Saturday, June 30, 2007
1. Canon Blue - Daniel James is Canon Blue, and he is about blow up. Last fall he independently released a four track ep entitled "Colonies", and sent it out to anyone who asked, free of charge. These four songs were so amazing, with gentle piano drops, soaring soundscapes, chaotic electronic, and Daniels honest vocals, that he was just signed to Rumraket this week. His songs are being remixed by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear and and mastered by Christian Vogel. Check him out today!
2. The Mare - Stockholm, Sweden is home to The Mare. They create sweet little indie pop morsals with heart and energy. Their latest album will be released by Cloudberry Records on July 15th. Listen to: I Didn't See You (mp3)
3. Vivek Shraya - I open my e-mail yesterday I find a nice little message from Toronto musician Vivek Sharaya introducing me to his fun and danceable brand of electro-pop. So now I am introducing him to you, and telling you to check his new album "If We're Not Talking". Listen to: Chemistry (mp3) and I Wont Envy (mp3)
1. The latest from Zachary C. Bush, published in Silenced Press, "Her Eyes Are Cream-Pink The Color Of A Dog’s Shaved Undercarriage".
2. The Illuminati and The Council on Foreign Relations by Myron Fagan - This is the transcript (and the audio) to a recording made by Mr. Fagan back in the 1960's. I had listened to the recordings several years ago, but you can really did into the information he is presenting when you read the transcripts. He clearly explains the history of The Illuminati and it's connection to the government (specifically the United Nation) and to big business, and the "great conspiracy" for a "one-world government".
3. "New Poll Finds That Young Americans are Leaning Left" by Adam Nagourney - This doesn't seem new to me, but polls are always nice. Youth, especially through college years, seem to be drawn to a more liberal mentality, but with age, wealth, maturity, family, etc. many of those sharp points of view seem to dull and possibly swing the other way.
1. Rob Swift's "As The Table Turns" - This documentary follow the career of one of the most innovative turntablist of all-time. With never seen before live footage and appearances by the biggest and the best. $16.99
2. Mike Boyle's "Dollhouse" - Recently released by Thieves Jargon Press, this 176 page novel should be on your nightstand right now. Here is a sample from the book: "The Dakota". $10
1. Rural Messengers Press Mini-Mailer 1.5 - Featuring the poetry and photography of Aleathia Drehmer. This is a free release, simply send your address to the following to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Anti #4 - Showcasing all styles of visual media, this is a nice little zine. The theme for the fourth issue is "Seasons", and it is free.
1. J Mascis vs. David Cross in a Guitar Hero II challenge - In my opinion J Mascis is the greatest living guitar player, and possibly the best of all-time. However, he was no match for comedian David Cross. As usual, J gives an incredibly energetic interview.
2. New Benni Hemm Hemm Video: "I Can Love You in a Wheelchair, Baby"
3. Black Gold - The Truth Behind Your Coffee. I have been drinking coffee for many years, and now I know the truth.
"Shake Ya Boogie"
Friday, June 29, 2007
Up from the ashes of mangled and manipulated casio's, three decades of hip-hop aesthetic, and computer knowledge that dwarfs any generation, is quickly rising a new genre of music. It is electronic, it is retro sounding, it is extremely danceable, and very much pop. It is 80's in principle, but very modern at the same time. Not being one for labels, I will leave it at electro-funk. Dj duos or programmer and singer duos or full on electronic funk bands are springing up all over the country and everyone is dancing to the product.
A great example of a group that just seemed to pop-up and jump into the eyes of the internet media (a.k.a bloggers) is the quartet from Denton, TX, Ghosthustler. Lead by the energetic Alan Palomo, this band knows how to groove while maintaining a lofty electronic feel. Their best song, "Parking Lots Night", starts out in a traditional Draft Punkian way with keyboards and computer effects, but the second Palomo jumps in you know you are hearing something special.
Currently unsigned, Ghosthustler has released three demo songs through their myspace page and various other music sites. Each is equally amazing, and I look forward to hearing the full-length album (once they get singed). They have also released a video for "Parking Lot Night"
On June 20th, Ghosthustler posted this incredible Dj Mix on their myspace page.
