Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Dot's Very Interesting...Vot Do YOU Tink?"

Went to the Austrian Cultural Forum last night, just down the road apiece from MOMA on 52nd Street (legendary, officially designated "Swing Street", boulevard of broken dreams, cradle of bebop. home of Black Rock, where I hung my hat for 13 years toiling in the vineyards of CBS Records). The ACF is where they were celebrating this year's Sigmund Freud centenary and a half with a diverse week of Austrian electronica/new music under the rubric "It's Not Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood". Well, yes, exactly...

Place's an oasis in the center of midtown Manhattan, one of those glassed-in townhouse galleries you might ordinarily pass by and never venture into, particularly if you happen to live here, forest-for-the-trees syndrome (maybe), and the fact that the Eulenspiegel-esque wags who program events there decided to transfer Freud's modernist imprimatur onto the current spate of Austrian DJs, improvisers, avant-rockers et al. they had imported for this series of concerts was a nice touch...

I've always had a soft-spot for Freud, not so much for his theories per se (Nabokov, one of my favorite authors, regularly refers to him as "the Viennese quack" in his pages, loudly discrediting him over and over again for fear one imagines that applying Freud's psychoanalytic approach to Nab's own writings might reveal perhaps a bit too much information viz. the various monsters lurking within the Nabokovian Id--preferring instead to publicly present himself to the world in his memoirs as a harmless butterfly collector/women's college prof/patriotic Russian emigre, who just happened to have written a charming little book called "Lolita")--

but Freud as a Jewish rager/upsetter of convention/radical modernist-transgressor, yes, that image has always appealed to me, particularly in the tradition of other great Jewish iconoclasts throughout history (there is a really really good book by John Murray Cuddihy I urge you to seek out called "The Ordeal of Civility", which posits the notion of Freud, Marx and Levi-Strauss developing their radical weltanschaungs/systems of subversive beliefs out of the pressure to conform within the over-arching Gentile society that surrounded/smothered them...topic came up over dinner here recently at Malatesta on Christopher Street with the lovely chanteuse Sabina Sciubba and keyboard whiz Didi Gutman of the Brazilian Girls, wifey Caroline, and Israeli cult director ("Sue") Amos Kollek--son of Teddy "former Mayor of Jerusalem" Kollek)...suffice to say, I can relate very well indeed to this radical Jewish cultural tradition (alongside fellow co-conspirators Zorn, Coleman, et al.)

Wyndham Lewis, another longtime inspiration, also puts the boot to Freud in tomes like "Time and Western Man", but again I sense that training the same sort of intra-penetrative scrutiny on Lewis that Lewis regularly applies to everyone else around him in his satiric novels and polemics (an intuitive, subjective intellection not so far afield from Freud's own analytic technique) might very possibly reveal some embarassing truths that could seriously shatter--or at least reveal gaping holes in-- Lewis' artfully contrived "Enemy" persona/armour.

Which is to say, Freud still rules/amuses (me, anyway) as a great, dare I say almost campy (he would have loved that description I'm sure) avatar... (remember Groucho's zinger to the Henry Armetta-ish contestant with 10 kids who came on (hahah) "You Bet Your Life"--"I like my cigar too, but I take it out every once in awhile..."). I used the image of Freud (splendidly impersonated by the great thespian/tragedian Ernest Rosenfelder) analyzing me on the couch to open my "Skin the Rabbit" video (available for yr perusal at in order to ironically consecrate the rich compost heap of materiel metaphysique (a libidinal cathexis juxtaposing the twin polarities of eros and thanatos, in a nutshell) that went into the creation of that particular ditty.

