Saturday, October 29, 2016

Russia's Pussy Riot Takes On Trump "Make America Great Again" (Video)

Stream Or Download an MP3 of Pussy Riot's "Putin Has Pissed Himself" here....

"[Putin] created what we call in Russia an atmosphere of hatred," Nadya Tolokonnikova says. 

"...and that's what Donald Trump is doing here right now."

NPR: Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova On Her New Anti-Trump Song

Four years ago, the world learned the name Pussy Riot, a politically active Russian art collective whose members were all women. Members of that group staged a punk rock demonstration in a church in protest of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian church's support of his presidential campaign.
Some members of the group, including founding Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova, were arrested and charged with "hooliganism." They spent two years in prison, and during that time, Pussy Riot gained many supporters around the world. Some say their fame put pressure on Putin to release them.
But inside Russia, the protest movement is suffering, as some prominent opposition politicians have been killed. "A lot of Russian people who would consider political action for themselves, they think right now they would be killed," Tolokonnikova says. "Because it's not just words right now."
While she still creates art in protest of Vladimir Putin and his policies, Tolokonnikova has recently set her sights on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. She released a new song and music video called "Make America Great Again." (The video is here, but be aware: It is intense and includes scenes and imagery that will be disturbing to many viewers.)
Tolokonnikova says the U.S. presidential election is important for her as a Russian citizen. "American politics influence the world politics," she says. "In a lot of ways, [the U.S.] really interferes in other countries' politics. I'm not discussing is it a good or bad thing, but it is a thing, so that's why it will influence everybody else's lives outside America."

Tolokonnikova spoke with NPR's David Greene about Donald Trump and the future of Pussy Riot. 

Listen to the audio of the interview here on

Friday, October 28, 2016

This Week's Playlist: What You Really Should Be Listening To...

Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker  He's the best. Respect.

Van Morrison: Keep Me Singing Van is classic. This new one fits right in.

The Growlers: City Club latest from Southern California Beach Goth rockers. Love Blake's deep voice and... am I going out on a limb to say they remind me of The Doors?

Swet Shop Boys: Cashmere - lively offering from Das Racist's Heems and Riz Ahmed (HBO's The Night Of). It's the album you hoped M.I.A. would release in 2016 but didn't. Swet Shop Boys nailed it. Funny, funky, political - what else do you need from a record?

Bridge School Benefit 2016 (Bootleg): "Forever Young" Roger Waters, Neil Young, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), "Blowin' In The Wind" Neil Young, and "Helpless" Neil Young with My Morning Jacket

Bob Dylan & Eric von Schmidt: Bob And Eric's Blues - what could be a great stand-alone album16 tracks (including what is believed to be the first recording of "Mr. Tambourine Man") recorded by the two friends at Eric's Sarasota, Florida home, part of Bob Dylan's 50th Anniversary Collection 1964

Sunday, October 23, 2016

New York Times: Exploring Bob Dylan's New York

Bob Dylan. CreditFred W. McDarrah/Getty Images 
Mike Porco owned the restaurant-turned-music-venue Gerde’s Folk City in New York’s Greenwich Village, and one October night, a few friends showed up to celebrate Mr. Porco’s birthday.
Allen Ginsberg was there, as were the familiar folkies Phil Ochs and Bob Neuwirth. None were better known than Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, who first met at the original Gerde’s and performed that night as well.
But this wasn’t the early 1960s folk scene. The year was 1975, and Mr. Dylan, not yet a Nobel Prize winner but long since a songwriting legend, was in the middle of his third stint living in the Village.
That night, he and his artist friends weren’t just celebrating Mr. Porco’s birthday, a man who Mr. Dylan said “became like father to me.” They were also rehearsing for his coming Rolling Thunder Revue tour.
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Mr. Dylan would soon move on from the Village scene for good, as the neighborhood was far from what it had been during those first years of artistic discovery.
“America was changing. I had a feeling of destiny and I was riding the changes,” he wrote of his early days in New York in his memoir “Chronicles.” “New York was as good a place to be as any.”
Greenwich Village is drastically different now from the place Mr. Dylan left behind, but there are still remnants from his days of leading a generation-defining music scene, and landmarks worth exploring for aspiring Dylanologists.
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

Bob Dylan's New York 

Explore some of the places in New York that Bob Dylan often frequented during his years in the city. Sign in to your Google account to save your map. 
Kettle of Fish4
Music Inn9
Dylan Residence7
Jones Street13
The Fat Black Pussycat5
Gerde’s Folk City (closed)10
Caffe Reggio11
Cafe Wha?1
The Fat Black Pussycat(original)6
Gaslight Cafe (closed)2
Kettle of Fish (closed)3
Caffe Dante12
94 Macdougal Street14
The Bitter End15
Map data ©2016 Google
Street Map

Macdougal Street

“I was there to find singers, the ones I’d heard on record,” Mr. Dylan wrote in “Chronicles,” but “mostly to find Woody Guthrie,” the folk hero he would model himself after in his early performing days.
Robert Zimmerman arrived in January 1961, and would soon find Mr. Guthrie at the Greystone Hospital near Morristown, N.J. (where he was being treated for Huntington’s disease), but not before persuading Fred Neil, who ran the daytime show at Manny Roth’s Cafe Wha?, to let him perform at the Village coffeehouse on his first day in the city.
He described the cafe as “a subterranean cavern, liquorless, ill lit, low ceiling, like a wide dining hall with chairs and tables,” but “that’s where I started playing regular in New York.”
Cafe Wha? is still a fixture of Macdougal Street, and one of the few Dylan haunts still operating under the same name in the same location. But not much else is like it was in the early 1960s.
The club closed in 1968, had a long run as a Middle Eastern restaurant, and opened again as Cafe Wha?, under new management, in 1987. Music is still the main draw, with the talented Cafe Wha? Band headlining most nights. They’ll play at your wedding, too. 

