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

Killdozer

I read a review of Killdozer’s Little Baby Buntin’ & was intrigued enough to pick up the cassette. The band isn’t quite grind core but is relentlessly metal with blistering crude sexually loaded lyrics & spoken sections. I love it when they come up in my playing rotation. I ‘up-graded’ to mp3 eventually & add their  God Hears the Pleas of the Innocent. It extends their sound. The band has humour & the lp covers are a delight.

Similar to them is Gay Bykers on Acid. I have Drill Your Own Hole, and Stewed To The Gills. These are songs about tension, the crush of popular culture. Excellent samples layered with guitar, thudding drums, sardonic lyrics delivered with insinuating gusto. Another band I discovered after reading a review. Plus couldn’t resist their name or that title. Another that started as a cassette then upgraded.

With them is the much more pop Aerosmith’s Pump. This was the huge comeback for the band & is a great lp of hits, muscular driving, heterosexist songs about love, drugs & being masculine.  More of the same out of Little Caesar. I have their First; & Redemption. This is metal music with abs, it is so muscular & writhing. I love their Motown covers.

Finally on this mainly metal mp3 cd is the soundtrack from The Return of the Living Dead. Metal that veers into rock-a-billy, tracks that are glam-rock with a sprinkling of actual dialogue from the film. The film is excellent, the music is superb. I had an lp to cassette transfer at one time, then opted to upgrade to mp3 version, which also had bonus tracks. Fun music that lives without the movie.

The Smell of Money

I heard the shower start. 

“You still want to join me?” Juan stepped out of the room naked and smiling.

“In a minute.”

He went back in.

I picked up his clothes from the floor, felt the weight of his wallet in his jacket and took it out, flipped it open to his i.d. 

‘Juan Pietro Cardosa’ 

He had given me his real name. Not quite as young as he claimed, But we all do that. Several twenties, fifties, even a couple of hundreds. I’d be nervous carrying that much cash around. Credit cards all with the same Cardoso name. I fingered the cash, became aroused, pulled out a twenty and put the wallet back. There was no rush like that quick little hit from someone you might care for. Better than money in the bank is money from someone else’s wallet. 

I rubbed the twenty around my balls. The feel of, not so hard, but cold cash made me harder. I stepped into the bedroom, stuck the twenty in a box in the bottom drawer of the dresser in a box with other recent cash deposits. 

I stepped into the shower. He had picked the woodsy body wash that Gary liked so much.

“Nice choice.” I slid around him, belly rubbing his back, then his rubbing mine, erections teasing cracks of asses, belly to belly. Hot water and slick with soap. The woodsy vanilla being rewritten as Juan’s scent. 

Kissing, drying, & laughing we pushed each other to the floor, onto the bed.

He nosed my pubes a moment then stopped. “You smell like money. I love that smell.”

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

Oh K Corral

Thanks to MTV Angelique Kidjo’s fifa got much deserved exposure with its mix of traditional sound & funkiness. Her voice is rich & emotional and the songs fine. At times its like Osibisa with a female lead singer. I great piece fo world-music & an excellent start for anyone wanting to explore African music.

 

Kesha’s first videos were like a teenage boy’s sexual fantasy fulfilled – no – I’d go further as the sexually bold almost under-age female she projected appealed  to many straight men. The music was danceable, touches of electronic, a hint of hip-hop made her an  Animal. Slickly produced and carefully packed she was a hit. Turns out she wasn’t just a package that was easy to handle, she had a mind of her own & a sense of what she wanted form her music career, which lead to conflict with her manager & her record label. Men who clearly knew what was best for this upstart brat. Slutty girls sell but she didn’t want to be exploited fought back, was silences for a whole then came back with Rainbow. A great set of angry, joyful & thoughtful material. Plus, like Lady Gaga, Kesha can actually sing.

 

Next are stand-alones by the Killers: Hot Fuss; Sam’s Town; Sawdust; Day & Age. I can’t call myself a fan though. I enjoy these when they come up in rotation but haven’t felt called to play them outside of that rotation. A strong pop rock band – a ‘tougher’ version of Coldplay.

The songs are catchy, engineering is spot on, but I doubt if I could tell them from Star Sailor or Lifehouse – bands with a similar rock sound. I picked these up all on sale at different time for about $4.99 each.

 

How Old

“How old are you?”

That question always came at the wrong moment, not that there was a right moment to ask me that. I had to mentally flip through the various profiles I had on line, which one had been my introduction to Juan. 

“Is that relevant?” I pulled Juan’s fly down then undid his belt buckle. “We’re both old enough for this.”

“Yeah.”

This was our third time together. This time had been an actual date. Movie, drinks after, then back to my place. The first two times had been walk in drop to the floor naked. That always satisfied me but he pushed for more. I was open to that as well. Getting to know you as I’m getting to blow you.

We struggled out of clothes in the living room.

“Gotta take a leak.”

“You know the way by now.”

I gave him a few minutes to do his business then pushed the bathroom door open. He was looking at the body wash on the shelf by the shower.

“Time to come clean?” I was about to turn the shower on. I grabbed the body wash that reminded me of Gary, now I hoped it would remind me of Juan. 

“I’m old enough to shower by myself.” He nudged me out of the bathroom & shut the door.

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

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

The Glory of Godzilla

TCM has picked Godzilla as its monster of the month for October & have been showing 4 or 5 films from the cannon every Friday. Unlike past monsters of the month Godzilla has been produced solely by Toho studios. Dracula, Frankenstein etc have been produced by various studies so there’s a lack of cohesion in those picture.

Not that Godzilla has a story arc but the creature has looked pretty much the same with its oversized rubber suit, staggering walk & roar. Various performers have brought nuanced various on their monsters. Godzilla is noted for his lack of nuance 🙂 That goes for the man in the suit to the actual actors in the films. These aren’t Kurosawa, though I wonder how he would have treated Godzilla – Toshiro Mifune could be pretty scary without the rubber suit.

I have been loving these films & seeing them subtitled, as opposed to dubbed, gives them more oomph. They are from a recent Criterion boxset that covers the oeuvre from 1954 to 1975. Plus TCM has added the ‘stand-alone’ backstory films of Rodan & Mothra. So they have been restored from original Japanese releases & have new subtitles theatre more accurate. All of them had been reconstituted at one time for the American market & as a result some of humour & political stances were lost in translation.

I’m also loving Ben Mankiewicz’s introduction to the pictures as he tries to treat them with scholarly insight. Let’s face it Kill All Monsters isn’t Throne of Blood.

I’m seeing many of these pictures for the first time though I have seen Mothra repeatedly – the Christian symbolism is surprising. I do have the 1954 original in both the Japanese version & the American remix with Raymond Burr seamlessly inserted into it. The American version removes all mentions of the atomic bomb being dropped on Japan. Radioactivity plays a role in many of the films – as it did in American creature features on the time.

Of the ones I’ve seen so far my favorite has been 1966’s ‘Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.’ It has a fun teenage dance contest I watched a few times before going on with the film. A bit of James Bond, a bit of beach party, & a great sea creature. Son of Godzilla was amusing but there was no Mrs. Godzilla – not that I’m expecting a documentary about reptile reproduction. 

I have soundtrack music in my cd collection, also other music written by some those composers. I have two Godzilla action figures & at least 3 t-shirts. I guess I’m a bit of fan. Thanks to TCM I’m not shelling out the nearly $300 for the boxset though.

Arrgh – Godzilla

as a kid

I would often play at being Godzilla

stomping on my toys

kicking them over

breathing my fire breath on them

invulnerable powerful dangerous

enjoying that ants were sacred of me

as I grew up

I would pull on my Godzilla suit

when things weren’t going my way

emotionally swing out at people

stomping on their intentions

when they didn’t suit my expectations

 

I later found out that Godzilla

was a man in a rubber suit

a small Japanese man

actually men

because the suit didn’t breath properly

the actors would tire out   get sick

they couldn’t see well out of the eye holes

and have to lead to the set

pointed in the right direction

just like my loss of vision

when I pulled on my Godzilla suit

to strike out at life

refusing to let anyone 

lead me in the right direction

if the actor was in the suit too long

he’d break out in a rash

get too itchy to wear it

 

me I’d break out in rash decisions

end up with itchy resentments

that I’d take out on those around me

 

like those actors

no one knew who I was

as long as I wore the suit

every good villain has a motive

has something he wants

but it was never clear what Godzilla wanted

expect to be left the fuck alone

we never see Godzilla relaxing

beyond floating 

to the bottom of the sea to sleep

all of his energy was spent

battling the nuisances of a life 

he didn’t even want to be part of

of being a monster stuck in a normal world

that didn’t have a place for monsters

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

November
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

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

Pierné et Greig

Sadder than a one-hit wonder is a no hit wonder:-) Such is the case of Gabriel Pierné (1863 –1937). I have an over 7 hour mp3 collection that includes the ballet – Cydalise et le Chevre-Pied; Impression de Music Hall; Chamber Music; Harp Music. I knew of him from an  MHS completion of 20th century composers which included a movement from Cydalise.

Being a slightly obsessive about obscure (to me) composers I did an iTunes search & downloaded more of his music. Apparently one of choral works in his biggest hit. Cydalise is sweet & pastoral with the usual ballet moments of duets etc. Enjoyable, as are the rest of the works I added to my collection. The chamber music includes works for violin, piano quintet etc. Plus a set of his delightful harp music.

Also in this mp3 collection by Edvard Grieg (1843 –1907) are his Music For Strings, Old Norwegian Romance. Grieg has a higher profile than Pierné. Pierné’s music is more in the modern classical style more playful than lush, harmonic but not overly romantic. Grieg is romantic, lush & often overly emotional (check his piano concert). Romance is built on the heroic ballad melody, ‘Sjugur and the Troll-Bride’ (thanks google). Stirring & at limes brooding I love it.

To round this collection I added two lps to cd transfers of Leonard Bernstein: Favorite Overtures (Hérold, von Suppé, etc); For Young People (Dukas, Strauss, etc).

A Man & His Bed

he’d slept on that bed for years. same mattress. new sheets when needed. always freshly washed. changed once a week. that’s the night he slept the best. the night of the fresh sheets. he loved the bed. the welcome it offered at all times. unquestioning. mattress given a longer life by spinning it in spring. flipping it in the fall. 

the bed was the refuge and support the cradle of dreams. he laughed to himself the cradle of dreams. he was turning into a bad bed poet. he’d move it every now and then from a corner to more central in the room under the window. then opposite from the window. all moves of maybe three feet in any one direction at any time. not enough space in the room for a dance with the frame.

sometimes he shared the bd with others. no more than a night but not often. it was sturdy enough for a sexual romps. play with with willing bodies. but he felt that sleeping in it was something for him and him alone. he didn’t want to share this refuge retreat with anyone for long. he never learned how to sleep with others. didn’t want to. that would certainly be the deciding factor in any long term relationship. live in or other wise. the bed was his domain to be shared briefly but not over night.

sleep was a bargain between him and the bed. unequivocal.

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

every Tuesday 2019

November

Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.
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 and Bad 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

#Kazaky Crew

I couldn’t resist Ukrainian-based synthpop dance boyband Kazaky. I have mp3 collection that includes their: I Like It (Part 1); I Like It (Part 2); The Hills Chronicles. Their videos are campy, homoerotically charged works of transgressive art. They have more style than Lady Gaga ever dreamed of & dance moves to shame Beyonce. The songs are mostly high-energy, good for writing to, sonically dense. Lyrics are erotic, political without trying to – lets face it any Ukrainian band that embraces sexuality, of any kind, is making a political statement. I’m not sure why they are labelled a ‘boyband’? Is Tool a ‘boyband’? Anyway check out the videos & then download the music.

Also here – in my dedication to moving time eras & music styles of boybands are: The Chi-Lites: Original Brunswick Hit Recordings. Best remembered for Ooh Girl this is a soulful r’n’b music. Romantic sweet & great for making out. With a more disco beat is The Hues Corporation: Rockin’ Soul. You might remember them from Rock the Boat – pleasant predictable songs about dancing, music & love;. A step up the disco ladder is The Wonderland Band’s Wonder Woman – disco takes of themes music – mainly instrumental & slightly obscure. I take a break from disco with Megon McDonough: Music Inspired by the 4 Agreements. I read the book, I got the music 🙂 sensitive piano music & songs like ‘Your Word Is Your Wand’ that affirm the agreements. Also by way of departure is Kesha’s Rainbow. Modern music by an almost superstar exploring beyond dance music with some gospel, rock, ballad & even a touch of country. All done well. On a more old school soulful side are The Allergies: Push On. When I first heard them I though this was an early 70’s soul band but they are 2018 re-creators of that time era. Superb & well worth tracking down. Finally is Deepest Blue’s Late September – a return to old-school disco. Smooth, beautifully engineered, emotive songs about the power of music, lost loves & love.

God’s Plan

Mary talks cancer like a researcher. She knows more about cellular biology and mitosis than my own doctor does. I know that because I asked him on my last visit if he could help me understand. The blank look on his face told me all I needed to know – that I didn’t need to know any more than I did. 

Mary’s conversations dwelled almost entirely on cancer. The various friends, family members she knew. or had heard of, who had been stricken, could be stricken or had died recently. Everyone she knew what dying of something; that’s why I went to my doctor to make sure I was well, not undiagnosed. 

Mary would show me photos on her smart phone. Amazingly high-def looks inside cell clusters, diseased livers, lung tissue that had been over taken by the endless grasp of the killer. She would explain each one to me in a school-teacherly way, as if I needed to taught this lesson, as if I could find out form her how to avoid this.

Mary was sure there was no way to avoid it, but she wanted to be prepared. Cancer agents were in everything. The food we ate, the air we breathed, the shoes we wore. I didn’t know how to tell her that I didn’t really give a shit about all this. ‘If cancer is everywhere it must be part of God’s plan.’ I told her once. She did not find that funny.

Mary had no plan of escape. She had armed herself with all this knowledge. How to keep her own cells healthy with carrot juice, kiwi oil. she sanitized her hands after every touch of anything. Clean clean clean. That was part of her solution. Keep very clean. ‘So clean you don’t build up resistance to anything.’ I once observed. She didn’t find that funny.

Mary was sure my attitude would kill me sooner than hers would kill her. She was healthy. Always on guard against the constant onslaught of danger.

Mary couldn’t see me anymore. She would phone, she would send me the latest info, and internet sites to check out, on what I needed to know to be as safe as she was. But she couldn’t see anyone, didn’t t want to spend time in close proximity to people, to the things people touched, people were disease factories. 

Mary only felt safe from cancer in her home where she could control everything. She got rid of as much plastic as possible, filtered her water. Her cancer free haven. She had the statics to show she was doing the right things. She would out live the cockroach with all her precautions. She had reduced her risks to under 1%, she had added years to her life with all this careful protection. 

I asked her ‘Who wants to live that long if that’s how one has to live to stay alive?’ She didn’t find that funny.. Humour causes cancer.

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

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 in Bad 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

Japan India Dominica Germany


This next mp3 collection is a trip around the world starting in Japan with Kuni Kawachi: Love Suki Daikirai. Someone in my tumblr feed posted ‘Graveyard of Love’ a track by Kuni & I loved the title & the song itself. This is moody, sweet early 70’s folksy psychedelic music. Kuni has an appealing voice & I was delighted by the songs. Do I understand Japanese? No, but that isn’t the point.

Next stop is Germany with Gunnar Winckler: A few hits. Once again thanks to tumblr. I follow an lp cover list – usually cheese album covers from around the world. The cover for Gin und Rum was sweet so I  checked out Gunnar. There were only a few of his tracks on iTunes. A late 1950’s hit maker in Germany. The music is rock-a-billy fun.We jump from there to India with Ganesha – My Lord. A collection by various performers of chants, rajas & spoken word in tribute to Ganesha. This a great exploration of this genre of ‘sacred’ meditation music. Some tracks over 20 minutes that are journeys worth taking.

Next we visit Guinea with music by Djelimoussa Cissoko – Kora. A kora is a 21 stringed lute-like instrument. Cissoko is considered a master of the instrument. On this lp he plays a variety of classic styles. The sound is melodious, at times meditative, sprightly & enticing. There are some jazz groups that are based around this instrument. I love this particular set though & it makes for an excellent introduction to West African music. 

Finally we come to a more modern sound with Adventura – The Last – this is a Bronx-based Dominican boy band. Latino boy bands still exist! But the competition of J or K Pop is giving them a run for the money. Fine harmonies, funky songs, nice production & in the videos they look more like men than boys.

Another Sunday Drive

“Look you little shit I’m only taking you along because Dad is here. Remember that. Get out of line and you’ll be sorry. Got it.”

“Yes, I got it.’ Dave glowered at me from the front seat of the car. He was still pissed at me for the other day, I guess.

Dad came out of the cabin and got into the front seat passenger seat.

“Okay Dave, let’s see what you’ve learned.” 

“Sure enough, Dad. I’ve been practicing all week. You know …. just driving Mike here down to the beach.”

“Sticking to the private lane I hope.”

“Of course. Dad. Didn’t I Mike.” He slowly backed out of the drive. 

Slower than I had even seen him back out. I sat quietly with my eyes peering out the window. Dave had driven me to the beach exactly once. He had been out in the car every day. Going on the highway to the store in town a couple of times. I wanted to tell but had promised not to say a thing. 

When we got the beach Dave puleld into the parking area and backed the car into a spot. This time he didn’t back right into bushes that separated the lot from the beach.

“Very good. I’m proud of you son.”

Dave beamed. “Thanks Dad. Maybe I could take us to town. We need … milk.”

“Maybe when you get your beginners. This is enough. Might as well enjoy the sand while we’re here.” Our Dad got out of the car.

We got out too. By the hotdog stand where two of the girls Dave had his eye on.

“Hi Dave,” the shorter of the girls waved and walked over. “Can you drive us into town again this afternoon?”

He scowled at her and glanced back at my Dad. “Hi Sally, this is my Dad.”

‘Oh! You taught Dave to drive great. He’s like a race car driver. He never misses a curve.” She ran her hand along her hip.

“I see.” My Dad’s eyes narrowed, as a thin smile played across his face. “You don’t say. Well, Dave why don’t you show me how you take those curves.” He pushed Dave gently back toward the car.

“Mike, you stay here till we get back.”

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

every Tuesday 2019

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

Ousmane Sembène

As I mentioned last week during September I watched a couple of amazing films by Senegalese writer/director Ousmane Sembène: Emitaï, Ceddo. I’ve also seen his Black Girl, a look black displacement & diasporia in France which I found predictable & so didn’t resonate with me. Emitaï, Ceddo were constantly surprising.

Both are set in Senegal & presented an Africa I was barely familiar with. I grew up with the Africa of Tarzan & countless white safari movies. The blacks were toters of luggage – often superstitious, cowardly and/or stupidly obedient. Also the men were usually stripped to the waist & given to wearing ceremonial tribal bones, feathers & the like when running through the jungle. Their lives were peripheral to story even when the story was about them.

Emitaï deals directly & mercilessly with French colonial attitudes & actions. When the villagers resist sending their sons to fight in WWII they are treated like children who don’t understand the right of the French to do what ever they want. When the village is also ordered to give all its rice to the war effort & refuses as it means they will starve they are treated like selfish children whose cultural values aren’t valid. 

The film shows their ordinary daily lives, their tribal religion & burial rituals as well as rice planting. All ordinary & all in direct relation to the land. They are more interested in maintaining their own dignity & families than they are in defending France against the Germans. I loved the scene where the native militia doesn’t understand how de Gaulle, a two-star general can over-rule Pétaina four-star general.

Ceddo deals with religious colonization with Islamic persecution of villagers who won’t convert. The class system, enforced as much by guns as history, is one that runs through many cultures. The disregard of other belief systems as illogical superstition is still one of the middle east’s bones of contention. The Christians aren’t much better mind you.

I was quickly drawn into each film & appreciated this ‘insider’s’ look at colonialism – cultural & religious – that wasn’t balanced by the need to appease either the French or the Islami. Both films are in native languages & maintained the rhythms of their everyday speech. The performances were excellent & I loved the music in Ceddo by Manu Dibango (Soul Makossa). I found the Ceddo soundtrack on iTunes 🙂

If you want to step out the confines of the usual film story-telling these are two films worth tracking down.

The Trade-Off

what I want

what it’ll cost

is that the price I’m willing to pay

is the sacrifice 

going to be worth the result

 

it is so unfair

why can’t I set the price

is that too much to ask

I’m willing to compromise

but when is enough enough

when can I say no

to what want to say yes to

when I think I’m losing 

more of myself 

to gain something I think I want

 

if my price was unreasonable

I’d understand

but they’re not reasonable

with their barriers of cost control

 

you can have this steak 

but you have to eat it with a spoon 

I suppose that’s possible

how can I say yes 

and no 

at the same time

say yes

I want what you offer

but not the conditions you offer it with

 

don’t forget

the cost of keeping it

will be greater

than the cost of giving it to me

who doesn’t want it

anymore

even for free

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

every Tuesday 2019

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

Herbie Hancock

By Herbie Hancock I have, in a couple of mp3 collections: Maiden Voyage 1965/ Blow Up 1966 / Jazz Africa 1986/ Village Life 1985/ Round Midnight 1986/ VSOP 1977/ Sextant 1973/ Thrust 1974/Future Shock 1983/ Sound System 1984. As stand-alones I have: Head Hunters 1973, In Concert with Chick Corea 1978, Dis is Da Drum 1994, The New Standards 1996, 1+1 with Wayne Shorter 1997, Directions in Music 2002, The Joni Letters 2007.

So I am a bit of fan but not as compulsive as I was about Coltrane. Hancock’s career spans decades (from the 50’s to now), genres, styles & fads. The early work is impeccable, tasteful acoustic jazz piano in various groupings. His early solo work is inventive, melodic & not overly aggressive. His work with Miles Davis is equally as strong, even when he solos with Davis he is in the background. He was never a keyboard show-off.

Then came fusion which was pretty much launched by Miles Davis’s monumental Bitch’s Brew. Hancock played with Davis but does not appear on the Brew recordings. Brew resulted in a jazz/rock fusion explosion with amazing work by John Mclaughlin, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Weather Report & of course Hancock. While the bulk of these musicians stuck to their jazz roots Hancock went further & further & ended up deep in electronica – some of his lps were called sound effects by reviewers at the time. This is when I started listening to him 🙂 The first might have been Sextant, which I still find hypnotic.

Unlike some of the other fusioniers he never got caught up in eastern mysticism instead he went back to his African roots for some excellent lps. His pop MTV break through was Rockit where he explored, the then state of the art dj scratching & other hip-hop recording techniques – programmed beats & the like. This lead to This Is The Drum with experiments in sampling, mixed with his funky jazz which were, to my ear, highly successful.

He didn’t abandon ‘pure’ jazz & released great work with V.O.S.P & duets with Chick Corea. Playful & worth tracking down. He then returned to a more traditional sound with The New Standards, & 1+1 with Wayne Shorter. Sweet evocative & kind of sexy. The most recent piece I have, a gift from a friend, is The Joni Letters – this is a tasteful & intense set of  jazz explorations of Joni Mitchell. A remarkable album by a musician who was always unafraid of exploration & challenging himself.

Sunday Drive

“You aren’t the boss of me.” How many times did I yell that at my stupid brother before he smacked me?

“I may not be the boss of you, but my hands are. So shut the fuck up, or we won’t go the beach again.”

I sat in the back seat of the car, pulled myself into a corner and glared at him.

“And if you are thinking of telling Dad – think again – because I know what you did.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Prove it.” My brother smiled over his shoulder.

“Just because you are two years older than me & can drive the car, doesn’t give you …”

“I said shut the fuck up. Or I’ll … lock you in the cabin for the day. At least I’m taking you out to the beach. What more do you want.”

“When did Dad say you could take the car?”

“He said I could drive it as long as I stick to the private road to the lake. I’ll do that.” He stopped to turn around to swing at me again. “If you just shut the fuck up.”

I yanked the car door open and ran down the dirt road.

“Where do you think you’re going? There’s no where to run to you little twerp.”

It didn’t take him long to catch me. Him the sixteen year old football hero. Me the runty little brother. Sometimes people didn’t believe we were brothers, we were so different. Him big bulky. Me small pale. I’d rather read but was always forced to go with him even when he didn’t want to take me. Going to the beach was his idea.

He had me in a head lock and was dragging me back to the car.

“You fucking little shit head. I’m not going to put up with this all weekend. I told Dad not to send you up here, but no he though it would you good to get out of the house for awhile. You little prick. Now if you don’t behave I’ll have to … tie you up & lock you in the trunk.”

I wriggled out of his sweaty arms. “You aren’t the boss of me. Just leave me here. I can find my way back to the cabin. I don’t want to go the beach while you mope around with those ugly girls from Peter’s Point anyway.”

“Good. I’ll leave you here.”

He got back in the car and drove down the lane. He stuck his head out the window. “By the way the cabin is locked. Have fun. Fuck head.” 

He drove away. I squeezed the spare key to the cabin in my pocket.

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

every Tuesday 2019

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

Plant Food For Thought

Seeing Little Shop on the last day of summer seemed appropriate. I’ve seen a few productions of the musical & also the rather dull film version & of course, the original film. The star of all is Audrey II. The plot is wildly non-Broadway musical but the songs are pure show tunes with amazing melodies & clever lyrics. The subtext – consumers being consumed is still powerful. 

 

We have Seymour (Andre Morin) consumed by his heteronormative longing for Audrey & the cult of fame, Audrey (Gabi Epstein) consumed by her longing for a suburban wifedom. The direction and choreography of Donna Feore was well-paced, while music direction of Laura Burton maintained a nice period Motown sensibility.

The performances are all strong, singing is spot on, the staging is top-notch, a Greek chorus (Vanessa Sears, Starr Domingue, Camille Eanga-Selenge) in wonderful costumes & a cast that clearly loves performing this show. I was quickly & completely caught up in it. Dan Chameroy, almost stole the show from Audrey II as Orin Scrivello, the charming dentist. I’ve always wondered how the ADA feels about this portrayal of their profession? I’m sure the AFA would approve of Steve Ross as the flower shop owner.

The puppetry for Audrey II (by Jason Sermonia, Henry Firmston, Evangelia Kambites, Jordan Mah) was perfection. The mostly immobile plant was given great personality by the operators. I particularly enjoyed the moments where the leaves reached out sweetly to stroke Seymour as it convinced him to fulfill its feeding demands. Matthew G. Brown voicing A II was both threatening & seductive & was perhaps the most complex character in the show, I was glad to see him brought out for bows at the end of the show.

Considering the current trend of gender & race blind casting it might have been fun to see more of that here: Suddenly a Simone, or an Aubry, would have given the show a real sense of edginess that would have put it over the top. I throughly enjoyed this production & if I could afford it, had the time & could get decent seats I wouldn’t hesitate to see it again before the end of the run.

 

other reviews:

Costume Warehouse Tour – Me? Caped Crusader https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3vQ

Henry VIII – ‘Abject Object’ https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3vW 

Our Father Issues  https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3CB

Cape Breton (Liberation Army) Day 7 https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Gj

Mae Brecht’s Sex https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3ND

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