Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 321

Today is the official release day for The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience, Allen’s Blake settings, re-released on CD and Digital by Omnivore Recordings, for the first time, (plus a second disc of rarities and previously unissued songs). For earlier announcements on the Allen Ginsberg Project  – see here and here.

 Gordon Ball (from Pat Thomas‘ illuminating and extensive accompanying booklet of sleeve-notes) in answer to the question, “Why William Blake?”::

“Allen always saw poetry and music as linked, not separate, art forms…and had a long history with Blake going back to that 1948 vision or … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 320

[Allen Ginsberg in the recording studio, 1989]

June 23, next Friday. We’re getting closer to the official release-date, but we’re already putting the word out  about this exciting Ginsberg re-release from Omnivore Recordings of Allen’s settings of William Blake.

Here’s more info (courtesy Aquarium Drunkard)

and here’s the official video just put out of Allen/Blake’s “The Garden of Love”

Speaking of William Blake, hats off to antiquarian bookseller, John Windle (“Windle’s connection to Blake is more spiritual than commercial”). Allen would, more than once, call Windle, Windle remembers, if he “needed a Blake fix”.

[William Blake ( 1757-1827] … Read More

Thomas Carew – (“Ask Me No More”)

[Thomas Carew (1595-1640)]

AG: And (Thomas) Carew has one of the prettiest cadences of repeated.. it’s like a.. it’s a very beautiful cadence, for the first line of page three-oh-one – A song – It’s (the cadence) –  da da-da da  da  da-da da – da  da-da da  da  da-da da – Da da-da da da – da-da da. It’s just really nice, that. “Ask me no more where Jove bestows,/When June is past, the fading rose;/For in your beauty’s orient deep/These flowers, as in their causes, sleep/ .Ask me no more whither do stray/The golden atoms of the day;/For … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 316

[Allen Ginsberg with Jon Sholle at the recording for Allen Ginsberg/William Blake – The Songs of Innocence and Experience]

Excited to have received early advance copies  of  Pat Thomas‘ remarkable follow-up to the The Last Word on First Blues  CD-set, (release-date isn’t until June 23) – the  two-CD re-packaging of the Blake songs – The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience.

For a previous announcement on that important and highly-anticipated project – see here

Did we mention, May 8th, Gary Snyder‘s recent 87th birthday – this?  (an extensive and illuminating interview in Lion’s Roar ) –  … Read More

Allen Ginsberg & The Klezmatics, Berlin, 1993

Another rare video treasure. We’ve mentioned it before – but thought we would spotlight once again this weekend Allen Ginsberg’s 1993 Berlin concert collaboration with legendary New York klezmer band, The Klezmatics

The Klezmatics accompany Allen on five songs:

Everybody Sing” –  (“Everybody’s just a little bit homosexual whether they like it or not.,”) –    “Fifth Internationale” – (“Arise ye prisoners of your mind-set”) – Sickness Blues – (” I got the sickness blues, I must’ve done something wrong..”) – CIA Dope Calypso –  (“Now Richard Secord and Oliver North….”)  and  “Research” –  (“Research has … Read More

George Herbert – 3

[George Herbert stained-glass window, in the village church of Bishop Burton, East Riding, Yorkshire, designed by Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907)]

AG: (George Herbert’s) “The Windows” has got one funny line in it – (page) two eighty-eight – the second line – “Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?/ He is a brittle crazy glass” – that’s a nice one – “He is a brittle crazy glass” – “crazy” here is here defined as “flawed”, they say – “ Man is a brittle crazy glass” – Just an interesting little snippet I thought.

“Lord, how can … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 313

[Allen Ginsberg reading and lecturing in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, 1993]

Allen’s new book, The Best Minds of My Generation, selections from Allen’s lectures (not to be confused with the lectures transcribed here on the Allen Ginsberg Project), “mercifully reduced to 455 pages, shorn of repetitions, student interventions and Ginsberg’s habit of beginning every sentence with “So” – (sic) – as the reviewer in the London Times would have it) continues to impress one and all.

Here’s an excerpt from Gaby Wood‘s review in London’s Daily Telegraph:

“Lovingly edited from recordings by Bill Morgan, who has … Read More

Cherry Blues

[Samuel Palmer – In A Shoreham Garden]

Cherry Blossom Season but we’re pretty certain that that colorful moment isn’t quite the kind of “cherry” that Allen’s talking about here.  (Plus, that  “Heart Failure” – ( “noisy Cherry got Heart Failure Blues”)  –  Old Age and Youth lying down together  (“Heart Failure & Cherry, Cherry in my bed”).  It’s one of the more obscure items from Allen’s  voluminous catalog, but, hey, why not.

CHERRY BLUES

Cherry in Boulder, Cherry in San Francisco too/Cherry Boulder. old Cherry San Francisco too/But Cherry Boulder trembles more than Seattle do.

Cherry in Seattle, Cherry … Read More

Granelli & Sompa and basic rhythms

[Photo: Jazz drummer, percussionist, Jerry Granelli]

Student: (Rhythm.. rhythms)

AG: But – wait a minute – but, if you did a little bit of work with Titos Sompa [Congolese-Californian teaching at Naropa] and [jazz-drummer] Jerry Granelli in analyzing, not analyzing, just learning, the basic Afric rhythms that they use ( you’ve heard them play, haven’t you?)

Student: (Sure).

AG: Have you heard Titos Sompa? – What are their names, Titos and..?

Student: Bemba..

AG: Bemba..  They are teaching basic African rhythms, (which are not very different from this kind of five.. five-beat rhythms – in fact, what they are … Read More

More on Meters

AG: So there’s tone and pitch and then there’s the long and short vowel, and then there’s a light and heavy accent. So there’s…  Actually, Greek meters did consist in there.. that’s something interesting, these guys, particularly (Ben) Jonson, knew Greek, Greek meters consisted, as modern classicists classify them, (modern classicists classify them, Greek professors classify them), as – stress, accent and quantity (and that’s a little confusing, what’s stress and what’s accent?) – But, usually.. the terminology which is used nowadays, which has been useful for Greek… terminology used for analyzing Greek poetics (which would be useful to … Read More