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Joey Ramone, Allen Ginsberg Show Their Faces on Fourth Street

IMG_0070Lauren Carol Smith

First the “Legends of the Lower East Side” were immortalized in coloring-book form, and now the “Saints of the Lower East Side” have been painted onto scaffolding on Fourth Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue.

Tom Sanford, known for his portraits of cultural and historical figures, painted some local heroes on scaffolding above 70 East Fourth Street Cultural Center, where the future home of the Downtown Art and Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company is under construction. The portraits, from left to right, are of Martin Wong, Joey Ramone, Miguel Piñero, Ellen Stewart, Charlie Parker, Arthur “Weegee” Fellig and Allen Ginsberg.

IMG_0083Lauren Carol Smith 107-113 Second Avenue.

The artist got some help from Graham Preston, who will present his own works, depicting cultural heroines of the area, on June 26 at 6 p.m. at FAB Café. Both exhibits, which are presented by FABnyc and are part of the ArtUp program that recently brought a new mural to the La MaMa building, will be up till Sept. 5.

And speaking of scaffolding, The Local spotted the scaffolding that was expected to obscure the new Metropolitan Citymarket (formerly Met Foods) going up earlier today. As previously reported, N.Y.U. is renovating its classrooms in the former Saul Birns Building at 107-113 Second Avenue, and the scaffolding is expected to come down in the fall.

Howl! Festival, Day 3: I Am Rain, Ignore Me

Photos: Chris O. Cook.

The finale of Howl! Festival today was marred by intermittent bouts of rain, but the party never quite ground to a halt.

Rap and rock acts were the order of the day, with performances from Hip Hop Howl, Bear 54, and others. Male members of Deans of Discipline sported kilts for the occasion, perhaps as a means of acclimating the crowd to the drag queens who would be taking the stage at 5 p.m. Read more…

Howl! Festival: Looking for a Happy Fix in Tompkins Square Park

Photos: Chris O. Cook.

It’s Allen Ginsberg’s birthday weekend and today Tompkins Square Park was buzzing with art, dance, music, and, um, bouncy castles and face-painting. Yes: it’s Howl! Festival.

Howl! Festival, Bob HolmanChris O. Cook Bob Holman, a festival organizer.

Bob Perl, an organizer of the annual happening, told The Local it was created as a nod to the neighborhood’s abounding influence. “The idea was that the East Village mindset is not just tied to here,” he said. “It’s had effects in places like Kyoto. There are creatives who come out of here and they become part of the diaspora and there are some that remain here, but this is a great place for us to all gather, and an opportunity for everyone to come out at least for a few days a year to create the scene that was so potent and vital down here.”

Indeed, the festival drew many former East Villagers, including Susan Martin, who came back from her current home in New Mexico to serve as Howl!’s publicist. She was keen to emphasize that the festival raises money for Howl! H.E.L.P., created to provide emergency assistance to local artists. “Up until the time of Howl!, if you were a drag queen and you got sick, and you didn’t have health insurance, good luck,” she said. Read more…

Allen Ginsberg, Revisited by His Right-Hand Man: Pt. 4

Screen shot 2012-04-29 at 2.54.05 PMPaula Litsky Bob Rosenthal at Ginsberg’s funeral.

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month, so here’s the final installment of our interview with Bob Rosenthal, conducted at Allen Ginsberg’s old 12th Street apartment, where Mr. Rosenthal worked as his secretary for nearly two decades. (Parts one, two, and three of this leisurely conversation ran last week.) As Ginsberg grew older and ill, his assistant followed him to a 14th Street loft purchased from the painter Larry Rivers; when Ginsberg died in 1997, Mr. Rosenthal became executor of the poet’s estate and guardian of one of his last meals.

Allen’s Addictions
Allen always had some pot around – he was a pot propagandist and so if a joint was being passed around and someone was going to take a photograph he would grab the joint so he’s got it. But actually, I rarely ever saw him smoke. He had pot for boyfriends – it’s a good line: “Oh, you want to come up and smoke?” It was really for them. He would go to LSD conventions with the big guys – the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library guys, Huxley and all those guys. They would give him acid and he would come home and put it in the refrigerator and that was cute. There was a little vial of LSD and it said “Do not take without permission of Allen or Bob” – so I guess Bob had permission. So that was nice. But I never saw him on LSD. Read more…

Allen Ginsberg, Revisited by His Right-Hand Man: Pt. 3

Bob Rosenthal by Allen GinsbergAllen Ginsberg Bob Rosenthal, front. Back, from left: Gregory
Corso, Shelley Kraut, and Peter Orlovsky holding
Aliah Rosenthal. 1980. .

