In 2003, a whole lot of musicians paid tribute to Allen Ginsberg, a towering figure in the history of American poetry, on the album Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America: A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute. The album was intended to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ginsberg’s book The Fall Of America: Poems Of These States 1965-1971, and it featured people like Yo La Tengo, Andrew Bird, Devendra Banhart, and Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo setting Ginsberg’s poems to music. Given that Ginsberg’s book was actually published in 1973, it only seems right that we’re getting a sequel on its real 50th anniversary.
The forthcoming compilation Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall Of America Volume II features more musical translations of more Allen Ginsburg poems. Devendra Banhart and Thurston Moore once again contribute, but this time, Moore is teaming up with spoken-word great Saul Williams. Other contributors include Fennesz, Dave Harrington, Why?, Miho Hatori, and Philip Glass. All proceeds are going to PEN America. Below, check out the album’s tracklist and listen to its opening track — a take on Ginsburg’s “Hum Bom!” from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Los Angeles collective O Future, and poet Aliah Rosenthal.
01 Ai Weiwei, O Future, & Aliah Rosenthal – “Hum Bom!”
02 Anne Waldman & Fast Speaking Music – “Pentagon Exorcism”
03 Thurston Moore – “A Prophecy” (Feat. Saul Williams)
04 Kai Campos & CJ MIrra – “Bixby Canyon” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
05 Devendra Banhart – “Dear Queer Bar” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
06 Jack Dangers – “Holy Ghost On The Nod Over The Body Of Bliss” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
07 System 7 – “Sonora Desert Edge (The Abyss)” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
08 Why? – “Death On All Fronts”
09 Seb Taylor & Allen Ginsberg – “Over Denver Again”
10 Fennesz & Taylor Deupree – “Guru”
11 Ashes – “September On Jessore Road” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
12 Oliver Ray & No Land – “Cremation Piece (On Neal’s Ashes)”
13 David Harrington & Will Epstein – “Pertussin” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
14 Miho Hatori – “Iron Horse (The Universe Is Empty)”
15 Philip Glass – “Have You Seen This Movie” (Feat. Allen Ginsberg)
Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall Of America Volume II is out 10/6.