Some readers have wondered why I have not been writing and posting new pieces on politics. I have taken something of a “sabbatical” this summer as I finish a book on the topics of self-determination and cosmopolitanism. I expect blogging fever to return before August is out.
In the meantime I have been posting a few clips that might be of interest to readers of UP@NIGHT. Last week I wrote about the work of the singer-songwriter Kenny Rankin, and I mentioned Laura Nyro’s influence on him. Having done so, I realized that readers under 50 may never have heard of Nyro, even though her songs have been covered by many others. I found Kenny Rankin’s work to be uneven, and the same is true for Nyro, but when she hit it, she really hit it.
There aren’t very many videos of her around. The two below leave much to be desired in terms of audio quality, but given where the country is right now, her “Save the Country” seems an appropriate pick. Her “Poverty Train” can be found about a minute and fifteen seconds into the second clip. (She was only 19 years old when she sung “Poverty Train” at the Monterey Festival, one of her first major live performances.) If you haven’t heard this Bronx original, by all means take a few minutes and check out the clips. (Here is the link to her Wikipedia bio: Laura Nyro.)
“Save the Country”