Buffy Saint-Marie

I can’t say I’m a Buffy Saint-Marie fan but I do respect her as an artist & a revolutionary. I recently watched ‘Carry It On’ a PBS American Masters documentary about her career & was amazed by the ups & downs that she survived. I didn’t know that the US Government deliberately sabotaged her career – they weren’t pleased with both her antiwar & her Indian rights activities. To shut her up they ordered radio stations not play her recordings or songs she had written. Land of the free – yeah, sure.   

I have an mp3 cd compilation that includes I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again (1968): country, Illuminations (1969) psychedelic with synthesizer to create electronically treated vocals & textures, & Soldier Blue – Best of the Vanguard Years (2003). As a stand alone I have ‘Running For The Drum’ (2008). Her ‘political’ songs are strong & fearless. Her romantic songs are tender. I loved Illuminations perhaps one of the most before it’s time recordings of the 60’s. Creatively daring, a total departure from her well-regarded folk & country roots it is still an amazing piece of work. 

Also in this mp3 collection is Mercedes Sosa out of Argentina, she sings in Spanish. I read about her somewhere as being one of the best selling singers in the world! Yet, at the time, I had never heard of her. A sign of the insular world of pop music. I have a couple of her cds & here is Gracias A La Vida. She has a warm alto voice. I love the tile song &  Maria Maria. 

Remember Sam The Record Man? On the second floor there was tiny world music section & in a reminder bin I picked up a cassette ‘Aster’ by Aster Aweke (Ethiopian) singing in Amharic. I love the African horn sound, similar to Osibisa’s. Another warm alto the songs were emotional even though I didn’t understand them. On this cd I have Sugar (2001). 

Also here is Astrud Gilberto the Brazilian bossanova singer who sang in both Portuguese & English. The Silver Collection (1991) is a nice selection of her hits. A lighter voice than the others here with a strong jazz leaning. Lots of classic Latino hits. A good introduction to her & the samba genre.

Finally Miriam Makeba out of South African. She was best known though the 60 thanks to her work with Harry Belafonte. Similar to Buffy her music was part of her social mission. Here I have Sangoma (1988) – sung in a variety African languages. Yes another warm alto voice & a great introduction to Afro-Jazz & folk music.

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Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892-1988): As a composer, Sorabji was largely self-taught. On 2 cds I have Jonathan Powell’s recording of the 8 hour Sequential Cyclica for solo piano/ 8 hours! I hope the pianist gets a washroom break at some point. Of Parsi & English parentage & openly gay he had a lifelong tendency to seclusion. I came across a post on Tumblr about him & was intrigued, found the Cyclica on iTunes. Sonically dense, some sections are under five minutes at least one is nearly an hour. If you are fan of Keith Jarrett this is the man for you.

Rounding out the cds I have Johann Vexo: Organ of Notre Dame – I bought this because of the Notre Dame fire. Oddly none of the shows I’ve watched about the rebuilding of the cathedral have mentioned the organ or any damage that happened to it. Maybe it out for the day & was saved from burning? The sound is epic, the pieces are elegant & not overtly religious.

Reynaldo Hahn (1874 -1947) & Jules Massenet (1842 – 1912) Piano Concertos. Never heard of  Reynaldo Hahn? Neither had I until their was a post about him on Tumblr. Another obscure classical composer. He was Proust’s lover for many years. The concerto is romantic &, to my ears, unexceptional. The same holds for the Massenet concerto – pleasant & undemanding classical music. 

The same is true of  Frederick Delius’s (1862 – 1934) Sea Drift, Songs of Farewell. Though some do find semi-opera orchestra songs a bit challenging. I downloaded this after reading a biography of Bram Stoker. Sea Drift was a piece of music he listened to frequently for creative motivation & solace. As a result of the swelling strings I haven’t been inspired to write a new Dracula. 

Finally Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643: Magnificat & Missa. Beautiful coral work sections of which were used on the soundtrack for a Spanish film I watched. I can’t recall the film but I was happy when I tracked down the actual recording used in the film. Often when I do this sort of search I come up emptied handed (or is that empty eared?). A great introduction to the whole genre of religious choral music that isn’t too sonorous or melodramatic.

