47 posts tagged with Poetry and music.
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These are the times of the parables

A Parable.
"Hey do want to hear an album of spoken word poetry raps?"
*everyone looks uncomfortable*
"It's by a white girl from...England? With uh, garage beats?"
*everyone gets on to a spaceship and flies into the sun"
"Her name is Kate Tempest (previously). There's stories, about dating and generally being disaffected and drinking too much? And she utterly kills it live. Her old band was decent but, this is, like next level."
*no-one is left on earth but Common. He is wearing sunglasses as the sun flares.* *He nods his head.*
Common: "This is dope."
Mike Skinner (he's there too): "Well rude innit. Let's get a kebab mate."
F I N
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 7, 2014 - 13 comments

who hoard the air & hunt the hare with the ox & swim against the torrent

Troubadors! [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 16, 2014 - 9 comments

How bout them Oar Doovers, ain't they sweet?

About the multi-talented Mason Williams [previously, and best known as composer of the iconic "Classical Gas"] -- Throughout his years in the Navy and college he wrote a series of poems he titled Them Poems. As he entered the folk music scene in the early 60's he wound up rooming with long time friend Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles. Some of the language from Them Poems is a consequence of creative word play that Ed and Paul Ruscha riffed on with Williams over the years. Ed Ruscha provided us with this recording [also released as "The Mason Williams Listening Matter", and reviewed here on allmusic by Eugene Chadbourne] from 1964. Recording starts around 35 seconds in. Also, here's Mason performing "Them Tummy Gummers" on Johnny Cash's variety show. Finally, Mason Williams Online.
posted by not_on_display on Jun 23, 2014 - 12 comments

He got 20 years for lovin' her / from some Oklahoma governor

Ever been to Johnsburg, Illinois? Have you received a Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis? Maybe you left Waukegan at the slamming of the door? Or perhaps you were simply full of wonder when you left Murfreesboro. If so, the Tom Waits map is for you.
posted by scody on Jan 17, 2014 - 60 comments

The Lord is my happening; he's where it's all at.

In the late 60s, Lutheran clergyman John Rydgren hosted the weekly radio Silhouette, broadcast across the US and in Vietnam, and squarely aimed at the flower power generation. Silhouette Segments (1968) was a double-album which compiled short excerpts from the show. I've compiled as many of the tracks as I can find (see below). But perhaps it makes sense to begin with the Hippie Version of Creation: "The Cat flipped a switch, blinked those big, eternal eyes, and he dug the switch action. 'Yeah... I'll take it.' " [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Dec 15, 2013 - 19 comments

For if we don't find the next whiskey-bar, I tell you we must die!

"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song (Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann (Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya, that was made famous by The Doors and their use of a Marxophone (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 13, 2013 - 24 comments

"I think the musicality of these poets is often ignored"

The poet Cassandra Gillig mashes up recordings of poets reading their work with the instrumental tracks from contemporary pop songs. She doesn't do this to be "even remotely irreverent," but rather because she believes "pop music has a way of capturing our emotions in their most palatable form & placing pop songs behind poems can guide us incorrectly or correctly but I’m hoping I’m going in a correct direction." Listen: Dylan Thomas with Miley Cyrus, Sylvia Plath with Rihanna and Eminem, Alice Notley with Justin Timberlake, Frank O'Hara with Drake, Hannah Weiner with Beyonce, William Carlos Williams with Wale, Dana Ward with Katy Perry, Dorothea Lasky with Raekwon, Ted Berrigan with Kendrick Lamar, and Richard Brautigan with Mariah Carey.
posted by raisindebt on Sep 18, 2013 - 9 comments

"the arts are just a part of the weapons of life"

The poet Jayne Cortez passed away this past December 28th in New York City (New York Times obituary). She started publishing her poems in the late 1960s and in the 70s began performing her poetry backed by music, first in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis, and then backed by her own band The Firespitters. Some of their tracks have found their way to YouTube: I See Chano Pozo, If the Drum Is a Woman, There It Is, Maintain Control & Economic Love Song I, Everybody Wants to Be Somebody, Takin' the Blues Back Home, Talk to Me (for Don Cherry), I've Been Searching, You Can Be and Endangered Species List Blues. Just two years ago she performed solo with her son by Ornette Coleman, drummer Denardo Coleman: Find Your Own Voice, I'm Gonna Shake and She Got He Got. In 1997 she was featured on University of California television network in the series Artists on the Cutting Edge where she read poems and discussed her work. Finally, here's a brief clip from the 1982 documentary Poetry in Motion, where she was interviewed.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

Farewell Angelina by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Nana Mouskouri, among others

Audio only, Newport 1966: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Recorded Jan. 13, 1965, released 1991: Bob Dylan - Farewell Angelina
B/W Video 1966 Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Tablature and lyrics following those of the Dylan recording: dylanchords: Farewell Angelina
French TV 1967: Nana Mouskouri - Adieu Angélina
Bratislava 1989, avant de la Révolution de velours: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
From the 90s, or so I believe: Nickle Creek - Farewell Angelina
June 19, 2010 at Kidzstock: Joan Baez and Jasmine Harris - Farewell Angelina [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 7, 2012 - 33 comments

"The world turns softly / Not to spill its lakes and rivers. / The water is held in its arms / And the sky is held in the water."

Three Nightsongs is a lovely choral work by Joshua Shank that puts three writings by the child-poet Hilda Conkling to music: Evening, Moon Song, and Water.
posted by Rory Marinich on Aug 22, 2012 - 3 comments

Kist o Riches Indeed

Tobar an Dualchais will keep you busy for awhile. It's a collection of over 26,000 oral recordings made in Scotland, from the 1930s onward. Folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, oh my. Includes some fascinating material from Belle Stewart, the McPake Sisters of Peebles and John the Bard.
posted by RedEmma on Jan 14, 2012 - 5 comments

Kissin plays, Kissin talks

Evgeny Kissin is not only a phenomenally active, high-strung, and almost unfailing pianist, he also declaims poetry in public -- in Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Jan 6, 2012 - 5 comments

Happy Solstice!

"everything is good that / has a good beginning / and doesn't have an end / the world will die but for us there is no / end!" Thus ends Victory over the Sun (part 1, part 2), the "first Futurist opera". [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Dec 21, 2011 - 8 comments

Poe Raven Bowie Mashed

If Edgar Allan Poe's, 'The Raven', was interpreted by David Bowie, as imagined sounding by Ralph Garman. [more inside]
posted by phoque on Nov 7, 2011 - 12 comments

Daft beat poems

Four heroically daft beat poems. Part II. (Via Brian Eno's latest interview.Direct 10:25 )
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 7, 2011 - 5 comments

"Uncreative Genius"

"The prominent literary critic Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term 'unoriginal genius' to describe this tendency emerging in literature. Her idea is that, because of changes brought on by technology and the Internet, our notion of the genius—a romantic, isolated figure—is outdated. An updated notion of genius would have to center around one's mastery of information and its dissemination. Perloff has coined another term, 'moving information,' to signify both the act of pushing language around as well as the act of being emotionally moved by that process. She posits that today's writer resembles more a programmer than a tortured genius, brilliantly conceptualizing, constructing, executing, and maintaining a writing machine." --Kenneth Goldsmith on why "genius" is an archaic concept, and how literature in English has fallen half-a-century behind advances in visual arts and music
posted by bardic on Sep 22, 2011 - 44 comments

The Day Lady Died

July 17th 1959: "Billie Holiday died in a New York City hospital from cirrhosis of the liver after years of alcohol abuse, aged 43 (while under arrest for heroin possession, with police officers stationed at the door to her room). In the final years of her life, she had been progressively swindled out of her earnings, and she died with $0.70 in the bank." Still, the world remembers her for her music, her voice that changed lives. Some of her best: Nice Work If You Can Get It, Fine and Mellow, Strange Fruit, I'll Be Seeing You, Good Morning Heartache, Summertime, I'm A Fool to Want You, As Time Goes By, Solitude, Come Rain or Come Shine and The Man I Love. [more inside]
posted by pleasebekind on Jul 17, 2011 - 30 comments

Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles - "novelist, composer, poet and quintessential outsider of American literature".
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 27, 2011 - 14 comments

Poe through the Glass Prism

In 1969, a psychedelic rock group from around Scranton, PA released an album featuring lyrics by Edgar Allan Poe. [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Feb 15, 2011 - 6 comments

Well, he was smilin’ like a vulture as he rolled up the horticulture

Out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’

What a surprise to read that couplet on "The New Yorker's" website, in an article about Jay-Z's new book. It also discusses Adam Bradley's "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop," an academic study that respects rap lyrics as serious poetry. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Dec 4, 2010 - 82 comments

Go, Rimbaud!

Arthur Rimbaud Documentary [via pb] is an impressionistic tour of Rimbaud's life, from a provincial upbringing, through his teenage poetic revolution, to his world travels and moderately successful business career in the Horn of Africa, featuring contemporary photographs, some taken by Rimbaud, and readings by Joan Baez. His poems (English translations, French, with some translated into English, earlier translations, with French originals) were fundamental in overthrowing the established traditions of writing and his personal story has long been an inspiration to those who chafe under the strictures of society. Ruth Franklin wrote about the whole arc of Rimbaud's life in The New Yorker, while Edmund White focuses on Rimbaud's bull-in-a-china-shop entrance into fellow poet Paul Verlaine's bourgeois existence in The Guardian. You can also read earlier biographical writings on Rimbaud, including his sister Isabelle's hagiographic account. Rimbaud's poetry has been set to music, perhaps most notably by electronic musician Hector Zazou and chansonnier Léo Ferré (links to music below the cut). [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 7, 2010 - 13 comments

"I realized it is basically insane to make any kind of judgment about rap without hearing it."

Listening to Rap for the First Time, with a Book Critic
posted by OverlappingElvis on Nov 4, 2010 - 80 comments

Words voiced

textsound is an online experimental sound journal. Some poetry, some music, all mp3s. Ten issues (so far).
posted by klangklangston on Sep 9, 2010 - 6 comments

Natalie Merchant sings poetry

Natalie Merchant performs arrangements of 19th and early 20th century poetry at TED 2010 [more inside]
posted by nangar on Jul 19, 2010 - 8 comments

Truth to power.

Gil Scott-Heron, Godfather of Rap. Parts 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 and 6.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 16, 2010 - 19 comments

Townes Van Zandt poetry

Yesterday Night Dawn: The Unpublished Poetry of Townes Van Zandt by David Broza was released. I heard it last night and have ordered my copy. [more inside]
posted by bjgeiger on Feb 24, 2010 - 15 comments

What's the word - have you heard?

A long-awaited new recording from Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here - will be released in February. Video interview and report by BBC's Stephen Smith. Hear a sample: Where Did the Night Go?. Check out this awesome prior post: Happy Birthday Gil! (via Undercover Black Man)
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 16, 2009 - 32 comments

Happy Birthday Gil!

April Fools Day, 2009 also means happy 60th birthday to one of my favorite musicians, Gil Scott-Heron (previously). From his popular early works like the heavily referenced "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", "Whitey On The Moon", and "The Bottle", to his continued productions and tours over the decades, he's had a few hurdles, but never stopped. For more on his life and music, here's a great documentary from a few years back (MLYT): pt. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
posted by p3t3 on Mar 31, 2009 - 26 comments

Prewar Blues Lyrics & Dylan Lyrics Concordances 'N Stuff

The things I like best about Michael Taft's Prewar Blues Lyrics Concordance, a subsection of T. G. Lindh's Web Concordances of Pre-War Blue Lyrics and Bob Dylan Lyrics, are the listings of the lyrics by singer: A - C, D - H, J - L, M - R and S - Y. And the nice thing about the blues lyrics is you don't need to ask for a log in and password. It 's all right there. Explore and enjoy. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Mar 5, 2008 - 9 comments

And something is vacant when I think it's all beginning : The Late Allen Ginsberg and Beck in Conversation

Not exactly breaking news, but still:
The Late Allen Ginsberg and Beck in Conversation
Related YouTuber: Beck on the late Allen Ginsberg
To complete the circle: Jackass by the South Austin Jug Band.
posted by y2karl on Feb 5, 2008 - 26 comments

A Wop Bop A Loo Bop She Bop Bam Boom

Well, things got a little contentious 'round MeFi Town concerning the US Poet Laureate, but surely we can set aside our differences, and all come together to celebrate the REAL American poetry: Tutti Frutti. Wooly Bully. Hanky Panky. Louie Louie. Mony Mony. And Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day. Now, everybody can agree that that's poetry! And we're only scratching the surface!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 3, 2007 - 59 comments

Gil! Scott! Heron!

Gil! Scott! Heron!
posted by Kattullus on Apr 19, 2007 - 32 comments

This, no ballad of innocence

Carla Bruni puts poems by Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Dorothy Parker, Walter de la Mare, W.H. Auden, and Christina Rossetti to music. Listen. (via)
posted by anotherpanacea on Feb 16, 2007 - 17 comments

How do you solve a problem like Gerard Manley Hopkins?

The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins set to music. Demo list here. It's a pity they haven't adapted my favourite poem, Spring and Fall, although it's pretty exciting to hear Hopkins's poetry which I studied at school, presented in this format, especially since he was already trying to create a kind of music using the rhythms of the words. On a random note, featuring the vocal talents of Belinda Evans who was recently voted off the BBC's Saturday night tv extravaganza, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?. Her blog is here. [via]
posted by feelinglistless on Aug 21, 2006 - 17 comments

A Real Man Passes

Ivor Cutler, 1923-2006; poet, artist, musician, mensch; passed away on Friday. (previously)
posted by scruss on Mar 6, 2006 - 31 comments

Piero Scaruffi is a normal person.

