It’s getting close to that exciting time of the publishing season when Patti Smith’s new book, M Train, is about to become available.
My wife and I had attended a previous talk when Patti Smith introduced her first non-fiction novel, Just Kids. We saw Patti speak at the 92nd Street Y with Sam Shepard. It was an illuminating evening for us. We purchased Just Kids that January 21st, 2010 evening. Patti Smith autographed our copy for us. 🙂
Just Kids has become my favorite book of the millennium. It has won the National Book Award, deservedly so. I am eager to read the next phase of Patti’s life, M Train.
We are ticketed to see Patti Smith conduct a talk at The New Yorker Festival 2016 on October 3rd. It is very special for us that the event takes place at the School of Visual Arts Theatre on West 23rd Street in Chelsea. Our son is an alumni of SVA (2008) and this brings it home for us as we adore our son, SVA and Patti Smith.
We have our fingers crossed that we can once again purchase a copy of Patti Smith’s new book, M Train and that she will be autographing copies that evening.
Patti Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. Her 1975 album “Horses” has been hailed as one of the top hundred début albums of all time. In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication awarded her the title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor awarded to artists by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Her memoir “Just Kids” received a 2010 National Book Award. Her new book, “M Train,” will be released on October 6th.
CLOTHES CLOTHES CLOTHES MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC BOYS BOYS BOYS
By Viv Albertine, 421 pages. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press
Viviane Katrina Louise “Viv” Albertine is a British singer and songwriter, best known as the guitarist for the all-female English punk group, The Slits. She dated Mick Jones while he was putting together his new band, The Clash. He later wrote “Train in Vain,” considered to be the band’s biggest hit, about her. Its refrain was a poison dart: “Did you stand by me? No not at all.”
After laying eyes on the cover photo of Patti Smith’s 1975 album “Horses,” taken by Robert Mapplethorpe, Viv writes: “I have never seen a girl who looks like this. She is my soul made visible, all the things I hide deep inside myself that can’t come out.” (Courtesy of the NY Times Book Review section, see related article below).
What an incredible conversation that recently took place between Patti Smith and David Lynch. They are two artists I admire and love hearing converse about each other’s art in this BBC Arts Video.
The Twin Peaks blog post which features this recent “revelation of two incredible minds” is insightful in its scope and purpose . I am indebted to this Twin Peaks blog site for the content it has as a Twin Peaks fan. My thanks for pointing out that Patti and David’s interlude takes place inside Guillermo Kuitca‘s Les Habitants, a living room inspired by David Lynch’s recreation of one of his own paintings over at Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, where both artists have exhibited.
The BBC does not want the video clip distributed so please look at the Twin Peaks Web link below (for the next 29 days) to view how Patti Smith and David Lynch coalesce in the conviction of their artistic vision which they create on behalf of the people.
I don’t know when my love affair with New York City commenced. I grew up in the suburbs in Norwalk, CT. We were considered a bedroom community, one hour by train from Grand Central Terminal. The railroad station that spews you into the Main Concourse melding us with the Metropolis’s hustle and bustle. New York City has made a lasting impression, expanding my appreciation of the arts. I am blessed to have such immediate access to NYC’s rich culture of theaters, radio and television stations. New York City is the mecca for musicians, record company labels, recording studios and live music performances. New York Magazine has published a special issue, March 24-April 6 2014: The Annual Yesteryear Issue. The centerpiece article for that issue is, “100 Years, 100 Songs, 100 Nights, A Century of Pop Music in New York”. The special issue affords us an illuminative essay written by Judy Rosen, “The Town That Put the Pop in Music“. I especially love the pictorial, “A New York Band, 26 Musicians who shaped the city that gave them their voice.” Photographs by Christopher Anderson. I marvel at which musicians I have seen perform live and may have met at an autograph session. The NYC music series would be incomplete without mentioning Patti Smith. I was tickled pink to read John Cale‘s writing about Patti Smith, “Turning A Poet Into A Pro”. I purchased both the print and digital iPad editions. Please excuse me as I have some salacious reading and listening to do. 😉
We enjoy practicing our faith. We love to listen to as well as see Patti Smith “live” in concert. So it is a double thrill that the biblical motion picture Noah which includes a new lullaby from Patti Smith will soon be here. The gentle song, “Mercy Is”, was written and sung by Patti Smith as she collaborates with the Kronos Quartet and Clint Mansell the composer of the film’s soundtrack.
Here is the world première of “Mercy Is” from Mary Anne Hobbs’s BBC Radio Show.
Director Darren Aronofsky’s comments:
I’ve been friends with Patti for a long time, and I needed a lullaby for the movie because it’s a big part of the story. I was telling Patti about my struggles, and it turns out she’s studied lullabies and writes a lot of them. She was like, “Can I please write it for you?” And I said, “You’re asking me that question?” [Laughs] I said “absolutely” with as much of a poker face as possible. She wrote this incredible lullaby that Russell Crowe sings to Emma Watson in the movie. It’s really touching and beautiful.
