Paul McCartney’s New Album, Kisses On The Bottom, Streaming for Free

Kiss­es On The Bot­tom — it’s Paul McCart­ney’s 35th post-Bea­t­les album, his most provoca­tive­ly-titled album to be sure, and a great stroll down mem­o­ry lane. The album fea­tures cov­ers of jazz stan­dards, most­ly writ­ten dur­ing the 1920s and 1930s. It’s the music that McCart­ney’s father loved to play on the fam­i­ly piano, giv­ing the younger McCart­ney his first intro­duc­tion to music. Diana Krall, Ste­vie Won­der and Eric Clap­ton make guest appear­ances. The new album goes on sale next week (pre-order it here), but you can stream it for free (in its entire­ty) on NPR or via The Guardian. Lis­ten quick­ly, because the free stream will only last for a lim­it­ed time.

P.S. Leonard Cohen’s lat­est album, his first in sev­en years, is still stream­ing online too. More here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Here Comes The Sun: The Lost Gui­tar Solo by George Har­ri­son

Gui­tarist Randy Bach­man Demys­ti­fies the Open­ing Chord of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

The Bea­t­les’ Rooftop Con­cert: The Last Gig

Three Passions of Bertrand Russell (and a Collection of Free Texts)

“Three pas­sions, sim­ple but over­whelm­ing­ly strong, have gov­erned my life,” wrote Bertrand Rus­sell in the pro­logue to his auto­bi­og­ra­phy: “the long­ing for love, the search for knowl­edge, and unbear­able pity for the suf­fer­ing of mankind.”

This five minute video, a pre­view of a three-part series pro­duced in 2005 for Ontario pub­lic tele­vi­sion called “The Three Pas­sions of Bertrand Rus­sell,” fea­tures a record­ing of Rus­sell read­ing pas­sages from the pro­logue, enti­tled “What I Have Lived For.” You can read the orig­i­nal text at the Bertrand Rus­sell Soci­ety, an excel­lent online resource, that also makes avail­able free books by Rus­sell, includ­ing:

You can also down­load the first edi­tion of Rus­sel­l’s land­mark 1910–13 col­lab­o­ra­tion with Alfred North White­head, Prin­cip­ia Math­e­mat­i­ca, as well as many of Rus­sel­l’s essays, includ­ing:

To explore the full list of avail­able resources, and to learn how you can sup­port the soci­ety’s activ­i­ties, vis­it the Bertrand Rus­sell Soci­ety web­site.

Also don’t miss some great Rus­sell mate­r­i­al in our own archives, includ­ing all six of his 1948 BBC Rei­th Lec­tures, a clip from a Cana­di­an tele­vi­sion inter­view fea­tur­ing his views on God, and his elo­quent 1959 mes­sage to the future.

Writing Tips by Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell

Image by Austin Kleon

Here’s one way to become a bet­ter writer. Lis­ten to the advice of writ­ers who earn their dai­ly bread with their pens. Dur­ing the past week, lists of writ­ing com­mand­ments by Hen­ry Miller, Elmore Leonard (above) and William Safire have buzzed around Twit­ter. (Find our Twit­ter stream here.) So we decid­ed to col­lect them and add tips from a few oth­er vet­er­ans — name­ly, George Orwell, Mar­garet Atwood, and Neil Gaiman. Here we go:

Hen­ry Miller (from Hen­ry Miller on Writ­ing)

1. Work on one thing at a time until fin­ished.
2. Start no more new books, add no more new mate­r­i­al to “Black Spring.”
3. Don’t be ner­vous. Work calm­ly, joy­ous­ly, reck­less­ly on what­ev­er is in hand.
4. Work accord­ing to the pro­gram and not accord­ing to mood. Stop at the appoint­ed time!
5. When you can’t cre­ate you can work.
6. Cement a lit­tle every day, rather than add new fer­til­iz­ers.
7. Keep human! See peo­ple; go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with plea­sure only.
9. Dis­card the Pro­gram when you feel like it–but go back to it the next day. Con­cen­trate. Nar­row down. Exclude.
10. For­get the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writ­ing.
11. Write first and always. Paint­ing, music, friends, cin­e­ma, all these come after­wards.

George Orwell (From Why I Write)

1. Nev­er use a metaphor, sim­i­le, or oth­er fig­ure of speech which you are used to see­ing in print.
2. Nev­er use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is pos­si­ble to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Nev­er use the pas­sive where you can use the active.
5. Nev­er use a for­eign phrase, a sci­en­tif­ic word, or a jar­gon word if you can think of an every­day Eng­lish equiv­a­lent.
6. Break any of these rules soon­er than say any­thing out­right bar­barous.

Mar­garet Atwood (orig­i­nal­ly appeared in The Guardian)

1. Take a pen­cil to write with on aero­planes. Pens leak. But if the pen­cil breaks, you can’t sharp­en it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. There­fore: take two pen­cils.
2. If both pen­cils break, you can do a rough sharp­en­ing job with a nail file of the met­al or glass type.
3. Take some­thing to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
4. If you’re using a com­put­er, always safe­guard new text with a ­mem­o­ry stick.
5. Do back exer­cis­es. Pain is dis­tract­ing.
6. Hold the read­er’s atten­tion. (This is like­ly to work bet­ter if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the read­er is, so it’s like shoot­ing fish with a sling­shot in the dark. What ­fas­ci­nates A will bore the pants off B.
7. You most like­ly need a the­saurus, a rudi­men­ta­ry gram­mar book, and a grip on real­i­ty. This lat­ter means: there’s no free lunch. Writ­ing is work. It’s also gam­bling. You don’t get a pen­sion plan. Oth­er peo­ple can help you a bit, but ­essen­tial­ly you’re on your own. ­Nobody is mak­ing you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
8. You can nev­er read your own book with the inno­cent antic­i­pa­tion that comes with that first deli­cious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been back­stage. You’ve seen how the rab­bits were smug­gled into the hat. There­fore ask a read­ing friend or two to look at it before you give it to any­one in the pub­lish­ing busi­ness. This friend should not be some­one with whom you have a ­roman­tic rela­tion­ship, unless you want to break up.
9. Don’t sit down in the mid­dle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the oth­er road. And/or change the per­son. Change the tense. Change the open­ing page.
10. Prayer might work. Or read­ing ­some­thing else. Or a con­stant visual­isation of the holy grail that is the fin­ished, pub­lished ver­sion of your resplen­dent book.

Neil Gaiman (read his free short sto­ries here)

1. Write.
2. Put one word after anoth­er. Find the right word, put it down.
3. Fin­ish what you’re writ­ing. What­ev­er you have to do to fin­ish it, fin­ish it.
4. Put it aside. Read it pre­tend­ing you’ve nev­er read it before. Show it to friends whose opin­ion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5. Remem­ber: when peo­ple tell you some­thing’s wrong or does­n’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exact­ly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6. Fix it. Remem­ber that, soon­er or lat­er, before it ever reach­es per­fec­tion, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Per­fec­tion is like chas­ing the hori­zon. Keep mov­ing.
7. Laugh at your own jokes.
8. The main rule of writ­ing is that if you do it with enough assur­ance and con­fi­dence, you’re allowed to do what­ev­er you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writ­ing. But it’s def­i­nite­ly true for writ­ing.) So write your sto­ry as it needs to be writ­ten. Write it ­hon­est­ly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any oth­er rules. Not ones that mat­ter.

William Safire (the author of the New York Times Mag­a­zine col­umn “On Lan­guage”)

1. Remem­ber to nev­er split an infini­tive.
2. The pas­sive voice should nev­er be used.
3. Do not put state­ments in the neg­a­tive form.
4. Verbs have to agree with their sub­jects.
5. Proof­read care­ful­ly to see if you words out.
6. If you reread your work, you can find on reread­ing a great deal of rep­e­ti­tion can be by reread­ing and edit­ing.
7. A writer must not shift your point of view.
8. And don’t start a sen­tence with a con­junc­tion. (Remem­ber, too, a prepo­si­tion is a ter­ri­ble word to end a sen­tence with.)
9. Don’t overuse excla­ma­tion marks!!
10. Place pro­nouns as close as pos­si­ble, espe­cial­ly in long sen­tences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
11. Writ­ing care­ful­ly, dan­gling par­tici­ples must be avoid­ed.
12. If any word is improp­er at the end of a sen­tence, a link­ing verb is.
13. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mix­ing metaphors.
14. Avoid trendy locu­tions that sound flaky.
15. Every­one should be care­ful to use a sin­gu­lar pro­noun with sin­gu­lar nouns in their writ­ing.
16. Always pick on the cor­rect idiom.
17. The adverb always fol­lows the verb.
18. Last but not least, avoid clich­es like the plague; seek viable alter­na­tives.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ray Brad­bury Gives 12 Pieces of Writ­ing Advice to Young Authors (2001)

John Steinbeck’s Six Tips for the Aspir­ing Writer and His Nobel Prize Speech

Elmore Leonard’s Ulti­mate Guide for Would-Be Writ­ers

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The Muppets Strike Back at Fox!

In Fox’s world, noth­ing good is ter­ri­bly safe. Even the lov­able Mup­pets fall under with­er­ing attack.

Last month, Fox Busi­ness spent sev­en min­utes (below) unrav­el­ing the left wing con­spir­a­cy in the lat­est Mup­pet movie. Then the Mup­pets, not tak­ing things lying down, struck back. Appear­ing at a press con­fer­ence in Lon­don last week, Ker­mit the Frog and Miss Pig­gy rebutted Fox’s charges in one com­ic minute. It’s a pret­ty fun­ny clip. But the best part is watch­ing a major news out­let argue with pup­pets.

If you need some­thing to make you feel bet­ter about the world, don’t miss Jim Hen­son’s 1969 primer on how to make your own pup­pets, using noth­ing oth­er than house­hold items. H/T SF Gate

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Richard Brautigan’s Story, ‘One Afternoon in 1939,’ Read From a Wooden Spool

Today is the birth­day of Richard Brauti­gan, whose fun­ny and imag­i­na­tive books were a touch­stone for the 1960s coun­ter­cul­ture and have remained an inspi­ra­tion to free spir­its ever since. He would have been 77.

In this video, uploaded to the Inter­net exact­ly a year ago, Ianthe Brauti­gan Swensen reads her father’s sto­ry, “One After­noon in 1939,” from his col­lec­tion Revenge of the Lawn. Ianthe was one year old in 1961 when her father sat down with a portable type­writer on a fam­i­ly camp­ing trip to write his most famous work, Trout Fish­ing in Amer­i­ca, and she was 24 when he took his own life in 1984. Now she’s a writer and a teacher.

In 2001 Brauti­gan Swensen pub­lished You Can’t Catch Death: A Daugh­ter’s Mem­oir about her life with a dif­fi­cult but lov­ing father who liked to take her with him to his favorite San Fran­cis­co haunts dur­ing the 60s. “When I’m here,” she told the San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle on a vis­it to the city in 2000, “I still feel my father walk­ing the streets, I still feel my hand in his. And that’s a very hap­py feel­ing.”

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

30 Renowned Writers Speaking About God & Reason

This past sum­mer, Jonathan Parara­jas­ing­ham, a neu­ro­sur­geon in Lon­don, cre­at­ed a mon­tage of 100 renowned aca­d­e­mics, most­ly all sci­en­tists, talk­ing about their thoughts on the exis­tence of God. (Find it in two parts here and here.) Now’s he back with a new video, 30 Renowned Writ­ers Speak­ing About God. It runs 25 min­utes, and it offers as much a cri­tique of ortho­dox reli­gious belief as it does a lit­er­ary trib­ute to human­ism and ratio­nal­ism. Isaac Asi­mov, Arthur C. Clarke, Salman Rushdie (who kind­ly tweet­ed us this week­end), Mar­garet Atwood, Philip Roth — they all make an appear­ance. The full list of writ­ers appears below the jump.

And, before we close, let me say this. When­ev­er we post videos like these, we get the ques­tion. Why the occa­sion­al focus on atheism/rationalism/humanism? And the sim­ple answer comes down to this: If you cov­er writ­ers, aca­d­e­mics and sci­en­tists, the think­ing skews in that direc­tion. Yes, there are excep­tions, but they are in short­er sup­ply. But if some­one pulls them togeth­er and makes a mon­tage, we’ll like­ly fea­ture it too. H/T

Note: As you may have noticed, we have been expe­ri­enc­ing inter­mit­tent out­ages over the past cou­ple of days. Our host, Dreamhost, has been stum­bling more than we’d like. So we’re fig­ur­ing out alter­na­tives and hope­ful­ly mak­ing a move soon. Our apolo­gies for the incon­ve­nience!


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The Last (Faxed) Poem of Charles Bukowski

On Feb­ru­ary 18, 1994, Charles Bukows­ki had a fax machine installed in his home and imme­di­ate­ly sent his first Fax poem to his pub­lish­er:

oh, for­give me For Whom the Bell Tolls,
oh, for­give me Man who walked on water,
oh, for­give me lit­tle old woman who lived in a shoe,
oh, for­give me the moun­tain that roared at mid­night,
oh, for­give me the dumb sounds of night and day and death,
oh, for­give me the death of the last beau­ti­ful pan­ther,
oh, for­give me all the sunken ships and defeat­ed armies,
this is my first FAX POEM.
It’s too late:
I have been

Alas this was also Bukowski’s last poem. Just 18 days after Bukows­ki embraced tech­nol­o­gy, the poet (once famous­ly called the “lau­re­ate of Amer­i­can lowlife” by Pico Iyer) died of leukemia in Cal­i­for­nia. He was 73 years old. Accord­ing to John Mar­tin at Black Spar­row Press, the Fax poem has nev­er been pub­lished or col­lect­ed in a book. Book­tryst has a whole lot more on the sto­ry, and we have the singer/songwriter Tom Waits read­ing Charles Bukowski’s poem, The Laugh­ing Heart. You can also lis­ten to three oth­er Bukows­ki poems (in audio) here on YouTube:

Find more great reads in our col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books.

via Poet­ry Foun­da­tion

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The Lost Guitar Solo for “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison, Discovered by George Martin

Here Comes the Sun — it’s one of George Har­rison’s con­tri­bu­tions to Abbey Road (1969). And, among the many great Bea­t­les’ songs, it’s my sen­ti­men­tal favorite. While we’re feel­ing sen­ti­men­tal, let me bring you this — Dhani Har­ri­son, the son of the late gui­tarist, returns to the record­ing stu­dio (pre­sum­ably at Abbey Road) with George Mar­tin, the Bea­t­les’ leg­endary pro­duc­er, and Mar­t­in’s son Giles. Togeth­er, they play with the mix of “Here Comes the Sun,” and then the won­drous lit­tle moment of dis­cov­ery hap­pens. They stum­ble upon the long lost gui­tar solo that nev­er made the final cut. It’s a plea­sure to see.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!


Relat­ed Con­tent

Gui­tarist Randy Bach­man Demys­ti­fies the Open­ing Chord of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

George Har­ri­son Explains Why Every­one Should Play the Ukulele, With Words and Music

Watch George Harrison’s Final Inter­view and Per­for­mance (1997)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.