DJ MIX TRACKLIST (mp3)
Mr Oizo - Patrick 122/Does it Offend You, Yeah - Battle Royale/Chromeo - Call Me Up/Alan Vega - Saturn Drive/Crystal Castles - Air War/Jackson & His Computer Band - Radio Caca/Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow (Van She Remix)/Bumblees Unlimited - I wanna be Your Ladybug/Daft Punk - Technologic (Vitalic Remix)/Simple Minds - I travel/Justice - New Jack/ Chris and Cosey - October Love Song
Parking Lot Nights (mp3)
Losing Tracks (mp3)
For more information on Ghosthustler please visit their myspace page.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
It was last August when a collective of "outlaw" small press poets had a simultaneous moment of clarity. Tired of the lack of credit and attention given to the small press, and feeling a need to spread the word, these poets, armed with an arsenal of quality poems and an antique printing press, set out to change the world. According to the Guerrilla Poetics Project (GPP) manifesto, they "endeavor to return poetry to whom it was originally intended: the reader. And we feel there is no better way to accomplish this goal than to use the existing hierarchy and structure of the publishing world to our advantage: by subversively hiding high-quality broadsides of high-quality poems inside books in bookstores and libraries to be found by unsuspecting readers". Over the last 43 weeks they have "covertly smuggled" 14,840 broadsides in bookstores across the U.S. and in Canada and as far away as Sweden.
The first broadside issued by the GPP was entitled "like fireworks" and it was written by Salt Lake City poet justin.barrett. Justin has been writing for over 12 years and in that time he has released 4 chapbooks and over 400 quality poems through various outlets. He was the editor of the poetry webzine remark. He started Hemispherical Press in mid-2003.
Currently, Justin is on an indefinite hiatus from poetry, but he is still very passionate about the mission of the GPP. Recently, we asked about this passion and about his decision to take a hiatus.
Orange Alert (OA):I love the concept of the Guerrilla Poetics Project. How did this project come to be, and how has it affected your career as a poet? What has the feedback been like from your broadside "like fireworks"?
justin.barrett (JB): The project started by parallel evolution: a few different people in different places coming up with the same (or similar) idea at around the same time. These people just so happen to all be small press poets who were ready for a change; who were ready for something big and new and inventive. It really hasn't affected my career as a poet. Unfortunately for me, the GPP came about just at the tail end of my current incarnation. It might garner me a few new readers, but that remains to be seen. I still participate in the GPP because I deeply believe in its cause and mission; and I feel the poetry needs to be taken to a wider audience. As far as my broadside, I've not received much in the way of feedback. I was honored to have been voted by a panel of my peers to have the first broadside the GPP ever made. This was pretty much the magnum opus to my career. That alone is feedback enough.
OA: Currently, the first page of your website state that you have "retired" from writing. Are you really retiring? What are some of the reasons behind this "self-imposed hiatus"?
JB: Well, retiring is probably not the right word. One doesn't really "retire" from something like small press poetry, right? Hiatus is more accurate. Basically, there are some things going on in my life right (physical, psychological and emotion) that are eating up all of my energies. Between dealing with these issues and earning a living, I don't have anymore time for poetry. I definitely don't have anymore time for the bullshit, small-press mindset. I gave it a good run (12+ years) and had a few minor successes (relatively speaking, of course). This is good enough.
I don't know if I'll ever write again. I haven't written in months and don't see myself writing ever again, but the possibility hasn't been ruled out. If it happens, and I feel the results are good enough, then maybe you'll see me once again in the pages of the littles.
Some other reasons for my hiatus include: the desire for something more than scatological and misogynistic poems; the need for less bickering and backstabbing in the "community" of writers; tired of seeing mediocrity being lauded and applauded time and again.
OA: What is your opinion of the current state of poetry? Is it thriving in an internet era? Is it being watered down by an overabundance of outlets ( i.e. blogs/myspace/lit zines, etc)? Is there an audience for the modern poet?
JB: Thriving? Absolutely. I say it is thriving, but only in a cannibalistic way. The people reading the poems being published today (especially on the internet) are fellow writers who are hoping to also be read by the same writers they are currently reading. It's a massive circle jerk. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on your point of view and intent. For a long time, it was okay with me to be published my small magazines who only sell to other poets, and to be read only by fellow writers. But, ambition is such that the stakes must get larger and the audience must grow and the scope must get broader. That certainly happened to me, and others I know. And in that frame of mind, it's hard to not get disgruntled.