Yes, Vienna was undoubtedly the pre-eminent kaffee-klatsch hothouse of early 20th century European modernism in thought and deed (think of Schoenberg, Klimt, Berg, Schiele, Mahler, Werfel, Webern, Schnitzler)--at the very least giving Paris a run for its francs...and I have a particular penchant for that great cosmopolis going back to making my debut appearance in Europe there at the Konzerthaus as lead guitarist in the 1973 European premiere of Leonard Bernstein's "Mass", with the Yale Symphony Orchestra and assorted singers and dancers (a motley roadshow also featuring the hoofing and Jenny Lind-like warbling of Annette Insdorf, later Dr. Annette, Director of Undergraduate Film Studies at Columbia University/F.Truffaut paramour; also actor Bob Picardo, pre- "The Howling" and "Star Trek, The Movie")...o what a time we had strolling and lolling and cavorting in old Vienna then, at the Prater, the wurst stands, and at the American ambassador's pad in the company of such fun characters as (future Tony Award-winner) William Ivey Long...yep, bring on the Sacher (Masoch) tortes! Always enjoyed playing Austria, not only in Vienna, but also in Wels (The Schlacthof), Linz, Graz, Innsbruck, the great Saalfelden Festival...(shout-out to ORF's Klaus Totzler...who tried--unsuccessfully-- to get me to shake the hand of Kurt Waldheim a couple years ago at a party in the Neu Klimt museum there...)

And here at the Austrian Cultural Forum, the bespectacled bearded visage of that old headcase Freud made an appropriate Strangelovian totem (remember "I Want Candy"?), presiding benignly, avuncularly, over the I walked into the third floor panelled performance space last night composer Max Nagl was breathing wisps of ex-spectre-ant tones into his sax, cool Marina Rosenfeld was consubstantiating blips and bloops & dots and dashes of random electronic noise out of her turntables and laptop, Noel Akchote was rubbing up his guitar in a Frithian froth of frangible, fungible current/see, and tiny Margarida Garcia was whomping the hell out of a big-ass electro-acoustic bass...together they made a fine hypnotic splattered mist (pace Dylan) that hovered in ever-changing cloud (chamber) formations for an hour or so, and very compelling it was too...followed by the slow-motion guitar soundscapes of Mimi Secue, an excellent postmodern rock ensemble replete with filmed visuals of pastoral Alpine mountain vistas projected behind them that morphed into shape-shifting abstract imagery on cue (sorta like in the great Sonic Youth video for "Shadow of a Doubt"--name of this series appropriately enough was "Moving Patterns"), music a bit reminiscent of Red House Painters, and all the more welcome for that...

and then I had to go, but kudos to Peter Rantasa and Helge Hinteregger and Christian Scheib of Mica Music for bringing such musical wonderment to NYC via the Austrian Cultural if they can only convince the great contemporary writer/ Nobel prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek (author of "The Piano Teacher", "Lust", and "Women as Lovers"--and another suitable case for treatment) to bust a move here (right) it would be a wonderful thing indeed.

When I'm Russian On My Run Dept.--courtesy Tanya, here are some more photos of Gods and Monsters' recent foray into the heart of Mother Russia:

Jerry Harrison, Gary and Jason Candler make show at Brestkaya Club

Gods and Monsters go for the glory at Brestkaya Club

Jerry Harrison whuppin' the pearls at Chinese Pilot, Moscow

Gary cranks it up at OGI Club, Moscow

Gary and Jason get the word out at OGI Club, Moscow

Jerry soars in the spirit, OGI Club, Moscow

Gary and Ernie get down to the grit, OGI Club, Moscow, 4/16/06

photos by Ekaterina | click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)




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Friday, April 21, 2006

Da Da Da!

Gary, Sasha Cheparukhin and Jim White of the Dirty Three make the nice at Goldenmask Festival, Moscow)

Gary, Jason, Ernie and Billy catch fire at the Goldenmask Festival, Moscow, Russia, 4/15/06 (not shown: Jerry Harrison)

Gary reaches for the sky at Goldenmask Festival, Moscow

Billy Ficca and Ernie Brooks, Gods and Monsters rhythm section supreme, Brestkaya Club, Moscow, 4/13/06

Jerry Harrison, Gary Lucas, Jason Candler, Ernie Brooks (not shown: Billy Ficca) rock out at Brestkaya Club, Moscow

Gary and Jason do the do, Brestkaya Club

photos by Ekaterina | Click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)

So where wuz I, oh yes, holed up in the Youngster's Hotel, a probable youth hostel once upon a mattress, but plenty of grizzled elders were observed being hoisted up the twin Odd and Even elevator banks (you had to go down the lobby first and cross over to the Other elevator bank each and every time if you were on say an Odd numbered floor in order to get to an Even (odder) floor, and vice versa, and versus vice, there was no other way forward my dears), grinning babushkas on the way to some corporate blow-out up in the 2nd floor banquet hall probably--this here hotel with its red white and blue spangled 24 hour Casino adjacent to the lobby on the outskirts of ruble rolling Moscow was where my stellar little big band Gods and Monsters reposed and regrouped each and every night, a bemused Jerry Harrison with spiffy new Nord keyboard rig in tow along with his lovely wife Carole (they'd been to Moscow before on some Green Peace thingy, the other guys in the band were extra virgins to the man) and honestly to recuperate all the mental shards and splinters of frenzied experience accumulated over the last week on this peaceful Sabbath evening taxes my usually pristine powers of recall, I know that we slammed out an incendiary device, an infernal machine of a rockshow every night which was A-OK (Rocky Aoki) by us as nothing binds and holds a group together so much as an enforced playing regimen (and Roto-Sound strings, of course), first one up in Moscow was at the Brestkaya Club where a gaggle of fans who had caught my Moscow Golem gig last summer turned up and went away absolut-ly beaming, my Russian label chief Exotica supremo Andrey Borisov was on hand too plus several Greenwave super-luminaries making sure we had everything we needed to have a good time wid, including big man Big (pronounced Beeg...and he was, oh, about 6 foot 4)...and Yes I said Yes we were Loaded for Bear, and did maken melodiya that sent hands a'clapping and tongues a'wagging and shutters a'snapping and feet a' dancing and finished our set way late and then had a little band party up in my room after hitting a gournet supermarket around 2am, the group stocking up on more goodies and savoury comestibles, all checking the view from my 17th floor aerie in the rosy glow of job well done, a vista looking down on an endless Moebius strip of highway all winking lights and sonorous cars purring and prowling the eternal Muscovite night...

Next day the gang went off to...where, exactly? the Cosmonaut Museum maybe, dunno, me I been there done that to death all over the globe and don't much cotton to touristic rubber-necking anymore thank you very much...(grrrr, crusty old curmudgeon am I, sometimes) (not always) what'd I do to pass the time? Good question.

Kibbitzed in the Russo-faux-Eyetalian hotel restaurant for hours maybe with some of the other yanqui artistes there imported for the big wingding Goldenmask Festival throwdown that was the major festival gig the whole shebang hinged on (more or less), you see we had been imported as part of very special New York Night at the Goldenmask Festival and along for the lig was lovely Nina Nastasia ( exquisite singer/ womanchild, a hint of the dark places surrounds her slightly Barbara Steele-ish visage, one of the late John Peel's favorites in fact) and her very amusing sardonic amanuensis/enabler Kennan Gudjonnson of Socialist Records (great label name)... also, my old buddy harmonicat croaker croaker court bullion Wade Shuman, who I first hooked up with on a Joan Osborne "Relish" session in '93 or '94 where I was press-ganged into arranging Sonny Boy Williamson's "Help Me" for Joan (and of said song's lyrics, truer words were never spoken..."bring me my night shirt baby, put on your morning gown"...or maybe it's supposed to be "mourning gown"...anyway, I always prefered Junior Wells' version to Sonny Boy's, as heard on "Chicago, The Blues Today! Vol. One" on Vanguard which me and my high school running buddies used to use as an aural adjunct to various crimes and misdemeanors committed cutting classes communing instead in the cemetery classroom north of Nottingham HS..."goodbye old man, good bye..."). Wade blew a fine harp on my Du-Tels album with Peter Stampfel, "No Knowledge of Music Required" (you got that right), and sat in with Gods and Monsters a coupla times in the last decade at least, now he leads next big thingers Hazmat Modine various members of which were also in and out of that little pizza boite throughout the duree...

Anyway there was a big cock-up about the drivers who were supposed to come early to the hotel and fetch us to the fabled Goldenmask Theater for our soundcheck (one can only recall Don Van Vliet's surly riposte to repeated imprecations to hustle him out of whatever hotel bar or coffeeshop he was cosily situated in in order to perform this venerable rock ritual: "I DON"T NEED MY SOUND CHECKED!")...but alas, they did not show, for hours...were instead "caught in traffic"...or "involved in a 4-car accident, well, it happened right in front of them so they will be delayed another half hour" (good one!)...well in any case we made it over to the theatre several hours late, group on my back as it cut into valuable sight-seeing time waiting for hours in that "Exterminating Angel" set of a lobby, I was particularly steamed about this too (the nerve!) but did it matter in the end? It did not. After chilling out on some splendid borscht and palmeni (with lots of dill, much to Carol's peril as turns out she's allergic to this particular herbe dangereuse) at the behest of lovely Golden Masquers Masha and Dasha we hit the stage flying and the audience went BONKERS...a bevy of Russian beauties (sharpdressed boys and girls) sprawled and lounging before us on divans and chairs and on the floor in this largish bedecked and bedizened theater space were importuned to get off their luxuriant butts and shake 'em, and so they did (yeah!)--and we kicked it up another notch BAM! and Jason my dear Jason who I would dub the mascot of the band in so far as he's the youngest embodying the very essence of what I'm trying to get across musically (das energi flying through a field of psychodaisies) was soulfully soaring on sax from the get-go, getting mucho applause probably as much for his soulful look (Russian-Jewish heritage will out) as his playing, Ernie was well into his patented why man-esque come-hither bass strut, Billy was pummelling the skins with arms a blur and sticks a flyin', Jerry was shooting out shimmering rays of penetrating Nordic-Celtic hypno-beams... and me, I was totally in the vortex, the calm epicenter of the hurricane, riding the whirlwind ...(or something).

We came we played we triumphed and then we beat it on down to the downstairs bar for vodka swilling pastry scarfing convivial meet 'n greet, after which I sold a whole bunch of cds to the volk upstairs, made a good new friend of big-hearted sensitivo percusssionist Jim Black of The Dirty Three who was playing with Nina (Jim's a transplanted Aussie who lives now in Williamsburg, his group frequently work-out with my man and early-on collaborateur Nick "The Stripper" Cave), signed autographs aplenty and schmoozed with the fans (sounds like fun, but as The Streets put it in the title of their new disc, "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living"--believe it)...repeated this operation on the morrow at the funky dirty sweet Chinese Pilot club (best gig of the tour by a long chalk), Sasha C. showed up to emcee (did a fine job of this too at the Goldenmasker- raid, situating our band on the cusp of punk and psychedelia which is not too far afield from the Truth, pace JB) and partied down lamf as did Andrey B. and his radiant wife Irina (a director of Ren-TV, one of the major Russki tv networks) and we made a whole bunch of new friends that night (special shout-out to Olga and Katerina and their crew and especially Greenwaver Kate Ivanova who was so helpful and sweet throughout, Dad's a major pop music producer there with quite a studio complex housed in an old theater), Nikita Kalashnikoff showed, gave us his blessing and his patented Kalashnikoff spiel, we tried out some new numbers on the crowd ( lots of repeat fans armed with Sharpies, and new instrumental "Chinese Auto-Pilot" proved a real toe-tapper) then we went off to a party at Goldenmask Theater director major domo Edward's pad, a lavishly upholstered joint oozing kultur, wealth and taste, an afterhours affair with such a heady atmosphere as to render one fully operational once more into the breach dear friends, and an actual wedding occurred mid-soiree, a hitching of Sasha's pal Valodya to his Thai sweetie (well, a ring exchange around 5am more precisely), totally catered and congenial it was, and awe and on till the break of dawn Moscow's peepers be tight shut wan sunlight streaming through plate grass windows and so it was Sunday and we careened out of there in our van, driver'd been cooling it for hours waiting for us while we rooted about upstairs unfair I know should have caught brought him some grub Larry David style coulda shoulda caught some shut-eye too but no peace for the witty and so we rallied and rolled out into that good night one mo' time and I mean ROLLED and ruled the roost at an even dirtier sweeter joint called the OGI Club where they danced to our tunes like crazed marionettes with the strings cut Petroushka-style and we didn't stop partying till a few minutes before we had to catch our flights back home musta been around 10am we hit Sheremytova Airport no more black caviar on sale at the duty free no more dammit all fished out apparently 'cept for the Red eggs, and my ears are still ringing needles pinging angels singing love's old sweet song the song of the dawn a song of Mother Russia (the far side of para-dice) and mama, we're all crazee


