Joe Lally, Gary Snyder, new bands and Garr1son
New adventures The guys in innovative Washington D.C. post-punk crew Fugazi placed the band on “indefinite hiatus” a few years ago in order to spend time raising families and to work on various side projects. Bassist Joe Lally moved to Italy, did some experimental music with John Frusciante in Ataxia and put out a couple of solo albums. This Friday, April 24, Lally will actually be performing at Café Coda, and I communicated with him briefly via e-mail from his Italian home before he commenced with his two-month U.S. tour:
Arts DEVO: Were you in Italy during the recent earthquakes? Do you live in an area that was affected?
Joe Lally: No, I live in Rome, but it woke us up at 3:30 that morning because it shook the building. The ceiling light was swinging pretty good. Rome didn’t take the hit, though. L’Aquila was the one that got damaged. Over 300 people died. They’ve detected hundreds of aftershocks; we just felt one last night. It seems odd to mention it so briefly.
What’s the setup on the new tour?
I’m playing bass and singing songs that I wrote since Fugazi took a big break. My friend and new bandmate Elisa Abela from Catania, Sicily, will be playing guitar, and Ricardo Lagomasino from Philadelphia, Pa., will be playing drums.
Any new recordings in the works?
I’m taking my time writing the third record, and we’ll be playing a number of the new songs. It will most likely be the three of us on the next record. I still can’t say for sure yet.
What else are you up to these days musically?
Just came back from playing Australia. Two brothers from a band called Gallucci in Sydney asked me to come play there and they would back me up. They sent some files of them playing my songs, and we worked out a lot of the music that way before I got there. We did 13 shows in 12 days, and it went very well.
Road Trip! Big stuff up the road this weekend, as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder is joined by some musical friends in his little mountain city for a unique performance at Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts. San Francisco’s Galax Quartet have combined some of the lifelong environmentalist’s poems with music, and along with the vocals of contralto Karen Clark, they’ll be putting their cello, viola de gamba and two violins to work for a performance called Far Out Friends (type “far out friends” in Google Video for an excerpt from San Francisco’s Old First Concerts series). The performance happens at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26,. Visit thecenterforthearts.org for info.
New Band Alerts: If you can believe it, there are three new Chico bands debuting in the next couple of weeks. The mysterious (to me, anyway) Dr. Funkenstein and The Zombie Circus will be “ritually disemboweling your favorite pop hits of the ’80s” at Nick’s Nite Club Friday, April 24; favorite Chico singer/songwriter Karen Joy Brown’s new crew of ringers—Christine LaPado on bass and Chris Wenger on guitar, aka The Bona Fides—start up Saturday, April 25, at Café Coda; and last, making an appearance at the One For the Dawgs rap cover night at Lost On Main (May 8), will be a new percussion and horn-heavy crew started by former Agent Meecrob guitarist Kevin Emmons, called Count Funkula.
A big, blubbering thank you … to everyone who came out to the One for the Hand benefit for Christine LaPado at Duffy’s Tavern last weekend—especially the musicians who donated their time and music (and equipment!). It was a warm, happy night, and we even raised a nice chunk of change. And we have one more fun night of music and fundraising still to come on Sunday, April 26, 6:30 p.m., at Café Coda, as the CN&R gathers Aubrey Debauchery, Dan Cohen and many more to rally around Concow musician Garr1son, who lost everything in last summer’s wildfires. Get yourself ready for a rare performance by Garr1son himself by looking him up on CDBaby.com and buying some of his tunes.