Disco Chips

May 19, 2021 marks 43 years since I stepped off a plane to arrive here in Toronto on May 19, 1978. I’ve lived briefly on Wellesley St E, Sherborne for about year, briefly in Thorncliffe, Bright Street for a year, Oakdene for some 40 years. I’ve had a ‘real’ job for the first year then nothing ‘real’ since then. I have cleaned apartments, ran a theatre company for about 10 years, became a lab rat for pharmaceutical drug studies.

On the east coast I was working for Famous Players & had asked them for a transfer & ended up being sent to Toronto. The year or so before I left Sydney I subscribed to the Body Politic so I knew there was a gay world larger than the rumoured gay path in the park. I wanted a land of opportunity. 

I remember my first few months here. Discovering the bars, dancing, getting sober. I was a blackout drinker & was afraid of backing out at the Quest & heading for home – which probably would have been Sydney – a very long walk. I learned my way around the subway system going to AA meetings. 

I left Famous when I discovered I had an allergy to money! My job there consisted of counting box off take. often thousands of dollars of paper more & coins that had to counted & rolled & recounted any hand in airless windowless rooms. Money is filthy & we had no gloves or masks or sanitizers. I got rashes on my hands, arms & severe red-eye. None of which worked on the dance floor 🙂

here’s a piece I wrote my first summer in Toronto

Disco Chips

<>

1

<>

electronics

chip away

at the solid state of me

disco chips

chip away chip away 

dance away

till only sweat remains

<>

slip away

escape for a time

a time of being

suck away fuck away

disco chips

chip away chip away

take your time

take my time

take my pace

leave my body

thumping 

jumping 

energy frenzy

fits the pattern

fumbles the patter

<>

then

up your nose 

up your ass

in your mouth

out of your grasp

cuts your palm

across the life line

the pulse line

pumping thumping

flopping

dancing fists

disco chips

chip away chip away

at the solid of me

<>

chip away chip away

suck away fuck away 

dance away

till only the sweat remains

<>

2

<>

I used to laugh

when I was warned

of the lure the scent the heat

of the pleasure palaces

laughed at the phrase

the symbol

till I realized

I couldn’t resist 

the lure the scent the heat 

even when I saw

no real pleasure

no surreal palace

only a whispering wall

a muttering stuttering

wall of eyes

<>

I couldn’t resist 

the lure the scent the heat

<>

3

<>

disco hits

below the belt

disco chips

away the surface reveal 

my fear my futility

disco chips

disco hips & disco dicks

suck away fuck away 

dance away

disco slips

into the ear

then into the blood

<>

no alternative 

no escape

no please

tango prisoners

music fists

pounding me down

driving my pulse

popper clones

danger zones

disco chips

suck away fuck away 

dance away

disco hips & disco dicks

chip away chip away

suck away fuck away 

dance away

till only the sweat remains.

<>

jn78

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Monster Monster

Every couple of years I get an urge for contemporary music in different genres. Sometimes, once I have enough I don’t need more 🙂 Imagine enough can be enough. So this mp3 collection that starts with ‘i monster’ is one of those contemporary forays.

I don’t recall where I heard about i monster (British) but I do have their  Neveroddoreven, A Dense Swarm of Ancient Stars. This is electronica pop – a more dance version of Underworld. Dense, crisp engineering & quite enjoyable. The pretentious titles are a part of the fun & nod to their sense of humour. In this collection are two by MRF: Elevator Music, Mob Music. Mike Flanagan’s sax grounds these lps full of emotionally appealing adult music. He friended me on FB as a result of one my past music posts that tagged #gaymusic. Worth searching out.

Mark Ronson is radio fodder. I have Uptown Special, & Version – fun, perky, appealing sort of a modern Stevie Wonder that could be music by any of the Jonas brothers. Enjoyable all the same. Black Rivers  is an off shoot of Doves one of my favorite bands. This is multilayered adult rock. Emotionally resonant & sonically satisfying & a nice extension of Doves. If you like Dove you’ll love this – if you don’t know Doves – shame on you 🙂

Hands up – who remembers the B52s? Their Kate Pierson released an lp. few years ago: Guitars & Microphones which captures some of that bouncy retro energy. Her voice is still fine & this is a welcome refresher of those fun days.

Flight Facilities is an Australian electronic duo whose 2014 Down To Earth is a pleasant variation on the electrodance pop. 

Finally on this mp3 collection is another retro memory – of the Bronski Beat. Their lead singer Jimmy Somerville, has released several solo lp.  Homage is a fine homage to old school disco. A voice that hasn’t lost its power & songs that delight as you dance.

Now to a pair of stand-alone cds by Monster Magnet: Powertrip, God Says No – from the turn of the century. These are both over 20 years old! The music is metal muscular masculine. Updated Deep Purple. I love the thick sinuous sound with great slick psychedelic guitar & production values. Their look is so defiantly biker masculine it borders on parody. Looking at the art work on these cds now the kitch imagery almost overpowers the music. But the music is worth listening to regardless. 

This story goes back, way back, to the 1970s when I was living in Cape Breton. I have done minimal editing for things like spellings, punctuation & name consistency. As you may gather I was not out at the time but clearly wrestling with the process. Part 1 was last week.

No Fanfare

2

It had been an easy meeting, almost casual, except we both knew & understood from the initial eye-contact just what was intended. I’d been in the park for about twenty minutes, moodily watching the snow, wonder how I’d waste another night when I spotted him, on the other side of the iced-over fountain, watching me. His navy blue overcoat a sudden solid in the falling snow.

I sauntered towards him, frantically searching for that perfect opening line. None of my fantasy meetings had been in the park, none of them out of doors. They were always in dim, close rooms, over a little wine & a subtle offer. This was real, two strangers on a cold day, overcast, a backdrop of grey buildings, a soundtrack of traffic. It all felt so bare, I would have walked past him, but the green of his eyes held mine, daring me to take another step. I stopped awkwardly, watching my breath cloud the air between us.

“Looking a lot like Christmas.” His first words after the eye contact. “You look like an Everest.” He teased, brushing the snow off my left shoulder.

“Hardly. Being motionless for ten minutes usually gives me that effect.” I shook the other shoulder clear, my heart skipping beats, knowing I that I had been hoping he would see me but once seen, I didn’t have any was of following through except to shrug the snow off my shoulders. “I shouldn’t be as difficult to climb.” I teased back, trusting the metaphor to be verbal confirmation enough of the eye-implied intent.

“Care for a drink?” He asked cautiously, pushing a black curl back under his red stocking cap.

“Where?” I blurted, fleetingly seeing a horror of crowded bars & men in drag.

“My place isn’t far from here. How would that be?”

Kicking the side of fountain with the toe of my boot I tried to avoid further eye contact but couldn’t resist responding to the dare in his green eyes.

“Super,” I accepted. “Lead on Hilary.”

My difficulty with words got worse. I didn’t know which was proper or which was asking for trouble. I wasn’t ready, yet, to follow my instincts. Out of the park & into his apartment we managed to get through names, his was Steve; jobs, he taught piano & played, on & off, in a jazz quartet. Being heavily into the Romantics – Chopin & Debussy – my lack of jazz knowledge didn’t help me much & not knowing much more than his immediate clothing & certain tastes, I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t seem musically narrow minded or sound embarrassingly blunt. No common ground except that we both wanted this drink.

“If the bunch at the bank could see me now.” I shook my head, laughing inwardly at the image I projected to them.

“Now?” Steve baited. “You mean they’ve never see you drink?”

“No. Not that. I mean this situation.”

“With me, you mean?”

“Yeah. With another man, & me being so unsure. I’m usually a very self-confident person. I make decisions, pinch bottoms at the right time. Tease. Flirt with those fussy tellers. Some of them probably envied my girlfriend, Jean. I’m a catch. Yet, here I am.”  I quickly finished my drink.

“Defensive as hell & ready for anther drink?”

“Sure. Why not?” Handing him my glass I sat uneasily the bulky armchair beside the piano. “So how do we begin?” I asked as he left the room. “Do we have another drink & then lunge blindly at one another.” I spoke too fast, hoping to hide my doubts by hurrying the situation. I wanted to stumble over a thousand prying questions but needed the trust that I hoped intimacy would bring,

Impulsively I got up & sat at the piano again. I tried the same prelude, slower this time, trying to get my hands to function as a unit rather than as two random obstacles. It was no use. I settled for my memory if the melody line.

“Never taken lessons?” Steve asked, sliding beside me.

“Some as a kid. I learned the basics, forgot most of them. What you hear is all I recall.” I took my Scotch, more as an excuse to stop playing than to drink.

“What was this talk about blindness?”

“Nothing.” I laughed self-consciously. “Something about do we have this drink & lunge blindly at each other.” I shrugged, apologizing for what insensitivity or desperation such a remark might show.

next week part 3 – things get even more awkward 

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A Miller’s Divine Tale Part 2

The next two Steve Miller’s induces: Circle Of Love, Abracadabra, Italian X Rays, Living in the 20th Century, Wide River, Young Hearts, Live 1983, Anthology, The Joker, Fly Like An Eagle, Born 2B Blue. Plus: Quicksilver Messenger Service: Maiden of the Cancer Moon; Rubáiyát: Elektra Compilation; Daniel Lanois: Acadie; Divine: Unforgettable Hits.

With Abracadabra, The Joker, & Fly Like An Eagle the band hit its stride. These were big sellers & deservedly so. But as music trends changed the group fell out of hit parade favour. Their sound didn’t change much – though Italian X Rays shows the influence of Graham Parker. The Steve Miller Band were ‘adult’ pop not teeny-bopper fodder. As good as any of their contemporaries they never disappoint even if they never surprise 🙂 

 Quicksilver Messenger Service: Maiden of the Cancer Moon – this a a great double lp live set around the time of Happy Trails. Extended solos & trippy guitar work. This allows you to experience why they became legendary but also why they never became hit-parade material. Like Miller this is adult rock. Also it’s great to hear them before they got a bit lost as they searched for a consistent music focus.

Rubáiyát is Elektra Records 1990 40th anniversary collection of covers by the then present-day Elektra artists of songs from its catalogue. So you get things like the Cure covering The Doors ‘Hello, I Love You’ (you were expecting them to cover ‘The End’?) All the covers are restrained, no radical make overs. The original packaging was in keeping with the anniversary extensive  liner notes, deluxe ruby red cassette in a presentation box.

Daniel Lanois’s Acadie is a gentle almost humble album that is, as the title suggests, a pop meditation on his Québecois heritage. Folksy, warm & satisfying. It reminds me of The Band more than of U2 🙂 He’s best known as a producer & at one time having him as your producer was a guarantee of a grammie nomination.

All these guys produce great music but also reflect their time. Songs to ‘girls’ not ‘women.’ Paeans to lost heterosexual loves, drugs & political statements. So to counter balance all that I’ve included Divine’s Greatest Hit. Songs done with high energy, enthusiasm, humour & sexual innuendo. Can Divine sing? Who knows? Who cares? This music for fun that is well produced & you can dance to it till you shoot your shot. 

The Polishing of the Magi

The Armature Theatre Guild has been forced to cancel this years presentation of “The Polishing of the Magi” – I understand this will come as a disappointment to many of you – especially those of you whose children had been fortunate enough to be chosen to play the parts of the shepherds, lambs, sacrifices, dervishes and of course, the ultra blessed couple themselves.

Rehearsals had been going better than ever, according to Hank Grebly. It was the first time someone other than a member of the McGinch clan had been given the opportunity to direct the production and Hank was making the most of this opportunity.

But alas, as things often do, it all went to the apple press in a hand cart when it was clear that the McGinch’s weren’t willing to allow things to progress smoothly. Not that this comes as much of a surprise either, mind you. We all pay for our indulgence of this family and its anti-social actions. 

