Friday, February 16, 2007

100 Tears of Jollitude

Yup, 'tis my blogcentennial, this being epistle 100 since my inaugural blast over 3 years ago, winging its bit-torrential way, who the heck knows who indeed is actually scanning these screeds at the hour of...come out come out whomever you are (come out to show 'dem come out to show 'dem)...

Whatever the case, upper or lower, open and shut, I hope you, Dear Readers, are busy being Entertained (or at the very least, bemused) by the dot-dash jot 'n joshing of my electronic biro brio...

Finger-picking up where we left off last time, I went to see Piers Faccini, a highly-touted transplanted UK singer/songwriter now living in France, at Joe's Pub last Wednesday night, where he made his NYC debut in the unenviable and inevitably tough 7pm opening slot...and despite a mostly indifferent drinking crowd there to see the headlining Wood Brothers (Chris Wood, from Medeski, Martin and, plus his brother, plus... had to miss 'em unfortunately), anyway Piers was pretty damn good, I was particularly taken by the guy's overall gravitas and Grace in the face of having to compress his set to 20 min. or something coupled with a crowd not really paying too close attention, preoccupied as they were with the serious business of whatever-- Piers just got on with it, soldiering on in a lovely-voiced lovely-songed set which had many fine flashes of promise, of brilliant things to come, in a more relaxed, congenial, spotlit timeslot... good also was his take on Drake, nicking the best aspects of that seriously cultured well-weathered anglo-approach and applying it to the seasonal (witch)craft of singersongwriting in his own right...a very good band appiered with him too, nicely turned-out bass and drums surrounding deft acoustic fingerstyle guitar that really caught fire during an Ali Farka Toure tribute--keep your eyes and ears on Piers Faccini, he deserves your full attention...

Friday night it was Gods and Monsters' turn at the Bowery Poetry Club--an on the edge risk-taking night for us, the guys generating real Heat onstage to warm up the chilled-out crowd (well, it was in the 20's outside!), our revamped set-list, and the debut performance of some new tunes hitherto not in our book kept us all on our toes, newies included "Hot and Cold Everything" (the way that it is--bittersweet, just like Life itself)...btw, Jerry Harrison this week laid down a beautiful keyboard part on a studio version of this new tune of mine at Sausalito Sound, where he's been producing and playing throughout on the studio followup to "Coming Clean"--as well as producing and playing on our upcoming live DVD--in fact Jerry, E.T. Thorngren, and Matt "The World's Most Patient (Jewish) Engineer" just sent me a slew of excellent mixes they worked on taken from our CMJ set last November, mixes that will appear in all their five- point- one surround sound glory on our upcoming live album...Jerry is going to join us at SXSW for our Saint Paddy's Day showcase there March 17th (me dad's birthday as well), also March 23rd at Safari Sam's in LA, and mid-May at the Tivoli in Utrecht and at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, with more European shows pending, stay tuned...

In the Bowery Poetry audience last Friday was my friend the distingue high-art photographer Mark Lyon just in from Paris with his nephew--also in attendance was artist/sculptor Gib Smith; Max Weissberg, a young hipster and heir to the Gramery Park Hotel Weissberg's; the lovely Deenah from Secret Salamander; percussionist Lee Farber from new club sensation Ultrafine; avant-gardener instrumentalist Robbie Lee, whom I saw deliver an excellent solo set at The Stone last week-- plus Leigh Lust and crew--Leigh is a very hip a&r man for Atlantic, an old friend from my late 80's days playing on WNYU FM's "New Afternoon Show" where he would often dj (I also met current musical compatriots Jason Candler and Colleen Murphy, a/k/a DJ Cosmo, down at WNYU...and then there's Hugh Foley, who I'm saving for a future blog)--also indahouse Friday night was a Canadian couple who had motored all the way down from Ottawa to come and see Gods and Monsters perform: "We heard that you were playing, and we just had to come and see you!" Yeahhhhhhh!!!

Sunday I played at one of those enchanting places New York seems overflowing with but that one never actually seems to have the time to explore until summoned by empirical fiat; namely, (this time out), The New York Buddhist Church, up on Riverside and 106th, check it out here--a very beautiful House of the Spirit presided over by the genial Toshikazu Nakagaki, the Buddhist Chaplain of Columbia University (and a fine shakuhachi player)...the occasion was a celebration of (what is this thing called) Love, entitled "Broken Open--A Pre-Valentine's Day Love Ceremony", I opened solo acoustic, quicksilver wit Zero Boy did a hilarious human beatbox spoken-word shpritz on relationships (somebody sign this guy quick, he's up there with Robin Williams, I'm not kidding), Dr. Erminia Guarneri, author of "The Heart Speaks", gave a fascinating talk on cardiological and emotional affairs of the heart, the lovely Susan D sang beautifully, there was much more, much crazy love abounding for sure improving this shining hour, my friend Adam Phillips, founder of the Breakthrough Project who sponsored this event, acted as chief celebrant throughout, making with the word and the good cheer and overall good vibe, guiding us at the end in a lovely communal singalong of Dean Martin's immortal "That's Amore" :-)

Yep, to borrow a bissel from Cindy Adams--only in New York, kids...only in New York...

I'm back up to Morningside Heights on Sunday afternoon to play on Columbia University's radio station WKCR in a tribute to the recently departed Alice Coltrane--whose transcendental mystic spirit, like that of her revered late husband, lives on in the hearts of many, many folks round the world...her harp playing and compositions have touched and moved me deeply since I was a boy...and I am honored to be able to give some of that feeling back in her memory.

Let There Be Peace--Gary Lucas and the Trans-Linear Players in the studio for WKCR Alice Coltrane Tribute 2/19/07, drawing by Jeff Schlanger

Click to enlarge



PS. As a belated Valentine's Day gift to my collective readership, here's a link into one of those great swinging NYC Jazz Age Max Fleischer cartoons I was raving about a few blogs back, directed by his brother Dave--the 1930 Talkartoon classic, "Swing You Sinners!"

This animation is certainly one of my favorite things in the world, dealing as it does with matters eschatological--a vision most delirious, most surreal, most high!--certainly an inspiration to R. Crumb and a host of other black humorish comic artists...Bill Moseley and I used to screen this frequently at Yale as part of our very popular "Things That Go Bump in the Night" midnight movie series, and it never failed to tear the roof off the sucker (of Linsley-Chit!)... first reader to write me at who can correctly identify the musicians and ensembles performing on the uncredited soundtrack wins a copy of my "Russian Fireworks-Gary Lucas Live in Saint Petersburg" DVD... 'Nuff said!


Blogger dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Gary, how cool to close this time of Amore with the communal singin' of the Dinolove Dinosong, "That's Amore." Never was, new will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool. Oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth.

2/17/2007 2:43 PM  
Blogger Stephen Worth said...


Would you please link to the page the movie file resides on rather than the movie file itself?

Stephen Worth
Animation Archive

2/18/2007 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how many of us are out there reading your posts, but I'm one of them, living in the UK, and very much looking forward to seeing you at the Luminaire on June 5th.

Best wishes


5/08/2007 5:07 PM  

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