Friday, July 11, 2008

Patti Smith New Album Out Today
Big Screen Debut on August 6 in NYC

Patti, Dark & Light

The Coral Sea, a live CD recorded by Patti Smith with My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields was released today on PASK, a new imprint founded by Smith and Shields. It is a double-CD of their June 22, 2005 and September 12, 2006 performances at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. The collaboration was inspired by Patti's 1996 book of the same name, in which she paid poetic prose tribute to her dear friend, the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe... the photographer who captured Patti's Baudelaire-invoking image on the cover of her debut album, Horses.

I have been anticipating the release of this record for some weeks now, and I'm happy to hold it in my hands... its wonderful to read the positive reviews, such as the one in Pop Matters.

But wait... there's more!

Palm Pictures, the multi-media company formed by (one of my former employers) Chris Blackwell, of Island Records fame, has announced the theatrical release of photographer Steven Sebring's directorial debut, PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE. The film is set for release this September. The film won the Cinematography Award at its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. New Yorkers will get an early glimpse of the film when it screens at the Film Forum August 6th - 19th.

Reuters, the news service offers this quote-able: "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" gets unusually close to its subject. Experimental camera work and editing makes for a fittingly unconventional portrait of one of the pioneers of punk music." The film also features performances with composer Philip Glass and playwright/author/actor/musician Sam Shepard, who is a close and life-long friend of Patti's. They collaborated on a one-act play, Cowboy Mouth way back in 1971.

The art book publishing house, Rizzoli will publish a Sebring's companion book, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, in August. It integrates quotes and private transcripts with Sebrings photographs of Patti. The volume also includes never-before-published Polaroid's taken by Patti as well as other photos from her archives. It is worth owning just for a glimpse of Patti's Polaroids, some of which I was privileged to see... she showed them to me in her workshop space in Greenwich Village a couple years ago and they've haunted me ever since. Yes, Patti does more than music and poetry. Fondation Cartier in Paris is currently hosting a major solo exhibition of her visual work.

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