is a vocal artist and poet who’s first CD, “Being Visited” was released on the Knitting Factory label in 1997. NY Dj Vin Scelsa called it “By turns, mysterious, seductive, surreal and spacy.”
She first started working with the Jazz Passengers, co-writing a song with Roy Nathanson for the “In Love” CD on the Windham Hill/High Street label, co-produced by Hal Willner. In the mid 90’s she had an avant-rock band called, “Fish Pistol” with slide guitarist wizard Dave Tronzo, bassist Brad Jones, and various drummers including Ben Perowsky. The band played many downtown NYC clubs like Fez and the Mercury Lounge. She’s also sat in with the bands “Sex Mob” and collaborated with Jim Pugliese of “Soultronix”.
She created an original arrangement of Marc Bolan’s “Cosmic Dancer” for John Zorn’s Tzadik label in 1999. Returning to Boston in 2001, Lo collaborated with gospel/jazz pianist Geoffrey Dana Hicks and guitarist Mike Melee on a jazz/blues CD called, “Spell on You” after the Screaming Jay Hawkins tune featured on the CD. She performed in the Acton Jazz Cafe, The House of Blues, Squawk coffehouse and Scullers among other venues. Also, in Boston, her first poetry chapbook, “Hot Rain” was released on Ibbetson St. Press. In 2009 a 70 page prose-poem called “Sarasota VII” was published by Cervena Barva Press.
Her has been nominated for three Pushcart prizes and she has read extensively in the Boston area In 2010, her second poetry chapbook “Terrible Baubles” was released on Propaganda Press and now her third CD of the same title has been released on the Studio 234 label, a collaboration with pianist Eric Zinman and cellist Jane Wang. In this latest CD, a collection of seven songs and five spoken word pieces, the trio improvises , as well as performing composed works, some of which are both spoken and sung by Galluccio. The CD grew out of musicalizing texts from the poems in “Terrible Baubles” with the addition of several other songs. It is the most eclectic, experimental CD to date ranging from pop anthems to textural pieces. Eric and Lo have been collaborating in Boston since 2009 and played at the Lylipad, Squawk and the Outpost.
Lo continues to evolve as a vocalist and a poet and has studied at the Berklee School of Music, Harvard College and the Goodman School of Drama.
Lo Galluccio | Eric Zinman | Jane Wang
All compositions by the ensemble, except where indicated. Produced by studio234 – 2012
Tracklist: 1. Terrible Baubles [2:32] 2. Grief as Frenzy [3:50] 3. Center of Gravity [3:18] 4. Adam [1:37] 5. 5 AM Ritual [2:20] 6. Three Dollar Poem [1:00] 7. I Had a True Love [3:00] 8. My Brother, Alaska [5:11] 9. Birthday [2:50] 10. Queen of Mars [4:47] 11. Roses Luscious Tight [1:10] 12. Grand Failed Experiment [3:56]
This is an eclectic record
because we’ve tried to honor the texts and lyrics through different means of composition, including instant playing, scored pieces and spoken word set to musical landscapes. Many of these pieces were inspired by someone I loved a great deal, though they’re not convetional love songs. I’ve tried to find voices for each piece that honor the varity presented. Eric and Jane provided a very strong and compelling musical background and this record is a true collaboration between me and them. You will probably like some pieces more than others depending on your musical taste, but like a chest full of jewelry – one might say baubles – we’ve tried to give you a bit of gold, a bit of bronze inlaid with turquois, plastic that dangles and something maybe sharp and edgy out of weird glass. Everything has some kind of decorative pattern whether it sounds like a Celtic ballad or a blues. We didn’t stick to one musical color or form although the brilliant instrumentation helps to unify the collection. I’d like to dedicate 5 AM Ritual and Grand Failed Experiment to voices I had called “the geniuses” – treacherous muses. Thanks also to all our Kickstarter backers without whom this record would not have been possible. We are most grateful to you all. — Lo Galluccio
Sometimes, it is not easy for musicians
to put poetry to music or for the poet, to put words to music. This is not the case with “Terrible Baubles.” The poet, Lo Galluccio, who is also a singer with an avant-garde flair, brings her poems to life. She intertwines her words with the musicians who sometimes improvise and other times play composed music. They all collaborate so well together that this drives them to new heights and they just soar.
Lo Galluccio reads her poetry, sings, chants, speaks on this CD with guts, emotion, tenderness, and does so with a blues style voice. Her poems are surreal, edgy, playful, and go where you don’t expect them to. Some of my favorite lines from her chapbook and on this CD are: “Silver fish in black waves keep secrets/gesturing with fins” from “Center of Gravity”. “Like dark birds/the grass at my left wrist/is pulled into the dream” from “Three Dollar Poem”. The music in “Three Dollar Poem” sounds improvised. The instruments paint the picture and intensify as the words and singer does. Another I liked is “Someone offers their eyes/and I must find a cake of stones/to give” from “Birthday”. This song provides a break from the rest of the CD with a gentler melody.
Lo Galluccio has collaborated with Eric Zinman several times. He plays piano, percussion, keyboard, and does voice on this CD. He has been in the Boston/NYC scene for years. Jane Wang is a composer, music improviser and is a performance and installation artist. With these two musicians in Lo Galluccio’s corner, she can do no wrong. Even if she didn’t have these musicians, she still could do no wrong. She is that good.
Jane Wangs cello in “I Had a True Love” is beautiful. The song and mood blends well and all of them compliment each other. This song is more pop sounding with a more lyrical melody. On the song “Adam”, the prominent music introduces each chanted phrase with intermittent cymbals. In “Grief as Frenzy”, the piano accompanies the singer with a repetitive motif in the beginning and the end. The percussion plays varied rhythms and Lo’s wide vocal range is extended with the notes she sings. The music and vocals climax in the middle section where it breaks the repetitive movement and the music range expands into a freer sound. This piece highlights the cellist rich lyrical tone. When Lo and Eric sang in “Grand Failed Experiment”, it was brilliantly done with both cello and percussion musically having a dialogue with each other.
This CD has a good sense of ensemble and the instruments compliment the singer. I highly recommend this CD. Order it, you will love it! This is Lo Galluccio’s third CD. Her first two are “Spell on You” and “Being Visited”. For more information about these artists, please check out their websites. — Gloria Mindock of Cervena Barva Press
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
Lo Galluccio | Miki Navazio | Brad Jones | Michael Evans |
Lo Galluccio – all vocals & 4-track vocals, percussion on These Diamonds Are My Very, Casio on Mozart’s Wife | Miki Navazio – electric guitar | Brad Jones – upright bass | Michael Evans – drums & percussion | Ej Rodriguez – percussion on Creamsplit | Satoshi Takeishi – percussion on Black Sun & These Diamonds Are My Very | Chris Bowers – electric bass on Mozart’s Wife | Khartik Swaminathan – synthesizer violin on Mozart’s Wife | Roy Nathanson – soprano saxophone on Mozart’s Wife & Queen Of Mars
Produced by Lo (Laurie) Galluccio with Brett Heinz and Brian Ales. Engineered by Brett Heinz and Brian Ales. Mixed by Brett Heinz, Lo (Laurie) Galluccio and Brian Ales. Executive producer: Michael Dorf. Associated producer: Mark Perlson. Designed by Liz Leggett. Recorded at The Knitting Factory Studio, Mastered at The Knitting Factory by James McLean.
