Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I have a poem based on Wikileaks' latest hits, a remix of their diplomatic cables all tied up in a knot.
And to relax you after all that, here is a soothing poem from work to a calm.
Also, if anyone who reads this blog is interested, which includes the people who leave me comments in Chinese or about Ugg Boots, I am in the DC area for the holidays. This may or may not include the whole twelve days of Christmas.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Then we have two poems up at Psychic Meatloaf. Which is about as close to real meatloaf as I'll get.
And finally there is work in the latest issue of Handful of Dust.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Buy it here
Sunday, October 10, 2010
The other is Definitely Mag, where I have definitely one poem up, despite the mistaken identity. I wonder how successful Bill Nardolilli would be for me as a pseudonym?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Second, a new game I thought of. I was reading about St. John Chrysostom, and learned his named means "golden mouthed," in reference to his articulate speaking abilities. So I decided to come up with the Chrysostom game, whereby one adds "Chrysostom" to the end of some inept speaker's name.
Example: Phil Davison Chrysostom
Friday, October 1, 2010
The first poem is In Abstentia, the refrain of which might be familiar to anyone who has seen the musical 1776.
The second is a little lyrical lot of lines I wrote while at SEP.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Note: Sestina Karbala 5 is named for a battle of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Except for epics, poems usually don't get movies of their own. The poets are the ones who get the films, though rarely. Eliot and Keats were famous enough to have them. The reasons are simple, most poems do not have stories and are not long enough to sustain a film. Unfortunately, people also do not give the same attention to poetry as they do to prose as well, which means there is less of an in-built audience for an adaptation.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Now, with any list, there are going to be problems. A list of the greatest movies or greatest books, as well as greatest albums will always be open to subjective interpretation. However, having a list of 1001 albums does offer the advantage of a wide net being cast, allowing many more artists and styles to be included. Those who compiled the list clearly are diverse in their interests, there have been inclusions of not just British and American albums, but Brazilian, French, and German ones as well. Of course, more international work could be included, but it was not fully excluded from the list.
Anyone looking over who was include and who wasn’t will see the three major limitations of the writers’ approach. The first is that the list is only for albums. Why this is a problem may not seem apparent, until one realizes how many musicians and artists are missing from the list because all they released were singles. Indeed, music released before the 1960s is at a disadvantage because the single was the primary vehicle for music sales. Consequently, the list underrepresents many African-American musicians and genres such as soul, R&B, and funk. It is not a question of these artists producing good music, but spending their careers focusing mainly on singles instead. This is why, for instance Chuck Berry, without whom most of the music on this listed would never have been recorded, is not present.
Another problem is that the list is biased in favor of Pop music, of course this makes sense, the list is part of a book series that has to appeal to a wide audience to be sold. Most of the albums, or at least the bands that made them, need to be familiar to readers, even if they never listened to them. This slant does mean that certain works are left out if they do not fall within the parameters of popular music. Jazz, along with Indian and Brazilian music seem to be the main exceptions to this rule. Some of the music might be called experimental, but much is missing from post1950 classical music and folk. Two figures I wished the list included are Philip Glass and John Fahey. Even though Glass is part of the list of classical albums to listen to, much of his early work is in the same vein as someone like Brian Eno (whom he later collaborated with) and his album “Songs for Liquid Days” involved figures from pop music such as Paul Simon. The more publicity Koyanisqaatsi gets, the better. I think Fahey deserved to be added to showcase his unique approach to the American folk tradition.
The final issue is the time frame. I am not scholar of early 20th century music, but I wonder if influential albums were missed from the pre-World War II era, especially those for swing, jazz, and bluegrass. I cannot think of any off the top of my head, but they might be out there and I think the arbitrary start for the list unfairly disqualifies them. Right now, I have not yet listened to the whole list. These are only my thoughts having listened up to early 1980. Only the fifties, sixties, and seventies have been completely listened to. Despite this, I know enough to be able to point out the above mentioned problems. I am not sure the exact number album I am on, but I have roughly completed and heard half the list. Strange that there is still so much more to go despite having experienced the birth of rock, the British Invasion, psychedelia and the Summer of Love, the rise of glam rock, the folk revival, the eruption of punk, the disco era, and electronic music’s genesis. Hip-Hop has yet to take off, as does techno music, grunge, and a host of hybrids between punk, hard rock, and rap, but I will be surprised if I find myself liking the next 500 or so albums as much as the first.
