If you want a copy of “ShaShaSha,” the new solo album by Dominic Lavoie, you’d better hurry, because he’s only made 200 — all with handmade artwork and packaging. You won’t find it in any record shops; for ordering information, visit Lavoie’s Facebook page.
Lavoie moved to Portland from Madawaska a decade ago, and lives in the city with five other people and a pug named Professor Albert.
If Lavoie’s name rings a bell, it’s for good reason. Not only is he the leader of Dominic and The Lucid, he’s also the first person you see and hear in Maine Academy of Modern Music’s video “Playing for Change.” The song is “Be in Love” from Dominic and the Lucid’s 2008 album “Season of the Sun,” and it’s one of the catchiest, sing-along-inducing things you’ll hear. In fact, if you haven’t seen this video yet, make it a priority: tinyurl.com/beinlovesong.
“ShaShaSha” is home to seven originals and a cover of The Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone.” Lavoie’s appreciation and respect for ’70s classic rock, often of the psychedelic persuasion, shine through. During a recent chat with GO he talked all about the new CD, his inspirations and various other things.
Your CD-release show was a couple of weeks ago at One Longfellow Square. How did it go?
The show went well. I was lucky enough to pick and choose musicians in town that I’ve always enjoyed listening to — Dan Capaldi, Kyle Gervais, Pete Genova, Johnny Venom and Scott Mohler — and learn these songs with them. We rehearsed for about three months for the show, even nitpicking the performance, and I’d say we played really well. We recorded the show as well, and I’ll be posting the whole set on YouTube later this month.
What’s happening with Dominic and The Lucid?
We’re still alive. DaTL isn’t the type of band that will ever really be finished; everyone is too close for that. After 10 years of constant gigging, recording and promoting, it does feel pretty good to take time and refocus, though. We were kids when we started, and now we’re burly men-children, so we’re adjusting. Maybe we’ll start recording this winter.
Where and when did you record “ShaShaSha”?
I started the basic tracks to “ShaShaSha” shortly after The Lucid put out our last record, February of 2011. I wanted to practice using some recording gear I’d bought, and continue working on music I had tucked away. Most of “ShaShaSha” was recorded in a closet at a house I’m renting; eventually it spilled over to Shabbey Load, our rehearsal space/studio. Over the course of the project, the songs started sounding better, so in that regard, I consider the project a success.
Why “ShaShaSha”? Where did that come from?
“ShaShaSha” doesn’t really mean anything, which is nice. I like titling projects words or phrases that can’t be pinned down, and eventually something arbitrary, like “ShaShaSha,” takes on its own meaning to me. Now I just hear a cartoon character from the ’40s saying, “Sha Sha Sha!” while smoking a cigar.
Now that it’s out, how are you feeling about it? What was it like making it?
It’s bittersweet. People around me know that every time I’m done with a project like this, something that takes a year and a half of my life, I always feel depressed afterwards. It’s an empty feeling because all that work is done. I have three or four other irons in the fire, so this time around, I’m quickly jumping to those. I’m happy the package is complete, and I’m proud of it.
What’s your favorite song on it, and why?
“801 Thrice” is always fresh, because it was the first tune I started and the last I finished. Because it took a year and a half to record, when I hear it, it sounds like someone else did it, and I can get lost in the giant audio collage.
Who do you consider to be some of your most significant influences?
I have to limit the amount of music from other bands I listen too sometimes, because I have the tendency to really love something and then go down that path myself. It’s easy to lose sight of my own tastes that way. The real influences lately are not so much musical, but people around me, close friends, my wife, my dog, Alan Watts and visual artists. Working alone on this record helped me realize that.
How did you get involved with “Playing for Change,” and what inspired the writing of “Be in Love?”
I was approached by Jeff Shaw of the Maine Academy of Modern Music and Tom Kasprzak to see if they could use the song with their “Playing for Change” fundraiser this year, and of course, I said yes. The video is amazing, and there were so many people who made it happen, I’m lucky to be involved. I wrote that tune around 2006, and I honestly don’t remember where I was or how I wrote it. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the political climate, being in two wars, being broke, but being surrounded by people who loved me.
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: