Author Archives: ana christy

About ana christy

Hi I am an old hippie and a "beat" poet and writer. I have 40 book of poetry, and have had 3 tours of U.S. and Europe. My work has been taught in colleges in the U.S and Soviet Georgia. I was co editor and publisher of "Alpha Beat Press" alpha beat soup, bouillabaisse and cokefish and cokefishing in alpha beat soup magazines with my late husband Dave Christy. I am passionate about writing, My novel "eeenie meenie minee moe is for sale on amazon books. I also write short stories and create collages. Do check out my other blogs http://museaholic.com all about #art. and http://beatnikhiway.com about #hippies and #beatniks, #counterculture, #america, and #cool people and tilliespuncturedromance.wordpress.com about #trends, #humor and the #weird. The blog is named after a Charlie Chaplin movie.

COOL PEOPLE -THE KINKS “DEAD END STREET”

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Dead End Streets: The Kinks Landmarks Under Threat

THE KINKS “DEAD END STREET”

http://youtu.be/i0WPC-N3UYE

Little Green “Dead End” Street
I was up in Kentish Town sampling some fine ales in The Pineapple and The Southampton Arms and suddenly remembered there was one location that I’d missed off my last Kinks North London walking tour. Luckily it just happened to be handily situated right between both pubs. Little Green Streetwas the location for one of the first ever music promo videos, “Dead End Street”, which The Kinksfilmed to promote the single back in 1966. The short black and white film is packed full of black humour, intercut with various scenes of slums and poverty, it has the bandhamming it up dressed as undertakers trying to carry a coffin under the railway bridge along the cobbled street and into the doorway of number 4. The street has hardly changed at all, it’s a small and beautiful row of unspoilt Grade II listed Georgian terrace houses with bow windows and colourful doors, just off the main Highgate Road, it looks far less depressing in real life than it did in the video.

The street is still cobbled, well, apart from the terrible eye-sore of a huge blotch of tarmac put down by some council contractor with a total lack of regard for the street’s character or history. I was bemoaning this fact when I noticed a large colourful banner and some posters hanging in resident’s windows declaring that the street’s future was in danger due to a new property development. When I got home I checked out the web-site address on the banner to find out more and discovered the depressing, but not unfamiliar, news that the residents have been fighting a long battle with Camden Council in opposition to plans to build a gated development of 30 luxury homes with an underground car park. So, this lovely little street, that survived the Blitz, may not yet survive the property developer’s bulldozers and our Government’s obsession with smashing a wrecking ball through any last traces of individualism, local history and heritage. So, please do try and check out the “Save Little Green Street” campaign’s excellent web-site and share it around to help raise awareness and show some support to the residents.

Sadly, Denmark Street, or Tin Pan Alley as it is more commonly known, is another famous musical London landmark with a Kinks connection that finds itself under threat from property developers.

“Down the way from the Tottenham Court Road
Just round the corner from old Soho
There’s a place where the publishers go
If you don’t know which way to go
Just open your ears and follow your nose
‘Cos the street is shakin’ from the tapping of toes”
That brilliantly evocative verse is taken from The Kinks’ track “Denmark Street” which featured on the 1970 album “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One”. It was also performed in a stunning scene in the “Sunny Afternoon” musical which we saw at the Hampstead Theatre and previously reviewed on the Blog here. The Kinks recorded some early demos at Denmark Street’s Regent Sound Studios in 1963 including “You Really Got Me”, and some of those demos can be found on “The Great Lost Kinks Album” compilation. The studio, which was situated at number 4 Denmark Street, is long since gone and is now home to a guitar shop at street level and the Alleycat Club in the basement. As well as The Kinks, many iconic bands and artists such as The Who, Mott The Hoople, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and The Yardbirds recorded at Regent Sound Studios throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. Ray Davies’ lyrics to “Denmark Street” allude to the Music Publishers that were crammed into the Street and as it was rare at the time for singers or bands to write their own material they all flocked to Denmark Street to hustle for the best available songs to record. Of course this influx of some of the brightest musical talent around made it a magnet for Agents, Managers and Promoters all trying to snap up “Clients” that would hopefully make them a fortune in the charts. One of the main meeting points for all these movers and shakers was the Gioconda Café at number 9, which is now also sadly closed after a re-birth as the Giaconda Dining Rooms an there is now a Blue Plaque above the doorway highlighting the importance of the place.
The Blue Plaque in Denmark Street

However, Denmark Street’s history and relationship with music goes back way further than The Kinks of course. This small side street, located in the parish of St. Giles, was once home to a leper colony and then became a slum area called the Rookery with stocks and gallows for public executions. There were some good times though, for example in 1687 the street was improved so much so that it was described as “a fair, broad street, with good houses, and well inhabited by gentry” and there are still eight properties on the street that date back to that time. Due to it’s proximity to  Soho’s many theatres, Denmark Street became a prime location for printing companies specialising in the publication of broadside lyric sheets which then developed into the sheet music trade. In 1926 the composer and publisher Lawrence Wright started the music newspaper Melody Maker from his offices on Denmark Street and as the music related activity increased the nickname Tin Pan Alley, borrowed from Manhattan, started to appear. In the 1950’s the New Musical Express opened its offices on Denmark Street and the first recording studios appeared in the 60’s. The Sex Pistols recorded some early demos at Number 6 and there’s still some rather amusing graffiti preserved on the walls as can be seen in the DVD extras in Julien Temple’s “There’ll Always Be an England” movie. Denmark Passage is also home to Enterprise Studios where many well known bands have rehearsed over the years, in fact I have just seen it mentioned in Viv Albertine’s new autobiography “Clothes Clothes Clothes, Music Music Music, Boys Boys Boys”.

The 12 Bar Club Denmark Street

So, this historic and atmospheric street is also under threat from property developers and the Cross Rail work that has already seen destruction of The Astoria, the Metro Club, the LA2 and the St. Martin’s College of Art where the Sex Pistols once played an early gig. Why we need yet more identikit soul-less shopping malls packed with chain coffee stores and restaurants I will never understand, it is a disgrace. Most depressingly of all though, Retro Man Blog’s favourite London club,The 12 Bar, is one of the buildings under most threat and it will be a crying shame to lose this truly independent venue which promotes and supports unsigned bands 7 nights a week. As regular readers will know, the 12 bar has been the scene of some truly memorable gigs, and I’m sure you will be familiar with the neon bull-horn logo and the old forge behind the stage from many photos featured in the Blog. The Fallen Leaves legendary “Minimum R’n’B” club nights on the first Wednesday of every month are always highlighted in the diary and have become a fantastic social event for musicians and fans alike to relax, mingle and enjoy the great line-ups that The Leaves put on. The main room of the 12 Bar is a historic building in it’s own right and as you can see from the two pictures below hardly anything has changed since the top photo was taken 100 years ago!

The Medhurst company forge photographed in 1914
The Fallen Leaves on stage in the forge room, 12 Bar Club 2014 – Copyright Paul Slattery
The producer, writer and DJ, Henry Scott-Irvine has started up a “Don’t Bin Tin Pan Alley” petition on Change.org in the hope of gathering enough signatures to force the Council to think again about allowing planning permission for the re-development of the area. He told Mojo Magazine “This should be stopped. Denmark Street and the surrounding St. Giles area should be given full heritage status like Covent Garden Market, Hatton Garden, and Savile Row.” At the moment the numbers signed up in opposition stand at just over an impressive 11,000 and only 4,000 more are needed to reach the required target. You can add your support to the campaign by signing the petition at the link here and we would encourage anyone to please kindly share both Henry’s campaign and the“Save Little Green Street” details to help raise awareness and support. Please remember this is not just for fans of Rock music, it’s for anyone who values our culture, history, architecture and heritage and wants to continue to enjoy some sense of individuality on our streets and in our towns.

 

AINT THAT AMERICA!

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No, A Missouri Bar Did Not Advertise A “Mike

Brown Special”

The owner of The Lounge on Main in St. Charles, Mo., told BuzzFeed that the customer responsible for the sign was thrown out and has been banned for life.posted on Aug. 22, 2014, at 6:33 p.m.

Just saw this on fb. Apparently in St. Charles, same place Darren Wilson is from smh

The original image was uploaded to Facebook by Erin Bergeon, who told BuzzFeed that she took the picture at 8:21 p.m. on Thursday night at the back entrance of a bar on St. Charles’ Main Street.

The original image was uploaded to Facebook by Erin Bergeon, who told BuzzFeed that she took the picture at 8:21 p.m. on Thursday night at the back entrance of a bar on St. Charles' Main Street.

Bergeon told BuzzFeed that she didn’t know which bar the sign belonged to because the back entrance faced the parking lot and had no identifying marks on it.

Bergeon told BuzzFeed that she didn't know which bar the sign belonged to because the back entrance faced the parking lot and had no identifying marks on it.

Google Maps: The parking lot behind The Lounge and other businesses. / Via google.com

Twitter users identified the bar as “The Lounge on Main.” When reached for comment, owner Justin Donahue confirmed that the sign had been on display outside his bar, but said it was the work of a customer who was then banned for life.

Twitter users identified the bar as "The Lounge on Main." When reached for comment, owner Justin Donahue confirmed that the sign had been on display outside his bar, but said it was the work of a customer who was then banned for life.

Facebook: The-Lounge

“The parking lot sign is a community sign,” Donahue said. “Lots of times customers write on it — people put jokes on them. Yesterday, the sign was facing away from the bar and everybody inside couldn’t see it.”

"The parking lot sign is a community sign," Donahue said. "Lots of times customers write on it — people put jokes on them. Yesterday, the sign was facing away from the bar and everybody inside couldn't see it."

Via plus.google.com

Donahue said that message was written sometime after he opened the bar Thursday night, while he was at the gym. “It was up for 40 minutes.”

“When I parked my car and went into the bar, I saw the sign and immediately took it down,” Donahue said. “I confronted the customer who did it and asked him to leave the bar and never come back — he’s banned for life.”

He emphasized that the sign doesn’t reflect his establishment or his personal views. “I would be the last person to ever put that message outside my restaurant.”

“I got hacked,” he said. “The sign sits outside my business, someone hacked it, and now people are coming to burn my place down.”

"I got hacked," he said. "The sign sits outside my business, someone hacked it, and now people are coming to burn my place down."

facebook.com

“The irony of the fact is that I have a half-black son,” Donahue said. “We drove through Ferguson yesterday and I was — let me tell you, I would be the last person to joke about Michael Brown.”

Justin Donahue to BuzzFeed

Justin Donahue to BuzzFeed

 Donahue and his son Jackson, who is 4.

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Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history

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A labor movement in Chicago in 1894 left 30 Pullman workers dead, and later spurred Congress and President Grover Cleveland to pass a bill creating Labor Day. But the history of this holiday is rarely taught in schools, and there are few full-time labor journalists to write about working class communities.

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, August 31, 2014, 7:31 PM

16 Vintage Photos of Labor Day Celebrations

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IMAGE CREDIT:
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

While most of us now celebrate Labor Day with barbecues or end-of-summer vacations, the holiday was originally much more focused on labor unions and was meant to celebrate the economic and social contribution of blue collar workers. In fact, the holiday was only made a federal celebration in 1894 in an attempt to placate labor unions after the famous Pullman Strike, which resulted in 30 deaths. This labor-centric meaning is particularly apparent when looking at vintage photos of the holiday like these, which are courtesy of the Library of Congress.

1. PARADES GALORE

Original documents aiming to establish Labor Day as a holiday called for a parade that would be followed by family-friendly festivities. As a result, parades were a huge part of the celebrations during the early days of the holiday as you can see in the top picture from the Fireman’s Labor Day Parade from 1929.

2. UNIONS UNITING

Not only were the unions a big part of the reason the holiday was created, but they continued to be a big part of the celebrations for years to come. In fact, many of the early parades were made up largely of groups of different local union workers, like the Women’s Auxiliary Typographical Union pictured here in 1909.

3. FUNDRAISING FOR STRIKERS

The parades also provided unions with a good opportunity to raise funds to support striking union workers, like this man was doing on behalf of the Furriers Union in 1915.

4. FUN AND GAMES

Of course, like modern parades, there were still plenty of fun sources of entertainment for kids. These four clowns, for example, were happy to amuse the crowd in the Silverton, Colorado parade of 1940.

5. THE BAND MARCHES ON

Similarly, even a small silver mining town like Silverton, Colorado had a high school marching band present to bring a little marching music to the parade, as you can see in this 1940 image by Russell Lee.

6. THE FLOAT WITH THE MOST

As the years wore on, the floats got more elaborate and the parades started attracting larger crowds as well. Here’s a group that was fortunate enough to have balcony seating for the 1940 Labor Day Parade in Du Bois, Pennsylvania, as photographed by Jack Delano.

7. PATRIOTS UNITE

When WWII rolled around, the unions continued to provide floats for the parades, but they focused their float themes on patriotism and winning the war. In 1942, photographer Arthur S. Siegel captured the Detroit Local 600 of the Congress of Industrial Organizations showing their electrical workers electrocuting Hitler.

8. OUTHOUSE HQ

Even the clowns at that 1942 Detroit parade had it out for Hitler, showing his headquarters were holed up inside of an outhouse all while promoting bonds to support the war effort. Photograph by Arthur S. Siegel.

9. RAISE THE FLAG

Even in the midst of electrocutions and outhouses though, the Detroit parade still made a place for this adorable little girl with her American flag to show her support for the war effort and Labor Day festivities. Image taken in 1942 by Arthur S. Siegel.

10. CONTESTS FOR KIDS

As for those family-friendly festivities, well, those varied from location to location, although classic picnic games like potato sack races seemed to be pretty popular across the board. I don’t know who won this particular race shot in 1940 by Russell Lee in Ridgeway, Colorado, but I’d put my money on the big kid on the left.

11. KIDDIE RIDES

Depending on the size of the festival, some places would even put up fun carnival rides for the kids. I particularly love this picture of a tiny miner from Silverton, Colorado, taken by Russell Lee in 1940.

12. FAMILY TOGETHERNESS

The best part of the Labor Day past and present might just be families getting to spend a nice weekend together, like these miners enjoying the holiday with their youngsters back in 1942. Photo taken in Silverton, Colorado by Russell Lee.

13. FRIENDLY COMPETITION

Not everyone put away their tools on Labor Day. In fact, the miners of Silverton actually competed to show off who was the best driller. Here’s one participant hand drilling on a massive boulder, as photographed by Russell Lee.

14. RACING THE DAY AWAY

Of course, while many people enjoyed watching contests on Labor Day, most didn’t want to work on the holiday. That’s why going to the race track was so popular in Benning, Maryland back in 1916. Labor Day races like this one included both motorcycle and car events.

15. BARBECUE FOR ALL

While many modern Labor Day celebrations revolve around backyard barbecues, they used to be much larger, community affairs. In fact, this 1940 celebration in Ridgeway, Colorado required dozens of volunteers to prep, cut and serve the massive, free barbecue that fed practically everyone in the whole town. Photo by Russell Lee.

16. WAITING FOR A FEAST

Despite the rain, everyone at the 1940 Ridgeway barbecue seemed grateful to wait in line for such a delicious Labor Day treat, presumably only furthering that feeling of community. Image taken by Russell Lee.

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Cookouts now mark Labor Day, instead of parades honoring country’s labor movement, says AFL-CIO honcho Richard Trumpka.

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ZUMWALT, LARRY

WASHINGTON — Monday is the day to celebrate the American worker and his sacrifices and economic and social achievements.

You do know that, right?

If you don’t, you’re not alone.

Few recall the bloodstained origins of this holiday as we fire up the grill, throw on the burgers and dogs and turn on the U.S. Open tennis or maybe the Yanks, Mets or another ballgame.

And, in a sign of the times, the Sunday morning network news shows didn’t even offer their usual, token pre-Labor Day weekend spot for the head of the nation’s labor movement.

“No,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka when I asked him. “No invitations this year.”

President Grover Cleveland signed legislation to create Labor Day.ANONYMOUS/APPresident Grover Cleveland signed legislation to create Labor Day.

I told the former mine worker-turned-lawyer that there seems to be a precious lack of understanding of the holiday’s origins.

In fact, it stems from an awful confrontation in Chicago in 1894 that saw federal marshals and the Army kill 30 striking Pullman railroad strikers.

Soon after the Pullman walkout ended, Congress and President Grover Cleveland quickly passed and signed legislation for the holiday.

That history is rarely taught in schools and there are few full-time labor journalists anymore.

So with many millions jobless or involuntarily working part-time, we’ll have a few pro forma parades, but not much else.

Americans will be grilling hot dogs on Labor Day rather than honoring the history of the holiday.BOB FILA/KRTAmericans will be grilling hot dogs on Labor Day rather than honoring the history of the holiday.

“Unfortunately, I think your analysis is spot on,” said Trumka, who will take part in celebrations in his native Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, while President Obama does the same Monday with one in Milwaukee.

“From assembly lines to classrooms, across highways and steel mills, American workers strengthen the foundation of our country and demonstrate that our economy grows best from the middle out,” Obama says in his formal holiday proclamation.

Yes, but sadly, “There is virtually no labor writing anymore and little, if any, reporting on the working class or working class communities,” said William Serrin, a longtime NYU journalism professor and former New York Times labor writer.

“It could be a gold mine of important stories. It’s a shame,” he said Sunday.

Hey, anybody need another burger?

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/history-labor-day-forgotten-article-1.1923299#ixzz3C4zAQri9

Beat Punks: A Brief History of the Counterculture from William S. Burroughs to Kurt Cobain | Imperium Pictures

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hobo hippie:

An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks
by Phil Weaver

Originally posted on Loud Alien Noize:

An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks

by Phil Weaver

Bull Will.

I’m a huge fan of Victor Bockris’ book Beat Punks, a collection of interviews and photographs documenting the relationship between the Beat generation and the punk movement in the 1970s downtown New York scene. The book does a great job of illustrating the cross-pollination of two generations (’50s Beats and ’70s punks) that resulted in one of the most extraordinary cultural flowerings of the 20th century. I recently talked to Bockris about some of the ideas behind the book, and I was pleased to hear he’s about to begin work on a follow up with interlinking prose. He didn’t want to give away too much about the forthcoming book, so I proposed a general interview on the history of the counterculture’s clashes with the establishment in the mid-to-late 20th century. Burroughs was the through-line in a…

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COOL PEOPLE -COUNTERCULTURE HEAVYWEIGHTS

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Counterculture Heavyweights

COOL PEOPLE – BILLY BRAGG And He Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: “Liberty and Justice for All!”

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This song comes from the 1998 album, Mermaid Avenue. The lyrics to all the songs on this

album were written by Woody Guthrie sometime before his death in 1967 and put to music

by Billy Bragg and Wilco about 30 years later. The words to this song paint a picture of

sleeping and dreaming beneath the beautiful California stars.

“CALIFORNIA STARS”

http://youtu.be/nhm27uXG6bg

Billy Bragg & Wilco – Walt Whitman’s Niece (Lyrics)

http://youtu.be/1GDU6ns2mRM

Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key – Billy Bragg & Wilco

http://youtu.be/vwcQAlRn0Gs

Billy Bragg Biography

(1957–)

 QUICK FACTS

NAME

Billy Bragg

BIRTH DATE

December 20, 1957 (age 56)

PLACE OF BIRTH

Barking, England

FULL NAME

Stephen William Bragg

Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the ’80s. For most of the decade, Bragg bashed out songs alone on his electric guitar, singing about politics and love. While his lyrics were bitingly intelligent and clever, they were also warm and humane, filled with detail and wit. Even though his lyrics were carefully considered, Bragg never neglected to write melodies for songs that were strong and memorable. Throughout the ’80s, he managed to chart consistently in Britain, yet he only gathered a cult following in America, which could be due to the fact that he sang about distinctly British subject matter, both politically and socially.

Bragg began performing in the late ’70s with the punk group Riff Raff, which lasted only a matter of months. He then joined the British Army, yet he quickly bought himself out of his sojourn with £175. After leaving the Army, he began working at a record store; while he was working, he was writing songs that were firmly in the folk and punk protest tradition. Bragg began a British tour, playing whenever he had the chance to perform. Frequently he would open for bands with only a moment’s notice; soon, he had built a sizable following, as evidenced by his first EP, Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy (1983), hitting number 30 on the U.K. independent charts. Brewing Up with Billy Bragg (1984), his first full-length album, climbed to number 16 in the charts.

During 1984, Bragg became a minor celebrity in Britain, as he appeared at leftist political rallies, strikes, and benefits across the country; he also helped form the “Red Wedge,” a socialist musicians’ collective that also featured Paul Weller. In 1985, Kirsty MacColl took one of his songs, “New England,” to number seven on the British singles chart. Featuring some subtle instrumental additions of piano and horns, 1986’s Talking with the Taxman About Poetry reached the U.K. Top Ten.

Bragg’s version of the Beatles’ “She’s Leaving Home,” taken from the Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father tribute album, became his only number one single in 1988 — as the double A-side with Wet Wet Wet’s “With a Little Help from My Friends.” That year, he also released the EP Help Save the Youth of America and the full-length Workers Playtime, which was produced by Joe Boyd (Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, R.E.M.). Boyd helped expand Bragg’s sound, as the singer recorded with a full band for the first time. The following year, Bragg restarted the Utility record label as a way of featuring non-commercial new artists. The Internationale, released in 1990, was a collection of left-wing anthems, including a handful of Bragg originals. On 1991’s Don’t Try This at Home, he again worked with a full band, recording his most pop-oriented and accessible set of songs; the album featured the hit single, “Sexuality.” Bragg took several years off after Don’t Try This at Home, choosing to concentrate on fatherhood. He returned in 1996 with William Bloke.

In 1998, he teamed with the American alternative country band Wilco to record Mermaid Avenue, a collection of performances based on unreleased songs originally written by Woody Guthrie. Reaching to the Converted, a collection of rarities, followed a year later, and in mid-2000 Bragg and Wilco reunited for a second Mermaid Avenue set. While touring in support of Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2, Bragg formed the Blokes in 1999 with Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan. Lu Edmonds (guitar), Ben Mandelson (lap steel guitar), Martyn Barker (drums), and Simon Edwards (bass) solidified the group while Bragg moved from London to rural Dorset in early 2001. One year later, the Blokes joined Bragg for England, Half English, his first solo effort since William Bloke.

In 2004, Bragg collaborated with Less Than Jake for “The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out,” a track included on the Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 compilation. The two-CD Must I Paint You a Picture? The Essential Billy Bragg appeared in 2003 with initial copies featuring a third bonus CD of collectibles and rarities. The Yep Roc label released the box set Volume 1 in 2006. The set included seven CDs and two DVDs of previously unavailable live footage, and the label simultaneously reissued four titles from Bragg’s early back catalog in expanded editions. Billy Bragg spent the next year recording in London, Devon, and Lincolnshire, and 2008 saw the release of Mr. Love & Justice, his first solo effort in six years. Although the Blokes served as Bragg’s backing band on the album, a limited-edition package also included a second disc comprised of intimate solo recordings. The barebones Woody Guthrie-inspired Tooth & Nail arrived in early 2013 and the following year brought the DVD & CD set, Live at the Union Chapel, which included an encore performance of Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy in its entirety as a bonus feature. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Billy Bragg Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: “Liberty and Justice for All!”

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Bryan Sutter
Billy Bragg addresses a crowd of about 100 people on the Royale’s patio. See more photos here.

Billy Bragg stood at the microphone toward the end of his set at the Royale, thoughtfully looking up into the night sky as he tried to put words to what’s happening in Ferguson.

“The true enemy is our own cynicism,” Bragg finally told the audience. “We have to fight to overcome that cynicism. We have to show the world that St. Louis is not a cynical place, a place where people give in to their worst impulses.”

Bragg, known worldwide for speaking out against human-rights violations and bigotry, performed an hourlong set at the Royale on just a few hours’ notice, deciding to stop in St. Louis as he made his way south to Arkansas on a photography tour of the old Rock Island Line railroad path for Aperture magazine. Several performances over the next week are planned, but Bragg and fellow guitarist Joe Purdy already have made a habit of impulsively playing where they’ve felt moved to do so, such as outside a school in Illinois where teachers were striking for better pay. St. Louis was just such an impulse stop.

See also:
PHOTOS: Billy Bragg Supports Ferguson with Impromptu Set at the Royale
Tonight: Billy Bragg to Support Ferguson with Surprise Show at the Royale

“Yesterday, I tweeted from Rock Island [Illinois] about where I should go, and people from here and Britain reminded me that St. Louie wasn’t far,” Bragg said. “It’s not just people here that care [about Ferguson]. We saw a demonstration of a dozen people walk past our hotel in Rock Island.”

Bragg then said that he contacted his friend Karl Haglund, an artist who paints canvases of iconic guitars, about where he might perform. Upon advice from Magnolia Summer’s Chris Grabau, Haglund suggested the Royale and put Bragg into contact with owner Steven Smith. The performance was announced on Twitter and Facebook 30 minutes later, with Smith using the show as a way to rally up bins of toiletries, food, school supplies and first-aid kids from the 100 or so people attending — all donations that would be distributed in Ferguson through St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

On the Royale’s patio in front of an orange-red garage, Bragg and Purdy opened their acoustic set with “Rock Island Line,” an old American folk song that Lonnie Donegan famously covered and that initially inspired the journey. Bragg went solo next, delighting the crowd with his song “Sexuality.”

Bragg said that he and Purdy would be switching off to “stay fresh,” giving up the “stage.” Purdy, now solo, joked, “The problem with traveling with Billy Bragg is that you have to follow him.” He performed “Down to the Water” on “this old pawn-shop guitar.” “But I still love you,” he said to the instrument.

Bragg returned for a few train-based songs, saying, “I don’t think there was any invention as transformative in human existence as the railroad.” The duo performed “There Is Power in a Union,” which moved the toe-tapping audience to yip and clap, especially once Bragg finished the song and shouted “Solidarity forever!” with a fist pump.

See the Riverfront Times’ complete coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

Playing solo, Bragg reminded the crowd of his love and respect for folk hero Woody Guthrie, sharing that “Guthrie as a young man witnessed the aftermath of lynchings and wrote this song,” before beginning “Hangknot, Slipknot.” The lyrics, “Who makes the laws for that hangknot?” resonated through the rapt audience.

Bragg reminded the crowd again about seeing the Ferguson supporters through his hotel window. “These are difficult times,” he said as the Royale crowd spontaneously began chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” — a now-iconic phrase coined because of reports that Michael Brown had his hands in the air when Ferguson officer Darren Wilson shot him on August 9.

Moved by the night’s emotion, Bragg continued. “I was trying to think of a song I could play for this tonight. There’s an old song I know from the civil-rights days, written in 1968, but it may have some resonance now. You have a great weight to resolve this in a peaceable and transparent way, and you have our support.” Bragg and Purdy then began harmonizing on “Cryin’ in the Streets,” punctuating the line “I see people marching in the streets” with a powerful “Yeah!” and growing louder throughout the song.

At the end of the night, Bragg ceded the floor to Royale owner Smith, who emphasized that showing solidarity with the people of Ferguson was important. Pastor Steve Lawler of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson then shared a story about a little girl who recently collected food with her family amid the chaos. “She had a cartoon drawing of people getting food in her hand, and she wanted me to say something to the people who had given her this food.”

“What do you want me to tell them?” Lawler had asked the girl.

“Say thanks, and say don’t be afraid.”

The evening closed with the crowd on its feet, clapping and shouting along with Bragg and Purdy to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” but Bragg had one more thought as he closed the famous tune. “And liberty and justice for all!” he shouted, shaking the Royale patio with force. The audience agreed, erupting into “No justice, no peace,” another chant made famous recently in Ferguson.

Steven Smith surveyed the scene and vowed, “We’re going to create a new normal.”

Watch Bragg perform several songs in this video playlist by Stephen Houldsworth:

COOL PEOPLE -A Gourmet Weed Dinner At Hunter S. Thompson’s House

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A Gourmet Weed Dinner At Hunter S. Thompson’s House

10 Devastating Author-To-Author Insults

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10 Devastating Author-To-Author Insults

STEFFANI JACOBY AUGUST 21, 2014

Throughout history, some of the most renowned authors were also the most harshly criticized—often by their equally famous peers. Some of the best-known works of literature, from Shakespeare’s plays to Hemingway’s novels, have been on the receiving end of some truly excoriating putdowns.

10George Bernard Shaw On Shakespeare

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George Bernard Shaw, the only writer to receive both an Academy Award and the Nobel Prize for Literature, produced a variety of well-known (and award-winning) plays, the most famous of which was Pygmalion. Apparently, his success as a playwright led him to believe he had the credentials to make a few scathing comments about Shakespeare himself:

“With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare. The intensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him.”

Shaw wasn’t the only famous author who loved hating the Bard: Voltaire called Shakespeare a “drunken savage” who only appealed to audiences in “London and Canada.” For good measure, he also described his works as a “vast dunghill.”

9Mark Twain On Jane Austen

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For many, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) remains the quintessential American author. And apparently he harbored some strong feelings about perhaps the quintessential English novelist. In a critical essay on Jane Austen’s works, Twain remarked:

“She makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. It would be worth while, too. Some day I will examine the other end of her books and see.”

“Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

Twain’s talent for vitriol wasn’t limited to Austen—he also penned a hilarious essay titled “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” in which he claimed that Cooper’s The Deerslayer managed to commit “114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115 . . . its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are—oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its English a crime against the language.” Some argue that Twain addressed these jibes at other famous authors just for the fun of it.

8Charlotte Bronte On Jane Austen

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Jane Austen might be known for her refined characters, but she certainly had a way of making people angry. Charlotte Bronte, a near-contemporary of Austen known to prefer passion over stolid practicalism, let loose after a cursory reading of Pride and Prejudice:

“She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her. What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores.”

Later, in a letter to a friend who had warned her not to be too melodramatic, Bronte said she couldn’t have tolerated being confined to the refined gardens and elegant society featured in Austen’s novels.

Authors and critics often base their opinion of Austen on her development of emotion (or lack thereof). Ian Watt claimed that Austen’s works appeal only to those who view logic as superior to emotion. Virginia Woolf, on the other hand, valued Austen’s work, arguing that she was “mistress of greater emotion than appears on the surface.”

7Oscar Wilde On Alexander Pope

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Both authors are among the most prominent in British history, among the few to be honored with memorials in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. But it appears that Wilde wasn’t a fan of his renowned predecessor. A famously quotable author, full of flippant jabs and insults, Wilde once wrote a letter to a friend in which he observed:

“There are several ways to dislike poetry; one is to dislike it, the other is to read Alexander Pope.”

Since Pope was dead at the time, he didn’t get the chance to reply to Wilde’s putdown, but it’s a fairly safe bet that his response would have been scathing. After all, when the writer Lewis Theobald criticized his adaptations of Shakespeare, Pope responded by making him the main character of an epic, four-volume work of poetry called “The Dunciad,” in which he is supposedly the son and favorite of the goddess “Dulness.” When he later fell out with the playwright Colley Cibber, Pope rewrote the poem to make him the title character instead.

Despite his seeming disdain, critics have noted allusions to Pope’s work in Wilde’s only novel, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, where a turn of conversationstrikingly resembles a line from Pope’s The Rape of the Lock.

6Virginia Woolf On James Joyce

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In a 1922 letter to T.S. Eliot, Woolf asked the poet for his sincere opinion on Joyce’s newly released book, Ulysses. That same year, she wrote to her sister, encouraging her to get to know Joyce: “I particularly want to know what he’s like.”

However, Woolf’s fascination with Joyce didn’t at all indicate that she respected his literary skills. After reading the first few hundred pages ofUlysses, she confided to her diary:

“An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me: the book of a self-taught working man, and we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, and ultimately nauseating.”

Woolf wasn’t the only author who had trouble making it through Ulysses. D.H. Lawrence, often associated with Joyce as a master of the modern novel, claimed to be “one of the people who can’t read Ulysses,” although he conceded that Joyce would doubtless “look as much askance on me as I on him.”

5T.S. Eliot On Aldous Huxley

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Some experts seem to think that T.S. Eliot and Aldous Huxley admired each other, at least to some degree. Both were members of the Bloomsbury Circle of Lady Ottoline Morrel, an artsy social group of the time, and both read the others’ work closely. Huxley’s most famous work, Brave New World, and Eliot’s The Hollow Men share many of the same ideas. But that didn’t stop Eliot from taking potshots at Huxley, once remarking:

“Huxley, who is perhaps one of those people who have to perpetrate thirty bad novels before producing a good one, has a certain natural—but little developed—aptitude for seriousness. Unfortunately, this aptitude is hampered by a talent for the rapid assimilation of all that isn’t essential.”

H.G. Wells, another author whose works centered on futuristic, often dystopian scenarios, was greatly disappointed in Huxley’s dark vision of things to come, saying that a writer of Huxley’s standing had “no right to betray the future as he did in that book.”

4William Faulkner On Ernest Hemingway

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Some authors, like Huxley and Wells, fall out over philosophical differences. Faulkner’s beef with Hemingway was much more straightforward— he didn’t like his style. Of Hemingway’s characteristically brief, simple sentences, Faulkner said:

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Faulkner’s writing style was certainly more complex than Hemingway’s—it’s not unusual to encounter page-long sentences in his works. Those prolix sentences weren’t an accident; they were part of his writing philosophy. In an interview, Faulkner said he wanted “to put the whole history of the human heart on the head of a pin . . . the long sentence is an attempt to get [a character’s] past and possibly his future into the instant in which he does something.”

And forget using a dictionary to look up words—some of Faulkner’s fabricated portmanteau words, including “allknowledgeable,” “droopeared,” and “fecundmellow,” wouldn’t be found in even the most exhaustive reference works.

3Ernest Hemingway On William Faulkner

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Of course, as a man who once responded to an insult by punching Orson Welles, Hemingway wasn’t about to back down from a fight. In response to Faulkner’s “dictionary” quip, Hemingway sneered:

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Hemingway believed that writing should be clear and straightforward enough that readers wouldn’t have to hunt down a reference book to decipher an idea. The best writers don’t need to consult dictionaries, he maintained.

Ironically, some of Hemingway’s works are riddled with foreign words and phrases, which can be tricky for a monolingual English-speaker to understand. Apparently, sending readers to a dictionary was only a problem for Hemingway when an English dictionary was required.

If you want to copy Hemingway’s style, the ever-helpful Hemingway App can assist you by highlighting sentences that need to be simplified and adverbs that need to be deleted. If, on the other hand, you prefer to adopt Faulkner’s style, you might want to sit down with an unabridged Oxford English Dictionary and start reading and randomly combining words.

2W.H. Auden and T.S. Eliot On Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe was one of the great writers of the 19th century. Many call him the inventor of the murder mystery, and he was certainly a dark, brooding predecessor to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. Poe also won worldwide acclaim (mostly posthumously) for his lyric poetry, which often focuses on death or loss.

But not everyone approved of Poe’s macabre tales and melodramatic, depressed style. The poet W.H. Auden was less than complimentary, calling Poe:

“An unmanly sort of man whose love-life seems to have been largely confined to crying in laps and playing mouse.”

T.S. Eliot, slightly more politely, attributed to Poe: “the intellect of a highly gifted person before puberty.”

Poe’s life was almost as rocky as his dark stories and poems. After dropping out of school because of financial trouble, finding out his sweetheart had become engaged to another man, and going to visit his mother only to find that she had died, he set out on a quest for fame.

When he was 27, he married 13-year-old Virginia Clemm, who died of tuberculosis a short time later. Poe ultimately expired in a manner as mysterious as his own macabre stories—he was found dead in a public house after disappearing in Baltimore for five days. Today, Poe is either hailed as a literary mastermind or reviled as a pedophile with a fetish for blackbirds.

1Martin Amis On Miguel de Cervantes

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We all have them—those family members or friends whose visits only serve to convince us that they’ve completely lost their minds. Martin Amis, an English novelist most famous for the cult classics Money and London Fields, seems to think Miguel de Cervantes’s famous 17th-century masterpiece embodies that eccentric, ever-inappropriate relative:

“Reading Don Quixote can be compared to an indefinite visit from your most impossible senior relative, with all his pranks, dirty habits, unstoppable reminiscences, and terrible cronies.”

Though Don Quixote met with a mixed reception on its release, many now hail it as the first real modern novel. Harold Bloom, well-respected literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, only has scintillating things to say about Cervantes’ landmark novel:

“Cervantes and Shakespeare, who died almost simultaneously, are the central western authors, at least since Dante, and no writer since has matched them, not Tolstoy or Goethe, Dickens, Proust, Joyce.”

In the same article, Bloom makes an interesting point: “Cervantes inhabits his great book so pervasively that we need to see that it has three unique personalities: the knight, Sancho, and Cervantes.” If that’s true, maybe Cervantes himself is the personification of that “impossible senior relative” we all know.

Steffani is a freelance writer and coffee addict living on the island of Guam. She’s also a scuba diver, a knitter, and an E.A. Poe aficionado who often gets segments of “The Raven” stuck in her head on repeat. Steffani blogs about life in Guam atOriginalFootprints.com.

Iconic People From Pop Culture Are Given A Psychedelic Makeover As Present-Day Hipsters

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Iconic People From Pop Culture Are Given A Psychedelic Makeover As Present-Day Hipsters

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Artist Fab Ciraolo imagines what pop culture icons would look like if they were hipsters today and it’s pretty spot-on.

See more of Ciraolo’s work over on his website and Facebook.