Let’s get down to the albums themselves. Do they belong? Most, yes, though there are some real curious inclusions and serious omissions. However, there are also some gems by people I had either not heard of before, or were only vaguely familiar with. What works did I find to be less than stellar? Well, (and I know this will raise my Aunt Donna’s ire) I wasn’t that impressed with Elvis’ work. I understand his value as an entertainer who acted as a point of transmission for Black culture into White, as well as a figure who tapped into the repressed libidos of White teenagers. That said, his works does not hold up well, even compared with his contemporaries, let alone the musicians that came after him. Buddy Holly is a better songwriter, while Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard could perform just as well as him.
“Beach Samba” by Astrud Gilberto was also not a strong work. Captain Beefheart was no special attraction despite his perennial high rankings. Blue Cheer’s Vincebus Eruptum hardly made an impression. I like Dr. John but “Gris Gris” was uneven. Tim Buckley was good, but he only needed one album on the list. “Space Ritual” by Hawkwind was too campy and maudlin. Joan Armatrading self-titled debut lacked any stand-out material. “Slayed?” and “New Boots & Panties!!” were too amateurish. “DOA: Third & Final Report” was dull and pretentious. “Stardust” by Willie Nelson, as much as I like the guy, doesn’t belong here. “GI” by the Germs just sucks as an album. My test for evaluating the work the late 1970s has been, if I could have done it, it’s not that good.
What albums should have been included? I can think of a few. There are some by Bob Dylan, especially “The Times They Are a-Changin.” I really don’t understand why this album was not included, since it has some of his most famous work and is pretty solid all around. More work from The Who needed to be included. The Beatles deserved more mention. I imagine there was probably a fear of the editors in letting these bands dominate the list for 60s and 70s, but the truth is, they did and for a very good reason. “Help!” “Magical Mystery Tour,” and “Let it Be” should have been included. Heck, I would even make a case for the first half of “Yellow Submarine,” but that energy is better spent elsewhere on this blog. Seriously though, give them a listen.
But, a list of the greatest albums is only as good as those works which it introduces to the listener for the first time and that the listener enjoys thoroughly. The purpose of these lists is not just to be an intellectual exercise, but to also expand the musical horizons of people who are not music critics and have listened to every album under the sun. The music of the 1960s and 1970s is probably my favorite, so I went into this era with a strong footing, yet there were new albums that I really enjoyed, in many cases by artists I never heard before. There were also many artists I had heard of and liked, but I received a deeper understanding of through the list. These included Nick Drake, the Velvet Underground, Parliament, T. Rex, The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, and the Kinks (though Lola vs. Powerman should have been on the list).
The following were gems I found exclusively through the list, that is they were new to me:
Spector, Phil & Various Artists – A Christmas Gift for You (Worth it alone for Phil Spector coming on at the end wishing everyone a Merry Christmas)
Monks – Black Monk Time (If there ever was a band before its time)
Mothers of Invention – Freak Out!
Incredible String Band – Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter
Nyro, Laura – Eli & the Thirteenth Confession
United States of America – United States of America
Small Faces – Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake (You either love or hate the second half, if you like the way they speak in A Clockwork Orange, then you may enjoy it)
Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking
Derek & the Dominos – Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (The only song my father cares about)
Shankar, Ananda – Ananda Shankar (1970)
Gainsbourg, Serge – Histoire de Melody Nelson (Boy did I feel hip when I recognized it in the movie Greenberg!)
Nilsson, Harry – Nilsson Schmilsson (More than just "Coconut")
Ackles, David – American Gothic
Newman, Randy – Sail Away
Big Star – # 1 Record (Who doesn't wish they had listened to “Thirteen” when I was thirteen)
Faust – IV
Cale, John – Paris 1919 (The title track makes the album all by itself)
Sparks – Kimono My House (Declaring this a guilty pleasure)
Dion – Born to Be With You (If you took the sound of the late 50s/early60s and added a crippling heroin addiction, this is what you would get)
Penguin Café Orchestra – Music from the Penguin Café (If this can make the list, why not Songs from Liquid Days?)
Television – Marquee Moon
Eno, Brian – Ambient 1: Music for Airports (All his albums from the list are good)
Numan, Gary – Pleasure Principle (He actually knew how to use a synthesizer)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
If only Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty had these to pass the time, they would have avoided a lot of trouble, and everything that ended up making On the Road worth Reading. Anyways, here are three nifty games for all of you blessed with an intellect and too much time!
1) The Robert Byrd Game
Normally I would think it is too soon to be talking about West Virginia’s beloved and recently deceased senator-for-life. Sometimes you should be nice to the dead, because they may come and haunt you. However, since I named something after him (along with half of West Virginia) I feel it is okay.
The rules? Well, basically all anyone does is talk about how old Robert Byrd is, and how long he has been a senator. The game can take several forms, but the one I use with my friends involves the “fun fact” method”
Person 1: Want to hear a Robert Byrd fun fact?
