Spoken Word: S/D

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My favorite spoken word recording of all time is "Break Through In Grey Room" by Wm. S. Burroughs, out on Sub Rosa CD. At least it was out in the mid 90's, I belive. All the scratchy weird vinyl pressings from the early 60's or from around that time, compiled from inferior source materials which imbibe them with a eerie quality, eerier than Burroughs usually gets. Probably out of print now, which also inflates it factor of cool several points.

Joseph, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Another good one is "Fakeways: manhattan Folk" (another shameless Momus plug, I'm afraid - hey, I'm a fan) by Momus. Nothing put him and his pocket recorder traipsing around Manhattan interviewing scenesters like Casey Spooner from Fischerspooner (who are going to save rock and roll, by the way.... fischerspooner.com), Ford Wright, and Brian DeGraw who did SSAB SONGS with Hormone Korine.

Joseph, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Anything from Nikki Giovanni or Gil Scott-Heron.

Joseph McCombs, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Fischerspooner : saving rock & roll :: Momus : saving the rock opera. (i.e. NOT BLOODY LIKELY) They look fancy, though.

David Raposa, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I think "Rotatey Diskers With Unwin" by Stanley Unwin, "Craps" by Richard Pryor, & this record my mother has of "Under Milk Wood" are the only spoken word records I have listened to more than once.

duane, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

One of the weirdest has to be Orson Welles' "Regatting of the President," which I see in dollar bins all the time. He tells the story of the U.S. presidential elections of the 20th century as epic, humorous fairy tales, complete with Elizabethan language. I'm not sure who wrote it or why, but it is very, very odd.

Mark, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

duane - what about that fred dagg record

maryann, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Legitimate writers (poets, comics, fiction, essay) reading their stuff: as classic as the people doing it.

"Spoken-word" "artists" = self-righteous bullshit. DESTROY!!! I recently got an Ursula Rucker CD in the mail, and Jesus...I got to track three before ridding myself of it, and I'm frankly amazed I made it that far.

M. Matos, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Henry miller Think Tank and Karen Finley

anthony, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

But if you're looking for classics: Rhino's recent Richard Pryor box set is amazing through and through. So's their Allen Ginsberg box, Holy Soul Jelly Roll. And they put out a great box a few years back called The Beat Generation, stuffed w/cool readings from Kerouac etc. It ends with Ginsberg reading "America," a different version than the one that appears on his box, and it's one of the most moving things I've ever heard.

M. Matos, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Rollins not Miller.

anthony, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

LYDIA LUNCH - UNCENSORED/ORAL FIXATION : brilliance

andrw, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Henry Rollins Miller sounds like just about the worst idea in the world.

Nitsuh, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The Sensous Woman by J

Arthurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The Bukowski spoken word CDs seem to be quite good.

nathalie, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Monty Python's Matching Tie and Handkerchief is excellent - because on side 2 there are two parallel grooves so you never know which version of side 2 you're going to get. I once heard samples of it being mixed into some fast funk sort of stuff and it was really cool. Bit studenty, obviously, but cool.

Sam, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Not quite spoken word, but who did that album called "Hustler's Convention", which is basically just poetry with musical accompaniment? That was pretty funky.

John Davey, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hustler's Convention was Lightnin' Rod, a member of the Last Poets using a pseudonym.

M. Matos, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I hate you all for not mentioning Ivor Cutler yet. 'A Wet Handle' is quite great.

matthew james, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Bill Hicks, everything he did.

cabbage, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

herr4e herre for hicks, and also shout for kicks, joy darkness. Home Alive (?) was good/

Geoff, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hey! I was going to say Ivor Cutler!

Madchen, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The Beat Generation box set is great.I believe it was the same people who did The Greatest Speeches of All Time. A little over American, it has 4 discs worth of speeches and sound bytes some of which date fairly far back. Destroy: Anything containing Jello Biafra explaining how he saved the word from Tipper Gore.

zacko, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Astoundingly, Stevie T has not yet mentioned 'Walk Away Renée (Version)', so I get to do it instead. Hooray!

the pinefox, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

If you can find it get 'Real Men' by John S. Hall and Kramer. Also worth getting but probably v. difficult to find is Steven Jesse Bernstein's 'Prison'. Not sure if either of these are strictly spoken word, but they're among the strangest and most wonderful records you'll hear [esp. 'Real Men'].

