Psychedelic Sitar Teens

trippy

Nashville Teens’ Tobacco Road kicks off an mp3 collection of the finest, if a bit kitsch, psychedelic pop from. the sixties & seventies. The Teens were a bluesy more garage-band version of the Dave Clark 5. This is a compilation of their hits, singles & album tracks. Some originals plus lots of covers like All Along The Watchtower, How Deep Is The Ocean. Tobacco Road was their big hit. Members of the band ended up in Dantalion’s Chariot, The New Animals.

Reading a reference to Dantalion’s Chariot in a book about the Animals lead me to an iTunes search for some of their music. I find it hard to resist 60’s obscurity. It lead me to a completion called Psychedelic 60’s: Rare Tracks. The 80+ collection included a track by Chariot as well recordings by the like of Danny McCulloch, Keith Reif & the like. An excellent sampling of radio hits that bubbled under the top twenty & vanished. Many clearly inspired by Pink Floyd, Yardbirds & The Beatles.

Another Chariot track turned up on a compilation called Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers. Thanks to George Harrison the sitar became the ‘flavour’ of choice, much the wha-wha did for awhile, & every band had at least one track with a sitar solo. This batch includes Canada’s Ugly Duckings! The Lemon Pipers & Kuni Kawachi. I eventually download Kuni’s lp (not on this CD) & it is excellent.

A cover of 8 Miles High by The Folkwsingers lead me to their excellent, trippy lp Raga Rock. There has always a niche market for instrumental versions of pop music – try the Vitamin String Quartet’s Lady Gaga works. Though the sixties there were countless jazz takes – try Wes Montgomery’s astounding Day In The Life. Many of them were banal, some took fads & incorporated them – so you get lps of moog, fuzz guitar, surf versions of top ten. Sitar had its day too. The Folkswingers are better than average & worth hunting down. Groovy.

Someone needs to start a group called ‘Psychedelic Sitar Teens’

flash fiction from mid70’s

Drinker Up

“There are something I quite firmly refuse to believer in,” Josh said pouring himself another Scotch. “Mortality just happens to be one of them.” This drink was a bit thicker than the last, the next would be thicker again until he couldn’t see through the bottom of a bottle even if it was empty.

“I suppose,” I replied, “there is something to be said for making plans to break them for fun but …” I paused to match him, drink for drink, “One of these days you’ll find yourself actually living up to a promise. Just think of the precedent you’ll have set yourself. “

“Bullshit,” he swayed to his feet. “You know damned well there’s no hope of that.”

“Let’s talk about something else. We’ve drank our way through to the end of this morality, I mean, mort-totality, conversation before.”

“Ah, yes. Another dangerous precedent we set & will never approach again. They meet our death on the way to an icy top.”

“Lost in the clouds, as it were.”

We laugh that boozy guffaw that falls so frantically after an inane comment falls after another inane comment. The circular laugh of frustration. The caged lion’s snicker of hopelessness at seeing how afraid people are of him, yet he is powerless to inflict more than awe in their un-paw-able faces.

“You’re doing it again.” Josh snarled, pushing me gruffly. “Slipping into the logic of lines. Hopelessness is as hopelessness thinks it does. Drink up. The moon is full.”

“Cheers,” I raise my glass. “To motherhood.”

“To death,” Josh drank & dropped this glass to the floor. A carpeted thud. “Christ.”

“Yes, let’s bitch about Christ for awhile.”

“Let’s talk about fucking nothing for awhile” He replied with a foggy look that blocked response. “Give me a real drink. Then let’s go for a walk.”

“Let’s finish this off first.” I held up the last fluid ounces of the forty. “Can’t be much left here. Might as well go all the way.”

“Brute.”

“Savage.”

Pouring the remains evenly between the two glasses on the table, I looked up. A reflection in the window, a cat of reflected light slipping across the curtains up one wall then down the other. The slip was the stream, a suddenly dizzy reptile.

“I think I’m going blind.” I said.

“Well, that should resolve a lot of things for you. Oh yes. What a tragedy! The blind poet.”

“No. No. The blind pianist.”

“The blind penis?”

“Oh, fuck off. Here!” I slopped his drink in his direction. “I’m hallucinating cats.”

“Really? How odd.”

“Terrible, small cats. Miniature lions growling & prowling across motion pictures. You see?”

“Right. Right. I saw it last week. The Late Snow on Channel 5. The Cat People. Peter Lorre & …” snapping his fingers. “Oh shit! What’s her name with one eye & vamp walk.”

“This is hopeless.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just too early in the day for anything else. I know how important this seems to you but even importance fades with education.”

“Obsolete.”

“Something along those lines without those rocket thruster fins.”

“Snow what Josh.”

“Snow?”

“It’s starting,” gesturing to the window with my drink. “To snow cats.”

“How perceptive.”

“No. No. Pers-pity-ative.”

“Oh, very good.” Josh slurs over the end of his readily tilting glass. “I must remember that for the girls at the office. They like a good laugh every now & then.”

Giving him my ‘aren’t-you-enough’ look, I toss back the burning embers of my drink. “Any more of this fine foreword play?”

“Do eggs have heartbeats?”

The first laugh climax of the evening. One of those red-face-sputtering choking-on-a-swallow laughs.

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More Than Love

A couple of one-hit-wonders songs from my highschool days have stuck with me. One is Seven and Seven Is by Love. It made me a fan but on the east coast finding their lps other than daCapo was all but impossible. In my collection I now have, as mp3s their First, daCapo, Four Sail, Forever Changes Concert, False Start (w/Hendrix) & Arthur Lee’s solo Vindicator; as stand alones: Forever Changes, Out Here.

Some I did have as lp but upgraded to mp3. daCapo is an amazing work, though Forever Changes is now revered at a modern classic. daCapo features Seven and Seven Is, plus Revelations – a nearly 18 minute track. The other songs are excellent pop too & the sound quality is excellent. They were on Elektra & were quickly eclipsed by The Doors. The record company put their push behind the easier to market Jim Morrison.

Each of Love’s albums is quite different – the first is garage rock pop; daCapo is more pop but with a Rolling Stones vibe; Four Sail has a Neil Young vibe; Forever Changes has a bit of an Astra Weeks feel. The live concert is sweet. Out Here is a cd I found here in Toronto & is good rock, pop. Arthur Lee is fascinating – a black, non-soul musician who had an uphill battle for recognition. Time for a bio pic of Arthur Lee.

Also on the mp3 collections are (naturally) The Lovin’ Spoonful: Daydream, Singles, Hums. I loved loved this band. The singles are classic radio pop, the lps add a nice mix of jug band & blues to their sound. This is music that makes me happy. Another 60’s classic is Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. The long title track made his reputation. The other songs are decent folky rock. For Brit balance I added Dave Mason’s Alone Together: British folksy rock from a sometimes member of Traffic.

The 2nd mp3 collection includes Canada’s The Collectors: First, Grass & Wild Strawberries – psychedelic band out of B.C. that still holds up today. I did mention earlier Count Five, so I added Rarities that includes a radio mix of Psychotic Reaction plus loads of other very garage band stuff. You might remember The Fool more for their trippy art work & clothes than for their Psychedelic Folk Essentials – very Incredible Stringband.

Wait there’s more! The obscure but enjoyable Erik: Look Where I Am – mild Moody Blues; Joey Scarbury: America’s Greatest Hero – a one-hit TV theme wonder, nice mild country rock songs. Someone posted a YouTube video of another obscure band: Wool: Wool – fun rock. I get to relive so many radio memories with Lou Christie’s Lightening Strikes: a hits compilation. The Gypsy Cried. Time for a bio pic of Lou Christie.

Finally is Donovan: Shadows of Blue -the most recent of all the music on these compilations. Yes he’s still alive, still recording & making okay music. Not the hippy dippy lyrics or the mystic feel of his early works – more of a comfortable country feel but his voice is recognizable.

Spring Gardening Tips

this is what I thought – he doesn’t care. I know it’s hard to see now why I thought that but that is what I thought – he doesn’t care – maybe it was because I didn’t really care myself. not many did actually but I didn’t want to admit it then. it was important that one appeared to care, right, so I was all about keeping up appearances. he wasn’t. even then it was clear he didn’t care. didn’t give a rat’s ass for anything. not even himself. I felt like my mother who planted a garden every summer regardless of badly it turned out.

my mother was working in the back yard. every spring she planted a garden. she was like that, hope would infuse her once the snow was gone and she would be on her knees digging in the dirt planting things for future generations. things that sort of grew then withered. she never found the right seeds. planting things that needed lots of sun in the darkest part of the the yard. things that liked it dry were always too close to the rain pipe. her intentions were good but her results were always dispiriting. she would sit on the back step smoking cigarette after cigarette as if some sort of tobacco ceremony was all that was needed to get the plants to grow like they did on the packages. I doubt if the cigarette ash was of much help.

the plants didn’t give a rat’s ass for her hopes, intentions, all they wanted the right soil. he wasn’t my right soil.


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Psychedelic Kaleidoscope

This next mp3 collection is a wild psychedelic world-music trip back to the late 60’s with Kaleidoscope’s Side Trips; A Beacon from Mars; Incredible; Bernice. This one of the quintessential west coast hippy bands. The Lp covers are straight out of underground newspapers graphics. The music is folk, country, East Indian & trippy rock. Lyrics reflect the azure groovy afternoons. I wasn’t a fan in the day though as this music never made it as far Cape Breton. All I knew was a couple of three tracks on the amazing Zabriskie Point soundtrack lp. Beacon is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with them.

Also in this collection is Quill – remember them from Woodstock? No! Neither did I until I saw a documentary. This band opened the show. The sound sync wasn’t fully set so they got filmed but not audio recorded. The music itself is solid rock, a bit trippy but I guess forgettable. The Paper Garden – soft, folksy, trippy guitar, violins & oddly mixed. Sweet with some interested guitar work & the expected flower power lyrics.

The same is true for Nightshadow: The Square Root of Two. More electric guitar based. Flows perfectly with the Kaleidoscope sounds. Jake Holmes: Above Ground Sound – psychedelic folk. Led Zeppelin did a great cover of his Dazed and Confused. Needless to say his original version is somewhat understated. Well worth searching out.

 

The End: Introspection – produced by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones around the time of Satanic Majesties – this echoes some of that sound with layers of vocals, tasty fuzz guitar & ‘meaningful’ lyrics. Finally is The Orient Express – sitar trippy world music. Perhaps one of the first of its type that explores & strives for an authentic sound & succeeds.

Beans

“Look at this.” Alice held the three pale brown beans in the palm of her left hand, the other hand was idly scratching a small gravy spot on her apron.

“Fava?” Jack, one of the sous-chefs, took one and smelled it. “Nope. Maybe pinto? Am I right?”

“Those fuckers. leaving me three beans as a tip.” She squeezed them in her hand. “Fuckers.”

“Table three ready.” A chef shouted.

She shoved the beans into her change pocket, picked up the dishes and took them to table three.

For the rest of her shift all she could think about was how unfair it was. She and Jack went down to Hill Street to Tinker’s for a drink as they often did after working the afternoon shift.

“Like, was my service so bad all they could leave was three beans. Is this some sort of insult. If it is it’s silly. No it’s worse than silly. Rude. Some fuckers don’t think twice. They figure we’re getting paid as much as the food costs.”

“Yeah, something like that.” Jack put his beer bottle on the table. “Better beans than phone numbers though, right. Am I right.”

“Yeah. At least I don’t have to let the beans down gently.” Alice put the three beans on the table & slid them back & forth in the the pools of moisture that dripped off the beer bottles. “At least they like to swim.”

“That’s my third.” Jack handled his empty bottle to the waiter. “My limit for the night. I’ll bean seeing ya. Am I right?”

After a shower at home Alice relaxed in front of the TV, rubbed lotion into her hands, along her tired calves. The beans were on the scattering of five dollar bills & various coins on the coffee table beside her. She separated the coins into denominations. Not such a bad afternoon after all. More tips than she remembered collecting. Better than usual in fact even with the insult of beans. She now had enough to pay the rent, the cable bill. Maybe it was time to get rid of the cable but she couldn’t afford the shut off charges.

She added it up and was happy to see there would be enough a bit extra for her escape fund. Ah the escape to Cuba. Even a week away from here would be good. Sun, sand and nothing else.

Stacking the bills she knocked one of the beans on the floor. It rolled under the sofa.

“Fuck!” She said kneeling on the floor to bend over to get it. She felt for it in the dark under the sofa & pulled it out. There was three one hundred dollar bills stuck to.

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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 

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Herman’s Hidden Cameras

As much as I enjoyed Herman’s Hermits as a teen I wasn’t encouraged to admit it. They were radio-fodder bubble-gum as opposed to real musicians like the Rolling Stone or even the Beatles. They were regarded as sweet, squeaky-clean and a band only girls could enjoy. Music hall songs like ‘Henry the VIII’ didn’t help their image either. I picked up stand-alone cd The Very Best of back in Dec 2006 to reclaim that part of my past.

Sure some of the songs suffer from ‘clean’ but many of them are solid, if not brilliant, pieces of pop music. The band wasn’t terribly original, creative or even were outstanding musicians. But their studio work is impeccable. It helps that Peter Noone’s voice is sweet & appealing. ‘No Milk Today’ is a breathtaking track – the production work is sublime & still amazes. The fact that it was written by Graham Gouldman (10CC) certainly helps. 

I picked up stand-alone Highs of the Sixties back in 1994. This is the complete opposite of the Hermits. A compilation of the sort psychedelic, garbage-band music that I could easily admit to enjoying. It includes tracks by Love, Count Five (one of the first latino bands to make it big), The Standells – many one-hit wonders but all fun. I’ve since tracked down collections by some these one-hitters like Blue Cheer, The Seeds, Count Five. I already had an extensive Love collection before I picked this cd up.

But what about the present you might ask? Next on the shelf are these stand-alones by The Hidden Cameras: The Smell of Our Own; Mississauga Goddam; AWoo. This a fun, queer, musically-diverse band that I really enjoy. With songs about water sports ‘Golden Steams,’ politics ‘Ban Marriage,’ love ‘Music is my Boyfriend’ & life ‘Learning the Lie’ performed with energy that invites all listeners into their world. Led by Joel Gibb  the band uses standard rock augmented by strings, wind instruments to create an often rollicking, sometimes folky, sweet romantic tapestry of music that often makes an ‘ironic’ counterpoint to the lyrics. Hidden Cameras take sound pictures of the world in a way I like to see it. 

Lucky Day

It felt good to sleep in. Something I didn’t allow myself to do that often. A warm, snug bed from which I could hear the cold wind outside. As I rolled over to try for another few winks the door to my room opened enough for a head to pop through. 

‘Good morning, sleepy head.’ Jim smiled at me.

‘What are you doing here?’ I sat up.

‘What do you think?’ he came into the room.

‘And why aren’t you dressed?’

‘Another dumb question.’ He slipped into the bed beside me. ‘Neither are you.’

Our bodies nestled together comfortably. 

‘I got the day off so I figured, why not drop over here and spend some of it with you.’  Jim gently bit my shoulder.

‘Great idea. That spare key was for emergencies.’

‘Yes, well this is an emergency.’

‘So I can feel.’

I rolled over on top of him. Just then my cell buzzed.

‘Don’t get it, or you won’t get it.’ He warned, twisting the ring in my left nipple.

The cell buzzed, and as programmed, the buzz got louder the longer it rang.

‘I have too.’

I reached over and picked it up. ‘Hello.’

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Steven is that you?”

‘Yep. Just arrived in town.’

‘You should have warned me.’ I covered the receiver, ‘It’s Steven, my agent from New York.’

‘Well, I was hoping to surprise you. I have the new contract. Bidding stopped at 2.5 mil.’

‘2.5 mil!! I’m amazed.’

Jim was biting my stomach under the covers. ‘Stop that for a minute will you.’

‘Sounds like I caught you at a bad time.’

‘Not at all. No wrong time for 2.5 mil.’

‘Free for lunch?’

‘Lunch? Sure. You staying at the same hotel.’

‘Same room is fact.’

‘Okay see you around noon.’

‘Frank wants you for lunch and I want you for breakfast.’ Jim came from under the covers to kiss me.

Just then the door bell rang. I jumped out of bed and pulled on my bathrobe and dashed down the stairs to the front door. A flower delivery man waited.

‘David Bradley?’

‘That’s me.’

‘Sign here.’

I signed for a box that opened to reveal two dozen red and white roses.

‘Looks like this is your day?’ Jim looked over my shoulder. ‘Who are they from?’

‘I haven’t checked yet. But find today’s paper. I should check my lottery numbers.’

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October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
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every Tuesday


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

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Outside The Gates of Eden

Poetry influences for us 60’s survivors have to include Bob Dylan, for some he was the only influence. This was the voice of a generation fro sure with his early folk music, protest songs that still resonate & recently that controversial Nobel prize. Along with Paul Simon Dylan was one of my prime high school poetry influences.

In my collection I have as stand-alones: Highway 61 Revisited; Bringing It All Back Home; Blond On Blond; Greatest Hits; John Wesley Harding; New Morning. On mp3 collections: 1 Another Side/Nashville Skyline/ Gospel/ Pat Garrett (with Pete Seeger/ Phil Ochs/ & Leonard Cohen in the mix) 2 Planet Waves/Blood On The Tracks (with: Masked Marauders/ Bob Seger/Maria Muldaur in the mix)

I was more a fan of his lyrics than his music itself or even his vocal ability. It was a voice that grew on me even at it changed over the years. Like A Rolling Stone and Outside the Gates of Eden http://wp.me/p1RtxU-18Y  are the two songs I recall most from high school. His Blowin’ in The Wind was a must for every east coast folkie to sing so I heard it plenty – I was shocked to discover this protest song made him a millionaire – how counter culture is that? In one of the biographies I read he set out to write protest to establish himself & then moved on to what he really wanted to write.

There are too many great songs to name check. The albums where he went ‘electric’ still sound good, his earlier ‘folk’ stuff is good but never really invited me in & even then felt a little too deliberate. He was one of the first re-inventers as well. The changes from rock Blond on Blond to country John Wesley Hardy to jazzy New Morning flowed naturally.

I included Pete Seeger as an influence on Dylan’s folk style; Phil Ochs, Leonard Cohen who followed in his footsteps; The Masked Marauders is a wildly weird pastiche with a fake Dylan, or is it the real one. The Maria Muldaur is her cover album of his songs. Bob Seger’s Best of for fun.

He was the perfect bridge between beatnik and pop – he brought Ginsburg’s joy of imagery, politic & line into the lives of his fans. He also challenged & changed the way the music industry works with his non-teen-idol looks & his resistance to the star making machine.

Calculate 

The instrument panel flexed and shimmered as J’hhon attempted to change the flight settings. The in put buttons became little grey flowers that dazzled his eye nodes as they spun sound around his head.

‘So pretty. So pretty.’

‘Take the second ship mother. We will await you on the distant moon.’ P’rak conversed with apparitions. ‘I have missed you all so much. I didn’t realize that till now.’

J’hhon shook his head and shoulders. He had to focus. He had to do what captains did. He had to find a place to hang these darling darting shapes so he could study them longer. Would they fit in his quarters? He reached for the nearest of them and his hands passed through them.

‘Damn you! I won’t let your lack of corporal reality keep me from making love to you. You want me.’

‘Mother, has father returned with the new shield generators. I promised I’d help him put them up. He’s not used to that frequency is he? Poor old thing. Good thing I got the brains in this, family isn’t it?’

The nav cab shook violently. J’hhon and P’rak were tumbled against each other. The instrument panels dimmed and the ship darkened for a split second.

J’hhon pushed himself up painfully. ‘P’rak how are you?’

‘Nothing damaged, sir.’

‘Looks like we’ve flown right through the cos swirll.’

‘Good things my calculations  couldn’t be effected.’

‘That should prove to be an interesting tape to replay once …. ’

The ship shook again. More violently than before. J’hhon could hear the strain on the bulkwards. The outer pressure signal flashed from yellow to blue.

‘My, my. What have you flown us into P’rak?’

He flipped on the hull camera but saw nothing. The signal continued to flash.

‘There’s nothing there.’

‘The grav meter is registering something sir.’

‘The grav meter? You mean we’re near a planet with gravity?’

‘Yes sir. Some magnetic stress is being applied to us.’

‘Deliberately.’

‘Can’t tell, sir. But we’re being pulled down into its field.’

‘Field? Can the ship take it? It’s never experienced gravity.’

‘Neither have we, sir. Neither have we.’

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

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June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

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check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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The Night Tripper

20-fab01Dr. John’s Gris Gris is one of my favourite lps. I remember first hearing it & being fully pulled into the night tripper eeriness of the call and response echoes on the opening tack. Everything about it worked. The album made a big splash when it was released then he sort of lost footing, in the eyes of the critics anyway. I wish I still has my lps version but the stand alone cd is easier to replay – running just over 33 minutes it way too short & needs to be played two times in a row to appreciate it (much like Coltrane’s A Love Supreme).

20-fab02On an mp3 collection I have Babylon; Remedies – his next two lps that I didn’t heard until quite recently. The swamp cajun feel is there but not as strong as that that first lp. I enjoy then immensely. I threw in a couple of Youngbloods lps into this collection: Earth Music; Elephant Mountain – California music of the same time era – they play a mix of jug-band, blues, pop & even some rather jazzy stuff that is worth tracking down.

20-fab03Tucked away on two other mp3 collections are Dr. John’s Gumbo – his retro rock roots work; & In The Right Place: his ‘commercial’ break through that had sweet radio friendly & less eerie material.

20-fab04The other stand alone is his more recent Tribal – which I think won a grammy for roots music a few years ago. I bought it to hear what he was doing – much like recent work by Jackson Browne – I wanted to reconnect with what my past was doing now. Tribal is solid easy listening adult rock. Pleasant & reassuring – but not exploratory, unlike recent work by Leonard Cohen or Neil Young. Dr John was one of those guys who started out sort of counter-culture as the Night Tripper & quickly became adult middle-of-the-road. But it’s a nice road.

sample

Poor

‘How will you know that till you step foot in it.’

‘Jack don’t pull that poor little old me crap. Now don’t forget to pick up the kids after school. You can drop them off at my Mother’s if you think they’ll get in the way of things.’

‘Nah they’ll be fine right here. Jack Jr enjoys a little drink. He’s near old enough now.’

‘Well they are your kids. No use fighting you on that. You do what you want with them.’

‘You bet your life I will.’

‘Don’t forget the Clarke’s across the street have a restraining order against you.’

‘How can I forget. The sign is still on the front lawn. The nerve of them assholes. The gun went of by accident. You believe me don’t you?’

‘The fact that you could hold a gun is a miracle.’

‘Damn rights.’

‘Don’t forget to walk the dog, clean out the kitty litter box, there’s a load of laundry to be hung and if you can find the time, you throw in the colored stuff. There’s no room in the fridge for food so I hope your hot dogs will find it cool enough in the basement.’

‘Of course they will. Now are you coming or going, staying or getting out of my sight.’

‘I’m getting out of your sight as fast as I can.’

‘Good good. I wish you’d stay but …’

‘Let’s not go over that again. I’m out of here as soon as I can get out of here. Have you seen my keys?’

‘Are they under the box of hot-dog buns?’

They lifted the box together.

‘Nope.’

‘’Maybe I put the cases of lager on top of them. No, on second though, I might have left them by the wine cellar. I wish you would give me my own key to that.’

‘Yeah in a million years. When I give you key to the gun safe.’

‘What?’

‘That’s right I changed the lock on the gun safe yesterday. Not taking any chances.’

‘Your sister’s forgiven me.’

‘Perhaps, but I haven’t. If you’d shot one of our kids you can bet your hide would hung out to dry.’ A smile broke across her face. ‘Now that would be a holiday worth hanging around for.’

‘You don’t mean that do you huggy momma?’

‘Of course not boozy poppa. You know I love you and your  useless hide.’

‘Could you leave pizza money?’

‘Sorry. You are on your own.’

‘What time am I supposed to pick up the kids?’

‘After school.’

‘And what time is that?’

‘Cripes do I have to write everything down for you. Here.’ She pulled a roll of paper out her purse. ‘Here is the full list. Times places phone numbers.’

‘You do think of everything. Now, if I have to get a hold of you?’

‘You’ll just have to suffer. You have three hours before you pick up the kids. While your at it, you could drop Gran off at the Home for the week-end. She needs to get out of the attic sometime.’

‘That is your decision I might remind you.’

‘Whatever.’ She grabbed her overnight bag and headed out to the car, Jack on her heels.

‘Is there anything else you’d like to tell me before you go huggy mama.’

‘Nothing that you don’t already know boozy poppa.’

‘You sure.’ he put his arms around her.

‘More than sure.’ she pushed him away. ‘You know I love you best when you aren’t in front me. Enjoy the holiday.’

soon

 

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on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

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March 4, Saturday, 8 pm: my first local feature in over two years: Glad Day Books

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attending: Saturday, March 25: 9 a.m. 2017 TORONTO SPECFIC COLLOQUIUM

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April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

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June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

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https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

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https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

fall gold

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#CCR

Creedence Clearwater Revival – was a ‘real’ band – not soft rock, not druggie rock, not British but 100% red-blooded USA. One could be a fan without feeling defensive or categorized for liking them. Everyone dug them. At least until I got bored of Proud Mary & couldn’t bear to hear it one more time by one more singer – Tom Jones! please, no.29.Frabic01I can remember dancing to Suzie Q & not wanting the beat to end. I don’t think I heard it though until after they hit hit parade dominance with songs like Born on The Bayou, Lodi. At one time I had the the Bayou Country & Green River lps then moved on because their sound didn’t progress & was too basic for me. 29.Frabic02A few years later the local Cape Breton band I ran lights for highlighted one set of CCR material & I grew to hate it Lodi in particular & still have little fondness for it, ditto Proud Mary. As I result I divested of what I owned. Lived, listened happily enough with out it. When my Dad died in early 2000’s & I visited home the following summer I was given his cd collection, which included a double cd of CCR’s hits. Most of which I enjoyed a fair bit.

Then I came across a cheap mp3 set of their 8 lps CCR, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy & The Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum, Mardi Gras – no bonus tracks, out takes – just the lps. I like the bulk of it. I’ve read about the creative ups & downs, the conflict with their record company (who sued Fogarty for plagiarism for copying his own guitar style in his later career.)29.Frabic03The first 6 lps are chock full of great music, harmonies & memories. The last two are bogged down with fulfilling a record contract & also an attempt to broaden their sound. Interesting enough. 29.Frabic04To round on this mp3 collection I added Crowbar: Bad Manors; Biscuit Boy: Official Music – a pari of Canadian bands working a similar musical vein to CCR – bluesy, almost pub rock. Oh What A Feeling was huge hit for Crowbar but they never managed to follow it up. Biscuit Boy is a harp player featured on the Crowbar lp. All perfect music for the next bad moon.

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Taxes

Venerable El’r  B’la stood on the dais. He looked up at the dozen or so other Venerable El’r in the forum. So few, so few, once there had been nearly fifty of them.

‘Venerable El’rs a situation has arisen which taxes our spiritual resource to the extreme. An outsider has penetrated our sacred fields.’

‘There is only one recourse.’ Venerable El’r J’ds called out.

‘As I thought my friend, as I thought. But it is not as simple as that. He has the Spark.’

Venerable El’r  B’la held up the tissue sample he had taken from G’th a few hours earlier.

‘We cannot damage one who carries this., You know that over rules all other Codixles.’

‘It does not B’la. It cannot. Outsiders are outsiders. That is also one codixle that cannot be tampered with.’

‘Then my friends, you well see what my, what our, conundrum is. To damage the Spark is to tamper with the Knot. Is it not so said?’

‘You must be mistaken. We must do the test again and again to make sure.’

‘None of us have ever questioned the reliability of the test. If you did, none of us would be here today. Would we? If this man is to be tested and retested, so must we all.’

‘Heresy.’

‘Outrage.’

‘B’la you do not know the full implication of  what you are suggesting.’

‘J’ds, old friend, please. This will not advance our task. We must take this opportunity to form the Mind Quorom.’

‘Yes. Yes by all means let us do that.’

One by one the Venerable El’rs left their seats. They knelt together in a circle on the cold stone floor and reached out to join hands. B’la hummed a low note and each El’r joined in turn till were blended together into the wind frequency, the hushed note that was produced by the breeze as it moved through the falfa.

Overhead an orb of pale yellow light appeared and descended. As it encompassed them the hum ended. Their bodies became translucent and then invisible.

soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.

et

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

6DC0301

Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrredcoat03

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Hippie Pops

Country Joe & the Fish were the epitome of hippie (or is it hippy). Long-haired, hopped up on pot or lsd & unlike the Grateful Dead (who were pretty much the same epitome) more pop. But never Top 40 pop unlike the Byrds or the Jefferson Airplane. I was never really fan because they lacked, to me, the comfortable radio sounds I was used to. They were even experimental electronica on a few tracks.01.Fabric01I remember that first lp Electric Music for Mind & Body which I got from the Columbia Record Club. 12 lps for .01 plus shipping – The Club was one of the only ways kids like me in tiny east coast towns could get ‘psychedelic’ underground music. Country Joe was counter-culture hippie commie music.01.Fabric02I enjoyed that first lp, missed the next one & got Together with its Fireside Theatre trappings. Then when I escape Cape Breton I left them behind. I didn’t heard them for decades when thanks to high-speed I was able to down loads those two plus Fixin’ To Die; Live; CJ Fish; Eps; Here We Are Again. They were very political, antiwar, romantics. The music runs from pure psychedelic to jug band, blues, even some big band. That first lp transports me still. Not much instrumental experimentation after the first two lps.01.Fabric03These are spread out over 2 mp3 collections that also includes: compatriots Canned Heat’s: Living The Blues, Hallelujah, Future Blues, Reheated. Heat brought a more rural & boozy sense to that hippie vibe. Friends of mine loved them & as I’ve aged I come to enjoy them. Living is a fine double lp. Their music remains similar across all the lps – a more traditional blues often with political, antiwar lyrics.01.Fabric04To round the cds out I added some real blues with some Robert Johnson; Hooker: Sweet Black Angel; Brownie McGhee, Hooker & Terry: I Couldn’t Believe My Ears. I like to thinks its more than nostalgia that draws me back to some of this music but even if it is I’m also glad I never outgrew it.

sample

Feather

Brin closed his eyes and the illusion of the doorless wall remained as vivid as if his eyes were open. He stilled his breath a moment and reached to where the door should have been. His finger tips brushed the rough stone wall till he found the door frame. He opened his eyes and saw the wall and the wall only.

It took another two breaths for his mind to over come the information his eyes fed him. His hand found the doorknob and he opened it. More stone wall faced him. His head throbbed as he struggled to over ride the El’r Ft’hr image seed. It took all his will to step through the stone wall, a stone wall that part of him knew wasn’t there, while all his senses told him it was.

He felt the grit of the stone as his face pressed against it. He pushed harder.

It isn’t real. It isn’t real.

Sweat poured down his back, along his calves. He strained down to the the straps of his sandals. He plunged through. The image dissipated. He looked back to see his open door, to see the window in his room and sky outside.

As he broke through he stumbled into Br’thr Singa.

‘Watch it Brin.’

Brin helped Singa to his feet.

‘Sorry, but it was a test of wills.’

‘Test? I thought you’d been through all that.”

‘Looks like there still more. El’r Ft’hr D’br didn’t want me to leave the room so there was no door.’

‘Till now.’

‘Right. Look I have to run. I saw my nurseda, G’th, and for some reason the El’r Ft’hr doesn’t want me to talk with him.’

Brin started to the stairs. Singa followed. It was just a quick flight down to the main floor but as they got to the top of the stairs there was many flights, endless flights of stairs down and up. The El’r Ft’hr was determined to keep him from G’th.

‘Here.’ Singa handed Brin a shaft fringed like a falfa tassel only the tassel were stiff.

‘What is it?’

‘A writing quill. Very ancient. A feather.’

‘Feather?’

‘From a bird. A real bird.’

‘Real. Good.’

He dropped the feather on the first of the steps and the others melted away. Image seeds could be dispersed with a piece of reality that didn’t fit.

‘Come on then.’

Brin jumped down the stairs two at a time, his cassock flew up and round his heels. He could hear Singa close behind him.

soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

6DC0301

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

clothes

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

#Temptations of #BrokenBells

Broken Bells is a nod to current pop – their first is easy but not boring, their second, After the Disco, is more of the same. When I hear them I enjoy them but I don’t feel compelled to play them over & over, as I do with some cds. To be honest if you asked me to identify them from a song I probably couldn’t, nor could I tell them apart from say Metro or Death Cab For Cutie.

After the Disco is on one of my mp3 collections along with Frock Rock; Boyce & Hart; The Temptations: Psychedelic Soul; Katy Perry: Prism; The Parade: Sunshine Girl; Bentley Rhythm Ace: blueVenus: Comfortably Numb.

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pink hat

Frock Rock is all female bands covering all female rockers: I bought this because there is some Pussy Riot on it – doing, amongst others things Venus as Boy. Fun, hard rocking at times & I loved I.V. Webb’s Pissing in a River.

Boyce & Heart: they wrote some of the biggest bubblegum rock hits of all time for groups like the Monkees etc. Sweet solid & full of memories. The Parade: Sunshine Girl – could have been one of the big groups but never quite made it. Easy on the ear CaliPop of the 60’s.

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slushed crushed pink

I love The Temptations – this a collection of their 60’s hits Ball of Confusion etc. The songs are great, the memories are fine & those tight velvet pants sure make their asses look fine too.

Katy Perry is another nod to the modern: well produced, corporate pop. Disposable & pleasant radio fodder. Nothing quite as compelling as ‘Teenage Dream’ on this one though.

pink03

pink glitter

blueVenus: Numb is a fun ep of their violin driven pop – perfect for summer & also a band I know personally. Finally Bentley Rhythm Ace: For Your Ears Only: they were one of too many Brit techno bands (Prodigy, Underworld) that made fun, bouncy, sample happy music when we thought electronica was the wave of the future. It wasn’t but the music is still good.

sample

Mal-fun-ction

‘Mal-fun-ction.’ Cadet Bilta jabbed at the key pad by the air lock door as quick as he could. Why was this happening to him now? He knew that even though he was powerless over equipment failure he would be blamed for it. Blamed because as the son of Commander First Class James Bilta others would be only to happy to see anything as his fault. The privileged brat son of the highest ranked officer in the Space Core. What an impossible role to be cast into.

Well, he’d show them, as he has had to show them all every step of the way. His every movement had been subject to more scrutiny than any of his class mates since he first stepped into a class room. He couldn’t refimember a time when he wasn’t in the shadow of his father. Those few times when he was out of that shadow he was under the shadow of his mother. Pil’lo’w Bilta the first emissary from the Fraq Quadrant. He, the first child as the result of an inter-race & species union.

He didn’t know which part of him disliked the constant scrutiny the most: the human or the fraq.

‘Mal-fun-ction. Mal-fun-ction’

‘I heard you the first time.’

Cadet Bilta held his hand over the key pad. Minute filament strands shot out from his palm and raced behind the keys and into the very micro chip works that operated the air lock door. They quickly found the microscopic break in the chip and repaired it. Shoddy workmanship. The humans were plagued by this shoddy workmanship. He was always amazed at the progress the race had made with this inability to perfect even the simplest things.

Ah well that was the frailty of their life. He rubbed his palm once the tendrils had returned. He punched the code into the key pad once again and the door slid open. It jammed at the 3/4 point but he wasn’t Maintenance and it was open wide enough to allow him through. As long as the seals around the jamb were tight all would be well.

The new Drakal Time Cruiser stood on the deck before him. He wondered just how many small imperfections it held that would suddenly act up and spill him into fresh dangers.

soon

 

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

http://fanexpocanada.com

September 9, Wednesday – Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – season 2 kick off – 8 p.m. The Supermarket – 268 Augusta Avenue, Toronto.hot

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

n15.3

https://www.facebook.com/events/668001953300594/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nano02

http://nanowrimo.org/

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

pink