As for the overabundance of outlets watering down the product, I say it is definitely happening; but it's not across the board. Places like blogs and myspace definitely water it down as there is no editing. Some e-zines are guilty of just accepting whatever comes across their email (or most of it, at least) and this also contributes to the watering down. However, the onus is on the editors to select good poetry (of which there is much) and to put out a good product. Just as there are plenty of mediocre writers, there are plenty of mediocre editors. There are even some bad ones. This only leads to a further breakdown of what the public sees as "poetry". 15 years ago, only those editors who were diligent and who cared about putting in the time would publish a magazine. Those editors would select only the best of the best that came to them (through traditional mail) and the whole thing took a lot of time and energy and passion. Nowadays, a weekly poetry e-zine is easy to put together and takes very little work. This ease hurts the poetry community.
Now, lest I come off as an elitist, I don't feel that most venues are bad, nor are most writers and editors (well, maybe writers). I DO feel there is a definite audience for modern poetry. I think, though, that the biggest obstacle is that this audience isn't aware of the fact that they like modern poetry. Most people, when asked to think of poetry, think of Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas and then the people they see on slam poetry television shows screaming their hip observations into the void. What they are unaware of is the fact that there are many writers out there right now, writing poignant, important poems t hey can relate to; poems that will touch them and mean something to them and teach them a little about themselves. This part of poetry hasn't changed; only the language and structure.
OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
JB: Mark Strand, Charles Bukowski, Walt Whitman, Katherine Dunn, Gerald Locklin, Harry Crews. There are many others who have hit me in the various stages of my life; some contemporary some not; some known some not. But, the above poets and writers are the ones I seem to always come back to.
OA: What is next for justin.barrett?
JB: Next for justin.barrett is a few months/years/decades off; trying to get things in order and to survive. For Justin Barrett, the same. There used to be a dichotomy, a difference between the two. Now, there is no difference, and I'm trying to come to terms with that.
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
JB: No. I hate coffee. It tastes like dirt. Plus, caffeine and I don't get along.
OA: Who are some of your favorite musicians currently? Do your listen to music while you write?
JB: In list form:
The Shins, The Beatles, The Aggrolites, Modest Mouse, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Smashing Pumpkins, The Sea and Cake, The Fruits Bats, The Bees, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. To name a few that are in my current rotation.
I used to listen to music when I wrote, especially jazz, specifically Miles Davis.
OA: List your five favorite chapbooks on your bookshelf currently.
First Touch -- Glenn W. Cooper
Thru The Heart of This Animal Life... -- Christopher Cunningham
Deep Surface Fissures... -- Hosho McCreesh
The Effects of Drugs and Prostitution -- Owen Roberts
The Active Ingredient -- Gerald Locklin
For more information of Guerrilla Poetics visit their website, and for information on justin.barrett and to read a good sample of his work visit his website.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
OA: Who are some of your biggest influences artistically?
CJS: Making the soul visible.
CJS: Well, I don't drink coffee. I love the smell though. Love coffee flavored candy and ice-cream.
CJS: I just read Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 for the first time. To figure out what utopia is, I suppose I should know what dystopia is like. Can't wait for the new Harry Potter.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
You can stream the albums from the Beaties Boys, Bad Brains, and The Automatic Automatic over at Spinner.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
What I See/No More/Depression/Six Pack/Thirsty and Miserable/Police Story/Gimme Gimme Gimme/Spray Paint (The Walls)/Room 13/Rise Above
2. Jens Lekman announced that the first single from his, yet to be name, new LP will be "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo". The single will be available for digital download on July 31st or you can puchase the 7" directly from Jens via his website. The 7" will feature the exclusive b-side "Radio NRJ". Jens descibes the b-side like this: "The B-side 'Radio NRJ' sounds less like it's title. It's more of a friday night spent inside. The top 20 of september 1994 recorded on a C-90 cassette. The tears streaming down your face." The artwork for the 7" was done by Karin Cyrén.
3. Z-Trip has been asked to do the soundtrack to 2k Sports, All-Pro Footbal 2K8, and he really pulled out all the stops. The soundtrack will be released separately, and will feature Rakim, Chali 2na, Lateef, Slug, and more. Z-Trip's soundtrack will be released by Decon records next month, and it will correspond with the release of the game. Once the album is out Z-Trip will embark on a next wide tour, please go to his website for updates on tour dates and times.
4. The Peel Back: The Creatures "Boomerang"
On the heels of the news that we will be treated to a new Siouxsie Sioux album this fall, I felt it was a good time to dig to the bottom of closet and start a new weekly segment entitled "The Peel Back". Each week I will pull out an release from years past and share some thoughts and sounds.
