#Juniah to #Junior

dj Juniah’s D.A.N.C.E. Pride 2008 was a freedown -as you might guess it’s a dj mix set of dance music, as such I can’t name a track he uses though I did recognize a few of them. Dance music! Yes I do like me some high-energy dance music. Great for writing too & also for making out. Not all music has to be emotionally demanding, politically forthright or sonically challenging.

 

 

It is part of an mp3 collection that includes Gino Soccio: Greatest hits. Soccio success was in late 70’s early 80’s disco. I enjoyed the easy danceability of his studio work & have more of his work tucked divot other mp3 collections. Here too is the Afro Celt Sound System’s Capture (1995-2010) – compilation from various lps. I heard a track on So You Think You Can Dance? & loved it. As the band name suggests they mash up African & Celtic rhythms in a way that actually works. Also here is Stereo MC’s Double Bubble. I found their song ‘Connected’ irresistible (& have as a stand alone that cd) Bubble is more of the same & has a similar sound to AfroCelt – danceable world music & fun with a bit of a socio-political edge.

 

 

 

On the shelf next to Juniah is Junior Senior – a Danish pop duo. I have as stand-alones their ‘d-d-don’t stop the beat’ & ‘Hey Hey My My Yo Yo’. This is super fun summer music. Sweet, gay subtext, a bit of rap, a touch of hip-hop & all infused with crisp energy & lots of hand-clap propulsion. I love these guys. All the above are worth hunting down if you need, as I do, some fresh, fun, funky music.

Daily Special

the cafe wasn’t too crowded – there was a table with two seats – maybe should take that – leave the larger tables for people with friends – don’t want to waste valuable space on myself after all – besides someone might want to sit with me – strangers – or be afraid to sit with me because they thought I was expecting friends – once that happened – longing looks but afraid to sit with me even though the cafe was full – I felt so responsible – so afraid that people wouldn’t sit in those empty chairs – was it something about me that pushed them away – I wouldn’t have minded but wasn’t able to invite them – to say join me – I could tell they wouldn’t have anyway – I wasn’t the type they wanted someone else to think was their friend or even an acquaintance – so since then I’ve taken a small table – let people take the extra chair if they wanted it – easier to sit on my own than worry about – well what ever it is one worries about when a stranger sits at a table with you – I see that happen a lot though – but never to me – do I frighten people – am I so uninviting that they’d rather not sit with me – not that I blame them – I am drab – better not to draw too much attention to myself – never liked those show-off people with their flashy comic book character t-shirts – with too much jewellery, piercings, tattoos all those things that said hey look at me look at me – who do they think they are anyway – too many of those noise makers around making it  hard for ordinary guys like me to get noticed at all – better to be sort of nondescript than be one of those self consumed assholes with loads of similar people to laugh out loud with when they sit at their tables with each other, pulling spare chairs from tables like mine, not even bothering to say why don’t you join us, after all I’ve been here before, many times some even nod to me, the waitress knows my name, I think, – but those crafted husks haven’t got the time for the likes of me – not that I blame them – better not to have to perform all the time the way they do with those hey I’m so cool poses as they drape their arms around each other at their table, as they block the view of the stage, as they get up and their friends hoot and cheer to whatever drivel they spew, you won’t catch me up there –

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

https://www.facebook.com/events/504067323723768/

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

Pachelbel Paganini Pepusch

Under P are a couple of Lp to cd transfers of  Musical Heritage Society recordings. On one is Johann Pachelbel (1653 –1706): Canon, Partitas; J Frach: Concerto, Sinfonias; George Handel: 1685 – 1759 Alexander’s Feast, Sinfonia. On the other is J.C. Pepusch (1667 – 1752: Flute Sonatas; Haydn: Flute Trios. All from about the same period mostly in Germany.

The most famous piece is Pachelbel’s Canon which became & remains a mainstay on relaxation & meditation cds. Stately, leisurely & soothing the Canon is a sweet piece of music. If you think you’ve never heard it, trust me, you probably have in commercials & movies. The other music on these cds is equally as pleasant, soothing – but if I heard any of it anywhere I probably wouldn’t recognize it.

Also under ‘p’ is Paganini (1782 –1840). I have as  stand-alone 24 Caprices for Violin; & tucked away in an mp3collection: Violin Concertos, Guitar Music. The violin virtuoso of all time 🙂 his Caprices are playful, emotional & nearly every violinist since recording was invented has recorded some of them & frequently all of them. Of course listening to the entire set at one time is a tiring & one loses the power of individual pieces in the rush of all of them.

The mp3’ are more recent additions. I thought one day here’s a virtuoso who must aha written more than this one famous set of Caprices. I did have some of the guitar so I started with more of that. His writing for guitar isn’t as show-off as in the Caprices. Neither are the violin concertos but all are listenable.   Many composers are trapped by a biggest hit or two & we lose sight of their other works. Dukas for example. Or if there isn’t a big hit they get forgotten like, well, I’ve forgotten them myself. No – I mean composers like Debussy or Pierné.

Saved By Censorship

John was (verbing) down the street he stopped to (verb) with Mary. He asked her how her (noun) was that day. she smiled and opened her (noun) and took out a (noun) and showed him pictures of her (noun)John (verbed) when he saw them. ‘Would you like to (verb) with me’ he asked her. ‘Not today,’ she (verb) ‘I would much rather (verb) with you later this week.’‘I’ll have to (verb) my (noun) if I can (verb) with you.’He gave her a quick (noun) and went on his way.’

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

https://www.facebook.com/events/504067323723768/

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

Polar Bears and Rinoceroses

 

I love love love Jules & the Polar Bears’ two lps Got No Breeding & fəˈnet̬·ɪks. We’re talking early 80s – this is power pop-rock with a Talking Heads influence, rapid fire lyrics that are amazing. I am still amazing that this band didn’t become a smash hit – maybe the lyrics were too literate? Jules Shear is a sort of industry legend who never broke big, like Linda Perry.

 

The songs are are dense, light-hearted, bouncy, thoughtful & are full of great harmonies, complex arrangements. Romance, memory (The Smell of Home) all with a wry turn of phrase. I had these as lps, now as mp3 & always love love hearing them again & again.

To the mp3 CD I added a couple of lps by Rinôçérôse: Schizophonia; Futurino. Their use of accents made them a natural fit with ‘fəˈnet̬·ɪks’ 🙂 I have several recordings of this French duo that started out with a guitar based French House electronica sound which became more rock than electronica. Slightly experimental, absurdist lyrically, inventive and fun. These are later recordings & are show the progression of this band well. If you are unfamiliar check out their first release ‘installation sonore.’

 

 

Also, for no particular reasons I rounded out this mp3 collection Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions. Live takes on songs from their first albums & some songs that only appear here. The band was tight, they don’t try to replicate the studio versions. The Dazed & Confused in this set is amazing & makes it clear that, at this point in time, the band was fearless, extravagant & focused.

Intimacy

The sheets were white. The blanket, a pale pink that might have held more color at one time but was slowly becoming white. My Dad lay on the bed, on top of the blanket.

‘Not ready to get between those sheets yet.’ he smiled up at me.

‘Doesn’t feel too bad.’ I ran my hand under the blanket to feel the sheets. Cool but soft. I expected them to be hard, crisp.

‘Just one step closer to the grave.’ My Dad looked away from me.

‘Dad, this is a check-up, not a check-out.’

‘Same thing. Same thing.’

He was nearly eighty but still had full color in his hair, a firm solid, body from constant walking everywhere and anywhere. More walking since he retired. It was to keep his bone mass up. The better the bone mass the safer his hips and knees would be if he fell.

‘Dad this is just a regular check up, unless there’s something you haven’t told me?’

He looked back at me. I could tell that there was.

‘Jen … I …’

‘What?’ My heart skipped a beat. ‘What?’

‘You remember … No, I can’t tell you … never could …’ he sank into the bad and covered his eyes with his hand.

‘Tell me what? Are you in worse shape than you let on?’

‘I’m … I mean … your mother never knew … I want you to know that she never knew …’

‘Never knew what? What? Dad, tell me?’ I pulled his hand away from his face.

‘There was someone …. I mean …’

‘What? Do I have a half-brother or sister somewhere? Is that it?’ I knew my Dad was a randy guy. Always flirted with women at parties. I could see him at our bbq’s in the back yard laughing and hugging the wives of his friends. That he might have had an affair wouldn’t have surprised me.

‘No. That’s why this is so hard … I want you to know .. so you won’t find out when you … when I die … You remember Chuck and Grace.’

