Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park is the oldest and largest example of a folk art environment in Oklahoma; its construction lasting from 1937 to 1961. Totem Pole Park contains the original, highly decorated creations of Galloway, one of Oklahoma’s premier folk artists and significant in the “visionary art” movement. The park is located just 3.5 miles off the Mother Road. All of the art objects are made of stone or concrete, reinforced with steel rebar and wood. Galloway incised and carved the objects in bas-relief and applied paint to decorations that generally include representational and figurative images of birds and Native Americans of Northwest Coast/Alaska and Plains cultures arranged facing the four cardinal directions.Nathan Edward Galloway was born in 1880 in Springfield, Missouri and began wood carving as a boy. He became proficient in woodworking and blacksmithing and obtained employment at Sand Springs Home, teaching manual arts to orphan boys. In 1937, he retired to live on the property now known as the Totem Pole Park. He constructed a vernacular Craftsman residence, a smokehouse, and a workshop (which no longer exists). He began to make violins, furniture, and decorative wall art. Galloway became interested in Native Americans and found inspiration in post cards and National Geographic magazinesto construct totem poles in the park.Between 1937 and 1948, he created a 90-foot tall main totem pole heavily carved with bas-relief designs, the largest art object on the property. This totem pole is made of red sandstone framed with steel and wood with a thick concrete skin and sits on a large three-dimensional turtle. The turtle forms the base and is carved from a broad, flat outcrop of sandstone in place on the site. The totem pole is hollow and ascends nine “floors,” with the ground floor measuring nine feet in diameter. The plastered interior depicts painted murals of mountain-and-lake scenes and bird totems. Native American shields and arrow points line the tops of the murals. At the very top, the cone is open to the sky.
Other totems include a pre-1955 Arrowhead Totem, a c.1955 Birdbath Totem, and a Tree Totem dating c. 1955-1961. The park also includes two sets of concrete totem picnic tables with seats, a concrete totem barbeque/fireplace, small bird gateposts, as well as the Fish-Arch gates designed by Galloway to look like a gar-like fish with bird images facing east and west.
A museum stands on the property called the “Fiddle House” which houses Galloway’s fiddles and other creations. The eleven-sided building resembles a Navajo hogan, decorated with totemic columns and Native American portraits.
In 1961, Galloway died and the park fell into disrepair until the Rogers County Historical Society acquired it in 1989. In a restoration effort conducted from 1988-1998 by the Rogers County Historical Society and the Kansas Grassroots Arts Association, art conservators and engineers studied the site and repainted, replaced, and replicated materials in disrepair.
LET’S LEGAILIZE IT EVERYWHERE.
#Marijuana Helped Stop Child’s Seizures
The world’s oldest weed stash was found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert in 2008.
Nearly two pounds of the still-green plant material was found. A barrage of tests proved the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope and other objects.
Yes, they used it for getting high too.
The stash was found lightly pounded in a wooden bowl in a leather basket near the head of a blue-eyed Caucasian man who died when he was about 45. Researchers believe he was a shaman from the Gushi people, who spoke a now-extinct language called Tocharian that was similar to Celtic.
What is still in question is how the marijuana was administered, since no pipes or other objects associated with smoking were found in the grave. It is currently believed it was ingested orally or fumigated. (Source)
If there’s anything you watch today, let it be this.
Not too long ago a video featuring three grandmas smoking pot for the first time went viral, and now the same creators who produced that sensation are back with something that might even be better. Not only is the following video entertaining, it’s incredibly informative.
All three of these retired officers (whom haven’t smoked since before being an officer) speak about their thoughts on the legalization of marijuana. One even says that while on the force, he never busted anyone for possession of pot. He states that he threw a lot of stashes away in front of those with possession, as he felt that to be a better deterrent for smokers than any criminal proceedings.
As you’ll see below, all three ex-cops seem to have enjoyed their experience. One’s headache even receded after smoking! Unanimously, they all agree they would partake again.
Best food trucks in America
“The Original Food Truck,” Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner – Official Movie Trailer
pictures by ana christy
By Dan Myers
Published October 10, 2014
There’s no denying it: we are living in a golden age of food trucks.
