Monday, November 24, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Heather Bell Nothing Unrequited Here (Verve Bath Press, Nov. 15th)

When you sit down to write a poem, or pause in a hectic moment to scribble, who is your audience? As you record that voice, that internal line of thought, as you let your will and secrets and fear splash upon the page, are you thinking of me? Are you contemplating the hipster in the bar or the bookish soul in cafe? Are you thinking of the house wife and mother, the corporate soldier, the burnt flame? Well most will say they write for themselves. They write for a release, but as you share your skeletons and skin there has to be some level of awareness. Some level of understanding that these pages will be viewed if only by a hundred or so familiar eyes. It has to fill you with a mixture of comfort and a fear may strangely resemble a sense of terror and accomplishment.

The debut collection from New York poet Heather Bell is an intimate array of confessions and dreams and all of the sultry and unforgiving thoughts of a woman on the verge of discovery. She utilizes the excitement of a young relationship, the desires and insecurities of a woman, and slight taste of humor to deliver a wonderful collection of poems. What is surprising are the little lines that she slips in when least expected. For example,"The trees catch bird flu and develop wings" or "we laugh like wet beach balls". It is a series interesting word combinations that needed to be shared with someone.

Verve Bath Press is run by Amanda Oaks, and Nothing Unrequited Here is a beautiful handmade chapbook. Only 100 were made and I have copy #27.

Creaky Boards Brooklyn is Love (Self-Released, Nov. 11th)

Over the summer this young Brooklyn band took a major risk, and potentially lost some fans because of it. This risk also put a lot of pressure on their sophomore album, Brooklyn is Love. Over the summer Creaky Boards lead singer Andrew Hoepfner acused one of the biggest bands in the world, Coldplay, of stealing their song "The Songs I Didn't Write". The band believes that Chris Martin was in the audience at a CMJ gig where they played the song in question. Coldplay denied it and they confirm their whereabouts during the Boards performance. This move got them a lot of attention, but it left everyone wondering if they could deliver and follow-up the hype with a solid album.
Brooklyn is Love is the perfect album to put this confusion, this drama, to rest. It is a fine example of Beach Boy influence, raw and exciting, surf pop. It is a sound that has been done before (no, not by Coldplay), but Hoepfner and company (dan costinski, michael david campinski, eric wolfinski, darwin dinski) have managed to make an album filled with nostalgia but one that is completely original. Their sound is fresh, clean, and extremely enjoyable. There are moments of jazz, moments of harmony, moments of just plan fun.

The Songs I Didn't Write (mp3)/Now I'm in the City/Brooklyn/A Low Level of Trust/Oh Just Be Silent/Lie to Me/Before You Become My Muse/Secret Man/You Can't Turn Me Off/ Theme from Skeleton City/I'm So Serious (This Time)/I'm Touching the Electric Fence/SOS

No comments: