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Diggin' the New Breed


Diggin' the New Breed: The Beat Generation And Postwar America


Enlightenment Records

various artists CD

Diggin' the New Breed CD coverDiggin' The New Breed: The Beat Generation And Postwar America is part of a spoken word series on the Chrome Dreams label which also includes other spoken word discs featuring Malcolm X, Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Charles Bukowski, Lenny Bruce, L. Ron Hubbard, David Koresh, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Ken Kesey, Phillip K. Dick, and Timothy Leary.

This Beat disc features some spoken word works from Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, along with reminiscences about the scene from Anne Waldman, Terry Southern, Garry Snyder, Herbert Huncke, Lucien Carr, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ed Sanders, Anne Waldman, Peter Orlovsky, Anne Chamber & Patti Smith sprinkled in with a narrative account of the Beat Movement.

Sadly, what was a great idea is ruined by a laughable narrative which takes up more than half of the entire disc which is augmented by a cheesey soundtrack. Especially laughable is when the narrator talks in a British accent about America and towns like Lowell (hearing him pronounce the Merrimack River will make any New Englanders laugh). They could've left the narrative up to the liner notes.

The only reason to get this disc is for the spoken word segments, even though I'm sure there's better ways to get these recordings. Here's a rundown of the actual spoken segments (since the cd - even though it looks nice thanks to its digipak artwork and does have extensive liner notes - doesn't have a list of what is included):

Jack Kerouac spoken word sections
1. Hepcats (mostly narration so skip)

2. Cat With the Irrational Brick
Jack Kerouac segments

3. Doctor of Madness Calls Out the Toads
Various William Burroughs reminiscences and segments
10:56-15:30 (with Allen Ginsburg and others)
16:38-21:22 (with Allen Ginsburg and others)

4. Angelheaded Hipster: The Inspirational Power of Madness Versus the Clean Life
Allen Ginsburg reminiscences and segments 0:08-1:00 2:38-5:22 6:37-8:30 11:13-17:08 19:50-24:30 25:41-26:27

---Patrick, May 3, 2005