Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

January 22, 2010

two new book reviews by Brad Kohler

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:56 pm

Check them out at Chris Stigliano’s essential BLOG TO COMM:

http://black2com.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-corner-with-brad-kohler.html#links

January 19, 2010

KSE #152, K.M. Dersley, “Many Septembers”

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:02 pm

KSE #152

K.M. DERSLEY

“Many Septembers”

Like Keith Dersley himself, like Gary Cooper, like an Asian haiku master, like Clint Eastwood, MANY SEPTEMBERS speaks gently, weighing each word, never raising its voice, floating on subtle changes in tone, letting the syntax of each carefully sculpted line implant a voice, a speaker in the reader’s head. Dersley’s is the voice of Everyman, or at least the Everyman who is fully engaged with his environment and who possesses the ability to step back a bit and do a seismic reading of the everyday, recording it for us in his poems.

Dersley is also the poetic voice of Southeastern England. I’ve never been to Southeastern England, but I feel I know the land and its people when I read his work…I feel the rhythm of their days, I hear the sounds of their nights, I’m with them when the five o’clock whistle chimes, and I’m with them in the local public house. And I’m with them when they dream…of the romanticized American West (think of Ray Davies’  “Muswell Hillbillies”), or the fantasy worlds in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs or Sax Rohmer, worlds which in some strange way provide a kind of moral compass that animates the downtrodden and the lost. It’s a poetry that makes sense of people trying to make sense of their world. I’m not going to quote any poems from this book because you need to buy one of the 68 hand-numbered, hand-assembled, home-printed copies KSE is offering. In the immortal words of Joe Dallesandro, “I may work cheap, but I don’t give it away.”

Suffice it to say that Keith Dersley is one of the original “core” poets of KSE and this is his fourth chapbook for us. Think of how much  Charles Bronson or  Gary Cooper or  Lon Chaney Jr. were able to communicate on film through their eyes, how much experience and hard-won painful wisdom radiated from those eyes. If those eyes could write and had grown up in the soil of Beat Poetry, those eyes might have authored this fine chapbook. But they did not…Keith Dersley did!

Why not order a copy today…

Ordering is easy:  

Cost is $4.00 each or 3 for $10.00 (only one copy of any book per customer) postpaid in the USA. Send a check (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 14080 Nacogdoches Rd. #350, San Antonio, Texas, 78247.

OR chapbooks are available to non-USA readers DIRECT FROM KSE postpaid  for only $5 each. Overseas orders should write to django5722 (at) yahoo(dot) com and request a paypal invoice for whatever you’d like.

And why not pick up a few of our other recent releases while you’re at it:

#155, JIM D. DEUCHARS, “Monongahela Abstract Construct” ;

#159, A.J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “78 Horizons” (sound library series, volume 52) ;

#154, A.J. KAUFMANN, “vagabond vacancy” ;

#153, BILL SHUTE, “the twenty-fifth life of alcyone” (sound library series, volume 49) ;

#150, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “loons of a dogman” (sound library series, volume 48) ;

#151, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “twombly’s siracusa” (inspired by the work of Cy Twombly) ;

#149, A. J. KAUFMANN, “via alighieri” (cinema poetry series, volume 3) ;

#148, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, “vegas the hard way” ;

#147, BILL SHUTE, “nobody knows, nobody sees” (cinema poetry series, volume 2) ;

#146, MK CHAVEZ & MIRA HORVICH, “pinnacle” ;

#144, ZACHARY C. BUSH, “spin” ;

#141, LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL & CYNTHIA ETHERIDGE, overcome ;

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Also, take a stroll over to K.M. Dersley’s own website, THE RAGGED EDGE at  http://www.raggededge.btinternet.co.uk/

This is Keith’s 4th chapbook for KSE; this will not be his last (we hope!).  The earlier ones are

KSE #86, NEXT EXIT: SIX (w/ Adrian Manning) ;

KSE #75, BLUE VELOUR ;

and KSE #58, RETROSPECTIVE FORECASTS.

free download of Radu Malfatti album!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:15 pm

To quote Henry David Thoreau, in a passage much loved by John Cage, “All sound is nearly akin to silence, it is a bubble on her surface”—-if you are not familiar with the compositions of Radu Malfatti and have not spent time living in their spacious world, that quote should be enough of an “advance organizer” to provide a comfortable doorway into his work. An Austrian who has worked in many countries, Mr. Malfatti first became widely known in contemporary music circles through performances in free-jazz/free-improv territory, although as time has passed he has been commanding attention as a significant composer, and he operates a label called b-boim (see discography at http://spiritualarchives.blogspot.com/2008/02/labels-b-boim-records.html ) that is dedicated largely, though not exclusively, to his compositions. There are 20 cd-r albums so far, and many of the early ones are available from our friends at Mimaroglu Music (http://www.mimaroglumusicsales.com/labels/b-boim.html ). Malfatti’s music, painted on a large canvas, seems the perfect antidote to the mechanical automatic-pilot mode in which so many of us lead our lives when we aren’t really paying attention—-it can create a kind of mindfulness where not only does every sound matter, but every interval matters, whether or not it contains intentional, musician-generated sound, and the intervals themselves become meaningful and fascinating units.

The above-pictured album contains Malfatti’s composition wechseljahre einer hyäne, as performed in 2003 by a saxophone quartet consisting of Ulrich Kreiger (sopr), Martin Losert (alto), Tobias Ruger (bar), and Reimar Volker (bar), and it’s offered as a free download by the et le feu comme label for your listening pleasure. Why not listen to the album at the end of a long day, with the lights dimmed, sitting somewhere between your speakers and with the volume at a medium to medium-high level, perhaps with a glass of wine. It may wash away a number of arbitrary assumptions about music and about art, while also being an exciting and beautiful experience in itself…

Here’s the link for the MP3 download:

http://www.etlefeucomme.be/004_radumalfatti/mp3_radumalfatti.zip

Enjoy! The piece runs around 30:40

January 18, 2010

available for order as of 18 January 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:33 am

Here’s a list of what poetry chapbooks are available as of today. Ordering is easy (instructions below).

#155, JIM D. DEUCHARS, “Monongahela Abstract Construct” ;

#159, A.J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “78 Horizons” (sound library series, volume 52) ;

#154, A.J. KAUFMANN, “vagabond vacancy” ;

#153, BILL SHUTE, “the twenty-fifth life of alcyone” (sound library series, volume 49) ;

#152,  K.M. DERSLEY, “many septembers” ;

#151, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “twombly’s siracusa” (inspired by the work of Cy Twombly) ;

#150, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “loons of a dogman” (sound library series, volume 48) ;

#149, A. J. KAUFMANN, “via alighieri” (cinema poetry series, volume 3) ;

#148, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, “vegas the hard way” ;

#147, BILL SHUTE, “nobody knows, nobody sees” (cinema poetry series, volume 2) ;

#146, MK CHAVEZ & MIRA HORVICH, “pinnacle” ;

#145, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “blues for duffy power” ;

#144, ZACHARY C. BUSH, “spin” ;

#143, A. J. KAUFMANN, “symbolisme psychédélique” (sound library series, volume 47). In memory of Sky Sunlight Saxon, issued simultaneously with KSE #142 ;

#142, BILL SHUTE, “plink, plonk & scratch” (sound library series, volume 46). In memory of Sky Sunlight Saxon, issued simultaneously with KSE #143.

#141, LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL & CYNTHIA ETHERIDGE, overcome ;

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Cost is $4.00 each or 3 for $10.00 (only one copy of any book per customer) postpaid in the USA. Send a check (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 14080 Nacogdoches Rd. #350, San Antonio, Texas, 78247.

OR chapbooks are available to non-USA readers DIRECT FROM KSE postpaid  for only $5 each. Overseas orders should write to django5722 (at) yahoo(dot) com and request a paypal invoice for whatever you’d like.