As National Poetry Month winds down, let’s hear more from Bob Rosenthal. Earlier, in the first and then the second installment of our interview conducted at Allen Ginsberg’s former apartment on East 12th Street, where Mr. Rosenthal worked as his secretary for nearly two decades, we heard about Ginsberg’s daily routine, his social sphere, and his love of the East Village. Now, Mr. Rosenthal recalls the poet’s romantic life, his way with strangers, and his tumultuous relationship with Peter Orlovsky – fellow poet, former lover, and longtime companion.

Allen and Peter
Harry Smith would be living here and walking through and making films, and Peter Orlovsky’s brother Julius would be here. I would listen to music and then Julius would say, “Bob, would you like me to turn the music off?” and I’d say, “No, Julius, I’m enjoying this music,” and then 30 seconds later he’d say, “Bob, would you like me to turn this music off?” And after a couple of times I’d say, “Okay, Julius, I have an idea: why don’t you turn the music off?” Denise [Mercedes] and her bandmates would try to get Julius to swear and they’d try to trick him but he was so smart and they could never trick him into saying a swear word. It was really kind of zany. Read more…

Allen Ginsberg, Revisited by His Right-Hand Man: Pt. 2

Allen Ginsberg and Bob Rosenthal Rosenthal and Ginsberg.

Earlier this week, Allen Ginsberg’s secretary of 20 years, Bob Rosenthal, shared memories of his former employer – some of which will be included in a memoir he recently completed, “Straight Around Allen.” Speaking to The Local at Ginsberg’s former apartment on East 12th Street, where the two worked alongside each other for so long, he recalled the great poet’s daily routine, his tastes in literature and music, his mail and telephone communications, and his ways with money. Today, in our second installment, Mr. Rosenthal talks about Ginsberg’s social sphere during his two decades in the so-called poets building. Check back tomorrow for still more from this candid interview. 

Allen’s East Village
People would always call Allen and say, “Allen, come to my shangri-la in Hawaii,” and here or there. He would never go. A vacation for Allen was coming back and having nothing to do in the East Village. He would often go to the poetry readings at St. Mark’s. He loved the mushroom barley soup at the Kiev. And The New York Times – he just loved it. He hung around Tompkins Square, wrote a lot of one-line poems about skinheads there. And he was a natural. I think because he always felt free here. Read more…

Allen Ginsberg, Revisited By His Right-Hand Man: Pt. 1

photo(144)Daniel Maurer Bob Rosenthal in the hallway of
437 East 12th Street, with Ginsberg
over his shoulder.

With just a few days left of National Poetry Month and a movie about the Beats in the works, it seems an appropriate time for Bob Rosenthal, former secretary to Allen Ginsberg, to share some memories of his former employer. After all, Mr. Rosenthal, an East Villager and a poet in his own right, recently completed a memoir titled “Straight Around Allen” (it’s being shopped to publishers) and he appears in “Passing Stranger,” a recently released audio tour of the neighborhood’s poetic landmarks.

It just so happens that the editor of The Local lives in Allen Ginsberg’s former apartment on East 12th Street – or rather, the portion of the apartment that contained the poet’s bedroom, bathtub, and the home office where Mr. Rosenthal worked alongside the literary legend for nearly two decades. Yesterday, Mr. Rosenthal, who these days teaches Beat literature to high schoolers, paid his first visit to his old workplace in some years, and spoke candidly about his time there.

Bob Moves to 437 East 12th, Allen Follows
My wife and I moved to New York from Chicago in 1973. We were living on St. Marks Place and met people in this building [437 East 12th Street]: Rebecca Wright, a poetess who was actually living with John Godfrey upstairs, was going back to somewhere in the Midwest where she’s from with her son and she was leaving me the apartment. It was like $125 per month and she said, “I’ll leave you these books” – all of them Allen Ginsberg books. She said, “I don’t need them anymore.” That’s when I started reading him. It was serendipitous. Read more…

Bang on a Can at B&H

B&H Dairy, East Village, New York City 6

The Times grabs a bite at B&H Dairy with the composers who started Bang on a Can in the East Village 25 years ago. David Lang says the experimental music company, which is preparing for a trio of performances, is “not particularly nostalgic” but fellow composer Michael Gordon remembers the old neighborhood nevertheless: “This area was the hot arts center for the Pyramid Club and punk bands and CBGB. Philip Glass lives two blocks down, and we used to see Allen Ginsberg walking around the neighborhood.”

Barney Rosset, Legendary Publisher of Grove Press, Is Dead

Barney RossetScott Rettberg Barney Rosset at the offices of the Evergreen
Review, 2001

The East Village has lost a legend of letters. Barney Rosset, who championed avant-garde literature and defended first amendment rights as the owner of Grove Press, is dead at the age of 89, per an AP report. The crusading publisher – who more recently operated the Evergreen Review with his fifth wife, Astrid Myers, out of their fourth-floor walk-up near Cooper Square – died in a hospital on Tuesday night.

As documented in a twopart profile at the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Chicago native acquired Grove, then a reprint press, for $3,000 in 1951 and sold it to Ann Getty (only to be ousted from the company) for $2 million in 1986. During that time, he published a who’s-who of cutting-edge authors, introducing American audiences to literary trailblazers such as Samuel Beckett. His list included Jean-Paul Sartre, Allen Ginsberg, Eugene Ionesco, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, Jean Genet, Frantz Fanon, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and the Marquis de Sade, to name just a few.

As documented in a 2008 movie about his groundbreaking censorship battles, “Obscene,” he fought in court to print uncensored versions of D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer,” and William Burroughs’s “Naked Lunch.” Read more…

Lynda Crawford on John and Yoko’s Leftovers and EVO’s Post-Salad Days

Lynda Crawford 1971 by Kathy Streem Kathy Streem Lynda Crawford, 1971

Breathless — not just from the late-night climb up 11 flights to the EVO office on East 12th Street, or the astonishing art by the likes of Yossarian, Spain, Little Moon, Joe Schenkman, Brad Holland, R. Crumb, Kim Deitch, Trina Robbins, and Fred Mogubgub, or by Dean Latimer‘s gorgeous prose, or the thrill of reading Ray Schultz, or from the stunning reportage of Jackie Friedrich, Pat Morris, and Claudia Dreifus, or the amazing true life adventures of Coca Crystal (subduing a would-be attacker with a tune on her guitar) and Steve Kraus, or the Krassner interview by Kathy Streem, or the wondrous music reviews by Richard Meltzer and Charlie Frick (and Charlie’s magical layouts), or Tuli’s poetry and songs, Vincent Titus’ fables, Honest Bob Singer’s film writings, Rex Weiner’s off-off Broadway reviews (he was homeless and theaters were warm), Tim Leary’s communiqués from Algeria, A. J. Weberman‘s illuminating investigative portraits, or the vocal harmonies of Steve Heller, Latimer, and Schultz; but also from EVO’s coverage of the major events of the time: efforts to stop the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers, the Panther 21 trial, American Indian Movement protests, the murder of George Jackson, the Attica uprising, and Bob Dylan’s 30th birthday party, all produced at high intensity under editor Jaakov Kohn‘s benign leadership.

“EVO is not a tit!” I remember editor Allen Katzman telling several of us when salaries were slashed to the single digits, and then disappeared, during the post–salad days of the early 1970s — my tenure.

I waitressed to pay the rent on my $51-per-month apartment on East Sixth Street and to be able to eat a little more than the nightly fare of free chicken wings and chickpeas at Max’s Kansas City that many subsisted on. The EVO piece I wrote that is most remembered came out of that gig at a deli on Christopher Street when John and Yoko happened in one night and I interpreted their relationship through bits of conversation, body language, and by dissecting leftover pieces of blueberry blintz (A. J. gave me kudos for that one); it was reprinted in the Berkeley Barb and a bunch of other papers too. Read more…

Michael Simmons: EVO, Tuli and the Kiss Corps

Tuli Kupferberg by Bob CQ Simmons   copyBob Simmons Tuli Kupferberg

The funniest part of reminiscing about the uber-subversive East Village Other for The New York Times is that the latter set me on the road to rebellion before the former was even founded in 1965. I’m told I was reading by age four and within a few years the first section I grabbed when the Sunday Times arrived every weekend was the Book Review. The Grove Press ads kidnapped my imagination: Who was this Alain Robbe-Grillet guy and how do you pronounce his name?  Why was William Burroughs considered so dangerous and did his characters have meals while wearing no clothes? And speaking of clothes, how come the girls on Grove’s covers wore so little?

