Category Archives: Music

A Real Mad, “All-American” Combination: LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s Salon

Last week, on a trip to the Czech Republic, I had the pleasure of meeting Josef Jařab , one of the most important Czech scholars of American literature.  Jařab is a leading Czech authority on American poetry, and he has translated and written … Continue reading

Posted in Abstract Expressionism, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Beats, Frank O'Hara, Franz Kline, Jack Kerouac, Jazz, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Larry Rivers, Music, Visual Art

“Into the Sun”: Frank O’Hara’s “True Account” Inspires Performance Piece

Frank O’Hara’s poem “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island” has had a remarkable and robust afterlife, as I’ve noted before in reference to Kent Johnson’s controversial A Question Mark Above the Sun. Now the poem will be … Continue reading

Posted in Frank O'Hara, Kent Johnson, Music, NY School Influence, Performance

Patti Smith: Horses “Evolved Organically From My First Poetry Reading”

Via the Poetry Project at St. Marks, I came across this brief video posted by the music site/magazine NME featuring Patti Smith, called “My First Gig: Desecrating a Church with Electric Guitar.”  Smith talks about her first performance “worthy of remembering,” which was … Continue reading

Posted in Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Anne Waldman, Beats, Gerard Malanga, Lou Reed, Music, Patti Smith, Poetry Project at St. Marks, Video | 1 Comment

Patti Smith Pays Tribute to John Ashbery at the National Arts Club

If you felt a little cosmic jolt at some point last night, it may have been thanks to the surprise confluence of two brilliant and revered artists in one place and one special moment. Last night, in New York, John Ashbery was given the National … Continue reading

Posted in John Ashbery, Music, Patti Smith

Frankie Cosmos and Frank O’Hara

You never know who is going to get bitten by the Frank O’Hara bug. Greta Kline, a sophomore at NYU and the 19-year old daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, is a musician who performs lo-fi indie-folk under the name Frankie Cosmos. As … Continue reading

Posted in Frank O'Hara, Music, NY School Influence

“Alphabetical Ashbery” by Charles Wuorinen

A substantial number of classical composers have been drawn to the poets of the New York School.  Many, like Morton Feldman and Ned Rorem, have set their poems or composed works in homage to their poetry. The Pulitzer Prize-winning classical composer Charles Wuorinen is one such composer. He has long been fascinated … Continue reading

Posted in John Ashbery, Morton Feldman, Music, Ned Rorem, Performance

“The songs deepen the color of the shadow”: Ashbery mash-ups by Cassandra Gillig

A few months ago, I posted a link to a great mash-up created by the poet Cassandra Gillig which brought together Frank O’Hara’s “Ode to Joy” with a song by Drake.  Fortunately, Gillig has made few more in the same vein … Continue reading

Posted in John Ashbery, Music