Motherly Love


On the shelf by the Mothers of Invention I have: Freak Out 1966 MOFO Project includes original plus out takes etc; Absolutely Free 1967; Only For The Money 1968; Cruising With Ruben & The Jets 1968; Uncle Meat 1969; Weasels Ripped My Flesh 1970; Live at Fillmore East 1971; The Grand Wazoo 1972 – big band mostly instrumental; Bongo Fury 1975 w Captain Beefheart. We’ll get to Frank Zappa when I get to ‘z’ 🙂

The Mothers expanded my music consciousness with their humour, their sometimes complex engineering, their fearlessness & their musicality. I can still hear ‘Susie … Susie Creamcheese.’ The endless layers on ‘The Money’ is a headphone extravaganza. The lyrics are timeless – who are the brain police – what’s the ugliest part of your body – brown shoes don’t make it.

Musically they veer from doo-wop, to rock, blues, avant-guard, Motown – sometimes all in the same song 🙂  One of few really prog-rock bands that continued to grow & show their listeners radical political & musical theories. I have to admit those first three lps were my favourites & can still be challenging to listen to today. the MOFO reissue of Freak Out is excellent. It includes full tracks of the pieces that were edited down for the lp. 

Absolutely Free defines the anarchic hippy counterculture in a way no other band at the time does. It spared no one, including the hippies themselves. ‘Money’ from its all out cover attack on the Beatles is sonically stunning, lyrically merciless & musically stunning. Plus Eric Clapton on guitar, if you can find him in the mix.

Ruben is a tribute/parody lp of doo-wop & bubblegum pop that verges on being the real thing. I love it. Uncle Meat is a sprawling mixed bag highlighted by the King Kong variations with Jean Luc Ponty. The cover is wild, but not as visceral as the cover for Weasels Ripped My Flesh: mix of live & wild studio work. If you are unfamiliar with the Mothers start with Absolutely Free.

Zappa’s musical influence is reflected in there work of Plastic People Of The Universe Czech rock band from Prague 1968–1989: Apokalyptikej Ptak (Live), Co znamená vésti koně (1981). A video of their’s turned up in my Tumblr feed so I tracked them down. This is an amazing, radical band that I dig. Check them out of YouTube.

Anticipation 2

Even today, just thirty-one years after that first reading of The Book Martin could still taste that vomit. He rinsed his mouth out with hot water & spit it out. ‘Oh God, why me?’ he thought. Inhaling ‘Thank You’ held in, breathed out ‘God.’ After nine breaths reversed the sequence.

Towelling down he recalled that by the day of his tenth birthday he had forgotten all about The Book. He had his first bicycle to look forward to. A fire-engine red two-wheeler. The Martin Flyer he had named it weeks before even asking for it. He ran alway home from school in anticipation of that bike. Sure enough it was there on the front veranda. A big red bow tied to the parcel carrier. In the house there was a cake on the dining-room table.

“Did’ja get ice cream, Ma?” He asked. “Let me go to the store & get some. I’ll ride the Martin Flyer & be back in a jiffy.”

“We have plenty.” She laughed. “But …”

“Yeah, Ma, what?”

“It’s not important.”

“What Ma?”

“Well, I thought maybe you should meet Dad down at the bus stop. He may have something for you to carry home.”

Martin was out of the house by the time she said bus. Much to his disappointment his Dad was at the front gate already.

“I was just coming down to meet you!” Martin exclaimed.

“Well, don’t let me stop you.” His Dad laughed, “I could still be there waiting for you, too.”

“Ah, Dad.” Martin half-laughed.

“You’re home early dear.” His mother came to the door & kissed his father.

“Well, I wanted to be here when …” He stopped & nodded at Martin.

Martin suddenly remember The Book. His stomach began to ache.

“I don’t want to know,” he said louder than he intended. “I need to know what any weird book says about me.”

Now looking at himself in the mirror he still didn’t want to know. Strangely he really didn’t know anymore about it all than he did then. Except that he would finally know today, at 1 p.m. All would be revealed.

It was several days after that birthday he finally rode his Martin Flyer. The ache in his stomach turned out to be his appendix. An ache that was not in The Book. At first his parents thought he was reacting to what had been written for him in The Book.

He, Martin, would heal the world. The phrase ‘heal the world’ made him dizzy for many years. No mention of how. Just the bare fact of when – ‘In his 41st year on February 14, 1 p.m.’ That ‘when’ was finally here. Or would be in a couple of hours.


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A Miller’s Tale Part 1

I have a 4cd mp3 collection of San Francisco’s Steve Miller Band. The first covers 68-72: Children of the Future, Sailor, Brave New World, Saving Grace, Number 5, Rock Love. On it is also Dino Valente (aka Chet Powers Jr); Sir Douglas Quintet: Honkey Blues, Mendocino. The second covers 72-77: Live 73-76; Recall The Beginning, Beginning, Living in the USA, Book of Dreams. Along with Bob Lind: Elusive Butterfly of Love ep; The Holy Modal Rounders: Anthology (New York); Delaney & Bonny: On Tour With Eric Clapton; Clinton John Leon: Clinton Vancouver BC.

So you might think I’m a fan. I certainly enjoy all the music I have by him but unlike, say The Doors, I don’t find myself coming back to him & only listen when he comes up in my play rotation.On first cd is: Children of the Future, Sailor, Brave New World, Your Saving Grace, Number 5, Rock Love. On the second is: Live 73-76; Recall The Beginning, Living in the USA, Book of Dreams.

I had cassette’s of Brave New World, Your Saving Grace that I picked up at Radio Shack. The early work is what I am most familiar with, some songs have become iconic i.e. Living In The USA. Looking at the titles of some of these I can hear the song in my head. Solid, radio friendly pop music with a sense of humour that isn’t jokey. 

To round these first two compilations I added a solo lp by Dino Valente, or Valenti (aka Chet Powers Jr) of Quicksilver Messenger Service. As Powers he wrote the anthemic “Get Together.” A peace-love song covered by nearly every California band. The lp is sweet, folk rock, but nothing special.  Another Cali-band here is  Sir Douglas Quintet: Honkey Blues, Mendocino. Rock with a Texan twang & a little bar blues. Good time music.  

Wait there’s more with an ep of Bob Lind: Elusive Butterfly of Love. A massive one hit wonder that nearly destroyed Lind. The Holy Modal Rounders: Anthology New York folk music revival and psychedelia – a bit jug band & fun. Delaney & Bonny: On Tour With Eric Clapton – boogie blues with Clapton recovering from Cream. 

Finally Vancouver BC’s Clinton John Leon: Clinton. Someone I’ve actually met – he played at Word Jam at the Free Times Cafe a couple of time in the last decade. I bought his eps, cds, when he was in Toronto. Folk rock with a define urban horror twist with songs about zombies & stalkers. Makers me miss those good old open stage days.

Arts und Krafts

Kind readers one thing that I neglected to mention in my wee report yesterday was the Christmas Arts und Krafts display at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral’s Fun Fair. Like many of you I have seen my share of knitted booties for rifle stocks and candle holders made out of moose dung but there were some very fine pieces from the near by College of Arts and Reconstructionist Designers of Palmixalitato County.

I am well aware of the rivalry that has been going on between the students in that county and our own but remember we did trounce them the last three years in the Provincial Open Court Peach Pit Curling Play Off. So we can afford to allow them to excel at something and excel they did at the Fun Fair.

There were many charming crystallized bones pieces from the Anatomy of Design classes there. I was particularly taken by the crystallized moose bone reproductions of the Departments of the Cross that one Leslie Ann Marie Betty McDellon had created. 

I can’t imagine what sort of skill it takes to do such fine work but I can certainty respect the work that it took. 

Also many were charmed by the spiderwood furniture Gregh O’Treple has wrought there. A sturdy eight legged rocking chair with a fine webbed seat and back was very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. He hopes to follow in the family footsteps and may be opening his own furniture and restraints shoppe right here in Crab Apple Corners. He will surely be missed in Palmixalitato County. But their misery is always our gain.

Another feature of the Fun Fair that cannot be neglected was the food pavilion. Over 20,000 were seated at one time for a fine feeding of Trish Creamly’s delicious sprung bark toffee pie. Trish you have out done yourself this year. Just save that recipe for my wedding reception. I know if you keep your hands on the crust you’ll keep them off my man – just kidding folks.

The children at the Fun Fair were also treated to a production by the local Armature Theatre Guild. They performed tragic scenes from various plays. The beheading of John the Baptist brought the crowd to their feet and kudos must go to Hank Grebly who did a fine job in the title role of that piece.

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All My Mayall

One of my friends on the east coast was a die-hard blues performer/fan. He introduced me to John Mayall. The first Mayall Lp I bought was Bare Wires, then Alone (a solo lp in which he plays everything). At the time I wasn’t what one would call a fan though. Blues was too adult for me. I was more California harmonies or psychedelic pop than serious British blues.

