Monday, June 02, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Kyle Simonsen Wing'd (Blood Pudding Press, Feb. 2008)

"full with milk like a poet with pretense" from "canyons flood"

When I am reading a poem I occasionally think of where the poet might have been when he/she wrote this particular poem. I picture a nondescript individual sitting in a cafe or riding the train or scribbling on a post-it note in a cubicle or sitting on park bench, this is an experience unique to poetry. In fiction, the writer is more removed and the focus is shifted to the characters. The poem, whether it is or not, comes across as a more personal expression or a small slice of character or experience.

With that said reading through the work of Kyle Simonsen, in his first collection Wing'd, I cannot image the world he creates. He writes about the everyday, but mixes in vivid imagery of protruding ribs, monkeys, robotic women, the hunt, and the poetic machine. It is a poetic fantasy mixed with and rooted in reality. This is not to mention the wonderful and strange cover of a cat licking a heart by Cat Rocketship. Kyle may start out in a cafe, but so how he ends up in some distant land or pseudo-land or on another planet completely. This collection is an adventure in langauge, and gives you the sensation of a cat licking your heart.

Languis Fractured (Plug Research, May 6th, 2008)

As the first beautiful weekend of the year slowly fades into a gentle June Chicago night, and I try to avoid street lights and building on a family walk, faint and jaunty melodies drift through my mind. The breeze is soft but comforting and the voices float like dreams, painting stars and spirit on the horizon. Half awake, half in dream state wandering with ears plugged and mind adrift. All of this could only mean one thing... I just started to play the latest release from the Los Angeles dream-pop group Languis.

Alejandro Cohen, John Girgus, Stephen Swesey, & Marcos Chloca have been making music for ten years, and in that time they have released a slew of great records, studied levitation, sampled humus kebab, had a van full equipment stolen (who hasn't), and have consistently lived in a time 20 in the past. Fractured is a grand collections of lush compositions, muted beats, synth washed soundscapes, and harmonized vocals. It is a dream land built for a warm summer's night.

Listen to: I Just Want To See Some Rain (mp3)

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