Fragg lives!

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 14:32:52 -0800 (PST)
From: WILLIAM KENT <ET06077 at elephant-talk dot com>
Subject: Fragg lives!

Dear Team: Reports of ET's demise have been greatly inebriated. So, in an effort to save ET from distinction, I have taken it upon myself to stalk, balk and occasionally caulk the cracks, facts, natterings and infrequent nasal splatterings of the not-quite-late, not- yet-demented, less-than-prolifi c but still working, if not shirking, prog-nostrum-making guitarist, Norbert Fragg.

As none of you know, Mr. Fragg is currently embarked on a "breakout" Soundscrapes tour of the cheerful dives, upscale strip joints and rollicking roadhouses of the US. The aim of this tour (and every tour must take aim before it can shoot), according to meretricious marketing data distributed to the freeloading, unloading and nefariously downloading fraternity of mucilaginous music journalists, is Fragg's aspiration to bring his delightfully spontaneous aural fixations to a "larger audient."

This audient is actually a 400 pound former bass player who does not answer to the jovial bon mot Bleater the Sour. Mr. Sour, as he was called in the New York Times, fled the England's last remaining hills of green to rock, if not roll, through the flabby underbelly of the American legacy music consciousness.

Alas, said Sour has so far escaped the sonic, well tempered importunings of the frolicking, melancholicking Fragg. Fragg's hope (and all Fragg 's must hope, it is their destiny!) is to inspire nostalgia, if not neuralgia, for that first, and certainly accursed iteration of the immortal prog rock combo, Thing Dismal.

A Thing Dismal reunion, especially among musicians who, despite all temptation from aging promoters, remain dead (still!), has excited our guitarist, given him a raison d'etre, which, when combined with a raisin bagel and a frothy cappuccino, make it ever so easy for our nasal retensive guitarist to bring new mucous into the world.

A feature of the Soundscrapes tour is the fiesty Fragg's `tween tunes answers to questions that, night and day, are yearning and, burning but not quite the Cole Porter lyric that comes to mind. Those who proffer queries showing profound intellectual vacuity (what Fragg has called an "abscess of presence"), or who merely ask the fulminating Fragg to pose for a picture, are visited by the hale and hearty Drawn-and-Quartered Detainers. This jolly group of American lads, having been raised on metabolic steroids, genetically altered food supplements and the recorded lute fugues of Ted Nugent, pounce upon the hapless audients and perform extreme rendition, followed, when necessary, by extreme unction.

The following are among the questions underheard at a recent Soundscrapes performance at the Esteamed Milk Coffee Shop and Tawdry Gentleman's Club of Near Darkness, South Dakota.

Female Audient: Mr. Fragg, is that a banana in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

Fragg: "That is not a burning question."

Male Audient: Is music the food of love? "Yes, but not for you."

Second Male Audient: I took my girlfriend to this concert in order to ply her with liquor and loud, raucous rhythmic beats so that, upon your performance's conclusion, she become sufficiently stimulated in a brain-deadened way to mate with me. The noise you've made so far has thwarted my intentions. I have asked my girlfriend what might save this evening from utter ruin. She said she is a big fan of Dr. Samuel Johnson. Can you play any Samuel Johnson?

Fragg: "Certainly. 'Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.'"

Second Female Audient: Cool.

--Bill Kent

Mike Stok