offered him a little support in the form of social media, he might give the inside scoop if I promised to keep a secret, but his lips are sealed. And that’s a bit troubling, as Zappa’s discography consists of exactly 100 albums. Nonetheless, I put on my detective thinking cap and, along with the help of some other Zappaphiles, made some deductions. When analyzing the clues that Urban Artifact has been leaking about the mystery album, it seems to us that it must be Joe’s Garage. Can we expect a live performance of acts I, II, & III? Will there be more theatrics than just a musical performance? How are they going to pull off things like the Central ScrEnutinizer, Sy Borg, and difficult tunes such as “Keep It Greasy” and “Wet T-Shirt Nite”?
The instrumentation of this Cincinnati superband also suggests that this album may be Joe’s Garage, the musicians in questions being Brad Myers (Ray’s Music Exchange, Jeremy Pinnell & The 55s, Aja), Brandon Scott Coleman (local jazz guitarist who has been playing with EVERYONE lately), Steve Goers (adjunct professor for CCM’s Musical Theater program and session keyboardist around town), Kristin Agee (Us, Today, The Lovers), Devon Leigh (The Qtet, Eclipse), Aaron Jacobs (the busiest bass player in Cincinnati), and Dominic Marino (Blue Wisp Big Band, The Cincy Brass, and founder of Urban Artifact).
The event promises a live performance of the mystery album at 9pm, plus a second set of “Zappa favorites” to follow—and from the special guest appearances list, it seems to me we should expect a horn section for the second set.
This is the first ZAPPAWEEN in what Urban Artifact hopes to be many; let’s make it one to remember!