January 17, 2010

Jim D. Deuchars reads “Allegheny Rising”

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:21 pm

To celebrate the publication of his new KSE chapbook MONONGAHELA ABSTRACT CONSTRUCT, the second book of his “Three Rivers” trilogy, investigating the history of the greater Pittsburgh area, Jim D. Deuchars has done a wonderful reading of the first book in the trilogy, “Allegheny Rising,” with beautiful footage of the areas discussed in Allegheny. This is a real treat—-thanks to Jim for taking the time to do this video. Enjoy! Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liu52Uzr6X4

 

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Channeling Chet: a view from the workbench

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:10 am

Those who follow our activities here at KSE know that I’ve been working for the last month or two on a piece called LAMENT FOR THE LIVING: CHET BAKER’S FINAL SESSION, which is an imagined walk in a fictionalized Baker’s shoes a few months before his passing in May 1988. I’d been listening to a lot of late-period Chet Baker in the second half of 2009, and it seemed to me that he was on to something in the last decade of his life, that he had turned the corner onto a new and different street, that he had distilled his art into a minimalist form of great purity. With my longstanding interest in such work as John Cage’s “number pieces,” the music of Morton Feldman, the poetry of Frank Samperi, and the mid-late 60s work of Robert Creeley (in particular, the PIECES and WORDS period)—-and I truly feel a physical connection with those kind of works—-a fascination with late Chet Baker would seem inevitable.  Of course, Chet’s lifestyle and personality and health issues may have led him into that new territory, but isn’t that true for all of us? Someone once observed that Lou Reed created a style out of his technical shortcomings, and there is a lot of truth in that observation…and not just about Lou!

LAMENT is also a work that has taken on a life of its own and gone in directions I did not anticipate. Initially, it was going to be a collaboration with my friend A.J. Kaufmann, but A.J. was very busy getting ready for the March recording sessions for his upcoming album, and he had to bow out. The original idea of a number of floating, minimalist stanzas began to evolve, and I found a new form, using positive and negative critical assessments (that I created) of late-period Chet as alternating refrains (not unlike the alternating refrains I used in THE MOSQUITOES OF LA MARQUE), incorporating a first-person Chet presence in the text, and having my imagined version of Chet taking centerstage and opining on various topics. I’d heard Chet’s voice during interviews and in the film LET’S GET LOST, and perhaps influenced by my recent reading of the later plays of Tennessee Williams and the short plays and monologues of Neil LaBute, I began to hear Chet’s voice (which reminds me of Dennis Hopper’s voice, as I’ve been thinking a lot about Mr. Hopper recently), and felt it provided a nice counterpoint to Chet’s musical voice….after all, this is a man who both played and sang. So LAMENT FOR THE LIVING has removed itself from my hands to some extent and is defining itself; I’m basically guiding it along.

Right now, it’s about 95% written…although I’ll be re-working it and fine-tuning it over the next four to six weeks. It’s scheduled for release in March. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

January 14, 2010

KSE #159. “78 HORIZONS.” new poems from Kaufmann & Shute

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:41 pm

KSE #159. “78 HORIZONS.”

Sound Library Series, Volume 52.

8 new poems by A.J. Kaufmann & Bill Shute, inspired by 78 rpm records.

A.J. suggested this concept last fall, as we are both devotees of music from the 78 rpm era. We each chose 4 musical performances from 78 rpm records dating from 1917-1950, listened to them over and over until we internalized them, and then produced the poems in this chapbook. This is not a “collaboration” like Blues for Duffy Power or Twombly’s Siracusa; think of it as a “joint exhibition,” like one of the Next Exit books. My pieces were based on recordings by Jack Dieval/James Moody/Annie Ross,  Bill Coleman & Stephane Grapelli,  Jean Tranchant w/ the Willie Lewis Orchestra,  and (so it would not be all Euro-jazz) the lachrymose classic “Cottage For Sale,” as performed by its composer, Willard Robison in 1930 (most will know the Jack Teagarden and/or Frank Sinatra versions of this gem). And as a teaser for my March chapbook LAMENT FOR THE LIVING: CHET BAKER’S FINAL SESSION, I even worked a Chet Baker reference into one of the poems (although Chet’s music was not used in this project). This was a fun project to do w/ A.J. and a welcome break from the heavier, long-form pieces we have been collaborating on.

I performed two of these poems in Austin last week at the reading w/ Michael Aaron Casares, and they seemed to go over well.  Hope they will also work well on the page!

Broken relationships, broken promises, broken people, broken dreams, broken records, broken windows, broken through to the other side.

Available now!
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and don’t forget our other exciting new and recent poetry releases:

#154, A.J. KAUFMANN, “vagabond vacancy” ;

#153, BILL SHUTE, “the twenty-fifth life of alcyone” (sound library series, volume 49) ;

#152, K.M. DERSLEY, “many septembers” ;

#151, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “twombly’s siracusa” (inspired by the work of Cy Twombly) ;

#150, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “loons of a dogman” (sound library series, volume 48) ;

#149, A. J. KAUFMANN, “via alighieri” (cinema poetry series, volume 3) ;

#148, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, “vegas the hard way” ;

#147, BILL SHUTE, “nobody knows, nobody sees” (cinema poetry series, volume 2) ;

#146, MK CHAVEZ & MIRA HORVICH, “pinnacle” ;

#145, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “blues for duffy power” ;

#144, ZACHARY C. BUSH, “spin” ;

#141, LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL & CYNTHIA ETHERIDGE, overcome.

go to the “available KSE chapbook” page to your upper right for ordering info

January 11, 2010

Michael Aaron Casares & Bill Shute, The Hideout, Austin, Texas…1/4/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:10 am

Michael and Bill after the reading

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Bill reading “The Mosquitoes of La Marque”

January 8, 2010

Printer Problems…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:34 pm

The trusty second KSE printer has died. Our first printer, an $89 one, got us through the first two years; this second one, a $129 one, got us through the second two years and probably printed up 3500+ KSE chapbooks, not to mention many work-related printing jobs, KSE promo sheets and flyers, family printing jobs, etc. So I guess it served poetry well these two years and two months. A new printer is on order. This should not affect ANYONE other than a few folks (MLH, Justin J., Derz, etc.) waiting on author copies. I have enough copies to handle any orders for the next week (things should be back to normal in 7-10 days), and I can always print one or two books on Mary Anne’s printer. We’ll need to push back the release of Jim D. Deuchars’ new MONONGAHELA  ABSTRACT CONSTRUCT (KSE #155) until about the 20th of January, but it’s worth waiting for!

A lot is available right now:

FROM DECEMBER and now available:

KSE #153, Bill Shute, “The Twenty-Fifth Life of Alcyone.” Sound Library Series, Volume 49.

KSE #152,  K.M. Dersley, “Many Septembers.”

KSE #151,  A.J. Kaufmann & Bill Shute, “Twombly’s Siracusa.”

KSE #150,  Michael Layne Heath, “Loons of a Dogman.” Sound Library Series, Volume 48.

FROM JANUARY and now available:

KSE #154,  A.J. Kaufmann, “Vagabond Vacancy.”

KSE #159, A.J. Kaufmann & Bill Shute, “78 Horizons.”

and much more is still available: check the “available KSE chapbooks” page to your upper right for ordering info. Chaps are only $4 each in the US or 3-for-$10; chaps are $5 outside of the US, payable by paypal (paypal is only available for customers outside the US—just request an invoice!)

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COMING ON JANUARY 20th (we hope):

KSE #155,  Jim D. Deuchars,  “Monongahela Abstract Construct.”

 

COMING IN FEBRUARY:

KSE #158, Zachary C. Bush, “Is This Deformed?”

KSE #156, Bill Shute, “The Mosquitoes of La Marque.” Sound Library Series, Volume 50.

 

COMING IN MARCH:

KSE #160, John Sweet, “This Moment, Reflected In Ice.”

KSE #161, Bill Shute, “Lament For The Living: Chet Baker’s Last Session.” Sound Library Series, Volume 53.

COMING IN APRIL:

just in time for baseball season, a new baseball-oriented chapbook from Cleveland poet MICHAEL CERAOLO, author of MORE EUCLID CREEK (KSE #53), which was singled out for praise by Byron Coley/Thurston Moore in Arthur Magazine.

also, Volume 4 of the Cinema Poetry Series, from A.J. Kaufmann, based on Werner Herzog’s film AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD, starring Klaus Kinski.

As always, thanks for your support of contemporary poetry, of independent artists, and of KSE… and like Duke Ellington, WE LOVE YOU MADLY!!!

January 7, 2010

Tiny Bradshaw/H-Bomb Ferguson/Louis Jordan reviews from UT

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:04 am

Going through the documents on my computer hard drive while printing up copies of K.M. Dersley’s MANY SEPTEMBERS and A.J. Kaufmann’s VAGABOND VACANCY, I found some reviews I did for Ugly Things magazine a few years ago of UK reissued of classic 40s/50s R&B by some of the masters: Tiny Bradshaw, H-Bomb Ferguson, and Louis Jordan. These are all wonderful CD’s, over-stuffed with choice material in great, full sound and with fine booklets. You should get them if they are still in print. Anyway, here are the reviews, originally bunched together in one three-part piece:

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TINY BRADSHAW–Heavy Juice: The King Recordings, 1950-55

H-BOMB FERGUSON–Big City Blues, 1951-54

LOUIS JORDAN–The Aladdin, “X”, and Vik Recordings, 1953-55

 (Rev-Ola, UK) CD’s

 

     Now that pre-1957 American recordings have become public domain in the EU, countless European reissues of classic R&B and early rock’n’roll are appearing. Rev-Ola, the UK label known for its comprehensive reissues of 1960’s soft-psych material, has recently begun a “Bandstand” series documenting late 40’s and early 50’s jump blues and R&B material, and so far the series is superb–great sound quality; long playing time; gorgeous packaging with rare photos, sheet music, trade ads, and record labels; and helpful liner notes from Blues & Rhythm magazine’s Dave Penny. Most importantly, each is full of scalding-hot booting R&B of the highest order.

     Drummer/vocalist/composer/bandleader Tiny Bradshaw is probably best known today as co-writer and original performer of “The Train Kept A-Rollin’”. Although he’d led bands since the 30’s and was always somewhat rooted in the swing era, his King recordings rocked jukeboxes and dancehalls across the nation and he adapted well to the small-band orientation of the post-WWII era. Because of his big-band background, he understood dynamics (and dance tempos) well, and his small groups sounded bigger and fuller than others’ groups of the same size. He wrote virtually all of his material, and this CD is aggressive, uptempo, and overflowing with explosive sax and guitar solos. Saxist Rufus Gore gets off some Pharoah Sanders-esque shrieks on “Gravy Train” and a few of the later recordings here have an eerie echo on them. Tiny kept recording as long as his health allowed and Rev-Ola could easily issue a second disc of equal quality.

     H-Bomb Ferguson’s outrageous mannerisms and garish wigs have led some to conclude he’s a Little Richard disciple, but in fact he made his first recordings the year before Richard, and H-Bomb had a national presence on the R&B scene before Richard. Actually, his true mainman is Wynonie Harris. Like Harris or Roy Brown or Big Joe Turner (father of this style), Ferguson is a “blues shouter,” with a raw booming voice, and when he’s backed with a hot band full of top-shelf jazzmen, as he is here on this 31-track collection of material recorded for Newark’s legendary Savoy label, he can’t be beat. “Rock H-Bomb Rock” blows away virtually any balls- to-the-wall rocker of any era, and the many “Good Rockin’ Tonight”-style numbers don’t let up. This is surely the definitive one-disc collection of his Savoy sides. Ferguson re-appeared on the blues scene in the 1980’s and proved himself to still have a great voice, exciting presence, and outrageous larger-than-life persona.

     Louis Jordan, one of the handful of true architects of rock’n’roll, began recording in the 1930’s, and by the 1940’s this alto sax blower/vocalist/songwriter/total entertainer had conquered nightclubs, concerts, records, radio, and even film (he had his own series of low-budget feature film vehicles, where his gift for comedy came through as well as his music). He’d had a great run with Decca Records and producer Milt Gabler (who used the techniques from his Jordan productions on Bill Haley’s pioneering early Decca sessions), but joined up with R&B indie Aladdin in late 1953, doing very much the same kind of material–jive lyrics, rubbery alto solos, walking bass, boogie beat–but with perhaps a stronger backbeat and more guitar solos, catering to the rock’n’roll audience. After his stretch with Aladdin, he joined the RCA family, but was relegated to their “X” and Vik subsidiaries. All of the Aladdin/RCA material is here, 28 tracks total. Almost anything by Jordan could serve as an introduction to his work, and with the rich sound quality and the booklet full of vintage ads, pics, and labels, this Rev-Ola set is highly recommended.

–Bill Shute

January 5, 2010

Dwain Esper’s “Man’s Way With Women” (Sweden/US 1934-37)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:59 pm

Dwain Esper presents  MAN”S WAY WITH WOMEN

Original Swedish Title, Sången om den eldröda blomman

directed by Per-Axel Branner, released in Sweden in 1934

“American version” released in 1937. Edited, “philosophical”  title cards written, partially dubbed, and “presented” by DWAIN ESPER.

Review coming soon…

January 4, 2010

Michael Layne Heath, “Loons of a Dogman.” The 150th KSE chapbook.

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:43 am

MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH

“Loons of a Dogman”  (sound library series, volume 48)         KSE #150

 When Kendra Steiner Editions was closing in on the 150-chapbook mark, I thought about which of the upcoming works I wanted to give this magic number to, and there was only one logical choice: the new Sound Library Volume from Michael Layne Heath, inspired by Kim Fowley’s classic 1978  “Sunset Boulevard” album, LOONS OF A DOGMAN.

I’ve admired Michael’s work since the early 80’s, when I stumbled across some then-a-few-years-old copies of his seminal punkzine, VINTAGE VIOLENCE. His intellect, wit, and cool wordplay were immediately apparent there, and I filed his name in the “keep an eye out for anything by this fellow” section of my brain. In the 80’s and 90’s,  I managed to find his work in zines such as TRULY NEEDY and MAXIMUM ROCK & ROLL (MLH relocated from the East Coast to San Francisco in 1992), and as we entered the new century, Michael began writing liner notes for the wonderful SF-based Water/Four Men With Beards labels. When he issued his first two  poetry chapbooks in 2006—-PUT IT THIS WAY and COUNT TO FIVE AND TELL THE TRUTH—-I was blown away by the combination of lyricism, perfectly-chosen detail, and detached but hip tone. And of course there was a musical element to the poems, both in their allusions and in their own inherent musicality. Also, he was one of the most on-target writers about sex and relationships I’d ever found in the poetry world, although he does not make that a major theme in his overall body of work. Feeling that his poetry deserved more exposure,  I asked him to join the KSE poetry family, and he issued his first KSE chap in 2007, SACRED GROUNDS, which was very well-received and even chosen as one of the best reads of the year in Arthur Magazine. His 2nd KSE chap, GREY RAGE (DYED) appeared in late 2008, and it was equally well-received and brought him many new readers. This was a powerful collection, dealing with the SF music scene, the ghosts of the cultural past, and the poet’s constant struggle to find a happy medium in daily life. The final poem in GREY RAGE, a two page homage to the late great Brian Epstein, was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt pieces in tribute to a cultural hero that I’ve read in recent years. Yes, he’s that good!

With Michael’s background in music, he was a natural for the Sound Library Series, and after I offered him a place in the series, he chose KIM FOWLEY’s much-underrated 1978 opus, SUNSET BOULEVARD as the inspiration for his new poetry chapbook. As with a number of Fowley albums, this one was all over the map with Kim’s brilliant takes on various genres of music, overlaying his amphetamine-paced, Hollywood Babylon-soaked Beat Poetry lyrics and jaded, chameleon-like, post-Dylan vocals on various reggae, power pop, punk, metal, and folk-rock tunes, all of which  deconstruct themselves and their respective genres, while being instantly catchy and having a decadent aroma that pulls the listener into Kim’s unique world. Like ML Heath, Fowley has always had the ability to quickly size up a “scene” or a band, distilling it to its essence. Who can forget his legendary appearance on the Tom Snyder show in the late 1970s, explaining Punk and New Wave and Power Pop in about 90 seconds in a way that made any further commentary superfluous, and explaining it with the “why don’t you already see what’s so obvious” tone that a math tutor might give to a student during the fifth explanation of a simple concept. We love you, Kim, and we always have. No wonder MLH chose Fowley’s “new wave” album for this Sound Library Volume!

