"I told you once it's not gangsta, it's just right"

I don't know which version of the Grateful Dead's "Help is on the Way" Jean Grae uses in a beautiful loop for her song "Knock," from her first album Attack of the Attacking Things (Third Earth Music, 2002). But it could have easily been taken from their performance on New Years Eve 1976-1977, in San Francisco. There's certain segments from Jerry Garcia's solos in this song that night I would loop, too. I've always thought his best playing (live) was between 1972-1978.


I was in Ybor City this afternoon, enjoying these two pieces from the show "20/20":

William Pachner, "Meeting with Two Figures," 1954.

Edgar Sanchez Cumbas, "Working Class," 2004.

On the front steps of the Vicente Martínez Ybor cigar factory building (which is now a hopeless mini-mall), José Martí was photographed while speaking to a group of Cuban workers in the 1890s. Nothing of the Ybor I lived in (1994-1995) seems to be left now. A wash of tacky clubs and insidious mainstream Americana shops. Although the legendary Columbia is about to turn 100.


Great photograph of Ezra Pound and Allen Ginsberg in Italy in the 1960s (via fait accompli). During his lectures at Naropa when I was there in 1993, Ginsberg discussed and read aloud from The Cantos. At one point he started crying while reading the following lines from "Canto CXV":

"A blown husk that is finished
................but the light sings eternal
a pale flare over marshes"

Maybe he was simply being a drama queen, although at the time I didn't think so. He stopped reading, wiped his eyes and continued with his talk.


"In Life and the Poet (1942), Spender recalls being summoned on his return from Spain to a meeting of Communist writers. He was instructed to 'explain my attitude to the Party.' On his complaining about brutalities committed by the Republican side on their own 'deviants,' Comrade Spender was declared to be a hapless victim of 'bourgeois propaganda spread by fascist agents' (this by colleagues who had never been to Spain). After this, Spender records, 'I gave up.' He was Comrade Spender no longer."

{ John Sutherland, Stephen Spender: A Literary Life, Oxford, 2004 }

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