But not to give up all hope, as it seems Hank and some of the cast will be presenting a childless clown version of the same story. It may not have the same impact, but the show must go on. We will be spared the often bitter competition over whose baby gets to play the pivotal role of the fulcrum of all religions. That alone almost makes up for not having a full scale production, doesn’t it?

On a lighter note the Visitor’s Mall will be hosting their annual Midnight Madness sale, for those us who have time and need for yet more shopping. As the Mall says ‘Shopping is in the true spirit of the season, and if we don’t spend we just aren’t pious.’

I pray their prayers are answered.

Please note that the left-handicraft fair slated for the Pumpkin County Area has been cancelled. It was to be a fund raiser for the production of the “Polishing of the Magi” & seeing as that has been cancelled, there seemed little reason to have the craft fair. 

Those who had planned to pick up some of Sylvia’s Jams and Moose Tarts can find a display of them at Bea Petratica’s Bridalle Shoppe and at Meg’s Cafe. Get there early as these delicious treats don’t last long.

Sylvia has introduced two new jams this year that I, for one, can’t wait to try. The Orange & Maple Ashes with Nutmage and Quince with Ginger & Bark. I have no idea what bark she has used,  but I’m sure it will be a savoury deflight to perk up those you who are disappointed by the cancellation of the “Polishing of the Magi.”

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Van McCoy Voyage

This mp3 cd collection is filed under Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. Sweet Rhythm contains the hit The Hustle – which is a disco icon of the  Philadelphia sound. Strings galore, flute & still a template for dance music that emulates old skool. To be honest I hated it then but now it is sweet nostalgia & more than bmp under a diva’s voice.  Van McCoy died young in 1979 of a heart attack. Sweet Rhythm is easy & sexy.

Peter Brown’s A Fantasy Love Affair is more brilliantly produced dance music. In 1977 his 12″ version of “Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me” reached the million dollar mark making it the first gold 12” single in history. This one brings back memories of my arrival in Toronto in 1979 & my discovery of discos in the gay ghetto. This is hip thrusting music, catchy & fun. Sexual & sexy.

These two were performers I had heard of before I downloaded their lps (with bonus tracks). The rest of there were unknown to be, even though I did know the songs. All were ‘discovered’ by tracks posted in my Tumblr feed. My music collection needed more r’n’b from the 70’s/80’s to round it out. 

I have the hits collection by The Main Ingredient: Everybody Plays the Fool that includes Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely. I loved both these songs but didn’t know who originated them. A sold soul band with strong vocals – reminiscent of groups like the The Four Tops – this is great music. Similar but more on the disco side is B.T. Express: Do It (’Til You’re Satisfied) B. T. stand for Brooklyn Transit. Great club music with a strong sexy edge.

I don’t know what the T stands for in T-Connection. This a band out Nassau, the Bahamas. I have the  Expanded Edition of their self titled album that includes the dance floor monster ‘At Midnight.’ The song brings back memories of getting home after Midnight and reeking go cigarette smoke & sweat. A good memory. Similar to them is Con Funk Shun’s Funk Essentials. As you might guess this a dance funk band – one that I’d never heard of before but am happy to hear now.

The holds true for Blue Magic. I have the remastered release of their first, 1974 lp. More in The Spinners mode of funk.  The longest lasting of many of these groups is Earth Wind & Fire here I have their 1980 Faces. I have several of their other lps scattered through my vast collection. Best known for their ballads this is another smooth, funky with a dash of jazzy band that produced dozens of constant lps.

Finally a San Jose, garage soul band Syndicate of Sound: Little Girl. This a bit of an anomaly here as fun, disco isn’t noted for garage bands the way rock’b’roll is – oddly street-corner doo-wop was never considered as garage band – maybe too much emphasis on vocal harmony 🙂 Anyway this a fun lp, energy with interesting r’n’b under pinning.

Had Enough

Except for the bartender the tavern was deserted. Doug ordered a bottle beer. Took a table that wasn’t too dark. He sat and watched the beads of condensation form and trickle down the side of the bottle. They pooled around the bottom. The pool heavier on one side than the other. The table wasn’t level. He wondered if there would be enough bottle sweat for it to form a stream away from the bottle.

As his eyes adjusted he could see the stains of other bottles left to stand on the table. The lights from the bar reflected and distorted on the wet surface of the bottle.

“You gonna drink that or what?”

“Huh?” Doug looked up.

“You been staring down that bottle for the last ten minutes. Won’t jump up to you mouth, you know, you gotta lite it for the full effect.”

Doug looked up to the voice. It was a young man. Late 20’s, he guessed. Shaved head big smile loose t-shirt and baggy shorts.

“Or would you rather be left alone.”

“I’m just having a beer and a think. Not looking to buy anything else.”

“Do I look like a hustler to you?”

Doug shrugged. He didn’t know what a hustler would look like but figured no one talked to strangers in places like this just to make conversation.

“Besides you look to be doing more thinkin’ than drinkin’.”

“Yeah. Well a think is all I wanted. Here …” Doug slid the beer towards the bald man. “I’ve had enough to think for one day.”

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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 

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. 

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

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

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

Gaga Plus

As an almost card-carrying queer I do have some music bought solely to maintain my queer status, which is why I have Kylie Minogue’s Fever on the shelf. The music is well produced dance music. Nothing with real personality & good as background sex music. One cd was enough for me. She is quite popular though & her live shows get raves.

Near by on the shelf is another card-carrying queer qualifier: Lady Gaga. I have stand-alones The Fame; Monster; The Remixes. Tucked away on various mp3 collections is Born This Way; Joanne. This is dance music of a different order (than Kylie) – stunning production & engineering, astonishing videos & politically challenging (something dance music isn’t supposed to be.) Plus I have her excellent duets with Tony Bennet. Also the soundtrack from ‘A Star is Born.’

Much like Madonna, Lady Gaga’s persona is very fluid always with a strong awareness of audience. Each collection has standout tracks, plus cds of remixes to spread the magic. Like many she gets more respect when she sticks to the dance music. Her more personal & more subdued Joanne was not as warmly received by the market. Then came the Academy Award. Lady Gaga can sing as she proved with Tony Bennett.

Joanne leads a mp3 collection that includes some old school dance by LTD: Hits, Classics (Boogie Wonderland); Bizarre Inc.: Energique (I’m Gonna Get You).  I remember these two groups from my disco days. I’m not sure if Bizarre Inc. was nothing more than a studio production. Some prog-soul by The Undisputed Truth: The Best of, Face To Face. This is in the Sly Stone vein of soul but more experimental – they do an amazing Ball of Confusion.

Too add some modern I have Solange: A Seat at the Table – which is also experimental soul/pop – the lp title should tip you off there is some political underpinnings 🙂  Frank Ocean is a rapper/soul singer who came out & I figured I should have at least something by him – Blonde: well produced but vocals get buried & after several listening I can’t name a song. Finally another by an out singer: Jordan Smith’s Something Beautiful – he has one of those angelic, slightly hurt voices that makes everything sound wistful & emotionally compelling.

from Isle de Nuit

“What do you mean – you’re leaving?”

“Jacques there’s nothing more I can do. The Montreal police don’t need me for their investigation. I have a job in Halifax to get back to. I can’t afford to be here.”

“Don’t you need to know what happened to Xavier?”

“Yeah sure but we’ve done what we can, right. Who to question? Xavier made sure his trail was cold before he left. He must have known that all along. He had it planned so he could make this clean get away. I hope it was worth what this must have cost him.” Mark picked up his suitcase. Not much heavier than when he had arrived. He’d decided not to bring much of the film crap with him. He’d been tempted to get rid of the tee he’d been wearing when he met V but after a few washing it wouldn’t hold any memory. 

“I’ll keep in touch.’ He reached out to shake hands with Jacques. 

Jacques pulled him into a bear hug. He squirmed remembering what had happened between them at the hotel the other day. At a glance he could tell that Jacques was remembering it too.

“I didn’t mind.”’ Jacques half smiled.

“I know.’ He avoided Jacques’ kiss. “But this isn’t what I need. Another long distance relationship.”

Jacques sighed. “I know.”

“Maybe under other circumstances.”

“Right! When you aren’t still pining for the invisible man. Now that’s truly a long distance relationship.”

“I will keep in touch though. If you ever want to come to Halifax I have a spare room you can use.”

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 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

#Juniah to #Junior

dj Juniah’s D.A.N.C.E. Pride 2008 was a freedown -as you might guess it’s a dj mix set of dance music, as such I can’t name a track he uses though I did recognize a few of them. Dance music! Yes I do like me some high-energy dance music. Great for writing too & also for making out. Not all music has to be emotionally demanding, politically forthright or sonically challenging.

 

 

It is part of an mp3 collection that includes Gino Soccio: Greatest hits. Soccio success was in late 70’s early 80’s disco. I enjoyed the easy danceability of his studio work & have more of his work tucked divot other mp3 collections. Here too is the Afro Celt Sound System’s Capture (1995-2010) – compilation from various lps. I heard a track on So You Think You Can Dance? & loved it. As the band name suggests they mash up African & Celtic rhythms in a way that actually works. Also here is Stereo MC’s Double Bubble. I found their song ‘Connected’ irresistible (& have as a stand alone that cd) Bubble is more of the same & has a similar sound to AfroCelt – danceable world music & fun with a bit of a socio-political edge.

 

 

 

On the shelf next to Juniah is Junior Senior – a Danish pop duo. I have as stand-alones their ‘d-d-don’t stop the beat’ & ‘Hey Hey My My Yo Yo’. This is super fun summer music. Sweet, gay subtext, a bit of rap, a touch of hip-hop & all infused with crisp energy & lots of hand-clap propulsion. I love these guys. All the above are worth hunting down if you need, as I do, some fresh, fun, funky music.

Daily Special

the cafe wasn’t too crowded – there was a table with two seats – maybe should take that – leave the larger tables for people with friends – don’t want to waste valuable space on myself after all – besides someone might want to sit with me – strangers – or be afraid to sit with me because they thought I was expecting friends – once that happened – longing looks but afraid to sit with me even though the cafe was full – I felt so responsible – so afraid that people wouldn’t sit in those empty chairs – was it something about me that pushed them away – I wouldn’t have minded but wasn’t able to invite them – to say join me – I could tell they wouldn’t have anyway – I wasn’t the type they wanted someone else to think was their friend or even an acquaintance – so since then I’ve taken a small table – let people take the extra chair if they wanted it – easier to sit on my own than worry about – well what ever it is one worries about when a stranger sits at a table with you – I see that happen a lot though – but never to me – do I frighten people – am I so uninviting that they’d rather not sit with me – not that I blame them – I am drab – better not to draw too much attention to myself – never liked those show-off people with their flashy comic book character t-shirts – with too much jewellery, piercings, tattoos all those things that said hey look at me look at me – who do they think they are anyway – too many of those noise makers around making it  hard for ordinary guys like me to get noticed at all – better to be sort of nondescript than be one of those self consumed assholes with loads of similar people to laugh out loud with when they sit at their tables with each other, pulling spare chairs from tables like mine, not even bothering to say why don’t you join us, after all I’ve been here before, many times some even nod to me, the waitress knows my name, I think, – but those crafted husks haven’t got the time for the likes of me – not that I blame them – better not to have to perform all the time the way they do with those hey I’m so cool poses as they drape their arms around each other at their table, as they block the view of the stage, as they get up and their friends hoot and cheer to whatever drivel they spew, you won’t catch me up there –

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

every Tuesday 2019

September

17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

https://www.facebook.com/events/504067323723768/

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

7 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

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