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Busy Being Born


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Audio CD, March 17, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

Half guitar hero, half screwball comedian, Lucas offers an antic meditation on Jewishness, childhood, and his Jewish childhood. Highlight: "Sandman," an anti-lullaby proceeding from the excellent assumption that kids sometimes love getting scared witless. -- Entertainment Weekly

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Adon Olom - (Instrumental) 1:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Adon Olom - (Vocal) 3:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Shekhinah 2:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sandman 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sunrise Sunset 2:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Tradition 2:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Mensch In The Moon 5:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Lydia, The Tattooed Lady 2:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Crawlspace 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Dayenu / Dreidel 2:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Fleischerei 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. A Hundred Pounds Of Clay 2:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Seven Faces Of Dr. Lao 2:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Abie The Fishman 2:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Hinay Ma Tov 2:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Theme From Exodus 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Adon Olom - (Acappella) 2:56$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tzadik
  • ASIN: B0000067WL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,697 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BB on December 31, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"He not busy being born is busy dying," Bob Dylan sang more than 35 years ago. Lucas' album is about what we start out with and how we grow. "Adon Alom "(which my 3-year-old daughter loves to sing along with)is about the simultaneous celebration and doubt of God. And it is with similar mixes of doubt and effort and joy that the album proceeds. "Sunrise, Sunset" and "Theme from Exodus" are burnished with sadness, Chico Marx's comic song "Abie the Fishman" becomes a screaming portrait of a soul's self-betrayal, while Groucho's tour de force "Lydia the Tattoed Lady" here is a springy, whirling instrumental that illustrates how humor helps make life bearable. "Busy Being Born" is on Tzadik records, and it can be seen as a portrait of the fortunes of Jews in the 20th century, but it is more than this, it is a deeply felt, musically rich and profoundly complex musical portrait of the human condition. Don't let my ponderous words fool you: this is beautiful music, with many joyful, even hilarious moments . . . but is as emotionally mixed as our lives. For me, this is the best guitar album ever, and overall as important as any music recorded in our slice of the 20th-century.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"FIVE STARS...HUMOR, FEAR AND VIRTUOSITY...A BLAZING SONIC RIP...in theory it's a children's album, but some of these 17 pieces will give little ones nightmares - but it'll thrill anyone who loves inspired guitar virtuosity in the service of wildly creative compositions - especially 'Sandman,' which progresses from a prettily charming figure to a deep, dark din...some of the more charming tunes blend Jewish folklore with memories from Lucas' own childhood...there's also a streak of Delta blues running through the album; it surfaces most dramatically in the ravishing 'Shekhinah,' an instrumental that unites the sound of deep Mississippi and the female spiritual energy of the Kabala...Lucas' unrestricted, intelligent command of acoustic, National steel and electric guitars demands constant attention." TOWER PULSE/BOSTON PHOENIX, 8/98
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jl Metcalf on March 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album generously dishes out doses of humor, terror, beauty, tradition, and just plain extraordinary music. "Shekhinah" is quite innocently one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed. The acoustic guitar reaches out with its phantasmagoric notes to hurl sweet little kisses in the fortunate listeners' ears. Its harmonic energy is completely irresistible and contagious and could melt a snowman's heart in the arctic.
"Sandman" is such a delightfully devious little secret of a tune. It starts out teasing that it's a lullaby and gradually gives hints of its true identity until the monster is suddenly unleashed. Never has it been so thrilling to be terrorized!
"Sunrise, Sunset," was one of the first songs played by the artist that I ever heard, and I remember being completely floored by his complete manipulation of the guitar. Every note is executed as a complete symphony within itself. The guitar isn't played; it is sung. To say beautifully is an understatement.
The melody of "The Mensch in the Moon" is taken from the score that Gary Lucas and Walter Horn composed for the live accompaniment to the 1921 German Expressionist film, "The Golem." Here, the exquisite tune is paired with very capable lyrics that make me wish this song were around when I was small. Think if the Munsters were Jewish - Herman and Lily could only dream they had a song this cool. The tune is like that of the Pied Piper: unabandoned contagion. Totally groovy, funky, psychedelic - probably best not to listen to this while operating a motor vehicle unless you want to risk getting arrested for DUI - driving under the influence of Gary Lucas.
"Lydia the Tattooed Lady" is performed here as I've never heard it and probably never will.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Switching from blazing national steel guitar performances to madcap originals on which he sings, Gary Lucas delivers an instant classic with sacred, childlike, folksy grooves that command repeated listenings for many times to come. Personal favorites are Sandman, Lydia, Sunrise and Crawlspace.
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