When Frank Zappa's Grammy Award-winning Jazz from Hell was released in 1986 it received an RIAA parental advisory sticker even though the album was entirely instrumental. Perhaps the Memphis Symphony Orchestra's Rock Like Bach concert, led by conductor David Loebel (pictured), should come with a similar warning since the classical musicians will be performing "G-Spot Torpedo," a manic cut from the infamously innocuous record and named for what a girl might do to herself when nobody is watching. (Wink wink, nudge nudge.)
The MSO's Rock Like Bach selections will also include Daniel B. Raurmain's Hip Hop Essay for Orchestra, an orchestral arrangement of the Rufus Thomas classic "The Funky Chicken," and the world premiere of Shakin': A Tribute to Elvis Presley & Igor Stravinsky, a special commission for the MSO written by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's composer-in-residence Augusta Read Thomas.
Although it seems unlikely, Memphis' original rocker and the Russian composer of such works as The Rite of Spring and The Firebird have much in common. Both represent major turning points in music and culture; both blended a variety of traditional folk forms into something new and unique; and both were famous for focusing their attentions on rhythm rather than melody.
Amy & the Tramps and David Brookings also will be on hand to perform for those who like their rock raw and stripped down.
Rock Like Bach, 8 p.m. Friday, February 24th, the Cannon Center, $15-$25