Alex Lukashevsky Connexions

[North East Indie; 2006]

Styles: blues, folk, acoustic improv
Others: Devendra Banhart, Bonnie Prince Billy, Joanna Newsom

I would dig seeing Alex Lukashevsky play at Tranzac, his preferred Toronto hangout. His patient, homespun blues seems like an appropriate accompaniment to tired feet, a cold beer, and a smoky bar. Records sometimes have a way of making their constituent songs feel cubed and symmetrical, soldered into a linear order; however, the numbers on Connexions are as loosely collected as the contents of a junk drawer. An air of improvisation whispers about the whole project, dissipating any feeling of rehearsal or stress. onnexions comes off as one of perhaps thirty different realizations of these limber songs. I imagine Lukashevsky in concert winking, smiling, and feigning surprise at his casual mistakes.

His voice is all husk and salt and affected age, like a cracked peanut shell. He uses it to sing peculiar folk mysticisms — "a belly full of nature's constellation," something about tying a bird to someone's finger — that sometimes slide from words into loopy scat. In fact, Lukashevksy seems to pick up lyrics and put them down as he pleases while roaming around the fretbaord, scouting ideas and progressions that may prove interesting. This relaxed, open-minded attitude toward the songs can be charming and delightfully sedative. On the other hand, Alex sometimes lets a song dilate too long, as is the case with "Butterknife Night," where tinkling chimes and a handful of guitar chords wear out their welcome before the nine-minute track has exhausted itself. Despite occasional missteps into monotony, Connexions accepts both its successes and failures with a wry good humor that puts a listener at ease.

1. Sarcastic Blues
2. Angels of Equality
3. I Saved a Junky Once
4. Horsetail Feathers
5. La Donna è Mobile
6. Party in Pain
7. Innocent Blues
8. Terror of Compassion
9. Butterknife Night
10. I Gotta Right
11. In a Milky Way

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