TapRoot magazine #19/20 ‘Cleveland Language’

Cleveland Language k7 front coverCleveland Language k7 contributors
Cleveland Languaget cassette Blue Side
Cleveland Language cassette Red Side

Just because I’m shivering don’t mean I’m cold
And I know the Poetry is the shivering and not the cold

Major Ragain, #13 “Brother Timothy In The Lot

TapRoot started around 1986 as a poetry and visual poetry journal published under the Burning Press imprint by Luigi Bob Drake in Cleveland, Ohio (on a side note, also the hometown of sadly missed comic book writer Harvey Pekar, 1939-2010). In 1992, TapRoot became a zine+chap book review journal, and at the same time was moved to an on-line publication (some archive here). Contributors included notable experimental poets John M. Bennett, Bob Grumman or The Styrenes collaborator Charlotte Pressler, who released a single with Doug Morgan in 1979 on Pere Ubu’s label Hearthan. This disc is certainly worth a listen if we are to judge from Pressler’s minimalist Oil Piece, included here, combining insistent, grating electronic sounds with overlaid vocals to great effect.

Luigi Bob Drake is still very active as a sound poet, musician and concrete poetry activist of the Cleveland area. He performs nowadays as half of electronic music duo Fluxmonkey with partner Kristen Ban Tepper (their MySpace has some nice electronic sounds). The duo appears on this cassette as Backyard Mechanics, with Drake on guitar and Ban Tepper delivering a multi-recorded, mezzo vocce poetry reading.

♫ TapRoot #19-20 was a special audio issue of the magazine published 1990 and featuring Cleveland area artists only. The cassette is remarkably musical for a sound poetry collection, as many tracks have musical accompaniment, while others make use of collage or rerecording to enhance the sound poetry experience — not to mention that some of the tracks were recorded live in Cleveland public venues. Some contributors can be described as regular avantgarde bands, like the Semiotic Liberation Orchestra, Endangered Species Trio or Joan Of Art and the Beatnic Angel Boys. Of the artists who contribute regular poetry readings, like Terry Durst or Major Ragain, their performance and writing are exciting enough to keep the listener interested throughout. Each side ends with lacquer disc recordings dating from the 1930s and 1950s, collected by Luigi Bob Drake. Snapshots from a bygone era, these are amateur home recording sessions, restating the lasting magical power of the recorded voice.

TapRoot #19-20 ‘Cleveland Language’

Semiotic Liberation Orchestra
01 Be Square (4:45)
02 Questionnaire (4:25)
Jordan Davis
03 TV? Me? (1:54)
04 Hidden Definition (4:02)
Charlotte Pressler
05  The Oil Piece (2:10)
Luigi Bob Drake
06  Phonemes (5:45)
Kristen Ban Tepper
07  Saturday Night (3:10)
Terry Durst
08 Old (:26)
09 Vaqueros (1:50)
10 John The Vet (1:20)
11 Legends (2:28)

12 Lacquer discs recordings 1930-50 (2:43)
Major Ragain
13 Brother Timothy In The Lot (1:37)
14 The Children Jump Over The Trenches  (1:45)
15 Illinois Moon Corn (1:08)
Backyard Mechanics
16  Patience (4:00)
Frank Green
17 What Is Falling? (3:55)
Daniel Thompson
18 Fruits And Vegetables (2:21)
19 Light On The River (1:17)
20 Earth Poem (1:42)
Endangered Specie Trio
21  FPWN (:16)
22 Concrete (:46)
23 Variation on a Scale of Eight Letters (:30)
24 Flute Solo (:34)
25 E-M-N-O-Y’ (:21)
Tom Mulready
26  Let’s Do It Again, Jack (3:07)
Joan Of Art and the Beatnic Angel Boys
27 Misery Maiden (4:13)
28 Static King (4:45)

29 Lacquer discs recordings 1930-50 (2:36)

Total time 80:00
Cassette released by Burning Press, USA, 1990


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1 Response to “TapRoot magazine #19/20 ‘Cleveland Language’”

  1. 1 Joanie Deveney October 18, 2012 at 1:33 am

    just found this another oldie but goody….

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