Happy birthday to actor, Yaphet Kotto. Have you dug his 1967 Proto-Rap single?

Often overlooked in the Pre-Hip-Hop timeline, Yaphet Kotto’s 1967 Chisa lebel single, Have You Ever Seen The Blues/Have You Dug His Scene, predates similar influential recordings by The Last Poets and Lightning Rod, and shares it’s year of release with the first two Iceberg Slim novels, making it an important piece of musical history, not to mention a boss single, in its own right. Beat Ghetto Poetry
http://www.discogs.com/Yaphet-Kotto-Have-You-Ever-Seen-The-Blues/release/5477783
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaphet_Kotto
Yaphet Kotto - Live and Let Die

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It’s poet and political activist Amiri Baraka’s birthday

“Wise I” – Amiri Baraka

WHY’s (Nobody Know
The Trouble I Seen)
Trad.

If you ever find
yourself, some where
lost and surrounded
by enemies
who won’t let you
speak in your own language
who destroy your statues
& instruments, who ban
your oom boom ba boom
then you are in trouble
deep trouble
they ban your
oom boom ba boom
you in deep deep
trouble

humph!

probably take you several hundred years
to get
out!

Frenetic Free Jazz and verse, from Baraka’s 1972, It’s Nation Time – African Visionary Music, released on Motown subsidiary, Black Forum, and featuring Idris Muhammad, Lonnie Liston Smith, Gary Bartz, James Mtume, Reggie Workman and numerous others.

Baraka’s intensity is really on display here, with a backing band of some of the era’s greatest Jazz innovators; Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, Don Cherry, Henry Grimes and Louis Worrell. Released on Baraka’s own Jihad Records, as Sunny Murray’s debut LP, Sunny’s Time Now




Back when Baraka was still known as Leroi Jones, he wrote the excellent, Blues People: Negro Music In White America, tracing the African roots of Blues and Jazz, and their eventual incorporation into White American society.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/068818474X?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

“The artist’s role is to raise the consciousness of the people. To make them understand life, the world and themselves more completely. That’s how I see it. Otherwise, I don’t know why you do it.”

Chelsea Wolfe set Tennessee Williams’, Heavenly Grass, to music, in this home recorded, acoustic ballad

I always post new Chelsea Wolfe, and anything Tennessee Williams related is worth noting. Also, check out her Instagram from a bevy of current tour photos.

https://instagram.com/cchelseawwolfe/

Who is he? Where is he from? He is Antonin Artaud, and it’s his birthday.

Who am I?

Where am I from?

I’m Antonin Artaud

And since I speak

As I know

In a moment

You’ll see my present body

Shatter to pieces

And gather itself

In a thousand notorious

Aspects

A fresh body

In which you’ll never

Be able

To forget me.

Based on an idea of Artaud’s, and realized by Germaine Dulac, 1928’s, The Seashell and The Clergyman, would influence the much more widely known collaboration of Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, Un Chien Andalou, making it a pivotal moment in Surrealist film.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s, Highway 61 Revisited

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row.

Cinderella, she seems so easy
“It takes one to know one,” she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets
Bette Davis style
And in comes Romeo, he’s moaning
“You belong to Me I Believe”
And someone says, “You’re in the wrong place, my friend
You better leave”
And the only sound that’s left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row.

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortunetelling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
And the Good Samaritan, he’s dressing
He’s getting ready for the show
He’s going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row.
Now Ophelia, she’s ‘neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid
To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession’s her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah’s great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row.

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
You would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row.

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world
Inside of a leather cup
But all his sexless patients
They’re trying to blow it up
Now his nurse, some local loser
She’s in charge of the cyanide hole
And she also keeps the cards that read
“Have Mercy on His Soul”
They all play on penny whistles
You can hear them blow
If you lean your head out far enough
From Desolation Row.
Across the street they’ve nailed the curtains
They’re getting ready for the feast
The Phantom of the Opera
In a perfect image of a priest
They’re spoonfeeding Casanova
To get him to feel more assured
Then they’ll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words
And the Phantom’s shouting to skinny girls
“Get outa here if you don’t know”
Casanova is just being punished for going
To Desolation Row.

At midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row.

They be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
Everybody’s shouting
“Which side are you on ?”
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row.
Yes, I received your letter yesterday
About the time the door knob broke
When you asked me how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke ?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Dont send me no more letters no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row.

Song of The Day: The Byrds – John Riley

Happy birthday to Roger McGuinn! The Byrds take on this traditional English Folk Ballad, an Odyssean tale of a love long lost at sea, and the woman who awaits his return, is one of the high points of American Folk Rock. Lyrically this song crushes me, with it’s tale of unending romantic fidelity. Musically, the repeating eastern motif of a riff that, much like the lyrical content, wanders only to return, lays the foundation for a beautifully pining string arrangement by Allen Stanton and the heavenly, multi-tracked, harmonies. This song always gives me chills.

A fair young maid all in her garden,
A strange young man comes passing by
Saying fair maid, will you marry me
And this answer was her reply

No kind sir, I cannot marry thee
For I’ve a love who sails all on the sea
He’s been gone for seven years
But still no man will I marry

Well what if he’s in some battle slain
Or drowned in the deep salt sea
Or what if he’s found another love
And he and his love both married be?

If he’s in some battle slain
I will die, when the moon doth wane
And if he’s drowned in the deep salt sea
I’ll be true to his memory

And if he’s found another love
And he and his love both married be
Then I wish them health and happiness
Where they now dwell across the sea

He picked her up all in his arms
And kisses gave her one two and three
Saying weep no more my own true love
I am your long lost John Riley.

Happy birthday to Nobel Prize winning, Chilean Poet, Pablo Neruda

“Si Tu Me Olvidas”
By Pablo Neruda

En Español:
(In Spanish)

Quiero que sepas

una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe:
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
piensa
que en esa día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

Pero
si cada día,
cada hora,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable,
si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.

“If You Forget Me”
By Pablo Neruda 

In English:
(En Inglés
)

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists:
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Happy Birthday To Langston Hughes

“We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.”
Langston Hughes, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

and something for the writers and artists among us to keep in mind during troubled times…
“For my best poems were all written when I felt the worst. When I was happy, I didn’t write anything.”

hughes quote