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The Great GARY LUCAS CD Bonanza Sale!

Longtime Downtown Guitar Hero, GARY LUCAS, has been wowing crowds and blowing minds since he managed, toured and recorded with CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & THE MAGIC BAND in the early 1980’s and burst into the Downtown Scene (at the Knitting Factory) in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. After a few years of spirited solo guitar(s) performances, he organized a great power trio known as Gods & Monsters with evolving personnel, a band that still exists today, some 30 years later. After a handful of stunning gigs by Gods & Monsters, Mr. Lucas discovered the great singer Jeff Buckley (son of the late singer/songwriter/out-jazzer/etc, Tim Buckley). Mr. Buckley and Mr. Lucas hit it off at first, co-writing a handful of great songs, recorded demos with Jeff joining Gods & Monsters for a short stint. Jeff Buckley soon left G&M to start his solo career while Mr. Lucas continued with the band and expanded his palette, recording some 25 albums from 1991 until now. Mr. Lucas’ two dozen recordings are incredibly diverse covering: rock, blues, avant-jazz, ethnic, soundtrack music and select pop music from around the world. Mr. Lucas' connection to the irascible genius Captain Beefheart is often at the center of many of Lucas’ varied projects: from Fast N’ Bulbous to the Magic Band to The World of Captain Beefheart (with Nona Hendryx), all diverse Beefheart tributes well worth seeking out. I recall when Mr. Lucas played a live soundtrack for ‘The Golem’, an ancient film about a Jewish Frankenstein. His playing fit the film perfectly and he has done many versions of it around the world. Perhaps his crowning achievement was the record of “The Edge of Heaven”, in which Lucas covers a dozen Chinese pop songs with different women vocalists, some Chinese and a Downtowner or two, covering these songs in his own enchanting way. Mr. Lucas has done a number of wonderful and unique collaborations: Peter Hammill, Najma Akhtar, Pulnoc & Urfaust (both Czech Republic), Mary Margaret O’Hara and many others.

 Recently, Mr. Lucas offered us some 20 titles, most at reduced prices. Only a third of these discs are in print: Tzadik Cuneiform and some on the newer Knit label. The rest are long out-of-print and hard to find. Hence, DMG is having a large GARY LUCAS CD Sale. We have from 1 to 5 copies of each title here so check your supply since many of these will disappear into ebay Hell after we sell out of any or all of what we have left. Gary Lucas is an old, dear friend and I am glad to support his efforts since he continues to music for Creative / Serious listeners worldwide.

   GARY LUCAS will be playing a 30 minute solo guitar performance at the DMG 31st Anniversary Celebration on May 1st of 2022.  

   The first list below is the Gary Lucas CD’s without the reviews and the second list does have many reviews/blurbs added. Dig in! - BLG at DMG      

GARY LUCAS With MISAKO KANO / JOHN ZORN / GREG COHEN / JONATHAN KANE / et al - Busy Being Born (Tzadik 7121; USA)
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS - Cinefantastique (Northern Spy 043; USA)
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS' GODS & MONSTERS With JASON CHANDLER/ERNIE BROOKS/JONATHAN KANE or BILLY FICCA DAVID JOHANSEN / et al - Coming Clean (Mighty Quinn 1111; USA) Out-of-print.
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS & JOZEF VAN WISSEM - Diplopia (BVHaast 0103; Netherlands) - Out-of-print.
CD $20 [last copy, very rare!]

GARY LUCAS & GERALD ZBINDEN - Down The Rabbit Hole (Border; Earth) - Out-of-print.
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS - Edge of Heaven: Plays Mid-Century Chinese Pop (Knitting Factory 1101; USA)
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS with GODS and MONSTERS / ERNIE BROOKS / JARED MICHAEL NICKERSON / BILLY FICCA / JONATHAN KANE / JERRY HARRISON / JASON CANDLER / FRANK LONDON / JEAN CHAINE / TONY "THUNDER" SMITH /et al - The Essential Gary Lucas (Knitting Factory Records Rarelumo 018; USA)
2 CD Sake Set $16

GARY LUCAS' FLEISCHEREI Featuring SARAH STILES / JEFF LEDERER / MICHAEL BATES / JOE FIEDLER / ROB GARCIA - Fleischerei (Cuneiform 405; USA)
CD Sale $12

FREE FLYING with GARY LUCAS & URFAUST - Free Flying (Faust 26 2331; Earth) - Out-of-print.
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS / TONI DEZSO - Gary and Toni Go Nuts (Rare Lumiere 017; EEC) - Out-of-print.
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS With CAPTAIN BEEFHEART / NICK CAVE / ERIC MINGUS / RICHARD BARONE / PETER STAMPFEL / et al - Improve the Shining Hour (KnitWorks 265; USA) - Out-of-print.
CD Sale $12

DU-TELS with GARY LUCAS / PETER STAMPFEL - No Knowledge of Music Required (Shimmy Disc 5103; USA) - Out-of-print.
CD $20 [last copy!]

GARY LUCAS' GODS & MONSTERS With ERNIE BROOKS/BILLY FICCA - Ordeal of Civility (Knitting Factory 1111; USA)
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS with JON LANGFORD / ROLLO McGINTY / SONYA COHEN / et al - Operators are Standing By - The Essential Gary Lucas 1988-1996 (Evolver / Knitting Factory Records 316-2; USA)
CD $20 [last 2 copies, long out-of-print]

PETER HAMMILL & GARY LUCAS - Other World (Cherry Red 1026; UK)
CD $16

GARY LUCAS / ENIKO SZABO / TONI DEZSO - Pearly Clouds (Acrobat Music 6514; Earth) - Out-of-print.
CD Sale $12

URFAUST & GARY LUCAS -  Pražská Strašidla (The Ghosts Of Prague)(Faust Records FR 06-2331; Czech Republic) - Out-of-print.
CD $15 [Last 2 copies]

