M M M

Mano Solo: La Marmaille Nue (1993). This is a pleasant stand-alone cd that I picked up in Montreal back in 1994. The music is frisky – a perfect combination of Kurt Weill & Jacques Brel with a dash of the musical Cabaret – sort of what Rufus Wainwright was aiming for 🙂 Songs about love, beer & man’s indifference to man. A great introduction to French music.

Then there’s Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: Music For The People (1991) a great introduction to music by guys who looked good in underwear. Was he decent rapper? Who knows. The album itself is brilliantly produced. The borrow of Good Vibrations featuring Loretta Holloway – works because the original is a dynamic & Marky rides that piano wave. The same for his re-imagining of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side. What ever happened to the Funky Bunch? I guess they didn’t want movie careers.

More M with Gay Marvine: Secret Fixes Mixes; It’s Bath House Etiquette! A couple of very queer dance collections remixed by Marvine. He has an ear for old school disco & I love his tracks. These are part of a 7.3 hr mp3 cd collection that also includes – Boots: Aquaria – electro dance;  Disclosure: Caracal (Deluxe) – more fun electro dance; Ab Soto: Mr. Soto electro dance with a latino funky beat & great queer, sex-postive lyrics; Julio Bashmore: Knockin’ Boots – guess what: gas positive elctro dance music;  Manila Luzon: Eternal Queen – one of the many dance diva drag queen discovered by Drag Race. Higher energy & I love ‘Bitch I’m A Bottom’ 

Finally on this collection is the retro-classic Joe Bataan: Anthology – more of that high energy stuff with a real latino grounding & less electronic. Bataan reaches back to the early days of disco. Yet he fits in perfectly with the more recent work by Ab Soto.


“We thought he had just left us. Abandoned us for decadent western living. That’s what the authorities told us. That our Dad couldn’t cope with his responsibilities to the State. He didn’t love us enough to come home. They showed us letters from him that said that. Our mother didn’t recognize the handwriting. We sent Christmas cards but now I doubt if he ever got our letters or cards to him. Once he had defected that was it.”

“But he did care for you. I remember he was so proud to have sons, and was so sad that he couldn’t be there with you.”

“Then why did he leave us there. We never really understood then. Going though his papers here I find that he spent a lot of time trying to get them to let us join him here but they blocked him at every turn. Your government didn’t help. I doubt they even tried.

“Not my area, as they say. There’s a point were everything is classified, so who knows what the truth is. Could have been some bureaucrat didn’t trust him and that was that.”

Vasili nodded. “Yes we have learned how much was suppressed over the years. It helps a bit now but then we thought it was all his fault. Particularly when our mother died. We had no one. We expected him to show up at the funeral. I don’t know if he knew she had passed away.”

“Things have changed. I hope.”

“Not that it is much better here in the long run. Do you know anything about that time he was assaulted.”

“Not much, just that it happened.”

“He ultimately died from his injuries from that assault. In his papers there’s a letter from the country prosecutor stating that they don’t press charges because the men involved would claim he had sexually interfered with them.”

“What!”

‘It went on to say that even if this wasn’t true, such an allegation would be difficult to disprove and did he want to have this taint on his public reputation. He could be deported.”

My Dad’s remarks about Mr. Razov now made sense to me.

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Madonna


In my modest Madonna collection I have, as mp3: Like A Virgin, The Immaculate Collection, Music & as a stand-alone Confessions From The Dance Floor. So it is clear I’m not a fan – fans have everything, fanatics have everything plus the remixes, the outtakes, the concerts, the artfully torn t-shirt & the aluminum Sex.

Is she musically creative? Does it matter when you have such great collaborators, producers, costume designers, stylists & video directors? She admits she is a product, package & a boss lady. To me she was more a provocateur than a visionary. Like Mae West she used sexuality to establish her self, unlike Mae Madonna didn’t rely on a single persona to keep her career moving.

I love some of her songs, hate some of them – Vogue was one I hated & would leave a club (when I went to clubs) when it was played – I just knew we would get the 45 minute remix. Same with Papa Don’t Preach. Some I couldn’t resist: Lucky Star, Like A Prayer.

She sampled, borrowed, adopted, adapted freely from most pop genres with varying degrees of success. Her electronica didn’t work for but her retro disco, Dancefloor, cd was great. The Immaculate Collection of her hits is probably enough nostalgia for anyone; Material Girl is solid pop & in its way, is a landmark album of promotion power. I did have her ‘Sex’ but lacked

the sexy spunk of Mae West. 

 

Gambit 

I heard later than two guys were arrested for the beating. Jim Donaldson and Victor Hanson. Both almost twenty, so not guys we knew at all. My father called them trouble makers and wasn’t surprised they were the ones behind this. Seems they heard Mr. Razov had money hidden his house and broke in to get it and when he caught them they beat the crap out of him and left him for dead in his own house. Some kids have no respect for anything these days. My dad liked to ride that one whenever he had a chance to remind me to watch my step and show proper respect.

Midterm exams were coming up, so we all sort of forget about Mr Mr. Razov. He did recover from the beating but walked with a weird shy turn of the head whenever we guys saw him in the street. He never did come back to tutor the chess club. I don’t even know what happened to the guys who beat him up. 

Fifteen years later and I’m visiting my folks for a few weeks in the summer. University out of the way and I have a decent job in the movie biz. Lightning and that sort of thing. Pays well when it pays. I’d just broken off with Kevin. He was sweet but we both saw it wasn’t working out. So a few weeks out of all that was appealing to me.

Sitting at the table in the kitchen that had changed every time I saw it – new cupboards one year, new appliances another – it was not the repository of any childhood memories. My favorite cereal bowl wa along gone. This summer they were having the pluming redone to install a dish washer and so there’d be new counters et al. 

My Mom brought me a cup of tea. “I suppose you heard Mr. Mr. Razov finally passed away. Poor man. He was never the same after that time. You remember him?”

“When did he die?”

“Just last week. Service early next week. They’re waiting till his family could be here.”

I vaguely recalled that when he deflected he’d left behind some family. 

“Wife?” I asked.

“Nope. A son. It’s all in the newspapers out in the front porch.”

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

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Keep On Dancin’

This mp3 collection is a disco memory trip starting with Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real (Expanded Edition). She had a couple of hits in the early 80’s: Star Love & Got To Be Real – that burned up the dance floor & take me back to my early years in Toronto. This expanded edition includes the full length dj dance mixes.

Another group that burned up the dance floor Sister Sledge: We are Family – their anthem that became a an lgbtq anthem too, along with Lost in Music, He’s The Greatest Dancer. These are the things that disco celebrated: community & dance. So it wasn’t considered ‘real’ deep music. I’m glad I’m shallow to enjoy it 🙂 Best of Disco is a fun collection of covers, remixes of song by Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor etc. High BPM for high energy & great for typing to 🙂 Mixes done just for this collection so they are different from the lp versions. Songs one never knew they had recorded.

Carrie Lucas: Greatest Hits – Carrie had one hit I remember ‘I Gotta Keep Dancin’. But this is a nice collection all the same of well-produced material. As is Roger: The Many Facets of Roger. I never heard of this guy until someone posted his 10 min version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine on Tumblr – I can’t resist listenable obscurity. Nice voice, nice production but, let’s face it, very few men could compete with those female disco divas.

Dynasty: The Best Of. I love best of’s by groups I never heard of & whose hits I’ve never heard either. Another Tumblr find this is a solid disco soul band in the Instant Funk, Gary’s Gang mode but never had a real catchy dance-floor hit. Here too are a couple of 12” classics by Bohannon – he’s one of the legendary disco performers/producers who infused many from Talking Heads to Lady Gaga. Keep on Dancin’ 

Text Me

My cell pinged – text message ‘lv u’ I smiled. Kept on my way. The message was from B. I was in the elevator going down from his place. I thought it was sweet. He couldn’t wait five minutes to get in touch with me.

My cell pinged again. Another text message ‘c u ltr.’

I wasn’t a text maniac. I didn’t know what to text back so I sent a smily face. Hoped none of the other people on the elevator had noticed. They hadn’t. They were all too busy texting to pay attention to me. 

My cell pinged as I was stepping off the elevator. I didn’t want to check while I was walking. I found that sort of thing slowed me down. 

It pinged again and again,

I ignored it until I was in line at the coffee shop. They were all from B so I erased them all. sweet nothings.

I usually sent one reply to his ten messages.

There was yet another ping as I left the coffeeshop.

As I checked it I bumped into someone. It was B. He turned away from me embarrassed.

“Hey. You can talk to me face to face.’

“Uh, yeah.” He was thumbing something into his cell. 

Mine pinged. ‘nc 2 rn in2 u.’

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

LMFAO Lorde

Occasionally I get this urge to add more contemporary pop music to my collection & these next two mp3 cd collections spring from that urge. The first includes LMFAO: Party Rock, Sorry For Party Rocking; Martin Solveig: Smash; Big Star: #1 Record; Austra: Feel It Break; Hedley: 4 songs; Katy Perry: Teenage Dream.

As you can see this is a heap of various dance, electronica with a touch of old pop. I loved ‘I Am Not a Whore’ for its sex empowerment, joyful music & great video. I was seeing a guy at the time this was a big radio hit & all he had in his apartment was a radio so I heard this song a lot. The lps are like parties, happy, dance music with empowering, if a bit druggy heterosexist, lyrics. The other song I heard a lot then was Teenage Dream & the Katy Perry lp is fun girl pop. Excellent production work sells the songs more than her vocals. This guy (who I still see) was a Teenage Dream who made me feel like a total whore 🙂 p.s. he was not a teenager.

Martin Solveig: Smash; Austra: Feel It Break: a couple of great, if forgettable electronic, dance mix lps that are great for sex or writing. Friendly, sometimes emotional. Hedley: 4 songs ep – sunny pop fodder. The throw back is Big Star: #1 Record. Legendary lp by an almost mythic band. Countryish rock with sweet harmony & heart broken lyrics.

The other cd of ‘modern’ features Lorde: Hunger Games songs, Pure Heroine, Melodrama. Lorde was raved about everywhere as the second coming of Kate Bush. She’s not, to me, but she does have a sweet, shoe-gazer-pop sensibility. Sensitive lyrics, romantic & ethereal. Her voice is more a blur in its sultriness. Unlike Christina Aguilera’s Back To Basics which is good fun, even if I can’t recall a track on it. Time for a replay, I guess.

In this collection is also Gina X: Nice Mover; Clean Bandit: New Eyes; Nick Jonas: Nick Jonas. All of which are fine, easy, dance pop. Jonas is unexceptional but he is easy on the eyes. Rounding this out are some completions of actual dance music. All old school disco. Disco Files: Compilation; Peppermint Jam Records Presents: Compilation; Whirlpool: Disco. Full of soaring gospel female goals, strings, sudden sax & the requisite bpm.

Oh Ma Ha

You call this living – my mother looked around my room – you really think this is any sort of a life

yeah – I answer – is it all that different from your so called life –

she raised her eyebows – looked for an ashtray for her cigarette –

no one smokes here ma 

her concerned look now becomes one of victim as if it was my fault I never started smoking & didn’t have an ashtray for her 

and my rug doesn’t need any more help – hinting that she better not drop her ashes on my floor

I see – her nose turned up a fraction as she spun on her heel and went to the bathroom

and don’t drop that butt in the can – they swell up & clog the plumbing – there are  like miniature tampons that way – enough of them and the pipes blow up

water runs in the sink – she comes out smiling with her wet butt – sorry about that –

yeah well I’m not – 

I mean about the way you living – about judging it – your letters made is seem so … so much more than it actually is

my letters made it clear it wasn’t like what I left – it is my own place – I’ve fixed it up a little but what with work – classes & travel between them there hasn’t been much time for me to do anything more around here than vacuum and get some decent furniture – found this in a dumpster last week – I sat in the lazy boy recliner that I had tossed a bed spread over to cover the stained arm 

you always said I was lazy but – I squeezed the arms of the chair and pushed myself back in it – the foot rest popping up to keep me comfortable – I love this life of luxury


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LCD Underworld Legend

LCD Soundsystem produces almost hypnotic, multilayered pop-electronica. I have cds of the first double, Sound of Silver, 45:33, & This Is Happening. I could play all the cds in a row & not really be able to tell one from the other – which is a good thing. Consistently listenable music though that is great for typing to, also fine sex throb. Much like jazz song titles are arbitrary in relation to the music (much like the relationship to my photos to actual content of a blog post.)

LCD owes a lot to the British dance/electronica duo  Underworld. I first heard Underworld on a CMJ completion cd – it was the track River of Dub – a deep bass throb with voice deep in the mix & I loved loved it. Finding the cd was another story though but I finally did. I have as stand-alone’s dubnobass, Dirty Mix, everything everything, Beaucoup Fish, a Hundred Days Off, Oblivion With Bells, barking, as mp3 Barbra, & a fun spoken-word ep with Iggy Pop.

 

 

Both LCD & Underworld make excellent moody writing music. Some tracks by both have shown up in movie soundtracks for tension or romantic interludes.

 

Back to L (& also great for romantic interludes) is John Legend. I have stand-alones: Get Lifted, once again, Evolver, Wake Up! (with the Roots). Sweet smooth soul music that almost drifts into easy listening. The albums flow nicely into one another. Some with disco flavours, others with hip-hop vibe. Legend has an old school vibe that, despite being so heteronormative, is so gentle one doesn’t mind. Plus he is easy on the eye 🙂

Report to the Electoral Steering Committee 

We wanted to sway the people. We want to convince them that they aren’t powerless voices. We have to get them out to the polls in the next election or they will lose the right to vote. That is one of the planks of the leading party – why give people the right to vote if they don’t want to use it. ‘Use or lose it’ is their slogan. All the people have to do is use it. It doesn’t matter which party they vote for as long as they voted. If we can get voter response up from the paltry 6% it was in the last election perhaps change can happen.

But the people didn’t care. They saw the election as being  less interesting than sports scores. Politicians were just self-protecting business men and the people were powerless to do do anything. Some brfied that no matter how loud they voiced their opinions no one was listening anyway. No one cared. Not even them. 

House after house we ran into the same apathy and hopelessness. The people were happy as long as they had food shelter and entertainment. Politics wasn’t entertaining enough. The drab tired supposed scandals of secret deals, slush fund theft bored them. They didn’t care about the sexual peccadillos of high ranking officials or how they used their power to cover up criminal activity, dunken car accidents. The people had seen it all on YouTube once and even there it wasn’t as compelling as movie star break downs in the washrooms of local designer outlet direct to the public malls. Now that got them going. Why couldn’t we get that star to run for office. That could hold some interest, maybe.

We must persist. It can’t be a lost cause. 

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January

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

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at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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

Relax – Keep On Dancin’

Gary’s Gang’s Keep On Dancin’ kicks off an mp3 collection of, you guessed it, disco. This is a cd that is full of great, delightful memory for me. Memories of when I moved to Toronto way back in 1979. Disrespected by the rock press this music has more resonance in my life than say, John Cougar Mellencamp – who was also big at the time.

Much of this is funkified jazz. Bouncy & in some cases insanely catchy. I had Gary as an lp & like many disco lps it was mixed like a party. High energy & all the tracks are great. I’m still not sure they were real or just a studio band but it is fun.

Instant Funk: The Anthology is a real band. I remember the lp cover of these shirtless, well-toned black men so hot they needed to surrounded by ice to cool down. More of that jazz funky stuff, standard let’s dance lyrics. Like so many though they didn’t move past the dance floor. They are fun sex music too.

M People: The Best Of – I picked this up as it was the only release I found that had their amazing take on the Small Face’s Itchycoo Park. Dance music, meets the 60’s, with great flute & that voice. More about M People when I move on up to M. Disco Motion: Various i.e: Fly Robin Fly, Rock Your Baby; Hot Nights City Lights: Various i.e: I Love The Night Life, Boogie Woogie Dancin’ Shoes. These two compilations are like walking up the stairs to an all night disco crammed with sweaty bodies. Some cuts make me want to dance & others bore the hell out of me – just like the old days. Without the distractions of bodies, smoke, people shouting some of these tracks are beautifully engineered. Disco saved the string section for sure.

Finally – disco it wasn’t all funk & games. Dance, music, politics were put together by Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Reload! the 12 inch remixes. Relax was a game changer with direct queer sexual content that propelled this band beyond the dance floor. Two Tribes was a brilliant piece of work. I had the original 2 lp release but got it bogged down in the concept – it felt stretched out & unfulfilled. But this set of remixes is perfect. Sadly Frankie disappeared promptly after this in a haze of artistic differences. Making great dance music just wasn’t enough.

Brooms

The Khalif took the key from the lock. ‘This door is never to opened.’

He put the key in the pocket of his silk robe. ‘You all have heard this?’

‘Yes, masab. Yes.’ his minions muttered and bowed.

Shalifa, his new wife, shook her head. ‘No.’

‘If you love me sweet tender Shalifa you will heed my words. No one, under any circumstance is to go into that chamber again.’

Shalifa was puzzled. Why would her husband choose to lock the broom closet? How would the palace be cleaned?

‘But …’ she began.

‘I brook no insubordination from anyone.’ He took her hand and kissed the tips of her fingers. ‘You do love me my wildest treasure.’

‘Yes my husband I will obey thy command. But …’

‘I know, a woman is naturally curious. Do not fret your head with such matters when there are more vital matters of state for us to consider. The war with the Infideltas is escalating. I need your advise on such matters.’

‘Thank you my husband.’

Shalifa walked beside him into the war room. On the table in the centre of the room was an exact model of the surrounding hills and sea coast. All she could see  was the litter of papers on the floor. Was all this not to be cleared out? She nodded curtly to one of the servants.

‘Yes madam?’

‘Please clear this litter away. I find it hard to think of war with such underfoot.’ she commanded.

The servant fell to his knees and began picking up the various papers, discarded models of planes, boats and weapons that had been shoved off the table.

‘Wife what are you doing?’ the Khalif forced the servant to his feet.

‘Husband am I not to allowed to give a simple order without you questioning me?’

‘No my rarest cloud …’

‘I did not question why you locked the broom closet did I? Then show me the same love and respect.’

‘Treasure of the North, I see you have not become accustomed to our ways. These,’ the Khalif shoved the papers on the floor with the toe of his gold leafed sandal, ‘are trifles. A nothing that deserves only to be ground and crushed under foot.’

‘Under your foot perhaps, but not mine. I did not marry you to become a woman who tramples garbage underfoot. These feet must touch the only the pure clean white basalt of the floor and not the tiny tedious pieces of discard you have tossed there.’

‘Ohh you are a fiery one my peacock dancer. I see that I must obey this wish if …’

‘Yes if you wish me to obey you.’

‘As you wish my sweet. The perfumes of the night shall be spread once the floor is cleared. All will be made to your liking. But now pray tell what shall we do. The rebel forces have captured the east granaries.’

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kiss3

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

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Workshop: 4 pm at Glad Day with D’Scribe.

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

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 

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

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