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

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

Herbie Hancock

By Herbie Hancock I have, in a couple of mp3 collections: Maiden Voyage 1965/ Blow Up 1966 / Jazz Africa 1986/ Village Life 1985/ Round Midnight 1986/ VSOP 1977/ Sextant 1973/ Thrust 1974/Future Shock 1983/ Sound System 1984. As stand-alones I have: Head Hunters 1973, In Concert with Chick Corea 1978, Dis is Da Drum 1994, The New Standards 1996, 1+1 with Wayne Shorter 1997, Directions in Music 2002, The Joni Letters 2007.

So I am a bit of fan but not as compulsive as I was about Coltrane. Hancock’s career spans decades (from the 50’s to now), genres, styles & fads. The early work is impeccable, tasteful acoustic jazz piano in various groupings. His early solo work is inventive, melodic & not overly aggressive. His work with Miles Davis is equally as strong, even when he solos with Davis he is in the background. He was never a keyboard show-off.

Then came fusion which was pretty much launched by Miles Davis’s monumental Bitch’s Brew. Hancock played with Davis but does not appear on the Brew recordings. Brew resulted in a jazz/rock fusion explosion with amazing work by John Mclaughlin, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Weather Report & of course Hancock. While the bulk of these musicians stuck to their jazz roots Hancock went further & further & ended up deep in electronica – some of his lps were called sound effects by reviewers at the time. This is when I started listening to him 🙂 The first might have been Sextant, which I still find hypnotic.

Unlike some of the other fusioniers he never got caught up in eastern mysticism instead he went back to his African roots for some excellent lps. His pop MTV break through was Rockit where he explored, the then state of the art dj scratching & other hip-hop recording techniques – programmed beats & the like. This lead to This Is The Drum with experiments in sampling, mixed with his funky jazz which were, to my ear, highly successful.

He didn’t abandon ‘pure’ jazz & released great work with V.O.S.P & duets with Chick Corea. Playful & worth tracking down. He then returned to a more traditional sound with The New Standards, & 1+1 with Wayne Shorter. Sweet evocative & kind of sexy. The most recent piece I have, a gift from a friend, is The Joni Letters – this is a tasteful & intense set of  jazz explorations of Joni Mitchell. A remarkable album by a musician who was always unafraid of exploration & challenging himself.

Sunday Drive

“You aren’t the boss of me.” How many times did I yell that at my stupid brother before he smacked me?

“I may not be the boss of you, but my hands are. So shut the fuck up, or we won’t go the beach again.”

I sat in the back seat of the car, pulled myself into a corner and glared at him.

“And if you are thinking of telling Dad – think again – because I know what you did.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Prove it.” My brother smiled over his shoulder.

“Just because you are two years older than me & can drive the car, doesn’t give you …”

“I said shut the fuck up. Or I’ll … lock you in the cabin for the day. At least I’m taking you out to the beach. What more do you want.”

“When did Dad say you could take the car?”

“He said I could drive it as long as I stick to the private road to the lake. I’ll do that.” He stopped to turn around to swing at me again. “If you just shut the fuck up.”

I yanked the car door open and ran down the dirt road.

“Where do you think you’re going? There’s no where to run to you little twerp.”

It didn’t take him long to catch me. Him the sixteen year old football hero. Me the runty little brother. Sometimes people didn’t believe we were brothers, we were so different. Him big bulky. Me small pale. I’d rather read but was always forced to go with him even when he didn’t want to take me. Going to the beach was his idea.

He had me in a head lock and was dragging me back to the car.

“You fucking little shit head. I’m not going to put up with this all weekend. I told Dad not to send you up here, but no he though it would you good to get out of the house for awhile. You little prick. Now if you don’t behave I’ll have to … tie you up & lock you in the trunk.”

I wriggled out of his sweaty arms. “You aren’t the boss of me. Just leave me here. I can find my way back to the cabin. I don’t want to go the beach while you mope around with those ugly girls from Peter’s Point anyway.”

“Good. I’ll leave you here.”

He got back in the car and drove down the lane. He stuck his head out the window. “By the way the cabin is locked. Have fun. Fuck head.” 

He drove away. I squeezed the spare key to the cabin in my pocket.

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

every Tuesday 2019

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

Hot Chip

Next on my shelf I have these stand-alones by Hot Chip:  Coming On Strong, Warning, Made In The Dark, Bugged Out/Bugged In, One Life Stand. Yes I am fan, though I can’t tell you anything about the band itself. At one time being a fan meant knowing what the lead singer’s favourite colour was – now I can’t tell you who the lead singer of Hot Chip is. Yes that information is on the cd covers (I guess) but I can’t be bothered finding out. Not that this is faceless music but the face isn’t that important – at least not the way it is for stars like Madonna.

Hot Chip is part of the techno-dance genre and at the same time is quite emo. Similar to LCD Soundsystem; The Postal Service – I find them easy to absorb but never uninteresting. Lyrics revolve around relationships, life’s ups & downs – in a sometimes sardonic & other times very vulnerable. Vocals are sweet, sometimes a bit detached, emotional yet rarely overly emotional. They don’t rely on manipulative bombast to sell their songs. Overall bubbly fun.

The engineering as amazing. The vocals are mixed as part of the music, as opposed to sailing on top the music. In fact they are sometime mixed under. The sound of the voice is as if it as right there in the room, sometimes double tracked for harmony, but never treated with reverb, voice coder etc. Direct & ‘innocent’ from the heart.

Bugged Out is a double cd of remixes of their own material & other bands – old & new. It’s a dj set of nonstop fun. I came across a rave review of their first cd somewhere & was intrigued enough to go out & buy it – now-a-days I’d hop over to youtube to listen to a few tracks before buying. I was hooked by their electro sound that is bubbly, sometimes slips into a real disco groove and sounds contemporary at the same time. Check them out on youtube & then down load everything 🙂

Broke

Liz fumbled with the green garbage bag. She was trying to get it over the cardboard box. The box was covered with red, white & silver paper, some tissue some foil. The bag wasn’t quite large enough for the box.

‘Having a problem?’

‘You can say that again.’ Liz wanted to cry. She’d worked all weekend with her Mom making this post box for her class’s Valentine’s Day Party and now she’d never get it to school without damage.

‘Maybe a larger bag.’

‘Daddy, this is the biggest bag.’

‘Okay. Let’s see.’ Her dad took the plastic bag & shook it out. It opened to twice the size she had opened it to. The box fit easily.

‘Some of these hearts have been torn.’

Around the top edge several of the hearts had been ripped in half and then taped almost back together.

‘Mom says sometimes a heart has to be broke in two before love can find a way in.’

‘She said that?’

‘Oh yeah. Funny thing, but I guess she’s right. Was your heart ever broken Dad?’

‘When I was your age perhaps, but not since then. You want me to give you a lift to the school. I have time.’

‘Oh would you? That’d be great. I was afraid to carry this on the bus.’

He helped her on with her coat and carried the box down to the car. He would have to speak to Trish. What a thing to tell a girl, at any age, that you have to break a heart to earn love. These week-end visitations had been going along so well till this. What else had she been telling Liz? 

He had promised himself not to pry into what went on between mother and daughter. The less he interfered the easier this would be for Liz. The last thing she needed was to think her no-longer-living-together parents where fighting over her.

They got into the car.

‘Didn’t Mommy break your heart when she … you when …’

He didn’t want to tell Liz how relieved he had been when Trish had left, how happy he had been when the divorce papers were signed, settled. They hadn’t even fought over visitation with Liz. It all went smoothly, as if it was all part of how things were meant to go. 

Should he tell Liz he was only too glad to be rid of the shrill, insecure mess her mother became after a few years of marriage. He wanted a child but not to marry one.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6
November 1 -30

http://nanowrimo.org
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

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Babel Gilberto

For a time Brazil became a hotbed for Latino electronica. The sound was, as one might expect, laid-back & sensual. It simmered. Out of that simmer came Babel Gilberto. Yes, daughter of Joao Gilberto! Never heard of him? Time for google to expand your knowledge base 🙂

In my collection I have stand-alone’s of her tanto tempo, Bebel, Momento, All In One – she moves from electro bossa nova to a more acoustic sound. Even the electronica is subtle thanks her early producer Suba. As she grew she became her own producer as well.

The music spans classic bossa nova, samba songs to original material. Her voice is warm, sensual & inviting. I guess this is contemporary adult pop. She’s not as pop as Shakira, not as jazzy as Flora Purim or Astrid Gilberto. She is the perfect start for anyone interested in Latino music. 

 

You might also want to check out Suba – he died young in a fire so there isn’t a lot but what there is is sublime. He worked within the cross between lounge chill, exotica and pop to produce some excellent music on his San Paulo Confessions. There is a great tribute album as well called, for some reason, Tributo.

Big Sale Tomorrow

David stooped to unlock the bolts at the bottoms of the heavy glass doors. There was still several minutes before actual opening but this would save him having to open & close them to let in the rest of the staff. One of the small powers of being assistant manager.

This was a welcome day with no special sales to worry about. It would give them a chance to get things organized before the next flush of super savings offerings. He felt a day closed would do more good for them than a sale. Things sold faster when there was some sense of organization.

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Hi Tracy.’

He stopped folding sweaters to nod to her.

‘Nice colour.’

‘Thanks.’ Tracy smiled.

Today her hair was a copper-red.

‘You should try it sometimes.’

‘Yeah. Right. That order of women’s singlets arrived. Let’s see if we can’t get them out by afternoon.’

‘You got it.’

She disappeared into the staff change room.

‘Morning.’

‘Good morning Mr. Oaks.’

John Oaks was the senior senior salesperson. Above manager. He’d been with the company since looms were invented, or so the staff felt.

‘Nice pants.’

‘Thanks Mr. Oaks.’

‘You get them here.’

Dave hesitated. ‘I think so. Last fall.’

‘I don’t think so. Look good though. We need more quality stuff like this, you know. This cheap stuff sells but doesn’t keep people coming back. Not easy for me to watch’em leave with some of this crap.’

‘I know.’

‘Especially when our own staff won’t wear it. Time for a quick visit to the facilities before the hordes arrive to use up all the t.p.’

Dave nodded in agreement. This was one of Oaks morning routines. It came up at least once week. Bad merchandise one day would be followed by how little people knew about quality the next and the day after that would be how little the staff knew about clothing, about fit, about the right colours. Good thing he was there to keep them in line.

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Blake – time you showed up.’

Blake, the manager, was usually ten to twenty minutes later, after all that’s what an assistant manager is for. She always brought coffee for the staff – to get the day off on the properly caffeinated  foot.

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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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#Electronica

Vintage Ambient & Electronic Music

I realize that many find avant-guard & electronica to be unemotional, dry & overly intellectual. But none of this cd reflects that, to me at any rate. The use of manipulated voice & found sounds has been used by Moby, Beck, Daft Punk, Square Pusher, Aphex Twin etc. to good effect. Where would hip-hop mixers be without the ground breaking work in sampling that these pioneers have done.

whitedoorknock knock

I recently put together a cd of electronica music – of the non-dance pop music type – some would call it the real deal. Others would call it sonic noodling, vocal masturbation and not music. My reaction to that is ‘so’ – I enjoy it. One of the lps I reclaimed via iTunes is Electronic Music: with Luciano Berio & Cathy Berberian’s Visage – a monumental piece of work which I still find challenging it listen to. I first found this as lp way back in the 70’s on one of my visits to Halifax. Some of it is synthetic, some tape layering & manipulation. Timeless. At one time when I wanted people to leave my place I would put Visage on. Rarely would they stay to the end of it.

From about the same times Luciano Berio: Sinfonia & Eindrücke – I had the world premier recording of this – left it behind when I moved here & have missed it. This isn’t the same recording mind you but fulfills. It straddles classical orchestra, choral and the unexpected nicely.

umbrellagone with the wind

This search for electronica started when I decided to replace my lp to cd transfer of Pierre Henry: (music for Bejart ballet) Messe pour le temps présent: I found the lp in 90’s, knew who Bejart was & bought it – ballet music is often in the ‘avante guard’ & this is no expection, from the mid-60’s it full of tape manipulation, pop & is great fun.

I came across Ghédalia Tazartès when YouTube clip showed up in my Tumblr feed – the poster warned this was defunct & not to listed to on drug. I was intrigued & found him on iTunes & pick dup a couple of released fro late 70’s: Diasporas Tazartès, Une Éclipse Totale De Soleil – not as challenging as I expected but serious sonic all the same – worth the effort to find them.

luckare you feeling lucky

I also came across: Vintage Ambient & Electronic Music – a sweet collection on some 40 tracks – mainly Italian & German & all with the expected electronica burble. Some teeters into new age wash but great stuff. I did resist the temptation to seek out more work by the musicians in this compilation. Enough is enough. But maybe sometime int he future I can use this as a guide to more.

To round things out I did a search for female electronica composers. The lis tis more extensive than I had expected and it included the pioneer – Pauline Oliveros. Her Four Electronic Pieces 1959-1966 are sublime and adventurous at there same time. I also added Christine Southworth’s Zap! in which she uses various electronic devices to create some great compelling work.

sample

Motion Emotion

the faster I move

the less I weigh

the faster I talk

the more I get to say

squeezing out not taking in

the less I take in

the less there is to carry

the less I carry the fast i can move

staying in motion

moving targets

may get shot as more

but they get hit less

especially when I avoid straight lines

darting back & forth

spinning out into controlled curves

tumbling when necessary

drier than dried

moving too fast

for moisture to stay

for sweat to bead

l becomes like a wake

when I am not awake

I don’t move in my sleep

I am like death

so still

not even my breath can be seen

I don’t like to 4e still

sleep is for the weak

and I am weak

it is my frailty

the need to keep moving is

fuelled by the sleep of righteousness

because only the pure of art

can move as fast as I do

can slip the sling of gratification

to find myself like a sun beam

faster than the speed of found you this time;

no one finds me

no one holds me

I’m not slippery

just too fas to be caught

too nimble to be confined

free of all encumberneces

except the envy of those

who want to be free

who feel that trap this flash

is the only way they can bottle

their own timid energy

their own fragile pleasures

the resolution of not catching me

isn’t enough to satisfy them

but that’s all they’ll ever get

words and understanding

aren’t enough to slow me down;

I don’t need to be understood to be free

I don’t need permission to disappear

before your very eyes

into a mist of mystery

who was that unasked man

I don’t need an invitation

don’t have to wait for opportunity

don’t even to make them for myself

don’t stay long enough anyway;

the flame flicker wind darting around me

singes and then gone

out like a light

out the window

out out out

washed clean

not a trace of me

not even in memory

which is the secret of my success

to be so fast I am not memorized

not recalled

not even a vague discomfort

beyond the spark of envy

for the moment of realization

the faster I move

the less you care

let’s keep it that way

soon02

April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto. https://www.facebook.com/events/913761975313528/

born

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 –

hdamnfinal

https://www.facebook.com/events/726986450755918/permalink/726987687422461/

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

fire

http://www.thedccenter.org/capturingfire/

(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 https://www.facebook.com/events/965611026782246/

loyclass

register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

https://www.loyalistbanner.com/ceweb/doc/LoyalistSummerArts2015.pdf

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

summer15

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

http://fanexpocanada.com

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

partsnoir

 

reddoor

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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thanks