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.
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”.
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
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
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.
[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:
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 in Boulder, Cherry in San Francisco too/Cherry Boulder. old Cherry San Francisco too/But Cherry Boulder trembles more than Seattle do.
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?)
AG: Have you heard Titos Sompa? – What are their names, Titos and..?
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
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