Piero Scaruffi is a normal person. Like so many others, he ponders knowledge, language, and art from time to time. When he travels, he takes pictures. Just like everyone else. Sure, he has his thoughts about politics and world affairs, who doesn't? And when he's done with all of this he just wants to rock. Exactly like you. See?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 23, 2006 - 12 comments

Beethoven's Ninth: the Score

Beethoven's Ninth -- the score.
posted by matteo on Oct 11, 2005 - 42 comments

Singing, Painting and the Holocaust: Interview with Leon Greenman

you'll then have a grave in the clouds where you won't lie too cramped
"No, no, I never met Paul Celan. This poem is too CLASSIC, too cold, and too difficult to follow. It does nothing to me".
Singing, Painting and the Holocaust: Interview with Leon Greenman, Auschwitz Survivor 98288
posted by matteo on Aug 29, 2005 - 9 comments

the saddest song I've ever heard

The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh (or Armagh), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital, St. James Infirmary Blues, Tom Sherman's Bar and Way Down in Lodorra), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today.

beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young (rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in (his/her) prime (or and I know I've done wrong)

The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie (who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind) and Johnny Cash (who added a few verses to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version.
posted by luriete on Aug 3, 2005 - 26 comments

Ivor Cutler

Ivor Cutler - poet, musician, Glaswegian. I first enjoyed Cutler's touching, funny, and often surreal performances on the John Peel Show; and so I was delighted to find a small group of Cutler fans dedicated to spreading the Word of Ivor online. There's some audio links here, including Questionnaire, Little Black Buzzer, and Good Morning How Are You Shut Up. For Ivor fans, there's much more over at Yahoo Group's ivor-list.
posted by carter on Apr 20, 2005 - 16 comments

Deep Inside Jon Bon Jovi

Deep inside the poetic stylings of John Bon Jovi. To begin, I'd like to look at the opening verses of "Bed of Roses". You may think you understand the meaning behind this poem - that John Bon Jovi likes a lady, and is upset about it. This is just a sign of the brilliant, interweaving complexity of Bon Jovi. You can love the poem at that level, and many have, but let's go... inside.[Coral Link - In case the other doesn't work]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Feb 23, 2005 - 23 comments

Olga can get him to eat; I can't

Her name was Courage & is written Olga "Olga" (.pdf file in main link) is Olga Rudge, violinist, first promoter of the Vivaldi Renaissance, and longtime companion of the poet Ezra Pound. Pound maintained a complicated and delicate balance between the two most significant women in his life, Olga and his wife Dorothy Shakespear (who, among other things, was the daughter of Yeats's mistress). ‘‘Paris is where EP and OR met, and everything in my life happened,’’ Olga (listen to her voice here) said later of the chance encounter with Ezra at 20, rue Jacob, in the salon of Natalie Barney. They were together for fifty years, through the dark-night years of Pound's madness (arrested in 1945 for treason, deemed unable to stand trial and sent to an American mental institution, he once suggested to the UPI bureau chief in Rome that the United States trade Guam for some sound films of Japanese Noh plays, asked Truman many times to make him Ambadassor to Japan or Moscow; Guy Davenport reports dining with him one evening and all Ez said was "gnocchi"), until the poet's death in 1972. She lived on for another quarter century, turning up at conferences of Pound scholars --as far afield as Hailey, Idaho, Pound's birthplace, where she gave a lecture in the local movie theater. "Write about Pound", she told publishers who asked her to write her autobiography. (more inside, with Cantos)
posted by matteo on Jul 8, 2004 - 15 comments

Hip Hop Heaney

Seamus Heaney's Top Hip Hop Picks. Sort of. (You know: Seamus Heaney.)
posted by Shane on Apr 19, 2004 - 9 comments

She collects Ruscha, you know.

Britney Says... Pop Superstar Discusses Her High-Brow Faves
Britney writes about her exposure to high art and literature. The gallery is meant to help her grow as an artist, and expose her to new audiences. She doesn't want to perform for teenagers all her life, she's getting older after all. Features pictures of Britney reciting lyrics and poems. She wants to be taken seriously as a PERSON.
posted by rschram on Mar 19, 2004 - 18 comments

Finding art in the oddest places : genius

The poetry of Donald Rumsfeld, set to music
The Unknown

"As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know."
[Department of Defense news briefing Feb. 12, 2002] : Now, imagine it set to music and sung aloud by a classically trained female singer with a beautiful voice. [ Mp3 clips available at main link ] Some conservatives consider it a homage, while I find it beautiful, compelling, and disorienting.
posted by troutfishing on Mar 12, 2004 - 27 comments

Positive, by Ian Stephens.

Positive, by Ian Stephens. Not, perhaps, in the tradition of Day Without Art. But... Ian Stephens was a poet, musician, and performer from my neighbourhood in Montreal who died in 1996.
posted by mikel on Dec 1, 2000 - 0 comments

You probably didn't know this site existed, and that it's as useful as dictionary.com and thesarus.com. The Rhymezone is quick to become the poet and songwriter's killer app. I wish it had better dictionary integration though.
posted by mathowie on Jun 4, 2000 - 2 comments

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