Japan India Dominica Germany


This next mp3 collection is a trip around the world starting in Japan with Kuni Kawachi: Love Suki Daikirai. Someone in my tumblr feed posted ‘Graveyard of Love’ a track by Kuni & I loved the title & the song itself. This is moody, sweet early 70’s folksy psychedelic music. Kuni has an appealing voice & I was delighted by the songs. Do I understand Japanese? No, but that isn’t the point.

Next stop is Germany with Gunnar Winckler: A few hits. Once again thanks to tumblr. I follow an lp cover list – usually cheese album covers from around the world. The cover for Gin und Rum was sweet so I  checked out Gunnar. There were only a few of his tracks on iTunes. A late 1950’s hit maker in Germany. The music is rock-a-billy fun.We jump from there to India with Ganesha – My Lord. A collection by various performers of chants, rajas & spoken word in tribute to Ganesha. This a great exploration of this genre of ‘sacred’ meditation music. Some tracks over 20 minutes that are journeys worth taking.

Next we visit Guinea with music by Djelimoussa Cissoko – Kora. A kora is a 21 stringed lute-like instrument. Cissoko is considered a master of the instrument. On this lp he plays a variety of classic styles. The sound is melodious, at times meditative, sprightly & enticing. There are some jazz groups that are based around this instrument. I love this particular set though & it makes for an excellent introduction to West African music. 

Finally we come to a more modern sound with Adventura – The Last – this is a Bronx-based Dominican boy band. Latino boy bands still exist! But the competition of J or K Pop is giving them a run for the money. Fine harmonies, funky songs, nice production & in the videos they look more like men than boys.

Another Sunday Drive

“Look you little shit I’m only taking you along because Dad is here. Remember that. Get out of line and you’ll be sorry. Got it.”

“Yes, I got it.’ Dave glowered at me from the front seat of the car. He was still pissed at me for the other day, I guess.

Dad came out of the cabin and got into the front seat passenger seat.

“Okay Dave, let’s see what you’ve learned.” 

“Sure enough, Dad. I’ve been practicing all week. You know …. just driving Mike here down to the beach.”

“Sticking to the private lane I hope.”

“Of course. Dad. Didn’t I Mike.” He slowly backed out of the drive. 

Slower than I had even seen him back out. I sat quietly with my eyes peering out the window. Dave had driven me to the beach exactly once. He had been out in the car every day. Going on the highway to the store in town a couple of times. I wanted to tell but had promised not to say a thing. 

When we got the beach Dave puleld into the parking area and backed the car into a spot. This time he didn’t back right into bushes that separated the lot from the beach.

“Very good. I’m proud of you son.”

Dave beamed. “Thanks Dad. Maybe I could take us to town. We need … milk.”

“Maybe when you get your beginners. This is enough. Might as well enjoy the sand while we’re here.” Our Dad got out of the car.

We got out too. By the hotdog stand where two of the girls Dave had his eye on.

“Hi Dave,” the shorter of the girls waved and walked over. “Can you drive us into town again this afternoon?”

He scowled at her and glanced back at my Dad. “Hi Sally, this is my Dad.”

‘Oh! You taught Dave to drive great. He’s like a race car driver. He never misses a curve.” She ran her hand along her hip.

“I see.” My Dad’s eyes narrowed, as a thin smile played across his face. “You don’t say. Well, Dave why don’t you show me how you take those curves.” He pushed Dave gently back toward the car.

“Mike, you stay here till we get back.”

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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

Psychedelic Kaleidoscope

This next mp3 collection is a wild psychedelic world-music trip back to the late 60’s with Kaleidoscope’s Side Trips; A Beacon from Mars; Incredible; Bernice. This one of the quintessential west coast hippy bands. The Lp covers are straight out of underground newspapers graphics. The music is folk, country, East Indian & trippy rock. Lyrics reflect the azure groovy afternoons. I wasn’t a fan in the day though as this music never made it as far Cape Breton. All I knew was a couple of three tracks on the amazing Zabriskie Point soundtrack lp. Beacon is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with them.

Also in this collection is Quill – remember them from Woodstock? No! Neither did I until I saw a documentary. This band opened the show. The sound sync wasn’t fully set so they got filmed but not audio recorded. The music itself is solid rock, a bit trippy but I guess forgettable. The Paper Garden – soft, folksy, trippy guitar, violins & oddly mixed. Sweet with some interested guitar work & the expected flower power lyrics.

The same is true for Nightshadow: The Square Root of Two. More electric guitar based. Flows perfectly with the Kaleidoscope sounds. Jake Holmes: Above Ground Sound – psychedelic folk. Led Zeppelin did a great cover of his Dazed and Confused. Needless to say his original version is somewhat understated. Well worth searching out.

 

The End: Introspection – produced by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones around the time of Satanic Majesties – this echoes some of that sound with layers of vocals, tasty fuzz guitar & ‘meaningful’ lyrics. Finally is The Orient Express – sitar trippy world music. Perhaps one of the first of its type that explores & strives for an authentic sound & succeeds.

Beans

“Look at this.” Alice held the three pale brown beans in the palm of her left hand, the other hand was idly scratching a small gravy spot on her apron.

“Fava?” Jack, one of the sous-chefs, took one and smelled it. “Nope. Maybe pinto? Am I right?”

“Those fuckers. leaving me three beans as a tip.” She squeezed them in her hand. “Fuckers.”

“Table three ready.” A chef shouted.

She shoved the beans into her change pocket, picked up the dishes and took them to table three.

For the rest of her shift all she could think about was how unfair it was. She and Jack went down to Hill Street to Tinker’s for a drink as they often did after working the afternoon shift.

“Like, was my service so bad all they could leave was three beans. Is this some sort of insult. If it is it’s silly. No it’s worse than silly. Rude. Some fuckers don’t think twice. They figure we’re getting paid as much as the food costs.”

“Yeah, something like that.” Jack put his beer bottle on the table. “Better beans than phone numbers though, right. Am I right.”

“Yeah. At least I don’t have to let the beans down gently.” Alice put the three beans on the table & slid them back & forth in the the pools of moisture that dripped off the beer bottles. “At least they like to swim.”

“That’s my third.” Jack handled his empty bottle to the waiter. “My limit for the night. I’ll bean seeing ya. Am I right?”

After a shower at home Alice relaxed in front of the TV, rubbed lotion into her hands, along her tired calves. The beans were on the scattering of five dollar bills & various coins on the coffee table beside her. She separated the coins into denominations. Not such a bad afternoon after all. More tips than she remembered collecting. Better than usual in fact even with the insult of beans. She now had enough to pay the rent, the cable bill. Maybe it was time to get rid of the cable but she couldn’t afford the shut off charges.

She added it up and was happy to see there would be enough a bit extra for her escape fund. Ah the escape to Cuba. Even a week away from here would be good. Sun, sand and nothing else.

Stacking the bills she knocked one of the beans on the floor. It rolled under the sofa.

“Fuck!” She said kneeling on the floor to bend over to get it. She felt for it in the dark under the sofa & pulled it out. There was three one hundred dollar bills stuck to.

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

#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

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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

Polar Bears and Rinoceroses

 

I love love love Jules & the Polar Bears’ two lps Got No Breeding & fəˈnet̬·ɪks. We’re talking early 80s – this is power pop-rock with a Talking Heads influence, rapid fire lyrics that are amazing. I am still amazing that this band didn’t become a smash hit – maybe the lyrics were too literate? Jules Shear is a sort of industry legend who never broke big, like Linda Perry.

 

The songs are are dense, light-hearted, bouncy, thoughtful & are full of great harmonies, complex arrangements. Romance, memory (The Smell of Home) all with a wry turn of phrase. I had these as lps, now as mp3 & always love love hearing them again & again.

To the mp3 CD I added a couple of lps by Rinôçérôse: Schizophonia; Futurino. Their use of accents made them a natural fit with ‘fəˈnet̬·ɪks’ 🙂 I have several recordings of this French duo that started out with a guitar based French House electronica sound which became more rock than electronica. Slightly experimental, absurdist lyrically, inventive and fun. These are later recordings & are show the progression of this band well. If you are unfamiliar check out their first release ‘installation sonore.’

 

 

Also, for no particular reasons I rounded out this mp3 collection Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions. Live takes on songs from their first albums & some songs that only appear here. The band was tight, they don’t try to replicate the studio versions. The Dazed & Confused in this set is amazing & makes it clear that, at this point in time, the band was fearless, extravagant & focused.

Intimacy

The sheets were white. The blanket, a pale pink that might have held more color at one time but was slowly becoming white. My Dad lay on the bed, on top of the blanket.

‘Not ready to get between those sheets yet.’ he smiled up at me.