In 1989, Siouxsie and Budgie (The Creatures) decided to record their follow-up to their successful debut album, 1983's "Feast", in Spain. They had previously record their debut in Hawaii, and the sound of that album was heavily influenced by its surrounding. The same holds true on Boomerang with tracks like Morrina, Strolling Wolf, Simoom and Fruitman detailing their experiences in Spain. The instrumentation on this album is percussion heavy and horn laden, creating a great rhythm, and a true sense of being in a different land. It is truly an exotic experience.
The main single on this album was "Standing There" (The verbal abuse and misplaced bravado of & from men mainly towards women. "It's about the direct contact you get on the street, it's not just verbal abuse anymore. You see them up ahead and wonder, 'Should I cross over the road or turn around and go back?' (Budgie) Source: Record Mirror 11/11/89.) and it reached #53 on the UK charts. "Fury Eyes" (Inspired by the novel In The Eyes Of Mr. Fury, by Phillip Ridley) was also released as single, but it failed to chart.
Standing There (mp3)
Fury Eyes (mp3)
Boomerang (Geffen Records, 1989) (currently out-of-print)
Standing There/Manchild/You!/Pity/Killing Time/Willow/Pluto Drive/Solar Choir/Speeding/Fury Eyes/Fruitman/Untiedundone/Simoom/Strolling Wolf/Venus Sands/Morrina
5. Lollapalooza Band of the Week: Mickey Avalon
He claims to be the boy next door who was always listening to records and bothering little girls. One day he disappears and you don't hear from him for years. Hollywood, CA is claiming the dirty laid back flow of Mickey Avalon. If Tim Fite lost his edge, watched Jerry Springer for a year straight, and dropped the country bit then he would be Mickey Avalon. What I am saying is Mickey has chops, but he has nothing to say and in turn says nothing. There is always a market for mindless hip-hop, but I take mine with a bit of intelligence thrown in the mix. Mr. Avalon released his self-titled debut album last November on Interscope/Shoot to Kill Records. Mickey is playing the Mindfield stage on Friday Aug. 3rd from 7 - 8pm, and going up against LCD Soundsystem. So I wish him luck, but I will have to pass at Lollapalooza. Check out: Jane Fonda (mp3) and Hustlers Hall of Fame (mp3)
Saturday, June 23, 2007
1. Saint Joan - This band from the UK will be releasing their full length debut on Camera Obscura Records on June 25th. The album is called "The Wrecker's Lantern", and it has a beauty and soul that I am sure you will enjoy. Ellen Mary McGee pours so much emotion, dusty gravel roads, and cigarette smoke into her vocals. Check out: Satellites (mp3)
2. Dj Day - Everything about his music calmly whispers Palm Springs, CA. Dj Day has been in the game since 1989, and contributed to some major compilations. His style is smooth and funky, jazzy hip-hop with gentle cuts and scratches. He recently released his first full length album on Melting Pot Records "The Day Before". Check out: Four Hills (mp3)
3. Bad Animal - Shawn Gallagher is from Knoxville, TN and he clearly own a keyboard and a computer. This is lo-fi bedroom music at its most primitive, but also at it most enjoyable. This music is "not perfect", but it is honest and fun. He also draws some pretty cool pictures of wrestlers. Check out: The Hunted (mp3)
1. OJ Simpson "If I Did It" - Not all that well written, but a fascinating look into the mind of a killer. Not just any killer, but one who got away with it.
2. Bookslut Issue #61 - Always interesting and relevant, the folks at bookslut have posted several great interviews and articles for the month of June.
3. The fairwell letter from Anne Elizabeth Moore of Punk Plant Magazine, announcing that the magazine form of Punk Planet will cease to exist after this issue. This is an outlet that will truly be missed in the literary world.
1. The Maniac by Skwak - This vinyl, released by MINDstyle, is colorful and crazy! There will only be 300 released in the US, so act now... Skwak is the man! $80
2. Ben Frost Coasters: Frost has released a series 22 different cork backed coasters features his incredible graphic pop art via his website. He of course is located in Australia, but he is accepting international purchases. $10 AUD ($8.46 US)
3. "Whales Hover(ed)" by Jeff Poniewaz - You can never have enough poetry about whales, right? Centennial Press has released Jeff's latest chapbook they are donating $1 to the WWF (the one without the roided up pretty boys rolling around and beating each we chairs) for every copy sold. $5
1. Embryo #4 - I know I probably don't have too many German readers, but the artwork contained in this zine will bridge the communication gap. I love the cover, it looks like a page out of a German phone book. Also check out the work by Lisa Stetner. It doesn't hurt that this stylish zine is free.
