Saturday, November 13, 2010

"My head is full of me"

"No Hole in My Head," Malvina Reynolds featuring Ramblin Jack Elliot and Pete Seeger.

Malvina Reynolds was a radical San Francisco native who made music until the day she died. Fantastically smart and willfully dedicated, she earned a doctorate in Romance Philology from UCBerkeley in 1939. She spent her life writing songs that gracefully blast the social order she opposed. Working in metaphor and synecdoche, songs like "Little Boxes" and the "New Restaurant" expose the ever encroaching shittiness of modern life. "Little Boxes," first made famous by Pete Seeger, is about the suburban sprawl and vapid, unsustainable architecture of the Daly City. It is now enjoying a resurgence since a Regina Spector's cover was used for the opening of Weeds.

"The New Restaurant"

All these videos are all from Pete Seeger's show called "RAINBOW QUEST." Shot all in black and white from 1965-66, Seeger had a bunch of folk legends sit around in the sound studio and play some tunes.  I don't really like Pete Seeger very much, but I really love "Rainbow Quest."

Here is he is covering one of Malvina's songs about San Francisco called "Seventy Miles." It's a protest song about the mistreatment of the bay.

What up driven lady radicals from the bay?!

Also, Susan Wengraf made a short documentary about Malvina in 1973. Has anyone seen it? Does anyone have it?

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