LOONS OF A DOGMAN takes us on a voyage through the underbelly of the mid-to-late 70’s punk world, rooted primarily on the west coast (with a stopover in the UK)–Rodney’s on the ROQ, as we listen in on cheap portable radios, and Black Flag is still in their pre-Henry Rollins period, meaning they were still good; everyone’s strutting and posing and trying to get laid, or trying to use their sexuality to get somewhere or get something; reggae’s hip, and cute foreign exchange students are desirable; we’re all trying to get high cheaply; and most importantly, we’re all in the middle of something we know is important, but we have no perspective on things, no sense of any big picture, and we can’t even define what we are feeling. THAT is what it was like in the late 70s when MLH and I were teenagers living in the punk-bordering-on-newwave world, and LOONS OF A DOGMAN captures the tastes and smells and rhythms and cheap pot and cheap hard-ons of those days brilliantly. An eleven-page epic, LOONS is probably one of the five best works KSE has ever offered, and we are proud to issue such a major work. Grab it now…before it goes out of print and you have to pay $20 for a used copy in five years.

Ordering information can be found on the “available KSE chapbooks” page to your upper right. We’ll be promoting this book a lot in the coming months, as it’s truly a major work…indeed, it was singled out for praise in the recent piece on KSE in THE WIRE (UK).

Congratulation to Michael on LOONS OF A DOGMAN. He is a key member of the KSE family, and we look forward to featuring more of his work in the future…

.

January 3, 2010

A.J. Kaufmann, “Vagabond Vacancy” (KSE #154) out now!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:06 pm

A.J. KAUFMANN.

“Vagabond Vacancy.”     KSE #154.

The long awaited “punk” poetry chapbook from AJK. It’s terse, bitter, jagged, blurred. It’s the heir to Flipper, Wire, Pere Ubu, Alternative TV, etc. It climaxes with the channelled Darby Crash. It’s just the way you like it. Edition of 54 hand-numbered copies. From Kendra Steiner Editions. See “available KSE chapbooks” page to your right for ordering info. I will also be selling VAGABOND VACANCY at the reading w/ Michael Aaron Casares tomorrow night in Austin.

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MICHAEL AARON CASARES reading w/ Bill Shute, The Hideout, Austin TX, 1/4/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:16 pm

 

Looking forward to appearing tomorrow night at the reading/release party in Austin for Michael Aaron Casares’ new chapbook, GREEN TEA AMERICA, published by New Polish Beat. Michael is of course the featured poet, but I’ll be premiering my recent THE MOSQUITOES OF LA MARQUE and reading a few pieces from another recent one, 78 HORIZONS. 7 pm on Monday the 4th of January at THE HIDEOUT at 617 Congress in Austin TX. Free admission. All ages welcome. See you there. I’ll have a number of the recent KSE chapbooks available for sale at prices cheaper than mail order (since I don’t have to pay for envelopes & postage)…stop by and say hello!

January 2, 2010

JANDEK, “Camber Sands Sunday” (Corwood CD 0800)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:42 pm

JANDEK. “Camber Sands Sunday.” (Corwood CD 0800)

Although he has a feature film about him and a discussion list devoted to him (which everyone should join, by the way—lots of essential info on a daily basis from people who know and care), it’s not as if Jandek’s albums are getting a lot of analysis and commentary. His latest solo studio album, WHAT WAS OUT THERE DISAPPEARED, has not generated much interest (and one semi-regular Jandek commentator wrote it off!), even though it’s got lots of strong poetic lyrics and the guitar work is more than ever before in the service of the material—one moment I’m reminded of koto playing then African highlife guitar then Robbie Basho then one of the more idiosyncratic Delta bluesmen from the 20s such as Ishman Bracey or Buddy Boy Hawkins, but it’s always 100% Jandek, and he’s probably not being influenced by any of these. Or maybe he is. It doesn’t matter. The result is what matters. And the result is fascinating and takes me completely into the artist’s world. As it has since I first heard his work circa 1984 when Byron Coley and Chris Stigliano recommended it to me.

