Songs and recordings made from poems by living poets
Over the last six years I have been working on turning poems by two dozen fantastic American poets into indie-rock free-verse songs. The record that resulted from this project is called Pink Thunder. Happily and at long last, today is the official release date!
Pink Thunder comes in three flavors:
There’s a hardcover book version, which contains the CD of all the songs, along with with an introduction by Scott Pinkmountain, an artist’s statement by yours truly, and beautiful hand-lettered poems by Arrington de Dionyso. Published by Black Ocean Books. Here’s what it looks like (cover art by Tony Calzaretta):
There’s 12″ vinyl and digital from The Kora Records, and a pink vinyl 7″ from Howells Transmitter and Black Ocean.
And for those of you in the Bay Area, the record is also available in portmanteau form. Portmanteaus combine a found object display with a digital music player. I made them (Mark Allen-Piccolo designed the music-player circuit). The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco will be showing the Pink Thunder Portmanteaus from October 18th to November 18th. There an opening party on October 18th from 6-8 pm. Please come!
We are booking shows around the US over the next few months. We’ll be at the Mission Creek Music Festival in Iowa City in April, and in Boston in March to play at AWP. More shows to be announced soon!
In the meantime, the San Francisco release show is November 18, just after the closing party for the portmanteau art show at the Curiosity Shoppe, at Amnesia. That’s an early show, from 7-9pm.
If you want to know more, hear the music, see a video or some pictures:
You can see the video for “Florida” (poem by Travis Nichols) here
You can listen to Florida” here
You can listen to “Civics” (poem by David Berman) here
You can see some more pictures of the portmanteaus here
//WHERE TO GET IT//
If you want to buy the book, vinyl or digital:
You can buy the book from Black Ocean here (first 250 orders get the pink vinyl 7″!):
or from Amazon here.
Buy the music from The Kora Records here
or from iTunes here
You can buy the pink vinyl 7″ from Howells Transmitter here.
And you can see (and buy) the portmanteaus from 10/18-11/18 here. Here’s a picture from when I was putting in the installation:
Carrie St. George Comer
Brett Fletcher Lauer
Gene V. Baker
On Saturday I spent a few hours playing photographer. I wanted to make a light box to take some photos of the Pink Thunder portmanteaus, so I followed the directions on this blog post at Strobist to make one out of cardboard, tissue paper and posterboard.
It worked out pretty well. The photos still need to be edited, but if you’re curious, click on the photo below to take a look:
Test pressings for the four-song Pink Thunder 7″ arrived this week. This is the first music I’ve ever had pressed on vinyl, and I’m excited! These test pressings are black vinyl, but the real things will be pink.
I’m finding that evaluating test pressings is hard. You have to listen to every pressing and make a note of anything iffy that you hear (pops, surface noise, distortion etc). Then you have to compare that part of the music with all the others. If you hear the same flaw on all the pressings, then it might be a flaw in the original cutting. If that’s the case, that side will have to be re-cut. But, if you hear anything that might be a flaw, you have to repeat the process on someone else’s turntable and system just to make sure. It’s kind of like having Kurosawa’s Rashomon playing in my head constantly.
It’s fantastic to see and hold this first actual evidence that Pink Thunder will be available to the world at large soon. I started this project in the Fall of 2006!
Lots more news to come.
Until then, have fun!