In today's Guardian, music critic John Harris writes about his trying to come to grips with Beefheart's double-album, Trout Mask Replica. Harris is knowledgeable, amusing, and writes well. In short, he's worth a read -- if you are a bloke. Matters Beefheartian don't seem to appeal much to nonblokes.
Guardian: Mission unlistenable
Front cover: google images
What can Mister B tell you? That a good many spliffs were rolled up on that back cover. That Mister B would come back to what was then home (1969/70) -- a semi-squalid, damp and dirty basement flat in Brixton -- to find one of his flatmates wearing big headphones and 'singing' along to the good Captain. That it was a double album, which means it had four sides. Playing two sides was about enough. That we -- blokes and nonblokes -- all trooped off from Crouch End to the Albert Hall in 1971 (?) to see Beefheart and the band (Zoot Horn Rollo, The Mascara Snake, Antennae Jimmy Semens, Rockette Morton, Drumbo). That event turned out to be one of the loudest, most visually entertaining and musical shows Mister B has ever had the pleasure of attending. Oh, and that it probably helped to be chemically enhanced for most all of the above.
Fast 'n bulbous: Ella Guru
Couple of songs from Trout Mask: youtube
Too hardcore? For those who find Trout Mask a little too much, there is the later and very danceable Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart epic, Willie the Pimp: youtube