Monday, December 29, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Blackout Beach Skin of Evil (Soft Abuse, Jan. 20th 2009)

"I walk into the gossip, fulfill my needs, eat to satiate that which has flown"

There is fine and delicate line between genius and fool, and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes, Swan Lake) stumbles around that line like a drunk and rambling jester. On his latest effort as Blackout Beach, Carey takes a frightening look at emotional abuse, rejection, and all of the darkest emotions and thoughts of a lost soul. A soul who is tried of fighting, tired of losing, tired of a being assaulted by life. In these songs with titles that read like riddles you can hear cries and screams and the full on rage of someone who has reach the bottom of all that love and lust have to offer and is determined to scratch their way back up.

The subject of this story disguised as an album in Donna, who is unsure of who is in control but screams at the clouds nonetheless. She feels life at its most dramatic, and exposes skin and heart and mind. This album is theater, and is an extremely challenging listen. I had to listen to it three times before I began to feel like I understood where Mercer was going or intending to go. This is not a casual listen despite the electronic crunch of the opening track, "Cloud of Evil". As you will notice with the song titles, this is a complex tale and a journey into the soul of woman as perceived by a mad man.

Cloud of Evil (mp3)/Biloxi, In a Grove, Cleans Out His Eyes/Three Men Drown in the River William, the Crowd, It's William/The Roman/Woe to the Minds of Soft Men/The Whistle/Nineteen, One God, One Dull Star/Sophia, Donna, I Was Down the River Waiting/ Astoria, Menthol Lite, Hilltop, Wave of Evil, 1982 (mp3)

Bill Shute We'll All Get By... (Kendra Steiner Editions #123, Jan. 2009)

"to economize he's been drinking the teas from boxes he could not finish in better times"

Is it enough to "get by"? For many Americans the dawn of 2009 finds them in a mode in which they are fighting and scraping and screaming just to "get by". In the times that the media says we are living in, I ask is that enough? Now is the time to push harder, move farther and "see your way clear". This is the time to throw out the last remaining bags of tea and create your brand of tea. This year we must all strive to utilize our skills and wisdom and experience to push through and move far beyond any thoughts of struggle.

"Wisdom visits not through statement but through texture, through glance, through glance, through quivers and clammy handshakes, through overheard lies and unspoken hunger."

The phrase "unspoken hunger" grabbed me tonight. We will continue to just "get by" as long as our hunger remains unspoken. In 1969, Buzz Clifford may have had a hunger and desire to see his way clear. He had already been to the top and was trying make it there once again. In this collection by Bill Shute, he uses the thoughts and sounds of Buzz Clifford as a point of reference, but he is unable or unwilling to leave behind the panicked reality we are living in. He challenges the idea of struggle, and the appreance of a problem. He doesn't demand an answer, but challenges the reader to come to thwie own conclusion.

"We All Get By..." was printed in an edition of 32 copies, and I am holding #3. To order your copy pleased visit Kendra Steiner Editions today.


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