Johnathan, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hubert Selby Jr. and Steven Jesse Bernsteing. But most spoken word is a one listen kind of thing.... borrow it, I'm sure the owner will be more than happy to lend it out.

andy, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Why Bother? by Chris Morris and Peter Cook.

The bit about Christ is priceless. And Betty Grable's legs!

ehehehehehehehehehehe...

Nick Southall, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Louis CK

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 11 February 2003 17:08 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hmmmm....well are we talking about comedy or "poetry"?

In terms of non-comedic spoken word (although there are laffs to be found herein), I'd recommend PRAYING MANTIS by Jim Carroll and THE UGLY ONE WITH THE JEWELS AND OTHER STORIES by Laurie Anderson. I'm a big fan of Spalding Grey, but his recorded output never seems to capture his schtick adequately.

I *HATE* spoken-word poetry with a vengeance, however. The self-righteousness, the exaggerated cadence, the gesticulation -- it all makes me wanna barf. "Def Poetry Jam" on Broadway is enough to make me wanna saw off my ears that I may never face the risk of experiencing it.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 11 February 2003 17:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

Stephen Jesse Bernstein, Prison, which features readings from "More Noise Please" and other works. "Whitee on the Moon" by Gil-Scott Heron. A few things (not sure what they were) by Burroughs, and most things by Bill Hicks.

Ryan McKay (Ryan McKay), Wednesday, 12 February 2003 03:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

"Music to watch girls by" by ah, that weird preacher.

"Colours" Ken Nordine

That Quentin Crisp thing on Cherry Red (?)

Derek & Clive

gaz (gaz), Wednesday, 12 February 2003 03:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

"If that mountain falls on me, it's gonna fall on you too..."

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Wednesday, 12 February 2003 03:56 (11 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...
how come no one's mentioned jello biafra here?

joan vich (joan vich), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

here's a good place to check out stuff:

http://www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Rotatey Diskers With Unwin" by Stanley Unwin

Hurrah!

Oh No, It's Dadaismus (and His Endless Stupid Jokes) (Dada), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

Jack McGowran, McGowran Speaks Beckett

Oh No, It's Dadaismus (and His Endless Stupid Jokes) (Dada), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

maria tessa, thanks for the link!

joan vich (joan vich), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:21 (9 years ago) Permalink

Kim Fowley - "Other Side" (wherein he raps about how they ran out of money to record the B-side of their single)

Tyrannosaurus Rex - John Peel reciting excerpts from Bolan children's stories on My People Were Fair and Unicorn LPs.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

Some Favorites:
America - Allen Ginsberg
Message to the Messengers - Gil Scott Heron
You're Getting Better - Ken Nordine

and the best of Shel Silverstein just came out on CD.

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

Rod McKuen!

owen moorhead (i heart daniel miller), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

i'm curious about that momus one (and i just saw someone *did* mention jello, although not very encouragingly...)

joan vich (joan vich), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 19:47 (9 years ago) Permalink

3 years pass...

Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think) just did an awesome sorta spoken word album. He recorded his neighbours! It's really good, like The Books. Old guy talking about growin up with 13 siblings. Old woman telling Spearin she loves him :) Children mumbling. etc.

http://happiness-project.ca/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090210.whappiness0211/BNStory/Entertainment/home good piece by Carl Wilson.

Ludo, Tuesday, 10 March 2009 10:35 (5 years ago) Permalink

3 years pass...

If the answer is yes then you can check out my albums on itunes. I rap in french and do spoken word in english. My artist name is Corey Edwards and the name of my english album is The Solitude of Albion.

coreylefou, Friday, 4 May 2012 22:55 (2 years ago) Permalink


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