Monday, April 20, 2009

Life Is A Killer - The Dial-A-Poem-Poets [Giorno Poetry Systems GPS027]

David Murray! Bern Nix! Steve McCall! Jamaaladeen Tacuma! Arthur Russell!
Wait though...
This one is *very much* about the word, and much less about the note.
If you download it just for the music, you'll probably be disappointed.
The poetry presented is wildly divergent in style, which is a good thing on a record like this.
For my money, there are 5 pieces here that 'work' in some way - that have something to say [at least], if not a genuine poetic sense.
5 pieces, I'd consider to be a pretty good average from a 9 track compilation record.
Your view could well diverge wildly.

Side 1

John Giorno
Everyone Says What They Do Is Right
John Giorno = vocal
Keyboards & Guitars - Pat Irwin
Drums - David Van Tieghem
Music - Gregory Schifrin
NYC Sept, 1982

William S Burroughs
The Mummy Piece
William S Burroughs - vocal
San Francisco Sept, 1981

Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka - vocal
Saxophone - David Murray
Drums - Steve McCall
Toronto Dec, 1981

Jim Carroll
Just Visiting (from The Book of Nods)
Toronto Dec, 1981

Side 2

Jayne Cortez
I See Chano Pozo
Jayne Cortez - vocal
Drums - Denardo Coleman
Bass - Jamaaladeen Tacuma
Guitar - Bern Nix
Toronto Dec, 1981

Ned Sublette
Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly
Ned Sublette - vocal (sung)
Bass - Jeffrey Glenn
Synth - Peter Gordon
Guitar - Tim Schellenbaum
Drums - Arthur Russell
NYC June, 1982

Brion Gyson
Brion Gyson - vocal
Ramuntcho Matta,
Yahn Leker,
Frederique - musicians
Paris Aug, 1982

Rose Lesniak
She's So
Rose Lesniak - vocal (sung)
Karen Cutler - vocal
NYC Feb, 1982

Four Horsemen
The Dreams Remain
b.p. Nichol,
Steve McCaffery,
Paul Dutton,
Rafael Barreto-Rivera - vocals
Toronto Dec, 1981

Left to right on the back cover are John Giorno, Jim Carroll, Amiri Baraka and Jayne Cortez.

The album was released in 1982


serviceton said...

What - FLAC for a spoken word album? Yeah yeh, i know....

serviceton said...

For those preferring an earbud option

MP3 (320kbps)

Reza said...

Intersesting comeback post, thank you
Must admit have gone for the mp3s, can't hear the difference at my years of age :)

Newk said...

Do you by chance have any more LPs from the Giorno poetry systems? There were quite a few released, all with an interesting variety of poets. I could never get into Giorno himself, with that crazed cracker voice bag! Thanks and welcome back from the broken lands.

hideo said...

serviceton, there are a number of us bookworms who can't subsist on a steady diet of skronk-jazz

looking forward to this and Msr. Pound

Newk said...

Well, poetry, the plastic arts, and drama are all tightly connected with music in my way of being. Cortez and Baraka embody that well. I even feel that with the music that most appeals to me, especially since I have no knowledge nor grasp of the technical aspects of it, is inspired by the "feeling" of those other arts. In other words, despite what people like Lee Konitz think, I tend to find more in the music of those who do have a message or simply a strong aesthetic aim or awareness. Example: Just by Trane naming a tune "Alabama," much more is brought from the listener's perspective than "pure music." I'll resist going into essay or rant.

serviceton said...

Reza, Newk, hideo, - thanks for dropping a comment in - it is appreciated.
And I'm (mildly) surprised that opprobrium or total apathy has NOT been forthcoming as a result of posting (ahem) POEMS !!! [this lot & the Ezra Pound].
I think this *is* the only Giorno-label thing I have - but yes, an interesting variety of both poets and 'others' appeared on the GPS records: - Philip Glass, Diamanda Galas, Deborah Harry, Tom Waits, Glenn Branca, Coil, Cabaret Voltaire .. others...
You raise some interesting issues Newk, relating to 'programmatic music'. Almost always a contentious issue (or at least a polarizing one) the essential issues raised hold true for all kinds of instrumental music. Long debated in the 'classical world' of course - from Berlioz to [more interestingly] D Shostakovich ( for some background on DDS). Example of Coltrane's Alabama is a good one. This haunting tune brought hairs up on the back of my neck hearing it as a teenager knowing nothing of the Birmingham bombing. Discovering context 18 months later, I found myself profoundly moved by this music. More so than before? Well, it was emotional music in the first place, but, arguably - 'yes'. Does the piece *need* this 'program' for its effectiveness? No. But Alabama is a *very strong* piece of music..

More skronk-jazz waits in the wings...

