Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Ice Cream For Crow" by Captain Beefheart

Originally rejected as being too weird for MTV - although, having watched it twice all the way through I can't think why - birthday boy* Captain Beefheart's video for Ice Cream For Crow (the title track to his 12th and final album, released in 1982) has since been enshrined in the Permanent Film and Video Collection of New York City's Museum of Modern Art. Which just goes to show you that one man's freak show is another man's work of art - which could not only serve as the motto of the Pop Culture Institute but as a mantra for Captain Beefheart himself.

Shortly after releasing this, Captain Beefheart disbanded The Magic Band**, reverted to his birth name, Don Van Vliet, and took up a career as a neo-primitive abstract-expressionist painter; despite a notable lack of commercial success as a musician, however, Captain Beefheart's influence on contemporary music has been described as 'incalculable' - echoing in everyone from Sex Pistols to Frank Zappa to post-Asylum Tom Waits to The White Stripes and in many more besides.

*Sadly, Don Van Vliet died in December 2010, just a month before this, which would have been his 70th birthday.
**The magic dis-band?

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