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.

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

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.

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

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.’

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

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

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

 

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.

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

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

 

Herman’s Hidden Cameras

As much as I enjoyed Herman’s Hermits as a teen I wasn’t encouraged to admit it. They were radio-fodder bubble-gum as opposed to real musicians like the Rolling Stone or even the Beatles. They were regarded as sweet, squeaky-clean and a band only girls could enjoy. Music hall songs like ‘Henry the VIII’ didn’t help their image either. I picked up stand-alone cd The Very Best of back in Dec 2006 to reclaim that part of my past.

Sure some of the songs suffer from ‘clean’ but many of them are solid, if not brilliant, pieces of pop music. The band wasn’t terribly original, creative or even were outstanding musicians. But their studio work is impeccable. It helps that Peter Noone’s voice is sweet & appealing. ‘No Milk Today’ is a breathtaking track – the production work is sublime & still amazes. The fact that it was written by Graham Gouldman (10CC) certainly helps. 

I picked up stand-alone Highs of the Sixties back in 1994. This is the complete opposite of the Hermits. A compilation of the sort psychedelic, garbage-band music that I could easily admit to enjoying. It includes tracks by Love, Count Five (one of the first latino bands to make it big), The Standells – many one-hit wonders but all fun. I’ve since tracked down collections by some these one-hitters like Blue Cheer, The Seeds, Count Five. I already had an extensive Love collection before I picked this cd up.

But what about the present you might ask? Next on the shelf are these stand-alones by The Hidden Cameras: The Smell of Our Own; Mississauga Goddam; AWoo. This a fun, queer, musically-diverse band that I really enjoy. With songs about water sports ‘Golden Steams,’ politics ‘Ban Marriage,’ love ‘Music is my Boyfriend’ & life ‘Learning the Lie’ performed with energy that invites all listeners into their world. Led by Joel Gibb  the band uses standard rock augmented by strings, wind instruments to create an often rollicking, sometimes folky, sweet romantic tapestry of music that often makes an ‘ironic’ counterpoint to the lyrics. Hidden Cameras take sound pictures of the world in a way I like to see it. 

Lucky Day

It felt good to sleep in. Something I didn’t allow myself to do that often. A warm, snug bed from which I could hear the cold wind outside. As I rolled over to try for another few winks the door to my room opened enough for a head to pop through. 

‘Good morning, sleepy head.’ Jim smiled at me.

‘What are you doing here?’ I sat up.

‘What do you think?’ he came into the room.

‘And why aren’t you dressed?’

‘Another dumb question.’ He slipped into the bed beside me. ‘Neither are you.’

Our bodies nestled together comfortably. 

‘I got the day off so I figured, why not drop over here and spend some of it with you.’  Jim gently bit my shoulder.

‘Great idea. That spare key was for emergencies.’

‘Yes, well this is an emergency.’

‘So I can feel.’

I rolled over on top of him. Just then my cell buzzed.

‘Don’t get it, or you won’t get it.’ He warned, twisting the ring in my left nipple.

The cell buzzed, and as programmed, the buzz got louder the longer it rang.

‘I have too.’

I reached over and picked it up. ‘Hello.’

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Steven is that you?”

‘Yep. Just arrived in town.’

‘You should have warned me.’ I covered the receiver, ‘It’s Steven, my agent from New York.’

‘Well, I was hoping to surprise you. I have the new contract. Bidding stopped at 2.5 mil.’

‘2.5 mil!! I’m amazed.’

Jim was biting my stomach under the covers. ‘Stop that for a minute will you.’

‘Sounds like I caught you at a bad time.’

‘Not at all. No wrong time for 2.5 mil.’

‘Free for lunch?’

‘Lunch? Sure. You staying at the same hotel.’

‘Same room is fact.’

‘Okay see you around noon.’

‘Frank wants you for lunch and I want you for breakfast.’ Jim came from under the covers to kiss me.

Just then the door bell rang. I jumped out of bed and pulled on my bathrobe and dashed down the stairs to the front door. A flower delivery man waited.

‘David Bradley?’

‘That’s me.’

‘Sign here.’

I signed for a box that opened to reveal two dozen red and white roses.

‘Looks like this is your day?’ Jim looked over my shoulder. ‘Who are they from?’

‘I haven’t checked yet. But find today’s paper. I should check my lottery numbers.’

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

October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

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

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

 

Heart

I can remember hearing Heart for the first time & thinking how amazing was that this was a Canadian band on top of the American charts; that this woman could sing; that the music didn’t sound Canadian at all; that these weren’t folk singers. The production work on Dreamboat Annie was stunning – though when I first heard the lp I was a little dismayed that it did veer into folksy territory. 

In my collection are Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen as mp3. Tucked into this mp3 collection is the single of their live Stairway to Heaven which is astonishing. Their self titled: Heart as a stand alone (to replace the cassette I had of it.) I did have Dreamboat as lp at one time. I was more a fan of their sound than of the band though. 

After Dreamboat I didn’t follow them. I can remember hearing Dreamboat one night in Halifax while I was visiting a good friend attending Dalhousie, I was sitting in at table in the Grad house – where he worked as bartender, sipping a Rusty Nail, writing a poem & Magic Man was playing. Also I lost interest because I found their non-rock stuff to be too wistful for some reason.

Then thanks to MTV they an amazing coming back in the mid80’s with tier self titled lp. Songs like These Dreams, Never are brilliantly engineered & performed. When I downloaded the mp3 of Dreamboat Anne I also added Little Queen – which I had never heard. I liked it a lot. Ann Wilson has an amazing voice, sister Nancy plays guitar & can rival the likes of Jimmy Page. They make me proud to be a Canadian even though Heart is considered an American band 🙂

Unheard

‘I just don’t understand it. Just two week’s ago he offered to lend the money and now when I take him up on that offer he’s all … you know … complaining that he’s not made of money. Worse, he says I’m just a fuck up, a forty-three year old woman who will never get her life together.’ Her tears stopped her.

‘Brother’s can be like that.’ I didn’t know what else to say. Marg and I had been friends for several years and the last year had been one of struggle. A relationship ending, finding and losing a job, finding and losing an apartment. The constant struggle and sense of falling behind was wearing on her.

‘Then he went on to say I was just a lazy slob who’d never amount to anything. He isn’t right is he? I’m not that bad, am I?’

‘No, Marg, you aren’t. Let’s face it, men have a different take on these things. I supposed he’d only think you were a success if you were married with kids.’

‘Yeah `right.’

‘Face it, something remain so entrenched, even the most forward thinking of us can suddenly get caught by traditional values we didn’t even suspect we held. Sounds like he’s one of those. It’s not as if his own relationship history is that glowing.’

‘That’s for sure but still that doesn’t give him the right to treat me like crap. I told him how hard I’ve been looking, bugging the temp agency. Everything. I’m not lazy.’

‘No more than the next one of us.’

I knew though that she felt her lack of accomplishment more painfully thanks to her brother’s unexpected diatribe.

‘Should I take the money? He said he’d lend it too me and would get it put in my bank account if I sent the number to him.’

‘Do it. At least you’ll have something,’

‘Yeah if it shows up.’

‘It’s never easy to ask and sometimes that’s the cost of asking.’ I didn’t want to tell her beggars can’t be choosers, as she wasn’t really a beggar, just someone in need at the moment. Things would turn around if she could hold on. I just needed to assure she could hold on.

‘It’s difficult stuff Marg. No one wants to ask for help. No one wants to hear what you’ve heard. I don’t blame you for being stressed by it. Not a bit.’

‘It’s as if he hasn’t listened to a thing I’ve told him over the past year. I haven’t kept anything from him and yet he still thinks I’m too proud, lazy and not trying hard enough.’

‘Hard enough to suit him perhaps. But I know you are trying. I see how difficult it is. Let’s face it he may never understand that. You have enough to do without having to please him.’

‘You saying I hinting I should forgive him?’

‘Nah, not worth the trouble. Living well is the best revenge. Take the money and let the door shut.’

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoGratitudeRoundup/

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

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

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

 

Psychegalic Quebec France Belgium

On two mp3 collections I have gathered over 12 hours of French pop that spans generations, genres & continents. At one time CanCon in Quebec limited the quantity of English music on the radio which during the 60’s & 70’s, resulted in cover versions by PQ groups. I love this music & here I have Quebecois Girl Groups; Les Aristos:Le Top 30; Les Hou-Lops: Le Top 30. Not all are cover versions but much of it is.

The CanCon also resulted is fine home-grown talent such as Eric Lepointe: Le ceil de mes combats (more about Eric when I get to ‘l’); Les B.B. – solid pop that slips from Steve Miller like rock to blues to sweet ballads; Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Entre la jeunesse et le sagesse – iconic music by these Canadian icons; Richard Seguin: Journée d’Amérique – an amazing & emotionally powerful singer with a deep history inPQ folk/rock/blues.

From Europe comes Collectors Items From Belgium – a collection of 60’s surf instrumentals music by various combos. Serge Gainsbourg: l’histoire de Melody Nelson – Serge is a latter day Brel but unlike Brel never made much of an impression in North America. Plastic Bertand: Plastiquez vos baffles – I love Bertand – he’s adapted his sound from punk, to new wave, to disco & here he channels the Beach Boys! I had this as a cassette & was happy to replace it with mp3. It’s a treat. Psychegalic – I love the title of this compilation of various bands heavily influenced by 60’s psychedelic. It include some tracks by Les 5 Gentlemen: Plus Grands Succes – that I enjoyed so I traced down their hits collection.

Madame: Eldorado – is a power pop group in the U2 mold. More about them when I get to ‘m’. Finally in a the tradition Claude Nougaro: Collection Prestige. I caught a video for his Paris Man & loved it. More easy listening than rock & he’s fond of Latin rhythms & Louis Armstrong type jazz. All great fun & if you want to explore music outside of English pop all of these are great starters.

Red Yellow Green

Tom panned the camera slowly up and down the unconscious form on the bed. Frank had insisted that they record as many details as they could before the boy came to.

There was band of  white feathers tied around one of the boy’s leg. On his upper arm was another band of feathers, only these were black. There was also a band of yellow and green beads wrapped around his cock and balls. The paint smeared on his torso was powdery yet none of it flaked off onto the bedding.

‘Turn him over.’ Tom whispered. He stepped back to refocus the camera.

Frank gingerly put his hands on the prone form. The flesh was warm, damp. Dry paint came off on his hands.

‘How?’ he held his hands up. ‘On me but not on the sheets?’

Tom shrugged. ‘Turn him over.’

The boy’s body rolled over easily. His back was streaked with the same red, yellow and green with a large, black zig zag circle at the base of his spine.

‘Tattoo?’ Tom asked as he brought the lens closer to the marking. He brushed it with one finger. The paint smeared, stained his finger, as the paint had done to Frank’s hand.

‘Roll him back.’

Tom put down the camera and went to the bathroom to wash his hands. Frank joined him.

‘Sleeping beauty was here to protect us?’

The colors wouldn’t come off in the hot water; wouldn’t come off when they dried their hands on a towel.

They returned to the bed. The teen remained motionless. Breathing lightly with his arms stretched stiffly at his side.

‘What should we do?’

‘Let try  – what was the name he told us to call him, Tango?’

‘Mambo.’

‘Right. Mambo. Mambo.’ Frank gently shook the boy by the shoulder. ‘Mambo we need you help. We need your protection.’

The form on the bed shook violently. A jet of urine spurted out of him. Yellow and it stank.

‘PU. God. What do these kids drink anyway?’

Mambo’s eyes opened wide. His fingers stretched till the bones cracked and his body levitated off the bed.

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

kiss3

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

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

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Concrete Constantines

11jul01

A good friend of mine picked up the first Concrete Blond lp back in the day. I enjoyed it enough to make a cassette copy of it. It had so many great songs: Your Haunted Head – Johnette Napolitano has an emotionally resonant voice. The sound was mid-80’s Goth but not gloomy. Similar to Sousix and the Banshees.11jul02 I didn’t follow the band, I was more a Blondie fan, but the songs stuck with me. I replaced that tape with a download & it’s in an MP3 collection of Talking Heads stuff.  I also have a stand alone “Recollection” of their hits. As I was never a radio of even MTV fan I don’t know if these are hits or not, but it had a slew of previously unreleased tracks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next to them is the sort of local, out of Guelph, the Constantines. I have stand alone’s Shine a Light; Tournament of Hearts; Kensington Heights. I discovered them thanks to the Globe, which at one time covered local rock. They are a solid, semi-hard rock band. Sensitive lyrics, good playing, but to be honest I can’t name a song on these cds. I enjoy them when I hear them but don’t feel the need to hear them again until they come up in my playing rotation. Some bands always demand I hear them soon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The songs are about love, loss – heteronormative without slipping into e.m.o or m.o.r – adult rock as opposed to pop rock. Critics liked them but they weren’t a big commercial success. I don’t even know if the band is still together as they haven’t released anything since 2008. sample

Balance

‘I’m not sure what you mean?’

‘I mean you are spending less time with me and more time with them. Not that I didn’t encourage it because it was important for you to have friends of your own but now there seems to be less for me.’

‘Encourage me?’

‘Yeah. I didn’t want to see your become such a part of my life that you didn’t have one of your own.’

‘And now you don’t like the life I’ve started to find. That’s what this really is isn’t it. You don’t approve of the friends I’ve made.’

‘I don’t know the friends you made but what you’ve told me about them hasn’t sounded that positive.’

‘Such as?’

‘Lending them money, getting locked out of your apartment, getting so drunk you fall down and almost break a foot. Stuff like that makes me worry, you know.’

‘Don’t worry about me I can take care of myself.’

‘Honey you have no choice but to look after yourself. But the next time you have a bad cold and you can’t get to the store who are you going to call? Me or the friends you partied with till you had such a bad cold?’

‘Good. I won’t call anyone the next time I’m sick. I’ll just suffer it out alone is that what you want.’

‘Is that what you want?’

‘I don’t know what I want anymore. Things were good between us for a long time. Longer than either of us expected and now things are changing. I didn’t want to do this to you – to pull away – to make you feel like you were being cut out – but you wouldn’t fit in with my crowd.’

‘Sad, but true. There are those of us who choose not to be potheads and plot the downloading of the latest songs.’

‘See you always cut up stuff that I do.’

‘Sorry, but it is hard to say the right so I don’t worry about saying the wrong thing anymore.’

‘Pot head?’

‘You denying it?’

‘I don’t smoke up that much.’

‘It is frequency not quantity. I can see its effects on you when you complain about work and not being appreciated there.’

‘I’m not appreciated there.’

‘Whatever. It just feel its pointless for me to even try. I have to let you discover what you have to learn in life. To shield you isn’t doing you any favors. Warning you will only delay what you have to learn.’

‘Oh, I see, so now you are dumping me because I have a dark future?’

‘Not at all. I’m not going anywhere. You know that. You are the one on a journey to discover balance and faith.’

‘And you have those things?’

‘If I didn’t have some of both I wouldn’t still be here, I wouldn’t be telling you what I’m telling you.’

‘Thanks. Thanks a lot.’

‘It’s not as if either of have a choice in what happens but we can chose not to blame each other for the facts of life. Agreed?’soon

 

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

August 12 – Friday – Justify My Love:

13466002_1105599606165115_2825996326656054174_n

http://www.deliciouslydisabled.org/deliciously-disabled-party-2016.html

 

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

6DC0301

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

it fell from the sky

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

Surfin’ Ragtime Noise

John Arpin: Ragtime on Broadway; The Art of Noise: Best of Of; Atomic 7: … Gowns By Edith Head. Three separate cd’s that stand together on my jazz shelf as a shining example of the weird unrelated things I enjoy. None has enough emotional resonance for a separate post but I did commit to writing a little something about every cd on my shelves. Also you see that my definition of ‘jazz’ isn’t too narrow as it include things more on the instrumental side.

gloves

sinking in snow

The Arpin was a Christmas gift in 2001. As the title says Arpin does fun ragtime versions of music from Gershwin to Berlin to Hamlish. Songs from A Chorus Line to Mame to Little Johnny Jones & of course from Ragtime. I enjoy it when I hear it but I’m not drawn back to it.

The Art Of Noise – one of Trevor Horn’s early projects – has a place in my history – I remember that little girl with a chainsaw in Close To The Edit – the sputter Max Headroom in Paranoimia – from the early days of Much Music. I picked this up back in ’96, at the 2nd hand record shop that used to be a five minute walk from my house.

snowbottles

ice wine

I also remember dancing to Kiss at a gay club & thinking that’s Tom Jones! He was one of my mother’s favorites (another Welsh man) and the irony was sweet, then sweaty. I was never a big fan then but nostalgia is hard to resist. Trevor Horn had great success as a producer with ABC, Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

dolls01 more to follow

Now for some CanCon – Atomic 7 are a surf instrumental band, a touch of rock-a-billy runs though their fun frisky work. I read a review in Broken Pencil &  ordered this via mail from Mint Records in Vancouver back in 2003. Retro in sound & fulfills my need for a Canadian version of the Ventures. Great song titles too: Seven Stranded Castanets anyone?

soon02

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 – nano02http://nanowrimo.org

December 14 – special guest spot – Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noirnoirxmas

https://www.facebook.com/events/743240899058830/?notif_t=plan_edited

sample

Getting Ahead

A chill went up Mac’s spine as the door clicked behind him. At that instant he didn’t feel prepared to take this chance, yet he knew there was no escape, no time to turn back and all he could do was move forward.

‘Sit down.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘How long have you been with the firm, Mr. Geddis?’

‘Almost three years now, sir. I started as a Junior Sales Associate at the outlet in Frantown Mall.’

‘Yes I see that here. You liked that did you?’

‘Yes, sir. But I knew that one has to work hard and not stay where they feel comfortable.’

The more he spoke the less nervous Mac felt.

‘Yes, I can from your employment profile you have been eager and persistent.’

‘Thank you sir. Be prepared and inventive is my motto.’

‘When your manager at the Mall met an untimely end you certainly didn’t hesitate.’

‘Someone had to step in to the breach sir. It was a chance I was ready to take.’

‘Sales went up by 50%.’

‘The staff was most cooperative.’

‘Modesty too. Don’t see much of that these days.’

‘Thank you.’

‘Didn’t keep you from becoming district coordinator though did it.’

‘What can I say sir? A good man never denies his worth. I saw the job posted in the employee newsletter and just sent in my application. That is how things are done, aren’t they.’

‘Quite right. Too bad Miss Griffs, the other applicant, passed away quite unexpectedly.’

‘Road conditions are very hazardous that time of year. We were all shocked.’

‘She was driving through your neck of the county, wasn’t she?’

‘Was she? I didn’t know.’

‘Yes. She was scouting locations in Pumpkin Corners.’

‘Such a pretty place. I think an outlet there would be a fine idea.’

‘We’ll it wasn’t and …’

‘Sorry Sir. I forgot about that debacle. Now if I had been allowed to participate things might have turned out differently there.’

‘Differently? You think you could have avoided the largest sink hole in the state?’

‘No but there are other — what I mean is — if you don’t mind me saying so sir — certain spiritual values were ignored and consequences had to paid.’

doll01 escaped doll