‘Doesn’t feel too bad.’ I ran my hand under the blanket to feel the sheets. Cool but soft. I expected them to be hard, crisp.

‘Just one step closer to the grave.’ My Dad looked away from me.

‘Dad, this is a check-up, not a check-out.’

‘Same thing. Same thing.’

He was nearly eighty but still had full color in his hair, a firm solid, body from constant walking everywhere and anywhere. More walking since he retired. It was to keep his bone mass up. The better the bone mass the safer his hips and knees would be if he fell.

‘Dad this is just a regular check up, unless there’s something you haven’t told me?’

He looked back at me. I could tell that there was.

‘Jen … I …’

‘What?’ My heart skipped a beat. ‘What?’

‘You remember … No, I can’t tell you … never could …’ he sank into the bad and covered his eyes with his hand.

‘Tell me what? Are you in worse shape than you let on?’

‘I’m … I mean … your mother never knew … I want you to know that she never knew …’

‘Never knew what? What? Dad, tell me?’ I pulled his hand away from his face.

‘There was someone …. I mean …’

‘What? Do I have a half-brother or sister somewhere? Is that it?’ I knew my Dad was a randy guy. Always flirted with women at parties. I could see him at our bbq’s in the back yard laughing and hugging the wives of his friends. That he might have had an affair wouldn’t have surprised me.

‘No. That’s why this is so hard … I want you to know .. so you won’t find out when you … when I die … You remember Chuck and Grace.’

‘Grace? That mousy little thing? But Grace?’

‘No. Chuck.’

‘Chuck? What about Chuck.’

‘He was my lover.’

The room spun around me for a moment. Was I hearing right?

‘You and Chuck. What?’

‘It was an intimacy I never felt with your mother … with any woman …’

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

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

Billy & Howard

I can’t say that I’m a Billy Joel fan but tucked in a couple of different mp3 collections I have The Stranger; Turnstiles; Nylon Curtain; Innocent Man. His career has had its up & downs but he’s still performing. I love the whistling intro on The Stranger. His story telling on songs like ‘Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,’ ‘Good Night Vietnam’ is superb.

He’s a less rock Bruce Springsteen 🙂 He was never, what one might call, a teen idol, which allowed his songs to be adult pop & lets his musical style roam from ballads, jazzy nightclub, to emotional personal declarations ‘Pressure.’ Never challenging and frequently emotionally compelling I’m always happy when these lps come up in my listening rotation.

In the same mp3 collection are Howard Jones’s Human’s Lib; Dream Into Action. A less dour version of The Cure, Howard Jones rode that British new wave wave with cheerful, optimistic songs. He appealed to the MTV crowd with great videos & an easy to listen sound. As much as the Clash or the Sex Pistols were trashing new ground people were eager for the softer sound that Jones delivered.

The lyrics are more adventurous than the music itself, which made almost counter-culture songs like Conditioning appealing. Sexually ambiguous at times he was not as in-you-face as Boy George. Is he still around? I don’t know. As much as I love these two 80’s artifacts I haven’t been interested in seeing what he’s up to today.

Buttercup Cup

‘Which cup and saucer set do you want?’

I looked over the four matched sets – purple thistles on one, red rose buds on another, greenish heath and clover on the next, and buttercups on the last. I wanted to turn each of them over, check the markings like some Antiques Road Show expert – as if knowing the cash value would change the sentimental value in any way.

‘Butter cup.’ The yellow appealed. I didn’t care if it was Spode, Royal Dalton, or rare Japanese enamel ware.

The cups and saucers had materialized from one of several boxes found in Rob’s storage locker. It was like Christmas as we pulled the age-browned boxes and the dusty plastic bags up from the locker. We tore them apart and then unwrapped the various pieces of china, brass and pottery. 

So this is the after life, I thought, we go through what what has been left behind. The strange bits and pieces of a life that someone has stored in a dank apartment building basement locker. Old shoes, cross country skis, broken lamps, papers. Some of which was headed directly to Goodwill.

The box of stones and shells from beaches around there world would stay there for the next owner to dispose of as they saw fit. 

Some things of greater value than anything I ever owned myself. Milk glass, red crystal leaded glass. A life of memorabilia and memory, some of which no one could share now. Things that had been saved by Rob for sentimental value were now merely objects to us. Objects to be appraised for some sort of retail value that sentiment couldn’t increase.

I wasn’t sure if I should be sad or glad, if I should be excited and pleased to find all these bits and pieces or dismayed at the pointless of them.

