If you haven’t yet had the chance to check out the increasingly popular Couch series at Empire Dine & Dance, Sunday would be the ideal moment to start. Couch series forefather Dominic Lavoie will be spinning stories and rarities from his band The Lucid’s archives in the open-mic spirit that the performance space was originally intended for. After a busy, festival-filled summer schedule, catch Lavoie in the intimate setting of his own design. You’ll be glad to catch stripped-down Lucid tunes locally while you still can.

What do you look forward to when playing the couch at Empire? Are there opportunities this setting gives you that other gigs don’t?

The Couch is something I started a few years ago and is now run by John Nels. It was a selfish idea. I just wanted to see my friends play every week and meet new musicians, so I approached Empire with the idea. When I moved to Portland in the early 2000s there were open mics all over, and a lot of those had disappeared. Going to an open mic is a great way to hear new music and try out new songs, so I’m hoping my Couch set will be mostly new songs with a few older songs that The Lucid never got around to recording.

Why is The Lucid renovating a warehouse?

We started renting a 3,000-square-foot space a few weeks ago, and are remodeling right now. It’s called Shabbey Load. We’re going to use the space for rehearsing, recording, jams and just hanging out. Hopefully, by next month, we can rent a few rooms to friends in other bands.

Any clues into what the next record will sound like?

It’s a little early to tell what the new songs will sound like, but since our last record (self-titled, 2011) was really dense and airy, it would be interesting to move into the opposite direction a bit — or more than a bit. We’re still writing songs at this point, but I’d love to spend the winter recording it.

Do you enjoy playing on a boat? What kind of futuristic superhero pirates were you?

Playing on the top deck of a boat has its challenges — you sway, but your mic doesn’t, and people fall into your gear all the time. The show’s a blur. Our music cruises always have a costume theme. This year we asked people to dress like futuristic superhero pirates, which was vague and resulted in some pretty killer costumes. We’ll do it again next summer, and we’re open to costume theme ideas.

How did your ’88 Econoline get the name Wayne? Has Wayne been good to you?

I honestly don’t know how Wayne got her name. I’m sure it was thought up on a long, silent ride. Wayne’s speakers are all blown, so we don’t really listen to music on long trips, which means we’re entertaining ourselves. She’s an amazing van — an ’88 with 80,000 original miles — a time capsule. We just went to Atlanta and back with her with no issues. Also, she came with a CB radio, so we talk to truckers a lot.

Give details on The Lucid’s strange and memorable moments from Maine festivals this summer.

Luckily, nothing too strange happened at the festivals we played at this summer. We like going to festivals in general, so playing at them is really a bonus. We did come face to face with a big black bear hiking off trail in Shenandoah National Park at dusk. That was a highlight and a rush.

Who freaks you out these days?

Music folks in town who seem to be driven only by the desire for fame. Luckily for all of us, most of the people playing music around here are in it for the love of creating it, not the idea of what could happen afterwards.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.


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