‘Grace? That mousy little thing? But Grace?’

‘No. Chuck.’

‘Chuck? What about Chuck.’

‘He was my lover.’

The room spun around me for a moment. Was I hearing right?

‘You and Chuck. What?’

‘It was an intimacy I never felt with your mother … with any woman …’

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

Janis Joplin

In my Janis Joplin collection I have, as stand-alone’s, Big Brother & the Holding Company; Live at Winterland 68; Cheap Thrills; Pearl. As mp3 I have See See Rider; Kosmic Blues; at Woodstock. As well as these biographies: Janis by David Dalton (1971); Janis Joplin: Buried Alive by Myra Friedman (1974); One The Road With Janis Joplin by John Byrne Cooke (2014) [I have yet to read this one.]

 

In Cape Breton, when Janis hit big, with Cheap Thrills, any female with bushy hair & granny glasses was guaranteed an opportunity to sing with a band, whether she could sing or not 🙂 It was the emotional honesty in her voice that made Janis a star. Sadly it was that emotional openness that partially lead to her too early death. The other contribution to her death, I think, was the inability of the male music industry to let a woman succeed on her own terms. Something that had been in that industry (& may still be) back to the 30’s (& earlier I’m sure). I look at the careers of singers such as Judy Garland, Billie Holliday – & see that same pattern in Janis’s life.

Her music speaks for itself. I’ve had some of these as lps, then cassettes. Now cd’s & mp3s. ‘Live at Winterland 68’ is a performance while Cheap Thrills was being recorded & some of it shows up on Cheap Thrills. ‘See See Rider’ purports to be Janis before she joined Big Brother: live recordings of her folkie performances of songs like San Francisco Bay Blues. I downloaded it from iTunes so I figure it is really her but there is some doubt. Sounds like her.

I can’t say that I have a favourite track though. I’ve lover Summertime, Move Over, Piece of My Heart. There are couple that I’ve never liked from my first listen – both are considered her finest by many, but if I never hear Bobby McGee or Mercedes Benz again I’ll be happy.

The mp3 collection also includes: It’s A Beautiful Day: Live at the Fillmore West – prog rock psychedelics from compatriots of Janis. A great concert. Tina Louise (from Gilligan’s Island) It’s Time For Tina: easy listening lounge music. Evelyn “Champagne” King: Greatest Hits – Shame is a great song that I can imagine Janis doing. King has a great voice & if you love old school disco this is perfect for you. The Warning: Escape The Mind, XXI Century Blood: three Mexican sisters play hard-rock that kicks ass.

My connection to Janis was deepened by my friendship with the late, great Jackie Burroughs. Jackie was part of the film crew on the 1970 Festival Express – a train tour of Canada by groups such as the Grateful Dead – that included Janis. She & Janis were drinking & pot buddies so I got first-hand stories of their train-ride rides.

L.S.D and threesomes 

you know Dunc

I never really liked sex that much

not that I refused it 

or never chased after it

I always felt it was something 

I was supposed to

as opposed to something 

I wanted to do

 

some of it was good

I certainly enjoyed myself at times

even going through the motions

can have some positive results, right

 

the only man I ever really loved was Zal

we were both so young that it couldn’t last

I didn’t expect it to

 

usually I didn’t know what to say 

once it was over — thanks for the tumble

when Cohen apologized

for touching my then perfect body 

with more than his mind

I wanted to laugh at his conceit

 

often it was the only way 

most men would let you near them

they weren’t interested in conversation

I certainly didn’t want to know 

what they thought of my work either

 

the stories of them

are always more interesting 

than the having of them

l.s.d and threesomes with Janis 

the senator who later ran for president

the silver-tongued devil

 

though I did like some of them

I merely wanted them to want me

if I could have been wanted

without being had

I would have done that you know

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

Sing

Sing

when I was a young boy 

I liked to sing

used to do it a lot

around the house 

on my way to school

with my dad when we went fishing

with my sisters when they got old enough 

we would sing bits of songs off the radio

sing along with records of my mother

Mario Lanza 

drink drink drink

each trying to out sing the other

hey there

you with the stars in your eyes

that would become

hey there

you with sausages in your eyes

don’t fry my heart

it always broke us up 

hey there 

you with the bananas in your eyes

don’t monkey with my heart

hey there

you with the beans in your ears

can’t you hear I love you

 

the children’s choir at church 

was looking for new members

my mom suggested 

it would be great opportunity

I could learn to sing for real

learn how to carry a tune 

instead of burying it under volume

 

a bunch kids at the church hall

were lined up according to height

mostly girls and some boys

mostly around my age 10 to 12

we where given a song sheet

words between dangling fangs of music

I didn’t know notes   rests 

we where told 

just worry about the words

a woman played a few notes on the piano

we started in with a din

a few tries and we worked through it

then girls only  boys only 

individually

some got a nod from her

yes you’ll do fine

my turn she played a few notes

I started

no no no this note

finally she gave up

thank you but you really can’t …

 

blood rushed to my face ears

the other kids gawked at me

I ran out ran home

told my mother 

I never wanted to sing

never ever ever

and really haven’t

except for the occasional

 

hey there 

you with the fingers in your ears

Hey there, it’s a bonus – a piece that didn’t make the chapbook for space reasons 🙂 This is a mostly true incident with some poetic licence. My mother was a big Mario Lanza fan, we did sing along to his albums. Hey There was a big hit for someone – I thought it was Perry Como but maybe it was Frank Sinatra. The way we would fit our own objects into your eyes happened every time we sang it but I doubt if we were ever as inventive as I make out here.

My mother would rarely join into our vocal gymnastics but Dad always did. I can recall when he took us kids for Sunday drives we would sing ‘Yellow Submarine’ (for some reason) endlessly. The drives were probably to get us out for under our mother’s feet for a couple of hours because she rarely came with us.

I did go to Sunday school and that’s where this ‘audition’ was announced. We were to come on a night during the week. It was clear who the ‘conductor’ wanted to audition as she named off some kids she wanted to make sure would show up. But I went anyway. I told my mother about it & she said something about carrying tune. 

The audition was not as organized as I make it here. The kids who had been given the nod earlier knew somethings about music already like rests & stops. They might have been her piano students already. Budding prodigies. ‘dangling fangs’ is clearly the poets image not the little boy. I just though they look scary & incomprehensible. Each of us did get a solo opportunity and that was the worse part. All I remember was being too nervous to get any volume. My departure from the audition wasn’t quite so dramatic. Several off us were given the boot.

I told my mother they had enough boys so I didn’t get picked. We didn’t continue to sing Yellow Submarine on our drives. I did not choose to become a professional singer 🙂

previous Brown Betty posts:

Man With A Past 1 https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3B3

When I Was A Young Boy  https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3By

Home (not of the brave) https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Cg

Nailed https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3D9

Dad’s Pockets https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3E0

Unmasked https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3EE

The Colliery https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3HG

The Past Catches Up https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Ip


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Jazz Hams

I didn’t realize how much Chico Hamilton I had in my mp3 collection. Scattered over various complications I have The Dealer; El Chico; Man From Two Worlds; The Further Adventures of El Chico; Easy Livin’; A Different Journey; and as stand-alone the Quintet Complete.

Chico was a much sought master percussionist who recorded thousands of tracks with too many jazz greats to list. Mostly notably (to me) Gabor Szabo. He also led various groups of his own. He could be understated or dominating depending on what he was called to do. Latin, swing, modern, experimental – he did it all. His group recordings are solid bop work, his many recordings with Szabo are worth seeking out.

Close to him on the shelf is the BlueNote compilation: Heros of The Hammond. Tracks selected from their immense back catalogue of work by Jimmy McGriff, ‘Bother’ Jack McDuff & others, this is an excellent introduction to jazz organ. Some in the Jimmy Smith mode, others Booker T. I love this organ sound that lead to the fun farfisa sound of garage rock & the progressive rock of ELP.

Next is an lp to cd transfer of Lionel Hampton’s Steppin’ Out. He played a very swinging jazz vibraphone and his recordings are endless as band leader & sideman. Equally at home in big and or small combos his playing is lively & tasteful. Steppin’ Out is no exception & makes a good start if you are unfamiliar with this subgenera or if you’ve only heard Gary Burton’s more modern/experimental work.

Fool

The boots had been the the back of the closet. I hadn’t cleaned here is some time, at least that’s what the layer of dust accused me of not doing. I recognized the boots instantly.

Calf-high cowboy boots. Tan leather with some deep red scroll fan-like inserts. Heels well worn, one toe scuffed. Dave had worn these daily for months. How could he have left these when he moved out? How could I have missed them till now?

I brushed the dust off them. My cleaning stopped dead in its tracks. I took them into the kitchen to clean them better. The leather was stiff and dry but a little dubbin could bring it back to life. 

Dave. Dave. Dave. Where are you now? I never really understood what went wrong. At the moment I saw the sense but now, looking back, it made no sense at all.

Impulsively I pulled the boots on. His feet were a size smaller than mine, but these were always big on him. Maybe that’s why he left them behind. The calf of the boot was tight, the ankle tighter, but I forced my toes past instep and they were on. Tight. My baby toes pained.

Dave’s boots! He never would have let me wear them when he was around. I took a few unsteady steps. The heels made me inches taller and the smooth soles slid on the floor. I could walk in them, but not far, unless I wanted to have my big toe and little toe surgically removed.

I went to the study and found the photo album of our trip through the desert and the dude ranch we stayed at for a couple of weeks. The first summer. God, Dave you were a gorgeous man. Ah, there are those boots, too. You were so proud of them. City boy gets his first cowboy boots.

There we are at the waterfall outside of Pikesville. Sex there was wild. Afraid some tourist family would pull up. Mom, Pop, Sis and Junior would catch these buck naked bare-ass guys in a frenzy under the crashing water. No one caught us though.

That summer was so sweet.

I tottered back the the kitchen.

‘Boots, you are heading the way of all trash.’

I sat on a kitchen chair and began to pull. It was as if the boot was glued to my foot. I first tried one then the other. Permanently attached to my feet. I yanked and struggled but neither would budge more than a scant nano-inch and ripped at the skin on the back of my ankle. I’d need to have my heel removed to get them off. Scissors? Cut them off? 

What a fool I was to let you go, Dave. What a fool. 

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

Jones and King

I loved Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings old-school soul sound from the first moments of the first track on Naturally. I read a rave review of her somewhere & for once wasn’t disappointed. The same is true of 100 Days & I Learned The Hard Way. Great songs, great band, fine Dap Kings horn section & Sharon’s voice – it all seems so effortless – like stepping into a time machine into a 1968 r’n’b review. If you’ve never her you are missing something.

Not next on the shelf but close enough is Carol King’s Tapestry plus an mp3 collection that includes her Music; Rhymes & Reasons; Fantasy. Tapestry was one of those unavoidable albums – everyone I knew in Sydney had a copy of it, except for me. Not that I didn’t like it but I found some of it too limpid – I was a Led Zeppelin fan 🙂 Too peaceful, as is nearly all her music.

In the mp3 collection I also have Françoise Hardy’s Le Premier Bonheur du Jour – I had an lp copy of this I bought in Montreal sometime in the 90’s. It is her 2nd release & is full of sweet girl pop. She was the French version of Marianne Faithful – gentle rock/folk innocence.  

Also Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs – mainly Brecht (gasp!). I had a cassette transfer of this given to me by a friend & I replaced that with mp3 download. I love her voice, her phrasing & the songs, all in German, are classics. Never a big US star, like Detrich, Lenya is a treasure.

More French, this time PQ with Monique Leyrac: Les Grands Succes, Chant Leclerc. An international music icon who could rival Celine Dion, Monique ever courted the US market & as a result never achieved the same celebrity status as Celine. I love her versions of Pendant Que & Mon Pays both included in Grands. An amazing voice 

Beatrice Lillie: The Very Best of – Canada’s own darling 🙂 great comic timing, excellent songs that straddle English musical hall & Broadway. Very funny.

Free Your Mind

‘Peaches … readers … congratulations … filling … piecrust … rodents … ski … slope … car … carpet … time … clocks … grass … lawn.’ Jeff shouted each word as loudly as he could. ‘Green … tickle … piano … anger … cage … French … carpet.’

‘You already said carpet.’ Paul muttered.

‘Thanks … regrets … simplicity … theatre … teachers … dy-no-mite … carbonated … selections … execution.’ He stopped for a breath.

‘Are we getting close to the end of this?’ Paul yawned.

‘Conclusion … finality … death … roadwork … cantaloupe … comic … trigger … shovel … lawn.’

‘You’ve already said lawn.’

‘Repetition … suspicion … furtive … creep … birthday … cardigan.’ Jeff glanced at his watch. Another minute to go. ‘Devious … bible … wedding … swimming  … sand … teeth … filling … candy … spoon.’ He stopped.

‘Is that it?’ Paul began to stand up. 

‘Yep. For now. You should try it.’

‘It sounds pointless to me.’

‘Frees the mind. If anyone needed to free their mind, it’s you.’

‘Thank you. But I’ll stay stuck, rather than sound like a street person off his meds.’

‘Go on try. Say the first thing that comes to mind. Let the words spring up without trying to make sense of them.’

‘No I’d rather stick to cohesive links.’

‘As if that produces anything. You need to learn how to free your mind.’ Jeff grabbed Paul in a head lock and rubbed his head with his knuckles. ‘Come on let it out … let it out.’

‘Get the fuck away from me.’ Paul shoved Jeff aside. ‘Idiot  … asshole … fuck head … prick face. How’s that?’

‘Not random enough. Too much thinking and purpose behind each of them. You need to liberate the editor and let the subconscious well up and flow out. It really clears out the mind and sets you up for what you really want to say.’

‘Look, I know what I really want to say, and that is, that you are an idiot.’

‘That’s merely what you think you want to say to hide what you subconscious is thinking.’

‘I see, so this ‘shout it out’ process also makes you psychic?’

‘Doesn’t take esp to see how uptight you are. Come on just let it loose. The words will set you free. Try it.’

‘Boxer uh midget uh delicate uh…’

‘Louder and don’t select. The right word is the one that appears. Go on you can do it.’

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

October

Stratford Festival – The Crucible

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

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

Elton John

 

From Your Song on his self-titled Elton I’ve been a fan of Elton John. At one time I was eager for each new release, but by Caribo I lost interest. He’d become a music machine as opposed to a musician. Such is life. But those first lps (which I had as lps) where played endlessly. I have the live 11-17-70; Tumbleweed Connection; Madman Across The Water; Honky Chateau; Good Bye Yellow Brick Road;  Blue Moves – as mp3s. 

 

Elton; Tumbleweed Connection; Madman Across The Water; Honky Chateau as stand-alones. All have songs that bring back powerful memories. Lyrics that spoke to me & also spoke about me. ‘Have you ever lived in a cave.’ It took me years to realize how good a singer he was, because he invested those lyrics with a sense that he wrote them himself – whereas he only wrote the music. 

 

To Be Continued … is a 3 cd best of that I inherited from my father’s cd collection when he passed a way. I was surprised to find he had it (along with Best of CCR). Don’t Shoot The Piano Player, Caribou & Capt Fantastic are on shelf as well. There are great songs on these but my favourites are on the earlier lps. Most recent addition is the soundtrack from Rocketman. A sort of hits collection that is excellent because Taron Egerton can actually sing 🙂

I did have Songs From The West Coast – which I won in a contest via TV Guide – that also included a trip to San Diego to hear Elton live in concert. The trip was more memorable than the songs.

Also mixed in with the mp3 cds are Howard Jones, Billy Joel (see last week for them). Plus John James’s Big Fat Soul, Mothers of Hope – James is a Toronto musical who made a bit of a mark thanks to MuchMusic with sweet danceable music with light hip-hop, & strong soul underpinnings. Dr. John: In The Right Place – great radio-friendly work that proved Dr. John had more than gris-gris chops. Finally the British blues band Taste’s self titled live lp full of raw blistering work. I had this as an lp on the east coast & love hearing it when it comes up in my listening rotation.

Flying

‘Pass me the flying pan.’

‘Flying pan?’

‘Sorry. Frying pan. Flying pan was what my Dad used to call it.’

‘Flying pan?’

‘Yeah, he was a bit of joker. When he was sober.’

‘Sounds like it.’ Jim handed Greg the pan. ‘Though I doubt he had something that reflected state of the art.’

The frying pan was stainless something, light and would have looked right on the console of the Star Trek Enterprise.

‘I suppose not. It was one of those heavy, cast iron things. My mother was always afraid to wash it. As if we would somehow wash the taste out of it.’

‘Taste?’

‘It was ‘seasoned.’ Something built up on the surface that was ….’

‘A layer of germs ready to kill.’

‘None of us ended up dead. The only way the frying pan would kill is if you hit someone over the head with it. Which was something my mother threatened to do to my Dad many a time. Booze beat the shit of him for her though.’

‘So you’ve told me many times.’ Jim got eggs from the fridge. ‘but we are much more civilized, aren’t we?’

‘What do you mean by that?’ Greg cracked the eggs open into a low glass dish.

‘I mean we don’t threaten with objects but with objections.’

‘Very funny.’ Greg chopped onions and mixed them in with the eggs. ‘Garlic?’

‘Sure.’

‘You sure? You …’

‘Don’t go there. Garlic will be fine. I’ll chop some.’

‘My goodness, I was merely offering to help.’

‘Stranger things have happened. Should I heat the flying pan?’ Jim put a spoon of butter in the the centre of the pan and swirled it around as it melted, to cover the entire surface.

‘He’d make us pancakes. Every other week, or so. He’d wake up around lunch time Sunday and say ‘get out the flying pan.’ We knew it meant pancakes.’

‘You’ve never made us pancakes.’

‘Please. His were crispy brown on one side and blacker than the pan on the other. He figured they weren’t really cooked unless they were part burned. And lumpy. We dreaded those Sundays but were always afraid not to be there. When I was old enough I started to help him, just a little.’ The whisk clicked rapidly on the bowl as Greg mixed and mixed the eggs. ‘Gotta make them light and fluffy.’

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

every Tuesday 2019

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

October

Stratford Festival – The Crucible

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

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

 

Offenbach Orff

I had an lp to cd transfer of Jacques Offenbach’s  Overtures that I finally replaced with an mp3 download. It leads off an over 7 hour collection of music. I enjoy the Overtures but have refrained from his operettas, some of which I did see in my teens. My musical knowledge isn’t all the extensive so I’m not if all the overtures are for actual operas or merely suites. Pleasant & melodious.

I did see Carl Orff’s Orpheus once & have added that to this cd. Not as rhythmic as his Trionfi, which contains the choral warhorse Carmina Burana – if you think you don’t know it trust me you’ve heard sections of this choral work in hundreds of movies. I have this complete on a stand-alone cd. Great choral work.

I’ve also included mp3s of Richard Strauss’s orchestral suites from Don Juan, Macbeth, Tod und Verklärung. Emotional, almost suffocating and great for writing break-up scenes. Suites from actual operas. 

To lighten things up I added the Vivaldi String Orchestra’s The Four Seasons. I heard this in our car driving to Stratford one year & the engineering was stunning & the playing was so energetic I had to have yet another recording of the Season. It made sense to me to include Moe Koffman’s Four Seasons – this is an excellent jazz interpretation that everyone should have.

Finally because of the ‘plucky’ work by the Vivaldi String Orchestra I added the Taka Koto Ensemble which includes their variations on the Seasons plus new & traditional Japanese music for the koto. Another piece of music worth searching out if you haven’t heard it. 

Fresh

The first rake after winter was one of my favourite days of the year. Even with some snow still here and there, the true warmth of spring had began to seep into the ground. Crocus tips were showing and soon flowers would be popping up. Without the tips I probably wouldn’t have remembered where I planted the bulbs in the fall.

The rake loosened the snow crushed grass and I could see some hints of the first green of lawn at the roots. The smell of stale earth was welcome.

‘How’s it coming?’ Bill from next door asked from his front walk.

‘Good. I guess. I just hope those squirrels don’t go on the same rampage they did last year. Still haven’t found way to keep them at bay.’

‘Fresh garlic?’

‘Only works for vampire squirrels.’

He laughed and went into his house. 

I had a dirty black-brown pile of leaves and twigs. Next task was to bag that mound to make space for the next mound. Wasn’t too bad. I’d put the chicken wire back down over the major beds. That had been the most effective deterrent that I had found. Even kept the birds from seeds. 

The afternoon sun felt good. Once I was done in the front yard I would go to the back. It was always more of a challenge. First to get the banks of snow along the shadow side of the fence – I’d dig them out into the sun. Distribute that wet more evenly as well or I’d have a swamp by the composter.

I’d only given the back a quick glance but even there I saw the welcome signs of growth. Plants couldn’t wait, could they? Once the temperature was right, they were so eager to wake up.

Funny, for me when the temperature was right I just wanted to curl up and sleep a little longer. 

Ah well, that’s the way of the world. First I’d see the front yard looked tidy and then that backyard morass.

Seed catalogues flipped open in my mind to all the wonderful things I could plant, things that I had tried but which never really looked like the photos. I guess I needed to be a camera man and not a gardener to get the garden I dreamed of.

‘Phone for you, Dave.’ My partner Dan poked his head out the front door. ‘Sounds important.’

That much I figured, as he usually would just let me putter and take a message.

‘Keep your eye on that pile.’ I said as I went to the house. Last year someone had walked off with my rake when I was inside, so now we joked about anything left out front.

‘What about the squirrels?’

‘If anyone wants to steal them, they are welcome to them.’

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

every Tuesday 2019

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

October

Stratford Festival – The Crucible

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

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

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

Billy & Howard

I can’t say that I’m a Billy Joel fan but tucked in a couple of different mp3 collections I have The Stranger; Turnstiles; Nylon Curtain; Innocent Man. His career has had its up & downs but he’s still performing. I love the whistling intro on The Stranger. His story telling on songs like ‘Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,’ ‘Good Night Vietnam’ is superb.

He’s a less rock Bruce Springsteen 🙂 He was never, what one might call, a teen idol, which allowed his songs to be adult pop & lets his musical style roam from ballads, jazzy nightclub, to emotional personal declarations ‘Pressure.’ Never challenging and frequently emotionally compelling I’m always happy when these lps come up in my listening rotation.

In the same mp3 collection are Howard Jones’s Human’s Lib; Dream Into Action. A less dour version of The Cure, Howard Jones rode that British new wave wave with cheerful, optimistic songs. He appealed to the MTV crowd with great videos & an easy to listen sound. As much as the Clash or the Sex Pistols were trashing new ground people were eager for the softer sound that Jones delivered.

The lyrics are more adventurous than the music itself, which made almost counter-culture songs like Conditioning appealing. Sexually ambiguous at times he was not as in-you-face as Boy George. Is he still around? I don’t know. As much as I love these two 80’s artifacts I haven’t been interested in seeing what he’s up to today.

Buttercup Cup

‘Which cup and saucer set do you want?’

I looked over the four matched sets – purple thistles on one, red rose buds on another, greenish heath and clover on the next, and buttercups on the last. I wanted to turn each of them over, check the markings like some Antiques Road Show expert – as if knowing the cash value would change the sentimental value in any way.

‘Butter cup.’ The yellow appealed. I didn’t care if it was Spode, Royal Dalton, or rare Japanese enamel ware.

The cups and saucers had materialized from one of several boxes found in Rob’s storage locker. It was like Christmas as we pulled the age-browned boxes and the dusty plastic bags up from the locker. We tore them apart and then unwrapped the various pieces of china, brass and pottery. 

So this is the after life, I thought, we go through what what has been left behind. The strange bits and pieces of a life that someone has stored in a dank apartment building basement locker. Old shoes, cross country skis, broken lamps, papers. Some of which was headed directly to Goodwill.

The box of stones and shells from beaches around there world would stay there for the next owner to dispose of as they saw fit. 

Some things of greater value than anything I ever owned myself. Milk glass, red crystal leaded glass. A life of memorabilia and memory, some of which no one could share now. Things that had been saved by Rob for sentimental value were now merely objects to us. Objects to be appraised for some sort of retail value that sentiment couldn’t increase.

I wasn’t sure if I should be sad or glad, if I should be excited and pleased to find all these bits and pieces or dismayed at the pointless of them.

Some things got repacked in new paper into new plastic bags. Some were left open to view for a proposed contents sale. Maybe some of these items would hold new memory for new people. Maybe their mothers had the same green glass vase & they had been looking for exactly the same one for years.

The mystery of memory, time and space. Like meeting the old friend at Rob’s funeral service and hearing his school mates say the same things about him as mine did about me when I was a school boy. The echo of of our lives through each other’s lives.

Echoes that we sometimes don’t even hear or have an awareness of till the moment is right. The membrane of time rendered useless.

So I hold the buttercup cup up to the light. It glows slightly in the strong afternoon sun. A good sign. I think. The better the porcelain, the warmer that glow. A white membrane to protect new memory.

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

every Tuesday 2019

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

October

Stratford Festival – The Crucible

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

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