Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Dylan Champagne New Equation (Broke In Oakland, 9/9/08)

"This is the moment when all the pieces of your life converge."

Dylan Champagne has created an album full of stories of change, the scars of ripping away, and the slow process of healing. He comes with a new equation, a new process for functioning. When you think of change as a formula, or living as a formula, it seems to make the risk appear more manageable and calculated, but still harmful and potentially rewarding. In reality, there is no way to calculate the outcome and prevent the scaring. You just leap, rip, pour, pound, advance and search for that moment of revelation. That moment when, as Dylan puts it, "all the pieces of your life converge"

Dylan Champagne himself is trying a new equation. Mostly known for his time spent with the math-punk band One Step Shift. In fact, he has been listening to or involved with punk music his entire career, and now he has decided to lock himself away and record his thoughts, his troubles and triumphs, in the most straight forward and stripped down way. The results are riveting and starkly honest.

From Here to There (mp3)/Junk Parts (mp3)/Cemetery on the Hill/Time Unkind/Dead Leaves Part II/The Majestic/Bookworm/Market Street Canal/New Equation

A.J. Kaufmann East-West Train: Sound Library Series, Vol. 35 (Kendra Steiner Editions #106, 7/08)

"... departing as scheduled luggage racks empty unfilled w/ your rain & your rain... how it adds to the morning..."

I believe I have said this before, but I really enjoy KSE's Sound Library series. I know many of you out there can not listen to music while you read, but I suggest you listen to the song or album first and then read the poems. The subject for this chap, AJ Kaufmann's second KSE release, is the wonderful album Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk. I don't want to delve to far into the album itself, but if you can recall Trans-Europe is such an airy and epic journey that seems to glide along the hillsides and meadows, towns and villas, with songs like "Franz Schubert" and "Endless Endless" and of course the title track. Yet for all their beauty there was that disconnect, the electronic coldness that loomed in the distance. Kaufmann's poems have that same feel as he rides through Paris, Vienna, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, and Prypiat, looking at the world through glass. In a world of synthetic coffee, showroom dummies (or mannequins) dance and the train moves on to new discoveries. AJ does not only relive the album, but adds an even stranger view as he translates the music into words. It really is magical.

There were only 54 copies of East-West Train by A.J. Kaufmann printed and I hold copy #20 in my hand. To order you copy send a check for $4 (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 8141-B Pat Booker Rd. #399, San Antonio, Texas, 78233.

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