I wasn’t sure what to expect when I slid Gargoyle into my CD player. The colorful, beat-inspired cover assured me that “Poetry is the bomb, baby,” and I hoped that I would agree. Of course, I immediately thought about my past experiences with making “mixed tapes” and how difficult it can be when you’re only sticking with one genre, let alone many. However, after listening to the CD in its entirety, I knew that the editors of Gargoyle had done far more than compose a simple “mixed tape.”
There are 29 tracks on this CD; some are songs, some are poems, but most are a delightful combination of genres. Some poets took advantage of this format by using different voices and sounds in their readings, such as Silvana Straw in her wonderful performances of “Tetraphobia” and “Ever Since He’s Been Taking Anti-depressants.” While other poets use music as a background to their readings, and some artists only utilize sounds and music, such as Henry Warwick’s “Old Friends.”
The different works play off each other well – the opening track, “95% Dark Matter” by Cravin’ Dogs in particular, sets the tone for the rest of the CD. Other standouts include “Candy” by Julianna Spallhoz, “True Story” by Kate Braverman, and “A Piece of the Culture of Funnel Cake” by Thylias Moss.
I found this collection refreshing and it made me reflect upon the many possibilities of the intersection of poetry and music. Gargoyle is great listen for poets, musicians, artists and anyone who desires something a little different.