Love Sculpture Blues

 

What! Not another mp3 collection of obscurities covering several genres, decades & styles! 🙂 This one is filed under L for Love Sculpture. I have Blues Helping, Forms & Feelings. A Welsh blues band with unexpected progrock flash. Their take on Sabre Dance came up in my tumblr feed a few years ago. A fast metal version of the classical war horse that was great fun. So I did a quick search & downloaded their two lps. The Brits loved US blues & this is okay stuff – not John Mayall but okay.

Mayall wrote a couple of tributes to J.B. Lenoir, Here I have Lenoir’s Top 50 Classics. This is 50’s blues by a performer who died young but left a real legacy of music that influenced many. A deft guitar player his song cover all the bases: broken heart, political protest & voodoo boogie.

One Christmas I was given Legends of the Blues: A Robert Crumb illustrated book that included a great sampler cd of some of the artists (i.e. Bukka White, Big Joe Williams) discussed. The book is an excellent guide to the legends. A couple of which I sought out & so on this cd I have Blind Joe Reynolds: Outside Woman Blues – period recordings nicely preserved. & Henry Thomas: Texas Worried Blues. There is a fun frank sexual content to many of these tracks. Lines like ‘always going through somebody’s drawers.’ Coy smutty & direct at the same time.

Even more coy but not bluesy is Ivor Novello. I have the The Ultimate Collection. Nice period recordings of British music hall songs – some sentimental, some suggestive & all charming. Novello was the Elton John of his day (one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century) – smartly dressed, campy & talented.  To complete the circle started with Love Sculpture he was also Welsh.

It as another day to drag my ass to school. Drag Drag Drag would echo in my head as I forced myself out of bed. I had done my homework. I always did but didn’t remember a word of it. I could recite the lyrics to every Dylan song mind you but couldn’t recall the periodic table or even what it was I was supposed to be memorizing. Maybe it trig formulas  or the dates of historic moments. When was the Treaty of Utrecht signed. That has always plagued me. Lost so many jobs and ruined so many relationships when I didn’t have the answer to that one simple question. when was the Treaty of Utrecht signed. A question that I knew was bound to come up sooner or later and ruin everything as I drag drag drag my ass though life.

 


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More Than Love

A couple of one-hit-wonders songs from my highschool days have stuck with me. One is Seven and Seven Is by Love. It made me a fan but on the east coast finding their lps other than daCapo was all but impossible. In my collection I now have, as mp3s their First, daCapo, Four Sail, Forever Changes Concert, False Start (w/Hendrix) & Arthur Lee’s solo Vindicator; as stand alones: Forever Changes, Out Here.

Some I did have as lp but upgraded to mp3. daCapo is an amazing work, though Forever Changes is now revered at a modern classic. daCapo features Seven and Seven Is, plus Revelations – a nearly 18 minute track. The other songs are excellent pop too & the sound quality is excellent. They were on Elektra & were quickly eclipsed by The Doors. The record company put their push behind the easier to market Jim Morrison.

Each of Love’s albums is quite different – the first is garage rock pop; daCapo is more pop but with a Rolling Stones vibe; Four Sail has a Neil Young vibe; Forever Changes has a bit of an Astra Weeks feel. The live concert is sweet. Out Here is a cd I found here in Toronto & is good rock, pop. Arthur Lee is fascinating – a black, non-soul musician who had an uphill battle for recognition. Time for a bio pic of Arthur Lee.

Also on the mp3 collections are (naturally) The Lovin’ Spoonful: Daydream, Singles, Hums. I loved loved this band. The singles are classic radio pop, the lps add a nice mix of jug band & blues to their sound. This is music that makes me happy. Another 60’s classic is Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. The long title track made his reputation. The other songs are decent folky rock. For Brit balance I added Dave Mason’s Alone Together: British folksy rock from a sometimes member of Traffic.

The 2nd mp3 collection includes Canada’s The Collectors: First, Grass & Wild Strawberries – psychedelic band out of B.C. that still holds up today. I did mention earlier Count Five, so I added Rarities that includes a radio mix of Psychotic Reaction plus loads of other very garage band stuff. You might remember The Fool more for their trippy art work & clothes than for their Psychedelic Folk Essentials – very Incredible Stringband.

Wait there’s more! The obscure but enjoyable Erik: Look Where I Am – mild Moody Blues; Joey Scarbury: America’s Greatest Hero – a one-hit TV theme wonder, nice mild country rock songs. Someone posted a YouTube video of another obscure band: Wool: Wool – fun rock. I get to relive so many radio memories with Lou Christie’s Lightening Strikes: a hits compilation. The Gypsy Cried. Time for a bio pic of Lou Christie.

Finally is Donovan: Shadows of Blue -the most recent of all the music on these compilations. Yes he’s still alive, still recording & making okay music. Not the hippy dippy lyrics or the mystic feel of his early works – more of a comfortable country feel but his voice is recognizable.

Spring Gardening Tips

this is what I thought – he doesn’t care. I know it’s hard to see now why I thought that but that is what I thought – he doesn’t care – maybe it was because I didn’t really care myself. not many did actually but I didn’t want to admit it then. it was important that one appeared to care, right, so I was all about keeping up appearances. he wasn’t. even then it was clear he didn’t care. didn’t give a rat’s ass for anything. not even himself. I felt like my mother who planted a garden every summer regardless of badly it turned out.

my mother was working in the back yard. every spring she planted a garden. she was like that, hope would infuse her once the snow was gone and she would be on her knees digging in the dirt planting things for future generations. things that sort of grew then withered. she never found the right seeds. planting things that needed lots of sun in the darkest part of the the yard. things that liked it dry were always too close to the rain pipe. her intentions were good but her results were always dispiriting. she would sit on the back step smoking cigarette after cigarette as if some sort of tobacco ceremony was all that was needed to get the plants to grow like they did on the packages. I doubt if the cigarette ash was of much help.

the plants didn’t give a rat’s ass for her hopes, intentions, all they wanted the right soil. he wasn’t my right soil.


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Quantz Rachmaninov

 

Johann Joachim Quantz (1697 -1773) Flute Sonatas. Next are two cds of lp transfers of MHS albums. Quantz inspired both Bach & Mozart so I guess this count as back-to-the-roots music. The sonatas are for for various combinations – 1, 2 or 3 flutes. plus stand-alone Works for Baroque Traverse flute The solo flute pieces aren’t really solo but have a cello or harpsichord continuo to pillow the sound. All are dainty, charming, playful & relaxing. Rarely emotional.

Which is not the case with Sergei Rachmaninov. (1873 –1943). I have a pair of 2cd sets in with his Piano Concertos; the other with his Preludes. These are romantic masterpieces that are at times over-the-top melodrama. So dramatic that some pieces frequently turn up in in movies, cartoons almost as parodies of themselves. His music has inspired endless, uncountable movie soundtracks – when you hear a piano cadenza with stirring strings you can ‘blame’ Rachmaninov.

One of the things that often happens when I’m writing about these albums I get the urge for more. What can I say, plus the current covid19 crisis lock down, I needed a little diversion so I checked Rachmaninov on iTunes to see if there was something I could add, I was not disappointed & now I have Rachmaninov: The Complete Recordings – performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bernard Haitink & Concertgebouworkest. over 13 hours of music in 205 tracks. I’d say this is enough 🙂 I have listened to all & am quite pleased with it. His range is a little wider than I expected with some rather expressionist pieces. The work for two pianos is a delight.

If you want mood music for writing a Harlequin love story this is perfect. The influence of Liszt & Chopin cannot be denied but Rachmaninoff takes things to a different level of unapologetic sentimentality but never gets as sugary as Tchaikovsky. Needless to say I love Rachmaninoff. Like the other composers I mentioned he is emotionally open. He wears his heart on his sleeve as he pounds the piano not even taking the time to wipe the tears from his eyes.