Follow the Bob Dylan’s New York Playlist on Spotify 

You can follow this playlist on Spotify by clicking here.
Mr. Dylan was fired by Mr. Roth after being late for three gigs, and would soon make his way to the nearby Caffe Reggio, the Commons, Caffe Dante and several other coffeehouses in the Village.
“They were small and ranged in shape, loud and noisy and catered to the confection of tourists who swarmed through the streets at night,” he wrote in “Chronicles.”
Caffe Reggio, which claims to have served the first cappuccino in the United States, remains open and is much as it was, minus the music, on Macdougal Street, as is Caffe Dante (now Dante NYC), where small plates have replaced protest songs.
The Commons, also on Macdougal, near Minetta Lane, was where Mr. Dylan wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and was later renamed Fat Black Pussycat. It has since become Panchito’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, which in 2011 erased the last tie to its musical past when it painted over the faded lettering reading “Fat Black Pussycat Theatre” above its entrance.
In Mr. Dylan’s mind, none of these smaller coffeehouses compared with the Gaslight Cafe (116 Macdougal), a “cryptic club” that “an unknown couldn’t break into,” he wrote, though he managed to eventually.
The Gaslight “had a dominant presence on the street, more prestige than anyplace else,” he wrote.
While the Gaslight closed in 1971, the Kettle of Fish bar, which Mr. Dylan and his contemporaries would frequent next door, is still in business, though it is now at its third location, at 59 Christopher Street, and attracts far more Packers fans than folkies these days.
As for the Fat Black Pussycat, it’s now a night spot featuring a lounge, pub and downstairs dance club at 130 West Third Street. Its front room was once Kettle of Fish’s second home, and photographs and paintings still pay tribute to that bar’s history.

Listen to Bob Dylan’s Many Influences 

As Bob Dylan has said, his songs “didn’t get here by themselves.” Here’s a sampler of his influences, from Woody Guthrie to the Kinks, alongside the tracks he made famous. 

‘Positively 4th Street’

When Mr. Dylan found time to sleep, he crashed on a lot of couches before finding his first apartment at 161 West Fourth Street, which he and his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, moved into in December 1961, nearly one year after his arrival. They paid $60 a month rent. The structure, built in 1910, sold for $6 million in 2015.
Next door at 169 West Fourth Street remains the Music Inn, where he would sometimes borrow instruments to play. Ms. Rotolo described it in her memoir as “an impossibly cluttered store that sold every kind of instrument ever made in the entire world.” It’s still cluttered, and still sells all kinds of instruments and has an open-mike night on Thursdays.
A short walk from the West Fourth Street apartment is the site of what Anthony DeCurtis in The Times called “one of the most evocative images of Greenwich Village in the 1960s.”
The cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” captures the couple strolling down a snow-covered Jones Street in February 1963.
“It was freezing out,” Ms. Rotolo told Mr. DeCurtis. “He wore a very thin jacket, because image was all.”
The album, which featured some of Mr. Dylan’s best-known songs, including “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” and “Girl From the North Country,” propelled him to larger New York venues like Town Hall, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic Hall, now called David Geffen Hall.
But the immense fame that followed would chase Mr. Dylan and his eventual wife, Sara, from the Village to upstate New York.
The Bitter End, the Greenwich Village rock club where Dylan played pool, watched bands and sometimes performed. CreditRobert Wright for The New York Times 

The Bitter End

The house they purchased in the Byrdcliffe artist colony, near Woodstock, N.Y., didn’t provide the kind of privacy Mr. Dylan craved for his family.
They returned to the Village in 1969. Despite Mr. Dylan’s notoriety, he remembered, he was relatively unbothered by those in the neighborhood, and purchased a 19th-century townhouse at 94 Macdougal Street.
But there was no respite from the obsessive fans who tracked him down and “paraded up and down in front of it chanting and shouting, demanding for me to come out and lead them somewhere,” he wrote in “Chronicles.” His family was forced to seek peace elsewhere when they could.
In addition, “the stimulation had vanished. Everybody was in a pretty down mood. It was over,” he told Playboy in 1978. He would later call his return to the Village “a stupid thing to do.”
Still, years later, after his first major tour since the mid-’60s and enduring a bitter divorce from Sara, he found himself back in the Village, this time living alone.
He started hanging out at some of his old favorite spots, like Gerde’s, which had moved from its original location at 11 West Fourth Street to 130 West Third Street, and the Kettle of Fish, and found some peace at the Bitter End (147 Bleecker Street), where he played pool, watched bands and sometimes went onstage to perform.
“I made sure no one bothered him,” the owner Paul Colby said in “The Greenwich Village Reader.
Kris Kristofferson told The Times that the Bitter End was the place “people like me and Bob Dylan didn’t just perform, we came to hang out.”
The Bitter End, which opened in 1961, considers itself to be New York’s oldest rock club and built a legendary reputation after showcasing young performers like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor and comedians like Woody Allen and Billy Crystal.
While the original location of Gerde’s is now the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Gaslight is now an apartment building, the Bitter End, of all the surviving Dylan hangouts, may retain the look and feel more than any other.
But while the distinctive brick walls and intimate setting are intact, bar bands now dominate the bill, and you’re no longer likely to find famed musicians hanging around (or at least they’re not famous yet).
Correction: October 20, 2016 
An earlier version of this article misstated the building at the site of the original Gerde’s Folk City. It is now the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, not a New York University building.