Free Poetry MP3s that don't suck!
September 1, 2006 4:54 PM   Subscribe

In the late Seventies and Early Eighties, Dial-a-Poem put out recordings of William S. Burroughs, John Giorno, Sonic Youth, Cabaret Voltaire, Coil, Diamanda Galas, Anne Walderman, Charles Bukowski, Amiri Baraka, Gregory Corso, Phillip Glass, Patti Smith, and many many more. Apparently, the incredibly awesome Ubuweb has streaming mp3s of all twelve Dial-A-Poem releases here. Yay!
posted by elr (14 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
excellent excellent stuff!
posted by amberglow at 5:05 PM on September 1, 2006

Gotta love that Ubuweb!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:51 PM on September 1, 2006

Yay indeed! This is excellent.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:06 PM on September 1, 2006

For those who are unable to identify the best translation of a mushroom haiku... (John Cage, mp3)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:08 PM on September 1, 2006

*dials poet*
posted by Wolof at 6:33 PM on September 1, 2006

Hello? Hello?
posted by bukharin at 7:13 PM on September 1, 2006

I've been looking for this everywhere. Excellent, excellent post, elr.
posted by strawberryviagra at 7:43 PM on September 1, 2006

This has been linked countless times from MeFi but it's such a great site--who can complain? I've listened to and stolen from Giorno's Eating the Sky countless times. No, really. Easily my favorite spoken word piece ever.
posted by dobbs at 7:46 PM on September 1, 2006

I'm always amazed at what turns up on UbuWeb. I first discovered it as the permanent home to the 365 Days Project and then went right to to the Dial-A-Poem recordings. I had a few of those albums on vinyl, which I bought for the rock acts like David Johansen, Sonic Youth, Cabaret Voltaire, and Richard Hell. A lot of the other stuff I just didn't get back then. Now I get a lot more of it. Well, some more of it. But it's so fucking intriguing that I keep coming back to the site and randomly click on something and just go for the ride.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:19 PM on September 1, 2006

Totally excellent post. "You're the Guy" is one of my all-time favorite records.
posted by facetious at 9:10 PM on September 1, 2006

Thanks much!
posted by Iridic at 9:28 PM on September 1, 2006

Anything with Jim Carroll, Patti Smith and Richard Hell is a great post in my book.
posted by caddis at 10:03 AM on September 2, 2006

worth noting is that Giorno actually dreamed up the very idea of using telephones and answering machines for, um, content. No one had ever done that before.

Taking the idea, other more commercial interests developed Dial-a-Joke, and then later, phone sex, and the premium content teleservices category. It's one of the very best examples of what business -- in particular technology-oriented business -- can learn from artists.

Giorno is really worthy of a post all his own. He's not very well known in the US, but he's lived in the same building on the Bowery for many many years now. His is probably the only apartment in which Andy Warhol, William Burroughs, Robert Mapplethorpe and the Dalai Lama have all hung out. He's an amazing poet, and just as importantly, he's the almost-invisible force connecting the cultural development of the New York arts scene for decades now.

I first came to Giorno in 1985, when I bought an LP because it had Sonic Youth and Husker Du on it. The rest of it was poetry and through that and Giorno's other comps, that's how I first came to Burroughs, Ginsberg, Michael Gira, Brion Gysin...

Besides which, Giorno started the AIDS Treatment Project in 1984, to give money to anyone with AIDS who needed it. And by the way, that's him sleeping in Andy Warhol's Sleep. Just my opinion, but he's a superhero and a saint. Good interview here.
posted by cloudscratcher at 11:49 AM on September 2, 2006

Y'know, it's always shocked me that Ubu has really been the only consistently accessible site giving access to these huge pieces of western cultural history. They've done a grand job, but:

Why is that?
posted by converge at 1:34 AM on September 3, 2006

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