I now have as either stand-alone or mp3: The Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton; A Hard Road; The Blues Alone; Crusade; Bare Wires; Blues From Laurel Canyon; Blues for the Lost Days; Turning Point; Jazz Blues Fusion; 70th Birthday Concert. 

Top-40 was not his aim even though the Blues Breakers did feature, at various points Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor. Although his blues roots ground all his recordings he experimented with where things could go – Hard Road is rock blues; Alone – traditional; Bare Wires added horns for a more soul sound; Turning Point: acoustic & jazzy. After that I didn’t really follow his career. Some of these I had when they were first released, others were added more recently as I filled in blanks in my collection. Clapton fans should have his work with Mayall.

The most recent addition was the 2003 2 cd set: 70th Birthday Concert where he reunites with Eric Clapton, Chris Barber & Mick Taylor along with the then current Bluesbreakers for a great set of old & new material. His voice is in good shape & they all play like wise teenagers 🙂 He’s a survivor & is still performing & recording.

Surveillance

“Did you know Donaldson or Hanson?”

“Not well. They were older bad boys. I mainly hung out with the guys in the chess club. Not exactly a bunch of daredevil trouble makers. You?”

“I didn’t hang out. School and home to do school work. We weren’t encourage to hang out.”

I realized that whatever sort of teenage life Vasili had it was so different from mine that I had no idea what it was like.

“I suppose not. We grew up in a much more liberal climate than you did.”

“Right. Plus you knew who your father was. I had only my sisters & even that was limited by what the state did with us after our father defected. They didn’t directly punish us for what he did, but there were no positive consequences either.”

We were in the kitchen. The organized clutter wasn’t as omnipresent here. 

“I think this was probably where my father spent a lot of his time when he was in the house & not in his shop.”

He opened one of the cabinet doors and there were rows of TVs. Vasili turned on switch and they all flickered to life. Each showed a different part of the house & yard.

“I figure he did this after the those guys assaulted him.”

“Wow! How did you find this?”

“Looking for a coffee mug.” Vasili laughed dryly. “I imagine he sat when I am sitting now and watched these when he wasn’t in the shop. There are vcr tapes going back years.”

“What? He kept surveillance tapes for the last how many years?”

“He reviewed them every day.” He took a book out of the table drawer. “He kept logs of what he saw & kept ones that he might need as evidence. There is only a handful of those.’

“Man he was paranoid as hell.”

“No, paranoia is fantasy. The RCMP actually had their eye on him. Besides after what happened to him he needed real physical evidence to protect himself.”


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Derek and the Dominos

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When this was released it was a monumental sensation – Eric Clapton amazed, delighted & inspired. The cover art was bizarre enough to stand out. The musicianship was superb. Layla was a monster hit with its length, piano work & sonic arc.

23.grid02The music, for the most part, is bluesy country as opposed to out & out rock. Listening to it today I get this sense of ‘big deal.’ It wasn’t adventurous, inventive merely solid – sort of a great bar blues band. The influence of Delaney & Bonnie are clear through out. As is the Allman Brothers – thanks to Duane Allman’s slide work. He & Eric produce some stunning moments playing together.

 

I certainly enjoyed it when it was first released but even then I never really ‘got’ it. Perhaps it was the boozy heterosexuality of it all that didn’t work its magic on me. Songs like ‘why does love have to be so sad’ sounded pathetic and not romantic.

23-grid03Listening to it today I have no nostalgic resonance – as I do with Cream, or say Paul Butterfield who was doing similar blues work, or even the Allman Brothers. If Eric Clapton wasn’t here in this band I doubt if it would have had the ‘impact’ that it did. Good time boozy jam band music about broken hearts has a place in my collection though 🙂

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I also have the Derek outakes; as well as Eric, Live With Bonnie & Delaney; and the recent Me & Mr J/J sessions – his recordings of Robert Johnson. I find his playing always stellar & even sometimes emotionally compelling.

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Misplace

I’ve been reading these ancient manuscripts, novels or rather the seeds of something I wrote many years ago. How many? 30 I suspect, it’s a guess. I don’t remember exactly when though as I read them I remember the writing of them as a dream.

I should have dated them, I know, but at that time they didn’t feel like future artifacts to me. I hadn’t seen them for many years, not that there were lost, but they sat in a dark dusty (but not damp) box.

Carbons copies. I wonder what I did with the originals. Hope they aren’t going to surface someday when I want to rest on my laurels and someone will pull them up, shove them at me with a knowing smirk.

It can be so hard to get rid of all the past. The memories that lurk under the surface.

The pages of one were recycled from old inventory forms from the job I had at the time. I may have been clacking away at that office typewriter, using up their carbon, using up their scrap paper, squandering their time on my furtive journey into language.

The pages of the other are thankfully without such added resonance. Just the fuzzed carbon letters. I read through them amazed that I had the patience to type so much, page after page, crossing outs, missed letters. Corrections made in someone else’s hand – a hand I don’t recognize & a someone I don’t recall.

One held in elastic and scotch tape that I recall doing but don’t recall when. Another mix of memory and dream, of elastic that crumbles and tape that flakes away with a slight tug.

The pages get turned one by one, read and sighed over at points, flinched at at others. One goes into the recycle pile. Not a place to return to now even if I want too. I’ll enjoy it more recollected than re-read.

As I read through those relics I find that boy isn’t so far away at all. More of him lurks in me today that I realized. But I wonder if I really want to know that. I’d rather think that boy was lost, gone into some mist, grown into a much more sophisticated adult, a more assured individual.

Yet all the fears and hopes that I have now, I had then. Most of them are not as hidden today. The shame I felt has gone. Then I write about my sexuality in a furtive cloaked way today when I write about sex I lay the bare ass facts out without qualm.

I’m not sure if that is a good quality or not, should I have let go of that sweet shame at all. In the journey of experience I have lost it only to find the scent of it in these old pages.soon

kiss3
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on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

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

it came in

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

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

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check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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Clapton, Twitch & If …

12-door01This a Britpop mp3 collection with two Lps by Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick & Twitch – If No One Sang, and Together. Along with some If and Eric Clapton. All of whom represent different aspects of Britpop. Other than Clapton they are also somewhat obscure – this is where my archivist leanings come into full play.

12-door02Dave Dee etc had a few ‘hits’ Zabadak, Xanadu, I had Lp If No One Sang that I replaced with MP3 & then Together (with dozens of bonus tracks). There are several of these Kinks-like psychedelic bands: Status Quo being another – arty, social commentary, vapidly romantic but with excellent engineering that produced endearing and engaging, if not memorable or commanding music in the 60’s.

If … on the other hand is a memorable but over-looked. Sort of a art-rock version of Blood, Sweat & tears they never hit a commercial stride in USA but did produce some excellent music. I love their first self-titled which I had as a cassette that I found at Radio Shack on the east coast. Brilliant horn work, superber guitar & songs I’ll always rememberer: Dockland so evocative. If 2 & Stockholm 1972 are also here. I have a stand alone of ‘hits’ What’s In The Box Jack, as well. Intelligent emotionally resonant music worth seeking out.12-door03

The Clapton is the self-named that include Slunky, as well as sections of Derek: Complete Studio sessions. To be honest I’m not a Clapton die-hard – so much of his work, to me, became middle-of-the-road. His guitar playing is superb & some consider him God but I’m not convinced. Good yes but emotionally he doesn’t move me.

12-door04

 

The Slunky set is solid bluesy, r’n’b & I enjoy it a lot, the Derek selections are outtakes & alternate versions that I like as well but don’t find them compelling. Maybe its the great technique combined with a lack of energy that leaves me wanting more. His singing is fine, the engineering is superb. I suppose I’m revealing  how superficial I am 🙂

sampleThe Glass Bead Game

The vids offered many games.

To make a selection the user would open the file marked with the game icon. This icon would change from vid to vid, from user to user and so the discovery of the correct icon was the first game.

The icon would vary from something as innocuous as a round yellow dot with eyes and smile or as elaborate as a swaying field of falfa. The user would have only three guesses at this stage.

If he got it on his first guess the number of games he would then have an opportunity to experience would be very large. With the second guess that range of games would be more limited, the third even less.

If he did not guess on this third try only one game would be made available. This would be a random selection. This one game option was instituted to keep users from becoming so discouraged that they would give up.

Of course the range of game options for a correct icon on the first attempt was so great no user could play all the games anyway. Over time it was decided that certain games would only be available on that first tier, that these games would not show up in the random dispensation for those who never found the illusive icon.

Some games rarely got played as a result. When this was the case it would be those games that got relegated to the fourth tier. These games were difficult to win, difficult to follow and but the rewards for winning were exceptional.

The least popular game was ‘Glass Bead.’ Often those who were allotted it were the ones would who log off without even playing it.

In ‘Glass Bead’ the rules would scroll down one letter at a time. Few realized that play was to start then. If you read all the rules you would lose automatically but that was not mentioned till the last rule.

Many vids were damaged as a result of this till players learned to shut down when the ‘Glass Bead’ game started. One thing a few users did discover is that if they won the ‘Glass Bead’ game, all other games would be made available to them. The icon would remain the same for each vid access.

soon

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

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Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

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

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

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check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3

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https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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money

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

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Cream

Few lp covers are as iconic as the psychedelic Disraeli Gears or the printed on silver, Wheels of Fire by the equally iconic Cream. I had to double-check that there is no ‘the.’ I have these now as stand alone cds along with Fresh & the 2005 reunion at Albert Hall. Tucked away on an mp3 collection is Goodbye.Fabric & furI had them all (except the reunion) as actual lps back in the day. Eric Clapton was already an idol for some of my blues friends who were a bit disappointed in the pop musicality of the first release. It didn’t bother me. I loved Jack Bruce’s voice, was amazed that a trio could sound so full & dug the ancient Ginger Baker as a drummer. Though then (& now) I found his drum solos a tad self-indulgent. I would lift the needle to skip the solo in Toad. Fresh was also may first real exposure to blues rock.red fabricWhen Disraeli Gears exploded I instantly knew what l.s.d meant musically. The wah-wah work, the fractured imagery of the lyrics were inspiring. The fashion was to be longed for. I have the deluxe 2 CD release. I love the live BBC stuff but find the mono version unnecessary. I’m not such a sound purist.  When Wheels of Fire hit the cover art was astounding. But now they were a major super band without needing major teen mag promo. In fact they never became teen idols. Clapton was too serious, Baker way too scary & Bruce not interested. They were a band, more than many, that built a reputation on their music chops, not their teen appeal or even their pop sensibility.

Drugs & creative difference pulled the band apart. I don’t think they expected to be a huge as they became & didn’t know where to go with their popularity. The farewell Goodbye was more of a toss off than an lp. A bit of a mess in fact, but a fitting mess. Their live tracks on Fire & Goodbye show the band for what they were: a solid blues trio. The BBC tracks show them as good duplicators of album cuts but never let them stretch out.red cushionI was grateful that they resisted the push to reunite for several decades. Each has had solo careers. Clapton’s being the most successful. Baker has a jazz following & the Airforce group work is fun if a bit rambling too.

The reunion that lead to the Albert Hall 2005 double cd came at the right time. They were all adult musicians exploring their past as opposed to egos trying to prove something. Bruce sings well, his voice matured sweetly. Baker has amazing stamina. Clapton, as some say, might be God. Here he proves it without the need to show off in the process.blue fabric

Looking back at them I realize one of things I enjoyed was the fact they didn’t caught up trends of the time. They didn’t pander to teen pop sensibilities, didn’t get caught up in Tolkien imagery, folk protest, Sabbath like dark brooding. Fine blues musicians who didn’t sink into that style but expanded & then exploded & moved on when they felt they were done.

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Tranquil

Venerable El’r  B’la studied the hulking man who stood in the centre of his study. A room that made the br’thra and ac’lytes small was made small by the presence of this man.

‘So you have come for your reward.’

‘Yes Most Venerable Father.’

The man’s face broke into a wide grin. The white of his teeth was a sharp contract to his ruddy complexion. The thick beard around them parted easily. Bl’a wanted to reach out and stroke that beard, to run his hands across the hair on the man’s chest.

‘You realize that your appearance has caused some ripples in our usually tranquil life.’

‘Appearance?” G’th pulled his tunic closer.

‘No, no that that. I mean your arrival here. We do not see many of the from the outside world here in the inner fields. A very rare occurrence. Much is done to prevent this.’

‘My reward?’

‘I’ll come to that.’ Bl’a saw that to explain further was pointless. The man couldn’t comprehend the complexities of life here and was too long outside the walls to even begin to understand. He felt it a shame that the reward would be a disappointment. Death was always a disappointment.

‘May I see your hand?’

G’th placed his large hand on the desk. The Venerable El’r took in gingerly into his two hands. G’th hand was heavy, the back lightly haired. He turned it over. He marvelled at the strength it conveyed. The heavy reality of it.

‘This will not hurt.’ Bl’a jabbed the palm with a silver shaft. It drew blood and skin. ‘This will be analyzed to confirm your connection with the one in question. That didn’t hurt did it?’

‘No Father. ‘ G’th wanted to pull his hand back but the Venerable El’r held it. A pleasant sense of comfort to be held with such gentleness infused G’th. He had never been touched so by another. He found himself  aroused by this touch.

The Venerable El’r released him. ‘It will take a few minutes for the analysis to be complete.’

G’th tugged at his leggings to loosen the rapid constriction at his groin.

‘What will be my reward.’soon

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

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

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October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

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

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

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

money

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

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