Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal Garden of Rocks (Kendra Steiner Editions, July 2008)

"Once dreamers too,/the dead, out of time,/are buried like seeds,/safe from the lightning bolts."

As I settled in for the lengthy car ride with the family to our annual camping trip, I pulled out one of the newer chapbooks from one of my favorite publishers Kendra Steiner Editions. It was the latest offering from Luis Berriozabal called Garden of Rocks. I imagined it was about gardening or perhaps hiking, but I could not have imaged what awaited my eyes. As the van buzzed with chatter and the miles faded behind us, I was wrapped in a somber and insightful meditation on death.

Not just death, but the life and deeds wasted or valued, lost and gain before death. He debates the concept or need for dying, he fears dying, but does not want to continue to live in this world. He talks about the scent of death, death being so near that he can speak to it, the safety and cares of the death. His focus and understanding is so clear and tangible. I got so caught up it in the moment, the fear, the loss... "I don't want eternal life when I feel so alone." I am snapped back to reality, and the girls wanting to play the license plate, and all happiness and security is restored for the moment. However, my awareness is somewhat heightened by the knowledge that one day my seed will be planted in a "Garden of Rocks".

Sunfold Toy Tugboats (Terpsikhore, July 22nd, 2008)

"I have nothing to show for all my wasted years spent circling 'round the center never drawing nearer then the space between myself and looking sphere."

I first saw Kenny Florence perform live at Lollapalooza 2007 as a member of the North Carolina's Annuals. At first it seemed like Kenny was just the guitar player in the band, but then towards the end of the set the band rearranges a bit and Kenny played one of his tunes. He announces it a tuned from his band Sunfold. Then earlier this year Sunfold released a split ep with Annuals, and in the liner notes you can see that Sunfold has a similar line-up as Annuals, but a completely different sound. Now they have released their full-length debut, Toy Tugboats.

This album is gorgeous, filled with clean, crisp jazz guitar and vibrant vocals. Kenny really always all of his various influences shine through on this project. From southern twang or electro-beats, their are few boundaries, yet he has created a cohesive sound that is distinctly his own. Not that it is fair to compare Sunfolds to Annuals, but their sound is much brighter and less orchestral, smooth and refreshing. It is flush with sunlight, daydreams, tugboats, rockstar dreams, stories of rubies, and all the grandeur of life.

Oregon/Shrinking the Sphere/Sailed Off to the Sea/Gnosis/To Wake the Eye/Gorgee De Rubis/Shapeshiftin'/Sara The American Winter (mp3)/Osk/Holding the Charm

1 comment:

H. said...

Exciting new stuff from Berriozabal...KUDOS to Orange Alert for mentioning it & KUDOS to Luis--I dig the new stuff!