Bardot’s Bayou Enfer

I used to visited Montreal frequently during the late 80’s to attend a bi-lingual lgbtq recovery round-up. I started to collect French pop to improve my French. I saw a video in a noisy cafe,  couldn’t hear it but the images were enough for me to track down the band – Niagara. I found a cassette of Encore un denier baiser (1986), & over the years added Quel enfer! (1988), Religion (1990). All of which I have now have in an mp3 collection. 

The duo Muriel Moreno & Daniel Chenevez started synth-pop but progressed a more hard-edge guitar sound. Similar to The Eurythmics, but a less serious approach & with a more retro sound as well. I found Religion cd at a yard sale one year, in a jewel case but without liner note or cover. Energetic, fun & no help in improving my French 🙂

It was in Montreal I discovered that Brigitte Bardot had a pop career. A light, sweet voice. On. the mo3 collection I have Brigitte Bardot Sings (1963) (which includes La Madrague), Brigitte Bardot Show 67 (1968) (which includes Harley Davidson, Gang Gang). She worked often with Serge Gainsbourg. Nicely produced with elements of rock, disco & bossa nova. 

I have the complete Jacques Brel. In this compilation I’ve included his Mijn vlakke land (1962) that has him signing in Dutch, French & Flemish. Where is the biopic of this amazing, influential musician? Maybe his life wasn’t as dramatic as Piaf?

Rounding out this French collection is Zachary Richard (American) but living in Canada (I think) Bayou Des Mysteres(1976), Travailler c’est trop dur (2002 anthologie). I bought the lp of Bayou in Montreal  & eventually replaced it with this mo3 download. I added Travailler more recently. He has a warm bass, similar to Tony Joe White. His music is seductive mix of Cajun and Zydeco. Although he has recorded in English his career has been notably Francophone & his list of Canadian awards is endless. Improving my French is not one of his achievements though 🙂

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Moe & Krzysztof

By Canadian flautist Moe Koffman I have as stand-alones: Plays Bach, The Four Seasons & Best Of. Best known for ‘Swinging Shepard Blues’ he has had an extensive career of jazz classical exploration. If you listen much to CBC radio his Bach pieces show up frequently as theme or ‘pause’ music. There is a jazz trend to interpret classical music, much like prog rock (i.e. ELP’s Pictures at an Exhibition). Koffman does this with more of a pop than jazz approach. Great music. Sadly, as far as I can tell, his Four Seasons is out-of-print & not available in any form. Some of the cuts are included in the Best of cd.

Next K is am MP3 cd compilation of creepy soundtracks & more classical adaptations. By Krzysztof Komeda: Rosemary’s Baby; Jack the Ripper; by Paul Glass: Bunny Lake Is Missing; Essential Hitchcock: st music from Lifeboat, Spellbound, Psycho & others; Mondo Cane Soundtrack. And explorations of Satie by Joe Santos & by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. Velvet Gentleman.

My partner had the lp of Rosemary’s Baby soundtrack, which I enjoyed. I eventually I replaced it with a clearer sound & its was paired with another of his soundtracks. Komeda, a Polish jazz musician, did soundtrack for other Polanski films. The music is  suspenseful & moody. Komeda died at 36, so is mostly forgotten. 

The Mondo soundtrack covers various styles & moods & got an 1963 Oscar nom for the song More. Paul Glass’s Bunny Lake Is Missing is another moody work. I had the lp which I bought solely for the tracks by the Zombies – this was time when British films makers had to include a scene with a live rock band. I was & still am a Zombies fan.

The Essential Hitchcock: st music from Lifeboat, Spellbound, Psycho & others. Moody, impressionistic stuff with the Psycho music being classic stuff. Those shower strings pulsate with terror. Elsewhere in my collection I have the complete Psycho soundtrack – well worth searching out.

Finally more classical – this time of explorations of Satie by Joe Santos & by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra’s The Velvet Gentleman & The Electronic Spirit of Satie. Santos is  in the Tomita electronica realm but not as lush. Camarata is stunning. These were two must have lps at one time. Real musicians & moog combined to perfection. The lps cover more than the Gymnopedies. I love the spoken introductions on Electronic Spirit. Well worth tracking down for your collection.

scrap of a story from late 90’s found in an old notebook

The New House

The back fence was about twenty yards from the kitchen window. Kit could barely see the rag he had nailed to the post. It was one of the few intact fence posts. A few pickets angles away from it.

