Thursday, February 9, 2012

THURS / good news for two of my most fav folks day

Joe Lo Novelli is in today's Amarillo Globe-News:

'Marvin' accompanies musician on solo tour


[CLICK here for the FULL TEXT story]

Musician Joe Novelli is in the middle of a cross-country tour as a solo act, heading to Amarillo for a Thursday show at the Golden Light Cantina.
He’s not traveling alone, but his travel companion isn’t much for conversation. Though it can make a lot of noise.
Novelli, when he’s not touring as part of a band, performs under the name Marvin and the Cloud Wall. It’s not just one of those esoteric names indie solo artists come up with these days, at least not completely.
“Marvin” is actually the name of Novelli uses for the stack of drum machines that play an integral part in his music. And woe betide anyone who refers to that stack simply as a machine.
“That’s Marvin!” Novelli corrected. Later, he explained.
“I have a penchant for personifying everything around me. It makes things more fun, especially when you spend a lot of time by yourself on the highway,” he said. “You end up surrounding yourself with characters.”
He paused.
“That sounds a little crazy.”
But Novelli’s OK with a little crazy. It helps explain his penchant for using technology popular before he was even born to make music, though he’s not sure exactly why.
“I’ve always catered to the old analog (sound), the drum machines and the old tube amplifiers,” he said. “There’s something in the way things were produced, made and sounded all the way up through the middle part of the last century. They all had unique voices; nothing could really duplicate anything else.”
Novelli’s core drum machine, a TR-77, was made in 1972. He bought it off of eBay from a music fan in Montreal who made his own, apparently unrepeatable modifications to the machine.
“I don’t know anything about analog circuitry, but I can solder things here and there. I opened (Marvin) up, and it’s immensely complex,” Novelli said. “I have no idea how it works. There are wires running this way and that. It’s an impressive feat.”
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Poetry Book Review: "Soaptrees" by Mara Vahratian



In Mara Vahratian's Soaptrees, you'll find an eclectic world of love, land/place and language. Whether, according to my metaphor, Soaptrees is a world or a state of mind is unclear, but, simply put, it is a smart, fun place to be. Or as Mara's friend the poet, Shelly Taylor puts it: " Mara writes from a sincerely honest place necessitated by delight/crazy awe for life. There is a delightful innocence to her writing not to be mistaken with naïvete, as the speaker of these poems is clever, like genius clever. "

And it's the cleverness that is endearing. Vahratian uses repetition such as "fine-fine", "silver-silver" and "clang-clang (yeah yeah)" to great effect. In Vahratian's skilled hands the impact is charming and amiable. This charm, more than anything, differentiates it from the pain-tinged   lamentation of the films of Wong Kar-wai. In Soaptrees' world, you don't feel the same heartache or regret. It's not a place where the lonely go to recapture lost love. Sure, she reminisces, but it's all forward thinking. In short order, she moves on to different places, events and adventures. In Soaptrees, there is nothing to recapture. Everything is new. You are a different person in that world. It is where revitalized people find new love, as opposed to dwelling on the past.

Moreover, her interpretation of love is not destructive. On this Taylor continues:   " Reading these poems it's easy to see that they're essentially love poems---the speaker is not writing from a place of love-destruction so usually seen in writing ruminating on intimate relationships---there is awe & fascination of masculine/ultra-feminine relationship roles in Soaptrees. "

Love is not idealized or lost in Soaptrees. It just exists. And in fun little moments like: "Touring the South Rim showed you good.." or "Seedy we met, two apologetic I don't do this oftens""     She still touches on the same themes from my dream or the films, but with a different narrative, different character interaction & from a woman's perspective. It's entertaining, at times irreverent and I agree with Shelly Taylor when she says: " It's ridiculously fresh & real so read it ."