Month: May 2018

Sestina On Doing One Hundred And Forty On The 405 by Michael Caan

Michael Caan’s tribute to incorrigible driving is our 22nd installment. Built on repetitions with a difference, “Sestina on Doing One Hundred and Forty on the 405” puts pedal to metal, dramatizing the risks that accrue value with time.    *** Sestina On Doing One Hundred And Forty On The 405. The speedo pegged at 130 and man that felt fine. I was twenty-one, an age when a guy’s just got to speed. Forty-five years later I’m on the 405 again, same wide cut through the Valley where I’d gone so fast. The Sierra foothills frame the shimmering asphalt. The...

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Venetian Snares/Daniel Lanois: Venetian Snares X Daniel Lanois

Venetian Snares/Daniel Lanois Venetian Snares X Daniel Lanois Independent Oh boy, this is a weird album.  Daniel Lanois is known for his esoteric production; his solo oeuvre is more of the same, veering at times into unlistenable experimentation with the guitar.  Venetian Snares, aka. Aaron Funk is an EDM god, progenitor of the breakcore genre, and signee to influential electronic label, Planet Mu.  Turns out Lanois is a fan of Funk’s, and they began messing around with their music in 2014.  The resulting album, did I mention it’s weird? Repeated listens have convinced me this is excellent music.  But...

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Czarface & MF DOOM: Czarface Meets Metal Face

Czarface & MF DOOM Czarface Meets Metal Face Get on Down! When MF DOOM is on and dialled in, I don’t think there’s a greater rapper out there  His lyrics are deft, subtle, and often funny.  His delivery is smooth and rich.  One of the most prolific rappers in the hip hip underground, DOOM bridges the gap between the underground and mainstream through his frequent collaborators, most notably with Ghostface from Wu-Tang Clan. Czarface is a collaboration between another member of the Wu-Tang, Inspectah Deck and Boston’s 7L & Esoteric.  Like DOOM, Czarface exists in the hip hop underground...

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Custom Car Parade by Laura Winton

Laura Winton’s “Custom Car Parade” is our 21st installment. This is also our first installment featuring a recording of the poet reading their work. Deeply in touch with our age of precariousness, Winton’s driver dares us to risk what little mileage we have left–and possibly win back something much bigger, like freedom. *** Custom Car Parade Who knew we’d make it this far already who knew that our hearts wouldn’t wear out so much sooner than this that the big one was this far off that we could spiral down this far without hitting bottom so hard it knocked...

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Reports from the Picket Line: A Day in the Life

Wednesday, Strike Day 11 6:20 AM I wake up, realizing my alarm for 4:30 either hasn’t gone off or I slept through it. I’m gasping. I jump out of bed and pull on my jeans and union shirt. I also put on my raincoat–I checked the forecast for this morning last night and it didn’t look good. I call Benedikt to tell him and the rest of the group that I’m so sorry, I’m running late, but I’m on my way, please forgive me. I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth. 6:30 I arrive at the delivery picket on 114th Street. We’re standing, Benedikt, Takaya and I, outside of the back entrance to John Jay Hall waiting for trucks to pull in. I’ve already missed everything, apparently. 7:00 Davio, who was there earlier, Benedikt and Takaya convinced the teamsters driving the Sysco trucks to not make deliveries. I’m just there for the pouring rain and non-union drivers who kindly explain to us that they would lose their jobs if they didn’t make the deliveries. Takaya brings us coffee. It is so hot and my fingers are so cold. I mediate for a bit on the benefits and drawbacks of actually drinking it. If I drink it, I’ll be more awake. If I don’t drink it, my hands will be warmer. If I drink it, there will be more...

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