In front was a sturdy post for the mailbox. He’d painted it earlier in the week. His first claim to possession – the stamp of ownership. A new mailbox was all he could afford at short notice.

The sky blue of the box stood out against the green of the cedar hedge. When he found the time he’d add his name to the box. Moe too his efforts so far had been in the garden.

Untended for many years he had his work cut out for him. The ramshackle garden was the deciding factor in the decision to buy this house.

The red clay soil was a challenge he felt up to. He knew a year of two of mulch would bring rewards. A game of seeds was next to see what would suit in the mean time.

He’d seen  several shows on TV about how some plants helped the acid balance of the soil.

“What’s up?” Jim, his boyfriend, stepped on the veranda with him.

“Jim! I didn’t expect you up this early in the day.”

“I expect danger pay for barring those early birds.” He did a little dance like bird pecking around Kit’s head. “Actually I’m up because Carol called.”

“Carol?” Kit knew that could only mean one thin. “Time for Bix’s seasonal check up? Seems he just had one.”

“About this time last spring.”

“Well, we don’t want the stress we get when we skip them.”

“Right and we’ll get to see if the change in climate has been as good for him as it has been for our relationship.”

….

That’s it 🙂 I have a scattering of such fragments were I’m experimenting with just making people talk.  No outline or idea of where etchings are going, or who is going be there as the words bring them into the story. 

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Scarlatti vs Schafer

By Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757) (son of Alessandro Scarlatti), a late master of the Italian Baroque, I have  2 cds of his harpsichord sonatas – that are lp to cd transfers from MHS recordings. Rounded out with John Addison (1920-1998) soundtrack to Tom Jones. 

I enjoy harpsichord but in small doses. This was a 2 lp set that I would listen to one side then a week later listen to another side. The music is,. as far as I know, excellent but I could only stand so much of that tinkling at a time 🙂 A little bit an go a long way though I did like this enough to do the transfer. I doubt that IU would recognize any of these sonatas if I heard them on the radio – unlike, say, Chopin which I can ‘spot’ instantly.

I am a great soundtrack lover. John Addison’s soundtrack to Tom Jones is driven by solo harpsichord, so it seems only natural to include it here. The playing, as expected, is more modern but it conveys the style of the time nicely, too. I’ve seen the film but when I listen to this lp I have no associations to any scenes in the movie. 

After all that busy baroque figure work it is a bit of a relief to come to R. Murray Schafer (1933), he is from a totally different time era & music philosophy. I’m including him here because he is next on the shelf 🙂 I have this sand-alone 1997 CBC live recording of Wolf Music. It is conceptual music meant to be heard live for best effect. The ‘concert’ would be heard walking through a forest while the musicians placed in various location would be playing. The music is evocative, soothing & it does hold up without the forest. I’d love to experience this but it is live music for the financially elite not common folks like myself.

Arts und Krafts

Kind readers one thing that I neglected to mention in my wee report yesterday was the Christmas Arts und Krafts display at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral’s Fun Fair. Like many of you I have seen my share of knitted booties for rifle stocks and candle holders made out of moose dung but there were some very fine pieces from the near by College of Arts and Reconstructionist Designers of Palmixalitato County.

I am well aware of the rivalry that has been going on between the students in that county and our own but remember we did trounce them the last three years in the Provincial Open Court Peach Pit Curling Play Off. So we can afford to allow them to excel at something and excel they did at the Fun Fair.

There were many charming crystallized bones pieces from the Anatomy of Design classes there. I was particularly taken by the crystallized moose bone reproductions of the Departments of the Cross that one Leslie Ann Marie Betty McDellon had created. 

I can’t imagine what sort of skill it takes to do such fine work but I can certainty respect the work that it took. 

Also many were charmed by the spiderwood furniture Gregh O’Treple has wrought there. A sturdy eight legged rocking chair with a fine webbed seat and back was very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. He hopes to follow in the family footsteps and may be opening his own furniture and restraints shoppe right here in Crab Apple Corners. He will surely be missed in Palmixalitato County. But their misery is always our gain.

Another feature of the Fun Fair that cannot be neglected was the food pavilion. Over 20,000 were seated at one time for a fine feeding of Trish Creamly’s delicious sprung bark toffee pie. Trish you have out done yourself this year. Just save that recipe for my wedding reception. I know if you keep your hands on the crust you’ll keep them off my man – just kidding folks.

The children at the Fun Fair were also treated to a production by the local Armature Theatre Guild. They performed tragic scenes from various plays. The beheading of John the Baptist brought the crowd to their feet and kudos must go to Hank Grebly who did a fine job in the title role 

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M-Miscellaneous

Les Mersey’s is a PQ pop group who thrived thanks to CanCon regulations about both the amount of radio airtime that had to be devoted to Canadian music & in Quebec how much of the time had to be in French. I have several stand-alone cds of the amazing series ‘Les Groupes des Années 60.’ The 25 Chansons include originals, a few sung in English but mostly French versions of English hits such as their take on The Rolling Stones – Stupid Girl, Fille Stupide. These are a delight.

I started to collect these when I visited Montreal in the mid-90’s. It was a vain attempt to improve my French but, well, that didn’t happen – c’est la vie. But it did help open my eyes to the insidious influence of US pop music & the sometimes hilarious ways it was adapted by other cultures. If you like this wonky cultural appropriation search out Cambodian pop for the 60s. 

Next M is Metro Station best known for their insanely addictive summer hit Shake It. Catchy & fun the album is solid, though nothing quite has the zip of Shake It. All the tracks would make nice movie/TV moments though. The band disappeared after this hit, as far as I know, though Wiki tells me they are still active. The subway in Montreal is known as Le Metro so there is a connection with Les Mercy’s.

The last of this M miscellany is MGMT. I have stand-alones of Oracular Spectacular & Congratulations. I picked up them first as at the result of reading about it in Entertainment Weekly. I may have also seen the video for Electric Feel – which is a great slinky summer hit. The lps are described as psychedelic rock – but, well, they aren’t Umma Gumma trippy. Enjoyable as they are, two cds were enough for my collection.

Maybe He Was Dead

So far there were no TV crews hovering around what was going on. Jan stayed within listening distance but tried not to seem too nosey. A few people were taking pictures with cell phones but they were being warned off by the police. TTC was always sensitive about what went on. She had to figure how to confirm what her sister had told her.

Manonotti was one of the more outspoken voices on city council when it came to almost anything, he never dodged the limelight. His latest mission had been to side with the cyclist union for more dedicated bike lanes. He felt that giving more money to public transit didn’t have to mean just the subway and that if there were more attention payed to alternate forms of transport the city would be better off.

As a result he was frequently at logger-heads with both the TTC and merchants. Merchants who felt more bike lanes meant less parking for paying customers who now had no where to park their cars. Manonotti was outspoken and blunt. Now, maybe, he was dead.

Jan had met him a few times. Interviewed him once when he his crusade was to halt the health spas that were popping up along the Danforth in long empty store fronts. The spas were covers for rub and tug operations where the massage was sexual and not medicinal. 

But when he saw that transportation was getting more press hw switched his focus to what would get him the greatest face time. He had hopes of parleying all this into a run for the mayor. He felt it was time the city had someone born and bred in Toronto at the helm and not some corporate clone.

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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. 

What the L

Jens Lekman is a Swedish singer who sings in English. I picked up couple of his cds back in 2008: Oh You’re So Silent Jens, Night Falls Over Kortedala. Have some Swedish roots I wanted to reconnect with that part of my heritage. I’d read a few reviews of him & was quite happy with his music. He is low-fi nearly folk like Postal Service. Sweet, slightly ironic songs about love & life. 

Peter LeMarc is a Swedish singer who sings in Swedish. I picked this cd, Bok med blanka sidor, up in 1997 at the Vinyl Museum in its reduced pile. Bruce Springsteen, Chris Rae come to mind when I listen to him. Gravel voice & rugged guitar playing & I have to idea what he is singing about 🙂 He’s still alive & recording.

Lifehouse’s No Name Face features their hit ‘Hanging By A Moment’ which I did like. The lp is good pop rock on the heteronormative type.  Also on the on the heteronormative  side is Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian icon. It was only right I should have a few tracks by him. As stand alone I have Gord’s Gold; tucked away in an mp3 collection is his first lp with songs like Ribbon Of Darkness. I hate to admit it but I was never a big fan though I do enjoy what I have.

The last ‘l’ in this post is cd Load Of Wood: 3 Dollars at the Door. The third (hence 3 Dollars) in a series of compilations of Cape Breton performers. The music runs from tradition to experimental to spoken word. A friend of mine is on one of the tracks. I bought it on a visit to Sydney Aug 1999. I went to the third floor apartment of one of the performers to buy it, almost like a dope deal in the old days. I haven’t been able to track down the earlier two though. What the L.

Daddy

You can’t make it stick coppers. I was never at Hollywood and Vine at anytime. yeah, right, so don’t be giving me no hard time but if you do I can take it. I ain’t got no dna anyway so as you can tell. People say I’m bloodless as a stone and that is the truth. God’s own truth so you aren’t going to tie that rap on me I ain’t even been there and done nothing. You hear I ain’t done nothing and since when is doing nothing a crime, see. So get off my back. Cut me a break while you got time. 

No, I’m not threatening you Sgt. O’Malley, just letting you know you’re barking up the wrong hydrant. I keep my nose out of other people’s problems. Gave that up long ago. Do I look like some sort of super hero or trouble maker to you. If I do you better take closer look. 

Okay that’s close enough. 

I’m not the one. You guys know that, don’t you. So why are you giving an honest man such a hard time. I wasn’t near there. Sure I got an alibi. I was shacked up with some sharp looking piece of grade a tube stake. We was sinking our teeth into each other’s loin chops and enjoying the taste of man flesh. If you get my drift. Now, that is something you can pin me but that’s not against the law. Is it Sgt. O’Malley. 

Sure I got his name right here and more than his number on my cell phone. All time stamped and dated so you see that couldn’t of been me. Yeah the pics are a bit under lit but if you want I’ll drop my pants if you want to compare. So you can’t stick nothing me except maybe having a good time with your Dad, Sgt. O’Malley.

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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

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

La La La

The La’s were part of the new wave English wave from the 80’s. Similar to The Stone Roses, their style is a folksy rock with pleasant vocals & good song writing. One track was used by some clothing company which kept them in the public eye for awhile. Sweet music. Reminds me of The Byrds, early Jefferson Airplane.

 

Less sweet & definitely rock is Quebec’s Eric LaPointe. I have stand-alones Obsession, Invitez Les Vautours & as mp3: Le ciel de mes combats. I used to watch French Kiss on MuchMusic & his first couple of videos were hot – him shirtless, waist deep in water – mmm. His music is aggressive almost metal blues rock. His voice is emotive, at some quite raw & harsh.

 

Another French group is Laymen Twaist. I have stand-alone of Funkadelique. A continental French band that is the total tonal opposite of LaPointe. This cd is bouncy, funky, psychedelic & fun. The engineering is astonishing & when it comes up in my play rotation I usually play it twice & it always gets my hips moving. Definitely worth seeking out to broaden your musical horizons.

 

Next up is John Layton’s Femmes Fatales – which is not in French 🙂 John is a Toronto folk singer/composer. I meet him at the Renaissance Cafe when I was doing the open stage circuit. Sweet, amusing, wry & romantic. The songs are gentle without being cloying. His voice is engaging & the engineering is clean.

Lookie Here

Hello my name is Lookie as in ‘lookie here.’ Cute eh?I thought so. I got to pick that name. I don’t tell this to everyone, but i need to talk. I’m not even sure you can hear me. I doubt if you can see me. I know when someone can see me. That’s one of my gifts. That and the fact that I’m not real. I’m Davey’s invisible friend. You know Davey. Yeah, too bad about him. Getting caught by the cops and all that. There wasn’t much I could do about that. I tried to warn him but he wasn’t seeing me anymore. He was too old for that sort thing. the awkward age when they they know it all and don’t even believe what they can see.

I’ve been Davy‘s invisible friend since he was three. He didn’t know me then though, he was too young to understand I guess. I never really understood how this friendship thing was supposed to work. I’d hang around his bed as he fell asleep hoping I could slip inot his dreams to plant the seed, as it were.  Sometimes he’d open his eyes and I swear he could see me but part me of knew he couldn’t. We invisibles don’t have form unless we feel seen. You know what I mean?

Not that Davey was in denial. How can you deny something you don’t know about, right. So I kept hovering around him. Following him to daycare. Standing by his nap rug. Playing tag with the kids there that did see me. Hoping and praying for the day he would sense he wasn’t alone. Which was hard because he was hardly ever along anyway. Those daycare kids were always around for him to hang out with. I had tried to be an invisible friend to one of them but he was one of a pair twins. So he didn’t need anyone. 

Davey was an only child so I knew he had greater need of me. But he practically the third twin. What’s an invisible supposed to do? I knew there was no rush for me to get a real friend but it had been many years since I had one. Can’t say how many. Time doesn’t have much meaning for me. When you only exist when someone sees you time doesn’t move. 

Davey didn’t see me till he nearly 11. That’s pretty old, by then kids have an idea of what is real and what is make believe. Not that I’m make believe but I can’t reveal much of me to anyone except my seer. If you know what I mean. The fact that you hear me at all means that you are open to someone who isn’t really real. But you can’t see me. Can you? No, if you could, I’d know.

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

Sunday –  January 26 – 1:30 – feature: The Secret Handshake Gallery, 170A Baldwin (Kensington Market) – 1:30https://www.facebook.com/events/498405247456842/

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

King Kooba and Friends

For a time, at the turn of the century, I was picking up British music magazines that had cd samplers. It was a great way of finding new music. This was where I first heard Coldplay before they exploded. The problem was, then, that finding this music beyond the sampler was nearly impossible. Things change. I can use YouTube to check out new stuff. Or use iTunes to sample. 

 

One magazine I like was Revolution. On their Dec. 2000 sampler was a track by King Kooba that I loved but finding the cd was impossible. I went into HMV, Sams etc & asked & no one ever heard of the band, whatever. Now, thanks to iTunes I have King Kooba’s Nufoundfunk, Indian Summer as part of an mp3 collection. Kooba is an electronica DJ duo from UK – the tracks are samples plus ‘new’ music. Often full of yearning & always emotive & transporting. Check them out.

 

Also in this collection are Giorgio Moroder’s Knights in White Satin, From Here To Eternity – old school disco by a grandmaster engineer, writer. Knights is a bit cheesy but fun, Eternity is great background sex music. The retro vibe in this collection continues with Bjork’s Debut – Venus as a Boy is a great song. I enjoy the lp but I’ve never become a Bjork fan. Also retro is OMC (Otara Millionaires Club): How Bizarre. Out of New Zealand this is a band I’d never heard of before until someone posted OMC video in my tumblr feed. Fun dance music.

A bit more modern is St. Vincent. I kept reading about her, so downloaded: David Byrne & St. Vincent: Love This Giant – modern Talking Heads & interesting. Also her self titled St. Vincent. Both are solid pop lps but nothing really grabbed me. I do enjoy them when I hear them. I can hear OMG’s hit in my head but nothing by St. Vincent comes to mind.

Also modern is Blood Orange (aka Devonté Hynes) out of the UK: Cupid Deluxe. Fine r’n’b with some electronica touch with a strong Steve Wonder feel. Finally in this collection, as a complete departure, is Toronto’s I Hate Todd: The Moves Pt. 1 which includes Zombie Love. This is one of the many bands with Nelson Sobral on guitar with & thus is excellent. Search them out too.

Apartment Living

“Have you lived here long?” Juan snuggled beside me on the sofa.

“You mean this apartment or …”

“We can start there.”

“Why this interest in how long I’ve been here.”

“It’s called making conversation.”

Juan wasn’t making conversation, I knew, but looking for context connection something more than the physical flash that drew us together.  I enjoyed being with him and wouldn’t mind having it go on indefinitely but at the same time didn’t really want an emotional mire to get in the way of that.

“I was born here. Grew up in the east end.”

“A native! That’s a rare beast in a city where everyone is from somewhere else.”

“I know. I do try to keep a low profile about that so as not scare the newcomers. And you?”

“An Alberta prairie boy. Not quite fresh of a farm but pretty close to it. Couldn’t wait to get from there to here. Been here about five years now.”

“Cordoso is certainly a prairie name.”

“Third generation. My grandparents immigrated from Peru.”

“To Alberta?”

“Alberta needed doctors.”

“I see.”

“You’ve been in this apartment quite a while to accumulate  all these things. My place is a bed and a computer, not even a dining nook. No time yet to really move in. I didn’t take the place expecting to be there this long, so keep putting off settling in.’

“That why we always end up here to hang out?”

“Always? Three dates so far. Hard to call that always. If you like prison cells we can go to my place. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Functional furniture only a bed …”

“The computer on a TV tray? Yeah, I know. Not even an xbox?”

“Not for me. I sleep, I wash, I get out of there.”

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

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 andBbad 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

Jacksoul to Jamiroquai

There was a time whenMuchMusic actually showed music videos!! One of the Canada bands that shone was Jacksoul lead by the talented Haydain Neale. I have their ABsolute, sleepless, Resurrected as stand alones. The sound is radio & music video friendly sweet soul with jazz touches. The songs are plaintive, romantic, & smooth to the ear. Neale has/had a very appealing voice. Very John Legend. Sadly he died some years ago.

 

Next on the shelf are a couple of Mp3 collections that feature Jamiroquai: a funk/acid jazz group lead by singer Jay Kay. On one cd is Emergency on Planet Earth; Travelling Without Moving; A Funk Odyssey; Synkronized; on the other is Rock Dust Light Star, Dynamite. Jay’s voice is very Stevie Wonder. There have been some radio hits, dance floor hits too. Music with an ecological message that you can dance to. The album sound changes over time as they flirt with then embrace old school disco: strings, congas. Sexy, enjoyable & never challenging.

 

In the first MP3 collection are several indie eps I picked up at local poetry shows. A couple by DanJahRus: 2019, Sunrise. Hip-Hop rap with Dan’s mixing skills equal to his writing. DRP: Clever Title – son of a friend of mine had a sort of metal bar band & recorded some tracks in a basement. Youthful fun.

BC’s CJ Leon: Booty Music for Zombie Swingers; Street Corner Gothic – folk punk sexual anarchy with zombies. good sound quality. Toronto’s: Examples. Rex is a folk punk queer Japanese protest singer. We need more of this. Archie & The Bunkers is an organ based trio full to the brim with sweet, cheese surf music fun. Three Beards: bearded men writing & singing about their feelings.

Also some non-indie powerhouse albums. I became obsessed with the song Lonely Street & found a decent version on Mick Hucknall’s American Soul. Mick was lead singer for Simply Red. This was a come-back attempt with covers. Easy listening pleasant. Bob Dylan’s Tempest. A recent release I picked up more for nostalgia. He still writes well & sings well in a Tom Waits way. The same with Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What. Paul Simon never wrote a bad song & his voice is still intact, as is his sense of political irony. Finally: Debbie Gravitte – Defying Gravity – this a great Lp of Broadway songs, some obscure, some well-known. I love her version of that title track, from Wicked.

Stroke of Genius

‘Mambo?’ Ted gave Jim a playful shove. ‘Where did you get that name from?’

‘Just came to me.’ Jim snapped his fingers. ‘A stroke of genius.’

‘Yeah along with ‘dat acc’nt mon’?’

‘Well, those guys had it coming. Snooping around here every night. Had to give them something they could enjoy.’ Jim began to wipe the green make up off his chin. ‘Did you see his face. Boy, looked like he was about to crap his pants.’

‘Yeah, but ‘Mambo.’ Good thing you didn’t give any of the others names.’

‘Good idea. You can be ChaCha. Phil can be Tango.’

‘I don’t feel right about it though. What if they … ’

‘What? Tell on us? I can see them now at the Militia Office. These boys with red and green faces told us they would protect us from evil. That’d go over big around here.’

‘You did pick the red and green. Afraid of the blue and white.’

‘Ted this is for fun. I know enough not to cross the line. That would have been begging for trouble.’

‘Since when did that bother you?’

‘It doesn’t. Fear is an emotion I choose not to fear. But that doesn’t mean I’m an idiot either. Bad enough we used the right markings.’ He continued to rub at the make up around his eyes. ‘Is it all off?’

‘Sort of but I think you rubbed too hard.’

‘You too.’ He gave another playful hip shove that sent Jim sprawling. ‘You think the other guys got home okay.’ Jim stood.

‘Don’t they always.’ 

‘I don’t think …’

‘Then stop thinking. Let me worry about that. We’d have more fun if  you’d stop all that thinking. It’s not as if we are robbing the tourists, just putting a little of local fear into them. Get their imaginations going.’

‘It’s not all imagination and you know it.’

‘Yeah! So. It’s no fun to play in safe places. So this had a little more edge than the rag doll and pins routine. Gives them more for their dollar.’

‘I know. I spooks me. That’s all. Mama Gre’loo says we have to be careful with the forest spirits. This is the Season of Change and all things that start a change now must follow where it leads.’

‘You gotta stop listening to that foolishness. You sound like one of those tourists. You know?’

‘I know. Come on, let’s get that stuff washed off so we can get home.’

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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
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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Ian and Sylvia

I have more Ian & Sylvia than one might expect. I am a big fan of two of their mid-period recordings: Nashville and Full Circle but am sort of indifferent to their other work. There was a moment when they were to be Canada’s Sonny & Cher but Ian Tyson & Sylvia Fricker were musicians first & never became pop personalities.

They started as a sweet tradition folk duo on albums such as Four Strong Winds 64; Early Morning Rain 65. These consist of songs like Nancy Whisky, The Greenwood Sidie – given good but standard performances elevated by their harmonies. Their success inspired many folk groups in Cape Breton. On Lovin’ Sound 67 – they step into a slightly more pop sound & some original material – even some Dylan covers. They were stepping out of the narrow folk scene.

On Nashville 67 & Full Circle 68 they come into their own as writers & vocalists. I can hear some of these songs without having to listen to them 🙂 Ian’s voice is vulnerable, passionate and emotional on songs like Ballad of the Ugly Man, The Renegade, I Learned From Leah. Sylvia is amazing on Women’s World, London Life.

 

These two albums, to me, are underrated & forgotten masterpieces. The harmonies are sometimes slightly off-kilter in the best way. The work is labelled country-rock ,like the Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but they are not as slick, smooth or commercial. If you aren’t familiar with them, Four Strong Winds is a good intro to their early traditional work. Nashville is stunning. Full Circle is nearly as good & so either of them are worth hearing & owning.

The Blessing of Presents

The other event on the week-end that I had the great pleasure in attending was the Blessing of Presents at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral. That Blessing combined with the Lighting of the Trees is a sure sign that the festive season has broken loose upon us full force.

The most reverend Vicar Father Frank started the sacrament with a sermon on the Exulting Power of Wrap – he explained how the wrap of the gift is often more important than the gift it self, and that no matter how lowly a gift may be, it can be elevated by the wrapping.

There’s a lesson I wish I could bring into my own life – on those days when I, yes even I, your willing reporter, feels like the proverbial bed of broken pigs, she finds it hard to even raise her head from the pillow let alone wrap herself in a joyful raiment that would disguise the inner emotionlessness and despair she feels.

The Vicar went on to say that we shouldn’t allow the wrap to keep us from the gift, and that he finds many are so enamoured of that wrap they never get to the true treasure inside. He sort of lost me there, but that didn’t diminish my pleasure at the vast array of beautiful gifts that were brought up, one at a time to receive the sacramental dash of pine needles and moose ashes.

Like the gifts brought on that first Noel, we were brought into the constant and endless circle of presents that was started on that wondrous night.

The ribbon of history reached out and twined its tinselled ends around the hearts & necks of each us, as the children’s stuttering choir of St. Sufferer’s sang several holiday favourites. “Oh Burning Tree,” “The Ribbon and the Manger,”  “The Tinsel and the Camel” – to name just a few.

After the ceremony I was privileged to take a ride through the snowy wood with Hank Grebly in the parade of midnight runners. Skiers, families in sleds and even some on elephants were seen tracking through the wooded glens around our small town. Lanterns aloft and bearing gifts for neighbours. The true savour of the season was felt.

By the time I returned home I was too exhausted to even remove my boots (thanks Hank) and slept as soundly as I have ever slept. Disjointed dreams of a clown’s childhood danced through my head till I woke in the morning. The windows were covered in reddish swirls of frost and the fresh jar of ashes on my mantle sweetened my dreams.

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January 10, Thursday: 8 p.m. Hot Damn! Its’ a Queer Slam – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre: feature Regie Cabico

http://www.queerslam.com

returning every Tuesday 2019


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

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

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2019’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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