Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Release Tuesday

1. Z-Trip - All-Pro Listen To: Doin' it Like This ft Clutch (mp3)
2. Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold Listen to: Prescilla (mp3) and Tahiti (mp3)
3. Soulive - No Place Like Soul Listen to: Callin' (mp3)
4. Common - Finding Forever Listen to: Drivin' Me Wild ft Lily Allen (mp3)
5. G. Love & Special Sauce - A Year And A Night With G. Love & Special Sauce Listen to: Baby Got Sauce (mp3)
6. Josh Rouse - Country Mouse, City House Listen to: Italian Dry Ice (mp3)
7. 1990's - Cookies Listen to: You Were Supposed to be my Friend (mp3)
9. Powerspace - The Kicks of Passion Listen to: Right on Right now (mp3)
10. Tokyo Rose - The Promise In Compromise

Dilated Peoples - The Release Party

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

This week's mix is simply a mixtape for the sake of the Art of making mixtapes. It features most of the music I am currently listening to, and I hope it finds you well on this warm Monday morning. Enjoy "Forget The Sound" featuring Bodies of Water, (New) Aesop Rock, Mormoset, Magic Weapon, Walter Meego and much more...

Magic Weapon - Cloudy People (mp3)
Fields - Schoolbooks (Alternate) (mp3)
Aesop Rock - Coffee ft John Darnielle (mp3)

Artwork: Matt Curry "Hip Hop Mixtape"

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Orange Alert's Music Minute

When you think of Russia, of course you think of hip-hop, right? Well probably not, but Russian rapper Ivan Ives is working hard to change your mind about Russian hip-hop. Although Ives is currenlty living on the west coast, his roots are deeply planted in Russia. His inspiration comes not from blingin' and big pimpin' but by thriving on integrity in the shadow materialism in a cut-throat world. Love lost, the great beyond and personal improvement are part of the game as Ives composes a body of work that shines with honest-to-goodness talent. He second full length album, Iconoclast, will be release by No Threshold Records on September 25th. Listen to: Victory ft. Vaste Aire (mp3)

Hello, Avalanche is the follow-up to the band's collaborative album with Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow, The House of Apples and Eyeballs, released last year on Graveface Records. The band's new album was recorded and co-produced by The Octopus Project and Ryan Hadlock (Blonde Redhead, The Gossip) at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle during February, 2007 and was mixed by Erik Wofford (Voxtrot, Explosions In The Sky). Guest musicians include Stacy Meshbane (Cue) on Violin, Jherick Bischoff (The Dead Science) on upright Bass and Violin, and Nick Smith (Nick and The Six Sick Sticks) on Trombone. The band will kick-off three months of touring this summer. Visit the bands website for tour dates. Listen to: I Saw the Bright Shinies (mp3)

Montreal's Montag (aka Antoine Bédard) will be touring the US in support of his recently released Carpark album Going Places. The album features guest stars like Final Fantasy, Amy Millan of Stars, Au Revoir Simone, Victoria Legrand of Beach House, M83, etc. This tour follows recent jaunts in Montag's native Canada as well as a recent Japanese tour with YACHT and Au Revoir Simone. Montag will be opening for The One AM Radio and Lymbyc Systym on all of these dates. Montag will be selling copies of a tour-only EP featuring remixes and previously unreleased songs at these shows. For tour date visit his webstite. Listen to:Best Boy Electric (mp3)

The Peel Back: Depeche Mode "A Broken Frame"

I always felt like this album had been forgotten or over looked when people talked about Depeche Mode or complied greatest hit albums. This was there second full length album, and first without Vince Clark who had left the band to form Yazoo. This departure left Martin Gore in charge of the song writing, and to this day he dislikes the work that he had done on this album. As a result, the band rarely played the songs from this album in concert and none of the video that they made were released. All of this allowed this album to be forgotten.

Musically, I really enjoy the darkness that this album began to show. It was in stark contrast to the poppy sound of Speak & Spell. Tracks like The Sun & The Rainfall, Monument, and Leave in Silence all presented a more mature sound with deeper electronics and less dance tracks. Many consider this album the beginning of their dark phase. When the band set out to tour for this album they added Alan Wilder to the group.

A Broken Frame was re-release last year with a nice documentary about the album and the band in 1982. Finally giving this album it's proper place in the incredible catalog of Depeche Mode.

Depeche Mode "A Broken Frame" (Sire Records, September 1982)

Leave In Silence (mp3)/My Secret Garden/Monument/Nothing to Fear (mp3)/See You/Satellite/The Meaning of Love/A Photograph Of You/Shouldn't Have Done That/The Sun & The Rainfall (mp3)

Lollapalooza Band of the Week: Matt and Kim

Well Lollapalooza is next weekend, and I have spent the last few months giving you some of the bands that I am looking forward to watch at this years festival. This weeks band was just recently added and I couldn't be more excited. Matt and Kim hail from Brooklyn, NY and they are an energetic drum and keyboard duo that really give Mates of State a run for their money. Their songs are fun, catchy and completely addictive. They had me hooked from the first tomato (see the video for Yea Yeah). They play from 11:45 to 12:30pm on Saturday. Listen to:
Yea Yeah (mp3) 5k (mp3) and Yea Yeah (Ocelot Remix) (mp3)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Watch List

1. Walter Meego - Chicago's very own and recently signed to Almost Gold Records, Walter Meego makes me want flip over my keyboard dance like a madman around the office! Listen to: Wanna Be a Star (Walter Sees Stars Remix) (mp3)
2. The Outrunners - I know they are from France and are stuck in the 80's, but the rest is still a mistery.
3. Mintel Rose - These Frenchmen sure love their 80's dance music. Listen to: Sunday Afternon (Remix) (mp3)

1. Ragad Print Issue #3 - featuring work from Jack Swenson, Paul Kavanagh, and J. Lee Luera.
2. Stacking the Court by Jean Edward Smith - I have always been fascinated by the interworking of the Supreme Court.
3. The work of Pirooz Kalayeh over at "No Tell Motel"

1. Converse (Product) Red - In support of the (Product) Red campaign to help fight Aids in Africa. $295 to $79.99
2. Behance Action Pads - What a great tool help plan a project, a novel, an art installations, and so on. $8.00
3. Impeach Cheney Cap - Make a statement. $5


1.YACHT's new video "Women of the World"
2. The trailer for the upcoming Liger Tour Documentary
3. This is a clip from a new movie about Bob Dylan, it features David Cross as Allen Ginsberg and you will never guess who is playing Dylan.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning while you enjoy a nice bowl of Cocoa Hoots, watch this animated gem from the Hidden Cameras.

Death of a Tune

Friday, July 27, 2007

Band of the Week

Calvin Harris

So maybe he didn't actually create disco, being born in 1984 would make it very difficult to be the creator of disco, but Calvin Harris has created something fresh yet nostalgic at the same time. Just 23 years old and hailing from Dumfries, Scotland, Calvin Harris made his debut album I Created Disco in his bedroom on a battered old Amiga computer. Now touring with a full band and an explosive live show, he sets his sights on the US with his debut release for Almost Gold Recordings on September 4th.
The music is simple, but energetic and very danceable. The feel is much more 80's then 70's disco era to me, and of course there is a heavy dose of 90's electronic music. Keyboards, samples, and hand claps abound as Calvin "Merry makes" all over house. He is having fun and it really shines through on all of his tracks. Make no mistake, Calvin Harris will never be know for his lyrics ("I don't care what you dress like or what you wear/but please make sure baby you got some colours in there"), but again that is clearly not the point this music is trying to make. It is all about the melody and beat, and in that area Calvin is near perfect.

Calvin Harris is making his mark on 2007 in style -- "Disco disappeared, didn't it? Everyone got sick of it. Now I'm reviving it, with space goggles, or something." "The song titles say it all,” he explains. “My tunes aren't supposed to invoke deep thought within people; they're just to get you dancing. But musically it is for the brain - it's not music for stupid people. I take great pride in my productions. It's not knocked out in a few seconds."

“Acceptable In The 80s,” Calvin’s first single in both the UK and the US, sparkles with high gloss, glitz and glamour like a disco ball catching the light. A masterpiece of hooks and gushing synths it is a testament to the talent at work.

Calvin Harris "I Created Disco" (Almost Gold, Sept 4th, 2007)
Merry Making at my Place/Colours/This is Industry/The Girls/Acceptable in the 80's/Neon Rocks/Traffic Cops/Vegas/I Created Disco/Disco Heat/Vault Character/Certified/Love Souvenir/Electro Man

Listen to:

Acceptable in The 80's (mp3)
Merry Making at my Place (mp3)

For more information, music, and videos from Calvin Harris visit his website or myspace page.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Writer's Corner

C. Allen Rearick

"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?"

I have been asking this question for several weeks now to various poets, and the answers have been far reaching and all very good. However, I never fully believed either side of the debate. I routinely scourer the internet for poets of all types and ages, and I have read the loved and the hated alike. I could never really put it all together until I read the work of and talked to Cleveland poet C. Allen Rearick. He himself is clearly thriving in this internet era, but it was his more casual perspective on poetics as whole that solidified my opionion of the era. Each poem, from contrived and wordy to high school melodrama and all of the beauty inbetween has a home on the internet, and the reader can sort them on his or her own.

C. Allen Rearick is one of the founding members of the Guerilla Poetics Project and his work has been published in various on-line and print journals. Most recently he appeared in Zygote in my Coffee Print No. 3 and The Quirk. He is working on a split chapbook with S.A. Griffin that will be published by Tainted Coffee Press.

Recently, C. Allen took some time out to talk to us his work and his answer to the above question.

Orange Alert (OA): I really enjoyed the broadside that you put out with Guerrilla Poetics Project, "A Shy and Quite Morning". What are your thoughts on the efforts and mission of the GPP? What has the response been like to your broadside?
C. Allen Rearick (CR): I think the GPP is a wonderful idea, and I'm happy to not only be apart of it but to also be one of the original founding members. Sofar, the effort put into it has been amazin'. From the GPP printer,to the operatives who sign up everyday, to the website designer, tothe myspace controller. Without any of 'em it would be damn near impossible to make this all happen. I think the overall mission ofthe GPP is great. I think there are a lot of people out there who feel alienated, not just in a sense that "i'm a writer, no oneunderstands me" but in a sorta indifferent, the world is fucked, whytry way. I think when people find one of the broadsides, it's asudden jolt, an unexpected joy. It gives 'em an oppurtunity to join,to feel as if they are part of somethin', a way to meet more peoplewho feel the same way and can relate. As far as the response to mybroadside, I think there were one or two comments left by finders who liked it. Other'n that, I really don't know.

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?
CR: To tell the truth, I haven't really been payin' attention to thecurrent state of poetry as of late. At least not like I used to. Ido however think it's fine. Both the internet and print mediums havethey're various pros and cons. I think in the years to come, we'regonna see more online mediums, whether or not they'll be credible is awhole 'nother descussion. I don't know whether or not it's bein'watered down. What I do know is that with so many outlets, there issomethin' for everyone. Whether you like to read"highschool-teen-whoa-is me" stuff, "Bukowski wanna-bes""puedo-intellectuals" whatever..find your nitch and enjoy. Of course,I also think we should all strive to better not just our writin' bute veryone's as well. Of course, who's to say what is "good" and whatis "bad". It's all subjective. I don't even know what i'm talkin' aboot anyomore. I feel like John Kerry.

OA: What can you tell us about your forthcoming chapbook?
CR: It will instead be put out by "Tainted Coffee Press" which is part of "Zygote in my coffee" (http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/) Co-edited by Brian Fugett and Karl Koweski. The only details thus far are from Brian's e-mail to me - "...The "69" FLIPBOOK CHAP SERIES is a unique combination of 2 chapbooks by two different poets packaged together in which one sidewill feature the poetry of ONE poet & then you flip it over & it will feature a whole DIFFERENT poet! And each side will have it?s VERY ownCover art! It's kinda in the same vein as those flip-book style of comic books from back in the late 70's & early 80's!..." The other poet will be non-other than S.A. Griffin, co-editor of "The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry" and his latest "Numbsull Sutra" available from Rank Stranger Press.

OA: Does the act of conveying a poem to an audience ever change the way you feel about a particular poem? How do you feel about poetry readings in general?
CR: No, i don't think it does. Poetry readings can be varied. It's a total crapshoot when you go to 'em. I've been to some, such> as the monthly one hosted by Steve Goldberg and Nick Traenkner at the Literary Cafe in Tremont, Ohio, (http://literarycafe.net/blog/) which are always fun with great featured readers as well as some fine open mic'ers. Than there are others that are like an old lady's quilting b.

OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
CR: Sharon Olds, Charles Bukowski, Kurt Vonnegut, William Carlos Williams, Thomas Mann, Henry Miller, Mike Topp, Tom Kryss, d.a. levy, Kent Taylor, James Wright, Billy Collins, Knut Hamsun, Jim Burns, Raymond Carver and a SLEW of small press/independent poets.

OA: What next for C. Allen Rearick?.
CR: Well, gettin' the word out aboot> Ron Paul. Helpin' to promote poets and artists I like via my myspace (www.myspace.com/c_allen). I've been readin' a lot in the> area of screenplays too.

Bonus Questions:

OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite kind of coffee, and where is your favorite coffee place?
CR: Coffee is a must!!! Has to be strong too. To quote S.A. Griffin when he crashed at my place for d.a. levy fest "Cowboy coffee!" Well, I used to enjoy goin' to this place called "Common Grounds" it's open 24 hours and you could smoke there. I don't go there as much anymore due largely in part of the Ohio smoking ban. F**KERS.

OA: What type of music do you enjoy listening to currently? Who are some of your
all-time favorites?
CR: My taste is very eclectic. My all-time bein' Nirvana. I also love, in no particualr order, Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, The Broadways, The Queers, Brandston, Public Enemy, Eminem, Outcast, The Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys, Dreyfus, Whatever, The Reserves, Greg-o/Little Beck, William H. Michaels, Thursday, Jawbreaker, Norah Jones, etc...

For more information on C. Allen Rearick visit his website or his myspace.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Artist of the Week

Fontaine Anderson

The collision of two unique styles or genres can be a magical occurrence, just look at jazz and hip-hop or hip-hop and rock, but in art in can sometimes be difficult to combine two established styles. Many artist will create different styles through out there careers, but rarely mix more then small elements of each together. However, in the case of Adelaide, Australia native Fontaine Anderson, a patchwork combination of two styles is what it is all about. Fonataine utilize many of the technique of fashion design, but implements ancient Egyptian folk art to create truly unique illustrations.

Recently, Fontaine launched a new website, and she is also featured on the cover of this months issue of Iniciativa Colectiva Issue #5. Fortunately, she was still able to take some time out to talk to us about her work.

Orange Alert (OA): How would you describe your work?
Fontaine Anderson (FA): A bit odd! A mish mash of themes from fashion to ancient history.

OA: I love the textured effect of all of the lines that you add to your drawing. How did you come to utilize that process?
FA: It came from a sheer need to fill in the shapes I make. I love the layering effect of ink line over subtle colour washes- the style basically just happened because I decided one day that I hated acrylic paint! (the medium that I used to use)

OA: How long does it take you to complete a piece from sketch to finished product?
FA: Many, many hours, sometimes days.

OA: I am fascinated with the Egyptian themes in many of your pieces, have you done any research into these types of drawings? Is there any spiritual or deeper meaning to these images?
FA: Not really, I have always loved the simplicity and strong graphic qualities of Egyptian drawings. Egyptian god's are very beautiful and almost surreal looking - I am really only interested in the aesthetics.

OA: Can you tell us a little about the art scene in Southern Australia, specifically Adelaide?
FA: To be honest I don't get out enough to know much about the art scene- but generally Adelaide is a pretty conservative place and most exciting events bypass us. We have a lot of great graphic design studio's in Adelaide but you have to be very lucky and talented to make a career out of design in Adelaide because most studio's are sos mall.

OA: What is next for Fontaine Anderson?
FA: I am planning a trip to around Europe next year as well as working on promoting my new website (http://www.fontaineillustration.com/).

Bonus Questions:
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee location?
FA: Yes please. Weak skinny latte at Cibo's on Gouger Street in Adelaide.

OA: Do you listen to music while your create? Who are some of your current favorites?
FA: Sometimes. Current favorites are Feist, M Ward, Cat power, The Smiths and Joy Division.

For more information on Fontaine Anderson please visit her brand new website.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Release Tuesday

Bishop Allen - The Broken String Listen to: Rain (mp3)
Tegan and Sara - The Con (stream) Listen to: Back in your Head (mp3)
Simian Mobile Disco - EP Listen to: 3 Pin Din (mp3)
Juliette & The Licks - Four on the Floor (US Release) Listen to: Got Love to kill (MSTRKRFT Mix) (mp3)
Portugal The Man - Church Mouth (stream) Listen to: Shades (mp3)
Sebadoh - Freed Man (Reissue) Listen to: Soulmate (mp3)
Garbage - Absolute Garbage
Unkle - War Stories (stream) Listen to: Brun My Shadow (Jesse Somfay Mix) (mp3)
John Vanderslice - Emerald City (stream) Listen to: White Dove (mp3)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - The Is Is Ep (stream)


Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

We all need to dance sometimes, so let's bring the "Disco Heat"! This week's mix features music from Calvin Harris, LCD Soundsystem, Ghosthustler, Kavinsky, Chromeo, Justice, and more...

Artwork: "Disco Ball" by Jasper Oostland

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Orange Alert's Music Minute

Well maybe it never really left. Popular dance music in the 70's was called disco, in the 80's it was called new wave, then techno, electronic, and then electro. The sounds changed slighty, but the point was the same, dancing! Today we have artists bringing back the sounds and the style of disco and adding modern electronics the mix. With bands like Justice, Calvin Harris (mp3), Ghosthustler, LCD Soundsystem, and Daft Punk I simple feel like saying Disco is Back!

It was back in May that I had mentioned Justin Vernon on the Watch List, and now this Wisconsin Native has released his debut album "For Emma, Forever Ago". With acoustic guitar and hushed vocal, Bon Iver has what it takes, and has released an incredible album.

Listen to: Blindsided (mp3) and For Emma (mp3)

Anticon artist Sole, known to his parents as Tim Holland, will release Sole and the Skyrider Band, his first album recorded entirely with a live band (and fourth official full-length overall), on Oct. 23.

Though Sole’s last album, Live From Rome, came out only two and a half years ago, and Sole has been busy in the meantime, recently releasing a solo instrumental LP, under the moniker mansbestfriend, and twice touring the U.S. and Europe, he nonetheless refers to the self-titled Sole & The Skyrider Band record as a “comeback.” It’s a curious term; what is a comeback exactly? Simply a return with a vengeance?
In some ways, it is a record of return—a return to rhyming, for one, particularly the complicated rhyme schemes that marked Sole’s early work, a return driven by his seemingly, but not actually, discordant love of both Lord Byron and Lil’ Wayne. Sole & The Skyrider Band also represents a return to the musical consistency and coherence that made the Alias-produced Selling Live Water a critical triumph.
Listen to: Shipwreckers (mp3)
The Peel Back: Dinosaur Jr. "Green Mind"

I will start by saying this, first of all Dinosaur Jr. is my favorite band of all-time and second Green Mind was the first album of theirs that I heard. Since that time I have come to love their previous albums, but this album will always be Dinosaur Jr. for me. I know that may discredit me with many Dino Jr. fans, but it is the truth.

Green Mind was the first full album without Lou Barlow, and it found J Mascis recording most all the parts of the songs himself. The result is surprisingly poppy, and clearly their most accessible music to date. The felt quite radio friendly for the first, and "Water" and "Wagon" actually received some play on alternative radio. This album also marked their major label debut. Musically, the album fits perfectly within the progression of the band, but many original fans were not happy with the progression. Mascis' guitar solo on the album started to become much more controlled and cleaner, yes the still roared, but it was a more refined roar. I don't know if that was the label's doing, but if you ever hear "Thumb" live it is incredibly different from the album version.

Dinosaur Jr. "Green Mind" (Sire/Warner Brothers, February, 1991) (Reissue Rhino, 2006)
The Wagon(mp3)/Puke + Cry/Blowing It/I Live For That Look/Flying Cloud/How'd You Pin That One On Me/Water(mp3)/Muck/Thumb(mp3)/Green Mind

Lollapalooza Band of the Week: The Cribs

This trio from Wakefield, UK is rumored to put on an energetic show. They recently released an entire album of new material, "Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever" and are in the middle of a tour with Maximo Park. Their music is an aggressive hybrid of new wave, punk and pop and they are out to make a name for themselves. The schedulers have put them in a tough spot this year, however, pitting them against The 1900's, David Vandervelde, The Postmarks, Dax Riggs, and Dios. They play Sunday August 5th from 12:15 to 1:15.

Listen to: Mens Needs (mp3) and Bovine Public (mp3)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Watch List

1. Peasant - D. Derose is from Doylsetown, PA and he makes intimate indie-folk. He recently finished recording his debut album for Paper Garden Records with a little help The Cobbs. Listen to: Those Days (mp3) and Be Free (mp3)
2. David E. Sugar - London is bringing the Disco heat, the electronic funk, and a big spoonful of Sugar. You can still grab his April '07 mega mix here. Listen to: Radioactivity (mp3) and Klaxons - Golden Skans (Strictly for the Heads Remix) (mp3)
3. HECUBA - Folk mentality meets hip-hop samples and subtle electronics. L.A. is home to these interesting individuals who are making complex yet strangely addictive music.

1. "Please Don't Put That Thing on My Head—I Work for the Government" by M.E. Parker
2. "The Politics of Fear" - Their are finally starting to realize that we are governed by fear. The that of terrorism is always a nice distraction for the Bush administration to utilize.
3. "I Will Become a Mexican" by Blake Butler

1. NoPattern/Chuck Anderson T-Shirts - A new line for the summertime! $24
2. "Crazy 4 Cult" Poster by Christopher Lee - This poster was create to make the opening last this past week of Gallery 1988's latest show. The show features original piece created around the cult movie theme. Each artist was allowed to chose their favorite cult movie and create a piece related to it. It is hosted by Kevin Smith and feature artwork by Leanne Biank, Luke Chueh, Travis Lampe and many more. $15

1. "Toxic - MYK" paper toy from Marshall Alexander
2. Inbox treats from Health "Crimewave" (mp3) and Crystal Castles "Mother Knows Best" (mp3).

1. Brasilintime Trailer - This project has Madlib, Cut Chemist, Babu and more involved.
2. La Blogotheque's Take-Away Shows series: Architecture in Helsinki, Dirty Projectors, and Benni Hemm Hemm
3. Ben Tanzer "Lucky Man Goes Viral Redux"

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning while you enjoy a bowl of Urkel-O's watch this animated video from CSS.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Band of the Week

Black Before Red

It's rare that a band just appears out nowhere with a powerful sound and near perfect debut album. For most bands it can take years to perfect their and release a career defining album. So how did these four Texans come to record such an amazing debut? Well these are not high school kids self-producing an album, this is a band who has been playing in and around Austin, TX for quite something. It has been said that they are "a band's band". All though their official history is readily available they are believed to have ties to Okkervil River, and even received some assitance from them in recording, "Belgrave to Kings Circle" (i eat records, 8/07).
Musically, the band is drawing comparisions to the The Shins for their melodies, Of Montreal for the harmonies, and Sea & Cake for their layered instrumentation. Their music seems simple on the surface, familiar in a distant family vacation sort of way, but as you digg deeper you begin to find complexities in sound and lyric. Hand claps, finger snaps, muted horns, gentle electronics all add to the impressive blend of 70's am pop and modern indie-folk.

Each member of this quartet plays multiple instruments, Mark Ferrino, Kevin Schneider, Josh Huck, and Marc Dickey. This only adds to the depth of their and the power of this debut album.

Goddess in Trauma

Check out the One Sheet

Belgrave to Kings Circle (i eat records, August 14, 2007)
Underneath Gold/Matagorda/Our Last Summer/Goddess in Trauma/Bossa Nova #7/Finding Peace in the City/Teenage America/A Passengers Guide to Getting By/Spilt Milk Mistake/Halliberlin Petroleum/Waiting for the Bang

Listen to:
Goddess in Trauma (mp3)
Matagorda (mp3)
Teenage America (mp3)
Underneath Gold (mp3)

For more information on Black Before Red visit their myspace page. You can also pre-order the album there for $10.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Writer's Corner

Kenneth Pobo

There is a high degree of honesty contained with the lines of a poem. Whether the poet speaks of love, hate, nature, destruction, war, or Bush's foreign policy, the honesty rests within the emotion and sentiment the poet feeds in the poem. Just as Ginsberg felt compelled to pen "America" in 1956, the poets of today should feel so compelled to shout like madmen on the rooftops of their local starbucks and US tans about the current state of America. They should be the men and women leading the marches on Washington, and not the ones quietly submitting trite verse about how they hate their jobs. One poet who is willing to sound his "barbaric YAWP" is Kenneth Pobo.

Kenneth Pobo grew up in Illinois. His work can be read online at: FORPOETRY.COM, THREE CANDLES, ADIRONDACK REVIEW, 2RIVER VIEW, and elsewhere. In 1998, Palanquin Press published his chapbook called Cicadas in the Apple Tree, he has gone on to publish several other chapbooks. His most recent book, Introductions, was published by Pearl's Book'em in 2003. Kenneth is currently living in PA and teaches at Widner University. He is also featured in the Spring 2007 issue of Pemmican, where he clearly outlines his view of America.

Recently, Kenneth took some time out to talk to us about his work and the poet's place in politics.

Orange Alert (OA): How long have you been writing and how long did you submit your work before you received your first publication?
Kenneth Pobo (KP): I started writing on July 4, 1970. I was 15. I started sending out to (real) little journals at 19. Jean's Journal in New York published my first poem called "Scenesof Cemetery." The "scenesof" indicates I was listening madly to Marc Bolan/T. Rex then (and still do).

OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
KP: There are too many to list. Any poem I like is an "influence." Some that come to mind immediately are the portrait poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson, D.H. Lawrence's Pansies, Anne Sexton's Transformations, Theodore Roethke, especially his greenhouse poems, Frank O'Hara, Tomas Transtromer, Sylvia Plath, Eliot, Ginsberg, David Trinidad, Mutsuo Takahashi, Creeley, Jean Follain, Jean Valentine, Tony Hoagland (recently), Langston Hughes, May Swenson, Zbigniew Herbert. Folks like Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, GM Hopkins have influenced my whole life, so they have influenced my poems, too. The Beats. Any poet connected with the T'ang Dynasty.

OA: What is your opinion of the current state of poetry? Is it thriving in an internet era, or 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?
KP: Every "literary era" has challenges. I love that the Internet has made poetry accessible to many who wouldn't have as much access to it if they had to rely only on Borders and Barnes & Noble. The Internet is the antithesis of corporate book stores. Poets who had a slim chance of being more widely read now can be accessed by a few clicks--from anywhere around the world. Publishing is being redefined. It's unfair to single out the Internet as having many "magazines" which are edited by people without much literary acumen. Yes, those magazines exist--as they exist in the print media, too. I'm glad that canonical literature is being rethought and challenged. There's no need to toss Chaucer out--he's great--but we can have spoken word poets, too. The Internet has widened the possibilities for people of color and out GLBT writers. Many writers are trying to write poems that speak to many issues that some mainstream journals are reticent to touch. We can't know what people will want to read in 50 years or in "eternity"--or even tomorrow. Writers are rethinking what constitutes literary recognition. I believe there is an audience for poetry, a large audience. Sadly, there's an audience for Fox "News" too.

