“Song of Myself”

May 31st, 2010, 6:36 am by Greg

I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease … observing a spear of summer grass.

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes … the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume … it has no taste of the distillation … it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever … I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank, by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, and buzzed whispers … loveroot, silkthread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration … the beating of my heart … the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dark-colored sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belched words of my voice … words loosed to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses … a few embraces … a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag, The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides,
The feeling of health … the full-noon trill … the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.

Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Have you reckoned the earth much?
Have you practiced so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun … there are millions of suns left,
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand … nor look through the eyes of the dead … nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them for yourself.

– from “Song of Myself” from “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman

Celebrate the birthday of Walt Whitman at the Robert Burns statue in Albany’s Washington Park at 6pm today. Local poets and other citizens will gather at the statue to read (and listen to) Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Rain or shine. Free admission. Bring chairs or blankets to sit on.


It’s The Weekend!

May 28th, 2010, 4:25 pm by Sara

Turn down that marching band music, please.

Turn down that marching band music, please.

What are you doing this weekend? Got a great idea? Drop us a note below.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and chatted this week. Have yourself a great holiday weekend.

LIVE: Arlo Guthrie @ the Zankel Music Center, 5/22/10

May 28th, 2010, 4:10 pm by Greg

Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie

To cap off Caffe Lena’s 50th anniversary celebration, master storyteller, golden troubadour and one of folkdom’s true royalty, Arlo Guthrie headlined the sold-out, 630-seat Arthur Zankel Music Center last Saturday night. Opening for him at the impressive Skidmore College concert venue were the delightful Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group.

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Parade of Shoes: It’s Tappin’ Time!

May 28th, 2010, 3:15 pm by Greg

Jason Samuels Smith

Here are some of the flying feet snapped at the sold-out master tap dance class conducted by Jason Samuels Smith at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs on Thursday.

At 8pm tonight, Smith and his dazzling dance troupe A.C.G.I. will be performing at SPAC’s Spa Little Theater. Priced at $25, tix are still available.

Photo by stockstudiophotography.com

ArtBeat: Calls For Entry

May 28th, 2010, 3:15 pm by Sara

Nippertown is accepting submissions of artists images to display as part of our Artist Spotlight. (Deadline: ongoing).

Expert Oddities: Show and Tell is seeking presenters on unexplored, highly specific and/or eccentric topics for an evening of short lectures during June’s Troy Night Out on Friday June 25 at 7pm at 51 3rd Street in Troy.

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Be Here Now: Pine Smoke Lodge @ Upstate Artists Guild, 5/29/10

May 28th, 2010, 2:33 pm by Greg

The next performance from the fine folks at the Albany Sonic Arts Collective takes over the Upstate Artists Guild in Albany at 8pm on Saturday. Suggested donation is $5 at the door.

Bring your adventurous heart and your open ears. Here’s who you’ll hear:

Pine Smoke Lodge (Matt McKeever and Hillary Dickerson from Portland, Maine) – mysterious psychedelic drone masters

Cruudeuces (Nate Brennan from North Adams) – organic improvisations

Grab Ass Cowboys – Albany’s own noise makers

Jefferson Pitcher – guitarist extraordinaire from Troy

The performance will be Pitcher’s farewell show, as he’s relocating to the Great White North. Come on down and wish him well.

Caffe Lena Photo of the Day

May 28th, 2010, 2:29 pm by Greg

A big thank you goes out to Sarah Craig and the volunteers that helped make the 50th anniversary of Caffe Lena such a wonderful and memorable event.

We’d like to offer one last photo from the vast archives of longtime house photographer Joe Deuel. It’s a 1989 photograph of Dave Van Ronk clowning around after Lena Spencer’s memorial service. He’s surrounded by Anna McGarrigle, Utah Phillips and Roy Book Binder. It’s also the only one of Joe’s photos that we’ve published that wasn’t taken at the Caffe. This one’s from the Parting Glass:

Dave Von Ronk

In a Blues Bag

May 28th, 2010, 1:55 pm by Greg

If you’re craving some barbecue but aren’t particularly looking forward to standing next to the hot grill all weekend long, now you’ve got another option.

The American Glory BBQ has just opened its doors in the old firehouse on Warren Street in Hudson. We haven’t been there yet, but the menu looks mighty tasty.

And it looks like there’s going to be some fine music on tap there, too. Bluesman Murali Coryell will be rolling in for a solo acoustic performance at 8:30pm on Saturday.

You just can’t beat that blues ‘n’ brews ‘n’ barbecue combo platter, can you?

And if you’re in the mood for a little blues on the move, you might want to hop on board the Cooperstown Blues Express on Saturday night.

Boarding begins at 6pm on Saturdays from the train depot in Milford, and at 7pm you’ll be rolling down the tracks. It’s a three-hour trip that drops you right back where you started, but along the way there’s plenty of great blues music, a cash bar, food, fun and dancing. Tickets are $16.

The music this Saturday will be provided by George Kilby Jr. – longtime guitarist with Pinetop Perkins – who will be showcasing selections from his new album, “Let the Melody Live On.”

Cartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageThe LindaArtist Charles HaymesArtist GG Roberts