Fresh Raw Cuts

Smash the Sun Alight & Iranian Doom by Sterbus — review by Mark McCawley

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Audio, Compact Discs, Fresh Raw Cuts, Review | Leave a comment

Smash the Sun Alight & Iranian Doom

by Sterbus


review by Mark McCawley

Smash the Sun AlightBorn on August 14, 1979, in Rome, Italy, Sterbus — who also goes by the name Emanuele Sterbini — is a contemporary DIY musician whose work is heavily influenced by the RIO Movement (Rock In Opposition), progressive rock, avant-prog, avant-garde and experimental music. Sterbus makes regular use of dissonance and atonality in his songs, along with complex and unpredictable song arrangements and the inclusion of disparate musical genres. His use of polyrhythms, highly complex time signatures, free and experimental improvisation make such influences as Zappa, Cardiacs, Henry Cow quite easy to identify in the music of Sterbus. On tracks such as “Gay Cruise”, “Wooden Spheres + Heartquakes”, and “A Sigh of Relief”, Sterbus combines playful elements of progressive rock and alt rock with pop rock sensibilities in new and exciting variations.
Read more

NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor by bart plantenga — review by Mark McCawley

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in eBooks, Fresh Raw Cuts, Review | Leave a comment

NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor

by bart plantenga


review by Mark McCawley

Nysin1NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor
by bart plantenga
Barncott Press, 140pp, December 5, 2012
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Fiction, Travel

“NY in spring is backtalk & edgy. Attitudes leaking from cooped-up psyches.” – Guy Trebay

NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor combines elements and techniques of the novella, the travel diary, flash fiction, and the prose poem in an insightful and intriguing work of metafiction which renders and revisits New York City as only someone who has lived there possibly can — through the memories and imagination of an inhabitant:”I, like other New Yorkers, became “inured to the ravages,” as Flora Lewis described it, “around them they scarcely notice anymore.” This deadening of senses & morality allows us to believe we’re outwitting our environment.” This is how plantenga describes the Unloaded Camera Snapshot idea in the introduction, documenting “snapshots” of everyday life at a rate of 1 per day: “zen blinks, pop flashes, heated moments, & satori-sloshed sidewalk haikus re-pollinated my existence with the fecund details of the quotidian…using my third eye as a macro lens & suddenly noticing things again.” Ghosts of one New York mingling with another like passing pedestrians playing hopscotch in phenomenological detail amid urban decay while battling violently for the permanence and dominance of vision and memory — a blend of the real and the imaginary:
Read more

Front & Centre #27 — Reviewed by Mark McCawley

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Fresh Raw Cuts, Magazines, Review | 2 Comments

Front & Centre #27


Review by Mark McCawley

F&C 27 final coverFRONT&CENTRE
Issue #27
ISSN 1480-6819

For just about as long as Urban Graffiti has been publishing — first as a paper-based litzine, then as an online transgressive underground arts magazine — so has Matthew Firth; first under the title of Black Cat 115, then under the banner, Front & Centre. All the while, publishing hard-hitting new fiction by new and established writers alike. Whether based out of Hamilton, Scotland (UK), or Ottawa — the writing in F&C has always been gritty “in-your-face urban realism” whether set among downtown crackheads, suburban housewives on the prowl, and everything in between.

Like myself, Firth and F&C has long been a vocal critic of CanLit arts funding, especially for Canadian magazines and journals, with their insane Canadian content quotas which determine not only which magazines and journals receive funding, but which ones are distributed as well. Due to the nature of our magazine’s individual mandates — seldom would our magazines approach the number of Canadian contributors necessary for funding and distribution under current quotas. That said, out of necessity, we both have become international magazines while our funded Canadian counterparts have remained, if not national in scope, provincial.
Read more

Yugen and Aparecidos: New Releases From AltrOck — review by Mark McCawley

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Compact Discs, Fresh Raw Cuts, Music, Review | Leave a comment

Yugen and Aparecidos — New Releases From AltrOck


Review by Mark McCawley

aparecidosWith the arrival of each new AltrOck release, I find myself increasingly impressed by the quality of the label, and the consistent world-class virtuosity of the musicians involved. The most recent AltrOck CD releases from the groups Yugen and Aparecidos only serve to solidify my opinion that AltrOck is the major alternative label “from experimental to avant-jazz, from RIO’s heritage to classical progressive rock” and “open to old and new artists from symphonic prog, folk-prog and Canterbury” — a music which looks ahead and doesn’t “clone” big names from the past.

A string-heavy CD, Aparecidos’ Palito Bombon Helado preserves the memory of times when ice for the ice cream was only imported from England and United States of America, when the typical shout of “heladeros” rang out in the streets of Buenos Aires and South America — “Palito, Bombon, Heladooooo!”
Read more

The Unbearables Big Book Of Sex — review by Lehman Weichselbaum

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Books, Fiction, Fresh Raw Cuts, Poetry, Review | Leave a comment

The Unbearables Big Book Of Sex


Review by Lehman Weichselbaum

unbearables big book of sex coverTHE UNBEARABLES BIG BOOK OF SEX , edited by Ron Kolm, Carol Wierzbicki, Jim Feast, Steve Dalachinsky, Yuko Utomo and Shalom Neuman.
Autonomedia/Unbearables Books.
2011. 640 pps. $18.95

First, to dispense with the obvious: The Unbearables Big Book Of Sex is not a stroke book. To be sure, you (or the grubby inner adolescent of you) will find, inevitably, a sprinkling of verifiable “dirty parts” (as a time-saving service, we refer you to pgs. 156, 165, 431 and 485). But savvy readers, looking past the book’s formal category as “erotica,” will surmise that the words “Unbearables” and “sex” appearing in the same title will more than likely yield, for the most part, a bumptious pageant of squalid missed connections, subliminal-to-outright multi-gendered abuse, delusional gambits of seduction and, overall, a Cook’s tour of carnal dysfunction in its myriad sordid forms. And, of course, they will be right.

The volume under review is the latest in a series of “big book” anthologies squired by the band of convivial literary incendiaries who call themselves “The Unbearables” — presumably after the classic novel by Milan Kundera. Like the other collections, this one includes several score contributors, many recurring from previous compendia, that include a few marquee names (Delaney, Malanga, Kostelanetz, Litsky), as well as familiar figures from New York’s alternative lit scene and sundry more from God knows where. Entries span most conceivable genres: fiction, memoir, poetry and criticism, as well as a lush center insert of visual art, which seems to favor the porno-collagiste.
Read more