Songwriting and tradition

by Chris Bertram on July 3, 2005

Surfing around, I found this oldish report of “some classes that Steve Earle taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago”:http://www.insurgentcountry.net/steve_earle_at_the_old_town_school.htm . The class is about the links between traditional music — as found in Harry Smith’s American Anthology of Folk Music — and contemporary songwriting. There are classes on Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Springsteen, Townes Van Zandt, and on Earle’s own songs. There’s also much gossip and general chit-chat. Interesting stuff.

Work time and play time

by John Quiggin on July 3, 2005

Another interesting feature of last night’s was a strong turnout of trade unionists, handing out balloons and footy-shaped brochures about the dangers for working life arising from the Howard government’s proposed industrial relations reforms. Having finally gained control of the Senate a day or two, the government is pushing hard to shift the balance of power in favour of employers and managers, and against workers and unions. The unions are fighting back and seem to be winning the battle of public opinion, thought the immediate practical effect is likely to be limited.
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Spammer poetry

by Chris Bertram on July 3, 2005

Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s attempted to write a poem so bad that International Library of Poetry would neither declare semifinalist in one of their bogus contests, nor offer to publish it in an anthologies. She “finally succeeded”:http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/006498.html by the device of taking a Miriam Abacha 419-scam letter and introducing line-breaks. The comments thread has now exploded, with the Abacha scam being rendered in many different poetic forms and styles: Shakespearean sonnet, haiku, limerick, Gilbert & Sullivan lyric, Allen Ginsberg ….. Check it out!