The Rolling Stones 2

After the death of Brian Jones the Stones moved in a slightly different direction as they adjusted to a new guitarist. Then when this hit the 80’s they seemed to get lost & their lps became more aimless – shall we say, uninspired attempts to remain relevant.

As either stand-alone or mp3 I have Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main Street (1972), French EPs, Goats Head Soup (1973), It’s Only R’n’R (1974), Black & Blue (1976) Some Girls (1978) Deluxe Edition, Emotional Rescue (1980), London Singles Collection (2002), Blue & Lonesome (2016).

Bleed & Fingers are well focused & have some of the best writing of their career. Richard’s guitar work is often amazing & I find myself going back to these lps with great pleasure. The set of French EP’s – as you might guess, were released in Europe & each had 3 songs on them – the mixes are different from the lps versions. They ended with the release of Exiles. The London Singles Collection – 3 cds that ends with Sympathy for the Devil. The singles were mixed for radio & the sonics are different & in some cases totally different from the lps versions (Honky Tony Women) – some were never on lp (We Love You/Dandelion) well worth having, whereas the French EP’s are for fanatics lol. Blue & Lonesome  (2016) is their last new release – they return to their roots with a fine set of blues. 

Rounding out the mp3 collection are The Troggs: Trogglodynamite (1967) best known for Wild Thing The Trigs never made it big in the USA but were relatively popular in Britain. Solid bar band stuff. The Rumour was Graham Parkers backup band for many years I did some recording with out him: Max (1977) is an excellent set that shows the band didn’t need him. 

The Beach Boys: Smiley Smile (1967) – more a cult favourite & the studio sessions that nearly destroyed the band. Sweet & sonically dense. Wolf Call! is a fun compilation of various rock-a-billy songs. Rock-a-billy being another of the prime influences on British rock. As are The Esquires: Very Best of  (2012) with funky songs like Get On Up, this is the sort of funky sound the Stones tried to achieve but failed. 

Secos & Molhados is an innovative Brazilian glam-rock band that defies real definition. YouTube videos are wild, the music is tight, rocky, experimental & fun. I have A Volta do Gato Preto (1988). Finally U2’s Songs of Innocence (2014). not one of my favourite bands but they were forcing this lp free on anyone, even those who didn’t want it I opted take it lol. Solid rock but unexceptional.

 

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Hola Flora e amigos

I have two mp3 cd collections of Latino music anchored by Flora Purim – a diverse mix of Spanish & Portuguese musicians, of vintage & modern artists.

By Flora Purim (Brazil) I have Butterfly Dreams (1973), Stories To Tell (1974), Open Your Eyes You Can Fly (1976),Everyday Everynight (1978), Sings Milton Nascimento (2000). (elsewhere I have her work with Chick Corea, & Airto Moreira)

I first heard her with Chick Corea. Chick is one of the lollards of jazz-rock & also a jazz piano god. As a result her first few lps have a strong feel for jazz-rock but in a much more Latino direction. She a clear soaring voice that is comfortable with adult pop, avant guard experimental, folk & jazz. Check out Dr. Jive on YouTube – it is an amazing rush of energy & merges her sensibilities in an almost psychedelic explosion. I love all these lps.   

Flora didn’t appear in a void though, she was preceded in the 50’s by Yma Sumac, a Peruvian-American coloratura soprano with a range of over four and a half octaves. I have her Mambo! (1954) , Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952), Voices of the Xtabay (1950). The queen of exotica she picked up where Carmen Miranda left off with a series of amazing, authentic recordings that haven’t been bettered. The original cover art alone on these is amazing. Grab a hits collection.

Sergio Mendes Brazil’66 brought an interesting spin on Latino music by interpreting current pop songs as sambas etc. I have Fool on The Hill (1968), Four Sider (1972). They mix Brazilian standards as well thus exposing us try their native sounds as well. A bit middle-of-the-road – an easier to take version of Flora Purim lol.

If you want to step even deeper try Sivuca (Brazil): Sivuca (1978), Quinteto Ulrapuru (2010) – I had his 78 lp on vinyl on the east coast & loved it – playful, romantic street/folk music. the 2010 lp is mature & verges of modern classical. Hermeto Pascol’s (Brazil): Eu e Eles (1999) Is a fun, quirky work – he plays in the studio with sound effects & almost silly vocal styles: words gargled with water. 

Violeta Parra (Chile) (1917-1967): Las ultimas composiciones, is best known for ‘Gracias a la Vida’ which is given an amazing recording by Mercedes Sosa. Parra is a folkie solo singer – a sweet voice, an acoustic guitar with songs of political protest, love & hope. Obscure, mind you. She reminds me of the 60’s coffee house scene.

Mane Silvera & Swami Jr.- Ima: with Silvera on sax, Jr. on acoustic guitar. I borrow this cd from the library, made a cassette copy & then downloaded the mp3 – I love love love this jazz duo – playful, lyrical & one of my favourites. Who could resist a musician named Swami Jr? I love the playing of both these  musicians & have more by each elsewhere in my collection. This is a must have.  

Jon Hendricks’s Salud! Joao Gilberto (1963) is a pleasant exploration of Gilberto that was ahead of its time. Easy listening takes on classic songs by one of America’s foremost male jazz singers.

In this collection are couple of Spanish lps as well. Antologia Del Tango Argentino – a collection of archival tangos – yes there was a major recording industry outside of the USA. Finally a dip into more recent sounds with Orishas (Cuban hip hop): Emigrante (2002), El Kilo (2005). Energetic, passionate & full of samples of Cuban big band & jazz. Remarkable modern music.

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Henri et Heitor

Henri Vieuxtemps (Belgian 1820-81): Violin Concertos. I bought this way back in 2004 at HMV where they had a table or reduced-price classical cds. I like violin concertos so I picked it up knowing nothing about the composer. I’ve played it several times since then but to be honest I have no recollection of what I heard 🙂 The music is pleasant enough that I’ve kept it in my collection. It’s the sort of thing you might hear on CBC radio & think ‘that’s nice.’ At Vieuxtemps’ funeral his violin was carried upon a pillow behind the hearse carrying his body.

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 – 1959) Brazilian, wrote over 2000 works by his death in 1959. If you’ve never heard of him, chances are you have heard him but not realized it was his music you were listening to in the background of some movie or TV show.

I have as stand-alones his Complete Solo Guitar which includes Bachianas Brasileiras, Piano Music Vol 4, Piano Music Vol 5, String Quartets Vol 6. Although I tend to be a completest I was content with this selection of his works. I think I first heard his music as played by Andre Segovia; then some of it ‘smuggled’ by various progrock groups; as well as jazz takes by Chick Corea & others. 

Like many composers he makes extensive use of folk melodies but unlike, say, Smetana, doesn’t turn them into epic patriotic melodrama. Playful, thoughtful & romantic his melodies are ideal for musical exploration & easily adapt to tango, rumba or bossanova. 

For many years I was unaware that he wrote for anything other than guitar, & was surprised to find that the piece of his I liked was adapted from his piano music. So I added some of that to my collection & decided to try some of his string quartets – which are excellent, if you like string quartets. 

If you find his latino influence a little too controlled by classical structure you should try Piazzolla or even Sivuca for a ‘juicier’ classical experience. 

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Recap February 2021

Over the past month my TOpoet.ca following blog grew to 463! The WordPress map shows my hits in February have come from 91 countries around the world. Mainly USA & Canada with South Africa in 3rd spot! Bangladesh & Malawi remain in the top 10. The most viewed (non-photo essay) was The Thieving Slut, https://topoet.ca/2021/02/15/the-thieving-slut/, with F**k Gratitude, https://topoet.ca/2021/02/11/fk-gratitude/ close behind. Both are personal faves.

My Tumblr following is at 304. Twitter 229 followers.

Picture Perfect is moving along with 56 sections, about 84,500 words, posted so far, with 101,000 words approx to be edited, then posted. This month I was at the point where I got sidetracked in the rough draft so I did major cut of about 5000 words. The cut removed a scene I didn’t need but a character I did need so re-invented him keep the flow. A fun challenge.

I watched some interesting movies including O Ébrio (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Ébrio_(film)). Out of Brazil,1946, starring popular singer Vicente Celestino – who co-wrote it with Gilda de Abreu, who was also his wife. Imagine an Elvis film set in 1946 – fame & faithless women & songs & redemption. Eye-catching costumes for the women. A fascinating look at the culture of the time. The music & lyrics are idealized romantic, religious & dripping with sincerity. Performances are good to adequate, with some sweet silent-movie nods.

Another, an even wilder musical, is the Polish film The Lure (2015) directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska. One critic calls it “the best goth musical about man-eating mermaids ever made.” I wouldn’t call 80’s EuroDisco Goth but … the music is sublime, the visuals at times are stunning & performances good. Plotting uneven but well worth watching. I saw both of these as part of TCM series of women directors.

A couple of books I’m currently reading. Paper: Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Bérubé about gay men and women in the U.S. military between 1941 and 1945. This quote ‘ … being a homosexual, I had that constant compelling need to prove how virile I was.’ still remains one of the male gender identity struggles. The book is stunning – easy to read, easy to understand & at time heartbreaking & frustrating.  Read it asap.

Kindle: Fairs’ Point: A Novel of Astreiant by Melissa Scott book 4 in the series. I read the first in this series a few years ago. It was part of a StoryBundle of 10 lgbtq fantasy/horror novels & I loved it. I’ve read the pervious in the series. Amazing world building, sweet male lovers & understated sex scenes. Set in a magic Mediaeval land. Only one more in the series after this one though 😦

in clearing out an archive of old writing in a file cabinet I found this piece from the early 80’s. It is about HIV fears but some of the lines about ‘a virus more virulent than love’ echo the current covid19 pandemic where a stranger’s breath could be deadly. Replace roses with masks & it’s ready for today

war/mist

1

i’m pressing the mirror

to my face

not looking for contact

not seeking any content

needing any slight

sign of mist

to reassure me

i’m still alive

i’m still breathing

<>

hey! it’s alright everybody

i’m still breathing

there’s nothing breeding in me

hey! you guys

don’t you hear me

I’m still breathing

2

something in the blood of lovers

has brought this war

to my attention

to my very front door

to my one & only bedroom

sullen pillow whispers

imploring an unwilling caution

for this angry end to innocence 

<>

‘so, we don’t meet again’

a thought

in the corner of my eye

catching you

wandering through the throng

of sights unseen

untouched

a man missed again by me

a stranger in your mist

<>

a kiss is no longer a kiss

it’s an affront to our political awareness

it’s flirting with a virus

more virulent than love

a disease befuddled by language

leaving us

untouching

unflinching

imploding

& afraid

<>

so i’ll send you roses

yellow green black

olive drab camoflage

for our war of wait & see

our war of hide

then die

<>

a lift of the hand

a nod of the head

a thin smile of acknowledgement

i practice the arts

of indifferent recognition

so i can cast them upon

unobtainable flights of obsession

‘is this the wave of the future?

or just an unobservable mannerism

by this stranger in your mist

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Malo Zouk and More

Malo dominates this mp3 collection of world music. I was a big Santana fan (still am) & thanks to that developed a liking for latino music. Malo is a Spanish group out of San Francisco . I have Uno, Dos, Evolution, Ascención, & Celebracion (singles). The first two I had when they were first released. The others added much later when it was time upgrade from lp to mp3.

Not as ‘acid’ guitar driven as Santana & with horns I love this band. More traditional & laid back they were a good introduction to world music. The lps progressed but never deviated far from their roots. Sometimes political but mostly romantic & always interesting. If you aren’t familiar start with Uno.

In this collection are The Boyoyo Boys: Back In Town (1982). The Boys are a four-piece band from Soweto, South Africa. Their sound is Mbaqanga music which  blends jazz and African musical traditions. Think bouncy & energetic. Similar is found on Hurricane Zouk: 1992 Zouk is a musical movement in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. I don’t recall how I come across Boyoyo but I found Zouk on the $1.00 shelf as the 2nd hand record/book store that used to be around the corner from the Greenwood Subway station. 

Joan Manuel Serrat is a Catalan musician. here is his 1992 Utopia. I was introduced to his music when I was manager at the Lab On Britain St. (now gone). A theatre collective of guys from Mexico, Argentina & Brazil used ‘real’ latin music before their shows. The guys were sweet & the music was wonderful. Serrat is more mellow but enjoyable. Less mellow is Vox Dei (Argentina). A prog-rock band & here I have their concept lp La Bible (original version). When we get to ‘V’ you’ll hear more about them.

Finally on this cd is Homeland: Black South African Music. A fun collection that is a mix of tribal, pop & jazz. I found this first at the library & love dit enough to eventually down load a copy for myself. It is a great collection & also a fine introduction to African world music. I often wonder if American pop is considered world music in South Africa or Brazil?

Their Dreams Unfulfilled

I went back up to my room. Parents can be so weird at times, even though I had changed, they had left it pretty much what it had been like when I was in high-school. Maybe that was when they were happiest with me. When I was still the boy who would grow up to eagerly fulfill their dreams of the perfect heterosexual son.

I had taken much of my furniture with me when I finally left home for university in Toronto. They merely dragged back what had been stashed in the basement – the desk I sat at when I slaved over my homework, my old narrow single bed.  What a fight we had when I wanted to get rid of it for a larger one. Mom was sure a bigger bed would take up too much of the limited space in the room. She was right but at the time I wasn’t giving in an inch. 

The oak frame had a new mattress on it though. The old frame had been sanded lightly but some of my carving still remained as reminders of time frittered away. Initials of girls I now don’t remember, in little hearts, with mine. Maybe some boys though, as then I didn’t know better, or maybe couldn’t admit what I sort of suspected.

DM had to be Darla Matheson. The only reason I remember her or even went out with Darla was because her older bother, Mitchell, mesmerized me with his smile. I could still see his face so clearly while her’s a blur in a yearbook.

“We’re shutting the water off.” My Dad called up to me.

“Okay.” 

I’d arrived a two days ago. After driving non-stop for almost 24 hours I’d slept most of the next days and I wanted a day of vegging in the old homestead before taking on the city but this was pushing me out sooner than I’d planned. 

Outside I looked over the house, the garden. It had been over five years since I’d been home last. Trees were bigger.

“You want a lift anywhere?” My Dad opened the car door.

“No. thanks. I’ve had enough driving for awhile. Think I’ll just take a stroll.”

“Enjoy. Some of us have to work you know.” He laughed.

I watched from front steps as he drove away.

I walked to the corner and stood for a minute to look in each direction. One way was the walk to my grade school, another direction to my high-school and a third, the direction towards downtown. Which set of unfulfilled dreams did I want to tackle first?


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M. M. M.

Let’s step back to the 90’s with Britain’s M People. I have as stand-alone their elegant slumming & Bizarre Fruit & their Best of tucked away in an mp3 collection. I loved hearing & dancing to them in the disco. Their sound was soulful, propulsive, & romantic. I love Heather Small’s voice. When I hear some of these songs I get a sweet feeling of nostalgia but with no actual memory of person or place attached. Their cover of Itchycoo Park is a masterpiece of a masterpiece 🙂

Celso Machado is a Brazilian musician living in, of all places, British Columbia. I have his Varel as a stand-alone cd. Folky with touches of latin jazz this is a fine introduction to world music. Pleasant voice, great guitar sound. One track he shows off bird imitations on various instruments. Sexy music too.

For a time in the mid-90’s I vacationed in Montreal for a week or so in July thanks friends who moved her from there & went back to renew their accents. I developed a fondness for French pop, some of which was Québecois, some of which was out of France. My friends could tell the difference whereas I couldn’t, nor did it matter that much.

There was a separate PQ Much Music at the time, when Much actually played videos. I saw a track by Madam. I have their Eldorado, Weke & Ce Beau Pays.These are all fine pop/rock work. Great vocals, stinging guitar, some political commentary & in general fun. Part of the purpose was to improve my French, which never did happen, c’est la vie, but I enjoy have a nice slice of this music in my collection. 

Swami Hart and Beyond

One Christmas many years ago a friend gave me Antonio Hart’s (alto saxophonist) Don’t You Know I Care that he had picked up at a yard sale. It was just the cd – no jewel case. Pleasant & non-challenging jazz – solid playing, sweet arraignments & great starter for someone new to jazz. I created an mp3 version for a fun collections of jazz (& other) classics.

Some of these musicians I knew by reputation, others I searched out after seeing lp covers posted by an lp cover Tumblr one halloween 🙂 So here is Horace Silver (piano): Horace-Scope, Song For My Father – swinging, exploratory & emotional work that I enjoy more each time I hear it. Horace-Scope was the spooky cover & I added Father to hear more. It was Archie Shepp’s (saxophonist) The Magic of Ju-Ju cover that lead owing loading it. I add his The Way Ahead as well. This too is solid, swinging at times, challenging & occasionally dissonant but worth having. Shepp’s work with Abby Lincoln is worth searching out too.

The title of dummer Philly Joe Jones Sextet’s Blues For Dracula is reason enough to add this one. Propulsive & aggressive there is nothing scary here except the quality of playing. Not easy listening by any means & great for writing. The same is true for Jackie McLean’s  (saxophone) Demon’s Dance – it lives up to the cover & the title. Restless music for restless creative minds.

Also here is Steve Marcus’s  (saxophone) Tomorrow Never Knows – this is an excellent jazz exploration of 60’s psychedelic pop. One track has the sax riff that propels Gerry Rafferty’s Beaker Street. This is a lost classic lp that deserves a resurgence. Be warned this is not an instrumental walk-though of 60’s pop – the group peoples these pieces inot our bop & it is well worth the listen. Unlike Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Best Of – which are nostalgic & safe for family listening.

To lighten the mood of this collection & also Ron Goodwin’s soundtrack music for Miss Marple, Lancelot, Force 10 – the Marple is jolly fun, the other two are heroic action music. Finally is  Swami Jr. (Brazillian acoustic guitar player (7-string)) Mundos e Fundos – Jr is an amazing guitarist I found out via … well, I’m not sure how found him but the name made him worth checking out. I have a few lps by him each is romantic & satisfying He’s worth checking out.

more of the very rough draft from Isle St. Nuit

Mike hated airports. Too many people going to places he’d never go to. Too many announcements. he checked his ticket print out with the constantly flickering board of arrivals and departures to double check he was heading in the right way, to be sure they hadn’t changed the gate, the flight number gate. 

Twice he’d been startled by the appearance of large black men who were the shape and size of Xavier. His heart raced till he got a good look at the face. As if this would be how it would continue – him running into Xavier at the airport on his way to somewhere.

What would he do it if that had happened. Throw his arms around him. What if Xavier acted as if he’d never seen him, which was most likely what woud happen. Yet he hoped even that would happen. Just  for one more look.

They would glance, Xavier would nod to the washroom and Mike would follow eagerly. Put his bag down t to be taken away by the ever alert airport security. 

Mike would follow Xavier into the handicapped stall – one big enough for two men. Xavier would already be there. Unzipped. Hard. Mike would drop to his knees and ….

“Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. All passengers needing assistance should report to the gate now. thank you. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Tous les passagers ayant besoin d’aide doivent se présenter à la porte maintenant. Merci.” 

Mike hunched his shoulder, pulled his shoulder bag closer to him. Finished his coffee and walked through the door to gate 9. 

In the plane he kept his eyes on his magazine. He didn’t want to look out the window. Didn’t want to see the city disappear with so much of himself still there.

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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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Joe Jackson

 

There was an 70’s wave of British punk/power/soul popsters that included of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson & Graham Parker. Each made a place for themselves, at the time, & each after their initial break through took their own creative journey. All are still recording.

Costello went from nerdy threatening to fairly sweet mainstream. Parker stayed closest to his r’n’b roots. Joe Jackson explored & moved away from his punky snarl through so many styles he was a chameleon. In my collection I have as stand alone: Look Sharp!; Night & Day; Jumpin’ Jive; rain. In an mp3 collection is I’m The Man; Beat Crazy; Will Power; Big World. 

I remember those first couple of lps & having ‘discussions’ with friend as to who was better Costello or Jackson. Both had a nice streak of romantic snarkiness, punchy delivery, clever lyrics. So there is no clear winner 🙂 Jackson was more ‘dangerous’ though & still carries some of the punk edge. I was amazed when he embraced small combo big band with Jumpin’ Jive & Beat Crazy. Two albums I love for ether sheer joy. Will Power is his classical flirtation which is okay – Costello recorded with a string quartet – so they are even on the score. Big World he tries latino & other influences nicely. The more recent ‘rain’ is comfortable but to me, undistinguished.

To round out the mp3 collection I included Otto (Otto Maximiliano Pereira de Cordeiro Ferreira). He mixes traditional popular Brazilian genres with electronica, drum and bass and rap. I first saw the amazing video for Bob, from his first release Samba Pra Burro (which I do have in yet another mp3 collection). Here are his Condom Black; Sem Gravidade; Certa Manhã Acordei de Sonhos Intranquilos. His singing is emotive, the engineering is brilliant & he is a hottie. Finally here is Nation Beat: Legends of the Preacher – another Latino band out of NY (a successful fusion of Brazilian maracatu drumming, New Orleans second line rhythms, Appalachian-inspired bluegrass music, funk, rock, and country-blues) I love their cover of I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.

 Sleep

‘Let’s check it now.’

‘Look, it’s nearly 3 a.m. Let’s get some sleep and we’ll check the tape in the morning.’

Frank was already plugging the cable connector from the camera into the back of the TV. ‘Tom this is what we came here for. We’ve been doing that jungle walk for two weeks and now we finally have something.’

The screen came to life. Murky movements jumped back and forth.

‘Worse than the Blair Witch.’

‘You try sometime then.’ Tom snapped back.

‘Sorry I was just …’

The picture came into focus. The sound was muffled, distant.

‘Shit!’ Tom hit the top of the TV.

‘That’s not going to do much.’ Frank laughed. ‘Turn it up.’

‘Why bother with that.’ Tom pulled the cables from the TV. ‘Let’s use this.’ He opened his lap top. ‘I have a program in here that will refine things considerably.’

It took the tape several minutes to be downloaded into the computer.

‘Couldn’t you get anything faster.’

‘You making a crack about the size of my hard drive?’

‘You said it not me.’

The program flashed that it was ready. The sounds were still muddied but with some audio editing Tom played them back clearly:

‘We call the time to change

we call the time to change.’

‘That’s not what that kid said.’

‘No that’s what we heard first though. Remember. I thought it might be the wind in the trees.’

‘We call the time to change?’ Frank repeated. ‘Wonder that that can mean. We call the time to change.’

The lights in the room dimmed and the computer screen blinked on and off and on again.

‘Whoa! Better not say that too many times.’ Tom pulled the curtains shut.

‘You don’t think …’

‘You know what I think. I told you we would be playing with …’

‘We are not playing here Tom. This is serious research.’

‘Right and these are serious results.’

‘Okay. Let’s see what else we have there then . ‘We call…’

Tom put his hand over Frank’s mouth. ‘Enough with that. We have to be careful when we don’t fully understand.’

‘But it’s just words Tom.’

‘You know that isn’t so.’

The teenage boy appeared on the screen. His lips moving.

‘What! I can’t hear him.’

‘There’s no audio here.’ Tom punched at the keyboard moving back and forth along the audio indicator.

‘Silence.’

‘When did the sound cut out?’

Tom did more in putting.

‘Seems to have cut out when he appeared and comes back when he disappears.’

‘Mambo? What did they say he was called? Cha Cha?’

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every Tuesday 2019

May

Stratford Festival – Henry VIII

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
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September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Babel Gilberto

For a time Brazil became a hotbed for Latino electronica. The sound was, as one might expect, laid-back & sensual. It simmered. Out of that simmer came Babel Gilberto. Yes, daughter of Joao Gilberto! Never heard of him? Time for google to expand your knowledge base 🙂

In my collection I have stand-alone’s of her tanto tempo, Bebel, Momento, All In One – she moves from electro bossa nova to a more acoustic sound. Even the electronica is subtle thanks her early producer Suba. As she grew she became her own producer as well.

The music spans classic bossa nova, samba songs to original material. Her voice is warm, sensual & inviting. I guess this is contemporary adult pop. She’s not as pop as Shakira, not as jazzy as Flora Purim or Astrid Gilberto. She is the perfect start for anyone interested in Latino music. 

 

You might also want to check out Suba – he died young in a fire so there isn’t a lot but what there is is sublime. He worked within the cross between lounge chill, exotica and pop to produce some excellent music on his San Paulo Confessions. There is a great tribute album as well called, for some reason, Tributo.

Big Sale Tomorrow

David stooped to unlock the bolts at the bottoms of the heavy glass doors. There was still several minutes before actual opening but this would save him having to open & close them to let in the rest of the staff. One of the small powers of being assistant manager.

This was a welcome day with no special sales to worry about. It would give them a chance to get things organized before the next flush of super savings offerings. He felt a day closed would do more good for them than a sale. Things sold faster when there was some sense of organization.

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Hi Tracy.’

He stopped folding sweaters to nod to her.

‘Nice colour.’

‘Thanks.’ Tracy smiled.

Today her hair was a copper-red.

‘You should try it sometimes.’

‘Yeah. Right. That order of women’s singlets arrived. Let’s see if we can’t get them out by afternoon.’

‘You got it.’

She disappeared into the staff change room.

‘Morning.’

‘Good morning Mr. Oaks.’

John Oaks was the senior senior salesperson. Above manager. He’d been with the company since looms were invented, or so the staff felt.

‘Nice pants.’

‘Thanks Mr. Oaks.’

‘You get them here.’

Dave hesitated. ‘I think so. Last fall.’

‘I don’t think so. Look good though. We need more quality stuff like this, you know. This cheap stuff sells but doesn’t keep people coming back. Not easy for me to watch’em leave with some of this crap.’

‘I know.’

‘Especially when our own staff won’t wear it. Time for a quick visit to the facilities before the hordes arrive to use up all the t.p.’

Dave nodded in agreement. This was one of Oaks morning routines. It came up at least once week. Bad merchandise one day would be followed by how little people knew about quality the next and the day after that would be how little the staff knew about clothing, about fit, about the right colours. Good thing he was there to keep them in line.

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Blake – time you showed up.’

Blake, the manager, was usually ten to twenty minutes later, after all that’s what an assistant manager is for. She always brought coffee for the staff – to get the day off on the properly caffeinated  foot.

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam


http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)
 capfireslam.org 

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Amor Estilo #Brasileiro

Next up are several cd’s with ‘Brazil’ in the title: Brazil 2Mil/Brazilectro 1&2: these 3 are compilations of fun, funky, ‘modern’ (at the time) remix & new takes of songs with pumped up bass & other studio layering. This is where I first heard Babel Gilberto, Suba & too many others to list. Sultry, sweet & sexy with the disco dance floor in mind.

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get Starbucks on the phone

Essential Brazil is another compilation but of more traditional sounds of songs by modern masters: Gal Costa, Jorge Ben, Astrud Gilberto – an excellent introduction with emotional vocals, stunning acoustic guitar work & an abundance of Latin percussion, smooth orchestras, wicked accordion work on tangos & bossa novas.

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get Tim Ho’s on the phone

 Brazilian Girls is a slight departure but no less sultry & sexy but mostly in English. This is adult contemporary with touches of hip-hop, lots of electronica & some in-your-face songs. Pussy never sounded more tempting.

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get 7/11 on the phone

Finally I have Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas: a sublime, superb compilation of mid-60’s pop music full of echo chambers, reverb, distorted vocals & psychedelia as Brazil pop tries to capture the US flower-power explosion. 16 tracks by 16 different bands isn’t enough, but it is all fun. The booklet is amazing too.

sample

My Dad, the Hunter

‘Now this is a black bear my Dad killed when he was your age, son.’

‘Yeah, sure.’

The dusty stuffed bear’s eyes were clouded over, the yellowed fangs were as threatening as the seed pearls on my cousin Sissy’s Sunday gloves.

‘Takes a real man to kill a beast like this son. A real man.’

‘A real man with a real gun.’

‘What, you implicating there that my Dad wasn’t …’

‘Anyone one with a gun could drop something like this. Don’t take no guts to point and shoot.’

‘I’ll have you know them days it weren’t so simple.’

‘Oh that’s right, men had to put the bullets in. Very scary.’

‘This weren’t done with no rifle. Done by hand. With a knife.’ He took a small pen knife off the shelf behind the stuffed bear. ‘This here be the very knife.’

‘Please,’ I couldn’t help laugh. ‘That knife isn’t enough to tweeze that bear’s eyebrows let alone cut through the fur and then the skin and then the fat under the skin.’

‘Think you know it all don’t you.’

‘No, but enough to know a gunshot wound when I see it.’ I pointed the entry wound in the bear’s chest. ‘No pen knife made that scar.’

‘Okay but this is a glaxata my Dad killed when he was first landed in the Blink Quatrant.’

The glaxata was suspended in a thick amber liquid in a tall glass tube. The tendrils moved slightly in the goo that held it. The topmost row of eyes followed me as I stepped back – and then closer.

‘Now, this is something. He use that pen knife on this this too?’

‘As a matter of fact thar weren’t much my Dad couldn’t kill with a pen knife. He wasn’t ashamed of it like some have become. Guns and all don’t hold the same challenge you know.’

‘Yeah I know but …’

‘But what?’

‘Nothing.’ I decided to let the tour guide ramble on. After all this was his Dad’s world not mine.

‘Now you know he warn’t my genetic parent, mind you,.’

‘Oh!’

‘Nope. None so lucky to remain who are his direct descendants. Not even clones exist anymore of the great Dad we all wish we had. We’re coming to the newest exhibit. I’s jis warnin’ ya cause some have fainted dead away at the sight.’

We turned the corner to face a Trantoral Vivanta. It’s large gaping jaw held the remains of a human male.

‘So what do you think of this?’ The guide asked me.

‘Well,’ I said, “This the a Trantoral Vivanta that MY Dad killed with his bare hands when he was your age.’

 

soon

feature

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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http://nanowrimo.org/

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