Obviously my nascent libido was ready for plucking, but my fascination was not simply sexual. I wanted to know why in the land of the First Amendment some had wanted to ban these books.

I bought my first issue of the Village Voice in February 1966; it contained an obituary of the abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann. Already a Dylan fan, I scanned the ads for folk clubs and was absolutely smitten by bohemia. The first girl who won my heart in elementary school was Jessica Hentoff (I don’t recall my feelings being reciprocated) and her father Nat wrote for the Voice. Soon I picked up the Voice’s competitor, The East Village Other.

No friends’ parents wrote for EVO. Scruffier, funnier and dirtier than the Voice, EVO was not simply about bohemia, it was an anarchist’s bomb in newsprint hurled at the bourgeoisie. Even at my tender age, I knew that I didn’t like the world that grown-ups had created. The troublemakers at The Other were expressing themselves in ways I could only daydream about at that point. Read more…

Coca Crystal: Handmaiden, Slum Goddess, Reporter

Coca Crystal -Magic Garden - If I Cant Dance You Can Keep Your Revolution 7.20.03 PM

Coca Crystal (born Jackie Diamond) was EVO’s self-described “gatekeeper,” receptionist, sometime reporter and sometime model until the bitter end, when, as staff and resources dwindled, she became its defacto publisher (she financed the final two issues out of her own purse). Here, she describes how she got her start.

The first time I set foot in the EVO office, it was in the fall of 1969 and I had come to visit with a college friend, Barbara, who was EVO’s secretary.

The office was located on the third floor of the Fillmore East building on Second Avenue and Sixth Street. The place was a wreck. It was freezing, the garbage cans were overflowing, cigarette butts were everywhere, and the walls were covered in fabulous cartoons by the best in underground comix: R. Crumb, Kim Deitch, Spain Rodriguez, Yossarian, Shelton, Art Spiegelman, just to name a few. It was chaos, but a kind of cool chaos.

The office was in a frenzy to get copy ready for the typesetter, and I was asked if I could type. I said I could and was given the job of typing up the classifieds. I had never seen such weird ads. (“Dominant Iguana seeks submissive zebra,” sex ads, odd employment opportunities, legal advice for pot busts). I had to type while sitting on Allen Katzman’s lap (his idea), wearing my winter coat and gloves. When I had completed the classifieds I was told the other secretary, Marcia, was leaving and I could have her job if I wanted it. The pay was $35 a week. I took the job. Read more…

Weldon Kees, The Elusive Bard of East Tenth Street

Screen shot 2011-10-20 at 11.09.34 AM

A cultural oddity of the East Village is that it has more often been a home to poets than novelists. Some of the poets (Allen Ginsberg, W.H. Auden) are about as famous as poets get. Others (Edwin Denby, Bernadette Mayer) are known to only a few. The vast majority, as you would expect, are almost completely unknown.

Weldon Kees, who lived at 129 E. 10th Street (the apartment building directly next to St. Mark’s Church) from October 1943 until November 1945, and later rented a loft at 179 Stanton Street in the Lower East Side, is an exception. As a cult figure with an ardent following, he’s certainly known to some people –  but his connection to the East Village has been all but forgotten. Perhaps that’s appropriate: An absence as much as a presence, a shadow where a human should be, Kees is the Harry Lime of modern American poetry, as in the character played by Orson Welles in “The Third Man”: Now you see him, now you don’t. Read more…

Remembering the Beats…

GinsbergsTim Schreier A scene from this weekend’s Howl! Festival. Below: The cover of “Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters.”
Screen shot 2011-06-05 at 6.36.40 PM

Paul Rosenfeld, the critic, once wrote that, “Complex works of art speak not through individuals but ensembles.”  In the early 1940s, on the steps of Columbia University, the original members of what became known as the “Beat Generation” — Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, William Burroughs — would form such a group.

