Review

The Plastic Factory by Ron Kolm — review by Mark McCawley

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The Plastic Factory by Ron Kolm

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

Plastic-Factory-front-coverThe Plastic Factory
by Ron Kolm
ISBN: 978-1-57027-236-3
Autonomedia, $5.00 US
32 pp, 8.5 x 5.5, saddle-stitched
Fiction

“I try to remember in the course of my day-to-day life that there are people out there doing things that are not very healthy… I try to keep that in mind that there are people dying out there; that the very things that make our lives easier are making other people’s lives worse… I use to have this whole equation that for every so called “plus” there was a “minus” — if you were a well to do family that had all these things, that somebody somewhere was sacrificing something…” ~Ron Kolm, commenting on ‘The Plastic Factory’, The Idiom Magazine Podcast #2

Originally published in five parts and as a 1989 Red Dust Pamphlet — In The Plastic Factory, Ron Kolm draws from his own experiences working in a plastic factory in his work of post-realist fiction.
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Smash the Sun Alight & Iranian Doom by Sterbus — review by Mark McCawley

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

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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.
ASIN: B00AJ5SDFK
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:
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Front & Centre #27 — Reviewed by Mark McCawley

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Front & Centre #27

 

Review by Mark McCawley

 
F&C 27 final coverFRONT&CENTRE
Issue #27
$5
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.
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Yugen and Aparecidos: New Releases From AltrOck — review by Mark McCawley

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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!”
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