(cue Paradise...)


xxxLove and Sputniks



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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Ach du himmel, here I am nursing the remnants of Russian germ-warfare up close and personal, resulting in a nasty head cold and bronchial flareup, the result of too little sleep and tout le tour mishegas that went on there last week, whilst listening to Astor Piazzolla's "Musiques de Films" album on the old hard drive, hard driven I am and hard riven the raver come to reign on my parade ground--yes, RUSSIAN FANS ARE ACE at making one feel, well, more than a tad at home, or at least, a certain jouissance d'esprit rare in my divigations hither and yon in hot pursuit of the ineffable (and the effable--and I'm effing here to tell the tale, darlings...)

So it was that Ernie, Jerry, Billy, Jason, Carole (Harrison, Jerry's wife) and I sallied forth to Saint Petersburg last Monday night via a more than halfway decent Lufthansa flight to find ourselves flung from the ramparts of New York spring back into ye icy douche of winter, the Russian bear still hibernating apparently...truth to tell this arrival day is more or less a complete blank to me at this precise point of recall except that I got to take the band that evening to The Idiot (superb vegetarian resturant/den of iniquity, filled with literati and assorted Myshkins and munchkins on the shores of a very grand and iced over canal, see group photo here) where it seems I was (one hopes, fondly) remembered by the proprietors as it has become one of my mainstay port 'o calls over 5 or so trips there...
Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters: Ernie Brooks, Billy Ficca, Gary, Carole and Jerry Harrison, Jason Candler, Natasha Pliousnine, St. Petersburg, Russia 4/11/06

photo by Alexei Pliousnine | Click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)

first time was the Stereoleto Festival during the celebrated Saint Petersburg White Nights in 2002, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of this beautiful city (built on a swamp no less), then I was playing with Future Sound of London's mainman Gaz Cobain and sitarist Baluji Shrivastav in an outdoor all-night rave that commenced about 1am and ended several hours later as the sun blazed forth (never really got dark, sky remained a luminous mauve thunder head all night long) and, well, uh, my fingers were sore not just from playing mind you but from signing programs and various body parts to an endless line of well-wishers snaking off the side of the bandstand, my kind of peeps...

anyhow apres L'Idiot I dropped the group off at the Club Purga, a surrealist bagatelle wherein the wait-staff undergoes several costume changes per hour (the fluffy rabbit outfits were particularly fetching, on both sexes--not too far afield in fact from the kit worn by my rabbitess in the "Skin the Rabbit" video, now up and awaiting your perusal on my wesbite) and mad satiric skits, singalongs and other group participation knees-ups are the order de la nuit--but I was totally knackered and after a brief look-see went with my pal avant- guitarist/former SKIF director Alexei Pliousnine and his wife Natasha back to the Hotel Neptune early in order to get enough shut-eye in order to make an 8:30am promo taping for the tv; sure enough, I awoke to actual snowflakes (oy) skirling and whirling out my window and the car was at the hotel promptly and I was chauffeured over one of the several great Petersburg bridges to a tv studio the other side of the river, where I was interviewed and performed acoustic on a breakfast show (the sweet hostess/interlocutor, a noted Russian medieval music scholar and performer whose name I shamefully am blanking on came to our gig that night)--then it was off via the elegant subway (see photo on the escalator) to the wondrous Hermitage with the guys plus Carol (a lovely spirit and sport, who hence forth shall be designated as one of the boys), where a cute female tout tried to bamboozle us out of our excess rubles after promising to sneak us into the place at bargain rates AND deliver a guided tour as part of the deal (she spoke excellent English), only to hedge and hold out (or rather, hold her hand out) after giving us the standard preamble and on into a lengthy dissertation on the various heating systems in operation at the time of the last Czar before she shut down and demanded more coin, in a classic bait and switch maneuver that we were to see run (or attempted to be run) again and again over the course of this trip--times shore is tough, boys...
Gary on the Night Watch, Saint Petersburg Subway Station, 4/12/06

photo by Jason Candler | Click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)

and the gig went way well for us that night for sure, some old Russian friends such as director of photography (of my Russian Fireworks video) Nick Kuznetsov was there, as was Irina Roon, the great Russian painter, as was Henk Elenga, the Dutch expat graphic artist now transplanted to Saint Petersburg (ran into him when I performed at the SKIF Festival there a couple years ago) whom I had originally met when he was part of the Rotterdam Hard Werken posse back in 1989 in San Antonio Texas, where I played the AGI convention with Rick Vermeulen and Henk Tas...

Gary and Ernie Brooks on the Night Train from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, 4/13/06

photo by Jason Candler | Click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)
and there were so many well-wishers after our gig we barely made it out the door, into our van, and onto the fabled Night Train to Moscow, which rolled out at 11:55pm...and what a night it was, Ernie and I had one sleeper compartment to ourselves (stocked with old issues of The Nation, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books), Billy and Jason another, Jerry and Carole the third...and we immediately repaired to the bar car where we plonked ourselves down on the velvet banquettes, with the trestles clacking and the Night Watch vistas flashing by out the window, and cracked open some smuggled-on-board caviar I had copped in front of the Hermitage that afternoon for a song, and ordered up some salad and several orders of smoked salmon on toast, and washed it all down with repeated shots of chilled vodka (see photo of me and Ernie contemplating the void here)--BIG FUN O YES--and the train kept a'rollin', all night long...and with a heave, and a ho (ho ho ho...)...well, naturally I couldn't sleep a wink (never have been able to--on planes, yes...trains, nyet...maybe once only, Munich to Bologna in the late 90's...but that's another story)...and at 7:30am, we arrived in Moscow, where the Goldenmask people (we were there ostensibly to play at this big Goldenmask Festival gig, supposedly the pre-eminent, most prestigious cultural festival in Russia) were there to meet us, they got porters to schlep all our guitars and suitcases and clobber into a van which transported us to an ancient Soviet mausoleum of a military hotel that stank so badly of cockroach spray as to induce blinding headaches, and after hours spent whingeing and bellyaching under protest we finally prevailed and switched hotels thanks to Sasha Cheparukhin, the (in)famous Russian new music impresario who had hooked the whole tour up in the first place...and this was a much more salubrious hang in every way, forget the actual name of the place but it translated as the Youngster's Hotel, and despite a few drawbacks such as the total incapacity of the staff to take phone messages or allow one to phone up to the rooms from the lobby we were merrily esconced in our Russian digs for the duration of the tour...but I will leave the blow-by-blow account of our Moscow gigs till next time,

as hello I must be going...




