Saturday, June 23, 2007

Loude Sing Cuckoo

Birthday greeting from Nulsh | Click to enlarge

Beautiful blue sunny skies abounding this Saturday morning over the West Village, sorry I've been so remiss lately in writing this blog but have had very little time of late (I AM A WORKAHOLIC), lessee...well, overall it's been a week of pretty good news despite pang of momentary birthday blues on Wed. June 20th (if only for a moment--it was all gravy that evening at Cafe Loup, surrounded by a circle of 10 dear friends Kenny Hurwitz, Bob Strano, Ernie Brooks and his wife Delphine, Shaista and Gus and Sarah Husain, and Richard Porton) (yep, was born on the last day of spring--which may well account for my eternal sense of optimism)...the new Wild Rumpus 12 inch single with DJ Cosmo is sold-out everywhere, Cosmo is re-pressing it as we speak, and we got a lovely 4 star review in Time Out New York this week (but why wait for the re-press?--you can go right now to the Itunes "99 cents store", plug 'Wild Rumpus' into the Power Search engine (or just click here), and within a matter of seconds experience Rub 'n Tug's re-mix of "Musical Blaze-Up" in all its "epic, hoedown-in space" glory (so sayeth TONY) in the privacy of your own home--if not your mind!) ... my friend Chris Cornell's new album--and what a diverse and beautiful record it is, I am really honored to have worked on this--just went into the Billboard charts at no. 17 ...and last but not least, a compilation of some of the best songs of my friend and collaborator Jeff Buckley is out to remind the world once again what an utterly unique and gifted artist he was...

Reasons to be cheerful part two: went to a party at the lush panelled environs of Rizzolli Books (one of my favorite NYC hangs, which still retains its flavor of old-world opulence after their move from 5th ave. a while ago) on Tuesday June 12th for Playboy's new Shel Silverstein compilation "Silverstein Around the World", a collection of his travel drawings and cartoons which my pal Mitch Myers edited and wrote the intro for (Mitch is Shel's nephew)...Shel was a true renaissance man, from his bestselling children's books such as "Light in the Attic" to great songs like "A Boy Named Sue" for Johnny Cash and "The Unicorn" for the Irish Rovers, and I always loved his Playboy cartoons ( my Dad got me a subscription around the time of my bar-mitzvah--I only read it for the articles, honest!) (cue "Pictures of Lily" here), and now they're all in one book...Mitch gave a nice appreciation of his uncle, I met some of the cool Playboy editors and artists, Christie Hefner was there and looking splendid, and noshed on the richest, best damn cookies and cakes I've ever had the pleasure to encounter at a press party, pure sybaritic decadence (well it WAS Playboy, after all!)...

then, made it on foot in a driving rain down 5th to the legendary Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center to meet Caroline for the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards (June 12th was Anne Frank's birthday)-- one of which was being given to our friend Margarit Polak's dad Jaap Polak, whose book "Steal a Pencil for Me" (Lion Press), which contained his love letters to his wife from Bergen-Belsen and Westerbork, is an amazing document. Had a really nice reunion with Margarit's husband Harvey Shield, a British ex-pat who leads a fantastic a capella doo-wop group based in LA known as The Mighty Echoes (Jon Rubin of The Rubinoos is also in the fold)--Harvey was the drummer in the legendary UK 60's psych band Episode Six along with Roger Glover and Ian Gillan, later of Deep Purple, and is a very funny and engaging guy...a couple days later Harvey generously sent me mp3's of 2 prized and hard to find doo-wop classics, The Velvetones' 1957 single "Glory of Love" (which contains the unintentionally hilarious spoken-word section where the lead singer hectors his no-account girl-friend with a monologue wherein he declares "I hold in my hand dear 3 letters from the stages of your fine, fine, superfine career", a line later incorporated into Frank Zappa's Ruben and the Jets parody "Later That Night")--and also Vernon Green and the Medallions' awesome "The Letter" which includes the leader's adolescent starry-eyed ramble in the middle containing the lines "let me whisper sweet words of 'pismatology/ and discuss the puppetuse of love"--later misheard by Steve Miller as "the pompatus of love" and used for a line in his song "The Joker", which later became the title of a film) (and let us not forget, also the inspiration for a song 'o mine on my "Evangeline" album, entitled "Apismatisin' "...)...

Last Saturday afternoon Caroline and I went up to Central Park to catch Television's rare reunion set...sadly, Richard Lloyd was down with pneumonia...but Tom played great as did Fred, and of course, Billy glued the whole thing together with his amazing drumming (wait till you hear him on the new Gods and Monsters live dvd/cd, which Jerry Harrison and ET Thorngren just finished mixing...looks like release is being delaying now to early next year...but hell, come and hear us live when we resume shows again in September!)...

Monday night I went over to my neighbor Bruce Kingsley's pad to watch "Hukkle", the visionary 2002 Hungarian art-film by Gyorgy Palfi which manages to instill a sense of dread and foreboding with almost no dialogue, just exquisite close-up vignettes of seemingly placid and normal rural village country life, intense closeups of flora, fauna, food preparation, natural processes both human and industrial--and a hiccupping, or rather hukkling, old man as the recurring mute (except for his rhythm borborygms) link threading all the disparate sequences together--basically the struggle for survival along a food-chain out of balance--nature red/read in tooth and claw--very David Lynchian, very unsettling, basically a meta-murder mystery whose secret is but hinted at and which may or may not have been revealed at the end...Bruce is an online film critic for the society for independent film, and has been holding weekly viewing and film discussion sessions in my building for friends and neighbors--a great idea...Ahhh'll be back...

Tuesday I met my friend the Irish animation whiz and rock photographer Siobhan "Shivers" Mullen and her boyfriend at Comix on West 14th street to catch a set by my friend Ed Hammell, a/k/a Hammell on Trial, who is doing a weekly monday residency there which you should definitely try and catch if you're in the city this month--Ed is a great and unique solo artist/acoustic punk singer/songwriter/ guitar thrasher from my hometown of Syracuse originally who really rocks with very witty and quirky and near-blasphemous songs from the heart about all sorts of things, he's developing a new one-man show entitled "The Terrorism of Everyday Life" (kind of the theme of " Hukkle", come to think of it) which he'll debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this summer...

and on Thursday night Summer Solstice it was Fete de la Musique here and all over the world, originally a French phenomenon and now a global music festival, and in the company of my pal Robert Singerman from the French Music Export Office I went first to L'Orange Bleu bistro at Broome and Crosby with Caroline for a meal (great food!) and met the great French guitarist Sylvain Luc, also a smiling and gracious Jack Lang, the former Minister of Culture under Mitterand, was going to jam with Sylvain but not enough time alas (I hope next time) and then were off in another driving rainstorm to the Highline Ballroom to catch Ayo's debut headlining performance in New York, Ayo is a stunning statuesque German-born female singer/songwriter of Nigerian descent who lives in Paris, and she had a crack band behind her featuring my friend Larry Campbell on guitar and violin--very enjoyable, very soulful, in a kind of jazz/funk Sade-esque confessional mode, she really got the full house going by the end of her set when she jumped on a table out in the audience...afterwards I met Jean-Phillpe Allard who is the head of Universal France, a very nice guy who really made my night by telling me how much he liked my new acoustic song "Little Blue" which I wrote with the ravishing Melissa Mars, another great new French Universal artist--our song closes Melissa's new album "A la recherche de l'amour perdu" (yo Proust!) which is out mid-September...check out melissamars. com, her new album is a sweet and seductive killer (the way I like it)...

and it's just too damn nice a day to write anymore,

for sumer is icumen in (first song written in anglais, circa 1250)




Blogger munchhausen said...

Hi Gary
is it always like that In New York: every time you go somewhere, you meet important people ( some Hefner, some Cornell..), or is this true just for you?

No, seriously, it must be a really good place o live.

Congratulations for the work with Cornell, it's really good music ( for the one with Jeff, i think no billboard chart can quantify the pleasure of hearing it )

P.S: Thanks for the music you post in your site, especially for "Don't Let the Bastards Wear You Down". It is one of those "Good songs for Bad periods", and it helps a lot to change your mood ( obviously that's one of the best things music can do ). The citations of Smoke on the Water, included in it were just a way to make it even funnier?

6/26/2007 6:03 PM  
Blogger Gary Lucas said...

yep, I love New York!

Yes I love the music on Chris' new album--he's such a good songwriter!

Glad you liked "Don't Let the Bastards Wear You Down"! In fact, I was quoting from the Stones' "Satisfaction" in it, not "Smoke on the Water" (but I dig Deep Purple too).

yr pal


6/27/2007 12:32 AM  

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