Dave Van Ronk claimed that it was really Tom Paxton of the NYC folk scene who first claimed the mantel of singer/songwriter among folkies, daring to sing mainly his own songs in the cafés, which led the way to Dylan and Ochs. Here’s a great Paxton song from fifty years ago that could have been written yesterday.
Who has not looked up in the sky at birds and wished they could fly? Jennifer Ackerman has spent a good part of her adult life thinking about and writing about birds and the natural world. She is the author of eight books including a favorite of mine, The Genius of Birds. Her latest book is called The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think. I was pleased to talk with her on Arts Express and learn some startling stories about birds .
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my interview with Ms. Ackerman, as broadcast today on radio station WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the country.
Some say magician David Blaine is just regurgitating old material, but he didn’t have to take it so literally. Anyway, come for the announcement of his newest hair-raising stunt, but stay for the cuisses de grenouilles.
It’s August and that’s the month poet Charles Bukowski was born in 1920. With over 5000 poems and six novels and hundreds of short stories to his name, he’s become a kind of cult figure over the last decades. While his writings have stamped him with the indelible persona of an alcoholic anti-social misanthropic and misogynistic git, yet there’s also a gentler humanness in Bukowski.
He died at the age of 74. On his gravestone the epitaph reads, “Don’t Try.”
Come with us now as we go out to our favorite virtual watering hole, knock down a couple of drinks, and listen to a performance of some of Bukowski’s poems as broadcast today on Arts Express radio on Pacifica stations across the nation.
Click on the grey triangle or mp3 link above to listen.
This semipalmiated plover was one of many skittering around yesterday. They’re small—between the size of a sparrow and a robin—and camouflaged in a muddy rocky area. But they can be seen as they run around, which is often, and when they fly they have distinctive striped markings on their wings. The one complete band around their neck distinguishes them from some other similar-looking birds.
Comedian Sarah Cooper’s been getting a lot of attention recently for her mesmerizing lip-synchs of Donald Trump. But she’s also a gifted stand-up comedian, as witness this recent smart and hilarious five minute set.
Katie Fleming’s pet eclectus parrot, Jasper, demonstrates that he is more intelligent than three-quarters of Congress and seven-eighths of the executive branch. We bow down to Jasper, our new parrot overlord.
In this live performance from The Ed Sullivan Show, you can barely hear Buddy’s guitar because Ed demanded that the sound be turned down. But Buddy bangs it out nevertheless. After that, Buddy reportedly refused to perform the second song he was scheduled to sing on the show.