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Shannon Tharp is the author of Each Real Bird (The Elliott Press, 2006) and Determined by Aperture (Fewer & Further Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in The Cultural Society, Effing Magazine, The New Ohio Review, and The New Yinzer, among others. She is from Wyoming and lives in Seattle, where she is a teacher and librarian.
Widely known as the ‘drummer dude’ in Comets on Fire, Utrillo Kushner’s musical talents range far beyond the drunken-master-style wailing he unleashes on any given night with the Comets. Having tickled the ivories for close to a decade, Kushner assumes command of the keys in Colossal Yes and steps it up as a full-fledged piano man. Two elements that should damn Colossal Yes to lite-rock purgatory - unabashed sincerity and piano-playing - miraculously works to the band's advantage. Somehow, when untainted musicianship meets earnest presentation something happens, and the results are damn good. Maybe it’s just the joy of creation. The true essence of rock, stripped to its essentials by virtue of its vainglorious indulgences, existing forever as the absolute articulation of the form. Think simple melodies and basic structures with lyrical territories such as expired youth, grand betrayals, overdrawn faculties, and dissolving empires. In this regard, Kushner pays respect to songwriters like Robyn Hitchcock, Dan Bejar of Destroyer, and Alex Chilton while also incorporating the honesty of Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners, the romanticism of Nikki Sudden's Waiting on Egypt, and the sonic merriment of Thunderclap Newman's Hollywood Dream. Colossal Yes is the greatest affirmation of them all, bigger than big, and there’s no joke behind the smiling.
Gillian Conoley’s most recent collection is THE PLOT GENIE with Omnidawn Publishing (fall 2009). The author of six collections of poetry, her work has appeared in over 20 national and international anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s American Hybrid, Counterpath’s Postmodern Lyricisms, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Nuova Poesia Americana, and Best American Poetry. She has received the Jerome J. Shestack Award from The American Poetry Review, several Pushcart Prizes, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a Fund for Poetry Award. Editor and founder of Volt magazine, she teaches in the Program for Writers and Poets at Sonoma State University.
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