Sunday, November 06, 2005


Project Object
(L-R) Ike Willis, Eric Svalgard, Denny Walley, André Cholmondeley.

Thursday night was Music Night. One of my favorite groups, Project/Object, was in town at the 5 Spot, a club in Little Five Points directly across the parking lot from Variety Playhouse.

I’ve mentioned Project/Object before. Their musical repertoire consists solely of the music of the late Frank Zappa. One could easily dismiss them as a mere cover band, except for two things: (1) their lineup always contains several alumni from Zappa’s various bands, and (2) their amazing technical proficiency, necessary if they are to do justice to their Source Material. Seeing P/O is more like seeing an honest-to-Gawd Zappa show, except for the fact that Eff Zee himself is not there.

André Backlit André

The lineup Thursday included Glenn Leonard (drums), Dave Johnsen (bass), Eric Svalgard (keyboards and vocals), André Cholmondeley and Ike Willis (vocals and guitar), Napoleon Murphy Brock (vocals, sax and flute), with special guest (i.e., local Atlanta-area resident) Denny Walley (vocals and guitar). As is their custom in Atlanta, they played a set that ran close to five hours, with but a single break.

One nice thing about P/O - they play venues that are small enough so that you can get up close and personal. And the crowd has a broad age distribution - plenty of Old Farts like me, but lots of younguns in their early-to-mid 20’s who were not even gleams in their parents’ eyes when I caught my first live Zappa show back in 1973.

The evening’s Musical Selections included numerous favorites: “Titties and Beer,” “Idiot Bastard Son,” “San Ber’dino,” “Village of the Sun,” “Keep It Greasey,” “Easy Meat,” “Crew Slut,” “I’m the Slime,” “Advance Romance,” “Uncle Remus,” “Peaches en Regalia,” “Outside” - and many more. I was especially pleased to hear them play “Cheepnis,” the Zappa sendup of cheap 1950’s science-fiction movies that first appeared on the vintage-1974 Roxy & Elsewhere live album.

[Extra-Special Bonus Question: What 1990’s Saturday morning cartoon series made a subtle reference to “Cheepnis” in one of its episodes?]

For my money, the extended jam that started with “Uncle Meat” and segued into “Pound for a Brown” was the highlight of the show...unless you count seeing the ten-year-old kid that somehow showed up there at the club, wearing a “Titties and Beer” T-shirt.

Oh, and did I mention that a certain Occasionally Mulleted Individual was there with me?

Z-Man and Eric Svalgard
Occasionally Mulleted Individual (L), Eric Svalgard (R).

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