Monday, January 11, 2010

Frank Zappa ringtones

Happy new year everybody.

A new decade, a new mobile phone. My wife has a Blackberry so I have inherited her not-very-old one which has camera, music, email, Bluetooth etc. This is all new to me. I figured out how to make my own ringtones with the help of the brilliant free program Audacity and even – without the help of a teenager – how to associate a different ringtone to each caller. OK, this is five years later than everyone else, but still.

What I wanted was to make my phone sound different from everyone else’s – not because I’m a wanker, or not only because of that, but because sometimes I have to endure an all-day meeting with seven other people, all of whom are likely to get a call at some stage. Their phones sound more or less the same so we all dive for ours every time one rings. What, I wondered, was the least likely source material for anyone else to use and so the best choice for me? Obviously, the Frank Zappa songbook.


So far I have my wife as “Peaches en Regalia”. Mark from NZBC is “Willie the Pimp”. I’m not sure what to choose for Laughy Kate as there are so many options: “Oh No”, perhaps. Or possibly “No Not Now”.

Rob from NZBC is “Filthy Habits”. Chris from NZBC is “For the Young Sophisticate”. I’m not sure to whom I should assign “Treacherous Cretins”, but “Cocaine Decisions” is pretty clear. As is “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?”.

8 comments:

Chris Bell said...

What can I say?

While factually inaccurate on both counts, 'The Young Sophisticate' is - in title if not in its content - flattering (preferable, also, to 'The Duke of Prunes', 'The Central Scrutinizer' or, indeed, 'Jumbo Go Away').

So, as the late Ronnie Scott once said, you've made a happy man very old.

Paul said...

Valley Girl.

Stephen Stratford said...

Chris - you are younger than me and live in the Big Smoke (or Great Wen, according to preference). At least relative to me, that makes you a young sophisticate.

Paul - "Valley Girl" is a strong candidate for the generic ringtone. Currently it is "Son of Mr Green Genes" because after "Peaches" it is my favourite FZ tune, because it is one of the few I can sort-of play, and also because I was trying to stay with Hot Rats. But it isn't very assertive.

"G-Spot Tornado" might work better. It's fast and loud and people would say "WTF is that?" and I could say "Surely you recognise the quote from the opening bars of Ravel's piano concerto in G?"

Dave Hillier said...

Why "Peaches en Regalia" for the wife?

Stephen Stratford said...

Dave asks 'Why "Peaches en Regalia" for the wife?'

Simple. Because it's my favourite FZ tune, and she's my favourite wife.

And she's peachy.

Anonymous said...

"Surely you recognise the quote from the opening bars of Ravel's piano concerto in G?"

Really?

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes, Anonymous, really. On my CD of the Zimmerman/Boulez version, the "G-Spot Tornado" theme is about 35 seconds in. It isn't an exact quote, not as close as the Holst in "Call Any Vegetable", but it's close enough. There is also a very strong whiff in this piece of Hindemith's Kammermusik #1, from the start but especially (in the Ensemble Modern version) at 22 seconds in.

Bob Smith said...

So who is Cocaine Decision? I think we should be told.