Joan Baez Live in 1965: Full Concert

On June 5, 1965, Joan Baez played a special concert at the BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush, London. Although her fame at the time was newly eclipsed by that of her recently estranged lover Bob Dylan, Baez was very much in her prime.

The concert was recorded less than a month after Dylan's 1965 tour of England, chronicled in D.A. Pennebaker's film Don't Look Back, in which Dylan failed to invite Baez onstage despite the fact that she had introduced him to national audiences in America.

Baez plays several Dylan songs in the BBC concert, along with other folk and pop songs from her repertoire. Included is Baez's first hit single, her version of the Phil Ochs song "There but for Fortune," which was released the same month in America but would not come out in the UK until the following month. The concert was originally broadcast by the BBC as two separate half-hour specials, both ending with the classic French love song "Plaisir d'amour." Baez's mother Joan Senior, or "Big Joan" as she was called (and who died this month at the age of 100), can be seen in the background at the 33:30 and 104:43 marks applauding and smiling proudly. The set list for the two back-to-back programs is:

  1. "I'm a Rambler, I'm a Gambler"
  2. "There but for Fortune"
  3. "Copper Kettle"
  4. "Mary Hamilton"
  5. "Don't Think Twice, it's Alright"
  6. "I'm Troubled and I Don't Know Why"
  7. "We Shall Overcome"
  8. "With God on Our Side"
  9. "Plaisir d'amour"
  10. "Silver Dagger"
  11. "Oh Freedom"
  12. "She's a Troublemaker"
  13. "The Unquiet Grave"
  14. "It Ain't Me Babe"
  15. "Isn't it Grand"
  16. "500 Miles"
  17. "Te Ador/Ate Amanha"
  18. "Plaisir d'amour"

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Rare Miles Davis Live Recordings Capture the Jazz Musician at the Height of His Powers

Very early in his career as a bandleader, Miles Davis developed a reputation for a too-cool persona on stage. Whether turning his back on the crowd or walking offstage while his sidemen soloed, his refusal to cater to audience expectations only enhanced his mystique. Whatever fans and critics made of Miles’ seeming contempt—political statement, eccentricity, or dazzling egotism—his live playing transfixed those who had the privilege to see him and consistently drew the best players in history into his orbit.

The sixties saw him at the peak of his powers as a live performer. He hit the pop charts in the early part of the decade with the 1962 two-LP set In Person, recorded over two nights at the Blackhawk in San Francisco. The very next month he recorded the Grammy-nominated Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall with an orchestra led by Gil Evans. In 2007, a never-before released live gem from the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival thrilled fans (listen to “So What” from that recording above). All of these recordings capture Davis during his “transition period," between his first and second “great quintets” (which featured John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter on sax, respectively).

Directly above, hear a lesser-known, officially unreleased recording from that transitional period. Captured by French public broadcasting company ORFT, the sessions took place at the Juan-Les-Pins Festival in Antibes in July 26-28, 1963, just a few months before Monterey. Davis is backed here by the same ensemble: George Coleman on tenor sax, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and (then seventeen-year-old) Tony Williams on drums. These recordings represent alternates and outtakes from the record originally released in '64 as In Europe, reissued in 1989 as Miles in Antibes. The full tracklist (below) is bookended by two versions of Kind of Blue opener “So What," and it’s interesting to compare these wildly frenetic '63 live iterations from Monterey and Antibes to the classic of laid-back cool from the late 50s.

1. So What (July 26, 1963)

2  Stella By Starlight (July 26)

3. Seven Steps To Heaven – Walkin’ (July 26)

4. If I were a Bell (July 28, 1963)

5. So What (July 28)

Davis' first and second "great quintets" are perhaps his most-loved groups. However, the short-lived 1963 ensemble above certainly pushed him in a new direction. For another pivotal moment of transition, watch the 1969 return to the Juan-Les-Pins Jazz Fest in the video below, which shows Davis again moving in a very different direction, presaging his '70s swerves into acid rock and funk. This performance features another all-star ensemble, with Wayne Shorter on tenor and soprano sax, Chick Corea on electric piano, Dave Holland on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums.

via Past Daily

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‘The Sound of Miles Davis’: Classic 1959 Performance with John Coltrane

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him @jdmagness

Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, Animated in Two Minutes

You probably know Mikhail Bulgakov through one of two works: Heart of a Dog, his short novel about the forced transformation of a dog into a human being (comparisons to the grand Soviet project have, indeed, been suggested), or The Master and Margarita, his longer, later novel about a visit paid to Soviet Russia by the devil himself. Heart of a Dog, written in 1925, didn't see official Russian publication until 1987; The Master and Margarita, written between 1928 and 1940, didn't come out until 1967. This suggests that Bulgakov's literary perspective may have touched a nerve with the authorities, but the artfulness with which he expressed it has since lifted him to the top of the twentieth-century Russian canon.




Other creators have paid to tribute to the enormously influential The Master and Margarita with artfulness of their own. We now have at least five films, two television series, nineteen stage productions, two ballets, four operas (though the complicated material defeated Andrew Lloyd Webber's attempt at adaptation) and a graphic novel based in whole or in part on Bulgakov's book. At the top of the post, you can watch Svetlana Petrova and Natalia Berezovaya's Margarita, an animated short that, ambitious in its own way, attempts to capture The Master and Margarita in two ever-shifting minutes of imagery. (Or, as this Russian animation database puts it, "Impudent young animators dare to touch Bulgakov." ) Though made in 1997, it comes off today as quite a tantalizing "book trailer," though I would submit that Bulgakov's writing needs none of our internet-age marketing innovations.

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Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.

Watch the Finals of the Poetry Out Loud Competition, Live Tonight

“Having others’ poems in our minds and hearts means we’re never really alone.”
Karen Kovacik, Indiana State Poet Laureate

Youssef Biaz, reciting here, was 16 years old when he was named Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Biaz won a $20,000 award and $500 worth of poetry books for his high school in Auburn, Alabama. He went on to recite poetry at the White House along with Rita Dove, Common, and Billy Collins. His favorite poet, Sharon Olds, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

This past weekend, kids across the country packed their bags and headed to Washington, DC, to recite poetry in the eighth consecutive year of the national competition, Poetry Out Loud. The recitation competition, presented by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, brings fifty-three American high school students to the nation's capital to compete for the title of 2013 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. It will culminate tonight in an evening of recitation competition at 7pm EDT.

If you can't make it to DC for the free event this year, which features host Anna Deavere Smith and singer-cellist Ben Sollee, view the live webcast of Poetry Out Loud, or host a viewing party and bid a celebratory adieu to National Poetry Month.

Kristin Gecan is the media associate at the Poetry Foundation, which is the publisher of Poetry magazine and an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. The site also features an archive of more than 10,000 poems. Follow the Poetry Foundation on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, or Pinterest

Willie Nelson Auditions for The Hobbit Film Sequel, Turns 80 Today

Willie Nelson, America's iconic country music singer, has logged lots of miles. And, today, he turns 80, with more than 60 studio albums, 10 live albums, and 27 collaborations to his credit. Recently, Nelson showed that he has a little more tread on his tires when, while visiting Conan O'Brien's show, he shot a short audition reel for Peter Jackson, hoping to land the role of Gandalf in The Hobbit sequel. It's doubtful that, wherever he is, Ian McKellan is breaking a sweat.

For more Tolkien treasures don't miss:

Listen to J.R.R. Tolkien Read a Lengthy Excerpt from The Hobbit (1952)

Download Eight Free Lectures on The Hobbit by “The Tolkien Professor,” Corey Olsen

Discover J.R.R. Tolkien’s Personal Book Cover Designs for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Steven Spielberg’s Obama, Starring Daniel Day Lewis as the President

Sarah Palin didn't like the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner. In a cranky tweet, she wrote: "That #WHCD was pathetic. The rest of America is out there working our asses off while these DC assclowns throw themselves a #nerdprom." But I have to disagree with America's most distinguished half-term governor. Somewhere in Washington, a hard-working writer imagined Barack Obama playing Daniel Day Lewis playing Barack Obama and had the gumption to follow the joke entirely through. Whoever's responsible for realizing that comic moment, we salute you.

Spielberg's Obama aired during the Correspondents' Dinner. You can watch Conan O'Brien's full comedy routine at the WHCD here.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why He’s Uncomfortable Being Labeled an ‘Atheist’

The evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould famously said that science and religion are "nonoverlapping magisteria":

The net of science covers the empirical universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for starters, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty). To cite the arch cliches, we get the age of rocks, and religion retains the rock of ages; we study how the heavens go, and they determine how to go to heaven.

But science and religion, as it is widely practiced, do overlap. They both make specific claims about the nature and history of the Universe. Some religionists do indeed make claims about the age of rocks.

Given the obvious overlap, it's not surprising that scientists--particularly those who work in the most fundamental and general of fields, like physics and cosmology--are often asked for their views on religion. In this short video from Big Think, astrophysicist and popular science writer Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why he is loathe to take sides on the issue, and why he dislikes the word "atheist."

"The moment when someone attaches you to a philosophy or a movement," says Tyson, "then they assign all the baggage, and all the rest of the philosophy that goes with it, to you. And when you want to have a conversation, they will assert that they already know everything important that there is to know about you because of that association. And that's not the way to have a conversation."

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