The Beefheart Primary

Someone here must have written about this before, because I remember some of you joking that Mitt would have to start tweeting about the Shaggs, but I’m posting on it anyway because of wow:

Slate: Do you have a particular favorite era of Beefheart?

Huntsman: I’d have to say that I like Trout Mask Replica, which came out in ’68, all the way through Bat Chain Puller — I mean, they represent the diversity of Beefheart. I’m a fan of the really innovative spirit of Beefheart came with the Magic Band, and they really hit it off in ’68.

Slate: Which songs on the record (Trout Mask Replica)?

Huntsman: Ella Guru, China Pig Hammer — the whole double album. Part poetry, part improvisation. All cutting edge. And then when you get to Bat Chain Puller, it’s a little more accessible.






96 replies
  1. 1

    Wha–? Wow. That’s really amazing. I’d never vote for the guy, but as a human being, Huntsman just jumped up a notch for me.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    I thought “China Pig Hammer” was what Tom Delay called his overweight Asian maid.

  3. 3
    rageahol says:

    i’m not sure what this has to do with the fact that he’s a backwards ass cracker assclown just like the rest of them.

    for the record, i’ve known plenty of troglodytic fuckwits who followed [the dead/phish/widespread panic/etc] around on tour and could talk intelligently about phyrgian heptatonics or whatever the goddamn christing fuckballs musicians spend so much time dicking around with.

    it didnt make them any more intelligent or socially conscious.

  4. 4
    Warren Terra says:

    I like a lot of things about Huntsman – but his tax plan, released this week, is at least as bad as Mitt’s, and in all the same screw-the-poor, coddle-the-rich ways.

  5. 5
    Big Baby DougJ says:

    It doesn’t make me want to vote for him, it makes me wonder if his campaign is an elaborate joke.

  6. 6
    JGabriel says:

    I gotta admit, Beefheart is a pretty inspired choice. But I can’t imagine that many of the Republicans Huntsman is courting would feel the same way.

    .

  7. 7
    dead existentialist says:

    Wow! When my first-born niece was learning to talk, I taught her to say, “High red, high yella, hi blew, she flew, hi imma hi ella guru.” She was about 1 1/2. Now she’s an airline pilot.

    Weren’t quite the right lyrics, but I never heard them in a frame of mind that I could remember them.

    “Moonlight on Vermont” was one of my favorites.

  8. 8
    The Dangerman says:

    @JGabriel:

    But I can’t imagine that many of the Republicans Huntsman is courting would feel the same way.

    Braveheart? Yes. Beefheart? Not so much.

  9. 9
    dead existentialist says:

    @The Dangerman: Hee hee hee!

  10. 10
    Hunter Gathers says:

    It doesn’t make me want to vote for him, it makes me wonder if his campaign is an elaborate joke.

    Mormons don’t do humor. At all.

    And Huntsman’s tax plan would cost me 6 grand a year. Fuck him in the ear.

  11. 11
    cat48 says:

    Tomorrow, Mrs. Greenspan has an interview with Huntsman & he’s going to be on The View this week, too. Then you can catch him at the Debate, too. I bet Goodhair might not show b/c each time he’s asked if he’ll be there; he always says “if I can, wildfires, etc. etc.” I think he’s only done two in his entire political life. Maybe he’ll cancel his campaign like McCain.

  12. 12
    Paul says:

    Everything else in the Beefheart catalog is a little more accessible than Trout Mask Replica. Also, Bat Chain Puller was never released as such. Poser.

  13. 13
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Mormons don’t do humor

    Well I, for one, find the writing of Stephanie Meyer very entertaining, although perhaps not in the same way her fans do.

  14. 14
    Stranger says:

    No props for ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby?’ Screw him.

  15. 15
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: She’s laughing all the way to the bank, that one. Who knew that writing about douchebags that happen to be vampires would be so financially rewarding?

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rageahol:

    for the record, i’ve known plenty of troglodytic fuckwits who followed [the dead/phish/widespread panic/etc] around on tour

    And Coulter is a deadhead. Huntsman, apparently, is a Jack Mormon; apparently his kids even drink

  17. 17

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    it makes me wonder if his campaign is an elaborate joke.

    Not a joke, just part of the long game. He’s trying to establish himself as The Sane Republican on the chance the crazy blows up in the party’s face and they decide they need a sane candidate in 2016. It’s an interesting idea, but I sincerely doubt it’s going to pay off; we haven’t even gotten to Woodstock of the Damned yet.

  18. 18

    Speaking of “Bat Chain Puller”, what does glibertarian yahoo Kurt Loder think of Huntsman? I bet he’s “pro”.

  19. 19
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Who knew that writing about douchebags that happen to be vampires would be so financially rewarding?

    There’s a whole publication devoted to it. The Wall Street Journal.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Little Boots says:

    huntsman, just … just. okay. …. just.

  22. 22
    Little Boots says:

    and I still think doug should answer my question.

  23. 23
    Steeplejack says:

    @Brendancalling:

    What he said. This really is “because of wow.”

  24. 24
    Little Boots says:

    oh wake up, you bastards!

  25. 25
    Little Boots says:

    sad. and I blame doug.

  26. 26
    Ripley says:

    Yeah, props to Huntsman for musical taste. He may not know his Shiny Beast from a hole in the ground, but he does appear to know his Beefheart.

    Still, for the Republican masses, he’s too soft, he’s no Sarah Palin. She’s not bad, she’s just genetically mean.

  27. 27
    piratedan says:

    so maybe his choice of music means that at least he listened back in the day. He’s still a Republican and he may be the least bad apple in a barrel full of spoilage, I’d still prefer the non wormy apple, tyvm. If he really wants to separate himself and stand up and be counted, hows about calling out all of the odious bullsh** going on over on the R side of the aisle. Until that happens, he’s just another posuer.

  28. 28
    Little Boots says:

    yeah, people. knew this site would come through.

  29. 29
    hhex65 says:

    He admires musical totalitarianism, woohoo!

  30. 30
    Little Boots says:

    @hhex65:

    so post something else.

  31. 31
    Little Boots says:

    @piratedan:
    oh, shush.

  32. 32
    Little Boots says:

    and say bullshit, if you mean bullshit. stop all that foolishness.

  33. 33
    Little Boots says:

    sweet jesus fuck, whet a bunch of douchdbags on this site. just spare me, please.

  34. 34
    Jebediah says:

    @rageahol:

    phyrgian heptatonics or whatever the goddamn christing fuckballs

    I’d be offended, since I am trying to learn the phrygian heptatonic scale, but the second part of that phrase won me over.

  35. 35
    Little Boots says:

    @Jebediah:

    would ya?

  36. 36
    Jebediah says:

    @Little Boots:
    Would I what?

  37. 37
    Little Boots says:

    good night. good night, doug. please, enough of your anger. good night.

  38. 38
    Little Boots says:

    @Jebediah:

    learn phrygian heptatonics.

    good night, sir. i said, good night!

  39. 39
    wasabi gasp says:

    He gave Mama Cass the Heimlich. And there’s a plaster cast of his weenie in a box somewhere banging up against the guy from Ten Years After.

  40. 40
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Ripley: AAAAAAAOOOOOOGGGHHHAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHWAAAAHHHHH!

    (Don’t you wish you never met her?)

  41. 41
    JPK says:

    I am with everyone who said Wow. And yes, it makes one wonder about performance art. But to what end.

  42. 42
    Death Panel Truck says:

    China Pig Hammer

    I haven’t heard the record in probably 20 years, but the track is called “China Pig.” There is another track called “Orange Claw Hammer.”

    Doesn’t matter. The best track is the final one, “Veteran’s Day Poppy.” Heartbreakingly beautiful.

  43. 43
    Jebediah says:

    @Little Boots:
    Well, I’ll try. But no promises, as I am utter shit as a guitarist.

  44. 44
    hhex65 says:

    @Little Boots: Ahh, the prejudice comes out. I HAVE phrygian hepatonics– not consonance, phrygian hepatonics. You’re exposed.

    etc…

  45. 45
    Magic Panda says:

    This is the first time a republican has ever said anything that made me even remotely want to vote for him. Too bad his thoughts on tax policy and such are batshit insane.

  46. 46
    Jewish Steel says:

    I too like Don VV, but in wee little doses.

    A strange phenomena I’v noticed among my hep-cat jazzbo friends. Once they “catch” Frank Zappa & The Mothers it becomes an obsession that’s hard to shake. Almost like a nasty virus. “You’ve just got to hear this track.” And it sounds like pretty much everything else they/he does.

    Captain Beefheart is kind of in that category too.

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    It doesn’t make me want to vote for him, it makes me wonder if his campaign is an elaborate joke.

    I’m with Roger Moore — Huntsman is running for 2016, under the assumption the sane remnants of the GOP will have come out of their comas by then. Also, according to NYMag at least, the Huntsmans and the Romneys are distant cousins, from collateral branches of the Mormon founders, who hold each other in the same kind of warm fraternal esteem as the clans in ‘Game of Thrones’. So if Huntsman can funk up Willard’s campaign a little, it’s a personal bonus.

    Wish I could find the article suggesting that Huntsman was actually campaigning for the second slot… in President Obama’s second term. Not that I believe it, but anything that further outrages the GOP’s Raving Looney Rump will be a good thing for our Sane Party, yes?

  48. 48
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Our most esteemed Blog Host has spoken fondly of his days as a Deadhead, Republican frat boy & Army guy. Forty-some live shows, IIRC? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  49. 49
    Jebediah says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I’m with Roger Moore—Huntsman is running for 2016, under the assumption the sane remnants of the GOP will have come out of their comas by then.

    Will the GOP recover by then? I don’t see them getting over the teabagger virus quickly enough to avoid self-immolation. Maybe there won’t be much of a GOP by 2016. Or maybe I am just too much of a cockeyed optimist.

  50. 50
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Jebediah: new game.
    Tea Party Zombies must die.
    check out the klan robes zombie.

    the teabaggers, like the GOP, are dead already. its just the tiny little second brains in their hips dont know it yet.

    i think that that GOP can t win a general election after 2012, because they are losing the cities.
    Waiting for Silver’s analysis of the Brookings report.

  51. 51
    harlana says:

    @rageahol: I said I wasn’t going to comment anymore but this was funny as hell.

    i’m not sure what this has to do with the fact that he’s a backwards ass cracker assclown just like the rest of them. for the record, i’ve known plenty of troglodytic fuckwits who followed [the dead/phish/widespread panic/etc] around on tour and could talk intelligently about phyrgian heptatonics or whatever the goddamn christing fuckballs musicians spend so much time dicking around with. it didnt make them any more intelligent or socially conscious.

  52. 52
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Anne Laurie: I’ve mentioned this before but at the REM show in the ATL before the last presidential Michael made a quick plea for folks to vote for Obama drew a significant amount of boo’s.

  53. 53
    harlana says:

    Don’t forget, Huntsman had his own band, called . . . wait for it . . . Wizard!!

  54. 54
    dcBill says:

    Sorry, this can’t redeem him. I wrote him off when I read how he was known for nailing a particular piano solo in a REO Spitbucket number.

  55. 55
    Some A-hole on the Internet! says:

    @cat48:

    Fucking amazing that this guy can get booked on the Tee Vee so much, seemingly as much as he wants. Last I recall, he’s polling almost nothing. Fucking tea-hadists HATE guys like him – and Willard. The insane dogmatists and ideologues are sitting in the Perry and Bachmann buses, and they are driving, and pretty soon will all be in the Perry bus.