GARY LUCAS With ERNIE BROOKS / JONATHAN KANE / JOHN ZORN / et al - Street of Lost Brothers (Tzadik 7145; USA)
CD Sale $12

THE WORLD OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART With GARY LUCAS / NONA HENDRYX / JESSE KRAKOW / JORDAN SHAPIRO / RICHARD DWORKIN - Featuring Nona Hendryx & Gary Lucas (Knitting Factory Records 1141; USA)
CD Sale $12 

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GARY LUCAS SALE CD’S with REVIEWS and/or BLURBS Added:

GARY LUCAS With MISAKO KANO / JOHN ZORN / GREG COHEN / JONATHAN KANE et al - Busy Being Born (Tzadik 7121; USA) Guitarist extraordinary, Grammy nominated songwriter, tv and film soundtrack composer Gary Lucas has played with Captain Beefheart, Leonard Bernstein, Jeff Buckley, Joan Osborne and many others besides releasing four acclaimed solo albums in his own right. Here he offers his latest and what he considers his greatest project to date, an album for kids of all ages based on Jewish themes. Combining madcap original classics (Sunrise, Sandman) with soulful renditions of traditional classics (Sunrise Sunset, Adon Olom) and left field hits like a medley of Popeye and Betty Boop themes played on National steel guitar (Fleiscerei), Busy Being Born is brimming with whimsical ideas and treasures old and new: 17 Jewish gems from the fertile mind of Gary Lucas. Gary Lucas: acoustic, electric and National steel guitars, vocals, arrangements Greg Cohen: acoustic bass Jonathan Kane: drums Kenny Hurwitz & Larry Fine: vocals on tracks 2, 7, 12 and 17 John Zorn: alto sax on tracks 1, 2 and 4 Misako Kano: piano on track 14 . TZADIK RADICAL JEWISH CULTURE SERIES
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS - Cinefantastique (Northern Spy 043; USA) This is an amazing solo guitars offering that has been a long time in coming. Mr. Lucas has been one Downtown's must exciting and creative guitarists for more than two decades, often playing solo guitar(s) performances that always knock his audiences out. Lucas has also been a longtime film fanatic who went on to play live and recorded soundtrack music for many flicks throughout his long career. 'The Golem', 'The Edge of Heaven' which was inspired by female Chinese singers/actresses and more recently: Federico Garcia Lorca's "La Casa de Bernarda Alba" are just a few of the soundtracks that Lucas has provided music for. For this fabulous disc, Mr. Lucas takes us on a journey around the world and through time, playing the music of sixteen film, TV and cartoon composers, from 1919 to 2001. He selectively chooses composers both well known: Burt Bacharach, Richard Rogers, George Gershwin & Nina Rota to lesser knowns. Mr. Lucas composed a couple of these pieces himself and the entire disc fits together into a compelling mosaic. What I dig most about this disc is that it uses the same magic: which great soundtracks utilize by sneaking into our memories, no matter how good or bad a certain film is and painting a picture in our minds. Listening to Gary perform each of these songs evokes a kaleidoscope memories and feelings. Mr. Lucas plays both acoustic and electric guitars, with and without devices, just what is needed for each piece. It doesn't matter if I've seen the films or have heard any of these songs before, each one has a way of transporting us somewhere else. This disc is some 76 minutes long and by the end I did feel as if I had been around the world (in 80 days), which is of course the name of the final song here. 'Cinefantastique' is a wonderful treasure chest of superb cinematic jewels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS' GODS & MONSTERS With JASON CANDLER /ERNIE BROOKS / JONATHAN KANE or BILLY FICCA DAVID JOHANSEN / et al - Coming Clean (Mighty Quinn 1111; USA) Featuring Gary Lucas on guitars & vocals, Jason Candler on alto sax, Ernie Brooks on electric bass, Jonathan Kane or Billy Ficca on drums, plus guest vocalists David Johansen & Richard Barone. Gods & Monsters is Beefheart guitar god, Gary Lucas' longtime power trio that has existed for nearly two decades. The current version features Ernie Brooks from the Modern Lovers on bass and Billy Ficca from Television on drums. Both are strong players who can keep up with and embellish Gary Lucas' monster guitar playing and diverse songwriting. Oddly enough, although I grew up in the 1960's and was weaned on rock music, nowadays I listen to very little contemporary rock. There are just a few bands that I still care about, like Yo La Tengo, Pere Ubu & Television, who are still around. Gods & Monsters are also in that small group and their new disc rocks hard in a variety of ways. Gary wrote all but two of the fourteen songs here and is also doing some fine singing as well. Gary plays both electric and acoustic guitars here, his songs draw from a wealth of styles. "Fata Morgana" is a sort of blues/rock tune with some fine slide, acoustic guitar and eerie vocals. The title track has one of those hypnotic riffs and sly layers of psych guitar that make it all the more memorable. "Skin Diving" features the sexy vocals/whispers of French superstar Elli Medeiros, making the hair on the back of your neck stand up. What I find best about many of these songs is the way Gary fills these tunes with layers on intricate guitar parts, electric and acoustic, selectively using effects to alter and punctuate certain sounds at just the right point, while maintaining the mesmerizing essence of musicality that each song has. The two cover tunes here include Bruce Springsteen's "Ain't Got You" and the theme from "Psycho" by Bernard Herrmann. "Ain't Got You" is done as primal rocker, powerful and greasy, while "Psycho" is a harrowing, pounding instrumental. Nice to hear former Bongos frontman, Richard Barone, still singing strong on "Land's End", which rocks pretty hard. "Spirit Moves" spins furiously at a super-quick tempo, giving it an almost punk-rock type of edge. "One Man's Meat" features NY Dolls lead singer David Johansen and he sounds like the perfect person to play the part of this crazed, bluesy rocker. "Mojo Pin" was co-written by the late Jeff Buckley, a former member of Gods & Monsters, and here it is well-sung by Michael Schoen with some tasty guitar by Gary. 'Coming Clean' ends with a magical instrumental called "Dream of the Wild Horses", that had me humming along instantly. A fitting ending for a fine disc from NY's finest: Gods & Monster! - BLG
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS & JOZEF VAN WISSEM - Diplopia (BVHaast 0103; Netherlands) Gary plays national steel and acoustic guitars here with Jozef playing a renaissance lute with occasional electronics. Jozef van Wissem composed and/or arranged and produced this fine acoustic duo release, but decided to put Gary's name first. Downtown guitar master, Gary Lucas, doesn't often perform with other guitarists except for Peter Stampfel in the DuTells and a long time ago with Jeff Buckley, since Gary is so strong and diverse a player, he rarely needs another guitarist to work with. The combination of bluesy national steel guitar and lute, an instrument made popular in the 1600's, is probably a first and this duo certainly do sound special together. On "If it doesn't fit, thou must acquit", both pickers play mesmerizing circular lines together, while Jozef adds some suspenseful bass drum punctuation. The occasional electronics add a subtle shimmering haze to these haunting plucked offerings. On the title track, "Diplopia", the duo sound like two hushed ghosts sadly floating in a mist. The hypnotic theme for "The Mirror Stage" buzzes with a familiar finality, like the dream of funeral that we all must attend, a live version appears at the end of this release and brings back more troubled memories. "Brethren of the Free Spirit" has both Gary's lonely acoustic slide and Jozef's harp-like lute weaving in a completely trance-inducing web of dark beauty. Even at only 31 minutes, this is a consistently transcendent and complete journey of ancient and modern acoustic spirits which works from the beginning to the end. - BLG "Now here's an interesting project: Guitar whiz Gary Lucas teams up with ten-string Renaissance lutist Jozef Van Wissem for an album of duets done in a sort of Renaissance stylee (a few actually date to the 1600s), and the results are fantastic. Lucas sticks to his acoustic and National Steel guitars, and Van Wissem plays just a bit of percussion and very minor electronic treatments in addition to the lute. Van Wissem wrote all the tunes, but Lucas is very keyed in to the music. Sometimes playing circular lines around the lute ("For Whom the Bell Tolls," "If It Doesn't Fit, Thou Must Acquit") and lending more of a Delta slide feel at other times ("Diplopia," "Will o' the Wisp"), Lucas demonstrates what a sympathetic player he can be. Sounding vaguely Eastern at times, Diplopia is a stunning fusion of ancient and contemporary that ends up sounding timeless. Unique and excellent!" Sean Westergaard, AMG
CD $20 [last copy, very rare!]

GARY LUCAS & GERALD ZBINDEN - Down The Rabbit Hole (Border; Earth)  Featuring Gary Lucas and Gerald Zbinden on assorted electric, acoustic, steel and hollow-body guitars & electronics with Marcel Papaux on drums for three tracks. I always look forward to a visit from our longtime friend and local guitar hero Gary Lucas, since each of his releases is special in some unique way. For this one, Gary has collaborated with Swiss guitarist, Gerald Zbinden, who sounds like a perfect match in the way of unlimited guitar licks, tricks and creativity. Mr. Zbinden is a gifted guitarist who has worked with dozens of fine improvisers like Michel Doneda, Le Quan Ninh, Gunter Muller and Daunik Lazro. Although I recognize Gary's playing and use of devices, both guitarists do have a similar palette of sounds to work from. "The Game of Life" features both pickers using some swirling echoplexed waves together. It sounds like a great space jam from an Ash Ra Temple or other likely Krautrock delight. The title track consists of somber, haunting, drifting sustained and spacy guitars. Each piece feels like a journey into the vast void of inner or outer space. Even when we are traveling through space, I dig the way the guitars keep changing their textures and adding a variety of odd and unique sounds. On three tracks, drummer Marcel Papaux, who has worked with Gerald in the past adds his percussive textures and pulse to the proceedings, helping to balance things and help navigate. On "Time to Go" it reminds me of a Hendrix-like jam with Marcel's propulsive drums grounding the electric guitars as they wail together and reach for the cosmos. Pretty f**king heavy! Gary pulls out his trusty steel guitar for "The Pulp Beneath the Bone" and adds a nice earthy quality while Gerald adds those soft swirls. Marcel again adds some righteous percussive spice to the epic-length "Sea Spawn and Sea Wrack", which slowly builds with waves of swirling colors. Their is a sublime dreamy quality when this piece first drifts in, the soft swirls leaving quaint traces in my mind's eye. Both of these fine guitarists are more like magicians here transforming their guitars into a magic carpet ride for us to go traveling to far away places within and without. A most impressive duo/trio that refuses to rest. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS - Edge of Heaven (Knitting Factory 1101; USA) Gary Lucas' recent solo effort was a dream project for him, one that he has been working on for a number of years. 'The Edge of Heaven' is a wonderfully produced collection of Chinese pop tunes performed both vocally by Celest Chong and Gisburg, as well as instrumentally, with some backing from Gary's Gods & Monsters rhythm team. Everything about this cd is done perfectly - superb cover art, insightful liner notes and lush production. Lush, haunting and ethereal. "Gary Lucas -- charmingly oddball pop songwriter, musical world traveler, utterly hellacious guitarist -- is perhaps at his most hellaciously, charmingly cosmopolitan on this frankly amazing album, which finds him adapting popular Chinese songs that were originally recorded in the 1960s and which he heard and fell in love with during a sojourn in Taiwan in the mid-'70s. His girlfriend at the time had a cassette tape of such local superstars as Chow Hsuan and Bai Kwong, and it was, he says in his liner notes, "like almost no other music I had ever heard before." Twenty-five years later he put together this quirkily gorgeous tribute, which includes jaw-droppingly virtuosic fingerstyle guitar arrangements ("Mad World," "Wall") and song settings using guest vocalists. Among the best of the latter are the limpidly beautiful "Night in Shanghai" (again, note the guitar playing) and the country-flavored "I Wait for Your Return," which is simply a hoot. He's not playing this stuff for laughs, though; his genuine affection for the music comes through loud and clear, and even when he has fun with it he is obviously trying to do so in a way that brings its haunting loveliness to the fore. Very highly recommended." ~ Rick Anderson, AMG
CD Sale $12

DU-TELS with GARY LUCAS / PETER STAMPFEL - No Knowledge of Music Required (Shimmy Disc 5103; USA) Together, Gary and Peter are the Du-Tels--an acoustic alternative Big-Little-band whose Repertoire ranges through the entire corpus of American music, and then some-from The Stanley Brothers "How Maountain Girls Can Love" to Joseph Spence's "Out on the Rollin' Sea," from the theme from Japanese cartoon series "Astroboy" to Groucho Marx's "Everyone says 'I Love You'". This in addition to their twisted original compositions, from Gary's eerie "Sandman" to Peter's creepy "The Rotton Family"--The Du-Tels stand for high-spirited hijinx and goodtimes for all, a veritable two man jukebox riffing through the collective unconscious and bobbing for dollars, I mean, ditties. THESE GUYS ARE OUT THERE! "The Du-Tells are a hilarious and entertaining duo with the wacky Peter Stampfel - veteran singer-songwriter for the sixties folk-rock-psych unit - the Holy Modal Rounders who have reformed in recent years and one of our best friend's - local guitar hero -Gary Lucas! This fab duo first performed and recorded this gem in 1994, but its release has been delayed ever since due to too many ridiculous roadblocks to mention here, but well explained in the liner notes. Originally, this was supposed to be a children's disc and in many ways - it still is geared towards the fun-seeking child in all of us. This wonderful platter was produced by Mark Bingham in New Orleans and he has done a great job adding his magical sonic seasoning - swirling yet subtle psychedelic ambience - shrewd echo cushions to add that odd flavor. Peter has created a strange personal mythology of charming but demented (super) heroes - I just can't help but grinning foolishly throughout - so many oddball characters to fathom - the (Johnny) "Rotten Family", "Captain Kidd", the cartoon inspired "Astro Boy" and even a tribute to the Teletubbies. Stampfel has a high, nasal voice that you either love or hate and Gary, who has been singing more in recent years, is a great match with his lower more serious voice. Gary, who is a daredevil guitarist with too many ideas to throw in at times - lays back and supports these tunes in just the right light. There are a handful of well chosen traditional tunes like "Shortening Bread" and "Rollin' Sea". There is no hidden charm on this cd, the charm is way upfront. Seek asylum in Gary's "Crawlspace" that secret clubhouse in the trees or in the clouds or in (y)our minds. There is much joy to this endeavor, an innocence of spirit and lots of chuckles to help soothe the more serious problems that we all must confront. Hallelujah!" - BLG
CD $20 [last copy!] 

GARY LUCAS with GODS and MONSTERS / ERNIE BROOKS / JARED MICHAEL NICKERSON / BILLY FICCA / JONATHAN KANE / JERRY HARRISON / JASON CANDLER / FRANK LONDON / JEAN CHAINE / TONY "THUNDER" SMITH /et al - The Essential Gary Lucas (Knitting Factory Records Rarelumo 018; USA) The collective personnel for this collection features Gary Lucas on guitars & vocals, Ernie Brooks, Jean Chaine & Jared Michael Nickerson on electric bass, Jerry Harrison on keyboards, Jason Candler on sax and Billy Ficca, Jonathan Kane & Tony "Thunder" Smith on drums. For as long as I can remember (mid-sixties), I have been on a mission to find the perfect rock guitar solo. Starting around 1966, I became infatuated with lead guitar plays: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, etc. I can still feel that adrenalin rush when once of those pickers plays that classic solo that tells a short story and leaves you breathless. I’ve checking out Downtown guitar great, Gary Lucas, since his days with Captain Beefheart (around 1980) and then emerging as part of the Downtown/Knitting Factory Scene in 1990. I recall his early solo sets at the Knit as well as when he put together the amazing Gods and Monsters band, a band which had some revolving personnel which included the late Jeff Buckley. New York has long been a stronghold for gifted electric guitarists: from John McLaughlin to Danny Kalb to Leslie West fast forwarding to the early Downtown Scene: Fred Frith, Eugene Chadbourne, Bill Frisell, Sonny Sharrock, Robert Quine, Elliott Sharp, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid and Nels Cline. What makes all of these players great is that they are all unique and beyond the regular categories. Making great music as well as taking powerful guitar solos. Gary Lucas never ceases to surprise me. Mr. Lucas has recorded around 30 discs since his early solo efforts around 1990. His playing is consistently strong but not so easy to pin down, to any one category. This splendid two CD set starts in 1986 and shows many different sides of Mr. Lucas’ vast palette. Disc One is called ‘Good and Monsters’ and it consists of several versions of Gods and Monsters, each one very different sound-wise and personnel-wise. “Fata Morgana” opens and shows off Mr. Lucas’ spirited acoustic guitar prowess with some sly slide lines thrown in for good measure. “Evangeline” sounds like a King Arthur-ish fairy tale with nifty laid-back vocals and layers of swirling guitars buzzing together. Although Mr. Lucas vocals have a limited range, he knows how to use them just right by becoming a different character on each song. Lucas also does a fine job of adding various layers of acoustic and electric guitars with selective use of effects, which change from song to song, both his voice and his guitar(s) use different shades and effects throughout. There a number of modest highlights here: the soul chorus on “Chime On”, the horn section on “Climb the Highest Mountain” and the quietly cosmic e-bow guitar solo on “Let’s Go Swimming”, a rare Arthur Russell cover. Considering that Disc One has some 17 tracks and 78 minutes long, there is quite a bit recommend here. Disc 2 is called ’Solo, Rarities and Collaborations’ and it is again very long with some 19 songs. Mr. Lucas does a a number of select covers on this disc: Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart, Chinese pop music, Dollar Brand and Leos Janacek. The two Chinese pop songs are done great care and are touching. The three Captain Beefheart covers are highlights for me. Mr. Lucas was both a manager & a band-member of the Magic Band in the late seventies/early eighties. Beefheart’s song are idiosyncratic and often difficult to play but Mr. Lucas does a great job of bringing them back to live. Again this disc is very long, more than 70 minutes and I thought it was completely captivating throughout! Mucho bravo to Gary Lucas and his Cosmic Clan! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Sake Set $16

GARY LUCAS' FLEISCHEREI Featuring SARAH STILES / JEFF LEDERER / MICHAEL BATES / JOE FIEDLER / ROB GARCIA - Fleischerei (Cuneiform 405; USA) "Captain Beefheart/Jeff Buckley collaborator and prominent solo/session guitarist, Gary Lucas, rekindles his love of soundtracks with an enthusiastic tribute to the Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor cartoons that so shaped his upbringing. Music from Max Fleischer Cartoons celebrates the songs that accompanied Fleischer Studios' early 1930s animation. Joined by trombonist/co-arranger Joe Fiedler, Jeff Lederer on woodwinds, bassist Michael Bates and drummer Rob Garcia - all experienced jazz veterans - Lucas interprets the songs with the same goofy exuberance that characterizes the original recordings. Vocalist Sarah Stiles fully embodies the spirit of Mae Questal, the original voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl, seamlessly shifting from the former's sexy flapper squeak to the latter's neurotic wooing as the tracks unfold. Lucas, however, completely steals the show with his incredibly fluid, dexterous fingerpicking, which sounds at times like he has more than two hands attacking his guitar. It all culminates in a full recreation of an entire Popeye cartoon, Beware of Barnacle Bill, complete with dialog and musically channeled sound effects. The best art comes from passion, and, listening to these songs, there can be little doubt that Gary Lucas and his Fleischerei absolutely love what they are doing. Become a kid again, if only for three quarters of an hour." - Chuck Foster, The Big Takeover
CD Sale $12

FREE FLYING with GARY LUCAS & URFAUST - Free Flying (Faust 26 2331; EEC) This is the second fine collaboration that downtown guitar ace Gary Lucas has done with this spaced out Czech band which features Mirka Krivankova on vocals, Zdenek Dvorak on electric violin, Vratislav Brabenic (from Plastic People) on sax, Richard Mader on bass & piano and Tomas Reindi on drums. Fully improvised and recorded live in a studio in Prague. Basically, this is one continuous space rock jam with some wild guitar, strange yet hypnotic vocal sounds and some mutant swirling sax and violin. There are many quiet moments with occasional noodling or distant spacey sounds. My favorite parts are when Gary and Mirka sail together with his processed guitar and her wacky vocals floating together mysteriously. More laid back than I would have imagined, but still a moody treat. They finally get down to a heavy boogie on "buttercup" with some great, nasty wah-wah guitar and squealing sax and leave us with a fine tabla-fueled space jam on "corn poppy". Strong on mood and sinister vibes. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS / TONI DEZSO - Gary and Toni Go Nuts (Rare Lumiere 017; EEC) Featuring Gary Lucas on guitars & effects and Toni Dezso on alto & baritone saxes plus guest Attila Dora on tenor sax & bass clarinet. This disc was recorded in a studio in Budapest, Hungary. A few weeks ago (in January of 2017), I reviewed a fine trio CD with Gary Lucas and two musicians from Hungary, a vocalist named Eniko Szabo and a saxist, Toni Dezso. Longtime Downtown guitar great, Gary Lucas, keeps busy by developing musical collaborations from around the world, especially from eastern Europe. I didn’t know about either saxist here, Toni Dezso or Attila Dora, but they sound like all three are kindred spirits. Commencing with an acoustic guitar bathed in layers of effects, Mr. Lucas sails in with that space-rock like sound, a ghost-like sax sailing in the distance. Both saxists appear together on 4 of 13 tracks here and sound fine together. On “The Nervous Smokers”, Mr. Lucas adds a bit of ragtime like flourishes with both saxes playing connected patterns around him. Both reedmen work well together, trading lines on bass clarinet and bari sax on “Trout Fishing in Trump Amerika” which Mr. Lucas adds several waves of echoplexed guitars. I like that much of this is laid-back yet still hypnotic with the tone.sound of the guitars altered somewhat on each track. The music here is often like a soundtrack to a series of imagined scenes from a movie. Neither saxes do any screaming or go very far out, they work head to add shades to the many sounds that Mr. Lucas comes up with on his ever-changing guitars. The cover art is a cartoon of a man and skeleton duking it out on a battle field. The title, ‘Gary and Toni Go Nuts!’ seems misleading since rather than going wild, these tow work well together and complement each other in different ways. They do go wild here and there but seem to favor some more restrained sections as well. A healthy balance of extremes makes this a successful disc. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS With CAPTAIN BEEFHEART / NICK CAVE / ERIC MINGUS / RICHARD BARONE / PETER STAMPFEL / et al - Improve the Shining Hour (KnitWorks 265; USA) The glowing and brilliant spirit of Gary Lucas is captured on Improve the Shining Hour, a new album of highlights from his prolific career. Here is the best of a Grammy nominated guitarist - a collection of music spanning an impressive twenty year career, including tracks ranging from his early days with Captain Beefheart, to his Gods and Monsters outfit and his collaborations with Joan Osborne. Guests include Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart, DJ Spooky, David Johansen, Elli Medeiros, Richard Barone, Eric Mingus, Peter Stampfel, and Mary Margret O'Hara. It is a fitting tribute to a truly innovative artist and musician who continues to awe us with his scorchingly emotional, lyrical and stunning work. "Featuring guest vocalists Captain Beefheart, Nick Cave, Mary Margaret O'Hara, David Johansen, Richard Barone, Peter Stampfel & Eric Mingus. This is an incredible compilation of rarities covering 20 years in the journey of guitar god & monster - Gary Lucas! With 18 tracks of treasures that stretch back to 1980 when Gary did time with genius/madman Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band, there is a wealth of riches for both guitar fanatics & those who love eclectic songs from a unique array of singers. The two oldest tracks are from a Beefheart gig in December '80, where Gary pulls off a solo el. guitar version of the immensely challenging "Flavor Bud Living" and the Magic Band play an inspired rendition of "Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles" - a tranquil sort-of funk tune from 'Clear Spot.' An equally ridiculously difficult Beefheart piece called "Oat Hate" is also included here. Gary actually sings two tracks here and uses his voice most effectively. He opens with "Coming Clean" on acoustic guitar, the dark pastures of a British folk theme and also sings "In a Forest" another fine, somber folk tune. Nick Cave reads from his disturbing novel 'And the Ass Saw the Angel' as Gary gives up the ghost on acoustic once more. Only Gary could use tabla & djembe on a bluesy tune called "Spider Web" sung swell by Johansen and once earned a Grammy nomination for Joan Osborne. Charlie's son Eric Mingus really belts out the gospel stomper "Judgement" live from Harry Smith tribute at St. Ann's and Gary does a great job of layering various weird guitar parts behind the ultra-quirky Canadian vocalist Mary Margaret O'Hara. Richard Barone was once of that delightful psych/pop combo from Hoboken - the Bongos and here sings like an angel with Gary's guitar shimmering underneath. Gary and Peter Stampfel (Holy Modal Rounder) sing the silly but cool "Astro Boy" and then Gary does a cosmic instrumental version of a psych/folk tune "Indian War Whoop" from Peter's old band. The other 8 pieces are all instrumentals which feature all three of Gary's axes - his Strat, his Gibson acoustic & National Steel and it is these instrumentals in which his diverse plectrum magic really shines through. DJ Spooky & Gary combine sonic somber sounds on the long & spaced out gem "Golgotha" and Gary whispers some creepy vocals on "Breath of Bones" with his trusty trio - Gods & Monsters. The enclosed booklet is also well done and filled with informative notes from the only great writer at that rag Rolling Stone - Dave Fricke." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12

