Monday, September 25, 2006

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

... unless it's pastis, which Jason Candler and I were sip sip sipping after our incandescent new Gods and Monsters record release thingy at Bob Holman's house of poesy and musik on the Bowery Saturday night...same anise flavour, pearly dewdrops drops in water, tincture of scrubs of wormwood distilled into les baises de la fee vert--an excellent aperitif, in other words, sharing similar medicinal/psychoactive qualities with absinthe (there's a Czech variant as well--me I was always partial to that supreme Czech libation known as Becherovka, once brought a bottle back from a tour of Prague to Amsterdam where I was artiste in residence in room 505 (get me on flight number) in the infamous Winston Hotel in the wending warren of Warmoestraat--best hotel room with a view, peering out over and into the Red Lights, back 'o wall, back of ye olde Bulldog, good window on the world onto the divine serio-comedy of buy/sell--ah yes the Winston, Dirty Three played there too that season, lot of Aussies hanging out in the nabe, and well anyway painter man Joep sat in my room there while I scoured my National steel working out music that became the theme known as "Judgement at Midnight" for a score I did for ABC News about a poor soul on death row in Angola State Prison in Lousiana ( Leadbelly and Robert Pete Williams also roomed there--but not together-- at one point) and in the process of a very long night Joep proceeded to polish off the entire bottle of Becher without so much as a howdayado...much hilarity upon his discovery that the stuff was brewed in the Jelinek Distillery in Karlovy Vary:-- "hey, we've got a Jelinek Clinic here in Amsterdam!" (for drying out alkies) wonders as always if the ones selling you the poison are the same ones curing you of the disease...

Sipping a draught of the milky misty waters after busting out an hour's worth of music (with special guest goddess Felice Rosser from the band Faith joining in on melismatic ululation viz. Abdullah Ibrahim's "Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro", and wailing our soulful newie "Shadow Man"), we were surrounded by myriad well-wishers including a way enthusiastic/ ebullient Jerry Roche from my new US indie label Mighty Quinn and his posse, Jerry the visionary and fan of and now enabler of my music going back to seeing me play in the old Knit in '89 with Gods and Monsters Mark I (Thank you Jerry--and Meg Griffin!)--plus there was a surprise pop-in from Rene Goiffon, the head of Harmonia Mundi who's got my beloved '30's Chinese pop album "The Edge of Heaven" back in circulation again, in the racks and in the shoppes (Yes! Thank you Rene)--in fact we did an impromptu blow through Chow Hsuan's "Please Allow Me to Look at You Again" in our set in honor of this--Rene was in town to catch some shows with Tuvan throat-singer Albert Kuvezin and his group Yat-Kha, who have a new album out called "Re-Covers" recuperating diverse fare by Joy Division, Kraftwerk, Led Zep--also a killer version of Beefheart's "Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles")--also there was Downtown Music Gallery's Bruce Gallanter, patron saint of radical/beautiful music (ran into him again him last night at poet Steve Dalechinsky's 60th birthday do at Tonic where I played alongside Alan Licht, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter and other outriders of the storm)...

Caroline, Gary and Cineaste editor Richard Porton, hangin' at the The Bowery Poetry Club NYC

Caroline, Gary and homegirl Shaista Husain outside the
Bowery Poetry Club NYC

Downtown Music Gallery's Bruce Gallanter and Gary, NYC

Felice Rosser singing with Gods and Monsters at the Bowery Poetry Club

Gods and Monsters in the Gibson Showroom, NYC (l to r Jason Candler, Ernie Brooks, Gary, Billy Ficca)