The early Beats would strike off in several directions, on paths that would volley between the coasts and across the world, but they often returned to the Lower East Side where they got their start, and where their contribution to modern culture is celebrated in events like the Howl! Festival, named for Ginsberg’s game-changing 1955 poem. Ginsberg would have turned 85 years old last week — sufficient reason to look again at the passage of the Beats through our neighborhood and the influence they left.

The cheap apartments in the East Village in the 1940’s and 1950’s and the bohemian coffee houses and bars of downtown were a fecund soil for creative energy and experimental art. Ginsberg had the deepest connections among the group: his mother Naomi had been raised on the Lower East Side.

“Although I’m sure they were drawn to downtown New York by the existing art scene, we also have to bear in mind they were drawn to that sector for the rent.  Which is why the art scene existed down there already,” said Kim Davis, associate editor of The Local and avid collector of bohemian literature. “The two things go together, artists and cheap rent, they converge.”
Read more…

Another Chance to Howl

Howl! festival: Art Around the Park.eastvillagedenizen A scene from last year’s Howl Festival.

Allen Ginsberg first moved to the East Village in October 1952, renting apartment 16 of 206 East Seventh Street, for which he paid $33.60 a month rent. He lived in the neighborhood for the rest of his life, staying in a number of tenements until his death in 1997.

This evening at 5, the eighth annual Howlfest kicks off in Tompkins Square Park with a reading of his epic poem “Howl” by a host of noted poets including John Giorno, Hettie Jones, and Ed Sanders. The reading will be emceed by Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club. The reading should have added impact, as today would have been Ginsberg’s 85th birthday.

This annual extravaganza of local creative energy continues throughout the weekend with a full calendar of events. In addition to poetry, local musicians, dancers, actors and artists will all be presenting their work. Perhaps the world’s longest canvas will be erected on the park fence and you will have the opportunity of viewing 140 artists work on their creations in their section.

The beautiful weather forecast for the weekend is sure to draw crowds and you should head over to Tompkins Square to join in the celebration.

For Patti Smith, Poetry and Memories

IMG_0977Caryn Rose Patti Smith performed Wednesday night at a celebration commemorating the 40th anniversary of her first reading at The Poetry Project.

The headstones filling the old churchyard at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery churchyard lay buried beneath a deep blanket of snow on Wednesday night. But a line of people on East 10th Street braved an icy chill while waiting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Patti Smith’s first reading at The Poetry Project, a St. Mark’s institution, which took place at the church on Feb. 10, 1971.

From that distant beginning, Ms. Smith’s lengthy career has gone on to include world wide recognition as a visual artist, songwriter, photographer, musician and writer. In 2010 she won the National Book Award for her memoir, “Just Kids,” describing her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

The Poetry Project, founded at St. Mark’s in 1966, has included weekly readings, open mike events, and workshops provide a forum where both celebrated and unknown writers can present their work. John Ashbery, Robert Lowell, Yoko Ono, Ted Berrigan, Alice Walker, Allen Ginsberg, and Robert Creeley are a few of those whose words have filled the vaulted chamber.

In 1971 Patti Smith viewed the full moon that illuminated the sky that night as a fortuitous sign. Gerard Malanga, an assistant to Andy Warhol at The Factory, and featured reader of the program, generously allowed Patti Smith to open for him.
Read more…

The Day | On Poets and Artists

AirSarah Tung

Good morning, East Village.

We in the neighborhood will always claim the poet Allen Ginsberg, a longtime resident of East 12th Street, as one of our own, despite his New Jersey roots. Ephemeral New York has a post about Gregory Corso, another Beat Generation writer, who was reared a bit west of us over on Bleecker Street and is noteworthy for his extensive ties to the Village.

EVGrieve posts a report that the actress Cynthia Nixon is buying a house on East Sixth Street that Andy Warhol once called home.

And, following Tuesday’s election, Gothamist posted an item about a new complaint from city voters.

After Ginsberg Disc, More From Russell

Arthur RussellCourtesy the Allen Ginsberg After the Tuesday release of a collaboration between the poet Allen Ginsberg and the musician Arthur Russell (above), a record company now plans to issue more previously unreleased music by Mr. Russell.

