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By Anna Kisselgoff and Anna Kisselgoff,New York Times News Service | October 11, 1990
Lyons, France -- Ballets to music by the rock star Frank Zappa? Anything is possible. The Lyons Opera Ballet recently made that point at the International Dance Biennial here by inviting three Americans -- Lucinda Childs, Karole Armitage and Ralph Lemon -- to choreograph to their countryman's highly undanceable music.All three commissioned premieres met the challenge significantly, magnificently and imaginatively. Ms. Armitage filled the stage with everything from gauchos to go-go girls.Ms.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2013
Baltimore may not be Hollywood East, but once again, the Oscars include a distinctly Bawlamer element. Craig Bartholomew Strydom, writer of the Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," lived in Baltimore until last year. Read about his involvement with the film here . With some luck, maybe he'll return to Baltimore for his next project? Perhaps a documentary on Frank Zappa? Now there's a documentary that needs to be done...  
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | July 9, 1995
Even from the grave, Frank Zappa continues to intimidate rock critics.Facing the Zappa legacy is an enormous -- and, to some degree, thankless -- task. Not only does it involve days upon days of listening, it also requires far more thought and analysis than most rock music. Zappa wasn't like other rock stars, and his music has to be judged by a unique and idiosyncratic set of standards.In the 27 years he spent making albums, the Baltimore-born Zappa indulged in everything from soundtracks and concept albums to orchestral works and concert recordings.
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By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2010
For Baltimore musician Warren Cherry, Frank Zappa was an inspiration — an artist who stubbornly went his own way and fought to protect artistic freedom. Sunday, Cherry and several hundred other Zappa fans went to Highlandtown to pay homage to the late rocker. "I've been a fan of Zappa since I was a teenager," says Cherry, 57. "He was just such an iconoclastic guy, and so unique. I mean, my gosh, just with the way he looked, with the hair and the goatee. I was an outsider, I was an artist, I was a musician.
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By Los Angeles Times | December 6, 1993
LOS ANGELES -- Baltimore-born rock musician Frank Zappa, who rode to fame in the late 1960s as leader of the eccentric Mothers of Invention, died Saturday evening at his Los Angeles home from the complications of prostate cancer he had been battling for years. He was 52.A family friend, Jim Nagle, said he was buried yesterday in a private ceremony in Los Angeles.The prolific guitarist was one of rock's premier iconoclasts. In an era of increasing commercialism, he never tired of composing, strumming, singing and philosophizing to the beat of a wildly different drummer.
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | December 7, 1993
There was a story Frank Zappa liked to tell about the time in the late '60s when he and the Mothers of Invention were booked, along with Woody Herman's big band, to play a dinner for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.Seeing as these were the same folks who gave out the Grammy Awards each year, it should have been a real prestige gig. But the Baltimore-born Zappa wasn't so flattered once he saw the programs: "Music by Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd. Entertainment by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention."
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By James H. Bready and James H. Bready,Special to the Sun | November 14, 2004
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies by Michael W. Kauffman. Random House. 509 pages. $29.95. No one, it is fair to say, has been decided upon as the most glorious person in Maryland history. But the most despised, the most loathed? That award still goes to John Wilkes Booth, of Harford County, Ford's Theater in Washington and Green Mount Cemetery. Booth, professional actor and Abraham Lincoln's assassin, is the subject of this definitive biography. Michael Kauffman, of Owings, is a historian who has devoted 30-plus years to his subject, and even leads tours of Booth's escape route.
NEWS
December 7, 1993
Frank Zappa, who died last Saturday of prostate cancer at age 52, was born in Baltimore but spent most of his life in other parts of the country. Despite this brief association, we like to claim him as one of our own. So much about this son of immigrant Sicilian parents was decidedly Baltimore, especially his unstinting work ethic and irreverent sense of humor. It must be more than coincidence that a man with such outsider credentials -- immigrants' offspring, native of blue-collar sea port -- turned out to be not just a progenitor of modern rock music but a first-rate parodist of it, too.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2013
Baltimore may not be Hollywood East, but once again, the Oscars include a distinctly Bawlamer element. Craig Bartholomew Strydom, writer of the Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," lived in Baltimore until last year. Read about his involvement with the film here . With some luck, maybe he'll return to Baltimore for his next project? Perhaps a documentary on Frank Zappa? Now there's a documentary that needs to be done...  
NEWS
January 4, 1994
FRANK Zappa, the Baltimore-born musician who died last month of prostate cancer, was not just another guitar-wielding sociopath coughed up by the American rock scene. This point was reiterated most convincingly in the Dec. 20 New Yorker magazine by Czech president Vaclav Havel.In his brief piece, Mr. Havel recalls his impressions of Mr. Zappa -- "one of the gods of the Czech underground" during the 1970s and '80s -- upon meeting him a few years ago:"[Zappa] was the first rock celebrity I had ever met, and, to my great delight, he was a normal human being, with whom I could carry on a normal conversation.
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January 10, 2010
DVD 'The Hurt Locker': Most Iraq war movies elicit a shrug from audiences. But this look at an Army bomb squad isn't most Iraq movies. Right from the first scene, director Kathryn Bigelow draws you in with brutal realism and sets off a tension that lasts through the credits. She knows how to defuse what made those other films bombs: the politics and the moralizing. In stores Tuesday. THEATER 'Young Frankenstein': It's alive! Well, sorta. Mel Brooks' oft-panned Broadway show comes to Baltimore with most of the original cast (including Roger Bart of "Desperate Housewives" fame)
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By Sam Sessa and Sam Sessa,sam.sessa@baltsun.com | December 18, 2009
After more than a year of deliberations, city officials have decided to place a bust of the late Frank Zappa at the Southeast Anchor Library in Highlandtown. The bust, which sits atop a tall column, is a gift from a Zappa fan club in Lithuania. It will be erected at Eastern Avenue and South Conkling Street sometime next year, said Anne Perkins, chairwoman of the Public Art Commission. "We think this is a great place for it - a terrific neighborhood" Perkins said. "I think it will be the focal point for a lot of really fun festivals."
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By Sam Sessa | sam.sessa@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | December 17, 2009
After more than a year of deliberation, city officials have decided to place a bust of the late Frank Zappa at the Southeast Anchor Library in Highlandtown. The roughly 15-foot statue, a gift from a Zappa fan club in Lithuania, will be erected on the corner of Eastern Avenue and South Conkling Street sometime next year, said Anne Perkins, chair of the Public Art Commission. "We think this is a great place for it -- a terrific neighborhood" Perkins said. "I think it will be the focal point for a lot of really fun festivals."
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By LAURA VOZZELLA | December 21, 2008
F rank Zappa has a friend in high places, which is why today is Frank Zappa Day in Baltimore. The late musician was born in Baltimore on Dec. 21, 1940, but never rated a government proclamation in his hometown until August 2007. The official reason for Baltimore's first Frank Zappa Day: his eldest son, Dweezil, was performing Dad's music in town. The real reason: Jeanette Garcia Polasky works in City Hall. She is Mayor Sheila Dixon's deputy director of correspondence and constituent services.
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | May 18, 2008
Earlier this month, the city of Baltimore accepted a generous gift from the Republic of Lithuania: a 15-foot statue of avant-garde rock legend Frank Zappa. Because of that country's love of classical music, the artist's symphonic, idiosyncratic compositions are highly regarded there. His Lithuanian fan club calls him a "voice of freedom." But it's a safe bet that most mainstream American pop fans probably can't name one song by Frank Zappa, who died in 1993 of prostate cancer at age 52. And it's an even safer bet that few know the musician was born in Baltimore, where he didn't stay long.
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By LAURA VOZZELLA | May 11, 2008
Frank Zappa gave Maryland more than just the first 10 years of his life. He also gave his home state one of its most memorable moments in legislative history. Never before, nor since, I'm guessing, has someone testified to the state Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, "I like nipples." That was back in 1986. My excuse for revisiting this tawdry episode all these years later: Baltimore is preparing to erect a statue of Zappa, yet another of its offbeat natives.
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By RAFAEL ALVAREZ | December 8, 1993
Frank Zappa's most vivid memory of his early childhood in the 4600 block of Park Heights Avenue was watching the knife grinder roll through the neighborhood.''Down the alley used to come the knife-sharpener man, you know, a guy with the wheel,'' he reminisced in 1986. ''And everybody used to come down off their back porch to the alley to get their knives and scissors done.''In a long conversation ambling along 20 years of a global musical career, Frank's story about the man who pushed a grinding wheel through the alleys of Baltimore stayed with me the longest.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN REPORTER | May 8, 2008
"What's new in Baltimore?" Frank Zappa used to sing at the end of a long, characteristically off-the-wall rock jam he called Clowns on Velvet. What's new in Baltimore, the city in which the late rock star was born in 1940, is evidently a public sculpture of Zappa himself, and the strange tale behind the 15-foot statue that a public art panel accepted as a gift to the city last night is as incongruous as Zappa's genre-bending music career. Most Baltimoreans are aware of their hometown's claim on Edgar Allan Poe, H.L. Mencken and John Waters, but fewer know that Zappa, who made more than 50 records between the late 1950s and his death in 1993, was born in Baltimore, the son of immigrants from Sicily.
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By JEAN MARBELLA | May 9, 2008
The letter arrived, mayor to mayor, wishing the newly elected Sheila Dixon the usual "cordial congratulations" and wishes of "great success" on the "demanding and challenging" task she faced. Then the note veered from boilerplate municipal correspondence into far stranger territory: The mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, wanted to send his Baltimore counterpart a statue of someone he considered among the greatest artists of the 20th century, someone with ties to both their cities, someone who would unite the citizens of two otherwise far-flung towns in a lasting bond.
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By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN REPORTER | May 8, 2008
"What's new in Baltimore?" Frank Zappa used to sing at the end of a long, characteristically off-the-wall rock jam he called Clowns on Velvet. What's new in Baltimore, the city in which the late rock star was born in 1940, is evidently a public sculpture of Zappa himself, and the strange tale behind the 15-foot statue that a public art panel accepted as a gift to the city last night is as incongruous as Zappa's genre-bending music career. Most Baltimoreans are aware of their hometown's claim on Edgar Allan Poe, H.L. Mencken and John Waters, but fewer know that Zappa, who made more than 50 records between the late 1950s and his death in 1993, was born in Baltimore, the son of immigrants from Sicily.
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