Monday, December 15, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Now, Now Every Children Cars (Afternoon Records, Dec. 9th)

"Go where you want to"

What seems like high school fancy and fairy tale can quickley become reality. High school friends and marching bands mates, Cacie Dalager and Bradley Hale (aka Now, Now Every Children) have been making brisk Minnesota music together for a few years now. Last year they signed to Afternoon Records and released two critially acclaimed eps. Their sound quickly became well loved and respected. It's a simple method, but Cacie vocals ring clear and vibrant over her aggressive guitar play. Bradley keeps the beat and drives the artistic direction of the band.

On their debut album, Cars, there is a complex innocence that radiates in Cacie's vocals. Your charmed, but as you listen deeper you witness the struggle of youth. It's the battle between boredom and desire, endless days and the drive to become all that you have dreamed of. It is that battle between enjoying your youth and living your life. Cacie captures that tension perfectly and makes you wish you were starting your journey all over again.

Not One, But Two/Everyone You Know/Have You Tired/Sleep Through Summer/Friends With My Sister/In My Chest/Headlights/In The City/We Know Martha Webber/Little Brother/Cars (mp3)

Drew Kalbach The Zen of Chainsaws and Enormous Clippers (Paper Hero Press, Oct. 2008)

"The menu never changes. Nobody complains. Salt is the spice of life, but lawns are kept manicured, immaculate and almost false in their unchanging greenery."

Life is basically nonsense. We attempt to organize and plan and make some sense of everything. Yet, most moments feel random and uncontrolled, but as wee dig, explore, and evaluate we may discover a fleeting purpose. It is this odd sense of random logic that Drew Kalbach throws on to paper. Words and phrases seem to collide without focus and purpose, but suddenly there is a brief flash of subtle but substantial intention and clarity.

For example, "Problems With Missing Sock Logic", "Bits of chocolate wrappers dot the desk like eraser shavings and pencil skin." or in "How to Remove a Pair of Pants Without Causing Jealousy", "There are different methods of waiting, like tulips wilting or cars honking at a red light." It's a clever combination of thoughts that may or may not mean something at some point. I feel this thoughts should be taken at their suface level. In fact, Drew alludes to this in his authors note, "there is no depth, i wrote it all in a word document in 24 hours, it's meaningless, just random words from television commercials strung together." Where I don't fully believe that I also don't discount it. Whether the meaning is projected by the reader or it is actually implied there is a meaning and purpose to this collection. Perhaps you should investigate the contents for yourself.

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