Lab Tracks

Monday Lab Tracks: Cosmik Debris by Frank Zappa

In a delightful change of plans, the brand-new Friday Lab Tracks has now become Monday Lab Tracks — starting your week, instead of ending it, with a refreshing dose of skep-tunes. This feature bookends marvelously with Teen Skepchick’s Awesome Sauce Music Fridays to keep everyone’s skeptical music tanks full.

This week’s lab track (suggested by Brandy!) showcases the irreverent style of Frank Zappa. Cosmik Debris is a funny, take-no-prisoners attack on supernatural hucksters — not to mention, this video includes a bass clarinet solo through a filter pedal. (Be still my beating heart.) Give it a listen and check out the lyrics!

The Mystery Man came over
And he said “I’m outta sight!”
He said, for a nominal service charge,
I could reach nirvana tonight
If I was ready, willing and able
To pay him his regular fee
He would drop all the rest of his pressing affairs
And devote his attention to me
But I said

Look here brother,
Who you jivin’ with that Cosmik Debris?
Look here brother,
Don’t you waste your time on me

The Mystery Man got nervous
And he fidget around a bit
He reached in the pocket of his mystery robe
And he whipped out a shaving kit
Now, I thought it was a razor
And a can of foamin’ goo
But he told me right then when the top popped open
There was nothin’ his box won’t do
With the oil of Aphrodite
And the dust of the Grand Wazoo
He said:
“You might not believe this, little fella, but it’ll cure your asthma too!”
And I said

Look here brother,
Who you jivin’ with that Cosmik Debris?
Look here brother,
Don’t you waste your time on me

I’ve got troubles of my own, I said
And you can’t help me out
So take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout
“But I got a crystal ball,” he said
And held it to the light
So I snatched it
All away from him
And I showed him how to do it right
I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I’d look like I was deep
I said some mumbo jumbos then
And told him he was goin’ to sleep
I robbed his rings
And pocketwatch
And everything else I found
I had that sucker hypnotized
He couldn’t even make a sound
I proceeded to tell him his future then
As long as he was hanging around,
I said
“The price of meat has just gone up
And yer old lady has just gone down.”

Look here brother,
Who you jivin’ with that Cosmik Debris?
Don’t you know,
You could make more money as a butcher,
So don’t you waste none of your time on me.

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

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AI: Sympathy for the Devil

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

2 Comments

  1. August 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    The interview snippet at the end is kind of awesome as well.

  2. August 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

    A brilliant choice! I love Zappa

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