Have you ever been (have you ever been) to Electric Ladyland?
The magic carpet waits for you so don’t you be late
The answer to that question is finally a resounding Yes!
My wife and I were walking in Greenwich Village yesterday when we stumbled upon this music landmark. We were on West 8th Street conducting a walking tour coming from MacDougal Street after cutting across Washington Square Park.
We happened upon electric lady studios at 52 West 8th Street, the futuristic recording studio that was built for Jimi Hendrix. I noticed the lettering and the brown curtains as I excitedly pointed to my wife my discovery. We watched as an electric lady studios employee lifted up the locked grate and unlocked the front door. Try as I might I couldn’t get a view over the shoulder of the employee as he quickly closed and locked the door behind him.
This encouraged me to visualize as much information as I could regarding electric lady studios. I definitely felt the spirit of Jimi Hendrix yesterday 🙂
I especially love Patti Smith’s memories of Jimi Hendrix and electric lady studios where she has recorded four of her studio albums, Horses, Gone Again, Twelve, and Banga.
“I put on my straw hat and walked downtown, but when I got there, I couldn’t bring myself to go in,” recalls Patti Smith in her
award-winning memoir, Just Kids. “By chance, Jimi Hendrix came up the stairs and found me sitting there like some hick wallflower and grinned.
“He spent a little time with me on the stairs and told me his vision of what he wanted to do with the studio. He dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in Woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play. It didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language. Eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his new studio.
‘The language of peace. You dig?’ I did.”
U2 has recorded and mixed at electric lady studios. Their forthcoming album has the feel of a major triumphant return for the boys 😉
The memorial took place 50 days after Lou Reed’s death on Oct. 27, Laurie Anderson explained, at the end of the 49 days of what Tibetan Buddhists call the bardo, a transitional state after death.
The memorial gave witness to some of Lou’s notable friends/collaborators singing the songs of the Velvet Underground and his solo career plus reading or performing tributes to him, including Patti Smith and her bandmate Lenny Kaye, Antony Hegarty, Debbie Harry(of Blondie), Paul Simon, John Zorn, Philip Glass, former Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker, and others.
Maureen Tucker read a message from John Cale the keyboardist and violist that said, “Regardless of our differences, we never really drifted too far from what initially brought us together. I guess that’s what real friendship is, and I miss my friend.”
Patti Smith chose “Perfect Day” for what she called “Lou’s most poignant lyric”: “You made me forget myself/I thought I was someone else, someone good.”
Laurie Anderson noted that her husband wrote songs in single bursts. “He would wake up in the middle of the night and just write the song down and it was complete,” she said. “He never changed a word. He thought, ‘First thought, best thought.’
“There was never a single doubt that we loved each other beyond anything else, from the time when we first met until the moment he died,” Laurie Anderson said. “Almost every day we said ‘you are the love of my life,’ or some version of that in one of our many private, and somewhat bizarre languages. We knew exactly what we had, and we were beyond grateful.”
(Pictures courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan and the Lou Reed Website.)
December 8, 2013 marks the 70th birthday of the late singer, songwriter and poet, Jim Morrison of The Doors.
I always think of Jim Morrison as poet first, singer second. The posthumous recording An American Prayer evidences Jim’s poetic pentameter in a haunting, personal dimension.
Five years after the group disbanded (1973), Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore reunited for the recording of this album, produced by superimposing the voice of Jim Morrison (mostly taken from a recording of poems recited by the singer in 1970) the music composed for the occasion.
A major fan of Jim Morrison’s poetry is Patti Smith our poetess of punk. Patti Smith wrote a review of An American Prayer in Creem Magazine in 1979, american prayer (scream of the butterfly).
“His fatal flaw was that his most precious skin was the thin membrane that housed the blood of the poet,” she wrote.
“He pledged his allegiance, in the end, to language, to the word. And it did him in…An American Prayer resounds in the silence that surrounds the cocoon of the lord, he is sleeping, hibernating, awaiting the changeling and the elegance of his change.”
I plan to honor Jim Morrison’s birthday by listening to An American Prayer. I played this album often on the air when I was an FM disk jockey in the 70s.
Just a couple of weeks ago Lou did a photo session intended to become a print ad for his friend Henri Seydoux‘s French audio headphones company Parrot. The renowned photographer Jean Baptiste Mondino took the shots, and this was the very last shot he took. Always a tower of strength. – Tom Sarig, Lou Reed’s Manager (Courtesy of loureed.com)
Lou was a very special poet – a New York writer in the way that Walt Whitman was a New York poet. One thing I got from Lou, that never went away, was the process of performing live over a beat, improvising poetry, how he moved over three chords for 14 minutes. That was a revelation to me. – Patti Smith (Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine)