On the occasion of Alan Moore's 60th birthday (Nov 18, 2013), singer/songwriter cartoonist Jeffrey Lewis pays tribute to the world-revered British comic book writer. He was one of the major influences on Jeff's visual oeuvre. Alan is best known as the author of the graphic novel "Watchmen". Jeffrey did his senior college thesis on "Watchmen" and gave lectures with it to enrich peoples' understanding of this magnificently dense comic. A small clip from this lecture can be seen on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeUGvc3Xz0I To learn more about this fascinating wizard-artist, watch Jeff's rhymed illustrated Lo Budget Biopic. Click the lower right corner to watch in full screen mode for all the beauty and intensity of Jeff's drawings. Video: Thelma Blitz See also on Vimeo for better resolution: https://vimeo.com/79812803
Long ago in the distant '70s there was a kick-ass New York country punk band called Slewfoot. They were held in the highest esteem by critics and fans of the unlikely genre. Frontman was Michael Simmons, now a rock journalist with MOJO, writer for High Times, Huffington Post, LA Weekly, and other print/online media. To National Lampoon readers in the 1980s, he was known as an editior and author of a popular column called "Drinking Tips and Other War Stories," the visual source for this video. The audio was recorded live at The Other End on Decemeber 22, 1977 in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Talent like this should not be lost. YouTube will save it from "Instant Forget."
Sylvie Simmons, author of the highly acclaimed new biography of Leonard Cohen, "I'm Your Man" leads a sing along to Leonard Cohen's "Old Revolution, " a song from his 1967 debut album, at Brian Cullman's Soirée for Sylvie, Nov. 15, 2012, Greenwich Village,New York. Jimi Zhivago and Fred Nicolaus accompany Sylvie on the uke. Video and sing along voice: T helma Blitz
Author of the new Leonard Cohen biography "I"m Your Man" Sylvie Simmons covers Leonard's "Suzanne" at a house party in Greenwich Village, NYC. Nov.15, 2012. Sylvie on uke, Fred Nicolaus and Jimi Zhivago on guitar. Video: Thelma Blitz
Sylvie Simmons, contributing editor of Mojo, rock journalist , author of the awesome new Leonard Cohen biography "I'm Your Man" covers the 1970 Cohen classic "Famous BlueRaincoat". Sylvie on uke, Fred Nicolaus and Jimi Zhivago on guitar. Video, Thelma Blitz. Nov. 15, 2012. Greenwich Village , NYC.
Rock journalist Sylvie Simmons, contributing editor of Mojo, author of the new Leonard Cohen biography "I"m Your Man" presents a song from Leonard's first album, "Sisters of Mercy." Sylvie on uke, Fred Nicolaus and Jimi Zhivago on guitar, video Thelma Blitz. Nov. 15, 2012, Greenwich Village NYC,
Sylvie Simmons, author of the definitive new Leonard Cohen biography, "I"m Your Man," perform's the dark classic from Cohen's 1970 album "Songs of Love and Hate" at a soiree in New York City's Greenwich Village. Sylvie on uke, Fred Nicolaus and Jimi Zhivago on guitar.
Le Temps des Cerises" is one of the most widely covered and long-living songs in the French language, yet it seems not to have been heard by the English speaking world . It began as simple, sentimental love song, words written in 1866 by Jean Baptiste-Clement, then was set to music in 1868 by Antoine Renard. In spring of 1871 it took on a whole new meaning: between March 18 and May 28 of that year, the Paris Commune emerged, a rare moment in history when the workers governed themselves in their own interests. Songwriter Clement was revolutionary, even fought in the Commune's final battle during the "Semaine Sanglante" (Bloody Week). Clement dedicated the song to heroic ambulance nurse, Louise Michel, also known as "the red virgin of Montmartre." It was then that the red of cherries came to symbolize the blood that was shed and red drapes of communism or socialism, "les belles" could be heard as "balles," canon balls, of course, to be avoided. Love itself would be redefined as revolutionary love for people, love of freedom, equality and fraternity. In this video I have included a number of artists starting from the 1930's with Jean Lumière. Other artists in order of appearance after Lumière: Deljehier, Colettte Rénard, Ariane Ravier, Yves Montand, Gina Fumaillon, Joan Baez , Zizi Jeanmarie, Bobbejean Schoepen & Geike Arnaert, Charles Trenet, and last, in 2008,140 years after the creation of the song, the hard rock band Noir Desir. Thanks to philipchek of YouTube and Paris for background info, history lessons, links and help with translation. Thanks to Marie Brown of Paris and New York for first singing this song to me.
The cockroach is a successful and long living species , here on earth for 350 million years, long, long before the infestation of humans began. Able to survive radioactivity, it will probably be here long after it's over. The good Professor Louie of Brooklyn has a rap for us about why the cockroach is so successful, hoping maybe we will take a hint before our short stay on this planet is over. Live at the People's Voice Café, New York City, January 7, 2012. Accompanied by Fast Eddie. Professor Louie Jeffrey Lewis' uncle.
"The Hurricane" is the third and last part of the "Poème Symphonique" by Jacques Brel dramatized , as only Brel can, to the symphonic music of François Rauber. For a beer Jean de Bruges, sailor and myth maker, tells how the world's worst hurricane ripped apart the northern coast of Belgium where Bruges is found, splitting the land to form a "suburb of Bruges" which would be named "England." The album this track is taken from "Jacques Brel Chante La Belgique," Barclay, 1963, was produced in a small printing of 500 and given away at a local political convention. It is now a costly collector's item. Janine de Waleyne. is the feminine voice. Thanks once again to philipchek of YouTube and Paris for help with the translation.
Signs of protest from the New York City demonstration against greed and corruption in the capitalist banking system leaving many without jobs, homes and health care. Sept. 30, 2011. Liberty Plaza, Zuccotti Square, New York City, USA.
From the ultra-rare, unreleased, outside of commerce 1965 LP "Jacques Brel Chante La Belgique" comes the first of three tall tales by another "J.B." than Jacques Brel, "Jean de Bruges." The three tales form a "Poème Symphonique" with music composed by François Rauber. The first tale is at once a creation myth about how the Red Sea got its name, and an adventure tale of a courageous seaman facing the world's biggest whale. Jean de Bruges is a regular at this bar-- buy him a beer and he'll tell you his story. Female voice is Janine de Waleyne. If you see a copy of this LP, grab it. It's worth thousands of dollars to collectors.Thanks to philipchek of YouTube and Paris for refining this translation
Poet John Ashbery came to New York University's Maison Française to read from his new book of translations of Rimbaud's prose poems "Les Illuminations" and to be presented with yet another honor, a medal of the Center for French Civilization and Culture. First he was interviewed by poet Ron Padgett who sits besides him in the video.. Next the prose poem "Après le Déluge" was read flawlessly in French by a fellow whose name I didn't get. After, John Ashbery presents his English translation, "After the Flood."What happens after the flood? Here flood, as in biblical times, represents the purification of the corruption of the human race. But after, sadly, Rimbaud shows it as returning to what it was about before: commerce, cruelty and false piety. The "precious stones " are buried in the earth again. It's so boring! ("C'est l'ennui".) He then calls for the floods to rise again, despite the sorrow and destruction they bring.For a deeper understanding of the symbolism in this poem if you can read French go here:http://abardel.free.fr/petite_anthologie/deluge_panorama.htmYou will find out things like how this poem relates to the socialist revolutionary Communards of Paris and their destruction by the church, why Madame X set up a piano in the Alps, and that there really was a Hotel Splendide which was a luxury hotel for wealthy Brits which burned down. Rimbaud sent it to be rebuilt at the North Pole, changing fire to ice and darkness, and putting the millionaires at a distance where he would have them. You will find out who Eucharis is and Bluebeard . I was fairly lost in two languages until I read this piece although I had studied the poem in school long ago. There was no discussion or Q & A after the presentation. This event took place May 12, 2011 in New York City. Thanks to John Ashbery for coming to read to us.