Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Jason Tandon Wee Hour Martyrdom (sunnyoutside, March 20th, 2008)

"I crawl back under the covers/Where my love is fast asleep./ Suddenly, she laughs-and does not wake/When I ask what is so funny/And press my finger/Into the hollow of her cheek." from "Interrogation"

When I read this title I got excited. A warrior of the night working into the early morning, and sacrificing sleep and sanity for art and charity. The writer pounding the keys while on the family couch at 2:00am, or the artist in the studio or basement splashing and staring for hours, or the musician jumping out of bed to compose the perfect song. However, Jason's book is not really about those martyrs at all. This is a book about everyday life, and how painful or pleasant it can be. He has the ability to observe situations and paint such vivid pictures no matter how small of meaningless the situation may be.

Wee Hour Martyrdom is Jason's third chapbook, and his second on sunnyoutside. With poems touching cemeteries, birthday parties, babies, movie theaters, neighbors and dancing, this collection reaches everyone, but at a different angle. The scenes may be a common occurrences in your life, but Jason is hunt down and record that tiny detail you may have overlooked. It is thrilling and slightly scary all at the same time.

These Modern Socks Picking a Lock at the Speed of Light (Self-Released, May 23, 2008)

I stand in front of my dresser looking for a pair of socks that matches. There is brown, blue, black or beige, but which is the most modern? Searching, I determine that I have no modern socks, but I do have a great new cd from Minnesota band who just happens to be called, These Modern Socks. If you couldn't tell from the cover, this album is the story love... intergalactic love that is. Yes it is a perfect pair, space travel and heartbreak.

So what does an intergalactic modern sock sound like? Well, they (or their PR people) said its synth-driven pop, and I agreed to a certain extent. On several songs the beat is very aggressive, and crunches along at a very unexpected and non-traditional pace. This album is more then just synth rock, it is adventurous instrumentation beneath smooth and thought-provoking vocals. Corey Palmer's voice is clearly the driving force of this band, however, the band builds layers of sound that heighten the romance and tell the story. On "Where I Came From" the entire band comes together to create a pop song the is sonically unique and challeging, but quite pleasing at the same time.
No One Gonna Miss Me/Dilemma/Worry Free Lifestyle/Picking a Lock at the Speed of Life (mp3)/Space bars/Escape Pod/Where I Cam From (mp3)/Wooden/To Nasa/On The Moon

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