I am so loving the sound of this stripped down, all analog set-up. There’s almost always a vintage something-or-other involved in my set-up, but this is my youth all over again. As in: the sound that got me into this thing, have always loved, riffed on, tinkered with and occasionally strayed from – usually for the sake of convenience and weight/transport considerations. There is benefit in this and tone comes from the heart and fingers, but somethings can get lost in translation. All those 0s and 1s…
My new Goodsell Custom 33 amp is one of the most complex, touch sensitive amp I have played (among many). I pretty much can’t stop playing it. And there is simply no replacement for the sound of my 70’s EP3 Echoplex. Every digital emulation fails – and I have tried them all. Toss in some overdrive and fuzz for color and we’re off.
Digital is useful. But good analog? Nothing touches it. As my friend Rance (Lawrence Fellows-Mannion) says about audio gear, “it’s in the iron – if it weighs a lot it probably sounds good”
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
Today I found several very cool items in my pile of old show posters. This being a prime example:
Ramona and the Pest by Martha Colburn
Back story: Ramona The Pest was a band I played in/produced with my longtime friend and collaborator Val Esway in the late 90s and early 00’s. Martha Colburn, then an underground artist based in Baltimore, was pals with our film friend Keith Arnold (who now programs the Castro Theater in SF). They wanted to get a show together when she came out to CA, I think in late 1997 or 98. RTP played and Martha screened some of her films at the Starry Plough, our local watering hole on the Berkeley/Oakland border (which was a tad dodgier back then) to a small but rowdy audience. I definitely remember an early version of possibly Skellavision – lots of skeleton bodies and flames shooting out of porn star heads.
Martha made up this cool poster for the show. She either heard it wrong or was playing with the name of the band – not the first or last time that happened. Ramona and the Pest is probably a better name. Awesome stuff.
The past two months were a blast with two cross country solo tours from New York to Cleveland to Los Angeles and back to Boston with a diversion to southeast Asia in betwixt.
It is an interesting thing when you tour, playing night after night combined with the vagaries of travel, to note the subtle change that begins to overcome your playing – especially where free improvisation is concerned. You get more in touch with the idea that nothing is so important or really matters. That you are there to just play and be present to the moment. Genre becomes irrelevant. You get into the zone. And lo! It just gets better and better (despite the occasional setback).
And who can dis couch surfing when you get to hang out with so many good people? On that note, thanks to my generous hosts Emily Hay, Zoe, The Grays, Mateo Barnett, Derek Johnson, Rob & Kara Wallace, Art Pinsoff, Grady in San Marcos TX, whoever it was we stayed with in Nashville, the DAIKAIJU HOUSE (where my birthday was well celebrated), Gavin and Allison MacArthur, Super Happy Funland and Janet Dewey.
To my intrepid tour mates Joey Molinaro and Eric Alexander – xo, you rock. And to the many players I got to collaborate with onstage – Amy DeNio, Brad Dutz, Emily Hay, Eloe Omoe, Rob Wallace, Alex Henry, Nate Scheible, Bob Drake, Angela Sawyer, Shayna Dulberger, Luther Gray and Steve Norton – you are all so stellar.
I’ll be uploading music and video evidence soon.
Upcoming shows (with more to pop up for sure):
Mar 4 2012 Richard Lainhart Memorial Concert
@ Roulette 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY – 3:00 PM
A very special memorial concert for Richard Lainhart (1953-2011). One hour program of music and remembrances following by a 30 minute screening of Richard’s last film work, History of the Future with live score by the Orchestra of the Future. I’ll be playing in the sixteen member orchestra and doing a short live ‘duo-piece’ on prepared/processed lapsteel guitar.
Mar 6 2012 LM @ Brooklyn Scramble
@ Freddy’s Backroom 627 5th ave, Brooklyn – 8:00 PM
with Alice Bierhorst on drums and Ben Galina on bass. Expect a scramble of rock song, instrumental sountrack and free improv.
Mar 9 2012 LM (in a round robin of sound)
@ The Spectrum 115 w. 23rd st. apt. 22, New York, NY – 9:00 PM
a round robin of sound with Spiff Wiegand, Clara Engel, An Historic Beninghove’s Hangmen, Emile Lesbros, Upholstery, Valerie Kuehne
Mar 24 2012 LMNo! (a night of duos)
@ Wombat Zone 68R Dane St, Sommerville MA – 8:00 PM
a night of duos with: LMNo! (LM – guitars/electronics & Steve Norton – reeds/electronics) and Morgan Evans-Weiler (violin)/Marc Bisson (dada guitar mayhem)
Mar 29 2012 AvanT! GuitaR! Night!
@ Legion 790 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY – 9:00 PM
Really excited about this one – with James Beaudreau (from Billy Nayer Show) duo, Rob Cambre (New Orleans)/LM/Marco Buccelli trio, Brett Zweiman, Valerie Kuehne trio.
Mar 31 2012 Prehistoric Horse
@ Sonorium @ The Griffen Theatre 7 Lynde Street, Salem, MA – 8:00 PM
The Horse (David Grollman, Valerie Kuehne, LM) rides again at Andrea Pensado’s series. improv, sound collage, noise, ambient, performance, projections with
Gang Clang Mafia, One-Armed Mist, High aura’d, Northern Machine
Apr 5 2012 LM & Laurie Amat
@ Vaudeville Park 26 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY – 8:00 PM
An improv session with visiting artist Laurie Amat (SF CA)
Apr 7-14 2012 Grollman/Landis/Menegon – a new twin-guitar/electronics + drum trio featuring short spastic pieces
Sonic Circuits, Wash DC – April 7
LaunchPad, NYC – April 14
more dates tba
Emily Hay, Amy DeNio, Brad Dutz and LM @ Eagle Rock Open Gate Series, Los Angeles Jan 8, 2012. I showed the gang one of my microdecibel Deconstructing Blues series scores just before we went on. No rehearsal!
I hope to finish the series and record this properly with them at some point in the next year.
It has been an honor and privilege to know, record and perform with Richard Lainhart, an amazing musician, sound sculptor and human being.
Richard and I met in late 2009 in NYC at an “experimental” music curation that we were both participating in. His sound and composition esthetic overwhelmed me and I felt an immediate connection with it. It was a language I understood. He was kind enough to allow me to sit in with him at a later performance date, Richard with his Buchla modular synth and Hakken Contiuum controller setup and myself on prepared lap steel guitar and effects. We soon thereafter began to record sessions at his home studio, generating enough material which I hope to edit, master and have released in 2012.
Richard and I performed together again on several occasions in 2011. At our last show together, December 11 in Brooklyn, Richard reminded me that I was the only person, other than himself, to perform his Orchestra of the Future improvised live score to his History of the Future film (an assemblage of Prelinger Film Archive material) more than once – as it was his intention to have as many new players be a part as possible.
Thank you, Richard for your sonic legacy and big heart.
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.
There have been many requests to post my version of the legendary cassette tape of out-takes that has circulated amongst touring musicians for many, many years. This one has a few additions including, Cone Stole Fox, a unique studio outtake from Dave Meyers (legendary Aces guitarist/bassist/bluesman) that you won’t find anywhere else: