Lofgrin Makes Me Smile


I have a nice collections of lps by Nils Lofgrin – some are lp to cd transfers & others downloaded. In the 70s he made some of the sweetest pop/rock around but never hit superstardom – perhaps by choice. I have Nils; Cry Tough; I Came To Dance; No Mercy; Night Fades Away; The Loner. Rounding out one of the mp3 collections is Al Kooper: I Stand Alone; Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker; Johnny Winter: Second Winter; Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name.

Nils has a pleasant voice, great song writing & a likeable springing bouncy guitar style that makes me want to dance. This is happy music without being corny or cloying. He’s played with Neil Young, he was a Bruce Springsteen Band member for decades too. The lps are full of great originals & lots of sweet covers of unexpected songs. The Loner are all covers of Neil Young songs. If you are unfamiliar start with I Came To Dance.

 

Al Kooper’s I Stand Alone is his first lp after leaving Blood, Sweat & Tears. It could be an extension of that lp in fact – similar experimental sound less horns. It was a disappointment at the time as fans expected it to duplicate BS&T. Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker – lps from different decades of the band. Grace is more soulful while Joker is out & out commercial brilliance. Miller’s guitar work drives both but on Grace has more laidback context.

Now for some local CanCon Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name. This is an ep I bought years ago at some place like The Central of the Supermarket when Matt featured at an event. The sound quality is excellent, the songs are good & his guitar playing is superb. Finally here is the amazing Johnny Winter’s Second Winter – I remember think – three sides! when this lp was first released. Winter is a guitar genius blues & rock with a touch of soul. This is a stunning set that is merciless in energy & attack. If you haven’t heard it do so asap.

The Bill

Joe was feeling pretty good. Better than he had felt in several weeks. Better than he had felt when he finally broke off with the guy he’d met on line who turned out to be a physically abusive drunk. Better no love than a bruise he had to explain.

Today he felt specially good because he had gotten through to his cable provider on the first phone call. No waiting and waiting and even better the service representative spoke without an accent. Not that he was racist but sometimes side had to know what was exactly being said. Joe felt good about that and also because the cable provider upgraded his cell phone for free with no activation charge just to get him to renew his contract. It was always good to know who to ask for someone in customer retention. So simple.

Yes, Joe was feeling very good as he entered his favorite restaurant. His favorite booth was free – one of the few that only sat two people. He had a book he was enjoying and he couldn’t wait to tell his favorite waiter about his success with the cable company.

Joe sat at the booth. Ken came over and put a bill on the table and walked away.

Joe looked at the bill. It was over two hundred dollars with several entrees. He figured Ken had made a mistake.

“Ken!” he waved the waiter over. “This isn’t my bill. I haven’t even ordered anything yet.”

“Are you refusing to pay?” Ken glared him.

“This isn’t my bill.” Loe’s heart began to beat faster. “I just got here. I haven’t had time to order anything. See the table is clear.”

Ken glanced at the table. “The table looks clean to me. Even if it wasn’t that’s no reason not to pay your bill. We get enough assholes in here.”

“But … but …”

“Young man,” an older lady at a nearby table glared at him. “Don’t give the waiter such a hard time. Pay him so we can get some service too.”

“But I haven’t ordered anything. I certainly didn’t order all this or have time to order it. Fried chicken, roast beef dinner,’ He began to read the items off the bill.

“Let me see that,” the maître d’ snapped the bill out of his hand. “What seems to be the problem Ken.”

“This guy refused to pay his bill.”

“This isn’t my bill.” Joe took a deep breath and kept his hands relaxed. 

The maître d’ glanced at the bill. “Of course if sir is contesting the total, we will add it up again.”

“I am not contesting the total …”

“He said his table wasn’t clean enough so he’s not paying it.’ Someone from another table added their two cents worth. “The tables here are always spotless.”

“Oh, we get your type in here far too often. Order a meal eat it then find some petty thing to complain about.” The maître d’ sneered.

“I have been coming in here for year and have never complained about anything.” Joe’s voice rose.

“No need to shout, sir.” The owner came from behind the front counter. “This is a respectable family restaurant. We can’t have that kind of language.”

“Here! Here!” Cheered the old lady from the nearby table. “Let me eat in peace.”

“But I didn’t say anything offensive.”

“Then just pay up like a good guy.” The owner patted Joe on the shoulder.

“But this isn’t my bill. I didn’t order any of this. I didn’t have any of these drinks. Apple screwdriver. Kafka flip. What ever that is.”

“Oh so your are saying this isn’t your bill. Is that what you are saying.” One of the cooks had come out of the kitchen and picked up the bill.”

“Yes that’s what I’m saying.”

“He’s right. Ken this isn’t this man’s bill. He is at table 12 the bill is for table 21.”

They all looked over to table 21 and a large gentleman grinned and waved at them. “I say, can we pay up and get out of here. I’m in a frightful hurry.”

Nils, Lofgrin, Al Kooper, Steve Miller Band, Johnny Winter, Matt Hryhorsky

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April
– April 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales – online

https://www.facebook.com/events/529712257592790/

June

travel restrictions means no 😦

Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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LMFAO Lorde

Occasionally I get this urge to add more contemporary pop music to my collection & these next two mp3 cd collections spring from that urge. The first includes LMFAO: Party Rock, Sorry For Party Rocking; Martin Solveig: Smash; Big Star: #1 Record; Austra: Feel It Break; Hedley: 4 songs; Katy Perry: Teenage Dream.

As you can see this is a heap of various dance, electronica with a touch of old pop. I loved ‘I Am Not a Whore’ for its sex empowerment, joyful music & great video. I was seeing a guy at the time this was a big radio hit & all he had in his apartment was a radio so I heard this song a lot. The lps are like parties, happy, dance music with empowering, if a bit druggy heterosexist, lyrics. The other song I heard a lot then was Teenage Dream & the Katy Perry lp is fun girl pop. Excellent production work sells the songs more than her vocals. This guy (who I still see) was a Teenage Dream who made me feel like a total whore 🙂 p.s. he was not a teenager.

Martin Solveig: Smash; Austra: Feel It Break: a couple of great, if forgettable electronic, dance mix lps that are great for sex or writing. Friendly, sometimes emotional. Hedley: 4 songs ep – sunny pop fodder. The throw back is Big Star: #1 Record. Legendary lp by an almost mythic band. Countryish rock with sweet harmony & heart broken lyrics.

The other cd of ‘modern’ features Lorde: Hunger Games songs, Pure Heroine, Melodrama. Lorde was raved about everywhere as the second coming of Kate Bush. She’s not, to me, but she does have a sweet, shoe-gazer-pop sensibility. Sensitive lyrics, romantic & ethereal. Her voice is more a blur in its sultriness. Unlike Christina Aguilera’s Back To Basics which is good fun, even if I can’t recall a track on it. Time for a replay, I guess.

In this collection is also Gina X: Nice Mover; Clean Bandit: New Eyes; Nick Jonas: Nick Jonas. All of which are fine, easy, dance pop. Jonas is unexceptional but he is easy on the eyes. Rounding this out are some completions of actual dance music. All old school disco. Disco Files: Compilation; Peppermint Jam Records Presents: Compilation; Whirlpool: Disco. Full of soaring gospel female goals, strings, sudden sax & the requisite bpm.

Oh Ma Ha

You call this living – my mother looked around my room – you really think this is any sort of a life

yeah – I answer – is it all that different from your so called life –

she raised her eyebows – looked for an ashtray for her cigarette –

no one smokes here ma 

her concerned look now becomes one of victim as if it was my fault I never started smoking & didn’t have an ashtray for her 

and my rug doesn’t need any more help – hinting that she better not drop her ashes on my floor

I see – her nose turned up a fraction as she spun on her heel and went to the bathroom

and don’t drop that butt in the can – they swell up & clog the plumbing – there are  like miniature tampons that way – enough of them and the pipes blow up

water runs in the sink – she comes out smiling with her wet butt – sorry about that –

yeah well I’m not – 

I mean about the way you living – about judging it – your letters made is seem so … so much more than it actually is

my letters made it clear it wasn’t like what I left – it is my own place – I’ve fixed it up a little but what with work – classes & travel between them there hasn’t been much time for me to do anything more around here than vacuum and get some decent furniture – found this in a dumpster last week – I sat in the lazy boy recliner that I had tossed a bed spread over to cover the stained arm 

you always said I was lazy but – I squeezed the arms of the chair and pushed myself back in it – the foot rest popping up to keep me comfortable – I love this life of luxury


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Hawkins, Monk and more Sax

Over 2 cd mp3 compilations I have Coleman Hawkins: Body & Soul, Bean Bags, Genius of, Night Hawk, Duke Ellington Meets CH. Along with lps by Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!; Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section; Jerry Mulligan: Lonesome Boulevard; Jan Garbarek: Dansere; Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Yes, that’s a lot of sax with some jazz piano in the mix.

 

Hawkins has a fun, sometimes funky, thick sax sounds. The tracks have a friendly feeling to them like a boozy nightclub – unlike say Coltrane – whose sound is more ‘intellectual’  & controlled (not that Coltrane didn’t play fine free jazz too). I can see myself dirty dancing to Hawkins, Coltrane is more ballet 🙂 Ornette Coleman is modern experimental 🙂

He also appears in one session on Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Monk can be challenging but is worth the demands. He was a jazz revolutionary, wrote too many standards to list. The Prestige work is all excellent, sometimes a bit dissonant but never to the point when it alienates the listener. Rhythmically adventurous & as a group leader he encouraged his sideman to shine.

Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!. Stan Getz has a smoother, almost cocktail, sound. One of the foremost samba-Latin musicians he popularized many now jazz standards. Charlie Byrd is an amazing acoustic guitarist. Any of these are a excellent introductions to Latin jazz. Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section. Pepper, as his name indicates, is a more restless sax player. Nice tone & energizing. Jerry Mulligan’s Lonesome Boulevard is a great comfortable set with a bluesy feeling. Mulligan replaced Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Finally & totally different from all the others is Jan Garbarek’s Dansere. His sax sound is much sharper, his playing more sculptural & the material on this lps verges on classical in his lyrical approach. Elegant as opposed to funky.

Aunt Neddes was coming to visit. I was excited. Her real name was Nelly but somehow we started caller her Neddes. Though my Dad referred to her as that old prude. Another thing I never really understood. Though she was old, at least to my nine year old self, forty seemed pretty old. I know she was forty because her birthday fell while she was staying with us.

My mother was having a baby soon. That was why Neddes was coming to stay with us for a while to help around the house. My Dad called her a prude because she didn’t smoke or drink but was lots of fun all the same. 

We went to the airport to meet her. I had met her a few years earlier so I sort of had an idea of what she looked like but when my mother started waving at this tall woman in a long green coat I didn’t recognize her. I was bowled over by the coat but also by the emerald green hat she was wearing. Tight on her head like a toque only made out of feathers with little clusters of glittery stuff on it. 

‘Can I try on your hat.’ I exclaimed even before I said hello to her. ‘Can I. Can I.’

‘Now Jim boys don’t wear things like this.’ Neddes laughed. She hugged my Mother and shook hands with my Dad.

I tried not to cry.

‘But I do have something for you in my suitcase. You can try it on when we get home.’ She took me by the hand as we walked to the car. My Dad dragged one of her suitcases.

‘What you got in here anyway. A body!’

‘There, there Dan. A woman has to be ready for everything. Especially here in the frontier.’ she laughed. ‘Why my sister let you drag here to this ….’

‘Enough.’ My mother gave her a sharp look. ‘Let’s get you home and settled in then we can discuss the lay of this land.’


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We Insist!

A link to a YouTube video of We Insist! an amazing 1961 jazz lp by Max Roach that featured wife Abbey Lincoln lead me to download that lp along with a couple of other lps by Abbey: That’s Him; Golden Lady. We Insist! is a powerful black rights statement backed with dynamic music & vocals. When I think of 60’s protest music sweet folk songs like Blowin’ In The Wind comes to mind but We Insist! is not folk music – the sense of struggle & urgency dominates & propels the music in a way that most protest music of the time never managed. Lincoln’s voice is strong. Him & Lady are not as ‘revolutionary’ but are great introductions to anyone stepping into jazz vocalists for the first time.

On this mp3 collection there is a mix of female vocalists – all different styles, eras, fames & countries. Staring with Mireille Mathieu’s Les Grandes  Chansons Francaises. Mireille has a wonderful resonant emotional voice. As the title suggests this is a set of ultra-famous French songs i.e. ‘Non je ne regrette rien’. Her version of La mer is astonishing – search it out on YouTube. I want her version of ‘Ne me quite pas’ played as people leave my memorial service.

The totally unknown folk singer Michele is here with her Saturn Rings. A pleasant voice, some unexpectedly psychedelic accompaniment for a set of love songs, pleas for Mother Earth that got lost in the shuffle of the likes of Joan Baez & Judy Collins. Another lost in the shuffle is Barbara & Ernie’s Prelude To. This is a gentle, relaxing but sexy r’n’b duo making good massage music.

 

Finally I added Laura Nyro’s New York Tendaberry to this compilation. I love Laura Nyro & have nearly everything so I won’t say much more than this a great lp by her, not one of her strongest – but even at her weakest she is worth hearing. More about her when I get to ’n.’

The Circle of Strife

John sneered at Betty. Betty flipped Jasmine the bird. Jasmine gave Frank a dirty look.Frank didn’t leave a tip for Gwen. Gwen short changed Bill. Bill called Abdul a terrorist shit head. Abdul told Fatima to shut the fuck up. Fatima pinched Ryan. Ryan shoved Rachel getting on the subway. Rachel went home and smacked the baby Patrick. Patrick cried and cried and woke up Ted. Ted kicked his dog Rover. Rover chewed up Barbara’s favorite shoes. Barbara didn’t feel Gary’s work was up to snuff and told him. Gary spilled his coffee at lunch at Maria’s del

Maria shouted for Paco to clean up that mess. Paco wanted to kill Delorosa his mother. Delorosa didn’t wait for Greg. Greg was rushed and slammed the car door on Tina’s coat. Tina didn’t show up for her date with Mike. Mike waited and waited and bought drugs from Carla. Carla needed more money from Jeff. Jeff took an extra twenty from Deb’s purse.  Deb didn’t have enough to pay the bar bill . Larry felt she was playing him

Larry barked at Gina. Gina went crying to her boyfriend Philip. Philip punched Marg the bartender in the face. Marg pulled out a knife and cut Phil’s brother Brian. Brian pulled out his gun and shot Sgt Tracy O’Brian, one of the cops who came to quiet things down. John sneered at Betty for being afraid of guns.

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April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The Cutest Beatle

Who is the cutest Beatle? Who is the most talented? Did Yoko break up the best band in the world? None of these questions will be answered here 🙂 All I can say for sure is that John Lennon was the uncut Beatle. Yes, that’s right I’m looking at my John Lennon music collection – not the shirts.

A few years ago I downloaded a bit set of what purports to be all his solo work (though Yoko appears frequently enough.) So I have, as mp3, on 2 cds: Unfinished Music: Two Virgins; Wedding Album; Live Peace in Toronto 1969; Plastic Ono Band; Imagine; Some Time in NYC; Live in NYC; Mind Games; Walls & Bridges; Shaved Fish; Rock’n’Roll; Double Fantasy; Milk & Honey. Of these the only one I had as lp was Walls & Bridges. 

Of the Beatles I would say John was the most adventurous (yes I know McCartney did some electronica) & at one point was avant-garde thanks to Yoko & their early sound collage work. Though I suspect Virgins/Wedding work more of a fuck you to the pop music industry – similar to Lou Reed’s Metal Music. These aren’t lps I feel drawn back to more than every ten years.

I enjoy much of his studio work once he got over his collage mood. The albums all have tracks I enjoy, tracks that have become classics. He was the most directly political of the Beatles & never really followed pop trends. The only one of his lps that I actually bought, when it was first released, was Walls & Bridges. Probably his most Beatlesque work.

To round out the mp3 cds I added The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1965 – the Beatles sing against a backdrop of ceaseless screaming. George Harrison w Bob Dylan: New Morning Sessions; self-titled. The Dylan sessions are sweet but probably more interesting to real fans. The ‘self-titled’ flows with his mystic explorations & love songs. Julian Lennon: Valotte – solid pop from the son of John who looks & sounds like his dad. Finally Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run – I love this album. Paul has real pop smarts & this of all his recordings is the best. I’ve listened to much of his other work & well, who cares.

Magazine Machismo 

I am walking down the street across from the park. Fall. Leaves swirling around me. I spot a few colourful magazine pages caught in a wrought iron fence. As I get closer I discern faces, bodies on the pages. I pull them off. They are pictures of naked men. Full color but not fully naked. These men have on panties, stockings, their dicks can be seen through the sheer fabric. Faces pouting. 

