by Gary Lucas
review by Mark McCawley
Artist: Gary Lucas
Genre: Instrumental, Acoustic
Label: Northern Spy Records
Release date: 1 October 2013
Gary Lucas is among that contemporary cadre of post-Zappa guitarists — Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo (to mention a few) — who are as at ease with complex compositions, regular use of dissonance and atonality and polyrhythmic time signatures, as they are with collaborations and on-the-spot improvisations. After well over 20 acclaimed solo albums to date, this Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer, soundtrack composer for film and television, and collaborator with such musicians as Captain Beefheart, Lou Reed, John Cale, Nick Cave, John Zorn, Bryan Ferry, Joan Osborne — Lucas shows no sign of slowing down creatively any time soon.
Recreating the President’s Brain
from Zapruder’s Home Movie
from Love’s field,
all roads lead to complete synaptic breakdown
at Main and Houston, sharp 90 degree turn for the worse
one block north along Houston to Elm Street
the cheering crowds
traces of love, traces of American actor fallout
Hiroshima, “Ask not…”
in conversation with
and Mark McCawley
John Wisniewski: When did you begin writing, bart? When did you publish your first writings?
bart plantenga: On any conscious level? It was probably in high school. A kind of prosaic awakening. First in 9th grade, for an assignment where we had to “travel” through South America and keep a diary I did one – times 10. Mine was over 100 pages long, about 3x longer than anyone else’s – I didn’t know I liked writing about places I had [never] been to. I wouldn’t know for another 2 years that that could be a talent – and what I’ve come to realize many years later an extremely underpaid talent at that.
For instance: Did you ever get into a discussion with friends or coworkers about being underpaid, earning a shit wage and such. Well, I have only done this once or twice: tried to estimate how much per hour I earned for an article or book I was paid for. You don’t want to know. THEY don’t want to know. It is like 10 American cents per hour. You point that out and nobody wants to hear it or believe.