|As you might have guessed: the term is from a Zappa song. "Evelyn, a modified dog" is, IMHO, the most irritating song on the album "One Size Fits All". Somewhat hidden between "Florentine Pogen" and "San Ber'dino", two dominant up-tempo rock songs, this quiet (and short) song strives for attention.|
|It got mine, at once... My first thought on first listening some years ago was: What the f... is he doing there? And why?|
|Since then, after getting used to Evelyn, a lot more questions rose: Is Evelyn a poodle? Who is the short person Evelyn is watching? Is there really someone snoring near the piano, or what is the origin of the curious breeze?|
Evelyn, a modified dog
Viewed the quivering fringe of a special doily
Draped across the piano, with some surprise
Evelyn, eine modifizierte Hündin
Besah sich mit einiger Verwunderung den zitternden Saum
Eines Deckchens, das übers Klavier drapiert war
In the darkened room
Where the chairs dismayed
And the horrible curtains
Muffled the rain
She could hardly believe her eyes
Im abgedunkelten Zimmer
Wo die Stühle das Entsetzen packte
Und die schauderhaften Vorhänge
Das Geräusch des Regens dämpften
Traute sie kaum ihren Augen
A curious breeze
A garlic breath
Which sounded like a snore
Somewhere near the Steinway (or even from within)
Had caused the doily fringe to waft & tremble in the gloom
Ein merkwürdiger Lufthauch
Ein Hauch von Knoblauch
Der sich wie Schnarchen anhörte
Irgendwo in der Nähe des Steinway (oder gar aus dem Inneren)
Hatte den Saum des Deckchens leicht erzittern lassen in der Düsternis
Evelyn, a dog, having undergone
Pondered the significance of short-person behavior
In pedal-depressed panchromatic resonance
And other highly ambient domains...
Evelyn, eine Hündin,
Noch weiter modifiziert,
Dachte angestrengt nach über die Bedeutung des Verhaltens von kleinwüchsigen Menschen
In panchromatischer Resonanz bei niedergedrücktem Pedal
und in anderen höchst behaglichen Atmosphären
Arf she said
Arf, sagte sie
Deutsche Übersetzung / german translation: Carl Weissner
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"This entire song is a reference to the Lumpy Gravy recording sessions. For the un- or half-informed: In the Lumpy Gravy sessions numerous people were closely gathered around a grand piano to speak on many subjects of significance and insignificance. At the same time a large weight was set on the piano's sustain pedal so that it was always depressed. This has the effect of setting up a very spacey and ambient resonance as the piano strings vibrate sympathetically with the sound waves created by the persons speaking. Since all of the strings of the piano are vibrating, the musical effect can be referred to as pan-chromatic (that is, all chromatic tones are heard). Another musical use of pan-<music-word> is 'Pan-Diatonicism'. This is what you'd get if you went and slammed your forearms across only the white keys of the piano - one could say that the noise that came out was 'Pan-Diatonic'."
Robert Moore (email@example.com)
Taken from: NOTES AND COMMENTS - the free opinions appendix to the alt.fan.frank-zappa newsgroup FAQ ver.2.15 part 3 of 4 - Put together by Vladimir Sovetov (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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|15.01.96||I'd say that Evelyn isn't nessecarily a poodle but some poor spayed pup who amells here mafia connected owner dead om the floor near a plate of itallian food letting out a last groan that sounded like a snore|
I have read one of your response pages about "one size fits all" This album is one of my favorite Mothers albums. I have liked Evelyn the first time I heard her. It is calming and unique because of the piano. Much hipper the other songs on side two.
But I'm glad guys like you are out there at least talking and supporting the Zappa achieves.
I wish you peace and good luck.
||I do not really have any answers to your questions
regarding Evelyn, although I think these are questions that every
homo sapiens that has left the cave stage secretly carry inside. I
just wanted to thank you for an excellent page on this always so
After some thinking I do actually think Evelyn is a poodle. That's the only really modified dog I can think of. Where can I get my poodle clipped in Burbank?
Once again, thanks and keep on rockin !!
||I think that the garlic breeze and sounded like a
snore might pertain to Garlic yes. and the place called
Gilmore California (the garlic capital of the world) Maybe
someone belched by the piano and it sounded like a snore?
||this song's lyrics are frank's prophetic
description of his life after death.
evelyn, lying sedated and numb, sleeps uneasily, and dreams under the lights of the vetrinarian's operating chamber. Frank's foreign brain, finding itself within the dog, first reacts to canine unconciousness by remembering it's final human moments ( with intelligent dog-like attributes),then in an attempt to prove its own supremely human cognition through complex thought processes, Frank reflects on his music,. Then of the power of a dog that owns the ability to understand musicality,even through intense transcendence (travelling from human to dog form)..... Deciding to play this scenario out to find what the possibilities could be, (s)he wakes with an enthusiastic "Arf".
||So whats the status on the PDPR... has there been
lotsa stuff or not lotsa stuff
Just Curious - like the breeze
||Our guess is that evelyn is sitting alone under the
piano when someone sneaks into the room and farts (which moves the
special doily and bears a garlic aroma)
a song about a fart - can't go wrong there...
||Talking about dogs.
Poodles do bite !!!!!!
So what was,is,EVELYN ???
To view a "quivering fringe",what is ones position ?
The nearness of the doyle hints of a partner close !?
||What the fÇ are you asking there? And
||Can't you just enjoy the song without asking all
these fucking questions?Arf, she said.
||Love the German "Evelyn"! As for "modified" and
"further modification" - well, assuming she's a poodle, one of
these modifications would very likely be clipping; the other one -
well, could be a remodelled clipping or (this has just happened to
our cats) maybe she was neutered. Aarrgghh!
I just saw your homepage and felt I have to write you.
I'm am also very fascinated by the lyrics of Evelyn... and have been ever since I heard it the first time. I dont know the answers to any of your questions, and when I heard Civilization Phase III (containing some of the original recordings this song seems to refer to) I only got even more confused...fortunately, for if anyone ever analyzes Evelyn A Modified Dog, finding all the answers to all the questions regarding this song, the world will be a poorer place to live in.
I believe that every song Frank ever wrote fits into one big universe, and that all these songs are fragments or parts of this universe - The Zappaverse perhaps. So for me it would be interesting to look at the individual words of the song and what Frank usually associated these with. For example :
The Poodle - it is obvious in some of Franks other lyrics, that he does not like poodles, and that he seems to associate poodles with a certain 'type' of person or personality.
Short People - Maybe this refers to some of those other things Frank uses the 'short' prefix with, like short forest.
I hope you get the basic idea, this is written in a hurry so I dont have time to find more associations.
But I think I'll try and spend some of my christmas holiday figuring it out.
Maybe I'll e-mail the results. Great homepage by the way, it's bookmarked as of now.
||Well, duh. Here, you're trying to analyze it. Yer
talking about "pedal-depressed panchromatic resonance" was exactly
what the Frank was
talking about. Analyze it at yer peril. It's babble -- wonderful sounding babble, and highly ambient -- nice touch, the guy who did the piano explication. But it's babble nonetheless. The point? "Arf, she said."
"Arf," I said.
||I was told that Zappa used to watch Howard Stern's
TV show and that Gail Zappa called Stern's radio show. These facts
disturb me because I do not see anything of any use in Stern and
his stuff. Can these things be true. And does anyone know
When i was browsing through some zappa pages, i was triggered by the name you gave your web site!
I was courious about why you named your page "pedal depressed... etc" i think it's one of the funniest/strangest songs FZ made.
What a shame you think the opposite of this song, i think it's hilarious and after i heard it for the first time (not so long ago) it didn't took me long to memorize it and knowing it by hart. I'ts now my personal "recognition tune" and i sing it as a lullaby for my youngest daughter. Try to sing it in a lullaby fashion and all babies wil fall asleep :-)
Ok, greetings for now, and lots of succes with your pages.
BTW. FZ made great baby music, both of my daughters like most of his songs (i hope :-)
||I'm not pretending to have any answers to your
questions, but "the most irritating track on OSFA"??? I love
Evelyn, it's one of those classic Zappa moments that is brilliant
in its very absurdity - like "Montana" or "Little Green
Rosetta". As for irritating track status, don't you find
"Po-Jama People" just a little annoying?
||"A curious breeze, a garlic breath, which sounded
like a snore..." - I have always assumed that Frank was alluding to
I am a moderatly fanatic Zappa fan. Sofa #2 (One size Fits All) was my FIRST Zappa album, on vinyl. My hunmble interpretation of Evelyn is Zappa's kids were playing on the piano and the dog was sitting underneath. Obviously, someone (The dog?) passed wind. The "pedal
depressed pan chromatic resonances" are simply the kids playing on the Steinway with the pedal down, allowing all of the notes to ring free. As with much of Zappa, this is open to interpretation, and now you have mine. Have a nice day, and if you don't want to, have a really crappy one.
||After reading your description of the Lumpy Gravy
sessions, I find that more probable than my hypothesis. If you do
not already have it you should invest in "History of civilization"
it has a bunch more "people in the piano" and some really cool
||"Pedal-depressed pan-chromatic resonance and other
highly ambient domains" is liklely a musical/acoustic/humorous
reference to the style
in which both the piano and vocals are played, processed and recorded on the piece, "Evelyn...".
I beleive the piece was a composed on a pretty impromptu basis:
From a pianistic point of view, the piano part is hysterical, as it paralles Zappa's vocals around the chordal changes.
(The PEDAL is DEPRESSED, the chords are moving in a PAN- CHROMATIC pattern...)
The close mic-ing technique used produced interesting RESONANCE with the vocal and sound board - I wouldn't doubt that he's singing 'in the piano' (as Pigs and Ponies type stuff on Lumpy Gravy - or trying to get that effect' through sound processing in the studio.
The result is a highly AMBIENT DOMAIN for the sound on that piece - the ambient (processed) 'space' on that track is really cool.
"A curious breeze, a garlic breath, which sounded like a snore - somewhere from the Steinway or even from within..." is an obvious
reference to this close mic-ing of vocals at the piano stool...
In this case, I beleive that Zappa is documenting a very cool improvisationsal or micro-composition while at the piano stool in his UMRK.
Food for thought?
||Well Evelyn is a poodle. Of course it is a poodle,
since we all know that the ladies were not fully satisfied with the
Schnauzer, so the big G. modified it. The rest of the
questions can only be answered by Evelyn itself. Thanks for the
good Web-side. I believe you guys are in Germany.
||Evelyn is a modified dog, like any other dog that
one would let near a steinway (with some surprise). If Evelyn were
a poodle she would bite and chew the special doily fringe like the
poodle in the song "Dirty Love" does. The curious breeze and garlic
breath could be the result of the frantic piano playing of George
Duke and what he had for lunch before accompanying the lyrics. My
fellow campers consider me an expert on snoring, but I think that
it could be the creaking of a poorly maintained piano when played
in such a manner. Depressing the pedal to cause panchromatic
resonance, wafting and trembling said doily fringe can be
irritating, but in this case it provides a link between the lyric
and the libretto (so to speak) which is a common FZ device. Neither
FZ, nor Mr. Duke could be reasonably refered to as "short
person(s)." Such a person could have been responding to the PDPR in
a behavior that demanded Evelyn's ponderance and her ubiquitous
reply. The "arf" is also part of "Pojama People" and "Florentine
Pogen" and might even viewed as a minor theme of the album. I
remember saying "arf" myself among my 70's college friends in
response to just about anything in tribute to this intriguing song.
I sincerely hope that this has been helpful in your search for
||a) the poodle was the dog modified by the woo-man
thousands of years ago. What other breed would be given the name of
b) The short person is Al Malkin who is out there right now looking for a virgin with nice breath. Or possibly Cal Schenkel.
|| That was the first Zappa
tune off my very first record album that I dug(that day). I found
it to be beautiful and intellectual, as I was an aspiring poet at
that time. I liked it to the point where I would recite it to my
friends. Upon its release I was barely 12. I was also trying to
master German around that time, as well, and it all just fell
together for me. I esteem the album "One Size Fits All ",to be one
of, if the, greatist peices of musical "werk" to date. I appreciate
the time you took to explain the deeper meaning of pan-cromatic
resonance, it has opened some new doors for me. Thankyou.
||Evelyn is a poodle, because she is a modified dog,
modified as in hair clipped to make her look ridiculous, although
it would be understandable to think that she was like the dog on
the cover of The Perfect Stranger and Them Or Us. I don't
have Lumpy Gravy yet but I believe this song is a reference to it
in a way, with people inside the piano talking. Evelyn is intrigued
by this. It's a great song. As for it being irritating,
I find that the way San Berdino drags on for ages at the end much
you're speaking poodle language, sorry I speak penguin, but what I could understand, is, you come from 1961, same to me
||frank will always live within us all. im sure
he's looking down and cracking up?
||did you ever get any answers to your questions
about modify dog? I would be interested in finding out what
this song is about. Is the short person the vet that modified
poor Evelyn? I would be depressed too if someone did that to
me. Perhaps the "fringe of a special doily" is her white
poodle fur which can look like fringe. Maybe the piano refers
to the part of her that is getting modified...
||The song is about a young girl at a piano
recital. "Viewed the fringe...draped across the piano... She
sits down to play when suddenly, "A curious breeze, a garlic
breath... Which is a fart. You see, someone farted which
"caused the doily fringe to waft and tremble..."
Arf she said.
||Hi Ralf !!
Mein Name ist XXXXX. Durch Zufall bin ich auf deine Homepage gestoßen und habe mich gefragt wie ein Jurist dazu kommt als Krankenpfleger zu arbeíten ?
Weil... ähh... man kein Jurist ist, sondern allenfalls als solcher arbeitet. Ich habe den Job genommen, der mir gefällt.
||Hello, my name is XXXX. Frank Zappa is one of my
all time guitar heroes. I have a question in reference to my most
favorite of his guitar solos. Do you know what kind of acoustic
guitar FZ uses on "Nine Types of Industrial Pollution" from Uncle
Any information would be a great help. I thank you for your time.
||(Apologies for my lack of German)
Evelyn is or more likely was an Echidna ( a spiny Australian Mammel) which the Zappa family adopted at the Los Angeles Zoo.
Great Home page!
I will view the rest over a period of time and if I can be of further assistance I will mail responses.
||Well back when Frank was making the lumpy gravy
album, some dialog of which ended up on Civilization Phaze III, the
pan chromatic resonace was made by Frank taking a cinder block and
putting it on the sustain pedals of the studio piano. Then
random people who walked in were all given a chance to go and speak
their mind under a heavy black curtain which covered the
piano. Evelyn is probably a dog with a nice haircut who was
confused by these sounds. Or she was a girl who was "too
cool" for all the weird stuff going on. Who
||found your HP looking for origin of phrase read em
do you know origin of phrase or did you just hear it and understanding the words never try to figure out its ruts
||From I know, this was very autobiographical. I
agree with the Lumpy Gravy stuff. But the "short person behavior"
was a 2 year old Moon, who was in the studio.
||It's the ARF that brings it all together and makes
||I think that "short person" is a Zappa term for a
dog. I'm not shure what she is barking at but when she
ponders the signifigance of short person behavior in pedal
depressed etc etc. but she is pondering her own behavior before she
||If you knew Zappa, you be know that his lyrics are
just that, lyrics. you shouldn't try to figure out what they are
about by any means.
||Hi I'm XXXX from amsterdam. Do you know if the
words pedal depressed panchromatic resonance also appear in other
They do not.
||Hi I,m XXXX from amsterdam. On your site pedal
depressed panchromatic resonance you say that Evelyn a modified dog
is IHMO The most irritating song on the album One size fits All.
Where do the letters IHMO stand for. What do they mean.
In my humble opinion?
||"Evelyn a modified dog" is a very catchy