Some things got repacked in new paper into new plastic bags. Some were left open to view for a proposed contents sale. Maybe some of these items would hold new memory for new people. Maybe their mothers had the same green glass vase & they had been looking for exactly the same one for years.

The mystery of memory, time and space. Like meeting the old friend at Rob’s funeral service and hearing his school mates say the same things about him as mine did about me when I was a school boy. The echo of of our lives through each other’s lives.

Echoes that we sometimes don’t even hear or have an awareness of till the moment is right. The membrane of time rendered useless.

So I hold the buttercup cup up to the light. It glows slightly in the strong afternoon sun. A good sign. I think. The better the porcelain, the warmer that glow. A white membrane to protect new memory.

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every Tuesday 2019

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

October

Stratford Festival – The Crucible

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

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

Joe Joe Jo Joe Joe Joe

This next cd on the shelf is an mp3 collection filed under ‘j’ for Joe because these are all ‘Joe’s.’

Here is Joe Simon’s My adorable one (Vee Jay); Happy Birthday, Baby; Get Down. The first is a compilation of singles when he was recording with Vee Jay. Soulful & sweet & traditional r’n’b. The next two are later in his career and have a great strut disco sound that I love. You know that Blaxploitation movie sound that Isaac Hayes perfected. The songs are more sexual with great make out groove sultriness. His voice is pure sex too. 

Joe Tex: The Very Best Of – an amazing combo of gospel, country & soul. Another of those rich commanding voices that gave even indifferent material greater depth of feeling. Music I never heard on my local top 40 radio & now love.

Joe South: Introspect. Another southern soul singer with an amazing voice & also an amazing writer, best known for Game People Play, Never Promised You A Rose Garden – he straddled country & pop. Romantic social commentary.

Big Joe Turner: The Blues Collection – early rock’n’roll – Shake, Rattle, and Roll – soulful rock-a-billy by a performer who influenced nearly everyone starting with Elvis. Good fun stuff that’s great for doing housework 🙂

Jo Stafford – You Belong To Me. Stretching the Jo a little with this fine set of songs by one of the foremost female vocalists of the 50’s/60’s. Jo has a pure voice that is more jazz than pop. She was never in the youth market – this is adult music. Here is a set of a great show/movie songs done well.

Finally Country Joe McDonald: The Vanguard Years. Yes this the Country Joe of Country Joe & the Fish. He did have a solo career before, during & after the Fish. More hippy, folk blues than psychedelic experimental mind you. Just as political, romantic & never escape that faint counter-culture of marijuana. At least then grass was counter-culture.

Dead Details

‘This is Ross Hadley.’ The old gent ran his finger along the newspaper clipping. The photo showed several students surrounding a fellow who had broken his leg in a ski accident. The newspaper was over 50 years old and the old gent was pulled into his past before our very eyes. ‘He was Rob’s best friend. That’s Rob there with the broken leg.’

Rob was on the outer edge of the group. Face `turned toward the camera while most of the other faces where turned in his direction. I knew which one Rob was, as this was Rob’s funeral. 

I had selected the group of photos to put out. All of them were from a time when many of us wouldn’t have known Rob. But for this man, only this one was of a time when he knew Rob.

‘Ross and Rob were best of friends. Couldn’t pry them apart. Great chums they where. Ross we called Suit because he would show up in a different suit nearly everyday.’

Turns out they had gone to a proper dress school. Business suits were required.

‘We found out later that Ross’s Dad ran some sort of garment shop – made linens for all the hospitals in the city at that time and supplied uniforms too. So of course he could get decent clothes easily. Suit. Haven’t seen a picture of Suit for years. Not this one ever. You got any others.’

I didn’t. I had wanted a selection for the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. To bring a memory of a Rob we didn’t know, rather than current ones, they would be reminders of the Rob we would never see again.

‘He wasn’t much a student. I can recall one of his teachers saying ‘It would be nice if Rob would leave his dream world and join us in class.’ ’

I guess teachers don’t change much because I can recall a teacher saying almost the same thing to me years later in another part of the world. Big world, but the details remain the same. Boys would be boys wherever they were in time or place.

‘He was always laughing though. People liked him. You know? Now Ross here married Grace O’Connor. Her Dad owned several bakeries. Wonder what became of them? Haven’t heard of Ross for many years. I read the obits everyday though, so, just like reading about Rob here, I may see what’s become of Ross too.’

