Monday, January 26, 2009

The Orange Spotlight

Joshua Michael Stewart Something To Do With Vulnerability (Self-Released, Jan. 2009)

"A wind tucks under his collar and his body tingles. He closes his eyes and these she is: cinnamon and nutmeg in the air."

There is always a level of vulnerability in all forms of writing. Even in the wildest forms of fantasy fiction there are pieces of the writer contained in the smallest of details. When working within the genre of poetry those pieces become chunks of tender realities. The poet can use the poem to get through the most traumatic parts of life and the most romantic all within a few lines of verse. It's a gift and curse, and leaves the poet open and vulnerable. Yet, it is in the raw chucks of words that we find the meat and blood and truth in humanity.

The latest collection of poem from Joshua Michael Stewart deals with one of the most difficult parts of life, the lose of a loved one. What keeps the 37 pages of this collection fresh and interesting are the various perspectives that Stewart is able to focus on. He speaks from the vantage point of a brothers, a son, a spouse, and in one of the most pointed moments, a child. It's a book of memories, and all of the tangible ways our loved ones return in moments of stillness. It is a rummage through the closet, and it has much more than just something to do with vulnerability.

You can order this book through Lulu, but if you order both this collection and his first chapbook Vintage Gray through his website you will save almost $5.

Thing-One You'll Be Fine (Rhythm Method Records, Feb. 10th)

I'm sure I'm not the first , and in fact The Loyal Divide eluded to it last week in their interview, but I am going to declare this the year of pop. What does that mean though? In my mind I see it as a genre of music that represents a pure escape from reality, but with a purpose of pleasure. You can escape with any type of music, but pop seems more innocent and free. It's the beat mixed with repetition that allows the mind and body to break free and dance. As it stands today, we are nation in need of an escape.

So there really isn't a better time to rerelease an album filled with electro-pop bangers entitled "You'll Be Fine" then right now. New Jersey's Thing-One is a four person collective that brings the funk straight to the dance floor in this seven track romp. It all kicks off with the bounce and pulse of "The Kid With Pointy Shoes". It's track with out much thought, but with a chorus and backbone that makes you move. This band has been compared to LCD Sounsystem, White Denim, and !!!, but I find them running closer the flash in the pan group Kasabian from a few years ago with a bit of Helio Sequence mixed in. In fun, contagious, and just enough to make you feel like everything just might be fine.

Listen to: Move It (mp3)

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