    Media is supposedly driven by ratings, which drive ad dollars, but if you were after ratings, as a producer, you don’t book John Fucking Huntsman. Nobody fucking cares about this guy.

    Nah, you book him because word is coming down from the C-suite that he should get a fair shake of some kind. For some reason…some unknown reason…

    Fucking wingnut welfare, on the sly.

    Most of the GOP primaries are winner-take-all IIRC, and here’s a guy who won’t make it into the top three finishers on any ballot. He won’t be a viable option. Not this year, and probably not in 2016, either, probably not ever. But he’s all over the media.

    That said, isn’t he basically Tom Friedman’s ideal super-hero to lead a third party to technocratic glory, one of these elections? Just tweak him a little on tax policy to get the optics of “fairness” correct enough to appeal to low info rubes, and you’re all set.

  56. 56
    Keith says:

    For me, this quote answering why he tweeted about the Captain speaks volumes about Huntsman’s desperation …

    I didn’t think anyone would read that! I put it out there to see if anyone was actually paying attention.

  57. 57
    John S. says:

    @Raven:

    In contrast, a Cake concert I went to in South Florida recently had the opposite effect. But then, they still harbor a seething hatred for Bush which is reflected in many songs and accepted by most of their fans.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    schlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    Its sort of like when I found out that useless POS Atwater was a huge Blues fan. How can you be steeped in that music but be completely untouched by the motivation for it? Its as if you loved to listen to Strauss and you want to blow up Vienna – makes no sense.

    I will give him props for at least knowing the material and not just faking it. I have no idea if he really is a fan of CB but at least he didn’t say he was & then totally incapable of at least naming a couple of songs off an album.

  60. 60
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Southern Beale: Yipes.

    I don’t get it at all though.I have never found myself needing to look down on other people. Doesn’t compute,not even a little.The only people I’ve ever felt like wanting to kick are rich assholes that make life hard for other people.

  61. 61
    schlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    @Some A-hole on the Internet!:

    He gets attention because he is the closest thing to sane in the orange haired crowd falling out of the Republican clown car. In an odd way he make the other bozos appear as if they could be normal.

    Its the photo negative of a ‘freak show’. COME ONE, COME ALL – SEE AN ALMOST SANE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!!
    “See Ethel?” I told you Republicans weren’t insane, this guy can string 6 words together, not mention God and seems rational.”

  62. 62
    Steve M. says:

    About 20 years ago, some right-wingers (Joe Queenan among them, I think) used to tell us that William Weld was the future of politics because he was a small-government guy who really loved the Stones and the Dead, and could talk articulately about both. (I think he actually introduced the Dead when they played the last show at the old Boston Garden.)

    Funny how nothing came of that.

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    does he like South Park? because that’s the all-important test of a “conservative’s” coolness.

  64. 64
    forked tongue says:

    @Steve M.: Don’t know about Queenan, but that sounds for sure like seamless asshole Russ Smith.

  65. 65

    @cleek:

    does he like South Park? because that’s the all-important test of a “conservative’s” coolness.

    Poor conservatives. So desperate for some cultural relevance. No matter how much political power they get, it will never be enough because they’re stuck with Dennis Miller and Ted Nugent as their cultural touchstones.

  66. 66
    Lojasmo says:

    @Little Boots:

    sweet jesus fuck, whet a bunch of douchdbags on this site. just spare me, please.

    You have posted more than anybody.

  67. 67
    Exurban Mom says:

    There’s a lengthly profile of Huntsman, alongside beautiful photos of his multicultural family, in the September Vogue magazine. He comes off as human, normal, rational, and moderate, so of course he’s polling at 1% of Republicans right now.

  68. 68
    Svensker says:

    @Keith:

    Sounds more like a sense of humor than it does desperation.

  69. 69
    Svensker says:

    @Southern Beale:

    they’re stuck with Dennis Miller and Ted Nugent as their cultural touchstones.

    Don’t forget Chuck Norris, their intellectual artiste.

  70. 70
    forked tongue says:

    In other news, Michelle Bachmann tweeted that early Half Japanese provides the soundtrack for her and Marcus’s diaper sessions.

  71. 71

    @rageahol:

    “for the record, i’ve known plenty of troglodytic fuckwits who followed [the dead/phish/widespread panic/etc] around on tour…”

    I am still trying to figure out the teabagger at my work who cranks up Springsteen.

  72. 72
    NobodySpecial says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    Its sort of like when I found out that useless POS Atwater was a huge Blues fan. How can you be steeped in that music but be completely untouched by the motivation for it? Its as if you loved to listen to Strauss and you want to blow up Vienna – makes no sense.

    No, no, no.

    Blues was music made by poor Negroes. So if you want more Blues, you must have more poor Negroes. Preferably slaves.

  73. 73
    NobodySpecial says:

    @The Other Bob: BOOOOOORRN INNNA UUSSSSAAAAA I WAS BOOOOOORRN INNNA UUSSSSAAAAA NOOW

  74. 74
    LITBMueller says:

    Oh the delicious irony! To make Trout Mask, Beefheart basically locked the Magic Band in a house and essentially subjected them to physical and mental torture, like he was the leader of his own cult. They had no other jobs and lived off of welfare (shock! horror!). And, when Beefheart went out to promote the album, he padded his own resume by making false claims, such as that he taught the great Bill Harkleroad how to play guitar.

    I hope Huntsman is only a fan of the resulting music, not the methods!

  75. 75
    Cube Zombie says:

    This is just cynical, blatant pandering to the millions of Beefheart/Zappa swing voters in purple states.

  76. 76
    JGabriel says:

    The Other Bob:

    I am still trying to figure out the teabagger at my work who cranks up Springsteen.

    They only hear the chorus, as NobodySpecial illustrates. Lyrics are just the word part of the filler between choruses.

    .

  77. 77
    Keith says:

    @Svensker: It’s funny because it’s true.

  78. 78
    Sarah Palin says:

    Slate: Which songs on the record?

    All of them!

  79. 79
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I guess I am less cool than Huntsman because I did not understand a single word from the excerpted interview.

  80. 80
    Nemesis says:

    He gets attention because he is the closest thing to sane in the orange haired crowd falling out of the Republican clown car. In an odd way he make the other bozos appear as if they could be normal.

    All part of the strateregy. Put forth the “normal” guy and he softens the appearance of the whole lot.

  81. 81
    jl says:

    Nice that Huntsman likes some weird music, it’s a nice human interest story. But so what? I used to half hope half fantasize, mostly from his record in Utah, that Huntsman might be a sane GOPper. But no more, after he decided to tak a walk down that low and pandering road of crazy to see if he could get some teabagger cred.

    Not sure he is a poser because he mixed up two titles. Unless you listen to that stuff really a lot, you tend to get mixed up after listening to a few Beefheart songs.

    What are his favorite Public Enemy tracks. If he tweeted that, it might get him a lot more attention.

    Just because a person likes a certain band, doesn’t mean they fit the stereotypes people have about different types of music. At the Public Enemy site there is an interview of ChuckD by a conservative libertarian guy who is a big Public Enemy fan. It was weird. ChuckD was kind of amused, and kept needling the interviewer in a good natured way about any cognitive dissonance between what the music said, and his political stance.

  82. 82
    jl says:

    @LITBMueller: A band of grifters using public funds to get a profitable business off the ground, lead by a narcissistic authoritarian megalomaniac.

    There is an angle there that might appeal to the teabaggers, if some one could figure out now to pitch it just right.

    Not sure if Van Vliet was all that nasty a person, but some of the stories I’ve read about him are creepy.

  83. 83
    Tom65 says:

    Romney will now tweet about his love for pre-Hagar Van Halen.

  84. 84
    cleek says:

    @Tom65:
    and Bachmann will follow up with a paean to pre-Dickinson Iron Maiden.

    i think i’d vote for her, if she did that.

    Di’anno!

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    He is a billionaire and inherited his wealth. That puts him at least one step above Ross Perot – who made his fortune.

    I am amazed at how much he is allowed to come across as a regular guy – much more so than Romney.

    He gets all these TV appearances for the same reason Trump did – TV producers think he’s a billionaire. It was almost true for Trump.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @Exurban Mom: He _does_ look somehwat like Ralph Lauren.

  87. 87
    kc says:

    Geez, what was the problem with my little Sarah Palin gag? Not enough “fucks?”

  88. 88
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    I keep looking up at the date… nope, still says Sept., not Apr.

    Doug, and all, I think this is Huntsman’s cheap and transparent ploy to lock up the Beefheart Fan vote. Will Ron Paul come out and defend the excellence of “Clear Spot” and “Spotlight Kid”? That’s when this pot will REALLY start boiling!!

  89. 89
    goblue72 says:

    @The Other Bob: The irony – lost on the TeaBagging crowd – is that Bruce is so far to the left he’s practically a Soshulist.

  90. 90
    The Populist says:

    @rageahol:

    Many right winger, and I mean far right, friends of mine LOVE the Stones and Dylan. Funny, when you ask them why, they say the lyrics move them. Funniest yet is that Dylan and the Stones lyrics are pro working class, pro lifestyles these types of people hate on.

    Very strange the pull and power of music has on some people.

  91. 91
    The Populist says:

    @jl:

    Hey guys, he was in a band called WIZARD. ‘Nuff said.

  92. 92
    kc says:

    Oh, now I see it. Duh. [hangs head in embarrassment]

  93. 93
    forked tongue says:

    There’s a blog out there by one of those conservative Dylan fans called “Right Wing Bob” or something. I’d like to say it’s interesting, but unfortunately, only as a case study.

  94. 94
    Anne Laurie says:

    @catclub:

    He is a billionaire and inherited his wealth. That puts him at least one step above Ross Perot – who made his fortune.
    __
    I am amazed at how much he is allowed to come across as a regular guy – much more so than Romney.

    Huntsman’s daddy made his money inventing the clamshell box used to protect Big Macs and supermarket eggs. He kept his family in Utah, within the Mormon social network and its emphasis on personal modesty and community uplift.

    Willard’s daddy made his money running a car company (waaaay cooler than fast food). The family lived in Michigan, where car company leaders were royalty, and Mitt attended an exclusive prep school where it was a social embarrassment to be given a mere brand-new top-of-the line American sports car for one’s sixteenth birthday. (Romney actually used this story of his ‘humiliation‘ as a would-be humanizing factor in a campaign ad when he ran for governor.)

    Don’t know enough about Huntsman to judge whether he’s a sociopath — which I’m convinced Willard is — but his upbringing gave him a much better handle on the way us “little people” think and act.

  95. 95
    Tehanu says:

    @jl:

    Not sure if Van Vliet was all that nasty a person, but some of the stories I’ve read about him are creepy.

    Don was one of a kind, an artist first, last, and always, and you could not fit him into any kind of ordinary category. He could be arrogant and bossy, and if he got angry he could scream horrible things at you and be really frightening. He was also one of the kindest, most thoughtful and generous people I’ve ever known. So yeah, he was inconsistent, not a stereotype — human, not an ideological stick figure. Those stories are probably true, but they are not the sum of what he was. I miss him.

  96. 96
    Paul in KY says:

    IMO, ‘Trout Mask Replica’ is a POS album. Pretty much unlistenable.

    I wonder if he’s really listened to it, or did his staff get him to reference it to show his supposed hipness.

    Generally, Mormons seem to think they have a hipness deficit, IMO.

Comments are closed.