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Frank Zappa - Baby Snakes CD (album) cover

BABY SNAKES

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.98 | 64 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars More like Teen-aged Snakes

Not to be confused with Chunga's Revenge with a similar album cover illustration, but there isn't much a risk as Baby Snakes is a movie with plasticine/clay figures animation and live footage from a concert played on Halloween night. Two completely different eras and vastly different line-ups (this one with Adrian Belew, Terry Bozzio and Estrada, amongst others), as this is definitely more related to the later 70's with Peckary references and their obsessional under-the-waist stuff, while not being too graphically scatological ? everything being relative with Francesco.

The movie starts very slow with Zappa setting patiently the tone, and one must wait a while, as we must suffer the Poodle Boogie after the plasticine figures, the studio, the inflatable doll, before finally kick-starting with a Belew-sung track. After more backstage antics, the group fires off on a fusion piece that starts with City Of Tiny Lights that opens with O'Hearn's bass solo and later Mars' synth solo. After a boring and predictable Disco Boy, marred by a lengthy drum solo, the group returns to a fusion piece segueing in some extremely tiring Estrada stage antics, before the classic Bobby Brown, Titties & Beers and the Broken Hearts song are offered to the public and the Dynah-moe Humm bizness and San Bernardino are for the long encores with some fine musical moments, but a lot of precious time is wasted in meantime.

There is a bit too much backstage goofing around, but the studio footage is actually quite interesting as you can see that these guys had a ball doing the music, probably even more so in their forced horsing-around. But despite these flaws, Baby Snakes is interesting enough if you've never see a Zappa show during the late 70's, but for my part, I find it a bit sad such fine musicianship and some moments of sheer brilliance being drowned out in an ocean of dumb pre-puberty idiocy. Actually, one has to wonder about Zappa's sincerity as he denounces the rock music business and stardom fantasy, but offers exactly that same shit to teenagers and not sure the derision factor is on their audiences instead of them, including during some of his wild guitar solos. Your call on this shot. Try to rent this movie first, to see if you really want to own it.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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