The Lucid
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The Lucid

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Frequenters of the coffeehouse scene should be familiar with Dominic Lavoie, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter. He’s gathered together guitarist Mike Chasse, bassist Nate Cyr, and drummer Chuck Gagne to form Dominic and the Lucid, who released this eight-song disc September 17.

Lavoie and company have done something difficult in carving out a fairly unique sound that dabbles in everything from ’60s psychedelia to ’70s lounge to contemporary jam and brit-pop.

The short instrumental opening, "St. David," even recalls the post-rock supergroup the Sea and Cake with its heavy-on-the-toms drumline and spacey guitar duel, which flow nicely into "Home" after an unexpected all-stop. "King Will Call" features a loungey swing paired with a Blind Faith guitar sound, a lot like the tenor PSC are going for on Axis I. Plus, Lavoie’s lyrics have an admirable poetic quality: "And in the cold dead of winter/ You’re known for your trigger and your gall/ You’ll wish the life you lived had meant something/ Cause sooner or later what matters is the king will call."

The only thing holding this band back is time. Lavoie’s falsetto needs work, but his voice is basically good enough to pull it off. The rhythm section is tight, but could be more subtle. Things that might work live — the repetition of "screw" in "Sweet Tomorrow" — could be tempered a bit for the album. But, overall, a band that can swing a line like "today was tomorrow of yesterday’s favorite" has lots of potential. - Portland Phoenix


While he still may be from Maine, it's blatantly obvious that he, they, all the towns he and his band are from, will be renowned for birthing this talented act.

Dominic and The Lucid are what some call "the tastiest songwriters around" with complete sincerity and accuracy. "King Will Call" had the audience bouncing their heads and contemplating on lyrics such as, "I've requested a meeting with the king to inquire the location of my wings." The harmonica opening of "45" teased listeners into believing they were going to get a slowdown folksy song; what they received instead was a powerful and evocative masterpiece that could please any audience. The harmonies coupled with the starts and stops of the song brought us along for the ride that was as bumpy and soulful as the inspiration for the song itself.

Their performance at the Big Easy can best be summed up with this question: Everyone gave Maroon 5 a chance, so why not Dominic and The Lucid? Buy their EP "Vinyl Human" at www.dominicandthelucid.com and be proud to say you're a fan, because after one listen you'll surely be singing their tune. - IT Magazine


The Living Wage

I had a girlfriend once who claimed to experience actual orgasms every time Phish played ..Chalkdust Torture... Without trying to vouch for that, I can at least confirm that the song once made her pass out on her feet (it was probably the song).

This may be hyperbole, to which I can admittedly be prone, but Dominic and the Lucid have at least a couple songs likely to inspire similar reactions in certain fans. They similarly understand, at least, the tension-building dynamic, the tease-and-deliver, that jam bands especially employ to hook fans and instill total emotional investment. Over the course of the past two years, since the band announced their presence on the Portland scene with an eight-song EP, Vinyl Human, they have refined their live show to the point where nearly every local musician has an appreciation for both their building jams and their impeccable feel for song selection and show pacing.

What..s really impressive is their ability to replicate that on their debut full-length, Waging the Wage, released this past Halloween Tuesday and celebrated this weekend at the Big Easy. The disc is excellently paced, shows impressive variety in tone and composition, and generally does its best to put on a good show.

This showmanship comes at the expense of a couple tracks: Though the disc might read 12 songs, two of them, the opener and ..Waiting Line (Ass Pennies),.. aren..t so much songs as mood setters. Still, without the haunting melodian in ..Human Race Stair Case,.. there wouldn..t be such a heavy sense of deja vu with the harmonica in the finishing ..45... Just as the human eye is drawn to symmetry, everybody likes a good bookend. ..Home,.. like ..45.. and ..King Will Call.. a holdover from the 2004 EP, starts and finishes with a techno-style drum break from Chuck Gagne, surrounding a Coldplay-like soul-searcher built around a nifty couplet: ..Home is where the heart is, she said to me/The shifting of my eyes, said, ..I disagree, completely.....

One thing I wasn..t fond of from the last disc was frontman Dominic Lavoie..s frequent forays into falsetto territory, also a la Chris Martin, but on ..Home.. and elsewhere on the new release, Lavoie uses the high register to much better effect. In the anthemic ..King,.. he punctuates nice phrasing, ..We..ll be together/When the new spring does fall/and in the cold dead of winter ... you..ll wish the life you..d led had meant something,.. with a particularly piercing effort.

Enough with the old stuff, though; on to the standouts. ..Poor Boy.. is an early-..90s-flavored gem, Lavoie doing his best late-career Simon LeBon and accompanying himself with nearly Flamenco guitar. The chorus pops with electricity, ..It..s you poor boy, poor boy it..s you/Poor boy today, you..ll be for sure, sure/You..ll be the first one who cries... The repetition is enough to make you feel punch drunk, but is followed quickly by a soothingly simple guitar break, mostly succeeding because of its warm tone. The jam that fills the last minute of the song is a clear crowd-pleaser and has the potential to sprawl out into half a set..s worth of material.

..Summer Yawns.. features a throaty low guitar chunk in the background, and threatens to evolve into a simple rocker, but then there..s this cool pairing of the vocals and the guitar in a run up and down the octave, just enough of a change-up to completely alter the face of the song. Lavoie here shows off his psychedelic leanings: ..Weekend worlds, see sun girls/Free falling love yous/Makeup washed off, beer eyes gone, leave the room/Neither one of you has more to prove... Just as you..re wondering if that makes sense or not, Lavoie notes that ..freedom isn..t doing a damn thing,.. showing he has more than one thing in common with Janis Joplin.

Closer to home, Lavoie cops Spencer Albee..s delivery in ..Lovely Lonely,.. with As Fast As-style 4/4 guitar chords bouncing off Nate Cyr..s bass-line to boot, but the Lucid change things up (tempo, delivery, time signature) more often than As Fast As are likely to do, releasing some pure pop energy in exchange for a surprise here and there. It..s a different philosophy that depends on a different level of listener investment, something more likely to occur in a live show than with a first spin of a disc.

Yes, like much of this textured album, enhanced by the engineering of local studio vets Jack Murray and Jim Begley and the mixing of Jon Wyman, it..s a slow build. It might be listen four or five before you appreciate Cartwright Thompson..s pedal steel on ..A Killer You Kissed in the Dark;.. maybe you don..t get unnerved by the giggling girls at the end of ..Lovely Lonely.. until you put on the headphones.

It..s almost enough to make you wonder if, just like a good band..s live show, it isn..t a little bit different every time. - Sam Pfeifle


Discography

Garlands for The Conqueror - LP (coming Fall, 2010)

Season of The Sun - LP (2008)

Waging the Wage - LP (2006)

Vinyl Human - EP (2004)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

A four piece Rock-Alt-Psychedelic band from Portland, Maine.

Originally from Fort Kent and Madawaska the members relocated from the woods of northern Maine to Portland's eclectic music scene in 2002. Forming The Lucid seven years ago, they've released 3 albums, played hundreds of shows in the North East, and their latest album will be released in the summer of 2010.

The Lucid has been voted Best Pop-Rock Act of 2009 and Best Male Vocalist 2007 in the Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll.  Their albums 'Waging the Wage' and 'Season of The Sun' were featured in the Portland Phoenix's Top 20 Albums of 2006, 2008 lists.

They have opened for an array of headliners (Blind Melon, Sam Roberts Band, Mother Mother, Starlight Mints, Rustic Overtones, Blue Oyster Cult, The Cave Singers, to name a few), headlined the Alive@5 Summer Music Series in Portland's Monument Square, and are yearly features at the Arootsakoostik Festival.
The Lucid will be releasing their next album - tentatively titled Garlands for The Conqueror - in fall of 2010.