Monday, November 30, 2009

Andy Clausen

Andy Clausen & Allen met in Berkeley in 1968 and the two fast became friends. Allen was a huge fan of his poetic style and did what he could to get him published. Clausen was often a guest at Naropa as well as for Allen's Brooklyn College courses in the 80s and 90s. Some of his titles include 40th Century Man Selected Verse: 1996-1966 (Autonomedia) Without Doubt (Zeitgeist Press 1991), and Poems for the Nation: A Collection of Contemporary Political Poems (7 Stories Press, 1997) which he co-edited with Eliot Katz and Allen Ginsberg.

In Allen's own words, "Andy Clausen's character voice is heroic, a vox populi of the democratic unconscious, a "divine average" thinking workman persona. As "one of the rough," a Whitmanic laborer, precisely a union hodcarrier longstanding, his bardic populism's grounded on long years' painful sturdy experience earning family bread by the sweat of his brow. His comments on the enthusiastic sixties, defensive seventies, unjust eighties, and bullying nineties present a genuine authority in America not voiced much in little magazine print, less in newspapers of record, never in political theatrics through Oval Office airwaves. The expensive bullshit of government TV poetics suffers diminution of credibility placed side by side with Mr. Clausen's direct information and sad raw insight. Would he were, I'd take my chance on a President Clausen!" (Allen Ginsberg, Deliberate Prose Selected Essays 1952-1995 Harper Collins 2000)

Andy Clausen on Vladimir Mayakovsky at Naropa, August 1980 >>
Andy Clausen Reading with Philip Whalen and Anselm Hollo at Naropa, July 1980 >>

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Ted Berrigan

Ted Berrigan reading his poem "Whitman in Black" from Ron Mann's film Poetry In Motion (1982). Huge apologies this cuts of the very last three words (!) "...Whitman's walk unchanged after its fashion" but we gander its still worth a posting.

Village Voice Clip Job - Hanging With Ed Sanders

A little bit of history behind the Peace Eye Bookstore and Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts from The Village Voice archives.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Philip Glass & Patti Smith

Philip Glass and Patti Smith have been collaborating on various tributes to Allen through the years and fine tuning it along the way. This one from Lyon, Les Nuits de Fourvière 2009, June 2009, performing "Wichita Vortex Sutra" interspersed with interviews gives you a little taste.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar

As we'd mentioned last week in one of our posts, Death Cab for Cutie & Postal Service's Ben Gibbard along with Son Volt's Jay Farrar, teamed up to write twelve original tracks based on Kerouac's words from his novel Big Sur, for the film One Fast Move or I'm Gone. If ya haven't got the cd yet, here are a few streams to break you in.

NPR Music (Benjamin Gibbard & Jay Farrar live at the 9:30 Club, Washington DC for All Songs Considered)

KCRW's Today's Top Tune: Breathe Our Iodine

and a little more press on the project and what it's all about....

"Jack Kerouac was a literary rock star, lionized by his fans. He was called the avatar of the Beat Movement, a new voice of his generation. But along with sudden fame and media hype came his unraveling. The new film, One Fast Move or I'm Gone- Kerouac's Big Sur, takes us back to the cabin he retreated to in the Big Sur woods. The story unfolds through Kerouac's prose, first-hand recollections from Kerouac's contemporaries, as well as writers, poets, actors and musicians who have been deeply influenced by Kerouac's unique gifts.Appearing in the film are Sam Shepard, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, S.E. Hinton, Donal Logue, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Hunter and many more. The stunning, High Definition visual imagery is set to original music composed and performed by recording artists Jay Farrar of Son Volt and Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie.

Gibbard stayed in Big Sur to compose songs for his band's 2008 Grammy-nominated, #1 selling, album, Narrow Stairs. For many years, Jay Farrar's songwriting has been inspired and influenced by Kerouac's compositional style. Gibbard and Farrar, having never previously met, discovered a mutual kinship in their passion for Kerouac's work while recording several songs for the documentary, produced by Kerouac Films. After the initial San Francisco recording session in July 2007, they decided to develop the project further to create an album using Kerouac's own words from the book as the lyrics."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Looking In: Robert Frank's Americans at Metropolitan Museum of Art

There's still time to catch Robert Frank at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 3. Unfortunately the film-series ended last week. We're hoping they'll have another series before the show comes down.

On Wednesday November 18, at 8pm, Symphony Space in NYC is hosting a companion reading of related stories (Kerouac's & others)

Zero Budget Festival Warsaw

....and if you just happen to be in Warsaw this coming week, check out the Zero Budget Festival hosted by the Grotowski Center Warsaw and organized by the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (Italy). Workcenter will be performing two projects I am America and Electric Party Songs entirely based on Ginsberg's poems.

Check Zero Budget Festival's website for schedules. It's all in Polish, but pretty easy to figure out. As for the description, you might need this English version:

Based on the works of Allen Ginsberg, I Am America is a stream of dramatic structures featuring song, rhythm, dance, poetry and action. I Am America explores this terr
ain through the personification of America. She speaks of herself, of hope, of contradictions, desires and failures; she is a goddess with many faces. Her offspring are those who give body to her impulses, each one according to his or her own unpredictable paths. America is a mother with many children.

The Open Program team of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards presents Electric Party Songs, a flow of songs and actions based on the poetry of American poet Allen Ginsberg. The members of Open Program elaborated and composed all of the songs, approaching the meaning, rhythms and sounds of the spoken poetical texts as the seeds of musical and dramatic creation. Their varied backgrounds generate a stylistically diverse body of music, drawing inspiration from blues, rock, pop, opera, punk, and traditional sources.

Radio Wroclove talk on the events briefly, and amusingly aren't quite sure what to expect >>

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Evolution of a Painter November 5, 2009 - December 19, 2009

For those of you in the San Francisco area, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's show opens at George Krevsky Gallery, 77 Geary Street, on November 5th & will be up through December 18. We highly recommend checking this one out, especially if you're only familiar with Ferlinghetti as a poet.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Edna St. Vincent Millay 2008
oil and silkscreen on canvas, 30 x 23 in.