The Pour House
To the delight of a very decent gathering of Zappa fans, singer/guitarist Ike Willis brought two full sets of his old boss' music to the Pour House on Monday night (Feb. 14). Much more casual and less scripted than Zappa Plays Zappa, Project/Object seemed to enjoy themselves as they dug into mostly deep cuts from Chunga's Revenge, Waka/Jawaka, Apostrophe, Overnight Sensation, Hot Rats, You Are What You Is, Roxy & Elsewhere, Sheik Yerbouti, and Joe's Garage.
Ray White was out with them this time. He added some depth to the soul vocal end of things. Willis was a touch under the weather, but he still sang his ass off and seemed to have fun.
It's odd how much his guitar playing sounds like Frank's — both in tone and phrasing. Also odd is how guitar/vocalist Andre Cholmondeley has so much Frank sensibility locked down cold, but continues to go for a super gain-y, cheesy-metal tone.
As one would expect, the musicality and humor of each member was through the roof, so it was as much of a clinic as it was a gig. But this goes double for bass player and real mutha, David Johnson. He's a monster. Unbelievable tone and chops. But it was his groove that stole the show. Romance and commercial holiday bullshit play absolutely no part in Frank's world so it was a perfect way for Zappateers to spend Valentine's night.
Though there are more than rumblings about disapproval for the Project from Dweezel and Gail and the rest of Zappa central, I think Frank would be pleased. His kick ass music played well for people who genuinely dig it? What could possibly wrong with that?