Arcturus said...

odd gathering of approaches to the poem/music mix here - esp. looking fwd to hearing the 4 Horsemen piece - they did some outrageous stuff


Arcturus said...

an aside:

I just came across Elaine Brown's album for Motown for which Horace Tapscott did arrangements & led a band (presumably also plays on it) that included Buddy Collette - p'haps of interest to some here:

(the link is still good)

anyone familiar w/ Nate Mackey's recording, Strick? highly recc'd!

noteworthy said...

Hi there. I just wanted to make a general comment! I've downloaded a few things over the last week or so, but neglected to say 'thank you', which is very remiss of me; so, 'thank you' Sotise and Serviceton for all your great posts. They really are very much appreciated. Never have I been so busy in my life, but that's no excuse for forgetting my manners!
Sorry. And thanks again to you both.

Newk said...

Strange...I added another long comment in response to other comments that never appeared...?

serviceton said...

Newk, wish I'd seen your comment - it wasn't touched by me or (i'm sure) sotise - *blogger-to-blame(tm)* ? ! ? .... [will double-check all recorded comments though]

noteworthy - nice to hear from you and cheers(!) for your setting fingers to keyboard - appreciated

Arcturus - I've not either heard OR READ Nathaniel Mackey's 'Strick' (from a rather large opus?) but I'm liking the tip - soon, soon.. Elaine Brown's LP I've been played before, although I don't own it . Am currently flipping out to Tapscott live in Ottawa '91 (dvd) - damn what a beautiful beautiful musician...

Anonymous said...

The album is not new to me but the blog yes and its look that i must it closer.

Arcturus said...

don't know if Newk will see this, but mebbe someone here will be interested:

Giorno Poetry Systems / Dial-A-Poem Poets has a lot available to d/l

& here's Steve McCaffery's (of 4 Horsemen) rather academic but still interesting piece:

Sound Poetry - A Survey

Arcturus said...

serviceton - Strick uses text from the City Lights volume, WhatSaid Serif - & yea, he's pub'd a substantial bit of work by now - some time ago, I tried to stitch together some notes 'n quotes as a sort of (very) partial 'intro' to some aspects of his work:

Nathaniel Mackey: "the work-in-progress we continue to be"w/ some writers one reads & moves on - this is the sort, for me, to live w/ & repeatedly engage

again, PennSound is a good resource to get in touch w/ the actual voice, its rhythms, shadings & cadences

tho the interviewer isn't that great, the KUSP interview at the bottom of that page is a good 'point of departure' to get some sense of the man & his range of concerns (& includes a tantalizingly waaay-too-short excerpt from Strick

could you shoot me an email when you get the chance?

(& dare I ask where the Tapscott dvd comes from? TOTALLY new to me!

AlexMachen said...

fantastic blog!
thanks for all thoose rare goodies, guys!

-Otto- said...

Great album, not only because of Amiri Baraka with David Murray and Steve McCall or Jayne Cortez with Ornette.

Some of the GPS LPs are available on UBU Web, but not this one. Thanks!!!

-Otto- said...

Hey, I spaced about Ornette. Sorry; it is of course the son of Ornette on drums, Denardo.

ushaped said...

thank you thank you thank you! i have looked for this for a very long time. this is in effect, the soundtrack to the great film "Poetry in Motion" by Ron Mann. This film had an enormous effect on me as an artist.

Newk said...

Hey There!

I pulled out my CD of this to make a compilation for someone, and the CD isn't working. Can I please ask for a re-up? MP3 is fine. Also, I did not see the rest of the comments above, so it was nice to come in and read those. Thanks!

serviceton said...

Hi Newk - Still on 2 legs eh? Good ! If I still have the files, I'll put em back up no problem. Did you ever make it up to St Elizabeth's Asylum ?

Now let me have a search here .. .

serviceton said...

Life Is A Killer - The Dial-A-Poem-Poets - MP3

Newk said...

Thanks so much! I suppose I am still on two legs, maybe more so than before, hence my absence from blogs. I did go by the area of St Elizabeth's, but by then they'd started the renovations for the Department of Homeland Security (that still cracks me up), so there was barely a there there. Hope things are well your way! Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

hi, any chance to reupload (please)? thanks in advance

-Otto- said...

Revisiting this LP for reasons if current events. Amiri Baraka was indeed a very influential writer.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I have to go the 'Anonymous' route as I have no qualifying account. A reupload of this would be very much appreciated. I heard the Ned Sublette track on a late-night Canadian CBC radio program some time in the mid-80's. This is the first time I've ever come across it, either online or in physical form. It would be great to hear it the whole album. Thanks.


serviceton said...

Here is a new link for Life is A Killer.!8lUG2RyC!6GMMwrBEY4CWJiHfZkXMICB_CMgg7TJFKunRIMT8daU

Demyan said...

Thank you very much again!

Juan Angel Italiano said...