>On Harvey Pekar…

>Working for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival last spring, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Pekar before he died. I was very fumbly and true to myself, but if I had the opportunity to talk again with him (although I won’t), I would chat to him about music because through everything he loathed in his life, music was definitely something he cherished. Jazz particularly.

>Allen Ginsberg and ‘Howl’ (movie and poem)/Music in ‘American Splendor’

>Beat Generation

Allen Ginsberg
William S. Burroughs
Jack Kerouac
People and things that I have never really known much of. Seeing Rob Epstein and Daniel Friedman’s film was pretty inspiring to me because it represents a whole world of literature that I haven’t got my hands on yet. In no way do I consider myself a reader by any means. I mean, I try to read as much as possible, but it for some reason doesn’t come easy to me.
The film, which was in part produced by Gus Van Sant tackled many of the issues that Ginsberg and the other beat generation thinkers challenged. So many issues that make me really re-evaluate just how many freedoms and luxuries in the twenty-first century, just a mere fifty
years later. My things have changed.
Between the beautiful fifties dress and the exciting content of Ginsberg’s poetry, it was a feast for both ears and the eyes. Not to mention James Franco’s fantastic portrayal of the late Ginsberg.
I just recently watched the film on the late Harvey Pekar called American Splendor earlier this week. It serves as a perfect mate for Howl, not for its content, but rather how material is presented in film. American Splendor left a fantastic taste in my mouth for a rather miserable person. Whereas Howl gave me some inspiration for fostering a sense of inconventional creativity.
American Splendor highlighted Pekar’s love for jazz tunes in both the content of the film and the soundtrack to accompany. Very ornate, lively tunes that serve to gel together his really odd personality. The opening song by Joe Maneri “Panoits Nine” (1963) captured this sense perfectly:
I can’t decide if I think Maneri’s tune is fantastic or just OK. It’s a little too offbeat for my likings, I rather prefer Dizzie Gillespie’s “Stardust.” A song that proves itself to be timeless – it was released eighty one years ago! Is jazz ageless? Or am I just not well-versed enough in the genre? Probably the latter.
I adore jazz piano, it’s such a waste I’m a completely useless performer and musician. This is completely inspiring (and also on the soundtrack):
R. Crumb and His Cheapsuit Serenaders “Hula Medley”! Totally genius. I strongly think that this music is going to make a serious comeback:
Gershwin, one of the few musicians my Grandfather and I can agree on:
The film’s version not done by Bessie Smith, but Jay McShann. Smith’s version is fantastic, 1923!
Smokey Robinson penned this one, but Marvin Gaye performed it. 1965 –
The Andrew Sisters – 1920 –
Coltrane’s take on “My Favourite Things”:
I selected the old tunes off of this soundtrack. It’s really mind boggling to see how little I actually know about music.
’nuff said, it’s time to go do something inspiring on little sleep. Or at very least feel inspired today.


>Wowee! Now this one is real good, esthetically talking. I may have to purchase my very first Destroyer album, based on appearances. Who says you can’t judge a book by it’s cover and hell, if the music sucks on it at least they give you something pretty to look at!

>Emiliana Torrini, Putamayo

>My uncle gave me a whole whack of CDs last Christmas and of them was the Putamayo collection titled Women of the World Acoustic. Emiliana Torrini was one of the lovely ladies showcased on the album. I first heard Torrini on Grey’s with her tune “Ha Ha.”