Larry Gallagher | An Endless Chain of Accidents

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Rock: Americana Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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An Endless Chain of Accidents

by Larry Gallagher

[NOTE: there is another, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT Larry Gallagher selling his CDs here. This Larry's only other albums is Can I Go Now? and This Desert of Air] These are deadly smart, beautiful songs by a truly gifted songwriter. Listen.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The World's Saddest Girlfriend in the World
4:01 $0.99
2. Show Me Your Flaw
3:27 $0.99
3. Shreveport
4:09 $0.99
4. Torn Apart
4:32 $0.99
5. Nothing Left to Pierce
2:22 $0.99
6. Disappointment Slough
3:48 $0.99
7. Squeezletoe
4:26 $0.99
8. Wimpy White Guys With Guitars
2:54 $0.99
9. Which One am I?
4:45 $0.99
10. Beside Myself
3:37 $0.99
11. Leave Me Alone
3:06 $0.99
12. Revolution
3:07 $0.99
13. No More Broken Love Songs
2:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

About Larry (by Rob Riddell, friend and sideman)

(PLEASE NOTE: There is another Larry Gallagher, whose many albums you will find on CDBaby. He bears no relation to this one.)

Larry was born in Ossining, NY in the 1960s, too early to be a Backstreet Boy, and just in time to catch the scent left in the air by the sexual revolution. Undaunted, he took up the saxophone. In high school he played in jazz bands and started composing songs of his own, none of which he can be forced to play at present. Some songs from the Columbian era (ca. 1981-1985) have survived, and they testify to an already-developed satirical sensibility. For at some point, who the hell knows exactly when, he realized he was a funny dude. This is pure speculation here, but I'm guessing that this was a double revelation: his lightning wit and mordant sense of absurdity were both a desperate defense against a cruel, uncaring world, and a pretty good way of getting chicks. Stir in an unusual sensitivity to language and tireless energy, sprinkle liberally with existential doubt, set oven on "The Reagan Years," and you have the makings of an artist.

While he was always doing something musical, such as playing with and writing horn charts for Joey Cheezhee and the Velveeta Underground in the late 80s, Larry had a wide-ranging and successful career as a magazine journalist. His best gig, at least that I've heard of, was as a staff writer for Details Magazine, back when it was cool: three or four times a year he would go off for a month or two to work some crazy job and then write about it. The CD cover photo captures Larry when he labored under the Golden Arches (where he reluctantly turned down a promotion); he also manned a fishing boat off Alaska and gutted cows for a meat-packing company. He wrote for Esquire, the New York Times Magazine, and a bunch of others - about the rock scene in LA, yoga in India, and smoking psychedelic toad sweat. A pretty nice match for such a peripatetic and edgy intellect. But not enough, apparently.

In 1996, Larry tossed it all, shaved his head, and joined a Zen Buddhist monastery on a mountaintop just outside of L.A. He stayed for nearly three years, living as a monk, complete with robes and begging bowl. (One of his fellow meditators was a certain famous sex-god Canadian songwriter/poet whom Larry refuses to let me mention by name.) He has jested that all he got out of this experience was a (wise and lovely) wife and his song "I'm Deep (Will You Sleep with Me?)." But I would add something else: a hairstyle. Haha, that was a joke. Fallen monkhood is really too complex a subject to go into here. But it's clear to me and most of his friends that Larry's exploration of the limits of consciousness and discipline has distinctively deepened his outlook and his art. Certainly the songs he's written these last few years have been as touching and masterful as anything he'd done before.

Since '99, Larry's been living in San Francisco, making ends meet with carpentry and writing. We're now grooming him for impending stardom, but meantime he's still engaged in his myriad passions - including gardening, cooking, reed-organ restoration, fixing everything, and through and above it all, music.

Just underneath that self-deprecating exterior is an amazingly versatile and eclectic musician. His formal training is limited to saxophone in highschool and, recently, classical flute, but Larry's one of the most tasteful and nimble guitarists I've come across. He plays, with equal authority, Fats Waller, Richard Thompson, and James Taylor. In fact, his friends often have trouble finding a song that Larry doesn't know. But it's really his expressive, vulnerable voice and poetic precision that set Larry apart. I've seen him bring a roomful of people to their knees with laughter, and minutes later hold them spellbound with a sad and tender love song.

Along with all of Larry's friends, I've always been rather irked that his music wasn't as well-known as, say, that of Richard Thompson or Tom Lehrer or Lyle Lovett. He belongs up there with those guys! Well, now that we finally squeezed a CD out of him - and it came out beautifully - we'll see about that.

For me (if we can finally talk about me for a moment?), it has been a rare privilege to befriend and play music with Larry. His honesty, artistry, and courage are, I think, an inspiration to anyone who comes to know him. And after some consideration, I think I've come up with the best thing I can say about his songs: they are so _Larry_.



to write a review

Brady Earnhart

Billions Should Be Sold
I just got An Endless Chain this afternoon and I can't bring myself to take it out of the CD player. OK, so that's only been 2 hours--I still mean it. So much music you hear, if it sounds smart you rub off the shine and it turns out to be just clever; if it's sincere it turns out to be Terminally Sincere. Gallagher, on the other hand, can be as soulful and reflective as Paul Simon at his most last-guy-in-the-hotel-lounge or as carefully funny as Raymond Carver, only to turn around and surprise you with a dash of casual despair something like Elliott Smith's. He's allergic to cliches--musical or verbal--and his innovative arrangements give the whole album quirky texture and color not quite like anything you've heard before. Charming stuff.

East Bay Express (CA)

Smart, sweet and funny
Wimpy White Guys with Guitars -- That's the title of Larry Gallagher's finest tune, a self-effacing look at coffeehouse-folk open mic crooners that'll crack you up and then make you wanna kill yourself if you've ever busted out an Elliott Smith cover for a crowd of six people at some java dive. The rest of the Bay Area troubadour's latest CD, An Endless Chain of Accidents, is similarly sweet and often truly hilarious, mixing acoustic guitar rock with sardonic wit and odd brass band touches.

Santa Monica Mirror

Santa Monica Mirror's 7/23/03 review
(By Tony Peyser, Mirror contributing writer)

Larry Gallagher’s An Endless Chain Of Accidents has clever, impassioned and often hilarious songs that reminded me musically of Van Dyke Parks and lyrically of Loudon Wainwright III. The endearing “Show Me Your Flaw” is about a guy who sees his dream girl with some pony-tailed jerk and wants to be released from her spell: “Do your torture household pets?/ Do you dig Geraldo? /Have massive gambling debts?” Gallagher reveals he’s a daring rhyming whiz a line later with, “Indulge a geek miss/ Any major weakness … ” And anybody who can write a song called “Wimpy White Guys With Guitars” is someone we all need to know about. A bit old school and old-timey, Bay Area-based Gallagher could give, uh, wimpy white guys with guitars a good name.

SF Weekly

SF Weekly's March 2003 Review
With soft, unassuming vocals and honest lyrics, singer/songwriter Larry Gallagher seems a likely successor to such folk luminaries as Loudon Wainwright and Richard Thompson. — Ron Evans, SF Weekly

Lynne Borling

What a writer, and what a voice
The songs are beautiful, some of them funny enough to make me chuckle hours later, but when I really listened to the lyrics -- of Torn Apart and Shreveport and Which One Am I, mostly, I found myself almost crying. When someone this smart and expressive lets himself be so vulnerable, it's really a gift.