La La La

The La’s were part of the new wave English wave from the 80’s. Similar to The Stone Roses, their style is a folksy rock with pleasant vocals & good song writing. One track was used by some clothing company which kept them in the public eye for awhile. Sweet music. Reminds me of The Byrds, early Jefferson Airplane.

 

Less sweet & definitely rock is Quebec’s Eric LaPointe. I have stand-alones Obsession, Invitez Les Vautours & as mp3: Le ciel de mes combats. I used to watch French Kiss on MuchMusic & his first couple of videos were hot – him shirtless, waist deep in water – mmm. His music is aggressive almost metal blues rock. His voice is emotive, at some quite raw & harsh.

 

Another French group is Laymen Twaist. I have stand-alone of Funkadelique. A continental French band that is the total tonal opposite of LaPointe. This cd is bouncy, funky, psychedelic & fun. The engineering is astonishing & when it comes up in my play rotation I usually play it twice & it always gets my hips moving. Definitely worth seeking out to broaden your musical horizons.

 

Next up is John Layton’s Femmes Fatales – which is not in French 🙂 John is a Toronto folk singer/composer. I meet him at the Renaissance Cafe when I was doing the open stage circuit. Sweet, amusing, wry & romantic. The songs are gentle without being cloying. His voice is engaging & the engineering is clean.

Lookie Here

Hello my name is Lookie as in ‘lookie here.’ Cute eh?I thought so. I got to pick that name. I don’t tell this to everyone, but i need to talk. I’m not even sure you can hear me. I doubt if you can see me. I know when someone can see me. That’s one of my gifts. That and the fact that I’m not real. I’m Davey’s invisible friend. You know Davey. Yeah, too bad about him. Getting caught by the cops and all that. There wasn’t much I could do about that. I tried to warn him but he wasn’t seeing me anymore. He was too old for that sort thing. the awkward age when they they know it all and don’t even believe what they can see.

I’ve been Davy‘s invisible friend since he was three. He didn’t know me then though, he was too young to understand I guess. I never really understood how this friendship thing was supposed to work. I’d hang around his bed as he fell asleep hoping I could slip inot his dreams to plant the seed, as it were.  Sometimes he’d open his eyes and I swear he could see me but part me of knew he couldn’t. We invisibles don’t have form unless we feel seen. You know what I mean?

Not that Davey was in denial. How can you deny something you don’t know about, right. So I kept hovering around him. Following him to daycare. Standing by his nap rug. Playing tag with the kids there that did see me. Hoping and praying for the day he would sense he wasn’t alone. Which was hard because he was hardly ever along anyway. Those daycare kids were always around for him to hang out with. I had tried to be an invisible friend to one of them but he was one of a pair twins. So he didn’t need anyone. 

Davey was an only child so I knew he had greater need of me. But he practically the third twin. What’s an invisible supposed to do? I knew there was no rush for me to get a real friend but it had been many years since I had one. Can’t say how many. Time doesn’t have much meaning for me. When you only exist when someone sees you time doesn’t move. 

Davey didn’t see me till he nearly 11. That’s pretty old, by then kids have an idea of what is real and what is make believe. Not that I’m make believe but I can’t reveal much of me to anyone except my seer. If you know what I mean. The fact that you hear me at all means that you are open to someone who isn’t really real. But you can’t see me. Can you? No, if you could, I’d know.

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January
Thurs  January 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

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! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Psychegalic Quebec France Belgium

On two mp3 collections I have gathered over 12 hours of French pop that spans generations, genres & continents. At one time CanCon in Quebec limited the quantity of English music on the radio which during the 60’s & 70’s, resulted in cover versions by PQ groups. I love this music & here I have Quebecois Girl Groups; Les Aristos:Le Top 30; Les Hou-Lops: Le Top 30. Not all are cover versions but much of it is.

The CanCon also resulted is fine home-grown talent such as Eric Lepointe: Le ceil de mes combats (more about Eric when I get to ‘l’); Les B.B. – solid pop that slips from Steve Miller like rock to blues to sweet ballads; Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Entre la jeunesse et le sagesse – iconic music by these Canadian icons; Richard Seguin: Journée d’Amérique – an amazing & emotionally powerful singer with a deep history inPQ folk/rock/blues.

From Europe comes Collectors Items From Belgium – a collection of 60’s surf instrumentals music by various combos. Serge Gainsbourg: l’histoire de Melody Nelson – Serge is a latter day Brel but unlike Brel never made much of an impression in North America. Plastic Bertand: Plastiquez vos baffles – I love Bertand – he’s adapted his sound from punk, to new wave, to disco & here he channels the Beach Boys! I had this as a cassette & was happy to replace it with mp3. It’s a treat. Psychegalic – I love the title of this compilation of various bands heavily influenced by 60’s psychedelic. It include some tracks by Les 5 Gentlemen: Plus Grands Succes – that I enjoyed so I traced down their hits collection.

Madame: Eldorado – is a power pop group in the U2 mold. More about them when I get to ‘m’. Finally in a the tradition Claude Nougaro: Collection Prestige. I caught a video for his Paris Man & loved it. More easy listening than rock & he’s fond of Latin rhythms & Louis Armstrong type jazz. All great fun & if you want to explore music outside of English pop all of these are great starters.

Red Yellow Green

Tom panned the camera slowly up and down the unconscious form on the bed. Frank had insisted that they record as many details as they could before the boy came to.

There was band of  white feathers tied around one of the boy’s leg. On his upper arm was another band of feathers, only these were black. There was also a band of yellow and green beads wrapped around his cock and balls. The paint smeared on his torso was powdery yet none of it flaked off onto the bedding.

‘Turn him over.’ Tom whispered. He stepped back to refocus the camera.

Frank gingerly put his hands on the prone form. The flesh was warm, damp. Dry paint came off on his hands.

‘How?’ he held his hands up. ‘On me but not on the sheets?’

Tom shrugged. ‘Turn him over.’

The boy’s body rolled over easily. His back was streaked with the same red, yellow and green with a large, black zig zag circle at the base of his spine.

‘Tattoo?’ Tom asked as he brought the lens closer to the marking. He brushed it with one finger. The paint smeared, stained his finger, as the paint had done to Frank’s hand.

‘Roll him back.’

Tom put down the camera and went to the bathroom to wash his hands. Frank joined him.

‘Sleeping beauty was here to protect us?’

The colors wouldn’t come off in the hot water; wouldn’t come off when they dried their hands on a towel.

They returned to the bed. The teen remained motionless. Breathing lightly with his arms stretched stiffly at his side.

‘What should we do?’

‘Let try  – what was the name he told us to call him, Tango?’

‘Mambo.’

‘Right. Mambo. Mambo.’ Frank gently shook the boy by the shoulder. ‘Mambo we need you help. We need your protection.’

The form on the bed shook violently. A jet of urine spurted out of him. Yellow and it stank.

‘PU. God. What do these kids drink anyway?’

Mambo’s eyes opened wide. His fingers stretched till the bones cracked and his body levitated off the bed.

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kiss3

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

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

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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Les B.B.

Next up in my pop collectionare are two recordings by Les B.B.: BB, Snob. They are a late 80‘s PQ equivalent to Glass Tiger. Another of those bands helped by CanCon rules for radio & MuchMusic video play. In fact Quebec’s airplay rules were much stricter, as only a small percent of English was allowed on the air waves, thus their musicians got a greater opportunity to develop without competing with US rockers. There was a huge cover-song industry in the 60’s, 70’s of bands doing French versions of US hits. Les Aristos, anyone? More about those cover bands as I work though the shelves.

clubs duex

I used to visit Montreal regularly for a 12 Step conference in the 90’s, & began to collect this music there – starting with Lps, then cassettes & finally cd’s. Supposedly to improve my French. As I result I have a large French collection from Les Aristos to Brel to Piaf to Eric LaPointe.

diamonds diamants

There were two excellent spots in Montreal for a music lover. Le Marche (I think) that was acres of bins of used Lps, then cassettes, then CDs. I would spent hours flipping through those bins. There was also Archambault’s – with its vast stockpile of new music. I discovered there that Brigitte Bardot was, in the 60’s, a major pop force in France. More about her as I work though the shelves.

two carddeux encore

The BB’s have a standard issue sound for the time. That synth horn sound, propulsive drumming, harmonies, tender lyrics. A range of styles from radio friendly, a touch of blues, not much of that tiddly-tid folk that some PG bands get. Sweet & inoffensive.

sample

Winner The backyard was covered with snow. A path from the back door to the composter had been used a few times but otherwise the snow was undisturbed. Not even the foot prints of birds or squirrels could be seen in it. A light rain had fallen before temperature dropped and so the snow had a shell. As Mike stepped on the shell he imagined he was crushing the skulls of those who had fallen under his heel – those he had conquered – white brain stuff escaped in small spurts as he tromped down hard. Crack crush crack crunch. “Take that.” He muttered. “Take that and that.” He jumped from where he stood over a low rise in the snow. Only he didn’t crack the surface when he landed. His feet slipped and he fell with a sullen thud on the snow. One elbow hit harder than the other. It stung. “Ouch.” He stomped with the heels of his boots as hard as he could. “I’ll teach you to toy with the Mighty Morpho.” The snow was at its lowest where he had landed and was more like a thick slab of ice than snow. His kicks didn’t dent it. Carefully he got to his feet and looked around to see if there were any laughing faces in anyone of the windows in the nearby houses. There was none. “Stay in your homes. You will be safe. I will protect you against the Ice Blizzard Wizard.” He took off one glove and fumbled in his parka pocket and pulled out the three Morpho cards he had. SeakZ2, Graphoka and Shelbab. “I call on the power of Shelbab to dispel the evil of Ice Blizzard Wizard.” He put the card on one corner and spun it on the ice. “We’ll see who the winner is today. Once and for all. I challenge you to this battle against the Mighty Morpho. Be prepared to face thy doom.” The card spun a few times and tipped to its back. The face of Shelbab flat and unchanged as the cold tried to hold it to the ice. Mike peeled the card away. “See you have no power here. I will be ruler of all I can see. All.” Mike stepped over to a thicker area and once again crushed the skulls of the defeated underfoot. Crack crush crack crunch. His boots like pistons merciless and through in stomping all resistance form those who would dare resist. “This is my planet now. I am glad to report to all we have been once again victorious.” He went back to the house to bring the glad tiding to his mother and perhaps get something in return. Cookies and a dvd to while away the rest of the long afternoon. cone

pinebow pine cone of silence