GARY LUCAS with JON LANGFORD / ROLLO McGINTY / SONYA COHEN / et al - Operators are Standing By - The Essential Gary Lucas 1988-1996 (Evolver / Knitting Factory Records 316-2; USA) Operators Are Standing By: The Essential Gary Lucas is a second collection of songs originally released on the Enemy label (the first was Level the Playing Field) Our good friend and guitar god, Gary Lucas, recorded his first three releases [Bad Boys Of The Arctic, Skeletons At The Feast, Gods And Monsters] for the now defunked Enemy label, all of which are long gone. This release collects tracks from each of the three, plus it has a few rarities thrown in as well. Like all Gary Lucas releases, this is pretty long and features a vast array of guitar based gems, half instrumental and half vocal. The diverse cast of singers includes Jon Langford (Mekons), Rolo McGinty, Sonya Cohen, (Gary's pals) Kenny & Larry and Gary himself. Gary also chooses his cover tunes wisely, adding his secret spice to Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine", Percy Grainger's "Children's March", Freddie King's "The Stumble" and the theme from the "Eastenders". Gary Lucas plays incredible guitar(s) throughout, electric, acoustic and national steel and in a wide variety of styles and genres. There is just no stopping our main man Gary Lucas, as this a completely triumphant cauldron of intense events and magical guitar spices. Not for the timid!?! - BLG
CD $20 [last 2 copies, long out-of-print]

GARY LUCAS' GODS & MONSTERS With ERNIE BROOKS/BILLY FICCA - Ordeal of Civility (Knitting Factory 1111; USA) With Jerry Harrison producing, fellow ex-Modern Lover Ernie Brooks on bass, and Television drummer Billy Ficca, Gary Lucas has support from considerable talent on The Ordeal of Civility. It's still very much Lucas' record, however, from the rather incredibly varied songs and guitar playing to the less distinguished but amiable vocals. Not fitting into any category or trend, though he's certainly not mainstream, Lucas gets into rather Bowie-esque foreboding rock; whispered creepiness strongly reminiscent of some of Leonard Cohen's bleaker work (on "Jedwabne"); a song ("Swamp T'ing") liberally echoing the chorus to Run-D.M.C.'s rap classic "That's the Way It Is"; the kind of knotty, eccentric bluesy rock that makes you remember he played guitar for Captain Beefheart (especially on "Hot and Cold Everything"); delicate picking on a haunting piece reminiscent of an English folk ballad ("Lady of Shalott"); and folk-blues with virtuosic rapid guitar ("Whirlygig"). There's more, too (like the faintly Van Morrison-like soul-rock of "Climb the Highest Mountain," although Lucas will never be confused with Van the Man as a vocalist), but that gives you an idea of both how much ground is covered and how much it resists being pigeonholed. Critics might be tempted to wonder how this will find a commercial niche, even on college radio, but that's never seemed like something with which Lucas is overly concerned. It's not game-changing, but it's versatile, gutsy alternative rock that's consistently likable, even when he tries to sing and play somewhat downbeat or ominous material. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
CD Sale $12

PETER HAMMILL & GARY LUCAS - Other World (Cherry Red 1026; UK) Release of the eagerly awaited new studio collaborative album by PETER HAMMILL & GARY LUCAS. Peter Hammill's work, both as a solo artist and as part of Van Der Graaf Generator, is legendary, whilst Gary Lucas has worked closely with many great artists and vocalists, including Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) and Jeff Buckley. Described by Peter as "something quite strange, but strangely powerful", all the music on Other World has been created using nothing more than guitars and Hammill's unique vocals. Songs and other worldly instrumental tracks create a sonic atmosphere that is unique and spellbinding. A stunning work, Other World is certain to be one of the most unique and atmospheric albums of 2014. "I wasn't so sure how this duo would work out since both of these artists are so devoted to their own particular world, view or sound. Each are completely unique at what they do best. I shouldn't have worried since Mr. Lucas often thrives within an intense collaboration zone. Since Mr. Lucas is and has been a longtime fan of Van Der Graaf Generator and their leader Peter Hammill, he treats Hammill with admiration and respect. Mr. Lucas uses both acoustic and electric guitars, creating a compelling, unique rock/folk/prog blend with Hammill's distinctive voice at the center of a mesmerizing cyclone. Lucas selectively adds layers manipulated or mutated guitars into a stimulating blend. Lucas' large knowledge of guitar-oriented genres and styles gives Mr. Hammill a great deal to work with hence this is more diverse than we would have imagined. The outcome is impressive on several levels as well as occasionally disturbing, the way much of Hammill's previous material was and is. Fourteen songs are included and the disc is about an hour in length. Bravo to both of our musical super-heroes!" - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

GARY LUCAS / ENIKO SZABO / TONI DEZSO - Pearly Clouds (Acrobat Music 6514; Earth) Featuring Gary Lucas on guitars, Eniko Szabo on voice and Toni Dezso on alto & bari saxes. Every few years, I get back in contact with Downtown guitar legend, Gary Lucas, and he fills me in on his latest endeavors. I love hearing about his many travels and projects around the world and try to stay on top of where he is playing live both locally and everywhere else. This coming Friday, January 27th (2017), Mr. Lucas will play the UN to perform solo acoustic before the General Assembly as part of their Holocaust Remembrance Ceremonies and then later that night at Roulette (8pm), he will be premiering my new live solo score accompanying Orson Welles’ recently re-discovered 1938 silent surrealist comedy “Too Much Johnson”. Last time I met with Mr. Lucas, he had a superfine duo CD out with Peter Hammill from Van Der Graaf Generator. For this disc, Mr. Lucas collaborates with two Hungarian musicians: Ms. Eniko Szabo on vocals and Mr. Toni Dezso on alto & bari sax. Although most folks who regularly read the DMG newsletter know about guitarist Gary Lucas originally from his work with Captain Beefheart and Jeff Buckley, Mr. Lucas has been involved on more than a dozen discs since then on a variety of labels: KnitWorks, Tzadik and many more. Ms. Eniko Szabo a traditional Hungarian folk singer who has done soundtrack work for Hunagrian director Miklos Jansco. Mr. Dezso has played sax with the Hungarian avant-jazzers Tudosok (a/k/a The Scientists), who opened for Mr. Lucas’ band Gods & Monsters in Germany in 2000. Both Ms. Szabo and Mr. Dezso live in Budapest. Ms. Szabo sings in her native tongue and has a warm, lovely and most enchanting voice. Most of the songs here are traditional Hungarian (or from Moldova…) folk songs and the lyrics are translated into English for the liner notes of this disc. Mr. Lucas often plays acoustic guitar with the selective use of effects to enhance the sound. The songs are often stripped down to just voice, a charming voice, hypnotic, spacey guitar and sly yet minimal alto or bari sax added as sublime seasoning. Lucas alters the sound of his guitar on each piece, giggling each song its own sonic quality. The music itself is a unique blend of folk/rock/psych with ethnic (eastern European) influences. Without a doubt this is one of the most enchanting, subtly mesmerizing discs I’ve heard in a long while. If you ever heard Gary Lucas’ CD of Chinese love songs (‘The Edge of Heaven’), you know what I am talking about as that record remains one of the long lost gems of the mid-nineties. Bravo to Gary Lucas and this fab trio! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12

URFAUST & GARY LUCAS -  Pražská Strašidla (The Ghosts Of Prague)(Faust Records FR 06-2331; Czech Republic) 1st collaboration Lucas did with this spaced out Czech band from years ago!
CD $15 [Last 2 copies]

GARY LUCAS With ERNIE BROOKS / JONATHAN KANE / JOHN ZORN / et al - Street of Lost Brothers (Tzadik 7145; USA) Another brilliant collection of scintillating originals and Jewish classics from the unique and twisted mind of guitar madman Gary Lucas. Gary's first release for Tzadik was a delightful and uproarious collection for children. With Street of Lost Brothers, Gary has turned to the dark side. Dances, dirges and doinas for Gary's versatile touring band, with special guest appearances by insane vocalists Kenny and Larry, sax squealer John Zorn and Walter Horn. Gary Lucas: electric, acoustic andsteel guitars, vocals,raygun, kibbitzing Ernie Brooks: bass Jonathan Kane: drums Kenny and Larry: vocals Walter Horn: synths, piano, sampler John Zorn: alto sax Jesper Gadelius: guitar Hank Frisch: harmonica Peter Eng: bass Aldo Tsang: drums . TZADIK RADICAL JEWISH CULTURE SERIES "Music is the healing force of the universe - so says Albert Ayler and guitar god Gary Lucas embodies this spirit by making music which is powerful, hilarious, frightening and filled with pride, joy and anger! Gary quotes T.S. Eliot in the liner notes who calls "any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable" and Guy says "Tough shit, Eliot"! Right on! This is mostly a solo effort, although 3 tracks feature bands Gary has worked with - Gods & Monsters on two and an Eastern European combo on the other. Fellow Jewish visionary John Zorn joins Gary on the opening traditional tune is "Yigdal" and it is a hoot! It also features the amazing and wacky vocal team of Kenny Hurwitz and Larry Fine who are ridiculously funny. Both Gary & John Zorn explode on guitar & sax to make this a joyous delight and release. Gary consistently does a great job of dazzling us with his intricate and multi-leveled guitar playing, often on three different guitars. "The Opener of the Way" has him whipping out quick spiraling lines on his acoustic guitar, while "That's My Life" features Gary's trusty steel guitar in a bluesy endeavor and great weary voice of the struggle that life provides most of us with. Kenny & Larry also sing the uproarious 50's tune "Mahzel Means Good Luck" which is another sly and silly choice. On "It's Like a Wheel" Gary sounds as if he playing two guitars at once with four hands on his acoustic, in the second half the guitar is transformed into mutant, psychedelic slide and wah wah version of "Amazing Grace". Gary goes for the jugular on his spectacular cover of "European Son" by the Velvet Underground which is just too much! Another interesting choice of covers is "I Kill You for Nothing" from a Marx Brothers medley, which is a charming old-time jazz tune played on steel guitar. A staple of Gary's solo sets for the past few years is Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", another odd choice since Wagner was an anti-semite, yet it works well as Gary's selective echo throb and insane psych geetar solo. Gary does "Let My People Go" on steel once more and it is a haunting, blues-drenched version in which he lets each note hang like a noose dangling in the air - most effective. "Level the Playing Field" has that Kottke/Fahey type of acoustic guitar flash of too many notes to fathom easily - marvelous! The epic piece "Sh'ma" is a cosmic duo for Gary and childhood pal Walter Horn on synth and it is a long, dizzying journey of melting sounds, impressionistic swirls, glowing embers, slow motion shadows and frenetic keyboard. The final track is "The Tel Aviv Ghetto Fight's Song" for Gary's O-Bay-Gone Band - an international unit live in Taiwan which features a rather goofy harmonica solo, obligatory wacky guitar solo and student riot as well. A grand kibbitzer with a great deal of chutzpah - Gary Lucas does it again!" - BLG
CD Sale $12

THE WORLD OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART With GARY LUCAS / NONA HENDRYX / JESSE KRAKOW / JORDAN SHAPIRO / RICHARD DWORKIN - Featuring Nona Hendryx & Gary Lucas (Knitting Factory Records 1141; USA) Featuring Gary Lucas on guitars, Nona Hendrix on vocals, Jordan Shairo on keyboards, Jesse Krakow on bass and Richard Dworkin on drums. It seems most befitting that this disc should appear in the last week of 2017 and leave us with something special to smile about after perhaps the worst year that I can recall in my 63 & 1/2 years on this planet. Singer, composer, bandleader, visual artist and visionary, Captain Beefheart, was a hero to many outsiders & freaks around the world, ever since his first records appeared in the mid-sixties. The great Captain had a singular and often startling voice, a unique way creating songs with lyrics way beyond what was found in most rock songs at the time. Downtown guitar slinger, Gary Lucas, both managed and played in the last version of Beefheart’s Magic Band, hence he has paid his dues and knows the intricacies of this music. Mr. Lucas has been on a long mission, ever since Beefheart retired from performing or recording songs around 1982, to spread the word of Beefheart’s distinctive songs. Mr. Lucas was a member of Fast N’ Bulbous, a great Downtown mostly instrumental band which included members of the Microscopics and who covered Beefheart’s songs in their own weird way. And now, Mr. Lucas has organized a new quintet to cover Captain Beefheart songs from across his entire recording career. Since Captain Beefheart was mainly known as a singer and songwriter, Mr. Lucas choose the great Ms. Nona Hendrix to sing on all of these songs. Ms. Hendrix, whose long career has gone from her work with Labelle (in the seventies) to a collaboration with Material (in the early 80’s) to a handful of fine solo efforts over the past few decades. Listening to her doing these songs, she seems like a perfect choice! There has often been some funk and soulfulness within certain songs that Mr. Beefheart created, especially on the album known as ‘Clear Spot’. Kicking off with “Sun Zoom Spark”, this band is on fire and cooking, avant/funk/rock at its best! “I’m gonna magnetize ya!” so says the words, yes indeed. “My Head is My Own House Unless It Rains” is a lovely ballad in which Ms. Hendrix’s pleading voice shows a sense of poignancy that does one better than the original. The tender chorus behind her adds even more soul to this song. “My arms are just two things in the way, until I can wrap them around you” was always a line that rang true with any romantics amongst us. One of Mr. Beefheart’s main influences was Delta blues riffs, especially the voice of Howlin’ Wolf. “Sure ’Nuff ’N Yes I Do” from the very first Beefheart album in 1967, is blues/rock at its best with dynamic slide guitar, wailing organ & electric piano and Nona’s sly voice nailing down those blues licks just right. “I’m Glad” always sounded out of place on the first Beefheart album, way too corny and rather doowop-like. Mr. Hendrix and her chorus do a much better job and seem to capture what actually makes this song so righteous. Mr. Lucas plays one of his finest jazz guitar solos on “Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles” and then synthesizes three different complex guitar parts on an instrumental called, “Suction Prints”, no easy feat and a must to hear for the guitar fanatics amongst us. I remember the first time I heard Beefheart’s epic, ‘Trout Mask Replica’ in 1969, it totally confused me! It took a while to fully appreciate. “Sugar ’N Spikes’ and ‘When Big Joan Sets’, create their own bizarre worlds with dada-like lyrics and spastic/elastic rhythmic & musical weirdness. It is no doubt difficult to sing these unique/twisted words with a straight face but Ms. Hendrix seems to be enjoying herself with these tongue twisting oddities, while the band also works hard to show the way these complex/bizarre fragments come together. Another highlight from the ‘Clear Spot’ LP is the soulful “Too Much Time”. Hard to believe but this version is even more soulful than the original and sounds like it was written with Ms. Hendrix in mind. The closing song is most appropriate, “Tropical Hot Dog Night”, the open in track on ’Shiny Beast’. The groove here is most infectious (dig those marimbas) while the lyrics are both brilliant and bizarre, “Meet the Monster Tonight”. Captain Beefheart, who passed away in December of 2010, created his own weird way of looking at the world with his music, words and voice. The World of Captain Beefheart band do a brilliant job of capturing that world in their own way so order this disc today. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12