Zappa Picks—By Larry LaLonde of Primus

Rykodisc has enlisted some of today's rock stars to pick their Zappa faves for a new series of compilation albums.

Rykodisc has enlisted some of today's rock stars to pick their Zappa faves for a new series of compilation albums. With a discography as long as Shaquille O'Neal's arm to choose from, the only challenge is in the culling. As one of the first two selectees, ex-Primus axeman Larry LaLonde has given us a 19-shot mix that, not surprisingly, features some great Zappa guitar tracks ("five-five-FIVE," "Alien Orifice," "Dog Breath," "On the Bus"). But he hasn't missed the other Zappa signatures of wit, nihilism, and manipulated sonic chaos either. "Dumb All Over" gives God a bad rap, "Camarillo Brillo" is a kooky singalong, "Evelyn, a Modified Dog" is, well, work it out for yourself. It's hard to know which is better—Zappa's ever-elastic music or his caustic-comedic lyrics—but revisiting his work proves again that if he were alive today and just embarking upon his music career, he'd still be ahead of his time.—AZ