Once synonymous with sketchy, generic foods like hot dogs and chicken kebabs, over the past few years food trucks have grown evermore varied and exciting, and for the third year in a row, we’re taking a deep dive into the very best of America’s food truck scene.
From grilled cheese and pizza to tacos, lobster rolls, and some of the most creative fusion dishes on the planet, these are the best food trucks in America.
Operating a food truck isn’t easy. While there’s certainly lower overhead than with a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment, operators are forced to brave (mostly) outdated municipal restrictions, random (or worse, targeted) police ticketing, and the misdirected ire of insecure brick-and-mortar restaurants who often stir up trouble. Food trucks are far from the latest food trend, but when it comes to great food made quickly (and by the “little guy”), they’re one of the best things to happen to the American culinary scene.
In order to compile our ranking of America’s best food trucks, we started with the more than 450 food trucks from more than 40 cities that were considered for last year’s ranking and added 50 to the list, mostly new trucks and ones suggested by readers. We factored Twitter followers, Yelp reviews, and Yelp stars into a weighted algorithm, rounded out by an originality score that took into account menu innovation, overall concept, and geography.
A few notes: Only trucks were considered. If it was a trailer or a cart, if it wasn’t on four wheels and couldn’t move on its own power from parking ticket to parking spot, it wasn’t considered. Some cities (especially much-beloved Portland, Ore.) pained us: many of their food “trucks” didn’t make the cut because they weren’t well, trucks. Also, this is a list of food trucks. Trucks that just make cupcakes or coffee are cupcake or coffee trucks, not food trucks. Dessert trucks were also not considered.
It’s clear that not only is the national food truck scene still booming, but more and more truck operators are pushing the boundaries of what can be served from a truck, and more big names, like Andrew Zimmern and José Andrés, are throwing their hats into the food truck ring as well.
Several of last year’s highest-ranking trucks, like D.C.’s Fojol Bros., San Francisco’s Nom Nom Truck and Spencer on the Go, Los Angeles’ Ludo Truck, and New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, have all ceased operation. For all intents and purposes these were highly successful trucks, but it seems as if for many food truck operators, running a food truck is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The Fojol Bros. are working on a new line of products, Spencer on the Go’s owners decided to focus full-time on their restaurant, The Ludo Truck’s Ludo Lefebvre has become one of Los Angeles’ most in-demand chefs, and Big Gay Ice Cream now operates two brick-and-mortar locations, with two more in the works. The takeaway here isn’t that the food truck trend is dying down, it’s that running a food truck can be a stepping stone to bigger and (some say) better things.
So from a ramen truck in Oklahoma City to a fry bread truck in Phoenix, from a pierogi truck in Chicago to a lobster truck in Los Angeles, read on for our list of the Best Food Trucks in America for 2014.
1. Kogi BBQ (Los Angeles)
“Thanksgiving of 2008, Kogi BBQ had first rolled out as the little Korean-taco-truck-that-could, peddling $2 Korean barbecue tacos on the streets of LA. Little did they know that within… months, they would become an icon of LA street food. Kogi set off a flavor bomb that would shake up the foundations of the industry so that street food would never be looked at the same way.” That’s from Kogi’s site. What’s the saying? It ain’t bragging if it’s true? So it goes with chef Roy Choi’s truck, which you can credit (or at this point, blame) for the proliferation of Asian tacos across the U.S. Korilla, TaKorean, Jogasaki, these guys, among many others, should be paying Choi royalties. After appearing at number one on our 101 Best Food Trucks list in 2012 and at number two last year, the truck continues to be an icon in the food truck world. Serving delicious Asian tacos at an incredibly reasonable price, this truck has made headlines and was named the fifth-best restaurant by Jonathan Gold in 2013. The company now has four trucks (one specifically for catering events). The group has also opened two restaurants, Alibi Room and Chego. With more than 128,000 Twitter followers, it is clear that this truck as reached celebrity status.
2. The Cinnamon Snail (New York)
“Has a 1991 Grumman / Chevy P30 become a Buddha?” asks The Cinnamon Snail’s website. No, you don’t have to prepare to get into chaturanga, but this is a full-on vegan and organic food truck — right down to the grill, which, when the truck was gutted, was replaced with “a brand-new commercial grill which had never touched animal flesh.” So what food inspires centeredness and bliss? What kind of menu serves “food to help you transform into a being of pure light who can serve all living creatures simultaneously and eternally”? Well, a seasonal one to start. But the truck, a longtime dream of Adam Sobel (who previously ran a vegan catering service in New Jersey), has a menu that features breakfast, raw food, sandwiches, and pastries. There are burritos with scrambled tofu and refried beans, blue corn or fresh plum pancakes with pine nut butter and chamomile blood orange syrup, and sandwiches featuring seitan burgers, tempeh, and grilled tofu. Despite being vegan, this truck clearly caters to a pretty universal crowd, which explains it winning the 2012 Vendy Award and Mobile Cuisine magazine’s “America’s Favorite Vegetarian Food Truck,” making New York Post’s top trends of 2012, earning first place on the Best of Yelp NYC Restaurant list of 2012, in addition to coming in eighth place on last year’s 101 Best Food Trucks list.
3. Red Hook Lobster Pound (New York)
What started at Ralph Gorham’s and Susan Povich’s kitchen table (yes that Povich — she’s the daughter of former A Current Affair host and daytime TV star Maury Povich), has turned into a hugely successful multi-city lobster roll truck. The truck, “Big Red,” opened in 2010 in New York City, bringing “Maine-style” lobster rolls to the masses. The Red Hook Lobster Truck has a variety of seafood indulgences to offer. There are shrimp rolls, a lobster BLT, lobster bisque, and New England and shrimp and corn chowder, but let’s face it, it’s about the lobster roll: lobster, served cold with celery, spices, a touch of homemade mayonnaise and on a J.J. Nissen split-top bun (or Connecticut-style, warm and buttered). Save for Pearl Oyster Bar’s version, many folks (including Time Out New York, Zagat, and us) agree that it’s one of the best lobster rolls in New York; it appeared in the top spot in last year’s list of the 101 Best Food Trucks in America.
The team recently opened a shop in Montauk, N.Y., with partner Sweet’tauk Lemonade. In addition to their new ventures, the truck is still driving around New York. The lunch move? The Hookup: a lobster roll with Cape Cod chips and a choice of Maine Root Sodas (root beer, ginger brew, mandarin orange, blueberry, sarsaparilla, or lemon-lime).
4. Wafels & Dinges (New York)
In 2007, Thomas DeGeest quit his job at IBM, bought a yellow 1968 Chevy box truck, and parked on a corner of Broadway in SoHo to sell his first Liege waffle. He made $84 that first shift and never looked back. Some six years and several trucks and carts later, DeGeest helms one of the most iconic, lauded (they were at number 13 in last year’s 101 Best Food Trucks list), and beloved trucks in the city, not to mention carts as well as an East Village brick and mortar outpost.
Wafels, whether Brussels (rectangular, doughier, and saltier) or Liege (usually more ovoid, chewy, and sweet), come with your choice of dinges (sides) that include dulce de leche, Belgian chocolate fudge, maple syrup, whipped cream, walnuts, bananas, butter, Nutella, strawberries, and perhaps one of the most underrated toppings of our time, speculoos. Imagine Golden Grahams cereal in dessert sauce form. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it actually originates from a thin, crunchy cookie typically made using butter, sugar, and a combination of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and sometimes ginger), and if it’s your first topping, it’s free (for $2 you can load your wafels with every topping in the truck).
While a dessert truck, there are definitely some elusive savory options worth investigating (they’re not available at the carts), including the seasonal “pulled pork wafel”: BBQ pulled pork, coleslaw with a coolickle (yes, the Kool Aid pickle), and sweet BBQ sauce.
5. The Grilled Cheese Truck (Los Angeles)
What started for Michele Grant and chef Dave Danhi as a weekend activity entering their Cheesy Mac and Rib melt into LA’s seventh annual Grilled Cheese Invitational became the inspiration for The Grilled Cheese Truck. Their calling? “Not just the classic bread, butter, and cheese,” notes their site, “but amazing creations that are constructed with the best ingredients, local produce, and made with nothing but love.”
The menu features no fewer than six savory melts (the Plain and Simple melt, the Cheesy Mac and Rib, the Brie melt, the Buffalo Chicken melt, the Three Cheese melt, the Goat Cheese melt) most with a variety of complementing ingredients. But the menu goes beyond classic and clever combinations; there are also additions:15 savory (among them, BBQ smoked pork, mac and cheese, bacon, avocado, and smoked turkey) and six sweet, including Nutella, toasted marshmallows, roasted banana purée, candied pecans, peanut butter, and graham crackers.
They made it to last year’s 101 Best Food Trucks in America list at number 22.
6. The Chairman (San Francisco)
You might not remember this, but San Francisco’s Chairman Bao Bun Truck really stuck in the craw of New York City restaurateur turned food and pop culture commentator Eddie Huang. Apparently, it was a bit much that another business serving Asian food took the word “bao” and deigned use it in the name of their food truck. “I’m 28 years old, I opened the restaurant last year, I did it all with my own money,” Huang told SF Weekly’s BuzzMachine. “Street trucks are like independent businesses, many times ethnic. To co-opt something like this reeks of corporations.” Then he started talking about suing them, too. If that’s the case, Roy Choi should basically have sued every food truck across the country.
Regardless, the Chairman Bao Bun Truck did change its name to “The Chairman,” and still draws lines for its simple menu of steamed and baked buns, which are known for having featured pork belly with pickled daikon, crispy garlic tofu with miso greens, and red sesame chicken with pickled carrots and cucumber. It’s a San Francisco favorite and has been honored as one of San Francisco’s best food trucks by San Francisco Magazine.
7. The Lime Truck (Los Angeles)
Brash and cocky, the trio behind the Orange County, California-based Lime Truck (owner Daniel Shemtob, with Jason Quinn and Jesse Brockman) wore lime-green headbands in the fast lane through much of season two of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Road Race, winning the show. The three founders, who launched the truck in June 2010, pride themselves on “local, organic, and sustainably sourced fresh ingredients, paired with hip, inventive recipes.” The truck offers a variety of Mexican-inspired items with a fun twist, from their ahi tuna poke nachos to carnitas fries. To keep up with their growing fan base, the truck now has merchandise available online.
8. Senor Sisig (San Francisco)
What’s sisig? It’s a Filipino dish made from pig’s head and liver, often seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers, and at San Francisco’s Señor Sisig, it’s obviously the star of the show, except that as SF Weekly noted, chef Gil Payumo makes the trucks version with pork shoulder instead of offal, “for a cleaner and meatier sisig.” Payumo launched the truck in 2010 with high-school friend Evan Kidera and the two have been slinging sisig on tacos, fries, nachos, and in burritos ever since. You have basically five options at Señor Sisig, with your choice of protein being pork, chicken, or tofu. There are tacos with onions, lettuce, and cilantro cream sauce. A Señor Sisig burrito takes those toppings minus the onions and adds adobo rice, pinto beans, and salsa, but their signature is probably the California Sisig Burrito featuring fries, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. If that’s not out there enough, “Silog it” for $1 more and add an egg to your sisig.
9. Lobsta Truck (Los Angeles, San Francisco)
Does the lobster roll at the Lobsta Truck (whose inspiration comes from what has to be considered one of the best, if not the best lobster roll in the country) serve as much lobster as its muse Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Maine? No. But the Lobsta Truck is also serving $12 rolls on the road, all the way across the country in Los Angeles, where Maine lobster doesn’t come quite as easily as out of the traps from the water nearby Red’s, and they certainly have the right idea in mind that it doesn’t get much better than Red’s.
Former seafood distributor and truck owner Justin Mi was inspired by the idea to start an LA lobster roll truck after doing a lobster roll tour through Maine (something that can practically inspire you to just move there). He flies in fresh lobsters from Maine and Canada several times a week (and those famous top-loading buns), and offers a simple menu that has been a hit in LA, and now also in San Francisco. There’s little more than the lobster roll (clam chowder, lobster bisque, chips, whoopie pie, and an ice cream sandwich), but they’ve added one West Coast item that’s likely to make many East Coast seafood lovers jealous enough to start thinking how they can get their own version: a fresh Dungeness crab roll.
10. Grill ‘Em All (Los Angeles)
“Steadfast in the belief that the heavy metal and culinary worlds were bound to collide one day in a victorious marriage of massive meat and riffage,” buddies and bandmates chef Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus won it all in 2010 with their over-the-top burgers when they beat fellow Los Angeles food truck Nom Nom during Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.
You’ll be tempted to order the Molly Hatchet (fennel sausage gravy, bacon, and maple syrup), the Dee Snider (peanut butter, jelly, bacon, and Sriracha), and the Witte (pronounced “Wit-e,” a burger topped with cream cheese, deep-fried bacon, beer and Sriracha onions, and malt vinegar aioli), but you haven’t “grilled ‘em all” until you’ve tackled the Behemoth: two grilled cheese “buns” with Cheddar, bacon, beer-soaked onions, pickles, and “Grandma’s Mosh Pit BBQ Sauce” and a side of hand-rolled tater tots.
Last year, Grill ‘Em All also opened a stationary location on Alhambra, Calif.’s Main Street. If not entirely unique in its menu (they have some truck favorites including “Napalm Death”), then it certainly is for its mural depicting a wizard “cavorting” with medieval burger trolls. They’ve moved a lot of their operation to the stationary location, but still bring the truck to the streets. Be sure to check their schedule ahead of time.
Kevin Spacey Escaped a Sexually and Physically Abusive Father to Become an Amazing Actor
However, what many people may not know is that Kevin Spacey grew up in an extremely difficult and different household. Kevin Spacey’s father was an American-Nazi who physically and sexually abused him.
According to Fox News, Kevin Spacey’s father, Thomas Geoffrey Fowler, was a failed writer and was a Nazi-extremist who enjoyed dressing up and looking like Adolf Hitler. He collected Nazi memorabilia and claimed that the Holocaust never happened.
Spacey’s brother, Randall Fowler, has spoken out about his father. Fowler, claims his father sexually abused him and another female relative, while leaving Kevin Spacey alone. Despite not being sexually abused, Kevin Spacey tried to escape the trauma his father created in his life. He also changed his last name to Spacey, his mother’s maiden name, as a means to distance himself from his horrific father.
Kevin Spacey had tried to succeed as a comedian for several years, before attending the Juilliard School, one of the most elite acting schools in the world in New York City, where he studied drama.
Kevin Spacey is an extremely private man, who has managed to use these painful experiences to help him create deeply interesting characters. In most of his interviews he diverts questions relating to his private life, hoping to help people believe in his characters instead of who he really is. In an interview with Gotham Magazine, Spacey said, “I’ve just never believed in pimping my personal life out for publicity. I’m not interested in doing it. Never will do it. They can gossip all they want; they can speculate all they want. I just happen to believe that there’s a public life and there’s a private life. Everybody has a right to a private life no matter what their profession is.”
Since Kevin Spacey has become an A-List actor, he has given back to the community. He supports Cancer for College, Elton John Aids Foundation, and UNICEF.
Kevin Spacey may have grown up in a difficult hom, but he didn’t let that affect his future. He created a better life for himself and others, showing that it doesn’t matter where you com from but working hard to get to where you want to be.
JACK THE BABOON EMPLOYED AS A SIGNALMAN BY A RAILROAD
Jack, the Baboon Employed as a Signalman by a Railroad:
During the late 1800s a baboon was employed by the railroad as a signalman. He never once made a mistake and worked for the railroad until his death
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some missing information.
This is an interesting claim that says a Baboon was employed as a Signalman by a railroad during 1800s, and that he never made a mistake while working for the railroad until his death. The story is a fact, but does not convey complete information.
The remarkable story of Jack as the signalman baboon was described in Nov. 11, 1990 edition of The Telegraph newspaper, the detailed story of which was published in the July 24, 1890 issue of the science journal Nature.
Story in Detail
Jack, the baboon was owned by a railway man James Wide who lost both his legs in a railway accident in 1877, after which he took a post as signalman at Uitenhage station in the Cape, South Africa. About 4 years later, he saw a Chacma Baboon leading an ox wagon. So he bought the unusually intelligent animal to pull him around on a trolley.
Jack was put in charge of the coal yard keys and also did the station’s gardening, until Wide learnt that the baboon was skilled at operating signals. Jack learned each lever by name and was able to push them into position when a train approached at Uitenhage station. Wide would hold up one or two fingers (as a signal to the animal) and Jack would then pull the correct lever. Finally, Jack needed no instructions from his master and he really knew which lever to operate for each approaching train. Although the baboon was always under the eye of his master James Wide, Jack never made a mistake or required telling twice.
This interesting story of Jack, the baboon acting as a railway signalman is a very good example to prove that wisdom along with practice can create wonders!
Old man, who was probably shrooming, terrorizes NYC subway with dildo
Many New Yorkers’ worst fears came to pass on Saturday when an elderly man perpetrated a dildo attack on a subway car full of unsuspecting passengers.
According to eyewitness Aymann Ismail, around 9 p.m. the penile terrorist, who appeared to be having a fairly good time already, boarded the train and whipped it out for some young men trying to take selfies with him:
An older man of indeterminate ethnic origin [but probably East Asian?] boarded the train at Atlantic Avenue; the man seemed “fucked up on some kind of drug,” loose-limbed and sloppy. Some young men sitting next to him began making fun of him. One of the dudes took out his phone to snap a selfie with the older guy. At that point, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a massive dildo. The young guys and other people nearby ran away, laughing.
Perhaps emboldened by this validation, he continued brandishing the large, flexible, black dildo:
The man then started waving the big black dong around, pointing it at people and pretending to jerk it off. The man also kept standing up and clenching his butt cheeks.
Finally, he developed a more advanced protocol to maximize the delight inflicted on each new wave of incoming train friends:
Every time the train pulled into a station, he’d put the dildo away, sit quietly, let people board, then whip it out and wave it around, startling the new passengers.
“It honestly doesn’t look like any dildo I’ve ever seen,” noted Animal’s house sex toy expert. Spooky.
While I don’t feel qualified to comment on the dildo’s potentially extraterrestrial origins, my extensive psychonautic background leads me to conclude that Dr. Dong here was shrooming his face off. There’s only one substance on this planet that produces just such a combination of feral giggling, sly strategizing, and generous desire to include those around you in your beautifully hilarious–if tragically ephemeral–world. Compare his stance and expression to that of an associate of mine after ingesting a known dose of psilocybin. In this man’s mind, he’s a wise elf on a journey to Arcadia, armed with only a magic snake to protect him.
God speed you, fair elf lord. May your quest be ever fruitful and may you not end up in central booking.
[Animal New York | Photo and GIF: Aymann Ismail]
Courtney Love, Amy Poehler Salute Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ in L.A.
Great minds come out for loose, ramshackle tribute to the iconic poem
April 8, 2015
Nearly 60 years after its first public reading in October 1955, a concert was held in downtown Los Angeles to honor “Howl,” Allen Ginsberg’s epic, zeitgeist-channeling poem that wrestled with sexuality, creativity, drugs, capitalism and the contradictory forces that were shaping mid century America. Although not as consistently revelatory as the poem itself, A Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ could be as demanding, playful, funny, moving, defiant, overwhelming, exhausting and proudly idiosyncratic as its namesake.
“This isn’t highbrow,” host and Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew explained early in the evening, welcoming the crowd on a rainy Tuesday night to the Theatre at Ace Hotel. “A Celebration” — which was a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s organization that provides scholarships to instructors of Transcendental Meditation — featured musicians, actors and comedians who drew from Ginsberg as inspiration for their performances, but not always in any obvious way. The man’s poetry and songs were covered throughout, but the assembled acts — everyone from Courtney Love to Van Dyke Parks to Amy Poehler — opted for a warm, relaxed vibe that left room for casual accidents. For proof, look no further than Lucinda Williams, who, after gingerly launching into a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” near the end of the three-hour-plus show, admitted to the crowd, “We’re winging it.”
That’s the vibe one expects from a star-studded concert curated by Hal Willner, the venerable music producer and frequent tribute-show organizer whose events tend to feature a varied list of performers and gigantic running times. (Audiences never leave a Willner show, such as his salutes to the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music compilations from 15 years ago, angry that they didn’t get their money’s worth.)
But if more than a few bleary-eyed audience members had already fled the theater by the time Nick Cave and Beth Orton came on to perform a sad-eyed piano-and-strings rendition of “The Ship Song” to cap off the night — and that’s not even factoring in the all-star sing-along to Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” encore — Willner and his acts’ generosity and loose-limbed performances paved the way for plenty of memorable moments.
Some of the night’s strongest sets attacked Ginsberg’s volatile, scabrous texts from fresh angles. Poehler and her former Saturday Night Live castmate Chris Parnell teamed up with laptop wizard Mocean Worker to transform the poet’s spoken-word-with-instrumentation “Ballad of the Skeletons” into a frenzied hip-hop track. Petra Haden dedicated Ginsberg’s organ-centric eulogy “Father Death Blues” to her own father, remaking the dirge as a lovely country ballad. And bracingly, Last Man on Earth star Will Forte joined electronic musician Peaches for a shout-y, dissonant take on Ginsberg’s punk-rock “Birdbrain” backed by Mocean Worker’s muscular beats and a wayward saxophonist following his own rhythm. Some in the crowd happily yelled out “Birdbrain!” at irregular intervals, adding to the song’s apoplectic sense of corrupt power run amok.
But “A Celebration” turned out to be more than a tribute to just Ginsberg. Parks honored Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the longtime proprietor of the Ginsberg haunt City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, by adorning one of his 1958 poems, the endlessly searching “I Am Waiting,” with a four-piece string quartet, adding extra layers of yearning to the writer’s hope for “a renaissance of wonder.” Meanwhile, actor Tim Robbins strapped on an acoustic guitar to play Warren Zevon’s 2000 song “Don’t Let Us Get Sick,” a paean to people’s capacity to discover their best selves while they still have time.
In between, there was blues, rockabilly, classical, jazz, roots-rock, folk, even a little stand-up comedy. (At one point, John Mulaney came out to keep the crowd engaged while roadies quickly switched up instruments between acts. Identifying himself as a comedian, Mulaney joked that if his impromptu set bombed, “Then I’ll say I’m a poet.”) Devendra Banhart took a stab at Ginsberg’s folk-y “Vomit Express” (co-written by Bob Dylan) by turning it into a goofy sing-along, complete with backup vocals from those hanging around the stage, including someone wearing an oversized bull’s head mask. Love went full torch singer with her smoky, snarling rendition of Hole’s “Letter to God,” while Drew’s performance with pop oldie Andy Kim (with whom Drew has made an album, It’s Decided) was so freewheeling that Drew stopped the song at one point because he’d screwed up a transition: “Let’s take it from the whoooos,” he instructed the backup band before they dove right back into the tune.
True, “A Celebration” meandered and dawdled on occasion, but the evening’s clear highlight brought the focus back to the man (and the poem) of the hour. Willner came on stage with actress Chloe Webb a little more than halfway through the night to perform excerpts from “Howl.” (“Don’t worry, they’re not gonna do the whole thing,” Robbins said before Willner and Webb’s arrival, quickly adding, “although I know some of you would love that.”) Backed first by strings and upright bass before drums, pedal steel and guitar slowly entered the mix, Willner and Webb read Ginsberg’s infamous poem, letting the timeless power and mad swirl of his words create a panoply of dazzling mental images of a nation hurtling toward an exciting, uncertain future. By the time the two performers had gotten within spitting distance of the conclusion—”The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy!”—there was a palpable energy in what was otherwise an often laidback, polite crowd. The marriage of music and words, even words that are 60 years old, made the room feel stirringly alive, random audience members letting out whoops of pleasure and approval throughout the reading.
Suddenly, “A Celebration” lived up to its name, honoring a community of artists profoundly altered by the work of Allen Ginsberg. In a different way, the moment was echoed by Williams, who invited musicians in the wings to join her band for the finale of “Pale Blue Eyes,” a loving sendoff to Lou Reed. One by one, string players, guitarists and drummers stepped on stage and started playing along. Williams looked very pleased. “That’s what it’s all about,” she said, approvingly.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/live-reviews/courtney-love-amy-poehler-salute-allen-ginsbergs-howl-in-l-a-20150408#ixzz3Wqb38YdU
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GINSBERG READS “HOWL” 1959
In 1959, Gregory Corso and Peter Orlovsky accompanied Ginsberg to Chicago for a benefit reading for “Big Table” [named at Kerouac’s suggestion], a newly established literary publication born as a result of censorship of the student magazine the Chicago Review. The reading took place on 29 January, 1959.