Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Hosho McCreesh 37 Psalms From the Badlands (Kendra Steiner Editions #85)

"It's a much more immediate process--writing haiku-esque stuff--you have to be really present in the moment, really paying attention, really on your game, as it were." - Hosho McCreesh

So much of the writing process is focused on taking a single moment in time and turning it into a story or a poem. Somewhere is the process you hope to find a meaning or a purpose to your story. However, when working with haiku or "breath" poems, the writer must condense his or her thoughts and still capture the essence of the moment. They must peel back their words until they are left with only essential, most necessary elements. There is almost a meditative quality to the whole process, and when you add in the element of nature, your senses are heightened and awareness is vital.

"Morning fog seeps up
from the thermal nethers,
ground too hot for snow-

& the fireweed blooms year-round."

It is an awareness that has almost become unnatural to us, as workers, as consumers, as modern Americans. We are taught from early on that "progress" involves removing all signs of nature from our landscape and developing structures where there once stood trees. In 37 Psalms From The Badlands, Hosho McCreesh captures very specific moments in nature as only he could see them. He has chosen to focus on the sights, sounds, and textures of New Mexico, and personally, having barely travelled away from the Midwest, I can almost touch these fantastically vivid snapshots.

37 Psalms from the Badlands was printed by Kendra Steiner Editions in a limited run of 70 copies. I sit here studying #25, so get your copy (only $4) today!

Unwed Sailor Little Wars (Burnt Toast Vinyl, March 18th)

"Should I get married? Should I be good?Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustus hood?" - Gregory Corso from Marriage

Instrumental music is very similar to abstract art. The meaning, the focus, the message is completely up to the viewer or the listener. Yes, you occasionally will receive a title to shed a small amount of light on the artist's intent, but most often you are left on your own to discover the hidden truths and secrets. As in abstract art, this music can shift quickly from soft and graceful to harsh and aggressive. A great deal depends on context and environment, as in music the package and title may be deceiving.

Unwed Sailor is an instrumental group that has been making interesting and intricate music for the last 10 years. Led by Jonathan Ford, Unwed Sailor has created an honest work of art. Little Wars consists of 9 songs and 45 minutes of the beautiful rock music you may ever hear. You can feel the passion and precision that went into this album. I not sure who these little wars are against, but if I had to guess I would say these are internal wars. The "little" wars that we struggle with on a daily basis, the questions that we ask ourselves when no one is around.

Copper Island/Little Wars (mp3)/The Garden/Aurora/Campanile/Echo Roads/Nauvoo/Lonely Bulls/Numeral

Between March 27th and April 18th Unwed Sailor will appear in Chicagoland three times, and for a complete schedule of tour dated check out their website.

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