OA: I particularly enjoy your more political poems (American Way, Bush Says, Dinner After the Republican Convention, etc.). I find them refreshing and much needed in modern times. Can you share your thoughts on the poet as political commentator?
KP: As the Mamas & the Papas sang on my alltime favorite song, "12:30," "I can no longer keep my blinds drawn." I think poets have a responsibility to speak truth to power--even if no one or very few listen. I don't want my poems to be little presents I make only for myself, all stuffed with me, me, me. 650,000 people in Iraq have died already. More to come. Children have their faces blown off. And our corporate media hustlerwhores give us the woes of Paris Hilton. In 2004, I made a decision that enhanced my life: I turned off the TV. BYE! No more CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN. If I want the opinions of Bush, I can go elsewhere. I don't need the TV media washing me in vomit and calling it perfume. The exceptions: Keith Olberman and a few seconds of the Weather Channel if a bad storm is coming. Otherwise, the networks stay off. I don't want American Idol in my life. I don't want to hear "news" people refer to my rights as "controversies." Why not define heterosexual rights as "controversies"? As the camera makes sure we see the wedding ring on the anchor's finger. I will never forget when the stupid lie-based Iraq War began. I was on a stationary bike at the gym. They have TV monitors on (always, TV watches us). When they showed the bombing taking place in Bagdhad, all the explosions, the lights in the night sky, I thought the commentators were masturbating to the phrase "shock and awe." There was no sense that we had embarked on a nightmare of enormous grief. I often write poems based on injustices. In the past six and a half years, since two elections were stolen (more times when the media decided not to cover this. Wolf Blitzer, read Greg Palast now, if you can read.) I have written about political and justice issues again and again. Many aren't really poems as much as rants. They feel good when I write them, like I'm getting something off my chest or pulling a tick off of me, but as poems they may be too stated, or they may come across as the poet above the crowd. If it's about the poet, and not the issue, and even more so, language, for me, it works less well. The poems of mine you mentioned liking (thanks, by the way) were written in response to moral decay and militarism--and consumerism. Ginsberg's "America" is still alive and enervating to read now, over 50 years after it was written. I try to do what he does in the poem's last line: "America, I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel." There's much work to be done unless a nuclear war starts, which it very well may, and then the sun will do all the work, shining on our collective corpse. For poets, our tools are language, sound--and silence. And one more thing, poetry that involves politics needn't be direct. I have many poems about the garden. They may seem like they're about the garden, like a nice bouquet, but I see them as a challenge to a time where we're growing more and more disconnected from nature (we do this at our peril--global warming). Thoreau saw that a divorce from nature leads to rampant moneythugging and loss of self. So, what may seem on the surface to be apolitical may be deeply political.

OA: Do you ever participate in readings? If so, does the act of reading your poetry to audience ever change the way you feel about a particular poem? How do you select which poems you will read that night?
KP: I love giving readings--and still get butterflies before I read. I don't read the same poems again and again. I like to try out new poems and see how they mix with the others. I like to pull poems out of mothballs and see them in a new context, hear them in a new context. Audience response can really improve a reading. You can just feel it when people are listening closely. Everyone gets on a magic carpet ride of words. We don't know where the journey will lead. Reading poems out loud can also signal needs for revision. I love revision! I never think of my poems as done, including those that are in books. It's funny how a poet never really knows which poems may affect someone at a reading. A poet's own favorites may be met with a chill while poems that the poet may think of as chewing gum can get strong responses. Go figure.

OA: What's next for Ken Pobo?
KP: Oh goodie, a chance to mention my forthcoming book, Glass Garden, due out in 2008 from WordTech Press. I'm a teacher, so after the heaven of summer, school will start again. A busy year, no doubt, coming up. What else is in the works? I want to watch a bunch of films I have but haven't gotten to yet. Rumor has it that more Bergman films are going to be out on DVD. Can't wait. Bette Davis & Joan Crawford are always in style. I've been reading some excellent books (Paul Beatty, The White Boy Shuffle; Donaldson's bio of Edwin Arlington Robinson; and Aidoo's novel Changes) and hope to read more. It's been a good writing summer thus far, and I hope the start of school doesn't turn my writing life into a beetle squished between two fingers. Stan, my partner, and I hope to go away in August. That does mean tearing ourselves away from the garden. I do my radio show, "Obscure Oldies," every Saturday from 6-8pm EST at WDNR.com. It's a highlight of my week.

Bonus Questions:
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
KP: I drink coffee every morning. We usually get Chock Full O Nuts. I don't go to coffee spots unless you count our dining room table or my desk.

OA: What type of music are you currently listening to and who are some of your favorite artists?
KP: I'm 680 billion years old and my musical tastes reflect this. Who I'm listening to now is pretty much who I was listening to in 1966. It's a long list, topped of course by Tommy James and the Shondells. The Monkees. Nancy Sinatra. Pet Clark. The 4 Tops. Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The Supremes. The 1910 Fruitgum Company. Jackie De Shannon. The Ohio Express. Verdelle Smith. Wilson Pickett. The Sounds of Modification. Buffy Ste. Marie. The Carpenters. Bread (but never "Make It With You" or "If"). Herman's Hermits. The Improper Bostonians. The New Colony Six. The Dave Clark 5. Bobby Hebb. The Mamas and the Papas. Abba. The 4 Seasons. The Flamin' Ember. Zoe Mulford. Pieces of 8. The Third Rail. Robert Knight. Mama Cass. Peter and Gordon. Music Machine. Tremeloes. Paul Revere and the Raiders. The Hollies. The Chesterfield Kings. When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water. Donovan. Chad & Jeremy. Peggy Lee. Question Mark & The Mysterians. The Flock (pre 1969). Tommy Overstreet. The Trolls. Michael Buble. The Association. American Breed. Herb Alpert. The Cowsills. The Cryin' Shames. April Stevens & Nino Tempo. The Fireballs. Frankie Valli. Andy Kim. The Archies. Lou (definition of HOT) Christie. Susan Christie. Five Stairsteps. First Edition. Beach Boys. T. Rex. Beatles, especially George but John too. Mark Erik. Irma Thomas. Neil Diamond (pre-1973). Lulu. Bee Gees, especially pre 1975. Sonny James. Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan. AAAARGH, I'd better stop before they take me away. But... here's my "Top 11" list, my 10 favorite songs: 1) "12:30"--Mamas and Papas; 2) "96 Tears"--? and the Mysterians; 3) "Never My Love"--Association; 4) "Funky Broadway--Wilson Pickett; 5) "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"--Scott McKenzie; 6) "One Minute Woman"--Bee Gees; 7) "Goodbye To Love"--The Carpenters; 8) "Longings for a Simpler Time"--Peggy Lee; 9) "Run, Run, Run"--Third Rail; 10) "Lonely Drifter"--Pieces of 8; 11) "Crimson & Clover"--Tommy James and the Shondells.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Artist of the Week

"#92" gouache on paper 24" x 24" 2003

Julie Gross
In preparation for this week's featured artist, I was doing a bit of research at work, looking through her paintings and prior interviews, etc. A random co-worker walked by and made this comment after asking what I was looking at: "I like the colors, but it's just circles. What's the big deal?". Well in that moment, in the office I bit my tongue a bit and simply said, "What can not be contained by a circle? Just think of the power, the eternal motion held within the shell of a circle." He just walked away, but I felt pretty good about the interaction.

The completeness, the self-contained beauty of a circle is almost too simple to be brilliant, but it is brilliant nonetheless. Whether it is the polished gold wedding ring, the tire on your daughter's first bike, the baseball that Barry Bonds uses to destroy purity of the game, the circle is a thing power and meaning. No one understands the beauty of the circle quite like New York resident Julie Gross. Julie has been exploring the infinite possibilities of the circle since 1998. Her work has been described as "bubble slices" or "a network or matrix of interlocking circles and bulbous shapes derived from circles, notably a plump, animated teardrop shape".

"Ayin" oil on linen 48" x 48" 2005

Imagine a warm summer day in your childhood, sitting on the front porch with a bottle of bubbles. The bright pink bottle clutched in your hands, you anticipate magic and plunge your fingers into the soapy liquid. Pulling out the fluorescent green wand and pressing it to your lips, you gently blow, creating to a world of various shaped bubbles, some free floating others clustered closely together. After first glance this world appears transparent, however, as it floats along the sun hits each circle creating a splashes of color inside the circles and upon the cement below. It is at that very moment that Julie steps up at slices the bubbles exposing their insides, and revealing the beauty of the circle.

When creating, Julie always begins with a compass and tracing paper to develop her ideas. These drawn circles and the emptiness in between are filled, and essentially brought to life, with color. The most compelling drawings are then transferred on to linen and painted with oil paints.

"Swuform" oil on linen 24" x 24" 2001

There seems to be two different levels or stages to her work, first the placement of the circles and second the selection of the colors. Her colors tend be muted and more subtle, but it is in the combination of the various tones and shades that the true nature and motion of the circles is fully developed. When I discussed which pieces I would feature today with Julie, she was interested to see which pieces that I would chose and was anticipating seeing how they would look together. When viewing her work as a whole you can see patterns in both shape and color, and I am hoping that my selections will served those patterns justice.
"#61" gouache on paper 16" x 16" 2001

For more information on Julie Gross and to purchase some of her pieces you can visit her website. Also check out this full interview conducted last year by Julie Karabenick of Geoform

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Release Tuesday

1. The Knife - Silent Shout Deluxe Edition - 2 Disc + DVD Listen to: Silent Shout (mp3)
2. The Chemical Brothers - We Are The Night Listen to: Do It Again (Feat. Ali Love) (mp3)
3. The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever Listen to: Mens Needs (mp3) and CSS Remix (mp3)
4. Editors - An End Has a Start Listen to: An End has a Start (mp3)
5. Yesterday's New Quintet - Yesterday's Universe Listen to: Ahmad Miller - Sunny (mp3)
6. Los Campesinos - Sticking Fingers Into Sockets Ep Listen to: Don't tell me to do the math(s) (mp3)
7. k-os - Collected Listen to: Crabbuckit (mp3)
8. Annuals - Fair/Swing Low (single) Listen to: Swing Low Sweet Chariots (mp3)
9. The Magic Numbers - Those The Brokes
10. NOW-AGAIN RE:SOUNDS VOL. 1 Listen to: Truth and Soul - Amnesty (mp3)

The Hills Have Eyes 2

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

This week try to take to the dirt road, the long and lazy southern path back to your roots, back to the basics. Enjoy "I'll Take the Southern Road" and relax! Music from Bowerbirds, Smog, Wilco, Little Wings, Califone, and more.

Bonus Tracks:

Cotton Jones Basket Ride - Mary (mp3)
Candybars - Landscape (mp3)
The Decembersts - California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade (mp3)

Artwork: "Coral Girl" by Fontaine Anderson

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Orange Alert's Music Minute

Hi, it's Tim one more time...
Disaster looms! Today (7/12/07) a federal court denied a plea to delay the massive increase in rates webcasters must pay the record labels. This means that, absent immediate Congressional action, the new ruinous royalty rates will be going into effect on Monday threatening the future of all internet radio.

This is a very dire situation and I'm writing to ask one more time for your support. The effort you've made over the past four months has been extraordinary and has forced the rapid introduction of the bill, but the committee process has been sluggish and we need to once again remind the representatives of the urgency of this issue. This is perhaps the most important phone call you can make for us.

Please call your Congressional representatives in the House and Senate and ask them to force immediate action on the Internet Radio Equality Act and bring the bill to a vote. It is critical that their phones begin ringing off the hook starting early in the morning. If it's busy, please try again later.

Congressperson J. Dennis Hastert: (202)225-2976
Senator Richard Durbin: (202) 224-2152
Senator Barack Obama: (202) 224-2854
I'm sorry that we have to keep asking you for this - but it's our only recourse. We are no match for the legal and legislative strength of the RIAA and we need your help.
Thank you again.

-Tim Westergren (Pandora founder)

This week over at Daytrotter, The National stopped by and performed a few songs from their latest album 'Boxer'. Check out their live session here. Daytrotter also has a great session with Young Galaxy that you should hear as well.

On Oct. 2 the Acute label will issue Hungry Beat, a collection of the original studio recordings of Scotland's post-punk legends Fire Engines, available for the first time on CD in the US.

The Fire Engines formed, did absolutely everything in the most chaotic and unconventional manner possible, and broke up 18 months later. Considered one of the three main movers on the fertile Scottish post punk scene of the early 1980s with the much poppier Orange Juice and slightly more accessible Josef K, Fire Engines drew from similar influences but leaned towards darker and more abrasive sources: Velvet Underground, the Voidoids, Television, the artier end of UK punk and early post-punk like the Pop Group and the Fall, and perhaps most importantly, a copy of No New York, particularly the Contortions' contributions. The Fire Engines music was angular but funky, discordant but melodic, terse and energetic. During their brief career they released 3 singles and a mini-LP, all of which are contained on Acute's new compilation Hungry Beat.

The Fire Engines reunited in 2004 and played shows with The Magic Band as well as Franz Ferdinand, who cite the Engines as one of their biggest influences. Franz and the Engines released a split 7" and shortly thereafter the Domino label issued Codex Teenage Premonition, a collection of live Fire Engines recordings and Peel Sessions. The band has performed sporadically since their reunion in 2004 and plans to tour in support of Hungry Beat.

Check Out: Fire Engines - "Meat Whiplash" (mp3)

The Peel Back: Smoking Popes "Get Fired"

Growing up in the Chicagoland area, The Smoking Popes are legends. However, to the rest of the world they may be known as one hit wonders. Their big hit came in 1994 when "I Need You Around" was featured in the movie Clueless, and shone a brief national spotlight on the Popes. The Popes actually formed in 1991 and The Carterer Brothers released a few Ep's before recording their debut LP "Get Fired" in 1993.

I remember going into the local record shop, Disc n' Dats (now closed, thanks Borders!), and purchasing this album on vinyl. There is just something about punk and vinyl that is magical. I rushed home and dropped the needle, and "Let's Hear it for Love" starts blasting. "Let's Hear it for heartache/Let's hear it for pain" Josh's croons over edgy post-punk instrumentals. It like Mel Torme meets Minor Threat, and Mel is winning. The album last only 25 minutes, but the Smoking Popes make every minute count.

Smoking Popes "Get Fired" (Johann's Face, 1993)
Let's Hear It For Love (mp3)/That's Where I Come In/Let Them Die(mp3)/Double Fisted Love/Don't Be Afraid /Can't Find It /Off My Mind/Not That Kind of Girlfriend(mp3)/Days Just Wave Goodbye

Lollapalooza Band of the Week: Rodrigo Y Gabriela

The latest addition to the Lolla line-up is arguably the most artistic. Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) are two fast-fingered, Dublin-based, Mexicans with a unique sound created on acoustic guitars. Their fingers fly and the crowds dance, it classical, pop, rock, salsa passion that will leave you in awe. The way Gabriela rapidly thumbs the body the guitar to create a unique rhythmic sound is nearly unbelievable, while Rodrigo keep the rapid pace moving right along. The latin flare meshes with their interest in rock music as they cover Metallica and Led Zepplin. They are playing opposite Heartless Bastards on Sunday August 5th at 1:15pm. If you want a truly unique experience this year check them out!
Listen to: Stairway to Heaven (Mint Royale Remix) (mp3) and Tamacun (mp3)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Watch List


1. Venna - Small cafe surrounded by cornfields, a group of musicans gather to share the music and lyrics they have created. Two acoustic guitars, electric bass, bongo, and a voice so warm and powerful. Heather Hladish did not use a microphone that night and believe me she did not need one. I was truely blown away, and I hope you will be as well. they gave away hand made CD's with buttons that night so I am sure they won't mind I share this with you. Listen to: Eulogy (mp3)
2. br'er - Recently signed to Beatismurder Records, Benjamin Schurr and Christian Mirande make dreamy and nearly sluggish indie-folk-pop. They just finished making their debut album "Of Shemales and Kissaboos", and will be having a release party in his hometown Philly, PA on August 3rd.
3. Nancy Elizabeth - U.K. folk singer Nancy Elizabeth recently signed to The Leaf Label, and is preparing her new single and album. The album is entitled "Battle and Victory", due out in September and the wonderful single is "Hey Son"(mp3).


1. "Excepts from the Cancer Ward" by Carrin Pockrandt - An interesting story written almost in list form published over at Johnny America.
2. "No Progress Report" - What has the progress been in Iraq, and when will it all end?
3. Nick Ostdick "Ten Names I Would Use if I Were to Start A Punk Rock Band" - If you are looking to form a punk band, but can't think of a name Nick is here to help you out.


1. "June" by Lynn Xu - Debut chapbook from Brown grad Lynn Xu. $6


1. Iniciativa Colectiva #5 (July 2007): An e-zine for Artists by Artist, or so they say. This issue features work from Josh Taylor, Fontaine Anderson, Nicolas Gonzalez, Javier Gonzalez Burgos, and much more. Check it out here for free!
2. Fader #47 (July 2007): Bonde De Role on the cover and Daft Punk, Kavinsky, Dirty Projectors, Blitzen Trapper, Cool Kids, and more inside. It is a great issue and it is free!
3. Turzi's Bastille Day Gift - Celebrate Bastille Day with the complex sounds of TURZI, they are offering free music in honor of their country's holiday.


1. The new Blitzen Trapper Video for "Woof & Warp Of The Quiet Giant's Hem". The also sent this nice little remix of "Sci-Fi Kid" Check Out: Sci-Fi Kid (Principal Participant 'Kingswood' Remix) (mp3)
2. I don't know if it the greatness of the video or just the song, but I can't get enough this one - Spoon "The Underdog"
3. Cotton Jones Basket Ride - All Along The Year (in a day) (Thanks Matt!)

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning enjoy your bowl of Batman Cereal, and watch this video from The Shins.

Pink Bullets

Friday, July 13, 2007

Band of the Week

Little Wings

Kyle Field has been releasing delicate indie folk under the moniker of Little Wings for quite sometime. However, his latest release, Soft Pow'r, is something unique. Not only has Kyle created a brand new sub-label of Marriage Records called RAD, but he has also enlisted some very talented friends. Playing along side Kyle on this album are Jona Bechtolt (YACHT), Lee Baggett, Adam Forkner (White Rainbow), and Curtis Knapp (Marriage Records).

Musically, this album is ideal for a lazy summer afternoon or a quiet and cool summer evening. It is soft and delicate, but it moves along in melody and passion. Gentle guitar strums and lightly layered drums lay down a perfect canvas for Field's quivering voice. The sound resonates for awhile and then graceful disappears. It is a perfect album.

Field also recently released a book of drawings and paintings titled Put It In A Nutshell, which can be purchased on the Marriage website, or viewed here. The sub-label RAD will exist as an imprint of Portland's Marriage Records and the label is planning on offering hand-sewn patches by Rick Swan, a label skateboard from Nat Russell, and an album by The Be Gulls (a band whose goal is to sound like a perfect blend of The Beatles and The Eagles) in the near future.

Little Wings - Soft Pow'r (Sept. 18th RAD Records):
Scuby/Gone Again/Warming/Saturday/Free Bird/Beep About/What Button?

Check Out: Scuby (mp3)

For more information on Little Wings for now visit their artist page on K Records. There should be a website for RAD up shortly.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Writer's Corner

Amy King

"Poetry is a city of words, a complex heterogeneity that functions both as its parts and as a whole. It’s full of systems—metaphoric, symbolic, sonic—analogous to the sewage, electrical, and transportation systems that animate a city." - Cole Swensen from Poetry City

The poem as a city, the city as a poem, and the relationship between the two is a concept that has revolutionized the way many people perceive poetry. This goes beyond simply being influenced by your environment, and reveals a correlation that is deep and so true. The way it buzzes and hums, the way it rushes back and forth, and the way it can appear to completely stand still. One poet who feels an ever growing bond with her city, Brooklyn, New York, is Amy King.

Amy moved to Brooklyn shortly after receiving her M.A. in American Studies with emphasis on Poetics. Since then Amy has gone on to obtain an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College and taught there as well. She has penned three books, the most recent of which is "I'm The Man Who Loves You" (Blazevox, 2007). She also teaches a variety of composition, literature, and creative writing courses in Nassau Community College’s English Department.

Recently, Amy was able to answer a few of our questions in between classes regarding the city, her poetry, and poetry in general.

Orange Alert (OA): In an interview you did with Curve, you talked about urban poetics and Cole Swensen's "Poetry City". Now that we are approaching the two year mark of that incredible publication, how has her work affected you as a poet and/or your outlook poetry in general?
Amy King (AK): The idea that “poetry and cities mirror each other, shed light on each other, and remain together in important works” (Swensen) is more relevant now than ever. Despite the bad rap cities get in general as dangerous and sordid places, cities act as barometers for the overall state of the world. They are the places that experiment with the hope that differences can co-exist, enrich, create, and thrive symbiotically together. The inhabitants are looked to for new ideas and innovations, yes; but also, they are looked to for reactions and resistance against the homogenizing (& eliminating) activities of the powers-that-be. In one way, the very existence of cities and their interdependent-though-very-different inhabitants betray and mock the simple-minded clarifications & claims for security in the “war of good versus evil.” Bah. Even with the threat of violence, from within and outside, hope is the ultimate glue – to abandon the city and retreat to some sprawling zone of suburban and rural safety where ideas don’t clamor and clang is a betrayal of that hope in the seemingly impossible. Likewise, the poet does not abandon the complexities, difficulties, and mysteries of the poem, no matter how it is received or dismissed by the world. The poet explores, diving into dirty sewers and dark recesses, sharing a drink on the rooftop of a poet who opposes her views, dancing to the beat of an instrument she’s never heard before, railing against the checkpoints that would strip her of her rights, finally lying down with the loveliest of “foreigners” – and reports her survival and lessons with her brand of eloquence to the rest of the world. The city and the poem serve as the vehicles for this kind of living. The urban poetic is essentially the personal and political the women’s movement harkened and another position on Robert Creeley’s claim that form is an extension of content.

OA: What is your opinion of the current state of poetry? Is it thriving in an internet era, or 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?
AK: I don’t think there is an overabundance of poetry anymore than there is an overabundance of music or painting or any other discipline that uses a specific medium as a foundational basis. There are ranges and tastes that dictate how well a genre or artist is distributed, and as it goes now, sometimes the more-watered down, less artful work gets the most attention. As such, poetry in its older, more respected “proper” roles such as cultural lens and political conscience are no longer looked to by the general population, which is something of a loss to lament; nonetheless, poetry continues to thrive in the smaller spaces, as it always has, with next to no funding for poets’ survival – this is the poetry to look for because it is the most authentic, least self-serving (or capitalist-driven), earnest and honest in its endeavors. One can find it in the ‘free’ or moderately-funded places like blogs, hard-won independent bookstores, local community groups of poets who host readings and workshops, small press/small town publishers, etc. We, as a nation, need more of these pockets of poets and places/spaces for distribution than ever before, as they are comprised of artists who continue to bear witness, innovatively creating means and unpopular viewpoints, disseminating ‘alternative’ visions and ideas, etc. by as many free outlets as possible.

OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
AK: I know you want “literary” ones, but just like poetry and storytelling, the literary extends into other disciplines for me, so I’ll give you a number of biggies that held me captive directly after my undergrad years in a kind of explosive way – many still do.
Cesar Vallejo, Günter Grass, Laura Riding Jackson, Samuel Beckett, Richard Foreman, Gertrude Stein, Charles Bernstein, Antonin Artaud, Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Chris Marker, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, John Ashbery, Susan Howe, Fanny Howe, George Oppen, Rosmarie Waldrop, Milan Kundera, Jeanette Winterson, Joseph Cornell, Guided By Voices, early Pavement, Palace Brothers, P.J. Harvey, Ludwig Wittgenstein, etc. etc.

OA: I just finished reading your e-book "The Good Campaign", and I enjoyed all of the poems and the ability to access them in a .pdf format. However, do you feel that there maybe something lost in the transition from bound paper and ink, personally designed or created cover, and so on, to the e-books? Is there a difference between the printed word and the electronic word? How important is the presentation of your poetry to you?
AK: Again, it seems vaguely to come down to the issue of our consumerist –driven mentality in some devaluing way. I can turn electronic text into a paper product, assemble it as nicely or rough as I like, and have a product to pass out to my students or friends. I can also simply ask that they buy a book for the price of a movie ticket plus popcorn. While we value the product in this economy, we tend to look unkindly on the ‘virtual’ one, regardless of the merits of the work. Now that money has begun to permeate the virtual realm, this notion is changing slightly, but still, the majority of poets and readers of poetry will herald the bound book over the virtual-yet-printable one most days. I can hear the echoes, “But isn’t it much better to hold a book in one’s hand?” as if putting together a bound-copy of something from the internet were impossible or a waste. I think of a worthwhile chapbook I find online as an opportunity – first, it’s free and that means I can recommend it widely, and second, I can turn the book into a water-proof masterpiece ready for the beach and bathtub, if my artistic tastes are inclined toward laminating that day – the “product” becomes an interactive composition in a way. The idea that we are limited to waiting for a finished product to be handed to us for some money is a bit tragic as it really illustrates our laissez-fare attitudes, even when it comes to the non-product of poetry.

And the old argument that better poetry gets published (i.e. is monetarily-invested in) simply doesn’t hold as we can see not all good poetry is in book form and all poetry books don’t offer the best poetry. This fact is easy to understand just by going through the shelves of your local B&N. Poetry doesn’t make money in most cases, no matter how it is disseminated, so why must poetry-as-published-book be the only way we can receive it? Poetry itself is not merely “received”; poetry is reliant on the reader’s active participation to make it become. Perhaps too simplistically put, value should not be synonymous with published product.

OA: List the top five chapbooks currently on your bookshelf or nightstand.
AK: Gina Myers – “Fear of the Knee of Bending Backwards” (H_NGM_N FLIP)
Joseph Massey – “Property Line” (Fewer and Further Press)
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling - “Document” (Octopus Books)
Betsy Wheeler & Dean Gorman – “Absolutely You” (sixwixiespress)
Barry Schwabsky – “For Despair” (Seeing Eye Books)
Stacy Szymaszek – “Pasolini Poems” (Cy Press)
Linh Dinh – “Drunkard Boxing” (Singing Horse Press)
Wait, that’s seven. Seven equals five in poetry. Just ask Orwell’s Winston.

OA: What's next for Amy King?

AK: Amy King will write about herself in third person in an attempt to control her future better like some misguided-but-amiable fortune teller. She will spend the next few days enthusiastically diving into her latest acquisition, TRIPTYCH, by Jerome Rothenberg and then writing as influenced by the bounty she discovers. She will then fulfill all of the promises she’s left hanging and make nice with her enemies, or at least, find a way to secretly appreciate them and avoid dwelling on their flaws, which in some small way, are probably her own since they irk her enough to rise to the surface of her consciousness. She will also discover that even pseudo-predicting the future doesn’t hide the fact that she has no real plans to astound your readers with, and she kind of likes the open-endedness of being non-committal and sans plans, no matter how irresponsible she appears.

Bonus Questions:
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite kind of coffee, and where is your favorite coffee place?

AK: Gimme Coffee, for as long as she roasts her beans. Based in Ithaca, local shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I grind my brew each morning and sip the Ethiopian all the live long day.

OA: What type of music do you enjoy listening to currently? Does music affect your writing in anyway?
AK: Music is an influence, though not as obviously as some may imagine. I do have direct references as detected by a few titles – there’s the long-standing, Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard, and the headliner of the book, Wilco. But while overheard and misheard lyrics may play a part, mostly I’m affected by the mood of whatever music plays in the background. My tastes range from the melancholic such as early Cat Power or Palace Brothers, to any number of long-standing folks I return to like Neutral Milk Hotel, REM, Sonic Youth, etc etc. I have newer likes such as CocoRosie, Akron/Family, Devendra Banhart, Antony, and oh loads of local bands.

For more information on Amy King please visit her website and to purchase your copy of "I'm the Man who Loves You" to go Amazon.