Person 2: Okay.
Person 1: Robert Byrd voted against the Gadsden Purchase!
You can replace Byrd with the oldest current senator, if you like.
2) The Before and After Game
This one is taken form Jeopardy and Wheel of fortune. You simply combine the end of one name with the beginning of another. It also works with laws, songs, battles, cities, movies, novels, really anything.
Here is one that recently stumped my friends, and by friends, I mean people I pester on Facebook:
Before and after: name me a famous boxer and a failed conqueror of Mexico.
I like the answer to this one because it has two answers and involves people on both ends who knew one another. You can either have Archduke Maximilian Schmeling or Joe Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
The chains of names can be as long as you want:
Before and after: name me the creator of King of the Hill, a British comic strip hero, an important Supreme Court case, and the cartoonist behind Dilbert.
The answer is Mike Judge Dread Scott Adams.
The winner is the first person who can figure out a way to use this guy.
3) The Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall Game
This one is best played while under the influence, so playing it in the car can be risky. Personally I find it easiest to play while walking up and down Second Avenue (I’m not positive about Fourth Street). Unlike the other games, this one can be done with just one person. Playing it is simple enough, you try and make up verses for Bob Dylan’s song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” based on whatever you see around. You can incorporate any person, place, or thing. Random combinations and descriptions that could be symbolic are the goal of the singer, and yes, this game has to be sung.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I recently read an attempt to create a Howl for my generation. I do not make the allusion myself, the author set it up so, with a single word title meant to juxtaposition with Ginsberg's poem. So comparisons can be made, the point of the poem in the first place. Doing so, one sees that it has its moments but it is no reincarnation, only a parody. However, it was not as good a parody as reading The Waste Land by Orson Welles. "Tweet" does not make it new, as another poet known for his use of homages would say.
I think it may have suffered from the formating of the website. Such a work needs space for the words to breathe. But mostly, it falls flat not in its diagnosing of the problem, but in its referencing. Instead of Ginsberg's use of his friend's adventures and his own intellectual endeavors as a source for an epic, Miller's work reads like a laundry list. It is in need of eyeball kicks and more skillful use in condensing.
These sorts of things have been written before. I remember reading a different one that was about the yuppies. A direction adaptation and twisting worked in this case because it was meant to comment on hos a generation had sold out, or at least refused to carry the flame of challenging assumptions. A Howl for my generation, to be taken seriously, requires a different sort of indignation and rage. It must tell the tale of us not destroying ourselves, but our being witnesses the self-destruction of everything around us. It must deal with how our birthright has been lost. I think it is fitting to consider ourselves a sort of Generation Esau.
Above all, the interesting thing is how Howl, a poem that was as free as any verse could be at the time, has now become its own form. Poems come from it, they have the same structure and make the same stops. A series of expectations is built into the nature of the references, how they are voiced, made, and changed, if indeed they are changed. The process starts right at the beginning. What minds did the author see, and how were they destroyed?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Second, a poem of mine is the Muddy River Poetry Review. Just go to my name (B-E-N N-A-R-D-O-L-I-L-L-I) and click on the link to see the poem. It will download as a word document.
Third, more GWIAF News!
Okay, I guess I will break this down using letters.
a) We are having a silent auction at Liberty Tavern, 5-7 p.m. It is in Clarendon Arlington, Virginia on June 4th. We're auctioning many various things.
b)June 5th, we will be at the Greenway Community Yard Sale, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., if you;re in Arlington, come by. We will be selling all kinds of things, housewares, linens, artwork, toys, books, and other things.
c)There will be further yard sales and a cocktail party with details to follow later.
d)Consider signing up to help at, give money to, and/or perform at the Greater Washington Indie Arts Festival.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Read two poems of mine in the latest issue of Yes, Poetry. The first one is an updated attempt at a troubadour poem, taken from my poetry collection "The Contemporary Wing." If anyone is wondering what a sommelier is, well, look it up. See, you always learn something new at Lo Specchio e La Spugna.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Everything With Wings Is Restless
Combination of the Two
Born to Go
The Late Great Planet Werner
War, What is it Good For?
The Towers and the Streets
Between the Windows of the Sea
Far From Perfect
Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment
In the Devil’s Territory
Stained to Perfection
Trimalchio in West Egg
The City and its Discontents
I don't know what it is, but italics sure do make everything look bibliographical!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Also, if you are interested in signing up to perform for the Greater Washington Arts Festival or volunteer to help us put it on, go here for the form!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Come one! Come all! Please, somebody come,
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
18:00 - 20:30
Arlington County Central Library
1015 North Quincy Street
The GWIAF is the Great Washington "Indie" Arts Festival