Richard Lloyd & the Sufi Monkeys

Wednesday, May 16, at the Beachland.

Television drug habit
Along with Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd represented one half of Television's creepily telepathic guitar duo. Since the band's breakup in 1978, Lloyd has beaten a nasty drug habit, taught kids in New York how to play axe, served time in Matthew Sweet's backing band, and sporadically released solo albums.

Lloyd is also an adept songwriter, and his solo records -- despite focusing on pop moves rather than guitar gymnastics -- have all been well received critically. Alchemy, released on the heels of Television's demise, is a surprisingly light take on new wave guitar-pop: sort of a cross between the Cars and Talking Heads -- full of awesome guitar solos in which Lloyd plays with a Neil Young-like spikiness -- but ordered and deliberate. Then things start to explode.

The Cover Doesn't Matter, Lloyd's most recent record, came out in 2001. Since then, he has participated in a Television reunion, but folks looking for "Little Johnny Jewel" aren't gonna hear it at this gig. Lloyd's solo material fits a lot more snugly with Matthew Sweet's power-pop -- which shouldn't scare anyone off. The guy can really play, and he does so about halfway through every song.

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