1. New videos from Ghosthustler "Parking Lot Nights" and The Go! Team "Grip Like a Vice".
2. This amazing clip from The Sound of Jazz, 1958, Thelonious Monk "Blue Monk". My favorite part is watching Count Basie enjoying the magic of Monk.
Friday, June 22, 2007
They sound like a massive indie choir raising their voices to the heavens, when in reality they are just a quartet that likes to sing in unison. Jessie Conklin, David Metcalf, Meredith Metcalf, and Kyle Gladden evoke images of back road streams flowing through mountain valleys lined with small churches. The harmonies flow freely from these churches and blend with the countryside guitar and piano melodies. However, this quarter is not from some back ally church choir, they are from Los Angeles, CA and they a set to release their full-length debut, "Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink" on July 24th.
The album will be self-released on their label Thousand Tongues, and from what I have heard already it will be amazing. Aside from the angelic soaring of voices, their instrumentation is also quite grabbing and consuming. Their music stomps along proudly with organ and drums pounding out a rhythmic and rolling path for their voices to collectively fly over.
When on tour the Bodies of Water double in size adding viola, trombone's, and more drums. The result must be breathtaking to witness. They currently do not have any upcoming shows listed, but continue to check their website for updates. It doesn't appear that you can currently preorder the album, but they do have some nice homemade t-shirts for sale, as well as their debut ep from 2005.
Check out: (from Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink)
These are Eyes (mp3)
I Guess I'll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess (mp3)
Doves Circled The Sky (mp3)
For more information of please visit their website or the myspace page that they mantain.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Patrick Somerville is the author of last year's short story collection "Trouble", which has gained him some very positive press. His story "Friends From Cincinnati" was recently published by THE2ndHAND, and he has had several other stories published in recent years. Patrick currently teaches creative writing at the Graham School in downtown Chicago.
Recently, Patrick was able to take some time out to answer a few of our questions.
Orange Alert (OA): I know you are originally from Wisconsin, do you consider yourself a "Chicago" writer? What is your opinion of the current Chicago literary scene?
Patrick Somerville (PS): Oh, I don't know. Wherever I go I slowly start writing about my location, but it usually takes a few years for it to seep into my consciousness. When I was in New York I was writing about Wisconsin, when I was in San Francisco I was writing about New York, and now that I'm in Chicago I'm writing about Wisconsin again, plus a few Chicago stories here and there. Wisconsin will always seem like home to me--it has a gravitational pull in my imagination. Part of why I love Chicago is that it's sort of the urban incarnation of the Midwest. The people feel recognizable to me in ways they didn't on either coast. And by that I don't mean fat--that's just a coincidence.
People in Chicago care about literature a lot, but beyond that I don't have much opinion about the literary scene. I'm lucky in that I have some friends here who are writers. Sometimes we are in public places with other writers, and I have fun. But I have other friends, too. You're in a lot of trouble as a writer if you spend much time planning your life based on those things. What's important is the time you spend alone, working, writing, and struggling with the problems of your art. That doesn't happen at bars.
OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
PS: John Cheever, Joseph Heller, Virginia Woolf, Charles Portis, Lorrie Moore. Secretly: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Recently: Paul Bowles, who is stranger and darker than any writer I can think of.
OA: What are your thoughts on book tours/readings? Do you feel differently about your pieces when you perform them at readings? Should fiction be performed?
PS: I think I've both improved and damaged stories during readings, depending on the situation, the audience, the particular piece. One of the best readings of my life happened in this dark, nearly-empty bar in New York maybe four years ago. The microphone was perfect and the audience was really generous with reacting to the story, and near the end I felt like a storyteller, not a fiction writer, you know? Like it was a performance, and it mattered that it happened live. But I've given bad readings, too. I've stumbled over words and read too fast and chosen the wrong thing. My grandmother talked through an entire reading I gave in Green Bay. I started shaking at a reading once and had to hold the story against my stomach. They can get weird.
OA: How did you come to teach inmates at Auburn State Correctional Facility? What was that experience like, and what did you take away from your time there?
