Creative movers and shakers run quite the gamut when it comes to self-expression and the imaginative approaches for everything they do. These next two Shoreworld specialists may hail from New York City and beyond, but they’ve spent much time in the Garden State, gracing us with musical performances and supplying the famous bands that we’ve come to know as household names. These are forward thinking individuals that have made big careers (and names) for themselves along the way of doing what they love to do, and that’s the total point to life as far as I’m concerned.
The idea for this poetry book came about out of their long-standing friendship and their passion for the French Decadent Movement that was made up of literary kingpins such as Rimbaud and Baudelaire as well as the later Beat Poets featuring Ginsberg, Burroughs and Ferlinghetti, as well as American artists such as Charles Bukowski, Jim Morrison and Patti Smith. Just their list of influences is enough to make it clear that this is no frilly carriage ride around the Palais de’ Chaillot with little Lord Fauntleroy. Nope, this is hard-core, snotty, rock and roll prose with the substance and stark delivery of a punk rock rant.
The book is titled, Night Blooming Jasmine Will Never Smell The Same and is made up of personal and laconic thought. The stark insight and off the cuff rants of two completely different individuals converge here to share gritty city views of their inextricable worlds. If you dig the free style delivery of a Lawrence Ferlinghetti or Charles Bukowski then this book could be for you.
To better understand their vision, you have to understand their origins and hands on experience in life. Keith Caputo is a name many may be familiar with right off the bat. The former Life Of Agony front man is equal parts stalwart rocker and literary outlaw. His eclectic solo records include collaborations with industry heavyweights such as bass and trumpet player Flea (The Red Hot Chili Peppers), guitarist Craig Ross (Eric Clapton) and producer Martyn Lenoble (Jane’s Addiction). On the festival circuit, Caputo has shared stages with musical titans such as Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Björk, David Bowie, Pixies and the Foo Fighters. Right off the bat I am an enthusiastic head nodder for his directive influences from Zeppelin to Burroughs.
Michael Alago comes from the music industry as well, but from the opposite side of the stage as a heavy hitting A&R chief for a legend in the music industry since discovering Metallica and signing them to Elektra Records in 1984, Michael Alago has worn a variety of hats over the past three decades; major label talent scout, producer, photographer and writer. In addition to working with such iconic artists as Nina Simone on her last record, A Single Woman, Johnny Rotten and Rob Zombie, Michael has also gotten his journalistic feet wet with a book of photography titled Rough Gods and has exhibited his stark, erotically charged photographs in New York, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Toronto. Alago’s courrier charged imagery gets right to the point on this latest book of prose, bouncing ideas throughout his atmosphere like bullets off a Kevlar vest.
As Lawrence Ferlinghetti says, “Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations.” Night Blooming Jasmine Will Never Smell The Same brings that very sentiment straight into the hearts and minds of the reader.
This is the first of at least two collaborations featuring Michael Alago and Keith Caputo, and as we speak they are working on book number two, tentatively titled, Today Is The Day. Michael and Keith will tour Europe and the United States as listed on their sites. At each show, they will read the entire book, which will also be for sale as they sign the books after the shows.
The debut of the spoken word tour will be at Bowery Electric in New York City on Oct. 25 at 9:30 p.m. For more information on the book reading times and directions to the club, check out theboweryelectric.com or contact the authors at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love bands that follow a targeted tradition. Especially when they do their homework and then add their own signature contributions to the sound. Lets face it, it’s all been done to death and what is left is always going to be made up of borrowing and arranging from the past. But with each ongoing addition comes a furthering of evolutionary change that adds to the main genre or style. This is what gives us the individuality, the continuity and soul in our steadily growing catalog of listening choices.
TV Tramps come from the old schools of punk, rockabilly, new wave and power pop and they take their three-chord education very seriously. Made up of former original members of The Obvious, TV Trampers Joy Vay and Matt Guzda (who also double dips in the band Toys In Trouble) lit out on their own journey and have come up with some mondo agreeable sounds and solid songs. Right from the first note this band doesn’t waste any time trying to be hip and witty, instead trading hokey pop fashion for a blitzkrieg of high wattage, poetic overtone wisdom and harmonic cacophony this side of the Dead Boys.
The TV Tramps blasted the Brighton crowd with a full set of tunes including a few posted on their Myspace page like “Baby Girl,” a song that has lead vocalist Joy Vay hiccupping old school rants as the band blows along at 100 mph. The guitar chops and attitude of Brian Sugent, Ex-Blisters bassist Claude Coleman Jr. and Drummer Matt Guzda push it along like an out of control dump truck driving thru a nitro glycerin plant.
“Keep Your Mouth Shut” rings with Ramones charm and all the danger of a clown car full of Rockets From The Tomb. Attitude, presence and snarl make this band fun to watch. “Party Animal” bobs along at vicious speed with dangerous hair pinned rock and roll turns. Joy’s sexy, signature squeak is an integral part of the bands chainsaw raw sound. A bit of early Blondie, a little like Stinky Toys, the TV Tramps aren’t afraid to get in your face and its fun to be in the front row.
The band is out on the road supporting like-minded well-known punk groups such as The Vibrators, The Growlers, The Avengers and many others. Although I had no information at press time, I can only hope that TV Tramps have a studio project planned or in the works as I would love to hear how they make the transfer of their raw, feedback soaked soul onto a CD.
The band motto on what they do and who they are is summed up on their web page with this statement: “Onstage we violate the code of decency… Offstage we violate each other! We are TV Tramps and we’re going to rock your crotch off!” You can actually find this out for yourself, as the band will be rocking somebody’s crotch off at The Asbury Lanes on November 5. For any further information on TV tramps and upcoming shows, head over to myspace.com/tvtramps.