Compact Discs

Cinefantastique by Gary Lucas — review by Mark McCawley

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Cinefantastique

by Gary Lucas

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

gary-lucas-coverArtist: Gary Lucas
Album: Cinefantastique
Country: USA
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.
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AltrOck / Fading Records Releases (2013) — review by Mark McCawley

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AltrOck / Fading Records Releases (2013)

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

NotAGoodSignCOVERNot a Good Sign is a project by AltrOck/Fading Records and some bands’ members of the label. Marcello Marinone, Paolo «Ske» Botta and Francesco Zago, after a successful collaboration in Yugen and Ske, proposed a new blend of their musical attitudes. The result was an ominous, fascinating sound melting vintage keyboards, powerful guitars and voice, supported by a compelling rhythmic drive. In 2011, Botta and Zago began to write the music, and Zago provided the lyrics. Soon, Gabriele G. Colombi and Alessio Calandriello, from La Coscienza di Zeno, also joined the band. The drummer Martino Malacrida completed the line-up in 2012. In the following two tracks — “The Deafening Sound of the Moon” and “Afraid To Ask” — many will recognize the Old Prog School sound from the 70s, albeit in a modern key, with a pinch of hard-rock and psych. Resonant vocal melodies and lyrics complete the band’s melancholy but colourful imagery:
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New 2013 Releases From AltrOck — review by Mark McCawley

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New 2013 Releases From AltrOck

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

hg_guzzle_it_upArtist: Humble Grumble
Album: Guzzle It Up!
Country: Belgium
Sub Genre: Avant Prog, Jazz-Rock/Fusion
Label: AltrOck
Release date: February 27, 2013

Each time I receive a package from AltrOck I am amazed by not just the variety of alternative music offered by this Italian label — from experimental to avant-jazz, Rock In Opposition to contemporary classical and progressive rock — but by the sheer excellence of the musicianship of the bands as well as the musicians themselves. The new 2013 releases from AltrOck (including one co-released with Fading Records) continues this ongoing tradition of filling their catalog with the best artists of contemporary progressive rock, anti-folk, fusion, avant-classical, avant-jazz, and RIO, nodding both to great musical innovators of the past while reaching forward with innovations of their own.

Humble Grumble is a Belgian band who has built an original sound mixing skilfully and effectively a number of genre – rock, jazz, folk, prog. They follow the great tradition of Belgian alternative bands such as X-Legged Sally, Fukkeduk, Think of One. In their unique style one can easily find complex structures, rhythm intricacies together within an expressly melodic vein. With an inexhaustible ironical attitude, one can hear the influence of early Zappa as well as that Captain Beefheart (circa Trout Mask Replica).
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Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle by Eddie Woods — review by Mark McCawley

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Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle

 

by Eddie Woods

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

Tsunami-of-Love1Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle by Eddie Woods
Barncott Press, Kindle Edition, 2012
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B006TM8UDC, 51pp
Tsunami of Love CD
Amsterdam, Ins and Outs Press, 2007
ISBN/EAN: 978-90-70460-09-9

In the preface to Eddie Woods’ 2011 Barncott Press Kindle edition eBook, Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle, Glasgow writer/anthologist J.N. Reilly says: “I cannot think of a poem similar to ‘Tsunami of Love.’ I doubt there is one; a gaping wound cauterized with such honesty.”

There is, however, one other poetry collection that immediately comes to mind. It’s been thirty-five years since I first read Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Lady’s Man and Eddie Woods’ Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle is the first cycle of poetry since that time that matches Cohen’s collection in terms of the demise of modern love, common-law marriage, sexual desire, and sexual obsession. Both poets deconstruct, reconstruct, criticize, explicate their long, passionate, sexual affairs. Both are by turns tender, despairing, sarcastic, erotic, self-loathing, prosaic and ultimately sublime in their depictions of intense love gone awry. As collections, each certainly does uniquely compliment the other. I cannot think of one without thinking of the other. Indeed, in the annals of poetry and world literature, I know of few collections so closely and intimately related. A connection deserving of further study.
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Guilty of Everything: Herbert Huncke in Amsterdam — review by Mark McCawley

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Guilty of Everything: Herbert Huncke in Amsterdam

 

Reading at Ins & Outs Press

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

Guilty of Everything- Herbert Huncke in Amsterdam“Hunke, whom you’ll see on Times Square, somnolent and alert, sadsweet, dark, beat, just out of jail, martyred, tortured by sidewalks, starved for sex and companionship, open to anything, ready to introduce new worlds with a shrug.”

~ Jack Kerouac, “Now it’s Jazz”, Desolation Angels, Chapter 77.

Hobo, narcotics addict, merchant marine, gay hustler, petty thief, convict, storyteller, writer — Herbert Huncke began living an underground life after dropping out of high school in his sophomore year in Chicago, drawn to the underbelly of city life, and quickly began learning how to support himself as a professional drifter and small time grifter.

An autodidact, and primarily anti-academic, Herbert Huncke, whose lifestyle and easy manner of speaking influenced so many, (eventually famous authors and poets, e.g. Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg) coined the term “beat” to name a generation.
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