Category Archives: press

Sponge Bath

It was hot in Cambridge’s Weirdo Records last night. Here is a descriptive review of the show from Flash Notes

Your savings account zeroes risk we will enjoy it and you will feel it and it will be painful Lucio on banjo eking out eerie high strung sounds like a wine glass being rubbed Dave running the smallest cymbal over the snare drum head Lucio now with a violin bow rubbing the strings beyond the bridge now it’s melodic a carousel organ with children riding up and down on the horses and it may be a fox hunt with trumpet over the country gardens now Lucio with his spanking black electric guitar and the sounds are strafed and echo Lucio in his straw pork pie hat and beige suit and tie is dashing Dave gets mosquito squeals out of the snare Lucio sly with pick in his mouth Dave getting buzzing alarm sounds out of a bow against the rim now low tones drones hums very quiet as echoes rise

Lucio stands up and strums what goes up must come down what goes down must come up so buy low sell high rocking out on electric strings both of them mad it’s a jungle or a country pond with the flora and wildlife waving in the wind Lucio takes rock star stance scritching and scratching sounds getting wilder rings on the strings clown balloon sounds at the circus wild and fun times balloon gets big it is clear gray and the guitar hums like an engine very quiet slight clicks of lips on bubble

New Joe Rut CD gets a nice review…

…and they gave me a little nod. It was inspiring to play a packed house at SF’s Great American Music Hall – a really great show as the live CD confirms.

Musically, Rut has never had a better band than he did on this night, and highlights abound. Danny Allen’s echo-drenched slide solo on “Monkey Boy” oozes and crackles like a brick of firecrackers stuck in molasses, and Lucio Menegon’s reverby Telecaster excursion on the touching “Hole in Space” perfectly carves that hole before the band slams back into the almost Pink Floydian bridge, “I like now/now is enough/now is the only time we have to love.”

http://performermag.com/2012/06/19/joe-rut-live-review-and-interview/

Tree-forts of sonic fun

Check this nice show review of a set performed with Rob Wallace in Bowling Green, OH this past February. The set was part of a film/music series Rob co-hosts called, Other Musics: Four Free Films on Free Sounds, the focus of the write-up, but receives some considerable attention:

Lucio used his entire instrument in service of his art, pounding the body, sliding a magnet along the frets, even pouring lighter fluid on the neck (which I will admit made me wonder if we were in for a Jimi Hendrix moment), to achieve the just-right tone he was going for. Wallace used his whole body as well, kneeling in front of his smorgasbord of sound, sometimes using both hands and his mouth, each on separate instruments, to accompany Lucio’s play. Any attempt I might make to capture the tonal qualities of this musical performance will surely fail. Suffice to say, I was transfixed, smiling like a loon at the sheer whimsy of it all. This music is “play” in its purest form. Both musicians are professionals and well-trained (Wallace is steeped in musicology and quite a good tabla player), and they certainly needed that foundation to build their tree-fort of sonic fun upon.

tree-fort of sonic fun is my favorite new description. Totally awesome. This is why small town such gigs are worthwhile – you just never know. It is also perhaps the reason Jack Wright likes to play them.

Lucidity

Music for Driving and Film, vol II received a nice write-up from the NYC blog, Lucid Culture. Thanks, it’s nice when someone listens.

The Brooklyn-based composer/guitarist who goes by the name of Reverend Screaming Fingers writes movies for the ears. He’s got a collection of elegant, memorable instrumentals, simply titled Music for Driving and Film up at his site for free download. Smart move – it’s going to get him some film work. Like a good demo reel, it showcases his diversity as a tunesmith, yet the quality of the pieces here is vastly better than most demos. As a whole, it makes a great late-night album. The twangy reverb guitar gives many of these tunes a noir feel; others reach for a distantly menacing spaghetti western ambience. Most of them have a straight-up guitar/bass/drums setup, often with organ. Many of these works stem from the composer’s work with the west coast film/music group the Overdub Club.

The opening track, Highway Song sets the stage with baritone guitar and organ – it’s like Booker T. gone to Kansas. The most haunting cut here, Sort It Out has a slow, sunbaked menace, sort of a spaghetti western set in Riyadh. The guitar meanders ominously and then hits a chilly, bone-rattling tremolo-picked interlude – it’s as psychedelic as it is creepy. Repeat Performance is a two-chord vamp that rises and falls hypnotically, followed by East Meets West, an atmospheric tone poem a la Friends of Dean Martinez, building to a motoring beat that contrasts with the hazy sonics. OD Loop continues in a similarly southwestern gothic vein: it’s the scene where the band of thugs make their way across the desert. Suki O’Kane on drums does a marvelous job of hanging back and not letting the whole gang break loose.

Taking its name from an adopted manatee, Boomer’s Groove has a twangy, nocturnal Jim Campilongo/Mojo Mancini vibe, following a deliciously suspenseful trajectory that hits a sweetly apprehensive peak as the bass shifts just a little higher and the guitars all follow. Caterina begins as a simple two-chord vamp dedicated to a little girl who died young, building to a tense grandeur with casual tremolo-picked melody sailing beneath the roar and crash, finally reaching a scream with umpteen layers of guitar roaring in their separate corners. There’s also a couple of brief vignettes: one with Jonathan Segel on violin pairing off against Laurie Amat’s stately Middle Eastern inflected vocalese, and Through the Portal, a surreal party scene employing Rebecca Seeman’s eerie, upper-register swirls on her own invention, the wine glass organ. The album ends with a static, hypnotic piece that sounds like Stereolab doing an extended version of the intro to Blue Jay Way. Recommended for fans of Giant Sand, Big Lazy, Mogwai and Black Heart Procession.

You can check out the album at iTunes or below from Bandcamp.

Sonic Demons Review by Paper Cuts Magazine

In the Sept 2010 issue of Paper Cuts Magazine:

Title: Sonic Demons
Artist: Lucio Menegon
Label: Edgetone Records
Format: CDR
By Chad E. Williams

It’s hard sometimes to listen to instrumental music and not create movies or
stories in your head. For me that’s often the best part. Lucio Menegon’s
album “Sonic Demons” does the work for you by providing a short story in
conjunction with the music. I’ll let you discover the story on your own as I
don’t want to ruin it, but with or without this strange backdrop the album
is a beautifully executed collection of free-jazz-ish-noise and ambient
pieces that can take the listener to many unusual places.

Menegon performs on all the tracks here with his ability to mix effected
guitar with electronic and atmospheric sound elements to create a unique
aural picture. Sounds range from spacey layered guitars as in the opening
piece “Lucifer’s Meltdown” to harsher improvisations with enough squeaks and
screeching to satisfy any noise fan as on the track “Shrunken Head”.
Additional yummy layers of interest added by a fun vocal piece with Laurie
Amat (The Residents), Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beetwhovern), the fantastic
drumming of David Grollman, guitarist John Hanes, and others. “Sonic
Demons” has a bit of something for anyone with open ears and is certainly
worth checking out and creating some fantastic dream-movies to.

(Kingtone editor corrections: John Hanes plays drums and laptop, Jonathan Segel plays with Camper van Beethoven)

Sonic Demons Press

Music Emissions. This reviewer pretty much nails my intention with Sonic Demons:

“Sonic Demons, at least if the titles represent the intent, is an instrumental exploration of the darkness we invite into us, the demons we flirt with until it is too late to send them packing. This electronic divine comedy is pulled off with grace and grit.”

“Sonic Demons would be intense and impressive without the dark night of the soul motif. With it, it allows Lucio Menegon to let it rip with purpose, a goal of exploration into the uncomfortable. He wins on all counts.” full review

Music Extreme

Experimental guitarist Lucio Menegon shows pure experimentation with sounds on this recording. Going from free jazz up to almost noise or ambient within the same composition, he shows great technical and improvisational skills. On the recording he is joined in some of the tunes by other fellow musicians that interact cleverly with Menegon´s guitar phrases. There is a strong knowledge of intensity and volume here and that is evident in many of the compositions where Menegon goes into a crescendo of sound before exploding at the end of the tune. There are good combinations of sounds with some melodies and phrases that surprise the listener. This is an album for open minded people who are into sound exploration and improvisation.
full review

Downtown Music Gallery NYC Here’s an interesting one from their weekly newsletter (btw, I’m an American citizen by birth):

LUCIO MENEGON – Sonic Demons (Edgetone 4092; USA)
Italian guitarist Lucio Menegon is currently a Bay area-based musician, as well as a friend of local drummer David Grollman, a friend of DMG who shows up almost every week for our in-store performances. Hence these live performances feature most west coast players except for Grollman, Rob Price & Valerie Kuehne. ‘Lucifer’s Meltdown” opens with a solo guitar & loops excursion that on the verge of coming apart as it throbs to an intense ending. “Shrunken Head” features Lucio & Rob Price on guitars & electronics & Dave Grollman on drums. It sounds as if there are layers electronics & static erupting together into a brooding storm. I can’t really hear the drums but the results are scary nonetheless. It is often difficult to tell that Lucio is playing guitar since the electronics and distortion is more prominent than any plucking. On “Gasping for Air” Lucio plays tortured noise guitar fractures with intense drumming of Laurie Arnat. Lucio inserts four solo guitar and/or electronics pieces in between the small group improvs and each one is different, sometimes twisting the feedback or noise sounds inside out. Each piece is quite effective yet occasionally disturbing. Overall there are some impressive bouts of well selected noise segments and it all fits together. – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

Paper Cuts Magazine Sept 2010 issue
LUCIO MENEGON – Sonic Demons (Edgetone 4092; USA)

It’s hard sometimes to listen to instrumental music and not create movies or stories in your head. For me that’s often the best part. Lucio Menegon’s album “Sonic Demons” does the work for you by providing a short story in conjunction with the music. I’ll let you discover the story on your own as I don’t want to ruin it, but with or without this strange backdrop the album is a beautifully executed collection of free-jazz-ish-noise and ambient pieces that can take the listener to many unusual places.

Menegon performs on all the tracks here with his ability to mix effected guitar with electronic and atmospheric sound elements to create a unique aural picture. Sounds range from spacey layered guitars as in the opening piece “Lucifer’s Meltdown” to harsher improvisations with enough squeaks and screeching to satisfy any noise fan as on the track “Shrunken Head”. Additional yummy layers of interest added by a fun vocal piece with Laurie Amat (The Residents), Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven), the fantastic drumming of David Grollman, John Hanes, and others. “Sonic Demons” has a bit of something for anyone with open ears and is certainly worth checking out and creating some fantastic dream-movies to. In the Sept 2010 issue of full review

Sea of Tranquility:

Lucio Menegon is an experimental artist, guitar player and some sort of electronics wiz. He gathered a bunch of guest artists to add “improvisational” elements to his journey.

This type of “music” is a bit hard to appreciate and is not for everybody, neither is it the thing you’ll most likely spin at any time. I found the compositions mostly cohesive in their own experimental way. Off course improvised parts came into play to bring touches of surprises and variation. Some of this music carries an ambient feel, while other parts are more psychedelic or even totally hectic. I can feel inspiration coming from bands of the seventies like: Egg, King Crimson and the Mothers of Invention. I can hear Dave Stewart going nuts over the tone generator in a few instances, such as on ” Shrunken Head” and “Experiments with the Force”. Ian Underwood seems to be “wipping it all” on the sax in “Shrunken Head”, while the hectic drumming of the Mothers is quite present on: “Resident Tourette” and “Killing Green”. Lucio’s guitar playing is pretty un-orthodox too. He deliberately de-tunes his guitar in some way unknown to me, in a number of places. Examples of this could be heard on “The Debigulator” and “Vulcan’s Wish”. My personal favorite tunes are: “Lucifer’s Melt Down: (dark/psychedelic) , as well as tracks 10 to 12, namely “Vulcan’s Wish”, ” Scattered Brain” and “Sonic Demons”.