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Don’t Touch Me There

Don’t Touch Me There

I told him

coming wasn’t enough 

not that I wanted 

an emotional connection

but a physical connection

that lasted longer

than it took to come

<>

some sense of enjoying

each others bodies

beyond sperm receptacles

did he enjoy the sex

or just the moment of orgasm 

<>

did he want to come so fast

that he didn’t feel touched

was physical contact

so threatening

it had to be as brief as possible

<>

was my dick so repulsive

he could only make contact

for the few moments

it took to ejaculate

I’ve known people who have worked in the sex industry. I’ve heard stories of clients who want an affectionate experience, who are too chatty or too emotionally needy – these they sometime feel sorry for but the clients they found the least satisfying were the opposite – ones who would demand the least physical contact – don’t touch anything except the sex organ – I’m trying not to be gender specific because they have experienced this sort of ‘distancing’ from all genders.

In my array of sexual experiences (all with men) I’ve dealt with many of these same … issues? I’m not sure what to call it. Limits? Like men who will do every except kiss – I guess kissing makes them real queers or they save that for their real love? Some who don’t want their face touched, their feet touched etc. 

Some will only talk about the traffic or the weather nothing personal – others are eager to talk about about their jobs, their children, theatre they’ve seen – I prefer the eager talkers. Thanks to chemistry some have developed into more than buddies to become parts of my daily life.

I’m sure there are psychological factors in people’s limits & I’m judging anyone based on those limits & if ‘no contact longer that necessary’ works that’s fine by me but it doesn’t work for me. Let’s face it very few of us, male or female, are flexible enough to do self-oral. I suspect one of the drawing powers of powers of porn & cam2cam encounters is removing the need for any contact beyond one’s own hand on one’s own body. 


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City of Valleys 2 

May

Steven

Steven sipped his second glass of red wine as he reflected on his audition. He heard Luke let himself into the house.

“Honey I’m a homo.” Luke called out.

“And I’m a-starrin’ in the next Thicket extravaganza.” Steven poured Luke a glass of wine.

“You got the part? You usually don’t put out till the second call-back.” Luke sounded tense.

“Brad didn’t show?”

Since he’d become part owner of Lubba’s, Luke was more concerned with the hum and flow of the place than he had been when he was merely a Maitre’D.

“He showed. Too stoned to do much more than bus tables. Don’t they do call-backs, more call-backs and then you never hear back?”

“Not Evan. When he likes what he sees he can’t be bothered looking for better.”

“What did he see?”

“He asked me read with all the other audtioners so he saw me at my best.”

“Standing? I know you hate to audition on your back.”

Steven sensed an argument. He tried to sidetrack it. “I’ll be paid for this one.”

“Cold hard cash?”

“Stipend and more, if profits.”

“Are you sure this is theatre? After all, if there’s money it can’t be art. How much cash?”

“Evan says enough to cover transportation to rehearsals.”

“Evan? Evan Daniels?”

“Right. We saw a piece of his last year. That odd take on John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger.”

“By odd you mean idiotic. Changing the gender of Helena to male, resulting in this stupid queer thing happening.”

“You said it was beautifully acted.”

“True.” Luke poured them both more wine. “What has he planned this time?”

“I have it here. An original piece called Three-Quarter Time.”

“And? … How is it?”

“I just got cast, so … First glance shows it starts in a morgue …”

“That’s what we need, a play set in a steam bath.”

Steven choked on his wine. “You prick.”

“Let me freshen that. Oh you’ve spilled some on your pant leg.”

“Freshen this for me first.” Steven laughed, unzipped his pants. “On second thought ‘tis fresh enough,” he announced in his ripest Shakespearean. “First this play’s the thing, and then that’s the play thing.” 

 Yves

Yves shut Jake’s door. Jake was asleep after a bad day of chills and fevers in reaction to a change in his medications. 

“How is he?” Nancy Markas, the duty nurse, asked.

“Sleeping.”

“I don’t know how you do it.”

“It’s my superpower of putting men to sleep with my very touch. Call me Sleepman.”

“Must be hard on the sex life.”

“If there was a hard-on there might be hope of a sex life.”

They shared a quiet laugh. Yves ducked in to the bathroom to wash his hands before the next of his rounds. The image of Jake so thin and fragile wrapped in his baby blue blanket stayed with him.

Jake was a man he had known before the HIV crisis. Jake’s pride, the snake tattoo around his right arm, now appeared to be all that held his skin together. Yves didn’t often have before-and-now images to make the devastation more palpable. 

Jake had been doorman and bouncer at several bars. A burly flirtatious guy, called Jake the Snake. He had won many “Bar Guy of the Year” awards but didn’t have any friends left. Many of his friends had preceded hime, on what he called, on the HIV express.

Yves understood how easy it was to be popular and yet not have time to build real friendships. It was a pattern in his life that he wasn’t sure how to break. Yves was a caretaker, self-evolved and emotionally detached from anything more than groups of people. The love of an audience he could handle, but anything closer eluded him.

He and Jake hung out together as people in a fluid group of bar boys. Though he had known Jake for almost fifteen years, had sex with him a couple of times, he didn’t remember a private conversation with him. That Jake’s last name was Rogers was news when he saw it on the charts. He felt that lack of knowledge was his fault.

The last two bars Jake had worked held regular fund-raisers to help him. Bar employment didn’t offer much in the way of employee benefits beyond tips. His only visits were when that money got dropped off for him.

Before his next appointment, Yves phoned to check if there had been responses on his answering machine to his flyer to share the house. The basement had been empty long enough for him to enjoy it empty and for him to miss the extra rental income.

He didn’t want any crank calls. The word gay on a public poster brought out the worst in people. 

Kevin

The van rattled to a stop for a red light on a hill that overlooked the city. Kevin was entranced by the endless sprawl of lights. As each apartment block flashed by, his excitement increased. He longed to jump out and run to the heart of the city.

“See that high, high light way over to your left.” Therese pointed over his shoulder. “That’s the CN Tower.”

“Right!” He fidgeted in his seat to get a better view. Once again glass was between him and life.

“You buckled up there?” Mitch asked. “If you don’t keep still you’ll be road-kill in a second.”

“Remember Mitch, you were the same when we arrived. We dropped our stuff at Sue’s. You remember Sue from home? Well, maybe you don’t. She was a school friend of mine, but anyway we jumped out of the taxi, threw our bags in the bedroom and took off.”

“Yeah, who jumped us on to the wrong subway?”

“And who kept doing it for the first month? Good thing Sue followed or we’d’ve ended up back on the east coast thanks to you.” She nudged Mitch.

“Watch it! You want to run us off the road?”

“We get turned round the right way and we get off at Eaton’s. Your eyes were as big as I’ve ever seen’em. Pulling us all over the place.”

“I was looking for a beer.”

“So what else is new,” Kevin butted in.

“You two want to walk from here?” Mitch muttered.

“Beer! Ha! Mitch wanted a strip bar. It was most romantic. Our first night here and he can’t wait to find a strip bar.”

“To see something you don’t see down home.”

“Yeah, whatever. We certainly saw that and much more than you bargained for.”

“What? What did you see?” 

“Nothing.” Mitch’s curt reply was meant to end to this.

“Inches of nothing.” Therese pinched Mitch’s cheek.

“You wanna make me run off the fuckin’ road or what?” 

“What? What did you guys see?” Kevin had to have details.

“Let’s just say one of the strippers was not the she, she appeared to be, but a he. Nice set of  … breasts. Your fiver, and I mean dollars, certainly fit nicely between them.”

“Let’s just say these five,” Mitch made a fist, “will fit your face nice if you don’t shut that trap of yours and I don’t mean the stink hole between your legs.”

A sullen silence descended that let Kevin revel in the city and its promise. 

David

David dashed up the stairs to Mark’s hospice  room and ran in to Yves LaPointe, a massage therapist at the hospice. He bounced off Yves and almost back down the stairs. He grabbed the rail in time. 

“Fancy running into you here,” Yves groaned.

Yves offered a hand but David used the bannister steady himself.

“Anything broken?” How David might dent this power-lifter body in front of him was beyond him.

“Nothing feels broke. You’d like to check for yourself?”

David was breathless from the unexpected bump. Dizzy, he held himself closer to the rail.

“Come on.” Yves took David by the arm. “We can go upstairs.”

“Thanks. Knocked the wind out of me.”

“You’re Mark Winslow’s friend?” Yves asked as they entered the lounge.

“Right,” David sat on a small over-stuffed couch.

The lounge, known as Jungle Land, overflowed with plants given to patients who had since left or passed away. An annual plant sale didn’t dent the undergrowth in the room.

“He went down to the A.A. meeting.”

“A.A. meeting here?”

“Yeah some of the guys from his regular group put it together. They were here last week too.”

“Good stuff. I skipped supper for nothing.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Yves scratched his head. “I wonder …”

“What?”

“We have time b’fore the meeting is over? I wonder if …”

“If … what?”

“To interview you for a book I’m working on.”

“A book? I haven’t had that line used on me for some time.”

“When I tell you what the book is about it’ll sound like more of a line.”

“What is it about?”

“Cock.”

“You’re right, it does sound like a line.”

“There’s those books by women about how they feel about their breasts, their scars, their wombs. All that gyno stuff, but I’ve never seen anything where guys just talk about their dicks.”

David stared at Yves to see if this was a joke, but his expression was quite serious.

“You want to talk to me about cock? My cock?”

“If you don’t mind.” Yves took a questionnaire out of his brief case. “I’ve worked out a set of questions to get at the information without it being too …”

“Sexual?”

“Right.”

“I don’t think I can talk about that sort of thing here. You know, in the AIDS hospice and all. It might prejudice my answers.”

“Here’s my card. Call me when you want to set up an appointment.” He patted David on the hand.

“I will.” David was taken by the sight of Yves’ thick fingers on his thin tapering ones.

Yves stood. “Don’t wait too long or you’ll get too shy.”

“Me! Too shy? You have been speaking to the right people.”

Yves left David alone in Jungle Land. 

Steven

Steven yawned and dropped the last page of the script.

“That bad, eh?”

“I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you what happens, but I’m not sure I could tell you what it’s about.”

“Is that good or bad?” Luke looked away from the television.

“Good. It’s that … there are no monologues. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a script that was all conversation with no one saying more than two lines in a row.”

“Sounds realistic, Steve. Most of us don’t talk in paragraphs.”

“Except in books.”

“Except in books.” Luke muted the television. “So …”

“I’ll do it. Just to to work with Evan Daniels.”

“Unless he asked you to play Ophelia.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

“If you can’t tell me what it’s about, at least tell me what happens.”

“The events aren’t going to tell you a thing. People dance around gurneys and fight over bodies. Absurd but powerful. I can’t wait to see what it will be like.”

“It must be good if you’ll take a role without a monologue.”

“Ha ha. Maybe you’d like to mano log this?” Steven cupped his crotch.

“After the news, Master.”

Steven stood and let Luke slide down his boxers. His cock brushed against Luke’s ear.

“Careful honey, you’re causing cable interference.” Luke held the cock in his palm. His two hands didn’t cover it’s length. “I know what this is about though.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Yeah. It’s about eleven inches.” He put his hands on Steven’s butt and pushed the cock to him.

Steven held Luke’s head to rock his cock in and out of his mouth. “I feel ya Ophelia, I feel ya.” 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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Rush to Mendocino

When I lived in Cape Breton I was in love with Tom Rush’s Wrong End Of The Rainbow. The gentle country-rock music & the sweetly poetic lyrics captivated me.  He fell between James Taylor & Jackson Browne. In face he did cover versions of songs by both of them. I picked up a cd that combined his first Self-Titled (1970) lp with Wrong End. The first is more folk rock & all cover versions: Jackson Browne’s These Days. Wrong End has originals like the title song, covers like James Taylor’s Riding on a Railroad. He’s still alive & performing – his last release was in 2018.

Next to Rush on the shelf is an lps to cd transfer of The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978); and  Bubblerock Is Here To Stay (1972). The Rutles: is the soundtrack to Eric Idle’s pitch-perfect parody of the Beatles. Much like Spinal Tap, it captures changing musical styles of the 60’s & the absurdities of the rock industry. The songs are excellent & quickly transcend mere parody.  Bubblerock is a Jonathan King satire of pop music forms – Mr. Tamborine with a background of more tambourines than an octopus could shake; a mash up of led Zeppelin & The Supremes. Worth searching out.

Next on the shelf is an mp3 cd collection including Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels: Breakout! (1966), Greatest Hits (1981), Get Out The Vote (1997). Mitch was a hit maker through the last half od the 60s with his masculine rock that owes much to Wilson Pickett etc. Here too is the cult favourite: Chocolate Watchband: 65-67 psychedelic and garage rock components compared to the Rolling Stones. A time when bands had ‘trippy names’ Vanilla Fudge, Strawberry Alarm Clock. They are better than their names suggests.

Also Eric Anderson’s debut lp Today Is The Highway (1965) folk originals except for Joe Williams’ ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go.’ A pretty boy with  pretty voice who never made it big but stuck around – changing labels & moved into a more country rock & eventually blues sound. I have other lps of his in other compilations. Finally Sir Douglas Quintet: Mendocino (1969). A Texas/California good time swamp rock band that had a few hits, none of which really charted in Canada. Classic rock like Mitch Ryder.

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Royal Sixties

Sadly the first version of this post got deleted 😦 so all my research – dates of release etc was lost – check these groups out on wiki for more info on them. The bulk of this is one of my mp3 collections of 60s hit-parade mostly one-hit wonders plus a few groups rolled by famous parents. A couple of performers never really crossed over from the r’n’b charts. 

Royal Teens: Lets Rock – remembered for their mega hit Short Shorts.

Best of The Jayettes: who might be remembered for ‘Sally Go Round’ – they lacked the glamour of The Supremes.

Dino, Desi & Billy- famous parents produced somewhat talented kids who managed some tolerable radio-fodder & even played their own instruments.

The same is true for Gary Lewis & The Playboys – expect their hits were bigger & better & more memorable than Dino, Desi & Billy. They also played their own instruments.

Keith: 98.6 was his one hit. He was a victim of a label that didn’t know how to package him or how to compete with the likes of Neil Diamond, BJ Thomas etc. 

Brenton Wood: 18 hits – Gimme A Little Sign was a cross over hit from the r’n’b charts but he couldn’t compete with white singer covers of his songs. Sweetly soulful but not as bluesy as Otis Redding.

Finally on this mp3 collection are The Turtles. Their songs frequently turn up in movies to establish a time era & a psychological mood. The band’s need to do ‘deeper’ material ended up with them leaving their label & the lead singers joined Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention.

A couple of stand-alones on the shelf: a double cd of Ruby and the Romantics: their one hit was Our Day Will Come – a brilliant romantic song. Ruby has a warm inviting voice but the band’s success was mainly on the r’n’b charts. Finally another stand alone that jumps us into 1990’s Rude Luck, out of PQ. Fun, soulful pop with a dash of hiphop. Bought in Montreal in 1993 as a part of my attempt to improve my French. 

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Silent Movie Soundtrack

I love movie soundtracks. They are written to sustain or create a mood. Deliberately manipulative music that can scare, lull, arouse & even make one patriotic. Often I wish it would drown out the dialogue lol. Sometimes it is the only good thing about movie. Even silent movies had music – usually played live on piano or elaborate pipe organs while the movie was being projected. Some had music written for them. Many had sheet music to accompany the film. As technology progressed early forms of lp was tried but sync was a challenge.

I have the soundtrack for Metropolis (1927) – For the film’s 2010 “complete” restoration premiere, Huppertz’s score was performed live and subsequently re-recorded by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frank Strobel. The composer, Huppertz, often played piano on Lang’s set to inform the actors’ performances. Huppertz’s score only accompanied the film once, at its original premiere.

The music is sweeping & one doesn’t need to have ever seen the movie to enjoy it. I have the 2010 restoration & have watched int a few times & the music certainly supports the plot & action but when I listen to it separately I don’t recall scenes. Unlike, say, the music from the Psycho shower scene. Great music that is more than just an historic document.

On this mp3 cd I added two soundtrack collections: Legendary Horror Films: original soundtrack music from King Kong, Frankenstein  etc. and Film Noir: original soundtrack music from Peter Gunn, The Big Sleep etc. Original movie instrumental soundtracks lps weren’t really a ‘thing’ until the sixties. Sure blockbusters would make some available i.e. Gone With The Wind. So these two collections of original music are excellent, in some cases music was taken directly from the film reels as the original recordings were not archived.

The soundtrack to I Married A Monster From Outer Space (1958) wasn’t released until the film itself became a cult favourite decades later. This is prime sci-fi space age music with ondes Martenot flourishes by a variety of composers including Max Steiner! The movie is great fun too, but you don’t have to see it to enjoy this soundtrack. 

Now for something different but retro. Bent Fabric was Danish pianist and composer best remembered for his hit Alley Cat (originally called “Omkring et flygel” (literally, “Around a Grand Piano”). It topped the charts in 1962. The song has shown up in various movies about the 60’s. I have a sweet collection of his fun pieces in a friendly jazzy style. 

I don’t think Mary Lou Williams did any soundtrack work – she was too busy working with the likes of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis to write for movies. Jazz pianist extraordinaire she was an early black, female powerhouse who, I think, is due for a major bio-pic. As a break from the noir soundtracks I have her Black Christ of the Andes (1964), Super Female (compilation of tracks from her albums). You want a black, female genius before Beyonce look no further.

Finally the Lemurian Congress – a Canadian electronica band. Their recording The Tour is the ideal soundtrack for any unmade movie about the future of Earth’s colonizations of Mars.

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Resolutions

pull up a chair

I resolved not to make any resolutions, which is probably the only resolution I have been able to maintain – though maybe writing it down here actually breaks that resolution? So in fact I’ve never kept a resolution, or at least not in the year it was made. In some self-help books we’re encouraged to make a list, dream big, don’t worry if the dreams are even possible – if we don’t dream big the universe may not even notice our small dreams.

There is also this imperative that our resolutions weren’t to be self-serving i.e. I will go to the gym every day so I will look attractive – so people will see that I have a great body – so I’ll more confident. All good enough, I think, but all no-no’s: I will go to the gym so I will be healthy. I dream of winning lotto max so I can be a philanthropist is good – I dream of winning lotto max so I can be rich rich rich: not so good.

Not that there’s anything wrong being a philanthropist. It’s as if everything has to be balanced with a nod to altruism before the universe will even listen to one’s dreams: big or small. I can’t tell you how many contestants on cooking shows want to win to make their parents, children, or partners proud. Rarely does someone admit they like to win, that they like to be showoff or that they love the attention. I sometimes wonder if losers go home & are shamed by their parents, children, or partners. Do customers at their restaurants say ‘no food prepared by that loser chef.’

So I don’t make resolutions about changes that are really bargains with the universe – if you give me this, I’ll do that. If I want to be a philanthropist I can start by being a decent tipper when I get a coffee at some cafe. If I want to win Top Chef Canada I better learn the difference between flank steak & porterhouse, the  difference between Pate a Choux & Croquembouche 🙂 lol

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Roxy Music

I have as stand alone or as part of mp3 collection by Roxy Music -1st (1972), For Your Pleasure (1973), Stranded (1973), Country Life (1974), Siren (1975), Manifesto (1979), Flesh & Blood, (1980) Avalon (1982). I was a fan before they hit it big with Siren, though I found some of songs on the first lps a bit dull & self-indulgent in that art-school way. 

With pop dominated by groups like Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railway or The Carpenters, Roxy Music was clearly different – romantic without being overly-sweet. The new romanic sound – i.e. Spandau Ballet – started with Roxy Music. They paved the way for emo.

‘You’re talking in headlines, up to the murder of three’ is a favourite Roxy line. It’s hard to pick a favourite lp. Siren has the most memorable pop songs, the earlier ones are fine but Siren is amazing. The lp was given to me a Xmas gift back in 1975. My favourite lp could be Manifesto – released in 1979 the year I move to Toronto it is, in some ways, the sound of the start of my new life. It & Siren are good lps to start your Roxy collection.

Bryan Ferry felt confined by Roxy Music & developed a solo career: These Foolish Things (1973), Another Time, Another Place (1974), Boys and Girls (1985), Bete Noire (1987), Ultimate Collection (1988),  Dylanesque (2007), Avonmore (2014). He wanted to record work by other writers & what a great mix of songs – It’s My Party, Walk A Mile in These Shoes – unpredictable & sweet. All with a sense of humour & even reverence for the originals. Dylanesque is interesting & pleasant but too respectful for my taste.

Rounding things out are a couple of other neo-romantic bands of the time: Cabaret Voltaire: Micro-Phonies (1984); Ultravox: Quartet (Deluxe) (1982). Delightful, moody, melodic, progressive alternative pop that has aged well & could be released new tomorrow.



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Merry Covid Christmask

One of my Christmas guests has asked if all the other guests will remain masked while here, expect, of course to eat & even then, masks have go back on between bites; also, will they all do home Covid tests before arriving to make sure they aren’t ‘carriers’. Instead of candy-canes should I hand them masks & covid tests at the door & turn anyone away who isn’t negative? 

Perhaps set one room aside for any eating & drinking & mask lifting – while in the other, everyone must remain masked & also avoid talking too much, laughing too much, & in general breathe as little as possible. 

Should I assume that my guests have enough common sense to take their own practical measures for their personal safety & for the safety & protection of others. If my concerned guest is uncomfortable they can social distance themselves with my air purifier at their side. It is a bit noisy but such is life.

This is one the Covid symptoms that doesn’t make the list of Covid symptoms – gone are the easy days of having a few friends over for a seasonal celebration. There is now this list of protocols to deal with beside the list of snacks to have on hand. I now reach for a covid home text kit before I reach for the NeoCitron if I have the sniffles. Is that an allergy sneeze or the first sign of Covid?

All I want for Christmas is not to die in emerg. 

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