Tracklist: 1. Creamsplit 2. These Diamonds Are My Very 3. Black Sun 4. Smog In Athens Part I. 5. Smog In Athens Part II. (With Leda’s Swan) 6. You Go To My Head 7. Pale Blue Eyes 8. Mona Lisa / Mozart’s Wife 9. Being Visited 10. Queen Of Mars
THESE ARE ELEGIES MOSTLY. A ghost dance for my father and horses. I wrote Being Visited (the poem) in a Chelsea sublet in 1993. The ballads in the middle of the record were added after live gig’s at cbgb’s gallery.— Lo Galluccio
Being Visited is by turns mysterious
seductive, surreal and spacy. It quivers in my ears like the soundtrack to a long lost Jim Jarmusch movie. Take equal parts Jimi Hendrix, Patti Smith, James Joyce, Nat King Cole, Lou Reed, Horace Silver, Rickie Lee Jones, and John Lurie –shake them all together downtown at 3 a.m. on a rainy night and that’s kind of what Lo Galluccio sounds like. When I play Being Visited on my radio show, the airwaves shimmer.” — VIN SCELSA Idiot’s Delight, WFUV-FM/New York
The Beauty of Chaos
The title “Being Visited,” at first glance, suggests the chance for a brief encounter with the supernatural. In truth, what Lo Galluccio shares with the listener is something far from fleeting and literally overflowing with musicality and substance. The album summons moments of Tom Waits, Diamanda Galas, and Meryn Caydell. It drifts amongst the beat poets, yet manifests something totally original when it’s through, a deft commingling of influence and experience.
Lo Galluccio’s voice is compelling. Her manic and sultry vocals wrap melodies around the jazzy arrangements, at different moments flowing through, twisting within, and then dissecting the music. It’s a beautiful example of harnessed chaos; magical at times and soothingly haunting.
The lyrically surreal verses are delivered with sly shyness, punctuated by percussion-heavy rhythms which draw you in, giving you just enough information to get you through each song. It’s an intelligent approach that allows Lo to play with the listener and guide him/her in several directions at once. Even a classic song like the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” is easily bent to her will without compromising the integrity of the original. There’s a definite power to her voice which becomes even more evident when she holds it back, whispering her stories of insanity, pain, confusion, celebration, and healing. Lo Galluccio truly has a poet’s soul and a mind worthy of exploration. I would seek out her second CD “Spell On You” and her book of poetry “Hot Rain” as well, to further her myth.
This woman if nothing else has a great voice. But there is alot more. Her lyrics are nearly haunting but I love thier captivating nature that makes you hang on them and wonder what the message will be and when it will be revealed. The music is really cool yet not domineering over the poetic nature of the vocals. If you love droning casually self-destuctive yet confidently thrilled life-affirmations like I do then I recommend this album. It’s refreshingly raw and not too predictable. — Bill Shafer
With her concept album “Being Visited”
multi-talented singer, actress, poet and memoirist Lo Galluccio delivers a velvet pile driver of an offering. In this effort, Galluccio adopts the persona of the “Queen from Mars”—a pink haired, siren-like waif who, like Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” (sans androgyny), is a visitor come to observe our world.
From the first notes of the flagship tune Creamsplit we make contact with the Queen’s world of hip logic. A world infused with funky congas and a bass line tight enough to slit wrists. This kind of scaled down instrumentation permeates Galluccio’s “Being Visited” (a welcome change in an era of over-produced music projects). It would be a mistake, however, to assume in this case, simple instrumentation equals anorexic sound. For each song on “Being Visited” is made much more complex when Galluccio’s voice begins snaking between its rhythmic dialectic and straddling the gap between song and sense.
Galluccio’s voice is breathy as blown incense smoke and sassy as an adolescent girl just getting hip to what her hips can do. Galluccio’s Queen speaks in riddle and metaphor and often weds sharp, clear imagery to those more hidden and obscure. Again, take the song Creamsplit:
“Falsity stuck in my teeth like sourdough
There is nothing to creep up my leg but the condor”
Galluccio’s “Being Visited” is replete with such jarring juxtapositions and demanding tandems that caress the mind with a heightened view of the familiar, then slaps it silly with the fantastic and surreal. It is as though this is the only way the Queen from Mars can communicate with us: she has to translate her thoughts into our language–– and the result is highly charged poetry.
The next track These Diamonds are my Very, features Galluccio’s potent poetry sandwiched between arrhythmic percussion and Galluccio’s own sinewy voice overlain electronically. Underneath it all is Galluccio’s chanting of “These diamonds are my very teeth”. This streamline piece of hypnotica places Galluccio somewhere between Sybil and chanteuse.
Then we are confronted with the dark light of Black Sun. An ode to both Eros and Thanatos that asks us to find ourselves, along with the Queen from Mars, “in the midst of the grave, the grapevine and the rose combined.” This muscular tune drips with its Galluccio’s own poetic duende, even as she nods respectfully (as she does several times throughout “Being Visited”) to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.
Smog in Athens I and Smog in Athens II (with Leda’s Swan) complete the first leg of the Queen from Mars’ musical/poetic visitation. Part I invades the head with a cavalcade of voices as an electronic metronome sets an urgent tone that quickens to critical upon entering part II, where the mind is torn between Galluccio’s singing, the metronome, and the simple yet effective drum beat and guitar riffs pushing toward a retro-rock, head-pumping rush. This then trails off gracefully into the Queen cooing us into the next track You go to my Head–– the vintage jazz ballad by Tin Pan Alley lyricist Haven Gillespie. Galluccio wields this standard like an axe in a trembling fist (You never know where it’s going to come down, but when it does––something’s gonna bleed).
But Galluccio’s Queen from Mars doesn’t only wish to slam us against walls and drop us into dark pits (though she enjoys this and I mind it not at all) she also wants to seduce. And she does so with the beautifully delivered Lou Reed classic “Pale Blue Eyes”. In this, Galluccio let’s the Queen’s softer voice (she has many) take the lead in this dance. Galluccio does Lou Reed honor with her airy texturing and expert phrasing.
In the track Mona Lisa/Mozart’s Wife Galluccio’s Queen conjures images of both eternal muse and forgotten woman. As Mozart’s wife she scolds the composer for being “drunk…wet and full of weird chamber music.” At the end of this Galluccio’s Queen (as Mozart’s wife) recognizes Mona Lisa as sister by asking (via the Evans and Livingston lyric) “Are you warm, are you real Mona Lisa, or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?” In this, it seems the Queen from Mars is also asking herself this question. She is, like the Mona Lisa, the perpetual observer forever out of reach.
Next, we come to the eerie title track “Being Visited”. The poetry is, of course, brilliant––and the music brooding and broad. It is, perhaps, something Blake or Bosch might have played to get into the mood to paint. This track is part prayer, part exorcism. To listen to it is to hear the perturbation of dark wings smelling of apples and ash (I love this song).
Finally, we arrive at the dreamy, pulsating Queen of Mars. Interesting that on this track the Queen herself doesn’t speak, but is instead spoken of. It features the sardonic voice of a woman who “accepts” that her lover has been seduced by the Queen of Mars. She sings:
“I can understand why you had an affair with he Queen of Mars.
She’s got pink hair and her teeth are sharp.
You left earth to kiss her and I bear the scars.”
This lyric may as well say to a philandering man: “Yeah, baby, it’s cool. Don’t worry about it. Just go to sleep, now.” Were I her cheating lover I would sleep with one eye open clutching a knife.
This track (like Mona Lisa/Mozart’s Wife) features saxophonist extraordinaire Roy Nathanson of the Jazz Passengers. Nathanson, who has worked with such luminaries as Debbie Harry and Elvis Costello is always the consummate professional. He complements Galluccio’s disorienting, often forbidding lyrics with sparse licks, rhythm, attitude and atmosphere. Also accompanying Galluccio on this album are Miki Navazio on electric guitar, Brad Jones on upright bass, Michael Evans on drums and percussion and a host of other heavy hitters: EJ Rodriguez, Satoshi Takeishi, Chris Bowers, and Khartik Swaminathan.
Lo Galluccio’s “Being Visited” fuses well-wrought poetry, spoken word, song, jazz, rock and funky pop with serious artistry, intellect and an eclectic vision unlike any I have heard.
Don’t buy this album if you need a little mood music to play while you tend other duties (you will only be cheating yourself). But if you are able to carve out 45 minutes to journey with Galluccio’s “Being Visited” it will be a great musical and poetic odyssey. — Regie O’Hare Gibson
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)