Home / Music / The Friday Morning Listen: Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish – A Tribute to Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band

The Friday Morning Listen: Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish – A Tribute to Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band

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I'm thinking that this will be short, because I still feel like part of my brain has been removed. At around 11AM yesterday, I developed a migraine. This is a very rare occurrence for me, but brings back memories of my teens and on into my thirties, when I had one or two per week. When I reached my mid-thirties, the headaches vanished (so did my first marriage, though the two things are probably not related, no matter how amusing the idea is).

My symptoms, aside from the actual pain (which I perceive as being both dull and sharp), usually involve light sensitivity, nausea, slowed reaction time, warped perception (which I've discovered has a name: derealization), and partial memory loss. I'd never heard of derealization before but one part of the definition fits me perfectly: perceiving that objects are unreal or cartoon-like. Some of this came on very strongly on the (brutal) drive home, when the trucks I would pass seemed like they did not did not belong on the highway. They were no longer trucks, but floating metal boxes. It was all sort of dreamlike.

So I made the (very bad) decision to try to make it through a lunch meeting, hoping that food might calm things down. Unfortunately, the nausea had taken over by then, turning the act of eating a couple of slices of pizza into pure torture. The food did not help, and I spent an hour or so after the meeting worrying about things like why I was sweating and unscheduled trips to the men's room. I decided to bail at 2, when the letters in the document I was attempting to read started moving around on the page.

Migraines put me into a kind of fugue state, in which it seems like I can and do function, but remember only bits and pieces of my actions. The drive home, about an hour, seemed like half a day. When I got home, Stepson #2 happened to be visiting so he helped me pop the air conditioner into the bedroom window. I cranked that sucker up and collapsed onto the bed. For two hours I was gone.

When I woke up, the migraine was gone, replaced by a sense of calm. Shaky calm. As usual, I only had a vague memory of driving home. As the pseudo-fugue subsided, a bunch of seemingly random thoughts emerged: Wow, they were right, the boss's daughter is incredibly good-looking…can I hold this pizza down? the sun is burning a hole into my brain, floating boxes, old woman sweat/young women glisten, the shiny beast of thought…

The last two items are actually lyrics from the Captain Beefheart song "Dirty Blue Gene." Apparently, I was listening to Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish on the way home. I'll have to listen again this morning because I don't really remember it.

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About Mark Saleski

  • oh, i should say that Beefheart is one of the few artists whose lyrics i pay attention to.

  • christopher, i can’t remember where i listened to it but there was a website with a series of interviews with the man. yeah, “mad” is the word!

    love his paintings too.

  • To say nothing of “Safe As Milk”, “Clear Spot”, “Bat Chain Puller”, “Strictly Personal”, “Mirror Man” and a whole bunch of live albums too.

    Some of the best Blues, Progressive Rock and slightly mad genius stuff – including awesome lyrics [you’ll have to take my word for that, Mark ;-)] you’ll ever hear. Massively under-rated music and a great painter too. Awesome!

  • i do agree with christopher about Beefheart. Trout Mask Replica is one of the best albums made of any genre.

  • Brian, although I do like a fair bit, but by no means all, of Zappa’s stuff, I much prefer the rawness of Beefheart’s stuff, so no, I’m not kidding.

    Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band are seriously under-rated, particularly in the USA it seems, although it is not unusual to see somewhat skewed musical priorities over there…

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “As I consider Captain Beefheart to be one of the best artists of 20th Century Americana…”

    Come on, you’re kidding..right? Did you actually type that with a straight face?

    You might of had legit beef if the article mentioned a Zappa album…

  • re: #3, i was barely in good enough shape this morning to write what i did.

  • As I consider Captain Beefheart to be one of the best artists of 20th Century Americana, I was hoping you would have turned your literary skills to actually writing about the music for a change. I should have known better!

  • thanks. yeah, i saw that derealization is a part of panic/anxiety disorders.

    here’s to a derealization-free friday!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Sorry to hear about the migraine.

    Reading about your derealization started to spark up some of my anxiety disorder. So, I can relate… even it is just a little bit(I’ve never had a migraine)