The new His Name Is Alive album, XMMER (Silver Mountain Media), came out this week. This is cause for rejoicing ‘round these parts, because we here at WR HQ quite like HNIA. We’ve said as much here,here, here, and here.

HNIA mastermind Warn Defever works in a purely American idiom: writing deceptively throwaway pop songs with an unvarnished center of elegiac heartbreak. He gets bright, bubbly American voices to sing them. He’s a deeply idiosyncratic folklorist and preservationist who’s also a canny, witty producer. (For instance, it takes singular cojones to turn Rainbow’s “Man on the Silver Mountain” into a beatific lament.)

While Warn’s never been one to stick with any one genre for long (he’s restless and omnivorous with his obsessions), the new HNIA album XMMER (Silver Mountain) continues in Detrola’s stylistic vein of lush 70s MOR à la the Carpenters, a move that’s only cemented by singer Andrea Francesca Morici’s lovely, Edenic vocals.

To celebrate, we’re having a contest.

• First prize is two tickets to see HNIA on any of their headlining dates in the US. The tour starts October 19th in NYC (CMJ show!) and concludes in Minneapolis on the 26th.

• Second prize is one copy of XMMER.

All you have to do is answer the following question:

Who is the King of Sweet? Artist, revolutionary, cereal-box mascot (or all of the above)?

Answers may come in the form of haiku, line drawing, collage, comic strip, quatrain, sonnet, limerick, prose-poem or any Dadaist nonsense you please. If that’s too freaking complicated, haiku is preferred —don’t forget the five-seven-five syllable (three lines, 17 syllables total) format.

Then either email me [ warpedrealitymagazine (at) ] your entry with the subject line “CONTEST ENTRY”, or post it here as a comment. Make sure you leave your e-mail address or other contact information.

Two winners will be drawn on OCTOBER 15, 2007.


October 18: Knitting Factory, 11 PM
New York, NY | CMJ (with ST. VINCENT)

October 23: Shank Hall
Milwaukee, WI

October 25: Schubas
Chicago, IL

October 26: 400 Bar
Minneaplois, MN

Official Site | Myspace Page | Silver Mountain Media [download the back catalog here] | Firefly Dragonfly [upcoming EP on Acuerela Records, Spain]

MP3His Name Is Alive, “No More The Moon” (from the Silver Makeup EP, 2007 | download the rest of the EP here)

MP3His Name Is Alive, “Go To Hell Mountain” (from XMMER, 2007)


everyone wore white




  1. Erik

    FYI, the CMJ show in New York is October 18th, not the 19th.



  2. wisco

    King of Sweet comes down
    Reigning boxes of masters
    No more Watts-Russel

  3. Vaughn Talbert

    I was the King of Sweet

    Blue-eyed honey babe –
    she held my hand like a book,
    her feet damp with grass.

  4. Mr. Christian

    Nature birds
    Warn in the basement
    Making women chant: Appalachian. R’n’B., reggae.
    Calling out Detroit’s kami one at a time, not the ghosts of Livonia’s strip malls
    So sweet to the ear and sad to the heart
    Wolfman’s coming up from the basement
    Full moon

  5. Way too late for the contest, but:

    He ruled over all that was sweet;
    His banquets were treat after treat.
    First a candy buffet,
    Then a chocolate souffle
    (But he secretly wished for some meat).

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