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

every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

Joy of Jobim

Antonio Carlos Jobim is considered an elder statesman of Brazilian jazz – though in Brazil, samba, bossa nova were considered street music they became jazz in the USA & hence in the rest of the world. Best know for his his breakthrough recording with Stan Getz, Jobim is more than a fine guitarist. As stand alone’s in my pop collection I have his Echoes of Rio, Rio Revisited (with Gal Costa), Jazz Masters. Sure it is easy listening but well worth it & perfect for quiet nights of quiet stars.

Not quite next on the shelf is an mp3 collection of Joy of Cooking. Here is their First & Closer To The Ground. Folk-jazz with sweet harmonies and congas – nearly very song is propelled by the pitter-pat of congas. The songs are romantic, feminist & easy on the ear. The First was a moderate ‘hit.’ Joy of Cooking was an unusual example of a late 60’s rock band fronted by women.

When Joy broke up the women worked together on Toni Brown & Terry Garthwaite: Cross Country. This is more country blues folk. Solo Terry Garthwaite released Terry – an amazing jazzy rock album that I consider a hidden treasure & it is well worth hunting down.

Also in this mp3 collection I added Cass Elliot: Dream A Little Dream; Bubble Gum, Lemonade. Cass never regained the momentum of her Mama & Papas days. The production on these lps is merely adequate & the songs lack energy & focus. There are few good tracks mind you, but over all she needed a stronger musical guide as she has one of the great rock voices.

Also in here is Kathi McDonald’s Insane Asylum. Why didn’t she become a huge star? This is one of the best Canadian albums ever with great songs i.e. Bogart to Bowie is amazing. Kathi can sing the pants off nearly any female vocalist out there & probably teach the guys a few things too. A hidden treasure worth seeking out.

Wait there’s more. To balance all these female voices I added The Association: And Then … Along Comes the Association – an immensely popular mid-60’s group that was never taken serious because of their success. Complex harmonies, some stunning production & songs that will live on forever. And finally Candymen: The Candymen – power driven 60’s garage rock of the best kind.

Brother

‘What do you mean, your brother? You never mentioned a brother before.’

‘Well I’m mentioning him now.’

‘And he’ll be here for supper? Tonight!’

‘That’s right. We can order pizza. He loves pizza. Save you cooking.’

‘That’s not the problem.’

‘There’s a problem?’

‘Damn rights there is. I’ve known you how long now?’

‘Five years.’

‘Right, and we’ve been living together for the last three and now you tell me you have  a brother?’

‘Didn’t seem like a thing to tell. There’s lots of things we don’t know about each other.’

‘Yes, but not something this big. How could you not mention a brother to me? How?’

‘I guess it never came up. You never asked if I had siblings.’

‘It’s not the sort of thing one asks about. It’s the sort of thing that comes up, in conversation.’

‘That conversation never came up then. Christ. I’m sorry I never told you I had a brother. Is that what you wanted, an apology?’

‘I just want to know why you’ve never told me. Didn’t you trust me?’

‘Oh, now it’s a trust thing. I told you, I never thought him important enough to talk about. Lots of things are like that. He didn’t seem relevant to our relationship.’

‘Till now.’

‘Yeah, till now. He’s in town for the week-end and wants to meet you.’

‘So, he knows about me?’

‘Of course. Everybody knows about us.’

‘You’ve talked to this brother about me. How many times?’

‘A couple.’

‘How often do you speak to him?’

‘Once or twice a year since I met you.’

‘Once or twice! What aren’t you telling me? He’s just been let out of prison or something. Is that it?’

‘No. Why? Do you think my family is the criminal type.’

‘Now that I know you’ve got a family it wouldn’t surprise me.’

‘My mom was right you are …’

‘Mom!’

‘What? Didn’t you think I had a mother?’

‘You never mentioned a mother. Or didn’t she ever come up in conversation either?’

‘Christ you are on a tear today. Yes I have a mother. And a father too.’

‘A father! This is going too far. Why have you kept all these secrets from me?’

‘Secrets? How do you think I got here – you didn’t find me under a cabbage leaf. Of course I have parents. Everyone has parents. Don’t they?’

‘I suppose you’re right, but it’s still a shock to find out. You know. A shock that you’ve kept these things from me all this time. First a brother. Then parents. What else have you neglected to tell me. What other dirty dark secrets do you have.’

‘These are not secrets. Just things I didn’t think important enough to bother you with.’

