Guitar music is alive and well in South London. Shame, a five-piece post-punk band barely out of their teens, is among the best of the new crop.
When you listen to Shame’s debut album Songs of Praise, which was released on January 12, you’ll hear elements of The Fall, Wire, and Gang of Four. But the band is entirely of the moment with tracks like “One Rizla,” the lead single, which is drenched with adolescent angst, but also the determination to move toward greater ease. Another standout is “Concrete,” which features a frenetic call and response between the band’s vocalist Charlie Steen and bassist Josh Finerty that mirrors what it’s like to be trapped in a draining relationship that seems doomed, and yet persists. (more…)
In the Notes section of Tarfia Faizullah’s second collection, Registers of Illuminated Villages, out in March from Graywolf Press, she writes that epigraph for the title poem wouldn’t exist without a 2002 episode of Frontline, with Kanan Makiya, in which he described a large book,
with a cover made of paper, with great big white flowers against a red background… which records the destruction of 397 Kurdish villages… You look at the book and you know you’re touching evil somehow.
But while the register Makiya describes is filled with the records of destroyed villages, Faizullah’s villages are illuminated, both in the sense of being lit and of being decorated in such a way that the reader is given greater understanding of that which they are reading about.
Tuesday 1/16: The January installment of Carol Connolly’s Reading by Writers will feature Wendy Brown-Baez, Ted King, Steve Mueske, Rebecca Paradis, and Thomas Redshaw. The University Club of St. Paul, 7:30 p.m., free.