The King Kinks and the KLF

The Kinks were part of the first great British invasion that followed on the heels of the Beatles. Tight, punchy pop songs like You Really Got Me established them as a cut above many of the other invaders but they never achieved the popularity of more commercial groups like the Dave Clarke Five. I have their first lp (with bonus tracks) tucked away in an mp3 collection. 

The lp I owned when I lived in Cape Breton was Face to Face. This remains my favourite. The production  was influenced by Sgt. Pepper. The songs have sound effects & other studio tricks, all of which work. Like all their material they are sardonically romanic, socially sharp & flower power trippy. Chipper with touches of English Music hall. My favourite track ‘Rainy Day In June.’

I never did become a fan though. I did love ‘Lola’as one of the first pop songs that was about sexual diversity. I had the cassette of ‘Lola Verses Powerman’ but the sound quality was iffy – the song cycle is about the music industry & has sharp comments, that remains are today. I finally upgraded it to a stand-alone CD & guess what the iffy sound quality remains 😦 I guess it was engineered that way.

I also have 2cd set Kinks Kronikles which is a sort of hits compilation which satisfied my need for their later work. I enjoy the Kinks when they come up in my play rotation. The Face to Face cd has a slew of bonus tracks. 

On the shelf near the Kinks is movie soundtrack of The King & I. This was one of my mother’s favourites & remains one of mine too. Brenner does his own singing, Marnie Nixon dubbed Kerr. I love all of these songs. This cd has the re-constructed Uncle Tom ballet which was not on the lp. Sweet.

Finally on this bit of the shelf is The KLF: Justified & Ancient featuring Miss Tammy Wynette – an ep of different versions. I love this when it hit the discos & takes me back to the early 90’s in a good way. One of the most surreal mash-ups of country & dance music ever & it works.

Killer Joy

Devon squinted his eyes, dropped his voice to a growl. 

“Not, Hey Mark do you want to be killed, strangled, mutilated and left butt naked in the back seat of a ’58 Plymouth.”

“Nothing like that.” 

My cell phone rang and rang.

“Aren’t you going to answer it.”

“It can go to voice mail.’

“You are really afraid.” Devon sort of laughed.

“You aren’t taking this seriously are you. Or do you know more than you are letting on. You do, don’t you, you fucking asshole.”

Devon’s smile got bigger as he back away from me. 

“No! No! Honest. It’s weird to see you sort of panic like this. You are usually so calm.”

“If this is some set up I’ll never speak to you again. This isn’t funny.”

Devon tried to keep a straight face.

I checked my voice mail. 

“It’s Dave. He wants to know what’s keeping us.” I called Dave back.

“Hey Dave we’re on our way … A little delay getting the car parked.  Yeah Devon is with me. we should be there in about five minutes.” I shut the cell phone.

“Was it him?” Devon asked.

“Him what?”

“That called you. Did the voice sound like Dave’s?”

Devon’s cell rang. He answered it. He dropped it the ground.

“What!” I asked.

“He said – Mark wants to kill you.”

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January

Thursday 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 and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The Hollies

I have a love & not-so-loved relationship with The Hollies who since the 60s have made some great recordings & also some banal, tedious records. I have a fairly large collection that spans 4 cds of mp3’s as well as one stand-alone, Romany (one of my favourites).

Part of the initial British invasion in 1963 The Hollies are still together & performing in 2018 with some of the original members. Members have come & gone & come back. I think my first memory of them is Look Through Any Window. My first lp was Stop! Stop! Stop! But because they were considered radio-fodder & not as deep as say, The Rolling Stones, I didn’t really follow them. 

When Graham Nash left 1968 it was a ‘thing’ because he felt the group was trying to be too serious by doing an lp of Bob Dylan covers. His departure was probably the best thing that happened to them as they went on to produce some amazing singles & lps: My favourites are Distant Light, Romany, Another Night, Crazy Steal. Romany is a under-rated masterpiece & a great place for anyone to start their Hollies exploration.

I have, as mp3s: Stay With the Hollies; In the Hollies Style; Hollies; Would You Believe?; For Certain Because; Evolution; Butterfly; Hollies Sing Dylan; Hollies Sing Hollies; Confessions of the Mind; Distant Light; Out on the Road; Hollies; Another Night; Write On; Russian Roulette; Crazy Steal; 5317704; Buddy Holly; What Goes Around (1983 reunion with Nash); Staying Power; Then, Now, Always; A’s B’s & Eps; Epic’s Original Master Tapes.

The later recordings: Staying Power; Then, Now, Always – aren’t bad but not as vibrant as their mid-period work or as playful as their earlier lps. Also in this mp3 collection I have CSN; CSNY. these are here because of Graham Nash. These are classic pop & highly influential recordings. Stunning songs, harmonies & politics, though only Neil Young managed to create great music outside of the group. I  find Nash’s songs to be banal but pretty. 

Gentle 

The eraser tore through the paper. The fourth page Jan had spoiled. Only ten minutes left to the end of the class and she still wasn’t any closer to starting than she had been when the class had started. She shoved the papers, pencils, crayons off her desk and to the floor.

‘What’s wrong Jan?’ Her teacher, Miss Grant kneeled by the desk and began to pick up the stuff that had just been pushed to the floor.

‘Nothing. Nothing is the matter. Why does something have to be the matter? Why?’

‘It doesn’t, Jan. Let’s see what you’ve done so far.’

‘Nothing to see.’

‘Miss Grant! Miss Grant!’ Dave piped up. ‘I have lots for you to see.’

‘I’ll get around to you Dave. Why don’t you start again Jan. Try something simple. Small.’ she folded a page into quarters. ‘See. You don’t have to fill the whole page like the others. Such a waste of the rain forest, don’t you think?’

Jan nodded in agreement, clutched a pencil and began to make lines on the page. Lines that became tree trunks.

Miss Grant stood and went over to Dave.

‘Whatcha you doing?’ Syl turned to peer at Jan’s picture.

‘Never you mind.’ Jan covered her work as best as she could and in doing so crumpled the picture she had started. ‘Oh shit. Why don’t you leave me alone.’ She balled the page in her fist and hit Syl on the ear with it.

‘Now, now, Jan. You have to play gentle with the other. Not everyone is as strong as you.’ Miss Grant rushed over.

‘Well, so what. Just leave me be for a few minutes.’ Jan stood and tried to push past Miss Grant. The teacher held her firmly by the shoulders. ‘You let me go. I’ll report you. I’ll tell.’

‘Tell what?’ Miss Grant forced her back into her desk. ‘You have to be slow with your self Jan. There is no hurry. Just take your time.’

‘I don’t give a crap about you or this school or growing up. I don’t. So just leave me alone.’ She covered her head with her hands and sobbed onto her desk.

The buzzer went. 

‘That’s all for today class. Now leave quietly and I’ll see you all back here tomorrow.’

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October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

November 1 -30

http://nanowrimo.org

November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


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

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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