I look around alarmed, afraid someone might see me looking at this that I just happened to pick up. There is no one around. 

I turn the pages over and more of the same photos only  in black & white. There were no other pages swirling in the wind. Where had they come from? I had never seen anything like this before. I guess I was 14 15 at time time. I’d had my own dreams about naked men but never ones that included this sort of fantasy.

I was astounded, alarmed and puzzled all at the same time. I didn’t have any sort of role model to follow and these pictures seemed almost logical – gay men wanted to be women in some way. But I didn’t want to be a woman in anyway, so maybe I wasn’t a really queer after all.

I looked at the pictures a few more times in a street light. Again making sure there was no one around to see me looking. Had someone planted them to be found and where they watching from some window to see who would take them, linger over them.  Where had they flown from to be caught in the wind, tossed around with the leaves like this.

I shoved them in the first garbage bin I came across. I felt free without them, without those faces, cocks, garters, daring me to consider things I didn’t how to consider.

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April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales

Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Puccini to Mumbai

Spread over 3 mps cd compilations I have Giacomo Puccini’s operas: Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot; plus his Messa di Gloria. Rounding out the cds is Gounod’s Faust & his Messe Solemnelle de St Cecile. As well as Geoffrey Burgon’s Brideshead Revisited soundtrack. Oh yes, not to forget hours of Indian classical music for the sake of variety 🙂

 

I saved opera for my old age because I am not, nor have I become, a major opera fan, at least not of Puccini. My favourite would be Bizet’s Carmen, & I do have a fondness for Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. I have Puccini out of a sense of duty. I enjoy them when they come up in my listening rotation but I don’t find myself longing to hear them, as do with other pieces. The same holds true for Gounod’s Faust. I seem to prefer the angst of Slavic opera to the emotional turmoil of Italian.

The Masses are a different story. I love them both, the musical striving for spiritual tonalities appeals to something in me. Both are edifying, soothing & satisfying in ways opera isn’t. The Brideshead soundtrack is also soothing & doesn’t need the visuals to make it work, as it were. I loved the series & the music is a nice break from the opera.

A good friend of mine brought his childhood collection Indian classic music back to Toronto after a visit to Mumbai where he had it burned onto several cds. I don’t know what technology was used but those cds were about 12 hours each!! His desktop couldn’t read them but mine could. So I downloaded them, burned fresh copies for him at 7 hr per cd & also made copies of some of it for myself. The music various combinations of sitar, tabala & other instruments & some chanting is sometimes hypnotic, sometimes tedious & sometimes stirring. Trust me an hour at a time is more than enough – just like opera 🙂

Brave New World 

I opened the door. My new condo. Empty. Clean. Smell of paint and sunshine, lollipops and roses. Crisp. Fresh. My furniture would be arriving in the afternoon. This time I opted for professionals. No more renting vans and dragging stuff up and down, in and out. I did my own packing, called movers and soon stuff would begin to arrive. Some old. Some new.

I put my coat in the hall closet. There were hangers there already. I had dropped in the night before with a few essentials. Hangers, toilet paper towels that sort of thing, even some juice in the fridge but no cups to drink it out of.

New living-room furniture would arrive the next day.

I went to the window to enjoy the view. A clear day. A sliver of endless blue sky between the two high-rises on either side of me. 

A knock at the door. My first visitor. I opened it and a woman stood there. About my age, I guessed.

“Hello.” I reached my hand out. 

“Could you please keep the noise down in here. My husband isn’t well, you know. He needs complete quiet.”

“But …”

“If you keep up this racket I’ll report you to the board. They don’t like noisy people here. No one does.”

“But …”

She walked away.

“I haven’t even moved in yet.” I said to her back. “I haven’t had time to make noise.”

I shut the door. In the kitchen I took a drink of my juice right from the carton. I needed a drink.

There was a knock at the door. She was back and had the building super with her.

“This is him.” she frowned at me. “Making that damed racket. Kept us up all night with it.”

“I wasn’t here all night.” I explained to the super. “I was here around seven to drop somethings off for moving in today.”

“Listen, asshole,” The super tapped me on the chest. “Don’t fuck around with us here. We won’t put up with it. You understand?”

The woman gave me a ‘I told you so’ look. 

As I closed the door I thought ‘Ah, brave new world.’

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March

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March 13 –

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Lee-ping Lounge Lizards

The lee side starts with Brenda Lee: The Definitive Collection – maybe not all the hits but enough for me. ‘I’m Sorry’ is a classic, melodramatic, over-the-top song as she sings her codependent heart out. Her gumbo rock is fine & she survived being a child star quite well too. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree is a season fav too. Her life was no ‘normal’ there’s been no movie bio 🙂

Now to the cocktail lounge with an mp3 collection that includes. Julia Lee: And Her Boyfriends. This is an lp to cd transfer. I bought the lp based on the sweet cover – a portrait of her in a mink. The songs are ‘suggestive’ i.e. My Man Stands Out. Her voice is sexy & she knows an innuendo where she sings one. With her is Risky Blues – an lp compilation of even more suggestive songs ‘Big Ten Inch (record).’

Here too are a couple of lps by Blossom Dearie: Once Upon A Summer Time, Cafe-apres Midi. Blossom is on the less raunchy side of nightclub singers. A sweet, light, playful voice she is worshiped by jazz singers. her material pulls mainly from Broadway with some jazz standards thrown in. You can almost hear the cocktail shaker in the back ground.

The opposite is a pair by Mable Mercer: Sings Cole Porter, Merely Marvellous. I first heard her on a jazz magazine sampler singing Ballad of all the Sad Young Men. Mable has a nice alto range & is relaxing & fun. She doesn’t push jazz boundaries. Emotional without showing off. her material is similar to Blossom’s with a dash of more modern stuff – ie 59th Street Bridge Song.

More show-offish is Jane Morgan. I have the wonderfully over-produced Jane In Spain, & Time. Jane has a classic clear night-club voice. Spain is a delight with its hitch Latino flourishes of castanets & some of the songs, Granada, are ‘Spanish’ sung in English. Time is more diverse & ‘modern’ with songs like Moon River, Tammy given the nightclub treatment.

Final Lee is Peggy Lee – an inspiration for all the above – she started as a big band torch singer whose career changed with the times. I have in various mp3 collections: Beauty and the Beat (w: George Shearing), Latin Lee, Ole Lee, Fever, Christmas Carousel, Is That All There Is – her  Some are standard issue lie Latin Lee but all are elevated by her delivery. Her Christmas Carousel is one of my seasonal favourites.

Chocolates

this is the week

when the universal currency is

hearts & flowers 

chocolates & regrets

traded with eager expectations

I’ll give you a glimpse of this

if you give me a glimpse of that

I’ll put up with your doing that 

if you allow me to do do this

I’ll treat you like crap 

love you & put up with your crap

because you love me

 

we exchange these representations

of our willingness to continue 

our little patterns of regret dispute 

in the name of tender loving 

compassionate cooperation

because our relationship is perfect

bouquet trade-offs

of explanations for reality

how far we compromised 

our teenage ideals 

for our forty-year-old realities

 

so many of us

are still ruled by bitter teenagers

who didn’t get the pretty girl 

or great guy we idolized in high school

we still cart that fractured dream

around as a measure of what we want

as if we’d stop some teenager 

in the street today and ask 

‘is this the one for me’

not that a stranger 

can actually to talk 

to a teenager in the street today

without getting charged for something

but that’s another story

another compromise

to protect us from one another

so where was I

 

ah yes

the new universal currency

of regrets fears retribution 

being more satisfying than love

who wants to see things flow 

without the elegant 

encumbrance of expectations 

without the sunny 

undercurrent of resentment

mental telepathy doesn’t work

and it is your fault

I should not have to tell you 

what I want

you should just know

from the way I wear my hat

oh right I don’t wear hats

well that should tell you something

 

it tells you I love you

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

He Hawes

 

I was introduced to the music of Hampton Hawes way back in the late 60’s – it was either the Green Leaves of Summer or The Trio Volume 1. I was working at the Vogue & Paramount Theatres in Sydney at the time. One of the cleaning staff at the Vogue was a total jazz fan & began to lend me lps to expand my jazz knowledge. Hawes plays restless piano – that is neither bop, swing or merely easy listening.

I loved those two lps & in fact these are the only two things I recall him lending me – though there were other musicians. Hawes playing & sidemen are precise, adventurous & fun. I made lp to cassette copies these lps. My friend had scotch taped the Downbeat reviews of both on the covers & Hawes was tightly regarded. He was also a major contrast to the jazz-rock that was about to wash over the scene.

In my collection I have as mp3 The All-Night Sessions Vols 1/2/3. The Trio, This Is, Everybody, High in the Sky; as lp to cd transfer:, Green Leaves; The Trio, Two Sides of, Spanish Steps, with Mingus, The Seance, Live in Tokyo. As stand alone: Bird Song, The Sermon. I guess this makes me a fan 😉

 

The recordings are trios, with sax, with sextet. He moves gradually from acoustic piano to electric keyboards – never electronica though. I don’t mind that electric piano tone but do prefer the acoustic. The material ranges from originals, jazz classics & covers of show tunes, pop standards. He is well worth adding to any jazz collection. iTunes has some nice inexpensive collections.

The Fridge

Fumbling in the dark to turn on the lamp Harv knocked it over. Shit. He didn’t know what woke him. Some sound outside. A combination of tire squeal and cat in pain that had cut through his dream about winning some big prize on a television cooking show. 

Some bald woman was jumping beside him clinging to his left arm screaming he had done it. he had done it. The studio audience wasn’t as happy as her. In fact he sensed they had hoped he would lose. They were disappointed he had won an array of house-hold kitchen appliances. A chrome fridge so much like the one his folks had when he grew up. how long had it been since he’d seen one of those? The door opened with the same click too. He thought this sort of catch handle was now illegal so that kids couldn’t get trapped inside them when they were abandoned. 

That happened to a cousin of his. Mark. Mark didn‘t come home from school one day and they searched for a week or so. Whose idea had it been to open that abandoned fridge door? Maybe some dog smelled the reek of the decaying body. Boy he was glad he didn’t have to be the one to open that door. That would have been awful though he never really liked Mark.

Mark so good at everything like sports and tests. Things that his Dad always reminded him of – oh I hear Mark got at an A on that science project you didn’t finish or Mark was voted best delivery boy by the paper. look there’s his picture on the inside page. Too bad you never got a paper route. Stuff like that.

It didn’t take long for everyone to forget about Mark and for a time after that when he opened the fridge to get an apple he’d be afraid Mark would be in there ready to fall out on him so he ate less and less. He lost his flabby fat and started to do a bit better in school too, only never as good as Mark and now here he was winning a fridge just like that one. 

Harv pushed himself to the the edge of the bed and forced himself to the window. He didn’t need light to look out. Light would only attract attention to the blind being pushed aside. The street was empty. Maybe he hadn’t heard anything. He went to the light switch & turned it on. The lamp was right where it always was. He hadn’t knocked anything over. He turned off the light. Crawled back into the bed. Said one last fuck you Mark. I didn’t dare you to get into that fridge. It was your idea.  

He fell asleep. 

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March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Diggin’ Led Zeppelin

I picked up ‘Diggin’ My Potatoes’ a stand-alone compilation of Leadbelly tracks – original vintage recordings that have been sonically cleaned up. There were several such compilations of various blues artists released on the Blue Label. HMV had them on sale for $4.99 each. Excellent liner notes alone made it worth the price. The songs are classics – Rock Island Line, CC Rider – that have been recorded by so many rock, blues country groups it is good, & important, to hear these originals. Some of which are funnier & more sexual than expected.

One band that was influenced by Leadbelly is Led Zeppelin. I still remember hearing the first riffs of that first track when their first lp was released. I love it, I loved it all – though I did find the drum solo (on II) aimless & too long, but the guitar work was wicked. I have as stand-alones: I, II, III, IV, Houses of the Holy as mp3: Physical Graffiti, Live at the BBC.Each has tracks I love & some tracks I merely tolerate 🙂 I love the sonics on Houses Of The Holy – the songs are moodier it is my favourite of all the lps. The BBC sessions are amazing & shows Zeppelin’s prog rock side more clearly than any of the lps do.

On the mp3 collection that includes Physical Graffiti is: Donnie Elbert’s The Best Of: slightly obscure 60’s soul singer with a great voice. Best of The Big Bopper: a less obscure r’n’b rock singer with a string of well-know hits (Chantilly Lace). He has a great sexy voice that makes innocent into suggestive. Five Stair Steps: The First Family of Soul – best remembered for OOH Child they are the prototype for The Jacksons.

It made sense to me to add The Spiral Staircase’s More Than Yesterday here. Best remembered for that title song they produced fine blue-eyed soul. Unlike the rest is Zal Yanovsky’s Alive & Well In Argentina – a founding member of the Lovin’ Spoonful he left because of their commercial direction. He managed this one solo release which is fun but more for fans of the obscure like myself 🙂 Finally something a little more modern Van Morrison’s Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue. More about this when I get to M.

 

Snow

“Goddammit! We’re going to Hell in a handkerchief.” My gran stopped to take a breath.

“What?” I didn’t want to stop shovelling but I’d never her swear or ever heard that ‘handkerchief’ phrase.

“I said we’re all going to Hell in a handkerchief. The way folks complain, I mean, a little snow is no big thing but it’s top news story at six.”

I kept shovelling. The snow had been falling for two days when my Dad texted me to go over to shovel her out. After the two days of flurries I expected her to be snowbound. But she had already cleared a narrow path from her front door to the sidewalk. I was making the path wider.

“How are things in school?”

She was always on to me about school. I never knew what she wanted to know. If was going bad she tell me to be grateful there’s still schools to go to but if I was doing okay she’d just laugh and tell me enjoy it while it lasted.

“Fine Gran. No complaints from my students.”

The snow kept falling.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

LCD Underworld Legend

LCD Soundsystem produces almost hypnotic, multilayered pop-electronica. I have cds of the first double, Sound of Silver, 45:33, & This Is Happening. I could play all the cds in a row & not really be able to tell one from the other – which is a good thing. Consistently listenable music though that is great for typing to, also fine sex throb. Much like jazz song titles are arbitrary in relation to the music (much like the relationship to my photos to actual content of a blog post.)

LCD owes a lot to the British dance/electronica duo  Underworld. I first heard Underworld on a CMJ completion cd – it was the track River of Dub – a deep bass throb with voice deep in the mix & I loved loved it. Finding the cd was another story though but I finally did. I have as stand-alone’s dubnobass, Dirty Mix, everything everything, Beaucoup Fish, a Hundred Days Off, Oblivion With Bells, barking, as mp3 Barbra, & a fun spoken-word ep with Iggy Pop.

 

 

Both LCD & Underworld make excellent moody writing music. Some tracks by both have shown up in movie soundtracks for tension or romantic interludes.

 

Back to L (& also great for romantic interludes) is John Legend. I have stand-alones: Get Lifted, once again, Evolver, Wake Up! (with the Roots). Sweet smooth soul music that almost drifts into easy listening. The albums flow nicely into one another. Some with disco flavours, others with hip-hop vibe. Legend has an old school vibe that, despite being so heteronormative, is so gentle one doesn’t mind. Plus he is easy on the eye 🙂

Report to the Electoral Steering Committee 

We wanted to sway the people. We want to convince them that they aren’t powerless voices. We have to get them out to the polls in the next election or they will lose the right to vote. That is one of the planks of the leading party – why give people the right to vote if they don’t want to use it. ‘Use or lose it’ is their slogan. All the people have to do is use it. It doesn’t matter which party they vote for as long as they voted. If we can get voter response up from the paltry 6% it was in the last election perhaps change can happen.

But the people didn’t care. They saw the election as being  less interesting than sports scores. Politicians were just self-protecting business men and the people were powerless to do do anything. Some brfied that no matter how loud they voiced their opinions no one was listening anyway. No one cared. Not even them. 

House after house we ran into the same apathy and hopelessness. The people were happy as long as they had food shelter and entertainment. Politics wasn’t entertaining enough. The drab tired supposed scandals of secret deals, slush fund theft bored them. They didn’t care about the sexual peccadillos of high ranking officials or how they used their power to cover up criminal activity, dunken car accidents. The people had seen it all on YouTube once and even there it wasn’t as compelling as movie star break downs in the washrooms of local designer outlet direct to the public malls. Now that got them going. Why couldn’t we get that star to run for office. That could hold some interest, maybe.

We must persist. It can’t be a lost cause. 

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January

Sunday –  January 26 – 1:30 – feature: The Secret Handshake Gallery, 170A Baldwin (Kensington Market) – 1:30https://www.facebook.com/events/498405247456842/

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet