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East Coast Romper, Posted: 2/1/2007 5:22:53 PM
GARY LUCAS AND GODS & MONSTERS-Coming Clean
Mighty Quinn Productions
Like I’ve said in the past, being a part of ECR has turned me on to many great bands / artists which I may have otherwise never known. Gary Lucas is one of those artists. Mr. Lucas has had a long career with his most notable stint being the guitarist for Captain Beefheart while also collaborating with the likes of Nick Cave, thrash jazz assassin John Zorn and folk rock legend Joan Osborne to name a few. On most of the tracks on Coming Clean he dives into both the singer and song writer role and does a masterful job weaving in and out of various genres from the mellow Follow to the seductive Skin Diving to the heavy reverb rockabilly cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Ain’t Got You to the full on blues of Under My Wing. Phish fans should dig Hurly Burly while the vocals of Richard Barone give Land’s End a major hook that grabs on the first listen. Another notable track is One Man’s Meat which features New York Dolls vocalist David Johansen and has a saxophone freakout that would win solid marks from the aforementioned Mr. Zorn. This CD is a keeper.
written by: Samuel Adams
Variety, Posted: Sun., Jan. 21, 2007, 8:00pm PT
Gary Lucas' Gods and Monsters
(Knitting Factory; 400 capacity; $25) Presented by Winter Jazzfest.
Band: Gary Lucas, Ernie Brooks, Jason Candler, Billy Ficca. Special
guest: Roswell Rudd. Henry Grimes' Spaceship on the Highway also
performed. Reviewed Jan. 20, 2007.
By DAVID SPRAGUE
Although calling their one-night gathering a "festival" might be
stretching the definition of the term a bit, the organizers of Gotham's
third annual Winter Jazzfest did an admirable job of spanning the
genre's reaches to bring together some of the current scene's more
intriguing, just-under-the-radar performers—like guitarist Gary
Lucas' estimable Gods and Monsters.
On this night, Lucas' regular combo was augmented by trombonist Roswell
Rudd—a pioneering free-jazz player who worked closely with
musicologist Alan Lomax on myriad world music recording ventures. Rudd
didn't call upon those experiences here, instead harkening back to his
days as a Dixieland bawler—all the better to spice up the roadhouse
gumbo of Arthur Russell's "Let's Go Swimmin."
Lucas obligingly made room for Rudd's visceral, borderline pugilistic
playing, but he certainly avoided fading into the background himself.
His fleetness—vividly displayed in the bluesy "One Man's Meat,"
culled from the new Mighty Quinn release "Coming Clean"—was bracing:
Taken in conjunction with his deft use of effects that imparted voices
both surreally spacey and woozily woodsy, it was positively
Lucas has an uncanny ability to transmogrify source material, finding
twisted roots and unexpected back allies that most performers would
either pass over or simply not recognize. That knack allowed him to
find the inner Duane Eddy swing in Abdullah Ibrahim's "Bra Joe From
Kilimanjaro" and to divine a common thread between Miles Davis' "Right
Off" and Suicide's "Ghost Rider," which he wove into a medley that—
thanks in part to the skittering rhythms of erstwhile Television
drummer Billy Ficca—stung like a swarm of bees.
HITS, January 19, 2007
Gary Lucas – Gods & Monsters, Coming Clean (Mighty Quinn)
so unique and autonomous/That it almost appears to be a separate
universe,” sings collaborator David Johansen on the
co-written, myth-making “One Man’s Meat” and he could almost be
referring to the progress of noted guitar muso Lucas
himself. As one of the music world’s best-kept secrets, Gary’s major
claims to fame include membership in Captain Beefheart’s
Magic Band circa his early ‘80s Virgin
albums and founding Gods & Monsters, the late ‘80s N.Y.
outfit where he first worked with the late Jeff Buckley,
co-authoring classics like “Grace” and “Mojo Pin,” a version of which
is included here. Unlike most axe wizards, the eclectic Lucas doesn’t
allow his guitar pyrotechnics—which range from Leo
Kottke-Jerry Garcia-style bluegrass vamping on
songs like “Fata Morgana” and the dobro-esque delta strum in his cover
of Bruce Springsteen’s “Ain’t Got You” to
the searing solo in the title track or the spot-on British Invasion
psychedelia of “Land’s End”—to get in the way of his lush melodies. A
true believer that music is a vehicle for transcendence as well as
climax, the Yale English lit major balances metaphysics
in the Byrds/Eagles/R.E.M.-like
“Follow” (“And when the feeling flows/From your head down to your
toes/And the light within you shows/There’s a way beyond this woe”)
with pure physicality, as in the oozing sensuality of “Skin Diving,”
where French singing star Elli Medeiros echoes his
twangy, percolating guitar lines by cooing seductively in the language
of lovers. His three-piece band’s take on Bernard
Hermann’s “Psycho” theme is yet another highlight, turning the
famed Hitchcock riff into a miniature,
Wire-like punk epic. Aside from Johansen, Lucas is joined
by his original Gods & Monsters bassist, Harvard grad and
former Modern Lover Ernie Brooks, Television
drummer Billy Ficca and Bongos’ lead singer
Richard Barone, creating a band of new wave all-stars in
the tradition of his legendary group with Buckley. And if you doubt
that Lucas was Buckley’s finest collaborator, dig the version of their
“Mojo Pin” here, featuring vocals by N.Y. singer-songwriter
Michael Schoen. He may have Ivy League credentials, but
Gary Lucas isn’t afraid to get down and dirty.
—Roy Trakin, www.hitsdailydouble.com
Time Out New York, January 4, 2007
Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters offers rootsy, hard-groovin' rock goosed by the leader's eclectic guitar virtuosity. The band's latest, "Coming Clean" (Mighty Quinn) features the usual art-rock all-stars—Modern Lovers bassist Ernie Brooks, Swans drummer Jonathan Kane, and Television's Billy Ficca—plus plenty of Lucas's smoky crooning and fiery strums.
Issue of 2007-01-08
Gary Lucas, the thinking man's
guitar hero, spent time in Taipei when he was young, went on to back
Captain Beefheart, and has had a solo career that embraces the
avant-garde and alternative rock in equal measures. His band Gods and
Monsters plays slightly psychedelic rock with an edge of Americana,
and he brings them to the Bowery Poetry Club for an early-January
BOWERY POETRY CLUB
at Bleecker St. (212-614-0505)—Jan. 5: Gods and
Monsters is the rock outlet for the
maverick ex-Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas. While the
ever-shifting ensemble has featured such names as Matthew Sweet and
the late Jeff Buckley (Lucas co-wrote his hit “Grace”), the current
incarnation includes the former Television drummer, Billy Ficca, and
the onetime Modern Lovers bassist, Ernie Brooks, making the band an
underground-rock fan’s dream team.