Monday, September 8, 2008

Scientists, Writing Letters

Tom Verlaine - Live in Rouen, France (4/17/87) Part 1
Tom Verlaine - Live in Rouen, France (4/17/87) Part 2

I think my favorite thing about Tom Verlaine after his guitar playing/song writing is his name. Sometimes I think I like that more than anything else, honestly. What a cool bastard, stealing the name of an awesome French symbolist poet and reinventing himself as a poet of punk. Gotta admire that.

I was a word-head in high school already. I got dizzy on Whitman and Dickinson and just about puked my brains out of my ears when I found the Beats. But punk rock helped me get further into poetry than almost any other impetus. The sparesness of line in songwriters like Verlaine and the relationship that someone like him claimed by name at least with "real" poetry, the subversive action of that re-naming act, it thrilled me. I wanted to be like that. I wanted a new name and maybe a black velvet cape to go along with it. Before I was out of high school, I was reading Baudelaire and Patti Smith, Breton and John Cooper Clarke, this and that and everything all smashed together.

What was that D. Boon line: "Mr. Narrator, this is Bob Dylan to me"? Yeah. I couldn't separate poetry and punk and I still can't. I like to read while I listen. It's a good thing.

Where are we? Well, we had some Television a while back and you folks absolutely loved that. Tons of downloads and great comments. So, this week, here's the plan - some solo Verlaine, another equally solo Richard Lloyd and finally another Television to end the week. Sound good? You don't have to answer, 'cuz I know it does.

Ya'all probably think I forgot all about the original purpose of this blog - music. I didn't, just haven't had a lot of time to delve, think, sort, winnow, rip, upload and post lately. And relieving the stress on my heart and brain with snarky political posts is so much easier.

PS If you're looking for a new kind of kick, my wife and I just found an old one we'd missed somehow: Philip Lamantia. American surrealist poet. Dead now. But you should read Touch of the Marvelous or Blood of the Air. Wow. That's about all I can say. All out of print now, but dig around or go to your local public library (hope it has an excellent poetry section) and see if you can find him. Anyone got recommendations? Weirdness to read? Love to hear 'em.

Now playing: The Verlaines - Lying in State
via FoxyTunes


rogue46 said...

thanks a lot for the Tom Verlaine show. I've been a Television fan since the beginning.

gomonkeygo said...

Television is music to my ears.

I guess that statement can be taken several ways.

But glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to ignore all our political sadness for a few minutes, free some drive space and download this. Many thanks, let's keep hope alive...
Weirdness to read? You know Damon and Naomi have their own press selling amazing surrealist classics, right? Because that's where I've been going to get my fixes lately (and yeah I know it's not new but the past has rewards too...), Exact Change Press...

gomonkeygo said...

It's not political sadness - it's political opportunity!

But, that aside, thank you very much for the info on Exact Change. Just went to the website - sweet!

I've got a fair amount of this stuff, but there's things new or previously unattainable to me here definitely. I didn't know there was a new Maldoror out, and it's the Lykiard translation too! That's good.

Many thanks - much appreciated!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

In thanks to gomonkeygo, soon to be re-upped at either or For the Dave Sez archive of lossless Television and Verlaine bootlegs and other gifts from the bloghosts, search both sites for Television and Tom Verlaine. Cheers for now, Dave Sez.