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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Loop De Loup (Selling Out and Buying In)

Just back from my pal Mark Gasper's 50th birthday party at the ever-so excellent Cafe Loup, (formerly the Bells of Hell, a kind of rockcrit heaven in the 70's for folks like Richard Meltzer, Nick Tosches, Billy Altman, Bob Duncan, pianoman Al "The Village Legend" Fields and whatnot), a little corner of olde New York with a wonderfully authentically boho vibe (actual Brassai photos a'hanging in a capacious yet intimate and dimly illumined space, very soothing on the eye), damn good food (best party finger food that my synapses can summon up)--one of my favorite hangs in fact these days. Between the fetching wait-person Tomoyo (ex-bassist of The Moisturizers), Jay the simpatico bartender, the hipster couple that owns this landmark boite (this week both beefing in the Times about the loss of biz due to the messy construction on 13th Street which has partially obscured the Loup's entrance) and a bevy of various other characters and cuties, this joint is endlessly fascinating down to the shadow wolf hand puppet motif that graces their shingle (same motif is emblazoned on a sign outside the prominent bistro Kantjil en de Tijger on the Spuistraat in Amsterdam, wonder who was there first with this sign o' the lupine?)...

and speaking of gracing, guess which album was just designated #1 Modern Classic Album by the MOJO braintrust and readership (they're kinda vague on the actual mechanics of the selection process therein but hey I'm not complaining!)--"Grace" (but of course)--said album was voted lucky #13 in Uncut a couple months ago and now has ascended ascended ascended apparently to a position above and beyond there is only...what? Number 11 on the volume control perhaps... whan that April with his showres soote the droughte of March hath perced to the roote yes April is the coolest month breeding lilacs out of the dead land mixing memory and desire and dull roots with spring rain renewal renaissance remake and remodel and Grace trumps all, this is the Gospel of Judas (smile) and Christ's blood streams in the firmament (quick, first reader to email me with the correct provenance of this line wins a copy of my Russian Fireworks DVD), Easter is a'cummin' in fast...

and I'm off to Russia lovely Russia tomorrow with the best Gods and Monsters lineup ever: the legendary Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads has joined my already stellar band on keyboards, Friday night we kicked some major butt at the Bowery Poetry, in the audience such illustrious personages as Giorgio Gomelsky, Steve Paul, punk photography progenitor Stephanie Chernikowski (see her work in all its glory at plus a multitude of fans up the wazoo old and new (including Dave the Rave who I hadn't seen since our Mercury Lounge mid 90's residency)-- said we never sounded better, and truth to tell--we never did--just Ask Glenn (my pal Glenn Kenny from Premiere Magazine who writes the well-known column of the same name was there with his soon bride-to-be Claire) and Kevin Berger from, and homegirl houri Shaista Hussain, there wuz many many more revelers at the party, Jerry (Ernie's roomate at Harvard--this band's in a poison ivy league of our own) has added a fifth dimension to the melodious tintinabulations of Ernie Brooks, Billy Ficca, Jason Candler and meself, helping us in producing an immaculate poeme electronique, our new ashmolean marching society highstepping and kicking up a lucky Cloud of Un(canny) Knowing as blood sweat and cheer poured forth from our bandstand in waves of chiming splendour (yah boo! we're all that...)

we spent a week rehearsing with Jerry, he adds so much extra texture to the group, the first ever gig in this expanded format went down such a storm that I can't wait to play in Saint Petersburg and Moscow this fact the whole week started out really really nicely as my gig up in Burlington Vermont was yet another sell-out of this particular project, see the review on my website--the third sold-out Golem show this year-- God bless Arnie Malina of the Flynn Theater for getting the vibe out up there in advance of the shows and also my cousin Barbara Van Raalte from the Dutch side of the Goldman family, who masterminded a veritable family reunion to coincide with my gig there, cousins of mine jetting in from the West Coast even for my shows...

have to pack now unfortunately as I'd like to keep riding this train of thought, stay tuned for some Russian communiques (my 5th trip over there to perform)

meanwhile check for some new goodies in the free downloads section of my website, including the very curious "Skin the Rabbit" video...

and a moment of silence, please, for Gene Pitney--one of the most emotional and affecting voices of the ages...




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