PS: Cornell had and has a kind of patched-together prison program run by an insane man named Pete Wetherbee, who is now an Emeritus professor. Creative writing is usually popular in prisons, and I found Pete and told him I wanted to teach the class. A couple of other writers and I went every week for a year and ran a workshop with about 25 students.
I took away a lot, but I'm not sure I can articulate it. Prisons are dark, powerful places where imagination is massively important and constantly under fire. I think, in a way, it's a commodity. It's like a drug in and of itself--I can't tell you how many times someone submitted a short story or a poem that had to do with teleportation, or floating out through the walls of a cell, into the world. I had students with unbelievable talent and other students who could not form sentences, who were there because class constituted a kind of escape. One of our students got a three book deal to write hip-hop thrillers. That was the dream that many of them had. I think I became a better teacher in that I had to work to connect to students. 90% of them were black and poor, and I'm a rich white person from the suburbs. And yet fiction-writing and storytelling was more than enough of a bridge to bring us together into a kind of community. It was interesting, to say the least, to go up to Auburn on Wednesday nights to run the workshop and then go to class on Thursday mornings to see my Ivy League undergraduates. What was really great was that they were often having the same problems with shit like flashbacks.
It's beyond stupid that the federal government doesn't spend more money on education in the prison system. During class you could just feel new kinds of social experiences opening up for the students. If anyone is going to have a chance to start a new, different life when they get out of prison, it will be the people who have confidence and flexibility working with mainstream institutions, not to mention the people who can write. I look at that little Cost-of-Iraq-War-Widget on your sidebar and just cringe. $3000/second for that, nearly nothing here.
OA: Your first book, a collection of short stories entitled "Trouble" came out last fall, how are dealing with the critical success of this collection?
PS: I feel almost exactly the same as I did before the book came out--anxious about finding time to write and learning more. I'm proud of Trouble and I like all the stories, but I want it to be a starting place.
OA: What's next for Patrick Somerville?
PS: I've been working on a novel for the last two years, and I'm also getting pretty close to having a second collection of stories ready to go. We'll see what happens. The novel takes place in the woods, in northern Wisconsin, and is not very funny at all. There is a monster and it has wings. I know that sounds funny, but it's not.
For more information of Patrick Somerville please visit his website and also check out his blog.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
SDJ: I've been working on these crowd scenes for a few years now. This series grew out of a previous series I called the "Public" paintings. In the Public paintings I painted specific portraits of various people I had photographed without their knowledge. The figures were also surrounded by a neutral color. Eventually I got tired of painting detailed portraits straight from photographs and I wanted to create some more abstract compositions out of my head. So I widened my viewing angle to depict much larger crowd scenes. I was able to eliminate individual detail and concentrate more on the composition of a crowd as if it were an individual itself. I include a lot of things the viewer can recognize,police uniforms, ambulances, playground sets, etc. I balance this rhetoric with an ambiguity. A crash scene will be off to the side so you don't really see the gory details.A protest scene may include hundreds of S.W.A.T. police, but only a few civilians.Kids in the playground jungle gym will show no body movement, as if they were just passing through the structure as if on an assembly line. I like working this way because the line between representation and abstraction is blurred, and I'd like to take it much further.
SDJ: I've been listening to vintage underground new wave music from the Flexi-Pop label. I'm also continuing my personal compilation of 70's AM pop. I've been perfecting it for years and it may never get done.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
You can stream the albums from Mooney Suzuki, Art Brut, The Polyphonic Spree, Rocky Votolato, Digitalism, and Chromeo over at the Spinner.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
1. Gentlemen Drivers - This duo from Paris will get you shaking! If you are a fan of Justice, SabastiAn, or really anything Ed Banger, the you have to hear this music. Check Out: Paris Texas Remix (mp3)
2. Minipop - San Francisco is home to this indie rock Quintet. Lead singer Tricia Kanne has an incredible voice, and belts out anthem after anthem. Check out: Like i Do (mp3)
3. Oldfolks Home - Winnipeg, Montreal is home to this mysterious electro-pop producer. The best part of this music are the delicate vocals.
1. A Math Lesson on College Loans - This is what they don't tell you when you enter into these loans.
2. After the Bomb - What would it be like if a nuclear weapon went off in a major city in American?
3. The latest issue of Zygote in my Coffee - The June issue features some great new work. My favorite is "Free Falling" by Nicole Henares
1. iPhone - I don;t know how much it will cost, but I can't wait for it's release on June 29th.
2. Teaching Metaphors by Nathan Graziano - This is recommended collection of poetry written about life in public high school. $15
3. Fun With Milk & Cheese - a carton of hate and a wedge of spite! $9.56
1. This is one of my all-time favorite songs, it is from last year's debut from Tobias Froberg, watch "When the Night Turns Cold"
2.Here is a great video and song from Bonde Do Role, check out "Solta O Frango":
Friday, June 15, 2007
Otis Jackson Jr. (a.k.a Madlib) was born and raised in Oxnard, CA, and that is where he first learned the ways and the roots of hip-hop. His father Otis Jackson Sr. was a soul singer, and eventually help Madlib launch his music career. It was 1993 when The Alkaholiks introduced us two unknown trio called the Lootpack, Cracka Jack (later known as Wildchild), Madlib, and Dj Romes. The track was called "Turn Tha Party Out", and it was probably the highlight of Tha Liks debut album, "21 & Over". In 1996, Lootpack released their debut EP "Ill Psyche Move" on their CDP (Crate Diggas Palace), and legend began. Back then Madlib produced the beats and laid down someone the most subdued and rhythmic rhymes that I have ever heard. His flow was almost hypnotic. It was this EP that caught the eye and ear of Stone Throw's founder Peanut Butter Wolf, and the Lootpack were signed. They released their debut Lp in 1999, the underground masterpiece "Soundpieces: Da Antidote!". Madlib was the Beat Konducta and Wildchild was the Ryhme Constructa, it was the perfect combination. Madlib was roughly chopping up old jazz and soul records at time when other producer where making cookie cutter manufactured beats, and the difference was clear. This was the first time that we heard from Madlib's first alter-ego Quasimoto, who is create by rhyming over slow down beats so when they are brought to a normally the vocals become high pitched. Quasimoto's first solo album in 2000, "The Unseen" was Madlib's biggest success as a rapper and producer. However, he wanted to achieve success in other areas of his career.
Madlib has gone on to be the most prolific producer/DJ/Mc in the history of hip-hop. He is consistently making music, in a recent interview he had this to say about making music; "I don’t really do anything other than make beats. I’m either in the studio or with a chick. So I make a lot of tracks". From his simple start in a West Cost rap group, Madlib has branched off to create numerous alias and partnerships, among them Yesterday's New Quintet, Dj Rels, Jaylib, Madvillian, Sound Directions, and so on. According to Stones Throw, Madlib has appeared on in some form or another 123 records/tracks since 1993.
What I enjoy about Madlib is his attitude towards music and the industry in general. He is not in this fame, or bling, or even money, he has this internal beat that simply has to come out. My favorite of all of his monikers is sound of Yesterday's New Quintet (YNQ). Madlib records and produces each of the part of these jazz influenced albums himself. They are a unique form of jazz, while retaining many of the aspects of hip-hop. His compositions are at times brief and choppy, but their backbone and flow is always firmly in place.
This summer Madlib will be release two new albums and the reissue of Jaylib's "Champion Sound". The first will be the third installment of his Beat Konducta series "Beat Konducta Vol. 3: In India", and shortly there after will be his latest YNQ product "Yesterday's Universe" on July 17th.
Download: Masala (mp3)
(Photo at top by Hannes Mezger)
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Amanda is the founder and editor of the biannual print journal Words Dance, and has published a couple of chapbooks through Verve Bath Press. Among those chapbooks are the handcrafted and beautifully done "Love Notes" and " Balancing on the Brink", she has also been published in numerous literary journals and sites.
Recently, Amanda took some time out to answer our questions and record a few of her newer pieces for us.
Orange Alert (OA): I have found a few sound files of you reading your poems, instead of simply having them printed. How important to you is the sound of a poem?
Amanda Oaks (AO): Recording my poems was & still is a learning experience for me. Poetry, for the most part, was a spoken art for ages. I feel that the sound of a poem is pretty vital to it’s meaning. Sometimes the sound of a poem is as crucial to it’s meaning as the words printed on the page are. The way the words roll off the tongue, which ones are stressed, the beat, the list is long as to why. This plays true not only with my poems but in my reading of other’s poetry. If stumble across a poem that cracks my skull open, I reread it out loud because there’s no doubt my other senses missed something. Still, the depth you get when you hear a poet read their own work is precious & if you’re lucky, earth-shattering. If I find a poet who’s work I admire I’m always eager to listen to them by some means.
OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
AO: I would say Richard Brautigan is pretty high up on the list. Anais Nin,some of the men but mostly the women from the Beat Generation, Neruda to Bukowski, Plath, Olds & Cummings to name a few. Though the core of my inspiration comes from my peers. The main reason I started Words Dance was to have access to such work. I wanted to help spread the work around that I was reading in publications that I had been in. Besides being so moved by it, it at times was the trigger for my hand to be against the paper & writing.
OA: What is your opinion of the current state of poetry? Is it thriving in an internet era? Is it being watered down by an overabundance of outlets ( i.e.blogs/myspace/lit zines, etc)? Is there an audience for the modern poet?
AO: Oh dear, one day I am floored by the sense of connection the internet has given poets, others times I feel it to be the switch that sheds light on big egos, child-like drama & needless competition. Although we don’t always have to agree on things I feel like we should at least support each other, which is what is going on most of the time with a few exceptions. I cherish the relationships I’ve developed through the small press. There are some bright lights out there, you just have to search for them, be it people, publications or presses.
OA: Your latest chapbook, "Love Notes" is handmade with lace and a vintage button. It seems like a lot of time and care was put into the finished product. How important is the presentation of your poetry to you?
AO: I’m very proud of Love Notes. I had this vision of what I wanted the book to be in my head & I am thankful that I achieved it. I had a few of years worth of short verses that didn’t want to be worked into larger pieces, so I compiled them. They are just what the title suggests, Love Notes. Some may find the lack of misery to be dishonest but I promised myself long ago to be more of a hopeful romantic than a cynic & that works for me most of the time, be it when writing or in life. As for the importance of presentation, it’s not necessarily important to the poem itself or to everyone but to me it is. My intentions were & still are very modest. I enjoy making books, especially for poets that I enjoy as poets & people. Many of the presses I love, Centennial Press & sunnyoutside to name two, take pride in the poem & have turned it into something visually pleasing, a piece of art— I love that.
OA: Being both poet & publisher, how has this affected the way you look at
a poem, be it yours or another writer's?
AO: Well, being a "publisher" certainly hasn’t helped me in catching errors in my own work. It hasn’t changed the way I read poetry outside of submissions either. The only time I go into "publisher" mode is after the first draft is printed.
OA: What's next for Amanda Oaks?
AO: My family is my number priority, always has been. I’ve been extremely fortunate in that respect, the family card that I was dealt aces out a good lot of the time. Kurt, my fiancé & I are getting ready to start our own little family of three soon. We have a little one due this autumn so I’ve been steering most of my energy toward being a good mama & partner. This has put a good many of things in the back seat but that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally kicked them out of the car. Issue #11 of Words Dance should be out this month (I said that last month!) no really, it’s nearing completion & it rocks a whole lot. Sometime soon, this summer, Rose of Sharon Press will be releasing a joint chapbook of mine & John Dorsey’s, "dreams that would drown most men". S.A Griffin & David Smith do an amazing job over there, you should definitely check them out. To be honest, I'm a writer when I am. I haven’t written a poem I’ve liked in months. I tried for awhile & everything seemed so forced. I am not above putting the pen to rest for a little while, it’s much better than writing contrived shit. I can’t do that to myself or the people who occasionally read my work. I have faith the magic will return, patience is the key to most everything.
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
AO: Yessum! But I quit cold turkey when I found out I was expecting, coffee along with cigarettes. Much like wine & literature, I am not a coffee snob. Cream, preferably Vanilla flavored, no sugar & I’m good. There are no "coffee spots" where I am currently living, middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. I’ve had my share of them other places I’ve lived though, one being Webster’s Bookstore in State College, amazing locally roasted organic coffee, the best.
OA: Who are some of your favorite musicians currently? Do your listen to music while you write?
AO: Music is my mistress & I’m a slut. My tastes range wide & I welcome suggestion. Iron & Wine, Devendra Banhart, The Mars Volta, Midlake,Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Miss Derringer, Gomez, Cocorosie, PJ Harvey & The Beatles of course, the list is so very long. Yes, I always have the headphones on while writing unless I’m writing outside.
For more information on Amanda Oaks your can visit the Words Dance website, and to puchased any of her chapbooks and some other interesting items you can visit her etsy site.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
OA: How has your experience at Mississippi State affected you as an artist?