The Cocktail

The restaurant staff went back to their duties. The other diners went back to their meals. The waiter brought a cocktail and put in front of him

“From the owner. Sorry for the confusion. I’ll be right back to take your order, sir.”

Joe smiled. Once again sticking to his guns had brought him a reward. He was about to take a sip when he was interrupted by a man in the booth behind him.

“Would mind not taking so loudly on your cell phone.” The man snapped.

“I am not taking on my cell phone.” Joe put the drink down. “I haven’t even taken it out of my pocket.”He patted the pocket to demonstrate that fact and realized he had left his cellphone at home.

“You just out it back there. I heard every word of that conversation you had. None of us are interested in your difficulties at work.”

“Here! Here!” Chimed in the older woman. “There should be a law against using those infernal things in public.”

“Agreed, madam. Some people have no shame about what they say and no respect for those us they inflict their obscenity riddled conversations on. I came here for a quite meal.”

Joe shank back into his booth. “I … I don’t have my cell phone here.”

“You calling me a liar?” The gentleman got up from his booth. His whiskered face red and puffed.

“What seems to be the problem.” The waiter materialized. “Oh! You again.”

“This man thinks I’ve been talking on a cell phone, when in fact,” Joe gave a small laugh. “I don’t have one with me.” He turned his coat pocket inside out to show it was empty.

“Harumph.” The bearded man went back to his booth.

“Enjoy your red zipper cocktail. I’ll be right with you to take your order.’

Joe sighed. He sipped his drink. It was a tart, clear, reddish concoction that tasted of strawberries and celery. He found it quite refreshing. It reminded him of his mother. How she would made sandwiches for his lunch at school. She would put unexpected things in them. His revere was broken by a short man bumping his table to get his attention.

“You didn’t flush.” The short man glowered at him.

“Flush?”

“Yes. You went to the bathroom and didn’t flush. I saw you go in.”

“Didn’t flush!” the man in the booth behind him said triumphantly. “I’ll bet he didn’t even wash his hands.”

“You would be right,” the short man continued. “Didn’t flush and left the steaming heap for me to face when I had to go in there.”

“I haven’t left my booth since I got here.” Joe protested. He held his hands out to show how clean there were.

“Your type is what makes going out for a meal such a torment. You know that don’t you. A Goddamned ordeal.” The short man walked away.

“Shame.” the older woman at the near by table smirked at him. “A man your age. I’m not surprised though. Ignorance is bliss. Isn’t it.” She laughed.



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Lofgrin Makes Me Smile


I have a nice collections of lps by Nils Lofgrin – some are lp to cd transfers & others downloaded. In the 70s he made some of the sweetest pop/rock around but never hit superstardom – perhaps by choice. I have Nils; Cry Tough; I Came To Dance; No Mercy; Night Fades Away; The Loner. Rounding out one of the mp3 collections is Al Kooper: I Stand Alone; Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker; Johnny Winter: Second Winter; Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name.

Nils has a pleasant voice, great song writing & a likeable springing bouncy guitar style that makes me want to dance. This is happy music without being corny or cloying. He’s played with Neil Young, he was a Bruce Springsteen Band member for decades too. The lps are full of great originals & lots of sweet covers of unexpected songs. The Loner are all covers of Neil Young songs. If you are unfamiliar start with I Came To Dance.

 

Al Kooper’s I Stand Alone is his first lp after leaving Blood, Sweat & Tears. It could be an extension of that lp in fact – similar experimental sound less horns. It was a disappointment at the time as fans expected it to duplicate BS&T. Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker – lps from different decades of the band. Grace is more soulful while Joker is out & out commercial brilliance. Miller’s guitar work drives both but on Grace has more laidback context.

Now for some local CanCon Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name. This is an ep I bought years ago at some place like The Central of the Supermarket when Matt featured at an event. The sound quality is excellent, the songs are good & his guitar playing is superb. Finally here is the amazing Johnny Winter’s Second Winter – I remember think – three sides! when this lp was first released. Winter is a guitar genius blues & rock with a touch of soul. This is a stunning set that is merciless in energy & attack. If you haven’t heard it do so asap.

