Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), is best known for a short movement in his Romeo & Juliette ballet suite, which I do have but was never that taken by. I have a double cd collection of The 5 Piano Concertos. As well as an 8.8 hr mp3 collection that includes his Complete Piano Sonatas, Complete Symphonies, & the Ballet Suites: The Buffoon, Love For Three Oranges, Waltz Suite, Romeo & Juliette.

 

At one time I had the Piano Sonatas as a MHS box set & an lp of one of the concertos. I upgraded to the Sonatas mp3 & found a double cd set of the Piano Concertos. I love piano music & Prokofiev straddles the gap between romantic & modern nicely. Not as lushly melodramatic as Tchaikovsky the concertos are excellent, the sonatas are emotional, lyrical but with a more mathematic sense of structure – not as florid as Chopin.

The Symphonies, which I have as mp3, become more modern & sweeping like Shostakovich but not as dissonant. Like many Russian composers Prokofiev makes use of stirring Russian folks songs that us delightful, somewhat patriotic & satisfying. If you are unfamiliar start with the piano concertos.

 

One thing I enjoy about many of many eastern European composers is the use of their folk melodies to create amazing, emotionally commanding music that even without being from there myself I am filled with a sense of losing & nostalgia. I have found little North American classical music does that to me. Is there an epic, sweeping symphony based on, say, Native American musical themes?

Green

“Apples bin Irish peace.”

“Yes. Go on.”

“I can’t think of anything more.”

Dr. Clarke put down his pen. “I see.”

“Is that a problem?”

“I don’t know. You tell me?”

“I wish I could think of more. Really. Sometimes my mind just goes blank … or so many things flash that I can’t grab them all. Don’t know which ones to say and as I start saying them the others darken. Disappear. Blank. I’m left with a blank.”

“That can happen. Try to relax. Green?”

“Peace. Did I say that already? I’m so afraid of repeating myself that I can’t think of anything to say. Nothing comes to me. I want to go.”

“You can leave anytime. If you want to get well you have to try harder.”

“I don’t see how this helps.”

“It helps me to find patterns of thinking. What does peace mean to you?”

“Peace? I’ve never thought about peace. Really. I guess it means like gardens and butterflies. Quiet. No, maybe some birds singing. Yeah and kittens chasing the butterflies around. Yeah, that’s what peace means to me.’

“That’s a postcard picture of peace but go deeper than a picture.”

“Peace isn’t perfection, is it? that’s what you want to me say isn’t it. Peace is impossible, it only exists in my imagination not in the world out there. There is no peace. Never ever going to be peace. Peace would be boring as fuck anyway. You know that, don’t you? Impossible.”

“Take a breath. That’s not what I mean but peace has a cost. In your picture who mows the lawn? Who plants the flowers? Peace isn’t an abstract thing.”

“I’m never going to get well, am I”

“Ready for the next word?”

“Yes.”

“Family.”

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

January
Thursday January 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

La La La

The La’s were part of the new wave English wave from the 80’s. Similar to The Stone Roses, their style is a folksy rock with pleasant vocals & good song writing. One track was used by some clothing company which kept them in the public eye for awhile. Sweet music. Reminds me of The Byrds, early Jefferson Airplane.

 

Less sweet & definitely rock is Quebec’s Eric LaPointe. I have stand-alones Obsession, Invitez Les Vautours & as mp3: Le ciel de mes combats. I used to watch French Kiss on MuchMusic & his first couple of videos were hot – him shirtless, waist deep in water – mmm. His music is aggressive almost metal blues rock. His voice is emotive, at some quite raw & harsh.

 

Another French group is Laymen Twaist. I have stand-alone of Funkadelique. A continental French band that is the total tonal opposite of LaPointe. This cd is bouncy, funky, psychedelic & fun. The engineering is astonishing & when it comes up in my play rotation I usually play it twice & it always gets my hips moving. Definitely worth seeking out to broaden your musical horizons.

 

Next up is John Layton’s Femmes Fatales – which is not in French 🙂 John is a Toronto folk singer/composer. I meet him at the Renaissance Cafe when I was doing the open stage circuit. Sweet, amusing, wry & romantic. The songs are gentle without being cloying. His voice is engaging & the engineering is clean.

Lookie Here

Hello my name is Lookie as in ‘lookie here.’ Cute eh?I thought so. I got to pick that name. I don’t tell this to everyone, but i need to talk. I’m not even sure you can hear me. I doubt if you can see me. I know when someone can see me. That’s one of my gifts. That and the fact that I’m not real. I’m Davey’s invisible friend. You know Davey. Yeah, too bad about him. Getting caught by the cops and all that. There wasn’t much I could do about that. I tried to warn him but he wasn’t seeing me anymore. He was too old for that sort thing. the awkward age when they they know it all and don’t even believe what they can see.

I’ve been Davy‘s invisible friend since he was three. He didn’t know me then though, he was too young to understand I guess. I never really understood how this friendship thing was supposed to work. I’d hang around his bed as he fell asleep hoping I could slip inot his dreams to plant the seed, as it were.  Sometimes he’d open his eyes and I swear he could see me but part me of knew he couldn’t. We invisibles don’t have form unless we feel seen. You know what I mean?

Not that Davey was in denial. How can you deny something you don’t know about, right. So I kept hovering around him. Following him to daycare. Standing by his nap rug. Playing tag with the kids there that did see me. Hoping and praying for the day he would sense he wasn’t alone. Which was hard because he was hardly ever along anyway. Those daycare kids were always around for him to hang out with. I had tried to be an invisible friend to one of them but he was one of a pair twins. So he didn’t need anyone. 

Davey was an only child so I knew he had greater need of me. But he practically the third twin. What’s an invisible supposed to do? I knew there was no rush for me to get a real friend but it had been many years since I had one. Can’t say how many. Time doesn’t have much meaning for me. When you only exist when someone sees you time doesn’t move. 

Davey didn’t see me till he nearly 11. That’s pretty old, by then kids have an idea of what is real and what is make believe. Not that I’m make believe but I can’t reveal much of me to anyone except my seer. If you know what I mean. The fact that you hear me at all means that you are open to someone who isn’t really real. But you can’t see me. Can you? No, if you could, I’d know.

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

January
Thurs  January 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Give Me An ‘L’

Adam Lambert almost won some TV singing contest a few years ago. The show traded on the fact that he was an out gay guy who sang pop rock, not disco or emotionally tender, sensitive romantic ballads. Sort of a male version of Pink. I have stand-alone: For Your Entertainment, which I bought at HMV for the track ‘Whataya Want From Me’ which is a perfect pop song. As mp3 I have The Original High (Deluxe Version), solid music but to be honest I can’t recall a song from it.

He was packaged as a gay glam-rock icon – mascara & such but that ran out of steam fast. It felt like his label didn’t know what to do with him & he resisted attempts to re-fashion him as anything but a rocker. He apparently refused to do an lp of disco covers just to capitalize on his ‘fame.’ He has stepped into Freddie Mercury’s sequins perform with Queen. Plus he can sing.

 

Keeping with the queers I have stand-alone k.d. lang and The Reclines: absolute torch & twang. I found this in a box of cast off cds a few years ago. I selected several from the box including this oen. I’ve always loved ‘pullin’ back the reins’ for her emotional openness. A transitional cd as she moved more to pop from country. What ever happened to her?

 

 

Another stand-alone Bettye LaVette’s Interpretations – The British Rock Songbook. I kept reading raves about this ‘come back’ lp & after listening (via YouTube) to her amazing take on The Who’s ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ picked it up at HMV. She has a fine emotive voice & the covers are reverential but she makes them her own as well. I also loved this ‘songbook’ concept as many of the songs she covers are classic 60’s/70’s pop.

another very rough draft from the, so far, unfinished Isle St. Nuit

The return to Halifax wasn’t as jarring as he’d expected. In fact the routine allowed him quickly to forget Montreal. The events there become more like one of the movies he would have seen at the festival. Dreamlike memory replaced his real experiences. That couldn’t have been him on his knees in a store door way sucking a cock while people walked past only a few feet away. That wasn’t something he would ever do. 

Who would want to do that with someone who looked like he did, anyway. There was a sense of something gone, though part of him knew there wouldn’t be any more phone calls, emails from Kevin, no more flying off to rendezvous in various places around the country for furtive hotel sex between screenings, he would miss that. But even that Mike became less and less like him as well.

His past was turning into a dull film with random spots of uncomfortable porn. Kevin must have felt sorry for him to let it go so long. 

Mike couldn’t recall if Kevin every really seemed to enjoy their sex as much he had been with his new partner that day in the woods. Had Kevin ever shivered like that, even taken him with such relish, pumped his ass so joyously. 

Mike once again found himself feeling that men only allowed him to touch them for their own gratification. They probably weren’t even queer, just needing to get off, get taken care of and any one would do, in the dark. Yes, in the very dark dark.

Well Mike wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. It was time to go back to being celibate. that wouldn’t be so hard. Kevin was his only sex contact since they first met. One was all he needed. All he deserved; not that he even deserved that. An opportunity given and then taken away. Never to be offered again, by anyone.

Xavier was more dream not meant to last. Those few days were a blur. The empty hotel room. On his hands and knees with Pierre scouring the fibres of the carpet like a queer CSI team. 

What a scene that would make  in some comedy. the Bumbling homos hunting down the man who ate and ran. Such a tried pattern. Yet he fell for it.

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

January
Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Swami Hart and Beyond

One Christmas many years ago a friend gave me Antonio Hart’s (alto saxophonist) Don’t You Know I Care that he had picked up at a yard sale. It was just the cd – no jewel case. Pleasant & non-challenging jazz – solid playing, sweet arraignments & great starter for someone new to jazz. I created an mp3 version for a fun collections of jazz (& other) classics.

Some of these musicians I knew by reputation, others I searched out after seeing lp covers posted by an lp cover Tumblr one halloween 🙂 So here is Horace Silver (piano): Horace-Scope, Song For My Father – swinging, exploratory & emotional work that I enjoy more each time I hear it. Horace-Scope was the spooky cover & I added Father to hear more. It was Archie Shepp’s (saxophonist) The Magic of Ju-Ju cover that lead owing loading it. I add his The Way Ahead as well. This too is solid, swinging at times, challenging & occasionally dissonant but worth having. Shepp’s work with Abby Lincoln is worth searching out too.

The title of dummer Philly Joe Jones Sextet’s Blues For Dracula is reason enough to add this one. Propulsive & aggressive there is nothing scary here except the quality of playing. Not easy listening by any means & great for writing. The same is true for Jackie McLean’s  (saxophone) Demon’s Dance – it lives up to the cover & the title. Restless music for restless creative minds.

Also here is Steve Marcus’s  (saxophone) Tomorrow Never Knows – this is an excellent jazz exploration of 60’s psychedelic pop. One track has the sax riff that propels Gerry Rafferty’s Beaker Street. This is a lost classic lp that deserves a resurgence. Be warned this is not an instrumental walk-though of 60’s pop – the group peoples these pieces inot our bop & it is well worth the listen. Unlike Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Best Of – which are nostalgic & safe for family listening.

To lighten the mood of this collection & also Ron Goodwin’s soundtrack music for Miss Marple, Lancelot, Force 10 – the Marple is jolly fun, the other two are heroic action music. Finally is  Swami Jr. (Brazillian acoustic guitar player (7-string)) Mundos e Fundos – Jr is an amazing guitarist I found out via … well, I’m not sure how found him but the name made him worth checking out. I have a few lps by him each is romantic & satisfying He’s worth checking out.

more of the very rough draft from Isle St. Nuit

Mike hated airports. Too many people going to places he’d never go to. Too many announcements. he checked his ticket print out with the constantly flickering board of arrivals and departures to double check he was heading in the right way, to be sure they hadn’t changed the gate, the flight number gate. 

Twice he’d been startled by the appearance of large black men who were the shape and size of Xavier. His heart raced till he got a good look at the face. As if this would be how it would continue – him running into Xavier at the airport on his way to somewhere.

What would he do it if that had happened. Throw his arms around him. What if Xavier acted as if he’d never seen him, which was most likely what woud happen. Yet he hoped even that would happen. Just  for one more look.

They would glance, Xavier would nod to the washroom and Mike would follow eagerly. Put his bag down t to be taken away by the ever alert airport security. 

Mike would follow Xavier into the handicapped stall – one big enough for two men. Xavier would already be there. Unzipped. Hard. Mike would drop to his knees and ….

“Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. All passengers needing assistance should report to the gate now. thank you. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Tous les passagers ayant besoin d’aide doivent se présenter à la porte maintenant. Merci.” 

Mike hunched his shoulder, pulled his shoulder bag closer to him. Finished his coffee and walked through the door to gate 9. 

In the plane he kept his eyes on his magazine. He didn’t want to look out the window. Didn’t want to see the city disappear with so much of himself still there.

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Gaga Plus

As an almost card-carrying queer I do have some music bought solely to maintain my queer status, which is why I have Kylie Minogue’s Fever on the shelf. The music is well produced dance music. Nothing with real personality & good as background sex music. One cd was enough for me. She is quite popular though & her live shows get raves.

Near by on the shelf is another card-carrying queer qualifier: Lady Gaga. I have stand-alones The Fame; Monster; The Remixes. Tucked away on various mp3 collections is Born This Way; Joanne. This is dance music of a different order (than Kylie) – stunning production & engineering, astonishing videos & politically challenging (something dance music isn’t supposed to be.) Plus I have her excellent duets with Tony Bennet. Also the soundtrack from ‘A Star is Born.’

Much like Madonna, Lady Gaga’s persona is very fluid always with a strong awareness of audience. Each collection has standout tracks, plus cds of remixes to spread the magic. Like many she gets more respect when she sticks to the dance music. Her more personal & more subdued Joanne was not as warmly received by the market. Then came the Academy Award. Lady Gaga can sing as she proved with Tony Bennett.

Joanne leads a mp3 collection that includes some old school dance by LTD: Hits, Classics (Boogie Wonderland); Bizarre Inc.: Energique (I’m Gonna Get You).  I remember these two groups from my disco days. I’m not sure if Bizarre Inc. was nothing more than a studio production. Some prog-soul by The Undisputed Truth: The Best of, Face To Face. This is in the Sly Stone vein of soul but more experimental – they do an amazing Ball of Confusion.

Too add some modern I have Solange: A Seat at the Table – which is also experimental soul/pop – the lp title should tip you off there is some political underpinnings 🙂  Frank Ocean is a rapper/soul singer who came out & I figured I should have at least something by him – Blonde: well produced but vocals get buried & after several listening I can’t name a song. Finally another by an out singer: Jordan Smith’s Something Beautiful – he has one of those angelic, slightly hurt voices that makes everything sound wistful & emotionally compelling.

from Isle de Nuit

“What do you mean – you’re leaving?”

“Jacques there’s nothing more I can do. The Montreal police don’t need me for their investigation. I have a job in Halifax to get back to. I can’t afford to be here.”

“Don’t you need to know what happened to Xavier?”

“Yeah sure but we’ve done what we can, right. Who to question? Xavier made sure his trail was cold before he left. He must have known that all along. He had it planned so he could make this clean get away. I hope it was worth what this must have cost him.” Mark picked up his suitcase. Not much heavier than when he had arrived. He’d decided not to bring much of the film crap with him. He’d been tempted to get rid of the tee he’d been wearing when he met V but after a few washing it wouldn’t hold any memory. 

“I’ll keep in touch.’ He reached out to shake hands with Jacques. 

Jacques pulled him into a bear hug. He squirmed remembering what had happened between them at the hotel the other day. At a glance he could tell that Jacques was remembering it too.

“I didn’t mind.”’ Jacques half smiled.

“I know.’ He avoided Jacques’ kiss. “But this isn’t what I need. Another long distance relationship.”

Jacques sighed. “I know.”

“Maybe under other circumstances.”

“Right! When you aren’t still pining for the invisible man. Now that’s truly a long distance relationship.”

“I will keep in touch though. If you ever want to come to Halifax I have a spare room you can use.”

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The King Kinks and the KLF

The Kinks were part of the first great British invasion that followed on the heels of the Beatles. Tight, punchy pop songs like You Really Got Me established them as a cut above many of the other invaders but they never achieved the popularity of more commercial groups like the Dave Clarke Five. I have their first lp (with bonus tracks) tucked away in an mp3 collection. 

The lp I owned when I lived in Cape Breton was Face to Face. This remains my favourite. The production  was influenced by Sgt. Pepper. The songs have sound effects & other studio tricks, all of which work. Like all their material they are sardonically romanic, socially sharp & flower power trippy. Chipper with touches of English Music hall. My favourite track ‘Rainy Day In June.’

I never did become a fan though. I did love ‘Lola’as one of the first pop songs that was about sexual diversity. I had the cassette of ‘Lola Verses Powerman’ but the sound quality was iffy – the song cycle is about the music industry & has sharp comments, that remains are today. I finally upgraded it to a stand-alone CD & guess what the iffy sound quality remains 😦 I guess it was engineered that way.

I also have 2cd set Kinks Kronikles which is a sort of hits compilation which satisfied my need for their later work. I enjoy the Kinks when they come up in my play rotation. The Face to Face cd has a slew of bonus tracks. 

On the shelf near the Kinks is movie soundtrack of The King & I. This was one of my mother’s favourites & remains one of mine too. Brenner does his own singing, Marnie Nixon dubbed Kerr. I love all of these songs. This cd has the re-constructed Uncle Tom ballet which was not on the lp. Sweet.

Finally on this bit of the shelf is The KLF: Justified & Ancient featuring Miss Tammy Wynette – an ep of different versions. I love this when it hit the discos & takes me back to the early 90’s in a good way. One of the most surreal mash-ups of country & dance music ever & it works.

Killer Joy

Devon squinted his eyes, dropped his voice to a growl. 

“Not, Hey Mark do you want to be killed, strangled, mutilated and left butt naked in the back seat of a ’58 Plymouth.”

“Nothing like that.” 

My cell phone rang and rang.

“Aren’t you going to answer it.”

“It can go to voice mail.’

“You are really afraid.” Devon sort of laughed.

“You aren’t taking this seriously are you. Or do you know more than you are letting on. You do, don’t you, you fucking asshole.”

Devon’s smile got bigger as he back away from me. 

“No! No! Honest. It’s weird to see you sort of panic like this. You are usually so calm.”

“If this is some set up I’ll never speak to you again. This isn’t funny.”

Devon tried to keep a straight face.

I checked my voice mail. 

“It’s Dave. He wants to know what’s keeping us.” I called Dave back.

“Hey Dave we’re on our way … A little delay getting the car parked.  Yeah Devon is with me. we should be there in about five minutes.” I shut the cell phone.

“Was it him?” Devon asked.

“Him what?”

“That called you. Did the voice sound like Dave’s?”

Devon’s cell rang. He answered it. He dropped it the ground.

“What!” I asked.

“He said – Mark wants to kill you.”

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Piston, Poulenc and Chopin

I have a couple of stand-alones by Walter Piston (1894 – 1976) Violin Concertos, Chamber Music that I picked up in 2004 at HMV. This was part of my musical education to see/hear was happening in modern classical music. I am familiar with other genres of non-mainstream – electronic, free jazz, prog rock. Walter Piston (an ideal porn name, if you ask me) is one of several respected American composers whom I had never heard of until I did a bit of research.The music, to me, not all that memorable. Technically challenging violin concertos are fine but I am not the audience  – this is music for musicians more than it is music for the general public. I don’t find myself drawn back to it as I am with Gershwin or Copeland.

Next on the shelf is an mp3 collections headed by Francis Poulenc. He is best know for his opera Dialogues des Carmélites (which I don’t have) but I had an lp of his Concerto champetre – a fun harpsichord concerto full of mood, percussive keyboard work & charm. I downloaded this version as part of a set of his orchestral suites which are engaging & almost impressionist.

So it made sense to add some Scriabin to this collection. So here is Le Poem de l’extase, Concerto for Piano, Le Poeme du Feu. This is brilliant, moody work that is lush, romantic & full of sonic intrigue. Not here, but which I have, are his piano sonatas that are also brilliant. Scriabin was gifted with synesthesia: seeing music as colours & beautiful colours at that. He was greatly influenced by Chopin.

Which lead to adding Jan Lisiecki (1995) recording of Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1/2, from 2009. Yes, he was a prodigy but his playing is emotional & sensitive. There was/is some quibble about a performer so young tackling the classics. I have other recordings of these concertos & his take is excellent.

 

Finally in this collection is the Shutter Island soundtrack. This a soundtrack that doesn’t need the movie – Max Richter pieces are somber, eerie, almost spiritual & clearly inspired by Scriabin atonal work.  The classical pieces add to the sense of darkness. The movie itself is high-drama, dark & stormy night, psychobabble spookiness that needs a soundtrack to work.

Are You Ready

My nervous pacing was as clear to me now as if it was yesterday not a month ago, when I first hooked up with Devon. Double-checked to make sure the buzzer system was working and the lobby channel was on the TV so I could keep an eye for who was coming & going. I wasn’t sure what to expect even though I had seen his profile picture & the few others he had sent me. The lobby camera was crap for detail so I was never sure what purpose it served. Even though I was expecting him I jumped when the phone rang at his buzz. 

Devon was exactly what I would have wanted. Smelt good. Looked good in and out of his jeans and was eager to get out of them too. We even managed some conversation after the sex. I agreed to meeting him again and again. Now a month had passed and we were actually seeing each other not just hooking up. We’d worked out a routine where by he’d phone or text when he was a few minutes away. Tonight, for the first time, we were doing something outside, in the real world, where people would see us together.

My cell phone rang. I answered automatically.

“I’m in the lobby.”

“I’ll be right down.”

He was pacing when I got to the lobby. I reach out to kiss him when my cell rang again. I answered it.

“Are you ready to die?” A voice I nearly recognized.

“Excuse me?”

Dial tone. Unknown number.

“What was it?” Devon asked me.

“Wrong number.” I laughed. It had to be. Who would want to harm me?

On the sidewalk I looked around. Wasn’t this how that movie started? Was someone watching me from one of those windows, giggling as I looked around to see if someone was watching me from one of those windows? I put phone into my coat pocket. 

“Don’t forget where it is this time.” Devon mimed patting his pockets and then his shoes looking for a phone.

It rang again. I got it on the first ring.

“Are you ready to die?”

Dial tone before I had time to say anything. Unknown number.

“What is it?”

My face must have paled this time. The first time I wasn’t sure I heard what I heard. This time I was sure.

“Some guy asked me if I was ready to die.”

“Is that d-i-e or d-y-e? Sounds like some weird promo for a hair salon if you ask me.”

“Or a movie.”

“Seriously. Someone is calling you with death threats. Go to the police.”

“These are first & so far the only such threats I’ve ever received.”

“What does he say? I’m assuming it’s a he.”

“I am too but they are so brief I can’t really say for sure. He says ‘Are you ready to die.’ ”

“You know the voice.”

“No. It’s not like those heavy breathers in the movies. Not even threatening. Matter of fact. Are you ready for dinner. Let’s meet for coffee – sort of normal.”


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks paypal.me/TOpoet 

King Kooba and Friends

For a time, at the turn of the century, I was picking up British music magazines that had cd samplers. It was a great way of finding new music. This was where I first heard Coldplay before they exploded. The problem was, then, that finding this music beyond the sampler was nearly impossible. Things change. I can use YouTube to check out new stuff. Or use iTunes to sample. 

 

One magazine I like was Revolution. On their Dec. 2000 sampler was a track by King Kooba that I loved but finding the cd was impossible. I went into HMV, Sams etc & asked & no one ever heard of the band, whatever. Now, thanks to iTunes I have King Kooba’s Nufoundfunk, Indian Summer as part of an mp3 collection. Kooba is an electronica DJ duo from UK – the tracks are samples plus ‘new’ music. Often full of yearning & always emotive & transporting. Check them out.

 

Also in this collection are Giorgio Moroder’s Knights in White Satin, From Here To Eternity – old school disco by a grandmaster engineer, writer. Knights is a bit cheesy but fun, Eternity is great background sex music. The retro vibe in this collection continues with Bjork’s Debut – Venus as a Boy is a great song. I enjoy the lp but I’ve never become a Bjork fan. Also retro is OMC (Otara Millionaires Club): How Bizarre. Out of New Zealand this is a band I’d never heard of before until someone posted OMC video in my tumblr feed. Fun dance music.

A bit more modern is St. Vincent. I kept reading about her, so downloaded: David Byrne & St. Vincent: Love This Giant – modern Talking Heads & interesting. Also her self titled St. Vincent. Both are solid pop lps but nothing really grabbed me. I do enjoy them when I hear them. I can hear OMG’s hit in my head but nothing by St. Vincent comes to mind.

Also modern is Blood Orange (aka Devonté Hynes) out of the UK: Cupid Deluxe. Fine r’n’b with some electronica touch with a strong Steve Wonder feel. Finally in this collection, as a complete departure, is Toronto’s I Hate Todd: The Moves Pt. 1 which includes Zombie Love. This is one of the many bands with Nelson Sobral on guitar with & thus is excellent. Search them out too.

Apartment Living

“Have you lived here long?” Juan snuggled beside me on the sofa.

“You mean this apartment or …”

“We can start there.”

“Why this interest in how long I’ve been here.”

“It’s called making conversation.”

Juan wasn’t making conversation, I knew, but looking for context connection something more than the physical flash that drew us together.  I enjoyed being with him and wouldn’t mind having it go on indefinitely but at the same time didn’t really want an emotional mire to get in the way of that.

“I was born here. Grew up in the east end.”

“A native! That’s a rare beast in a city where everyone is from somewhere else.”

“I know. I do try to keep a low profile about that so as not scare the newcomers. And you?”

“An Alberta prairie boy. Not quite fresh of a farm but pretty close to it. Couldn’t wait to get from there to here. Been here about five years now.”

“Cordoso is certainly a prairie name.”

“Third generation. My grandparents immigrated from Peru.”

“To Alberta?”

“Alberta needed doctors.”

“I see.”

“You’ve been in this apartment quite a while to accumulate  all these things. My place is a bed and a computer, not even a dining nook. No time yet to really move in. I didn’t take the place expecting to be there this long, so keep putting off settling in.’

“That why we always end up here to hang out?”

“Always? Three dates so far. Hard to call that always. If you like prison cells we can go to my place. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Functional furniture only a bed …”

“The computer on a TV tray? Yeah, I know. Not even an xbox?”

“Not for me. I sleep, I wash, I get out of there.”

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

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 andBbad 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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

King Crimson

 

 

By King Crimson I have in my collection as stand-alones: In The Court of the Crimson King; Wake Of Poseidon; Lizard; Larks’ Tongues in Aspic. As mp3 I have the expanded In The Court of the Crimson King; Islands; Starless & Bible Black; Red. All hail the mellotron that dominates that first lp 🙂 Also, all hail the iconic cover art.

 

 

King Crimson crossed from quirky pop to progrock to experimental from track to track becoming progressively more experimental from lp to lp. Court starts with the harsh Schizoid Man and drifts into the hippy-dippy I Talk To The Wind. It never returns to that harsh sound. The band is similar (here)n at times to Moody Blues for overtly poetic lyrics. Also echos of Pink Floyd. But these groups cross-influenced each other.

 

I love ‘Cat Food’ (piano work stolen by David Bowie on Aladdin Sane). My favourite, of what I have, is ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspec.’ The engineering is astonishing & the lp holds together as a whole. A another favourite track is ‘Ladies on the Road’ from Islands which has one of the dirtiest sax solos by Mel Collins I’ve ever heard by anyone.

 

 

King Crimson band members were involved in other notable bands: Lake in Emerson, Lake & Palmer; McDonald in Foreigner; Burrell in Bad Company, and Wetton in U.K. and Asia. Robert Fripp & Adrian Belew influenced decades of keyboard & guitarist & appear on uncountable tracks by nearly everyone 🙂 from David Bowie to the Rolling Stones to Tina Turner.

More Than A Little Fun

“You know, I sort of like you.” Juan pulled me closer to him in the bed.

“I hear that happens.” I kissed him. This was always the point where I got sort of antsy. I liked him. He was articulate, fun in bed, had a decent job. “But we’ve known each other for, what? Less than a month.”

“Long enough to know this more than a little fun for me.” He rolled with his back to me.

“If we were the same age how would you feel?” I spooned him.

“Ten years isn’t such a big difference when you pass thirty. Unless it means something to you.”

“Nope.” I had a different age in each profile, so I was never sure how old I was supposed to be. None of them my real age, either. That I did know. Plus having looked in his wallet earlier I knew he hadn’t been honest about his age either. He was younger than he claimed to be. I drifted off before I could answer him

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – cancelled

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

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 andBbad 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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Jazzy Han Har Har

Bo Hansson made a crossover foray in the early 70’s with his lp Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings. I was a Tolkien fan at the time, had read the books at least once & when I first heard this was expecting a sort of Celtic/Swedish sound with tambours, penny whistles stuff but instead it was a gentle, moody, jazz exploration of the Rings. I replaced that lp with cd in 2003. Almost meditative & forerunner of new age sooth. Pleasant & timeless. 

Much more jazz, is trumpet Roy Hargrove’s Public Eye; Habana; earfood – which I have as stand-alones. I first heard him as sideman with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride. I picked all these up, at different times, on sale at HMV. Solid jazz. Habana explores Cuban sound with a large group;

I have a chunk of sax player Eddie Harris on an mp3 collection that includes his Complete Jazz Sessions 61/62; as stand-alone From 68): Electrifying/Plug Me In; & back to the mp3 collection his 1969 lp Silver Cycles. At once time juke boxes would have several jazz recordings & Harris filled the bill with these tracks – all around 4 min, many versions of movie theme or standards – high quality cocktail jazz. The stand-alone is more of the same but with more explorative longer tracks. My first Harris was Silver Cycles which is an amazing early exploration of electronica & experimental jazz. Some track feature a wordless female quartet. I always loved it eclectic range of this lp. I added the Sessions when I found the 44 track collection on iTunes.

Also in this mp3 collection is Vinnie Burke’s String Jazz Quartet. One of my co-works in Sydney was a jazz fan & I first heard his lps of this – a couple of upright basses, cello, violin – no percussion beyond plucking & I loved it. I had an lp to cas dupe which I was happy to upgrade to mp3.

Here too is Mike Cuozzo’s Mighty Mike – fine easy jazz with some vibes for flavouring. As well as Marie-Louise Girod’s Last Year At Marienbad soundtrack. One of my all rime favorite movies with a an eerie organ soundtrack. I never expected to find this but there it was on iTunes.

Booker Ervin’s The Song Book is an lp to cd finally to mp3 that fits nicely in this collection. Ervin is Harris to the next level of jazz seriousness. For a modern touch there is Russell Gunn’s Love Requiem; Plays Miles Davis. Modern jazz but a fine trumpet player. I love his Davis homage. 

Finally for a total change is Adam Rafferty’s Gratitude. Acoustic jazz guitar that isn’t challenging nor is it relaxation music. I heard his version of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition & track it down to this lp. makes a nice break from the ‘real’ jazz.

Latino Likes Dad

I am a liar. At my age it’s hard to admit to that, but it is true. Not a big liar, but there’s no such thing as being a little pregnant. I only lie about one thing, my age. Not that it is such a big deal in the long run, but if I can get away with 10 or 15 years younger than I am then I’ll do it. We live in an ageist culture. In the gay world it is even harsher. The older men get, the more they want bodies in the early ripe of life – those sweet young things between 20 & 30. Ask a 50 year old if he finds other 50 year olds at all attractive he’ll probably snort with derision.

When I come to attraction, age isn’t the key for me. Well-preserved is well-preserved. I’ve preferred men to young guys. Once they hit 35 they are about old enough for me – seasoned but not too bitter yet.

So I lie about my age because those guys at 35 aren’r ready for well-preserved, even when they claim to be, as they do on those web sites devoted to bringing older and their younger admirers together. 

As they say the web we weave can get sticky, as I have different ages on different sites but so do some of them. I know what works where. Not that I get much action anyway, but the web has been more productive than bars clubs or sitting around coffee shop gleaming manically over a triple espresso. I hooked up with Juan from, I think, I Dig Daddies, which I can’t help but think of as I Dig Graves, but that’s another story.

His handle was LatinoLikesDad. His profile was straight forward. A couple of clear photos. Plus he contacted me. I like that. He arrived for our first playdate, on time & eager. Ditto for the second. He was in many ways just what I was looking for except he had strings, or rather wanted strings. He didn’t say that but I could tell. I on the other hand am what one would call polyamorous. The more love you invite the more you have to share. I am not a slut.

Not that I’m all that active. Quality has always been more important to me that quantity. More than one on the go always made me happy. Something I never hid from any of them. If they can’t deal with it such is life. But when I’m too old or too young I tend to take that personally for some reason. Such is life.

So this is be third time Juan & I date. This time a real date not just a clothes off, slobber on each other opportunity. A date is all foreplay and the more of that the better. Coming isn’t the point of sex, it’s the end of it.

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

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 andBbad Times Theatre

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

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet