Give Me An ‘L’

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Florence Flowers

Moving along the F’s next up in The Mike Flowers Generation – this is one of those off-beat & apparently one-time British novelty hits. Combining a very 60s brocade hippy look with a cocktail lounge musicality the generation recorded an ep of was sweet fun takes on things like Wonderwall, 1999 – that recast these songs in their gentle, sardonic style. I loved it.

This is followed by one of those next-big-things: Florence & the Machine: I have Lungs, as stand alone; Ceremonies tucked away on another mp3 collection; How Big, How Blue etc on yet another mp3 collection. I kept hearing, reading raves about this band. They have a somewhat more pop sound than say Antony & The Johnsons, but they mine the same sensitive, elegant, kind of morose territory.

Emotional, slightly mystic, sometimes cryptic lyrics with strong Celtic underpinnings that appeal thanks to the dynamically emotional voice of their lead singer Florence Welch. The videos are full of her swirling around in voluminous dark dresses in shadowy rooms or misty fields. It’s hard to tell who is a variation on who with so many of these British singers. If you like Adele you’ll enjoy Florence, or vice versa. Nice music for making out or breaking up.

How Big etc starts off a a 7 hours+ mp3 set that includes Gordon Jenkins; Pere Ubu; Giorgio Moroder; Girls in the Garage; Spotlight’59; Jack Nitzsche; Adam Lambert; Alissa Vox Raw – a typically eclectic set of great music.

Jenkins was a master arranger through the 40s to 60s in the Nelson Riddle mold. Cocktail, cheesy at time but sweet. He was found of suites of songs and did several adventurous musical plays orchestrated but undemanding at the same time. Jack Nitzsche is in the same genre but more recent. He did film soundtracks, worked with Neil Young & deserves a biopic soon about his very wild & crazy life: his music is rarely wild & crazy.

Pere Ubu’s Carnival of Souls is eccentric, whacky & challenging. Giorgio Moroder: Deja Vu: a recent set in which he works with the likes of Charli XCX in a set of nicely old school dance music. Girls in the Garage: great, fun covers by 60s Asian girl bands. Songs like Sugar Town, My Boy Lollipop get trounced is the most delightful way while demonstrating the power of pop music to ‘infect’ the world.

Spotlight’59 is a compilation of r’n’b/soul from 1959.  Someone on Tumblr had posted Marie & Rex’s I Can’t Sit Down & I had to have it & found it included here along with great songs by Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker & others. Here too is Adam Lambert: The Original High – energetic pop by a very talented guy who still struggles with the pop industry to be heard. Finally an amazing Toronto performer: Alissa Vox Raw. I co-featured with her a couple of years ago. The music is sonically dense, emotionally direct. She works with voice manipulation & on stage thanks to instant multilayering moved from her solo voice to the Andrews Sisters trio and layer after layer. Fun stuff, full of swing vibe too. The sort of swing vibe Florence should try sometime.

Mike sat on the bed and went through the flyers: Turkey dinner specials. One for a Cuirula Noir that featured a muscular black man as a black caped vampire wearing nothing under the cape except a leather harness and a red jockstrap studded with silver. Mike assumed the cape was also leather.

The Night Fever from Saturday Night Fever played on his cellphone. This was his ring tone for Patrick.

“Hey!” Mike answered. “I just got in. Not even unpacked yet.”

“Cool. I hate to do this but I won’t be getting in until tomorrow morning. I have to do an exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie while she’s in town. It’s my only chance.”

“Oh.” Mike lay on the bed. “Must be tough covering the diva beat.”

“That’s life near the spotlight. I can meet you for lunch. T’Cafe?”

“Sure.”

“Sorry, again. Caio.”

T’Cafe was a bistro Patrick had ‘discovered’ a few years ago. Not too far from his b’n’b. (Locate the b’n’b on St. Hubert south of St. Catherine). The name was a play on T used as slang for petite & tisane. Grammar be damned.

Mike wasn’t sure what to do with himself. All his plans were around Patrick. He had never spent time on their get-aways without Patrick in town at the time. usually he’d arrive before Mike. Even with Patrick busy with festival functions Mike at least knew he had something specific to look forward to. An evening to himself. Good thin he had the tourist guides to help fill the time. But first a shower was in order.

The early fall air was cooler than he expected when he left the b’n’b so he went back in to get a hoodie to wear under his jean jacket.

Simon was at the front desk as he went in. A dog barked and ran over to him.

“How is Madam?” He knelt to rub the dog behind the ears.

“As you can see she is fine. Gave us a scare, didn’t you.”

The dog rolled over inviting Mike to rub its belly.

“I hate to tell you this but she’s no Madam.”

“Ah yes.” Simon laughed as he came over. “We are well aware of that. But so many of the she’s you might meet here are not she’s after all. Nor do they wish to be. It is all a question of appearances, n’est pas?”

“Right.” Mike stood rather than remain at eye level with Simon’s crotch. Did he have a red leather jock strap? “Cools off fast.”

“I suppose.” Simon picked up the dog and rubbed his face against the dog’s forehead. “Whose not going to run out into traffic again. Who?”

Back on the street and warm enough he walked up the short hill to St. Catherine. He let the street light decide which direction to go in and he followed the green light that lead west away from the Gay Village. People were lined up for the Cathedral. Students were going to and coming from the UQAM buildings in the area.

He hesitated on going up St. Denis but the green light was propelling west. None of fast-food deli’s appealed to him. Nothing he passed looked welcoming for a single customer.

The next streetlight was red so he crossed to the other side on the green. No stopping to decide. No thinking. Drifting with the flow. He walked another block north to …. then turned on the next corner to go back in the direction he had come. The street was mainly town houses similar the row his b’n’b was in. Being so close to St C. many of the houses has been converted to boutiques.

At least the basement floor and the first floor. Most of them still had people living on the second and third floors. The shops were what he presumed were high end fashion with a couple of basement level bistros. None of them tempted him. He glanced in windows, stopped to look a couple of menus.

At one he thought he saw a familiar face sitting near the window but he kept moving. He stopped. Was that Patrick? No he couldn’t have gotten here that quickly. He retraced his steps slowly to get a better look. No, is wasn’t but … He took a photo of his cell of the man.He’d have to ask Patrick if he knew the had a twin in Montreal.

He stopped at a Poivre et Sel, a grocery store, to pick up some snacks and breakfast food. The one meal of the day he preferred to eat alone was breakfast. Cereal, milks and bananas. The store also had ready roast chicken so he bought a few pieces of that, fries & a pre-made salad. It would spare him trying to order something in one of the cafes he had passed. Eating alone in any of them didn’t appeal to him.

Back at the b’n’b he sat in the common dining area to eat his chicken.

“Poulet dans sac.” Luc (works at the b’n’b) sat at the table. “From Poivre?”

“Good guess.” Mike pushed the Styrofoam container toward him. “More than I can eat.”

“They do the skin nicely there. No hot sauce?” Luc arched brows as took a couple of wings.

“Not tonight.”

“That can be … supplied.” Luc nodded toward the various bottles on a shelf behind him “Perhaps some wine?”

“Only if you are trying to get me drunk.” Mike joked.

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November 1-30

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Lumpy Horror Show

25bearA trans actor in the lead as the ultimate transsexual from Transylvania – a brilliant idea. What could go wrong? Laverne Cox tackles the Dr. F role with gusto, glitter & fearlessness. Sounds good? Add Tim Curry & Adam Lambert to the mix and it keeps getting better & better. Ben Vereen as Dr. Scott is just icing on the cake, right?

There’s been dissent in the trans community  about the casting of Cox & also about the dubious politics of the song Sweet Transvestite. Back in the day, when I first saw the original movie, heard this song, it was an amazingly powerful reassurance to my sexuality. I was never trans or a crossdresser, but the film affirmed sexual otherness in a powerfully positive light. If it isn’t a big enough step to the far right or the far left – it’s fun all the same.25brown

Sadly the end result of this remake is a pointless, leaden, ‘reimagining’ of the film. I’ve seen countless ‘reimaginings’ of Shakespeare – Hamlet in the Wild West, As You Like It in Newfoundland – it can often work well & brings fresh meanings to great texts. I’m open to change – The Seagull on a space ship – bring it on.

But this TV remake brings nothing to the table. Cox is fine but doesn’t sell me on anything more than her ability to do high kicks & briefly channel Tina Turner. The songs aren’t given major re-workings, some scenes are shot-for-shot – reminding me of the pointless Psycho remake several years ago. 25circus

Frenetic but oddly lacking in energy. I was hoping director Kenny Ortega would bring some smarts to the dancing, he’s been a judge frequently on SYTYCD? But the man doesn’t even know where to point a camera. Don’t get me started on the costumes.

If this had been a live broadcast, a la the wonderful The Wiz, it could have had greater momentum & energy. The ‘reimagining’ was merely the including of a midnight show audience to flick lighters, talk back every now & then. None of the actors brought anything new to the characters. Good singers, game mugging but ultimately disappointing & unnecessary. Let’s hope this doesn’t become the go-to version that gets trucked out for an annual Halloween airing.25heels

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New , Old & WTF?

Here’s an mp3 playlist cd I burned this week. A fun mix of new releases, old faces making a return to form, & of course the just plain weird & a dash of wtf? because I roll that way (are people still saying that?). These are things I added over the past couple of months.

Florence + The Machine: How Big etc: She back & she’s not Adele. Florence reminds me so much of the first Sinead O’Conner lp with her big emotive voice, slightly celtic music & her open hearted need for someone. A treat for the ear & some tracks will make great movie moments (if they haven’t already.)

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the winter shrine 1

Gordon Jenkins: Manhattan Tower & California – now this is a real throw back. I came across Jenkins mentioned in something I was reading & checked iTunes & there was this collection of 60 or more tracks of his for $9.99 – this is swing music that doesn’t swing too hard. I put about 20 of the tracks on this cd – two of them are long song suits – almost mini musicals. A bit cheesy mind you – cocktail lounge music of the highest quality (if you can stand that quality to begin with).

Pere Ubu: Carnival of Souls: a 2014 product from a legend. Wildly dissonant at points, brooding, funky and a hell of a lot of fun. I was hoping for a sample of the Carnival of Souls organ though. Giorgio Moroder: Deja Vu: a 2015 product from another legend who produces a sublime, superb collection of old school dance tunes with modern school voices. He hasn’t lost his touch.

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the winter shrine 2

Girls in The Garage: Oriental Special – okay so this downright weird & of course I love it. Someone posted a track from this on Tumblr & I had to have it. Who can resist this Asian girl covers of songs like Sugar Town, Hanky Panky, some original material & some in Cantonese, Japanese. All original 60’s recordings. Our culture as reinterpreted though another lens (or is that voice?).

Spotlight ’59: one of my Tumblr feeds raved about a late 50’s r’n’b song ‘I Can’t Sit Down’ by Marie & Rex – so I did a bit of a search for it & found it on R&B Spotlight’59, a huge collection, 60+, of rich funky stuff by the likes of Dee Clark, Ruth Brown, The Coasters, The Five Satins & more. Man I love this stuff so much. I selected a dozen or so tracks to include on this CD.

Keeping with the wtf? is Jack Nitzsche: Three Piece Suite – Nitzsche is one of those pop secrets like Van Dyke Parks – known, if at all, for his production work with Neil Young & others. Plus he did a load of film soundtracks (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.) Some of his film string work gets used over & over. From this cd I took only some of his songs – a bit Neilsonesque. Sweet stuff. (The film music will get include with my Godzilla soundtracks cd)

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the winter shrine 3

Adam Lambert: The Original High: back to the present with this 2015 release. Modern radio pop of the highest order. Excellent production, his voice is great, the songs are fine, emotive, fun, some danceable, some ready for their soundtrack close up. But nothing that grabbed me & said this is a major fucking hit. Edgeless queer music.

Alissa Vox Raw: Vox – this final CD I bought from Alissa herself. Rich harmonies, experimental but accessible, with touches of many musical influences (so she’s right at home in this mp3 collection). All sounds generated by her voice. You can pick it up from CD Baby or iTunes. You won’t regret it. My review of her recent live show: Crisis of Faith @ Hirut http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1fH.

samples

What Do Men Want

what do men want

from each other

from relationships

the nature of commitment

just what is it

how long does it last

the search for a long term relationship

that evaporates

when one doesn’t fulfill

the unspoken or spoken

fantasy of the other

commitment loses its power

when something better comes along

is that what men want

someone to hold them over

for the moment

till something better comes along

someone we hold for a moment

hoping the next moment will be better

not that ambition

isn’t what makes the world go round

that without goals

we are merely yesterday’s news

but

why all this moaning

that no one wants to be committed

wants to put in the work

to make something work

to take the time   the focus

to see what they do have

rather than wishing

for what they may never have

not to settle for second best

but when will we know

when we have what is right for us

when do we suddenly

find that what we thought was commitment

was merely the waiting room

for the real thing

when that real comes along

what if there is a richer real thing

around the corner

a cuter one

one with a bigger cock

what then

whose fault is it

we take that out

on the one who isn’t

the one with the money  cock  cuteness

that it turns out the real thing has

what do men want

what do we want from each other

why do we presume

our individual image   vision

is the only right & workable one

for everyone

that those who aren’t with us

are against us

that a relationship

must be an endless ride

of uncontested control

that if either raises some

burp of objection

questions a direction

then it’s over

you aren’t committed enough

you don’t love me enough

I want someone who is really

truly commitment

not who just says they are

and then the minute I make

some suggestion they change

they bolt

they feel trapped smothered

whatever reasoning we use

to cover the more petty

shallow truths

what is the measure of commitment

what is it that gauges

how serious one is to the other

is it signing the prenups

is it the forswearing of all others

that we will never

look at any other item on the menu

never wonder

never try

that we will be devoted

to one another

to the avoidance

of any thing that might show an interest

outside of what we do together

only see movies   together

only dine out   together

get up at the same time

approve of one another’s

every move

ties

shoes

approval being the key

to contentment

never to mention or notice

just smile nod

keep troubling thoughts to oneself

is commitment

how ripe we are to change another person

how willing they are to be moulded

into something better

into something perfect

or is it

the one who doesn’t need that much work

the one who is fine

just the way they are

the willingness

to maybe

do a few things separately

have friends separately

not to live in one another’s back pockets

not to panic when

that happens

is that it

is that what men want

or is it the opportunity for one

to do that

while the other

sits at home

like a happy puppy

darting to the door

upon daddy’s return so happy

frisky

ready

to chase a bone all night

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

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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