Kris AnayaJul 8, 2007 Daytrotter Studio, Rock Island, IL

  1. Bookery Reading

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Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Catherine Maldonado

"When I first read this poem, I was in the van on tour. I bought a shit-ton of Charles Bukowski books and started just reading so that maybe I could get some writting tips from this crazy fucker. When I read this poem "My First Affair With An Older Women," it struck me in a way I couldn't grasp, the way that there is no real big thought in it -- that it's just a man who was in love with someone...that didn't love him back...and at the end she finally gave him back before she passed -- you can also tell how real this is, how you can see Charles there by the side of the bed begging for her not to go. I guess love is very hard. You either choose to except the good times and the bad times or you just let it go. I don't think Charles ever let it go." -- Kris Anaya

Kris Anaya, the songwriter behind An Angle, released an album in 2005 -- We Can Breathe Under Alcohol -- and as the title suggests, he'd been indulging. There was a distinct Bright Eyes influence and his friends and family were concerned about his ambitious and unrelenting imbibing. A new album, The Truth Is That You're Alive, is the portrait of a young man who's come out on the other side of the the party and the subsequent depression spiral. He gets U2-ish at times, there are anthems that contain within them a force greater than the breath of an angry Mother Nature and there are lyrics that are reflective of vitality, not destruction. There is a theme of a man recognizing that he's no longer a young buck. There's innocence lost and missed -- therein lies the conflict. The musicality is improved and the emotion remains the kind of naked that you want to get closer to. On "Child In Me," the excellent track that the album title borrows from, Anaya sings, "Your mind's so scared that it's breathing to finish," and it's the strongest moment on the record -- an indication that there's a new fight for the old man. Appropriately enough, he reads Bukowski. -- Sean Moeller

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