Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Megafaun "Bury The Square" (Radium, 2/2008)

I close my eyes and picture Dr. Alex Paterson of The Orb flying across the United States on his way from his London home to California for a guest DJ spot. His plane is carrying his laptop and turntables, but has to make an emergency spot in the hills of North Carolina. Due to the planes engine trouble and the remote location of the emergency landing, Alex is stranded for roughly a week in North Carolina. His first night there he ventures out in hopes of finding something that might resemble a club scene, but only manages to stumble upon a tired and dusty bar called Pete’s. Finding a seat near the stage, feeling prepared for anything, but excepting nothing special he takes a drink. Out walks three men with banjos, and they begin to strum and pluck. Paterson rolls his eyes, and takes another drink. Suddenly, they sing out in a somber yet passionate harmony. They tell stories faith and despair, they highlight everything Alex had been feeling, and in the most remarkable straight forward way. He is hypnotized, and instantly compelled to join them on stage armed with only laptop and a wealth of electronic samples and effects.

In reality, Megafaun is brothers Brad and Phil and long time friend Joe Westerlund. They relocated to Eau Claire, WI (home of former band mate Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver) to Raleigh, N.C. back in 2005. It is very clear that they quickly immersed themselves in the culture and musical traditions of North Carolina. Their debut album, Bury The Square (Radium/Table of the Elements, 2/19/08), is the perfect combination rustic southern grace and harmony, and inventive and challenging electronics. This album is an adventure through the hills of North Carolina with violin, banjo, and laptop. A bonus feature is the incredible artwork of Bradly Brown.

Bury The Square
Find Your Mark/Tired and Troubled/Where We Belong/His Robe/Drains/Lazy Sunday (mp3)

Reb Livingston "Your Ten Favorite Words" (Coconut Books, 10/2007)

"here I am, spare one moment more, spy my/tripping, a paper trail of failed chants and exhibits/a few scratched lines I pray will suffice" from Brevity is Not My Soul

I have never thought about my ten favorite words before, have you?

Here goes:

"Your Ten Favorite Words" is collections of poems full of life, for better or worse. Reb seems to focus both the better and worst in life with clarity and at times aggression. You see, she does not simply dabble in love, hate, poetry, and so on, she lunges straight at the heart of the issues without thought or consequence. Above all else this is a collection of strength, "something inside must climb and crinkle" (from My Lover Never), for she illustrates that in spite of everything that may go wrong we must continue to climb.

"Your Ten Favorite Words" can be ordered through Amazon and others, and for more information you can visit Reb's website.

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