As previously reported on The Local, a new 12-inch single featuring a rare Allen Ginsberg-Arthur Russell collaboration was released Tuesday from Audika Records and Press Pop Music. But fans of Mr. Russell will be excited to hear that there’s more unearthed material on the way.

“There are a few things people haven’t heard that I want to get out,” said Audika Records founder Steve Knutson in a recent interview with The Local.

Mr. Russell, an East Village resident who died in 1992, collaborated with the Talking Heads, Studio 54 resident DJ Nicky Siano, and minimalist composer Philip Glass, among others. His diverse discography — ranging from avant-disco and experimental pop, to ethereal cello compositions and folk-tinged love songs — touched on many facets of the New York downtown scene in the ’70s and ’80s, and has been widely acclaimed.

Over the next six months, Mr. Knutson plans to “go full circle” with two additional never-before-heard releases, focusing primarily on smaller releases of Mr. Russell’s avant-disco work. One of those avant-disco tracks, “Let’s Go Swimming,” is currently being mastered. Mr. Knutson plans to release the remastered original 12-inch version (which he says “sounds better than the original”) backed with previously unreleased material.

Mr. Russell recorded “Let’s Go Swimming” several times. A reverb-laden, cello-based rendition of “Let’s Go Swimming” previously appeared on the 1986 album “World of Echo,” and an Arthur Gibbons mix of the “mutant disco” version appeared on 2004 compilation “The World of Arthur Russell” from Soul Jazz Records. But the original has yet to be released.

Mr. Knutson, who also manages Rough Trade Records in North America, founded Audika in 2003 for the sole purpose of releasing material from Russell’s archives. Focusing primarily on the musician’s experimental pop output, previous Audika releases have included the posthumous collections “Calling Out of Context” (2004) and “Love is Overtaking Me” (2008).

Though Mr. Knutson never met Mr. Russell, he has been an avid fan since the mid-‘80s, when he first heard the Walter Gibbons mix of Russell’s “Schoolbell Treehouse.” Knutson said it changed his life. “It was like what I’d been waiting to hear all my life,” he said. “I thought it was one of the most incredible things I’d ever heard.”

A Literary Tour of the East Village

Nuyorican Poets Cafe signHannah Thonet Founded in 1973, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe regularly features spoken word events and open mic nights

The East Village has long been considered a Mecca for poets and writers. From bars to old tenement buildings, the historic neighborhood is brimming with former haunts of longtime residents like Allen Ginsberg and W.H. Auden. The crisp weather and changing leaves makes fall the perfect season to wander through the area on a romantic tour. So here’s a roundup of iconic East Village literary landmarks – why should the West Village get all the glory?

Ginsberg Residences

206 East Seventh Street (between Avenues B and C)
170 East Second Street (between Avenues A and B)

Arguably the neighborhood’s most well-known scribe, poet Allen Ginsberg called several apartments home throughout the East Village, including one we recently told you was on the market. In addition to the 12th Street apartment, he lived at 206 East Seventh Street from 1952 to 1953 where fellow Beat poet, William S. Burroughs, was a frequent visitor. Another one of his apartments was at 170 East Second Street. Ginsberg and his longtime partner, Peter Orlovsky, also a poet, lived there from 1958 to 1961.
Read more…

A Ginsberg Collaboration Rediscovered

Arthur RussellCourtesy of The Allen Ginsberg Trust Arthur Russell began collaborating with Allen Ginsberg in the 1970s with Mr. Ginsberg often reading his poetry over Mr. Russell’s instrumentals. The new track was recorded in 1977.

In 2003, Audika Records founder Steve Knutson was digging through a Long Island City storage-facility when he struck tarnished, cassette-tape gold. The space held the archives of late East Village avant-garde composer Arthur Russell, and Knutson had found, albeit in horrible condition, “Ballad of the Lights,” a five-minute 1977 collaboration between Russell and the poet Allen Ginsberg.

Now, an individual record release will highlight the work of the two East Village cultural icons for the first time. The track, which will be released Oct. 19 was recorded in New York with Mr. Russell’s band The Flying Hearts, and Mr. Ginsberg on vocals. The track will be available on 10-inch vinyl via Japanese label Press Pop as well as digitally on iTunes via Audika Records.
Read more…