Click to enlarge

back to the Gods and Monsters party of special things to do: also present and accounted for were my homies Cineaste film epicurean Richard Porton (who did a great interview with my buddy Willem Dafoe in the latest issue, check it out), Pakistani pistol Shaista Husain and her boyfriend Gus who operates a comics--sorry, graphic novel-- empire (don't forget that Milo Manara portfolio and those original Harvey Kurtzman EC Mads under my chanukah bush this year, Gus)...and 2 beautiful Carolines--my lovely wife of course...and also Carolina Atlasovitch, a radiant Argie ex-pat whose family originally hailed from Jedwabne--a landswoman, in other words-- whom I met at a screening of Slawomir Grunberg's "The Legacy of Jedwabne" documentary recently at Makor (a film I scored)--also in attendance was mover/shaker/lovolutioner WKCR DJ Charlie Blass... the legendary Steve Paul (Jim Morrison's favorite rapper)...and also a fellow Yalie I hadn't seen in about 30 years whose name sadly escapes me who played a mean guitar back then (and now a stock broker--tangled up in Old Blues..."wonder what they're doing with their lives", indeed) the usual gang of true believers and fans fantastique, I love you madly...

so yes, it was a particularly fine night for us, after a summer group playing hiatus we really really kicked ass and then some...Jerry Harrison couldn't make it unfortunately--off sailing in Greece with Carol-- I do love his keyboards especially on the new songs we're recording for our next album, which he's producing-- Jerry will be with us for the CMJ Festival midnight gig we're doing at the BPC on Saturday Nov. 4th, to be recorded for a live album and DVD by Mighty Quinn... and hopefully we'll press-gang him into playing our just confirmed show on Saturday night October 28th at a gigantic new club space opening that weekend in Williamsburg on the site of the old Domino Sugar refinery complex, the new club called, appropriately enough, Brooklyn Sugar--we're playing on a bill titled "Rituals" with the fabulous Sun Ra Arkestra (led now by the great Marshall Allen)--and I'm going to open the evening with "Monsters from the Id", solo guitar improvs to a splendid and divers gallimaufry of horror, fantasy, and erotica clips culled from my poisonal collection...

btw, good to see that they've really enhanced the Bowery Poetry Club too with a new concessionaire in place, fine delicious and healthy snacks now being served daily, fresh fruit, veggies, sushi, sliced coconuts, iced Chai--good on ya Bob! Now just add Elvis' favorite deep fried peanut butter bacon and banana sandwiches to the bill' o fare and I'll be a happy boy (just kidding)...

Off in a few hours to Amsterdammmmmm for a week of Dutch shows with ace lutist Jozef Van Wissem--some tv and radio tapings too-- and an afternoon lecturing and giving a master class at the Amsterdam Music Conservatorum ...then back home for a day next week, then off again to open Pop Montreal with "The Golem" ...

"The Dark/The Light/ The Dark/ THE DAY"--Don Van Vliet

"It's a Bittersweet Symphony, that's Life"--The Verve

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!
~Isaac Watts, "Divine Songs"



ps If you're in NYC, run don't walk and try to catch the great Absinthe show at the Spiegel Tent down at the South Street Seaport before it closes! Cool venue--played one of these mirror-star Spiegel Tents --hey, it's a franchise-- solo at the Amiens Festival a few years ago when my Label Bleu/Indigo album "The Edge of Heaven" first came out--and this particular bag of mixed circus/burlesque/cabaret nutters from Europe, UK, US and who knows where else (Xanadu? Yucatan? Zembla?) is just what the doctor etc...


Anonymous Carl said...

Your cover of Astronomy Domine is the only cover I've ever felt did justice to the creativity of Roger 'Syd' Barret with Pink Floyd.

Your vocals also sound VERY similar to that of Roger's.

Kudos and thanks for the free mp3! I'll check out your CD's.

9/26/2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger Gary Lucas said...

thanks alot carl!


9/27/2006 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Jorg Schröder said...

Hi Gary,

Sat with you and Jozef on the Tilburgtrain in Holland.
I'll check the new album in Jan. . It's poor that youth nowadays ( i see myself with 26 also as youngster!! :> )don't listen to this music anymore.
Good luck with your professionalism! Things you did in the past, i see now: are great.
Beefhart, Joan Osborne, Buckley: all great stuff.I'm curieus about the music on your forthcoming album. Have a good time in Haarlem. Maybe see ya in one of your shows!

the teacher in geography

9/27/2006 2:31 PM  

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