Sunday, June 04, 2006

Redrum, Redrum (Release the Bats!)

Cosmo and Gary backstage at the ICA London for Bacardi B-Live throwdown, 5/31/06

Click to enlarge (photo hosted by flickr)

Played the Bacardi B-Live promotion this week at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London with my old pal Cosmo (Colleen Murphy)--an absolute pleasure, a delightful gig! Felt like I was on holiday (for a change...). Totally first class accomodations in the 5 star Trafalgar Hotel off of guess where, very conveniently situated near all my favorite West End haunts (such as The Cinema Store on Upper St. Martin's Lane, and the antiquarian booksellers of Cecil Court), and also right around the corner from the ICA itself. Gig was the kickoff hyper-launch for a new series of global promotions for my favourite rum (way way tastier even than David Johansen's preferred Mount Gay brand--I mean, you can't go wrong with a company whose main logo is emblazoned with the image of a Cuban Fruit Bat, now can you?), and it was a dream gig really, I got to blaze forth and improvise on psychedelic electric over a series of scintillating funk and soul rare grooves culled by Cosmo from all over the map, deep in the cut with the great percussionist Shovell from M-People (winner of the British Mercury Awards a few years ago). And we closed a bill featuring legendary vibester/ all around beatific dude Roy Ayers--plus uber-diva deluxe Chaka Khan (looking and sounding really good, these days resembling nothing so much as a kind of chocolate Montserrat Caballe)--both of them backed by Los Amigos, a NYC based club band from Venezuela, and mixed by the immaculate Dimitri from Paris...suffice to say it was HOT in there, joint was packed with scenesters, liggers, jiggers (of free rum--place was swimming in it), press touts, international marketing tipsters hipsters radio flipsters (was interviewed before the show by the very cool XFM's Matt Everitt), fashionistas flaunting it and a Pisgah sight of a good looking young crowd (in fact we were not that far from Nelson's Column), multi-facial/multi-racial all bedizened bespoke and ursprache (Zarathustra!) (unfortunately the gig was closed to the general public, my sincerest apologies to Jenny Thompson and Timothy Parkes)...

and after Roy and Chaka and co. left the stage Cosmo, Shovell and I stirred things way way Up, the Light Surgeons started surging with myriad disorienting clips running round us cameras were flashing dancers trancing gogglers goggling and the whole sensorium whirling madly, me too during the tracks I was Out for feeling like the Count of Bacardi crossed with Ghoulardi (that Bat logo again...come to think of it those were similar bats I spied soaring over the skies of the Brisbane outback last November at that Aussie Earthcore Global Carnivore thingy--a recurring motif) and I was riding the crest of a great bi-amped set-up into wah wah Valhalla the better to flagellate/redecorate tracks like Tina Turner's version of "Whole Lotta Love" and club anthem "Underwater" at 11 courtesy web mistress Tanya...

ICA London, 5/31/06

Click to enlarge (photos hosted by flickr)

Cosmo and I go way back to the mid-80's when she had a regular slot on WNYU FM's beloved New Afternoon Show (in fact, I think her show was the first I ever played on that estimable commercial free station...used to come down there regularly to hang out and play, was where I first ran into Marc Riley and Jon Langford--and Sally Timms-- making the American radio rounds promoting their tribute to Johnny Cash album for Red Rhino, also Bjork back in her Sugarcubes days, I pleasantly surprised the Icelandic imp by correctly identifying the source of her lyrics for their brilliant "Birthday" single as deriving from a passage in Jo Imog's scabrous novel "The Demon Flower")...

anyhow Colleen got deeper and deeper into dance music as the 80's melted into the 90's and used to invite me to play at a late night hang she organized in the bloody tranny hooker hub of the 14th Street Meat Market district when it was still louche and dangerous (before it morphed into Stella McCartney-land, in other words), she presided over a weird ambient club scene known as the Departure Lounge (not that far afield from the present-day Nu-Blu actually) with futuristic dj's Perry Brandston and Adam Goldstone mixing up the medicine, and that's where we really honed our chops jamming together as she found I could respond instantaneously to whatever platters she threw down for me to slice and dice...and judging by the response to our set Wednesday night in London..."We've only just begun..." (in fact, we're collaborating on a cool new tune for Cosmo's 12" vinyl label Bitches Brew)...and hey, Bacardi's sending us to Mumbai and Hyderabad this July to further shake things up inna Murderer Style (redrum, redrum)...anyhow thank you thank you thank you indeed to Snowy and Sarah and Adam and all the great folks at Bacardi and Think Espionage who masterminded this intoxicating hurly burly of rock 'n soul and funky grooves...

I was only home for about 12 hours when I drove up with Caroline to Big Indian (near Woodstock) to the Full Moon Lodge to play solo acoustic for my dear friend Glenn Kenny and his lovely bride Claire Evans at their wedding under a big tent in the Catskill woods... a wonderful event, best wedding ever in fact--met such warm friendly folks, I can't really do justice to the joyful vibe of the entire weekend, which despite intermittent rain shone forth brilliantly everlasting...Glenn is a senior editor at Premiere Magazine where his "Ask Glenn" column regulalry displays his dazzling erudition on all things cinematic (from Godard to Gojira), he is equally as knowledgeable a critic on matters musical (from the top of the popper-most to the truly arcane) )...Glenn's one of my closest confidantes/confessors--he is also one of the wittiest (and sweetest) persons to walk the earth...I don't really know Claire that well yet, but she's a young raven-haired beauty and seems perfectly in synch with Glenn's sensibility, all of their friends (including Premiere editor Peter Herbst, former Island/Def Jam head Davitt Sigerson, and screenwriter Brian Koppelman) and family were charming and nice (I like Nice...)

at Glenn's request, I performed my arrangement of Gershwin's final great song "Our Love is Here to Stay" (the Frank version), as well as the deliquescent theme from the film "Sex and Lucia" by Alberto Iglesias...Caroline was still whistling them as we pulled into Manhattan this afternoon, and I got alot of positive feedback on my performance from various guests last night, so I guess I struck a chord :-)

Off to Big Mike's (Complete Music Services) now for band rehearsal...we hit Chung King Studios on Varick Street tomorrow where we start recording the next Gods and Monsters album in the Red Room (redrum, redrum)--with the great Jerry Harrison producing (Yes!)



ps I'm very very sad to report that Charlie Gillett, the great British dj/world music and r&b authority/force for good in the world of music has had to relinquish his weekly Saturday night Sound of the World show for the BBC due to health reasons. Charlie is a beacon of light in the wilderness, and his show will be sorely missed. The good news is that he will continue his weekly show for the BBC World Service. As a one man world service unto himself, here's hoping for a speedy recovery, Charlie!

pps Jerry is profiled in Apple News this week for his work on the Talking Heads catalogue reissues featuring his new 5.1 surround sound mixes--


Anonymous MOJO STATION said...

Hy Gary,
thanks for the link!
Mojo Station

6/08/2006 10:53 AM  
Anonymous davemp3 said...

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7/19/2006 8:56 AM  
Blogger Gary Lucas said...

Thhanks Davemp3--just back from India, so forgive the slowness of response

I love Johnny fact The Du-Tels (me and Peter Stampfel) covered "Ring of Fire" on our album "No Knowledge of Music Required", check it out!


8/02/2006 3:00 PM  

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