This new live album, “CAMBER SANDS SUNDAY,” is stunning…and a great introduction to the pleasures of the live Jandek experience. It was recorded on the final day of the 2006 “All Tomorrow’s Parties” festival in England, with Richard Youngs (bass guitar), Alex Neilson (drums), who’d by this time done four shows as Jandek’s rhythm section (I think…). It’s also his 62nd album in 31 years. Jandek’s live shows have continued to evolve in the five years since that famous “first show” in Scotland (where he was backed by Youngs and Neilson). In some of the concerts he’s truly just one member of an improvisational ensemble, losing himself in a collective experience. One of the things I admire most about him as an artist is the way he will throw himself completely into a NEW artistic experience, a new group of musicians playing different instruments than he’s used to, and put himself into a sink-or-swim situation…and this creative tension forces him to rise to the occasion and to bring out new aspects of his art. I would bet he’s surprising himself with these kind of performances with odd groupings of musicians and the occasional dancer or spoken-word artist, and that that surprise is fueling him as an artist and exciting him as a person, which like a perpetual motion machine is keeping him going, allowing him to advance up to new and even higher levels (note: I’ve had the privilege of speaking with six different musicians who have performed with The Corwood Representative and have found that perspective to be really valuable). 

That’s been happening more SINCE 2006, when Camber Sands was recorded, however. At this 2006 concert, we have Jandek with a sympathetic rhythm section, and like a rhythm section that would back, say, a Lightnin’ Hopkins or a John Lee Hooker, they adapt themselves to the artist’s flow and provide a kind of pillowy environment or canvas on which he can do his thing. To give you an analogy from the free jazz world, some of the recent Jandek performances since 2006 are more like The Spontaneous Music Ensemble or AMM, while the shows such as Camber Sands are more like Archie Shepp’s rhythm section backing him on a 40-minute version of “Three For a Quarter, One for a Dime.”  That’s not a totally accurate analogy, but I hope you see what I mean (and for what it’s worth, the live HELSINKI SATURDAY, with Jandek on piano, playing alongside a harpist—and that’s harp as in Harpo Marx, not as in Little Walter—was my most-played album of 2009, providing the beyond-time meditative purity of the music of Morton Feldman or some of the more minimal John Cage “number pieces”).

The new Camber Sands album features some tracks oriented around Sonny Sharrock-esque splatter guitar, while other tracks are more spacy and with a lot of echo applied. The track I’m listening to right now, “My Party,” has a choppy, gurgling bass and drums creating a tense, jittery backdrop for Jandek’s balls-to-the-wall, “I Heard Her Call My Name”-style psychedelic guitar, with passages of narrative about attending a party with panthers and then getting disappointed by someone who gave him a green light…and then walked away. As usual for a Jandek performance, there is a mixture of seemingly matter-of-fact observations of daily life (which are so well chosen to be, for me, the highest order of  “deep image” poetry), left-field but on-target catalogs of things and found speech, and philosophical asides. Anyone who has seen him live knows the notebook he brings onstage, containing lyrics written especially for that particular gig. This trio also knows how to use space, how to create the musical equivalent of shadows. In short, like any Jandek album, live or studio, CAMBER SANDS SUNDAY is an intellectually challenging, sonically challenging, completely unique artistic experience that creates its own world and takes us into it and changes us.

Truly, being prolific causes people to take an artist’s work for granted. If Jandek alternated live and studio albums, and just put one out every two years, they’d be given more attention by the wider community (note: there ARE hundreds of people who listen carefully to each album when it’s released, and who play and get to know each new offering for months after it comes out–I don’t mean to suggest that that is NOT happening, just not happening as much as it should). As someone who runs a small press that has issued 155 poetry chapbooks in 4 years, I know what Jandek is facing, but in the immortal words of John Lee Hooker, if it’s in you, then it’s got to come out, and we should count ourselves fortunate that Jandek/The Corwood Representative has been offering up artistic prime cuts so often for so long. Think of the huge bodies of work offered up by, say, Steve Lacy or Warhol or Jesus Franco or Fassbinder or Anthony Braxton or Woody Allen or Picasso. Jandek is an artist cut from that cloth. I consider it a privilege to live in a world where people like the ones mentioned above offer so much to us, and ask no more than the purchase price of an album or a movie ticket or an art exhibition. That kind of generosity is truly inspiring, and when the work itself is also cutting-edge and inspiring and mind-blowing (in the highest sense of that term—-mind-blowing like Dennis Hopper’s THE LAST MOVIE), it’s the kind of thing that makes life worthwhile…for me, at least.

 

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