‘So, now I have to face this opportunity to meet your brother, whom I didn’t even know you had. How am I going to do that, how can I admit I never heard of him before. How?’

Echoes of Rio, Rio Revisited, Joy of Cooking, Toni Brown, Terry Garthwaite, Cass Elliot, Kathi McDonald, Insane Asylum, Bogart to Bowie, The Association, The Candymen

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every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com 


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September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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Jacksoul to Jamiroquai

There was a time whenMuchMusic actually showed music videos!! One of the Canada bands that shone was Jacksoul lead by the talented Haydain Neale. I have their ABsolute, sleepless, Resurrected as stand alones. The sound is radio & music video friendly sweet soul with jazz touches. The songs are plaintive, romantic, & smooth to the ear. Neale has/had a very appealing voice. Very John Legend. Sadly he died some years ago.

 

Next on the shelf are a couple of Mp3 collections that feature Jamiroquai: a funk/acid jazz group lead by singer Jay Kay. On one cd is Emergency on Planet Earth; Travelling Without Moving; A Funk Odyssey; Synkronized; on the other is Rock Dust Light Star, Dynamite. Jay’s voice is very Stevie Wonder. There have been some radio hits, dance floor hits too. Music with an ecological message that you can dance to. The album sound changes over time as they flirt with then embrace old school disco: strings, congas. Sexy, enjoyable & never challenging.

 

In the first MP3 collection are several indie eps I picked up at local poetry shows. A couple by DanJahRus: 2019, Sunrise. Hip-Hop rap with Dan’s mixing skills equal to his writing. DRP: Clever Title – son of a friend of mine had a sort of metal bar band & recorded some tracks in a basement. Youthful fun.

BC’s CJ Leon: Booty Music for Zombie Swingers; Street Corner Gothic – folk punk sexual anarchy with zombies. good sound quality. Toronto’s: Examples. Rex is a folk punk queer Japanese protest singer. We need more of this. Archie & The Bunkers is an organ based trio full to the brim with sweet, cheese surf music fun. Three Beards: bearded men writing & singing about their feelings.

Also some non-indie powerhouse albums. I became obsessed with the song Lonely Street & found a decent version on Mick Hucknall’s American Soul. Mick was lead singer for Simply Red. This was a come-back attempt with covers. Easy listening pleasant. Bob Dylan’s Tempest. A recent release I picked up more for nostalgia. He still writes well & sings well in a Tom Waits way. The same with Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What. Paul Simon never wrote a bad song & his voice is still intact, as is his sense of political irony. Finally: Debbie Gravitte – Defying Gravity – this a great Lp of Broadway songs, some obscure, some well-known. I love her version of that title track, from Wicked.

Stroke of Genius

‘Mambo?’ Ted gave Jim a playful shove. ‘Where did you get that name from?’

‘Just came to me.’ Jim snapped his fingers. ‘A stroke of genius.’

‘Yeah along with ‘dat acc’nt mon’?’

‘Well, those guys had it coming. Snooping around here every night. Had to give them something they could enjoy.’ Jim began to wipe the green make up off his chin. ‘Did you see his face. Boy, looked like he was about to crap his pants.’

‘Yeah, but ‘Mambo.’ Good thing you didn’t give any of the others names.’

‘Good idea. You can be ChaCha. Phil can be Tango.’

‘I don’t feel right about it though. What if they … ’

‘What? Tell on us? I can see them now at the Militia Office. These boys with red and green faces told us they would protect us from evil. That’d go over big around here.’

‘You did pick the red and green. Afraid of the blue and white.’

‘Ted this is for fun. I know enough not to cross the line. That would have been begging for trouble.’

‘Since when did that bother you?’

‘It doesn’t. Fear is an emotion I choose not to fear. But that doesn’t mean I’m an idiot either. Bad enough we used the right markings.’ He continued to rub at the make up around his eyes. ‘Is it all off?’

‘Sort of but I think you rubbed too hard.’

‘You too.’ He gave another playful hip shove that sent Jim sprawling. ‘You think the other guys got home okay.’ Jim stood.

‘Don’t they always.’ 

‘I don’t think …’

‘Then stop thinking. Let me worry about that. We’d have more fun if  you’d stop all that thinking. It’s not as if we are robbing the tourists, just putting a little of local fear into them. Get their imaginations going.’

‘It’s not all imagination and you know it.’

‘Yeah! So. It’s no fun to play in safe places. So this had a little more edge than the rag doll and pins routine. Gives them more for their dollar.’

