Lounge Lizards - C/D

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Curious to hear your thoughts on Lurie & Co--I haven't put on anything by them in a while, but I remember liking the self-titled one and Voice of Chunk.

slutsky (slutsky), Wednesday, 23 April 2003 02:23 (nineteen years ago) link

The first one is classic, don't know 'bout the rest. I love "Au Contraire Arto."

hstencil, Wednesday, 23 April 2003 02:30 (nineteen years ago) link

I have been meaning to check out their older stuff, but Queen of All Ears is just fantastic. I think it's a really fresh approach, jazz instrumentation and sound, everything's pretty composed and the tunes are generally multi-sectional and narrative. The cello player and Steven Bernstein's slide trumpet make it sound especially cool.

Also, 'Yak' is one of the funniest things I have heard evah.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 23 April 2003 02:31 (nineteen years ago) link

three months pass...
More! Voice Of Chunk is good, and parts of the first one, minus the itchy keyboard sounds.

I also quite like the Marvin Pontiac CD that Lurie did.

Fishing With John...c/d?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 18 August 2003 16:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Pretty funny stuff, I guess.

s1utsky (slutsky), Monday, 18 August 2003 16:48 (eighteen years ago) link

Tom Waits was like an ADD kid.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 18 August 2003 16:53 (eighteen years ago) link

TBC - "Skiing With Slutsky?".

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 18 August 2003 16:54 (eighteen years ago) link


s1utsky (slutsky), Monday, 18 August 2003 17:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh god, the Willem daFoe episode was genius.

And for all of Tom Waits' manly-man-ness, he's not a very outdoorsy guy. At all.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 18 August 2003 17:47 (eighteen years ago) link

all of Tom Waits' manly-man-ness


s1utsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 02:06 (eighteen years ago) link

The whole gruff-voiced, world weary, hard drinking and smoking, train-hopping hanging out with hobos persona he puts on. Clearly he's an urban creature though, no camping or hiking for Tom.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 12:18 (eighteen years ago) link

six years pass...

Nothing against Fishing with John or anything, but this and The Lounge Lizards? is a pretty lame showing for these guys.

I was always into the stammering Live 79-81 myself with Arto -- title track to Big Heart: Live In Japan is a beautiful thing as well.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 13 December 2009 05:26 (twelve years ago) link

The first two Golden Palaminos albums with Arto haven't been mentioned much as well. But according to the ilx search there are some people who have posted their love for those albums.

xp I haven't heard that Lounge Lizards album

I'm losing my Vitamin C (CaptainLorax), Sunday, 13 December 2009 06:37 (twelve years ago) link

I was very much into this scene for a while at the beginning of college -- the groups were definitely linked in my mind. I remember reading a really interesting article somewhere (Downbeat?) about how the first generation of the Golden Palominos with the two-bass setup (including Jamaaldeen Tacuma) was way too ambitious to last more than a few gigs. And it didn't. I think Arto may well have left the LL for the GP...

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 13 December 2009 19:35 (twelve years ago) link

eight months pass...

only this teaser is online, but the current new yorker has a pretty astounding article about lurie's whole weird life the last 10 years.

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 16:58 (twelve years ago) link

ORLY? I will buy this New Yorker. I still think Lurie/Lizards have done a lot of great music.

life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:05 (twelve years ago) link

yeah, really weird article, both parties involved end up coming off as pretty o_O

congratulations (n/a), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:08 (twelve years ago) link

srs they are both on some high school shit it's wack

johnny crunch, Friday, 13 August 2010 17:20 (twelve years ago) link

lol @ "on some high school shit"

life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:21 (twelve years ago) link

Would somebody care to sum up the article in a little more detail?

life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:21 (twelve years ago) link

In more detail than the abstract?

jaymc, Friday, 13 August 2010 17:24 (twelve years ago) link

lurie befriends up-and-coming artist, they're tight bros for years (even as lurie's having all sorts of bizarro health problems), then things get real twitchy over a tv pilot the up-and-comer is shooting, and next thing you know lurie's convinced duded intends to kill him and has spent the last few years flying all over the world and living basically in hiding from the guy -- who has not exactly helped matters by continually cyberstalking lurie, even though he says he just wants to talk to him.

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:25 (twelve years ago) link

(lurie has repeatedly contacted police, who say there's no real threat there, and even hired a high-dollar private eye to stalk the other guy in return, but the private eye also ended up thinking lurie is pretty much just paranoid.)

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:26 (twelve years ago) link

what do you think is really going on here

life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:27 (twelve years ago) link

and on the side, lurie not surprisingly shits all over former friends and scenesters: "Jim Jarmusch, David Byrne, Keith Haring -- all the bad ones got ahead, all the apple-for-the-teacher lightweights."

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:28 (twelve years ago) link

it's hard to say! the article did make me want to see some of his current painting, he's apparently doing good stuff.

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:29 (twelve years ago) link

... while living in flea's guest house ...

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:29 (twelve years ago) link

yea it's somewhat compelling cuz it's so weird. neither of them come off as mature or emotionally healthy ppl

johnny crunch, Friday, 13 August 2010 17:30 (twelve years ago) link

I like Lurie's paintings they're funny, sort of like a (somewhat) prettied-up Shrigley

life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:31 (twelve years ago) link

This is the other guy:

What's really fascinating is how concise the episode is that causes everything to spin apart between these two best friends...Lurie is sitting opposite for his portrait for just a few hours years and years of neuroses and jealousies collapse into that space like it's a black hole.

Hadrian VIII, Friday, 13 August 2010 17:32 (twelve years ago) link

Title "First You Blow Us, Then We'll let You Go" haha


life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:33 (twelve years ago) link

ugh xpost, I mean and in that short time all those feelings collapse into the space between them.

Hadrian VIII, Friday, 13 August 2010 17:34 (twelve years ago) link

i like when lurie reaches under his bed for his cellphone and accidentally cuts his finger on the machete he keeps there in case the guy somehow finds him and attacks him in the middle of the night.

a tenth level which features a single castle (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:40 (twelve years ago) link


Hadrian VIII, Friday, 13 August 2010 17:48 (twelve years ago) link


life behind bras (admrl), Friday, 13 August 2010 17:52 (twelve years ago) link

Isn't this largely the plot of that Fishing With John Lurie did with Tom Waits?

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 13 August 2010 18:03 (twelve years ago) link

sorta. just w/ added facebook stalking/etiquette issues & debate over how much of the roy jones/calzaghe fight lurie watched

johnny crunch, Friday, 13 August 2010 18:10 (twelve years ago) link

that article is a great read

weird dude

surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally, Friday, 13 August 2010 18:10 (twelve years ago) link

it actually makes reference to the fishing with john episode, saying that he and tom waits didn't speak after the ep. i thought it was kinda tom's indignant schtick.

baby i know that you think i'm just a lion (schlump), Friday, 13 August 2010 18:18 (twelve years ago) link

Don't forget Lurie's assistant, a Turkish woman who "looks attractively like a female Michael Jackson."

jaymc, Friday, 13 August 2010 18:18 (twelve years ago) link

not even close to the most homoerotic thing in the article, though

surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally, Friday, 13 August 2010 18:21 (twelve years ago) link

Speaking of, I'm straight, but always thought Lurie circa Down By Law was an attractive/interesting looking dude.


All 10 songs permeate the organs (Dan Peterson), Friday, 13 August 2010 18:24 (twelve years ago) link

Doesn't Lydia Lunch describe Lurie as 'human sewage' in Black Dog's No Wave book? No disrespect to her but I'm guessing with the calibre of people she's known over the years, that's hardly a ringing endorsement.

Whatever he's like in real life I love Fishing With John. I'm disappointed to find out the Tom Waits thing was real. It's such a hilarious bit of TV. "Do you think they've got goat fish?", "They don't have goat fish here Tom." "What about cheese fish?"

Duran (Doran), Friday, 13 August 2010 18:25 (twelve years ago) link

i think this guy is an obnoxious prick who is clearly delusional. just my two cents. also fuck jim jarmusch moveis

surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally, Friday, 13 August 2010 18:29 (twelve years ago) link

nah I'll always have some time for both. Jarmusch quite probably will never do anything good again but he has done enough. Lurie I like although I don't know all of his music and I didn't read the article. Was never a huge fan of Fishing With John despite its obvious appeal.

Henry's Hepcat (admrl), Saturday, 14 August 2010 21:57 (twelve years ago) link

just read this today -- weirdness. along with that gil scott heron article last week, the ny-er is covering some seriously wacked out nyc personalities. but however odd he may be, i do love that first lounge lizards record.

tylerw, Saturday, 14 August 2010 22:15 (twelve years ago) link

Tell about Gil Scott Heron

Henry's Hepcat (admrl), Sunday, 15 August 2010 21:08 (twelve years ago) link

Strange piece, yeah. Once someone starts injecting ozone, you pretty much have to write them off.

Mark, Sunday, 15 August 2010 21:59 (twelve years ago) link

Still reading this - can't help but feel like the writer is just getting sucked into Lurie's paranoid delusions and investigating them a little too seriously.

Ground Zero Mostel (Hurting 2), Friday, 20 August 2010 17:33 (eleven years ago) link

the other dude doesn't really do much to make himself seem not-crazy is the thing though

congratulations (n/a), Friday, 20 August 2010 17:35 (eleven years ago) link

I don't know much about Lounge Lizards but I was searching for Marc Ribot videos on YouTube and found this, which is pretty sick despite being only in one stereo channel:


congratulations (n/a), Friday, 20 August 2010 17:36 (eleven years ago) link

i really love 'queen of all ears', i should dig that out

emotional radiohead whatever (Jordan), Friday, 20 August 2010 18:04 (eleven years ago) link

In retrospect he was kind of paranoid about Washington D.C. when I interviewed him in the early '80s at D.C.'s 930 Club. As I recall when I asked him something about coming to D.C. he said he didn't want to live so close to the government. This was shortly after Reagan was elected so it did not seem that unusual. He was not the friendliest interview subject (not that my questions at age 20 or so were that brilliant though).

curmudgeon, Friday, 20 August 2010 21:29 (eleven years ago) link

the other dude doesn't really do much to make himself seem not-crazy is the thing though

^^^this, totally.

diurnal eternal falafel (get bent), Friday, 20 August 2010 21:35 (eleven years ago) link

"just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you" etc

diurnal eternal falafel (get bent), Friday, 20 August 2010 21:35 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

Their greatest contribution to music is clearly:


dlp9001, Monday, 8 November 2010 00:27 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...


John Lurie currently sitting in on trouble's show on FMU; I've only just tuned in so I'm only hearing the music, but they're playing some really nice stuff - something at the mo from a score called African Swim, w/Pontiac-esque guitar

blossom smulch (schlump), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 15:05 (ten years ago) link

this is a great show btw, listen again if you don't catch it

blossom smulch (schlump), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 15:22 (ten years ago) link

five years pass...

Bought the Marvin Pontiac reissue on Record Store Day after having not heard it in years. I used to play it all the time, but it hasn't aged especially well. It's still cool, and I'm glad I got it, but I couldn't get over the fact that a third of these tunes sound like Lurie rapping over RHCP's "Mellowship in B Slinky" (or whatever that one was called). Flea plays on this, right?

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 30 April 2018 18:58 (four years ago) link


Had missed out on Marvin Pontiac till I read this Marc Masters (No wave book writer, sometime Pitchfork contributor) piece on Lurie. Was not wowed on first listen, but Lurie talks about humor in this piece and little kid listeners, so maybe I will give him another chance.

Lurie didn’t mean Pontiac as a hoax, but as an opportunity. “I can’t really sing,” he admits. “I kind of can now, but really couldn’t when I did the first [Pontiac] record, so I needed a mask to give me some footing. Plus, by doing it with a character, it freed me up to make it stranger than I would have with a record under my own name.” ...So it’s a small miracle that a second Marvin Pontiac release, “The Asylum Tapes,” recently turned up on streaming music services. It came with a brief explanation: “Marvin Pontiac was anonymously sent a four-track tape recorder during the years he was held at Esmerelda State Mental Institution. This is what he did with it.” Made by Lurie alone, the album’s 24 short songs are funny, scary and hopeful, and Lurie’s performance on guitar, banjo and vocals is full of life.

curmudgeon, Monday, 30 April 2018 19:20 (four years ago) link

Insensitivity to mental illness! (j/k, sorta)

i’m still stanning (morrisp), Monday, 30 April 2018 19:26 (four years ago) link

I just want to say that John Lurie's return from obscurity to hilarious, big mouthed Tweeter and making appearances at q&a's and stuff has been so wonderful and heartwarming. The man is a great asset to the planet and a brilliant human and painter. We're lucky to have him.

kurt schwitterz, Monday, 30 April 2018 19:41 (four years ago) link

Also that first LL album still blows me away.

kurt schwitterz, Monday, 30 April 2018 19:42 (four years ago) link

Agreed on all of that. I'm a big fan.

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 30 April 2018 21:01 (four years ago) link

Seeing this thread for the first time---I always dug the live set on ROIR and the two albums on Island, haven't heard the others or Lurie solo, just now posted news from Northern Spy re Rainwater reissue (it's on Rolling Reissues)

dow, Monday, 30 April 2018 21:47 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

so happy to have heard the marvin pontiac album playing in the record store the other day. think i'll pick up the LP reissue. the songs are really great !!


budo jeru, Sunday, 11 November 2018 18:59 (three years ago) link

"small car" sounds like classic-era francis bebey (before the finger piano stuff) except in english and more surreal

budo jeru, Sunday, 11 November 2018 19:10 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

where are we talking about painting with john

adam, Monday, 1 February 2021 17:09 (one year ago) link

He Tweets w pix of his paintings sometimes, worth looking for. "Small Cars" is one of his all-time best, though I'm not that crazy about most of the rest of the album, compared to Lounge Lizards.

dow, Monday, 1 February 2021 17:27 (one year ago) link

not as funny as fishing with john but i like it, its fun to just hang out in his vibe for a while. hes kind of the master of the genre of impressionistic shows that dont really have a point. couldnt have been released at a better time too, imo.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Monday, 1 February 2021 17:44 (one year ago) link

I def. dug the first episode when I happened upon it by chance. He looks like the physical embodiment of the pandemic these days.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 1 February 2021 18:04 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Wonder if this will be worth the while?


In the tornado that was downtown New York in the 1980s, John Lurie stood at the vortex. After founding the band The Lounge Lizards with his brother, Evan, in 1979, Lurie quickly became a centrifugal figure in the world of outsider artists, cutting-edge filmmakers, and cultural rebels. Now Lurie vibrantly brings to life the whole wash of 1980s New York as he developed his artistic soul over the course of the decade and came into orbit with all the prominent artists of that time and place, including Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Boris Policeband, and, especially, Jean-Michel Basquiat, the enigmatic prodigy who spent a year sleeping on the floor of Lurie’s East Third Street apartment.

It may feel like Disney World now, but in The History of Bones, the East Village, through Lurie’s clear-eyed reminiscence, comes to teeming, gritty life. The book is full of grime and frank humor—Lurie holds nothing back in this journey to one of the most significant moments in our cultural history, one whose reverberations are still strongly felt today.

History may repeat itself, but the way downtown New York happened in the 1980s will never happen again. Luckily, through this beautiful memoir, we all have a front-row seat.

alan dean impostor (Matt #2), Friday, 25 June 2021 16:11 (one year ago) link

I'm in, anything that lists Boris Policeband among "all the prominent artists of that time and place" can't be all bad.

Position Position, Friday, 25 June 2021 17:17 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

and here it is, described as "a tell-all that settles old accounts and names names"


budo jeru, Thursday, 4 August 2022 14:49 (one week ago) link

Could have sworn that came out years ago. Maybe I'm just thinking of the announcement?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:04 (one week ago) link

Wait, I think it *did* come out a year ago!

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:06 (one week ago) link

It did come out last year, it is pretty good until about the moment the Lounge Lizards play their first show, then it does get into "score-settling" (though I'd say "whining" was a little more accurate) for another 200 pages.

chr1sb3singer, Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:22 (one week ago) link

hmm ... not sure why NYRB is only getting to it a year later

budo jeru, Friday, 5 August 2022 03:12 (one week ago) link

love cintra wilson!

my claim to sexual fame in new york was that i dated someone who broke up with john lurie in order to go out with me. all downhill from there let me tell you.

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 6 August 2022 09:49 (one week ago) link

Loved the book. I recommend.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 6 August 2022 11:01 (one week ago) link

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