Saturday Night Inferno

The Saturday Night Fever (1977) soundtrack is one of the best-selling albums in history, and remains the biggest-selling soundtrack of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide. It produced 4 #1 singles & became the catalyst for the ‘hate disco’ ‘disco sucks’ movement. The soundtrack & the movie both capture a time & place perfectly.

The Bee Gees were big stars & this propelled then briefly into superstardom. I don’t think anything they recorded after this was as ‘compelling’ or as catchy. I do have some of their early work before they went supernova but am not a fan. The songs here are well-crafted & engineered. For me the standout cut is Disco Inferno which really captures the power of disco but was too dangerous at the same time – the Bee Gees were safe & never dangerous.

It also features some Walter Murphy – his updated disco-fied classical  spawned a trend for this type of cover work that quickly became pure kitsch with disco maulings of big band, tangos, Gregorian chant – who remembers the slamming version of Carmina Burana? 

Another disco movie sound is Thank God It’s Friday (1978). Unlike Fever this has no real plot, no family dynamics just pretty people dancing at the disco. A more representative collection & more gritty than Fever plus Donna Summer – real disco star belting out Last Dance which went on to win her an  Academy award for best song. Both soundtracks are worth having & well make you want to dance dance dance.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks 

Buzzard Summer

13-fab02Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savanah Band starts of this mp3 collection of ‘eccentric’ alternative & dance music. Sour & Sweet is a classic album. With it’s mix of disco & big band it is amazing. Friends of mine at the time who hated pop, despised disco were blown away by this album. The follow up wasn’t as successful. I also included lead singer Cory Day’s solo: Cory & Me – not as big band but solid.

13-fab03On this disc is also Klaus Nomi’s Simple Man & his self titled lp. Here’s David Bowie’s inspiration with  two lps of wildly divergent material. Classical, dance, covers of golden oldies like You Don’t Own Me. His videos are astounding. Sadly killed too young by HIV.



It seemed natural to include Taco’s After Eight here: big band with a more direct disco beat. Taco has a big voice that handles things like Cheek to Cheek well. Here too is Disco Tex and his Sex-o-lets. Another ‘novelty’ with strong big band underpinnings mixed to sound like a live performance & great fun if disposable but better than one expects too.

13-fab01To round this out there’s Patrick Cowley’s Ultimate collection – 80’s electronica dance music. Then to ground it in the real deal is Donna Summer’s On The Radio: a hits collection – all edited & shortened from the dance floor versions. Of course her duet with Barbra Streisand has been remixed with Donna on top.



5 24’s of Indian Pale Ale check

3 24’s of dark pilsner check

3 24’s of plain beer check

a Texas micky of over-proof rum check

8 pints of old grandad check

2 26ers of Johnny Walker Red check

16 bags chips check

4 dozen foot long hot-dogs check

2 jars of mustard check

3 jars of relish check

2 extra large jars of pickled hot peppers check

2 heads of lettuce check

a dozen tomatoes check

a dozen hard boiled eggs check

six 10 ounce steaks check

a dozen Mountain Dew check

a dozen Doctor pepper check

‘Looks like we’re ready for the holiday.’ Jack checked off the last of his week-end inventory.

‘Aren’t you forgetting something?’  his wife couldn’t help but ask.

‘Such as?’

‘Isn’t there a guest list?’

‘Guest list?’

‘You aren’t going to tell me all this is for us.’

‘Us? No this is for my holiday. You’re a big girl now. You can look after yourself.’

‘Yeah, right, if I have time to while I’m looking after you.’

‘Honey you don’t have to look after me.’

‘You say that now but …’

‘No buts about it. Now you just scoot while I put this stuff away. Are there any …’

‘Stop right there. You’ll find that out yourself. You’re a big boy now. I’m out of here.’

‘Out of here?’

‘That’s right out of here.’

‘To your Mother’s?’


‘Your brother’s.’


‘You sister’s?’


‘Then where to?’

‘To some place you won’t be able to find me.’

‘Oh the Dixie Motel.’

‘Not on your life. I’ll be so far away from here you) won’t have anyone to help you.’

‘I told you I don’t need anybody’s help.’

‘Then I expect all the empties to be ready to recycle?’

‘You got it.’

‘No dirty dishes.’


‘No pools of vomit clogging the bathtub, sink, kitchen sink, the gold fish pond?’

‘You certainly know how to suck the joy out of a holiday.’

‘It isn’t Nation Vomit day.’

‘Since when. I thought that’s what every holiday was.’

‘I know what you think and I’m telling you again that holidays aren’t excuses for binges.’

‘You’re right there. Since when does anyone need an excuse for a good solid binge.’

‘I’ll give you call later in the week. When you’ve cleaned up everything. I won’t step a foot back in this house till it has been cleaned up.


on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes


March 4, Saturday, 8 pm: my first local feature in over two years: Glad Day Books


April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already


check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Donna Summer Time

As I did in June 2014 this June I’m looking at the ‘queer’ music in my collection starting with this major icon: Donna Summer. One mp3 collection includes her: Love 2 Love, Seasons of Love, another has the hits collection On The Radio. Plus I have the stand alone Fairy Tale High.


the shelf buried under garbage

The beat of her music was the music of my coming out – that & the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. My friends on the east coast were blues/folk/celtic musicians & so disco was hated, derided and dismissed. So I didn’t own much of this at that time, not until I moved to TO did I add much expect for Fairy Tale High.

I bought this in Sydney & loved it. For me this is one of her best albums & also a state of the art disco & concept lp. Songs like Faster & Faster to Nowhere capture a culture moment as deeply & painfully as anything I can think of by Springsteen, Reed, or any other of those ‘deeper’ writers. Plus you could really dance to it.


my street roots

Her follow up Bad Girls which included Hot Girls (a great tune), was bloated & boring by comparison. She contributed to the lyric and music writing of her records too. The earlier Love 2 Love, Seasons of Love, are sweet, a bit bloated as well but the Four Season of Love hold some nice memories for me. On The Radio is a good time capsule of the best of her.


boundary issues

Also in the mp3 collection are some other queer icons: Samantha  Fox: Touch Me – a Brit who never really made it big here.. Grace Jones’ Island Life is loaded with after hour club vibe. The Pointer Sisters: Break Out with I’m So Excited still excites. Aretha Franklin: Who’s Zooming Who? can get me doing it for myself. Martha Wash: The Collection: her voice sprawls nearly nameless across so many hits & remixes from Marky Mark to Black Box. And finally Cher: Believe – so what if autotune drives some of the cuts on this, Believe is a triumph of dance music & a career that won’t stop still she dies. Let’s face it honey some of these gals owe their careers to their gay fan base.


‘small planet’

As I pass ‘small planet’ I see the ‘FOR RENT’ sign in the middle of the window. It is a bit lopsided, the tape on one corner weakening in the summer heat. The sign has been there for a few months now.

A short time ago ‘small planet’ had been a struggling little cafe. Simple sandwiches, decent coffee and a personable owner had made it an oasis of sorts in a stretch of unwelcoming taverns and pizza take-outs. A nice place to stop on a Saturday afternoon for lunch and a quick peruse through the second hand CD’s along the back wall.

My first visit had been several months ago when trekking along this strip looking for exactly what ‘small planet’ offered. The owner Theodora was happy to see someone and we struck a quick rapport.

She spoke easily about her boyfriend, money problems, running a little cafe, plans for the future, music. She’s quick to remember what spices I preferred. She’s an oregano woman while I’m a rosemary man. It’s almost like dropping in on a cousin’s deli.

In her mid-twenties she’s stands about 5”5’, with short dark hair that flips up along the back of her neck. She has the strong nose and deep set eyes many Greek women have.

The food was good, she prepared it herself, waited tables herself, washed dishes herself, worked a second job to keep ‘small planet’ in orbit till she’d established a large enough patron base for it to support itself.

Little lamps appeared on the tables. They had odd, tiny shades that her boyfriend had hand painted. Egyptian eyes, water signs, Chinese characters and other bringers of luck. A Lilith Fair poster arrived followed by a dozen dream catchers in the window. All for sale.

She was doing the things I could see myself doing. Theodora was operating the cafe I always wanted to open myself. A place where I could sit behind a counter, share coffee and music with people who dropped in, people who would of course become my friends, my supporters.

I liked her spirit and drive. I tried to drop in every other week  often bringing in friends for lunch or late afternoon coffee. Rarely did we have to compete with other patrons for attention or service.

Winter came, I walked less and stuck to some cafes closer to my home. I found myself avoiding the ‘small planet’ side of street out of guilt. A few times I waved at Theodora as she stood, arms crossed in the window of the empty cafe.

Then one day ‘FOR RENT.’ A week later empty of tables and chairs expect for a lamp shade in the middle of the floor. The Egyptian eye unblinking.

I walk by in the knowledge that I couldn’t have kept this little business going, seeing in my own life how my good luck charms brought little more than decoration.

I wonder if Theodora saw ‘small planet’ as a failure or as experience for the next step, for the next ‘small planet’ she would attempt. I wonder what I would risk for that next step.

Last year’s queer music blogs:

June 2 Billy Strayhorn

June 9 ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’

June 16 Tea Room Tramps

June 23 Ned Rorem


bondage to shelf

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Secret Set Building

Last year I made a promise to myself to do a set that pulled together some of the pieces I’ve written about music and the role it has played in my life. If you’ve been reading my Monday blogs posts you know I‘ve been writing about the cd’s in my collection – a very slow, inside look at the content, when I bought them, and a bit about the emotional history of some of the music.


sky flying v

I also have pieces which involve music in the setting of my life. Some where written for (the no longer happening) Coffeehouse Cabaret tribute nights run by Norman Cristofoli, at the no longer opened Renaissance Cafe on the Danforth. They did shows were musicians were to do cover versions, writers did reflection on & sometimes read lyrics by.

The range was wide Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, delta blues and more. It spurred me to try things for these nights and rifle through my past in a more deliberate way. I already had many things kicking around but I was fun to generate new pieces.


crack of sky

So when the Secret Handshake opportunity came I merely had to go through my archive and pick pieces. There are too too many to choose from. I wanted a set that reflected the scope of my tastes and experiences from Mario Lanza to Donna Summer, from delta blues to disco. I’ve also been writing about some of these pieces in my Wednesday poetry blog – this means less talk between pieces when I perform them.


sky high roof

Each has undergone editing while I also try to get the sequence that flows. Some pieces reflect a mood as opposed to particular piece of music. It may not be chronological or even logical. I know how it’ll open and close – with two pieces that reflect each other in imagery. Ginsburg wrote about the Hydrogen Jukebox, – this will be My Generation Jukebox. Poetry you can dance to.


Oogie Inferno

let’s get this party started

if you’re thinkin’ I’m too cool to boogie

boy oh boy have I got news for you

I love the sweaty potential of the dance floor

the solid mass of men mobile   shifting

eagerly crammed    crowded by the bass line

the righteous revival fever of a contralto

everybody here tonight must boogie

let me tell ya’ I was no exception to the rule

the heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!

eyes closed   hands open

shirtless strutters in sweat soaked satin shorts

muscles    bloated bellies   no one cares

as flesh wound around  pulled by the driving

boogie oogie oogie


an endless moment of contact high

thigh to thigh contact

the heat was on, rising to the top

where the keyboard was underfoot

put your feet to the beat

peak after peak of solid state sweat

turn this beat around

no voice heard that wasn’t amplified

no time to waste, let’s get this show on the road

listen to the music and let our bodies flow

yowsa yowsa yowsa    dance dance dance

shame shame shame  ga ga ooh la la

we were shimmering glittering

ready to take on the future    beep beep toot toot


I love the moment of stepping into the mass

the sooner I begin the longer I’ve got to groove

listen to the music and let bodies move

make a space for myself

get approving once overs

then not care who’s lookin’

but when my spark got hot

I heard somebody say

Burn baby burnin’ the house down

gonna boogie oogie oogie

till you just can’t boogie no more


I love the blur as I am transported

out the body   out of the mind

satisfaction (uhu hu hu) in the chain reaction

released from all sense of self

except for the one caught     immersed

push push in the bush bush

lost for hours

ga ga ooh la la

boogie oogie oogie


taking a breather wet glistening

asked what are you on

as if the music and testosterone

aren’t enough for me to

burn that cocksucker down

because have I got news for you

this could be the last dance

last chance for a bad romance

everybody here tonight must

boogie oogie oogie


April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.


May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 1 finals – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –


June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC


(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville


register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


disco daddy