Lofgrin Makes Me Smile


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

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

 

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

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

The Bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But … but …”

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

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

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

“This guy refused to pay his bill.”

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

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

“I am not contesting the total …”

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

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

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

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

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

“But I didn’t say anything offensive.”

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

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

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

“Yes that’s what I’m saying.”

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

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

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

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

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

June

travel restrictions means no 😦

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees – ducky, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

LMFAO Lorde

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

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

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

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

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

Oh Ma Ha

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

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

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

no one smokes here ma 

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

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

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

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

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

yeah well I’m not – 

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

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

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


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We Insist!

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

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

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

 

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

The Circle of Strife

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

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

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

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

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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

‘the unzipping of the promise’

Season six of Hot Damn! has seen attendance grow steadily while the courage & numbers of slammers grow as it continues to offer a safe space for lgbtqia creatives to explore & express themselves, plus laugh, cry, sing & dance in harmony.  The newly shorn Robyn Sidhu hosted the show & left things moving smoothly with some handy Dad jokes & pointed political comments. Her family escaped Punjabi state sanctioned genocide to Canada where she now witnesses Canada’s state sanctioned genocide of its native population. 

A fair bit of the work centered around mothers – the guilt of not loving the one who never loved you, the decision not to be one, the struggle for acceptance from the one who loves you. Some addressed the struggle with body image, gender dissonance & even the conflict between biology & hormone replacement. Heartfelt without becoming melodramatic or self-pitying.

The feature Sincerely Shyy gave us a set brimming with ‘black girl magic.’ ‘she is born of the cosmos’ ‘she is an indictment’ ‘I tried to make a home out of you’. I particularly liked her piece: ‘I’m not here for the revolution – I just want to fuck you’ – it was honest, sexy, fun while being politically resonant. Her set was too short 🙂

If you’ve been reading my Hot Damn! reviews you’ll notice this time there are no quotes from the open-stagers or the slammers. One thing the Queer Slam does in regards to photos is let people op out for privacy. I decided to do the same for the performers (except the feature). The show is in a public space but its contents is only for the public that shows up. ‘the unzipping of the promise’ comes from one of the slammers.

The season finale is Friday, April 3, at Buddies in Bad Times theatre.

I did hit the open stage & presented ‘Swim’ (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-4cX) & this revised version of ‘Satisfaction’

Satisfaction 

it went exactly as planned

the only one disappointed

was me

I wanted things to be better

the story of my life

 

the right size is never right enough

a good fit isn’t adequate

the praise adulation 

are mere stop gaps

diversions

from going beyond expectations

 

good enough

feels like settling for less

it isn’t satisfying to measure up

it has to be unforgettable

 

your good enough is fine by me

but that good enough

isn’t worth bothering with

when I am the one not satisfied

by perfection

https://capfireslam.org

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees &  eat at Capturing Fire this June in Washington DC – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Puccini to Mumbai

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

 

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

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

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

Brave New World 

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

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

New living-room furniture would arrive the next day.

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

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

“Hello.” I reached my hand out. 

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

“But …”

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

“But …”

She walked away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March

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

March 13 –

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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

Star Trek Subtext (Feb 20.12)

Got out to Plasticine Poetry Sunday night. I haven’t been to a reading event for nearly two months. Not since I hosted Plasticine in December. I guess that’s part of the aging process – my unwillingness to bundle up warm and then drag myself out on cold wet nights to spots where there is barely room to sit at a table, let alone have a place to pile winter clothes. Paupers offers a bit of space for that in their booths so one doesn’t have to sit the entire night wearing the parka that you don’t want to throw on the floor.memole15

No mic cord for the first set of open stagers & feature. But the room was good for hearing without microphone – though first feature Lynn McClory did have to move to centre of the room. Her set was, for me, a bit dry. I’ve never been a fan of poetry about language – her works captures emotional distancing with abstractions, language play and broken phrases.  As much as I like phrases such as ‘deftly indifferent to the photographs’ I’m not sure how one is deftly indifferent. I did enjoy the irony of her closing piece about the Silent Majority.

During the break I connected with Adam Abbas – he did a great pean to Cathy Petch when he hit the open stage later. Also enjoyed running into and then sharing my booth with one of the Toronto Erotica guys. Thanks also to the organizers for cake to celebrate the recent launch of Cathy Petch’s book “Late Night Knife Fights” – which is already into it’s second printing.PC070014.JPG

Jim Nason started the second set – he read from his recent book “Narcissus Unfolding.” The pieces had a strong sense of place – the ocean, a back alley – that felt grounded and were emotionally inviting to me. Images like ‘the terrible flame of your father’s hand’ made sure I bought a copy of his book.

Final feature was Beatriz Hausner. When I featured with her at Plasticine a few years ago she read several surreal pieces about sewing the perfect man & that book  – “Sew Him Up” – is now in print, so I bought it. The pieces she read from it were infused with a warm Latino sensuality the reminded me of my favorites Lorca and Arenas. She read some pieces from ‘Raccoon’ that were rich with magic realism balanced with powerful emotional response to the life and death of Amy Winehouse – a book I can’t wait to get.

I managed to get into the first round of open stagers – read a couple of comfortable older pieces. As usual the open stagers run the gamut of pure Canadiana nature poetry to closing with a Serge Gainsbourgh song.

samples

Here’s one of the pieces I read:

Star Trek Subtext

an all day Star Trek marathon

the original series on Blue Ray

weird space plants

funky 60’s retro-futurist sets

Kirk Spock Bones Sulu

(Sulu who knew you were

the real queen of outer space)

we had nachos   salsa

bags of sea salt-n-pepper chips

Hawaiian pizza   fried chicken

diet coke   real dr pepper

a 90 inch plasma TV

Trek in all its never to fade glory

as each episode started

we did a soprano unearthly dance

every time Scotty said

‘I’m giving it everything we got captain’

we’d eat chips as fast as we could

when Uhura said

‘we are experiencing interference’

we saw who could burp the loudest

every time Kirk took off or tore his shirt

we removed an article of clothing

(Strip Trek)

every time the fate of a culture

was decided by a kiss from Kirk

we made moony eyes at each other

until someone said ‘phasers on stun’

each time human emotions

were a puzzle

we asked deep personal questions like

‘who has the bigger dick

Chekov or that guy

with his face painted black and white?’

when any alien said

‘what is this thing you earth people call kissing’

we gave each other alien tongue baths

every time Spock said ‘illogical’

we did the Vulcan grind meld

by the time the marathon was over

it didn’t matter

that neither of us really liked Star Trek

we’ll never forget this Star Date One

…..

When I got home there was Sulu – George Takei – on Celebrity Apprentice – though I don’t think I’d want of these contestants to make me a sandwich.

dish

What the L

Jens Lekman is a Swedish singer who sings in English. I picked up couple of his cds back in 2008: Oh You’re So Silent Jens, Night Falls Over Kortedala. Have some Swedish roots I wanted to reconnect with that part of my heritage. I’d read a few reviews of him & was quite happy with his music. He is low-fi nearly folk like Postal Service. Sweet, slightly ironic songs about love & life. 

Peter LeMarc is a Swedish singer who sings in Swedish. I picked this cd, Bok med blanka sidor, up in 1997 at the Vinyl Museum in its reduced pile. Bruce Springsteen, Chris Rae come to mind when I listen to him. Gravel voice & rugged guitar playing & I have to idea what he is singing about 🙂 He’s still alive & recording.

Lifehouse’s No Name Face features their hit ‘Hanging By A Moment’ which I did like. The lp is good pop rock on the heteronormative type.  Also on the on the heteronormative  side is Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian icon. It was only right I should have a few tracks by him. As stand alone I have Gord’s Gold; tucked away in an mp3 collection is his first lp with songs like Ribbon Of Darkness. I hate to admit it but I was never a big fan though I do enjoy what I have.

The last ‘l’ in this post is cd Load Of Wood: 3 Dollars at the Door. The third (hence 3 Dollars) in a series of compilations of Cape Breton performers. The music runs from tradition to experimental to spoken word. A friend of mine is on one of the tracks. I bought it on a visit to Sydney Aug 1999. I went to the third floor apartment of one of the performers to buy it, almost like a dope deal in the old days. I haven’t been able to track down the earlier two though. What the L.

Daddy

You can’t make it stick coppers. I was never at Hollywood and Vine at anytime. yeah, right, so don’t be giving me no hard time but if you do I can take it. I ain’t got no dna anyway so as you can tell. People say I’m bloodless as a stone and that is the truth. God’s own truth so you aren’t going to tie that rap on me I ain’t even been there and done nothing. You hear I ain’t done nothing and since when is doing nothing a crime, see. So get off my back. Cut me a break while you got time. 

No, I’m not threatening you Sgt. O’Malley, just letting you know you’re barking up the wrong hydrant. I keep my nose out of other people’s problems. Gave that up long ago. Do I look like some sort of super hero or trouble maker to you. If I do you better take closer look. 

Okay that’s close enough. 

I’m not the one. You guys know that, don’t you. So why are you giving an honest man such a hard time. I wasn’t near there. Sure I got an alibi. I was shacked up with some sharp looking piece of grade a tube stake. We was sinking our teeth into each other’s loin chops and enjoying the taste of man flesh. If you get my drift. Now, that is something you can pin me but that’s not against the law. Is it Sgt. O’Malley. 

Sure I got his name right here and more than his number on my cell phone. All time stamped and dated so you see that couldn’t of been me. Yeah the pics are a bit under lit but if you want I’ll drop my pants if you want to compare. So you can’t stick nothing me except maybe having a good time with your Dad, Sgt. O’Malley.

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

March

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

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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

Lee-ping Lounge Lizards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chocolates

this is the week

when the universal currency is

hearts & flowers 

chocolates & regrets

traded with eager expectations

I’ll give you a glimpse of this

if you give me a glimpse of that

I’ll put up with your doing that 

if you allow me to do do this

I’ll treat you like crap 

love you & put up with your crap

because you love me

 

we exchange these representations

of our willingness to continue 

our little patterns of regret dispute 

in the name of tender loving 

compassionate cooperation

because our relationship is perfect

bouquet trade-offs

of explanations for reality

how far we compromised 

our teenage ideals 

for our forty-year-old realities

 

so many of us

are still ruled by bitter teenagers

who didn’t get the pretty girl 

or great guy we idolized in high school

we still cart that fractured dream

around as a measure of what we want

as if we’d stop some teenager 

in the street today and ask 

‘is this the one for me’

not that a stranger 

can actually to talk 

to a teenager in the street today

without getting charged for something

but that’s another story

another compromise

to protect us from one another

so where was I

 

ah yes

the new universal currency

of regrets fears retribution 

being more satisfying than love

who wants to see things flow 

without the elegant 

encumbrance of expectations 

without the sunny 

undercurrent of resentment

mental telepathy doesn’t work

and it is your fault

I should not have to tell you 

what I want

you should just know

from the way I wear my hat

oh right I don’t wear hats

well that should tell you something

 

it tells you I love you

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

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

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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

He Hawes

 

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

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

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

 

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

The Fridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

He fell asleep. 

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

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

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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

January 2020 Recap



So far this year the TOpoet.ca following blog grew to 382 followers! Several as a result of my recent Secret Handshake feature & some as a result of my Sunday photo blogs. The top 3 change places often but I’m still amazed to see Bangladesh & Kenya are still in the top 10 is a surprise. Kyrgyzstan! Mexico! My Tumblr following is at 258. Twitter 218 followers.

Picture Perfect – 3,400 words blogged to far with only 183,000 words to go 🙂 Editing has been good, so far, mainly typos – except for expect sort of stuff. Also now knowing where the story is going I have been tweaking to fill things in that I didn’t know first time around – i.e. Daniel’s RCMP history. No chapter titles for this one. I am creating a fresh graphic for each section though.

Hot Damn! & Shanty Tramp both went very well. Hot had a full house as did Shanty. I enjoyed the Shanty set a lot though I did edit as I read & dropped a few  of the pieces I had planned to do. Getting paid is always a good thing too. I haven’t been in Kensington Market for some time & was dismayed a the number of boarded up shops but happy to see no Starbucks has moved it, yet.

Watched an amazing movie The Hourglass Sanatorium – a 1973 Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has – similar to his earlier film The Saragossa Manuscript – Hourglass is rich with mind-bending surrealism, stunning images, a near total lack of narrative logic & a stunning soundtrack (not available on cd 😦 ). Inspired & inspiring. Not that I’m on a Slavic kick but I am rereading Varlam Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales & Graphite. This is heart-breaking gulag literature – that draws me into this world with insights & a bracing dash of black humour – highly recommended.

 

Coming up is – well not much until the Stratford season starts. I’m still waiting fo the Capturing Fire dates to be set. I’ll be hosting, moderating a panel there on Keeping The Fire Burning – Fire celebrates 10 years & many of the participants have been writing for decades. What keeps us creating because it certainly isn’t the $ or the hunger for slam points. I plan to be there unless US security panics & closes its borders to anyone who has ever looked at a Middle Easterner on the street or had Chinese take out.

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

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

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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