‘I know. I spooks me. That’s all. Mama Gre’loo says we have to be careful with the forest spirits. This is the Season of Change and all things that start a change now must follow where it leads.’

‘You gotta stop listening to that foolishness. You sound like one of those tourists. You know?’

‘I know. Come on, let’s get that stuff washed off so we can get home.’

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every Tuesday 2019

May

Stratford Festival – Henry VIII

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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Whispering Grass

This is one of my clear childhood memories, while I was an only child – listening to The Ink Spots on our record player with my Dad while he got breakfast for us on Sunday mornings. He would sing along with Java Jive – though I don’t think I ever saw him have a cup of coffee. My mother was a tea drinker.

At the time I had no idea was coffee was but I always loved that song. I loved The Ink Spots, those harmonies and easy rhythm of the song. I can picture the cover of that album with the four of them in tuxes singing around a microphone while staring at the camera.

The other song I remember clearly was Whispering Grass – by Fred Fisher and his daughter Doris Fisher – with its very surreal lyrics about blabbering trees. I am pretty sure those lyrics became a part of my poetic influence at that early age. I recent did a search for other recordings of Whispering Grass, so I now have some great versions of those blabbering trees, including one by Dorothy Carless (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-1zn).

I have a stand-alone cd Greatest Hits collection which brings me sweet memory when I play it. Their simple accompaniment of upright base, drums, guitar also influenced my jazz leanings as well. I’ve always enjoy the dry, deep sound of what I thought was an acoustic upright base but was sometimes a plucked cello. Hearing the Spots now I also can hear how repetitive their song structure was – it could almost be the same basic track with different lyrics on top. Mellow, smooth, romantic. Now I also understand where the name comes from – ‘black as ink’ becomes The Ink Spots.

They set a vocal standard that lead to do-wop but they were never do-wop. Their sound was not revolutionary or challenging nor particularly black but their harmonies have influenced countless groups & I can hear them in The Temptations, Men2Boys. For some these songs are the 40’s, early 50’s romantic memories – the sound of simpler, supposedly better, times. 

Even The Best Of Families

‘Did you hear about your cousin Josephine?’

‘No!’

‘Well, she left that guy from the circus.’

‘Circus?’

‘You know, the trapeze artist. That’s a stretch – artist. He couldn’t draw a line in the sawdust, if you know what I mean? Anyway, she’s left him for some banker.’

‘Good for her. Didn’t your brother end up with some banker, as well?’

‘No. Dave settled down with a dentist. Imagine. Some people have all the luck.’

‘Dentist! Well good to have that in the family isn’t it?’

‘It didn’t last though, Dave’s now with some man who owns a construction company. Roofing, that sort of thing.’

‘Can’t complain about that.’

‘Well, you know who can complain though, is Dad’s second wife, Sally – remember Sally?’

‘Who could forget Sally. Those macaws ruined the furniture in less than two weeks. Who knew birds shit so much?’

‘Anyway, Sal has found out that her first husband has died and left her nothing.’

‘What did she expect?’

‘Some people expect the world. I heard this from your half-sister Jewel.’

‘Oh, how is that bitch anyway.’

‘I don’t know why you and Jewel never got along. She is really very sweet.’

‘So is arsenic until you swallow it.’

‘My my. Bitterness becomes you.’

‘So what about Jewel. How’s she doing?’

‘She was looking fine. Just got out of a 28 day rehab program and seems to back on her own two feet for a change.’

‘Instead of on her back, you mean?’

‘Ha ha.’

‘I ran into your ex the other day too.’

‘Which one?’

‘Chuck.’

‘Chuck. That was years ago. He was my first. Actually I don’t think we ever got married. You know. Just as well, he didn’t have much to offer, if you know what I mean?’

‘He certainly kept you happy.’

‘Honey we were only 12, so what do you expect?’

‘Right.’

‘So how is he.’

‘He’s doing well. Sold the steak house and has moved along to a chain of motels.’

‘Motels? Do tell.’

‘Along three inter-state highways. He hopes to be rich one of these day. You should have stuck with him.’

‘Twelve-year olds aren’t noted for their ability to see the future potential of many things.’

‘Right. Did you see that TV special of Greg’s last night.

‘Which Greg? Your step-son or my son-in-law.’

‘Neither. He’s Dave’s son.’

‘But I thought Dave was with that guy is construction.’

‘He did test the waters before once or twice. Greg was the result. Named him after our grandfather.’

‘So how is this Greg doing.’

‘He did win that Academy Award two years ago.’

‘He’s been in more treatment centres than June though.’

‘They must have paid off. He was looking good and has a new picture coming out next month.’

‘Good thing we have such a busy family. Isn’t it.’

‘I suppose. Give us a little something to talk about. Speaking of which, did you know that Cyril’s mother has left them. Run off.’

‘Not with a Fuller Brush Man?’

‘Ha ha. No found out about the other woman, she did.’

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http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2019’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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Glass

I can’t say that I’m a Philip Glass fan but I do have several works by him scattered though my collection: Koyaanisqatsi; Mishima as MP3 (along with works by w: Shivkumar Sharma: Call of the Valley; Sanjay Mishra: Blue Incantation; Abhijit Banerjee: Phases; Ravi Shankar: Chants of India; The Art of the Hurdy-Gurdy); as a stand-alone Hydrogen Jukebox; mp3 of his Piano Music; and The Book Of Longing: a collaboration with Leonard Cohen. 

Like many I first heard of him thanks to his soundtrack for Koyaanisqatsi – sweeping strings & choral work that doesn’t need visuals to be effective. Propulsive music that sold millions of soundtrack lps. Unlike, say, Bernard Hermann, he was more than a soundtrack composer he was a ‘serious’ modern composer. Mishima is energetic & shows a greater range of textures.

I find Hydrogen Jukebox (Ginsberg) and The Book Of Longing (Cohen) to be more liturgical than contemporary. As much as I enjoy Jukebox it fails to grasp the energy of Ginsberg’s use of language and becomes turgid and repetitive. His work with Cohen has more life but again moves like molasses. Both are more Gregorian than contemporary. The solo piano music is delightful & more emotionally engaging.

To round out the mp3 collection I added works by Shivkumar Sharma: Call of the Valley; Sanjay Mishra: Blue Incantation; Abhijit Banerjee: Phases; Ravi Shankar: Chants of India; The Art of the Hurdy-Gurdy. Mostly world music, nearly classical in its way, out of India. Some edging into new age & some very traditional. The Hurdy-Gurdy is an lp to mp3 transfer of an MHS lp I found 2nd hand. I plunked here for fun.

 

Theoretical Talk

‘Are there any more questions?’

Dyna surveyed the class. The rows of seats rose in tiers around her. She felt small in the centre of the semi-circular room. Her slide projected behind her seemed so massive. She was happy to see that most of the faces she encountered were still awake. A hand fluttered in the tenth row.

‘Yes. Casey Stelle, isn’t it?’ 

Dyna liked to demonstrate her ability to remember names.

‘Yes. I wanted to know if … well … how could such a crime go undetected for so long.’

‘Casey, you have to put it into its proper cultural context. At that time people didn’t talk about such things. It was a closely guarded secret.’

‘Yes,’ another hand shot up. ‘but it had such a deep resonance at the time. How could it go undetected.’

‘Jeff, that isn’t so strange. The fact that it wasn’t talked about doesn’t mean it was undetected. People knew of it, but out of shame or other cultural conditioning didn’t deal with. They didn’t ignore it but at the same time they turned their back on the events. Went on as if it hadn’t happened.’

She stepped from the podium and looked over the students once more. Books were being closed and backpacks being back-packed. As sure a sign as any that this part of the class had come to an end. As usual a few students descend to talk to her. She turned off the projector was was glad to have the gloom of the room return. The brightness of the slides made her feel on display.

The first to reach her was Jeff.

‘Miss Dark. I didn’t want to get into this in front of the class. Not enough time left anyway as it turns out, but I still don’t quite buy your theory.’

‘It’s not for sale Jeff. I merely presented one of several approaches to the circumstances. After all, wife beating once wasn’t a crime. Women who complained about it were shunned for being unfaithful to their husbands. Today that has reversed Women who don’t complain get shunned.’

‘But this case isn’t at that scale.’

‘Now it’s me who doesn’t buy your theory.’

‘You could at least hear it out.’

‘Okay Jeff I’m listening.’

Their eyes locked. Jeff’s face reddened. Dyna knew she had this power to silence and wasn’t unwilling to use it now.

‘Another time.’ Jeff glared back at her and started up the stairs to exit the classroom. He tripped on the first one and fell.

‘Serves him right.’ Dyna thought with a small laugh.

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2019’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet