Monday, May 12, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Richard Krech In Chambers : The Bodhisattva of the Public Defender's Office (Sunnyoutside Press, February 2008)

"The jury not only deliberating my client's fate this time, but their own as well: will they too be guilty of murder?" from "Premeditated Deliberated & Intentional"

I have always had a mild fascination with the legal system and the idea of justice. In the fact that everyone is presumed innocence until proven guilty, and how lives stand waiting for the facts to build in one direction of the other. The position of the defense attorney is noble, and at times morally challenging. To defend someone who is clearly guilty of a violent crime must be trying, and in Richard Krech's latest chapbook, In Chambers, he writes inventive poems about life in and around the court room.

"The advocate strides into the hell-worlds of the steel bars, of the squeezing tongues and hungry ghosts."

A Bodhisattva is a being that is so enlightened that they refuse Nirvana in order stay and fight for others to achieve Nirvana. Some texts refer to this person as a "Buddha in training". To think of an attorney as a person who is forgoing their own happiness to fight for the happiness and freedom of others is, for me at least, a marvelous revelation. The poems in this collection paint that exact picture, it is a battle but there is a constant hope that justice will outweigh evil, and that the truth of fact and evidence will serve its purpose.

Arms Kids Aflame (Melodic Records, June 30th, 2008)

Todd Goldstein plays guitar for an indie-pop band called Harlem Shakes. For most that would be enough, but not for this Brooklyn-based musician. Since 2004 he has been sneaking away and recording lo-fi bedroom pop and self-releasing colorful eps filled complex lyrics and ukulele strums. In late 2006, Todd singed to the UK label Melodic Records, and now we are on the verge receiving his full-length debut album, Kids Aflame.

The first time I heard the song "Kids Aflame" it was in fall of last year and I immediately was fascinated by its sound. Distant yet warm, the words rolling pure and free over gentle strummed ukulele. It echoed on until its end and left me wanting more. I then found a version of "Whirring", and was pleasantly surprised by the upbeat guitar. The contrast was sharpe, but still Todd's vocals were smooth and inviting. Todd has a gift for melody and has crafted a honest album filled ghostly ballads.

Sabretooth Typist/Whirring (mp3)/Construction/Kids Aflame/Tiger Tamer (mp3)/Sad, Sad, Sad/ Shitty Little Disco/The Frozen Lake/Fall/John the Escalator/Eyeball/Pocket/Ana M


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