i stumbled across some buried treasure this morning. check out this recording of “when the levee breaks”… not by led zep, but by kansas joe and memphis minnie… in 1929. though it’s a favorite, i’d never known that zeppelin’s “levee” was a rewrite of this old blues track. wonderful.
(i’ll also be further exploring the site where i found it, publicdomain2ten… looks like they’ve got a great archive of lost recordings.)
something for you to read: a paper which is by now a few years old, but is nonetheless fascinating and insanely thorough in its examination of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a song which has been covered one million times and which has morphed into something more than the sum of its parts… a song which has weirdly turned into a sort of “emotional shorthand” for the expression of despair in popular culture.
“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.”—Ray Bradbury