The Bill

Joe was feeling pretty good. Better than he had felt in several weeks. Better than he had felt when he finally broke off with the guy he’d met on line who turned out to be a physically abusive drunk. Better no love than a bruise he had to explain.

Today he felt specially good because he had gotten through to his cable provider on the first phone call. No waiting and waiting and even better the service representative spoke without an accent. Not that he was racist but sometimes side had to know what was exactly being said. Joe felt good about that and also because the cable provider upgraded his cell phone for free with no activation charge just to get him to renew his contract. It was always good to know who to ask for someone in customer retention. So simple.

Yes, Joe was feeling very good as he entered his favorite restaurant. His favorite booth was free – one of the few that only sat two people. He had a book he was enjoying and he couldn’t wait to tell his favorite waiter about his success with the cable company.

Joe sat at the booth. Ken came over and put a bill on the table and walked away.

Joe looked at the bill. It was over two hundred dollars with several entrees. He figured Ken had made a mistake.

“Ken!” he waved the waiter over. “This isn’t my bill. I haven’t even ordered anything yet.”

“Are you refusing to pay?” Ken glared him.

“This isn’t my bill.” Loe’s heart began to beat faster. “I just got here. I haven’t had time to order anything. See the table is clear.”

Ken glanced at the table. “The table looks clean to me. Even if it wasn’t that’s no reason not to pay your bill. We get enough assholes in here.”

“But … but …”

“Young man,” an older lady at a nearby table glared at him. “Don’t give the waiter such a hard time. Pay him so we can get some service too.”

“But I haven’t ordered anything. I certainly didn’t order all this or have time to order it. Fried chicken, roast beef dinner,’ He began to read the items off the bill.

“Let me see that,” the maître d’ snapped the bill out of his hand. “What seems to be the problem Ken.”

“This guy refused to pay his bill.”

“This isn’t my bill.” Joe took a deep breath and kept his hands relaxed. 

The maître d’ glanced at the bill. “Of course if sir is contesting the total, we will add it up again.”

“I am not contesting the total …”

“He said his table wasn’t clean enough so he’s not paying it.’ Someone from another table added their two cents worth. “The tables here are always spotless.”

“Oh, we get your type in here far too often. Order a meal eat it then find some petty thing to complain about.” The maître d’ sneered.

“I have been coming in here for year and have never complained about anything.” Joe’s voice rose.

“No need to shout, sir.” The owner came from behind the front counter. “This is a respectable family restaurant. We can’t have that kind of language.”

“Here! Here!” Cheered the old lady from the nearby table. “Let me eat in peace.”

“But I didn’t say anything offensive.”

“Then just pay up like a good guy.” The owner patted Joe on the shoulder.

“But this isn’t my bill. I didn’t order any of this. I didn’t have any of these drinks. Apple screwdriver. Kafka flip. What ever that is.”

“Oh so your are saying this isn’t your bill. Is that what you are saying.” One of the cooks had come out of the kitchen and picked up the bill.”

“Yes that’s what I’m saying.”

“He’s right. Ken this isn’t this man’s bill. He is at table 12 the bill is for table 21.”

They all looked over to table 21 and a large gentleman grinned and waved at them. “I say, can we pay up and get out of here. I’m in a frightful hurry.”

Nils, Lofgrin, Al Kooper, Steve Miller Band, Johnny Winter, Matt Hryhorsky

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April
– April 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales – online

https://www.facebook.com/events/529712257592790/

June

travel restrictions means no 😦

Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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The Cutest Beatle

Who is the cutest Beatle? Who is the most talented? Did Yoko break up the best band in the world? None of these questions will be answered here 🙂 All I can say for sure is that John Lennon was the uncut Beatle. Yes, that’s right I’m looking at my John Lennon music collection – not the shirts.

A few years ago I downloaded a bit set of what purports to be all his solo work (though Yoko appears frequently enough.) So I have, as mp3, on 2 cds: Unfinished Music: Two Virgins; Wedding Album; Live Peace in Toronto 1969; Plastic Ono Band; Imagine; Some Time in NYC; Live in NYC; Mind Games; Walls & Bridges; Shaved Fish; Rock’n’Roll; Double Fantasy; Milk & Honey. Of these the only one I had as lp was Walls & Bridges. 

Of the Beatles I would say John was the most adventurous (yes I know McCartney did some electronica) & at one point was avant-garde thanks to Yoko & their early sound collage work. Though I suspect Virgins/Wedding work more of a fuck you to the pop music industry – similar to Lou Reed’s Metal Music. These aren’t lps I feel drawn back to more than every ten years.

I enjoy much of his studio work once he got over his collage mood. The albums all have tracks I enjoy, tracks that have become classics. He was the most directly political of the Beatles & never really followed pop trends. The only one of his lps that I actually bought, when it was first released, was Walls & Bridges. Probably his most Beatlesque work.

To round out the mp3 cds I added The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1965 – the Beatles sing against a backdrop of ceaseless screaming. George Harrison w Bob Dylan: New Morning Sessions; self-titled. The Dylan sessions are sweet but probably more interesting to real fans. The ‘self-titled’ flows with his mystic explorations & love songs. Julian Lennon: Valotte – solid pop from the son of John who looks & sounds like his dad. Finally Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run – I love this album. Paul has real pop smarts & this of all his recordings is the best. I’ve listened to much of his other work & well, who cares.

Magazine Machismo 

I am walking down the street across from the park. Fall. Leaves swirling around me. I spot a few colourful magazine pages caught in a wrought iron fence. As I get closer I discern faces, bodies on the pages. I pull them off. They are pictures of naked men. Full color but not fully naked. These men have on panties, stockings, their dicks can be seen through the sheer fabric. Faces pouting. 

I look around alarmed, afraid someone might see me looking at this that I just happened to pick up. There is no one around. 

I turn the pages over and more of the same photos only  in black & white. There were no other pages swirling in the wind. Where had they come from? I had never seen anything like this before. I guess I was 14 15 at time time. I’d had my own dreams about naked men but never ones that included this sort of fantasy.

I was astounded, alarmed and puzzled all at the same time. I didn’t have any sort of role model to follow and these pictures seemed almost logical – gay men wanted to be women in some way. But I didn’t want to be a woman in anyway, so maybe I wasn’t a really queer after all.

I looked at the pictures a few more times in a street light. Again making sure there was no one around to see me looking. Had someone planted them to be found and where they watching from some window to see who would take them, linger over them.  Where had they flown from to be caught in the wind, tossed around with the leaves like this.

I shoved them in the first garbage bin I came across. I felt free without them, without those faces, cocks, garters, daring me to consider things I didn’t how to consider.

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April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales

Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -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

The Right Price

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

The Right Price

Nothing was the right size. He stood in the centre of the hotel room. The windows were too high to look out of and were too large for the room. Standing on tip-toe he could get a brief glimpse of the high-rise across the street.

It strained his neck to keep looking outside. His suitcase took up half the bed. The bed would clearly be too small for him to stretch out on. The desk was more like ledge. There wasn’t enough room under it for his legs. Not enough room for the top for his laptop to open properly. The chair back came half-way up his spine and offered no support when he leaned back.

The wall-to-wall carpet wasn’t quite wall-to-wall. One one side there was a bare angle of concrete floor that hadn’t been covered. The sink in the bathroom was so low he had to stoop to get his hands under the taps to splash tepid water on his face. There was no cold or hot just lukewarm. The shower stall door didn’t close properly so water splashed out on the floor when he took a shower.

Nothing was the right size except for the price.


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Swami Hart and Beyond

One Christmas many years ago a friend gave me Antonio Hart’s (alto saxophonist) Don’t You Know I Care that he had picked up at a yard sale. It was just the cd – no jewel case. Pleasant & non-challenging jazz – solid playing, sweet arraignments & great starter for someone new to jazz. I created an mp3 version for a fun collections of jazz (& other) classics.

Some of these musicians I knew by reputation, others I searched out after seeing lp covers posted by an lp cover Tumblr one halloween 🙂 So here is Horace Silver (piano): Horace-Scope, Song For My Father – swinging, exploratory & emotional work that I enjoy more each time I hear it. Horace-Scope was the spooky cover & I added Father to hear more. It was Archie Shepp’s (saxophonist) The Magic of Ju-Ju cover that lead owing loading it. I add his The Way Ahead as well. This too is solid, swinging at times, challenging & occasionally dissonant but worth having. Shepp’s work with Abby Lincoln is worth searching out too.

The title of dummer Philly Joe Jones Sextet’s Blues For Dracula is reason enough to add this one. Propulsive & aggressive there is nothing scary here except the quality of playing. Not easy listening by any means & great for writing. The same is true for Jackie McLean’s  (saxophone) Demon’s Dance – it lives up to the cover & the title. Restless music for restless creative minds.

Also here is Steve Marcus’s  (saxophone) Tomorrow Never Knows – this is an excellent jazz exploration of 60’s psychedelic pop. One track has the sax riff that propels Gerry Rafferty’s Beaker Street. This is a lost classic lp that deserves a resurgence. Be warned this is not an instrumental walk-though of 60’s pop – the group peoples these pieces inot our bop & it is well worth the listen. Unlike Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Best Of – which are nostalgic & safe for family listening.

To lighten the mood of this collection & also Ron Goodwin’s soundtrack music for Miss Marple, Lancelot, Force 10 – the Marple is jolly fun, the other two are heroic action music. Finally is  Swami Jr. (Brazillian acoustic guitar player (7-string)) Mundos e Fundos – Jr is an amazing guitarist I found out via … well, I’m not sure how found him but the name made him worth checking out. I have a few lps by him each is romantic & satisfying He’s worth checking out.

more of the very rough draft from Isle St. Nuit

Mike hated airports. Too many people going to places he’d never go to. Too many announcements. he checked his ticket print out with the constantly flickering board of arrivals and departures to double check he was heading in the right way, to be sure they hadn’t changed the gate, the flight number gate. 

Twice he’d been startled by the appearance of large black men who were the shape and size of Xavier. His heart raced till he got a good look at the face. As if this would be how it would continue – him running into Xavier at the airport on his way to somewhere.

What would he do it if that had happened. Throw his arms around him. What if Xavier acted as if he’d never seen him, which was most likely what woud happen. Yet he hoped even that would happen. Just  for one more look.

They would glance, Xavier would nod to the washroom and Mike would follow eagerly. Put his bag down t to be taken away by the ever alert airport security. 

Mike would follow Xavier into the handicapped stall – one big enough for two men. Xavier would already be there. Unzipped. Hard. Mike would drop to his knees and ….

“Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. All passengers needing assistance should report to the gate now. thank you. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Tous les passagers ayant besoin d’aide doivent se présenter à la porte maintenant. Merci.” 

Mike hunched his shoulder, pulled his shoulder bag closer to him. Finished his coffee and walked through the door to gate 9. 

In the plane he kept his eyes on his magazine. He didn’t want to look out the window. Didn’t want to see the city disappear with so much of himself still there.

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January

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

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

Piston, Poulenc and Chopin

I have a couple of stand-alones by Walter Piston (1894 – 1976) Violin Concertos, Chamber Music that I picked up in 2004 at HMV. This was part of my musical education to see/hear was happening in modern classical music. I am familiar with other genres of non-mainstream – electronic, free jazz, prog rock. Walter Piston (an ideal porn name, if you ask me) is one of several respected American composers whom I had never heard of until I did a bit of research.The music, to me, not all that memorable. Technically challenging violin concertos are fine but I am not the audience  – this is music for musicians more than it is music for the general public. I don’t find myself drawn back to it as I am with Gershwin or Copeland.

Next on the shelf is an mp3 collections headed by Francis Poulenc. He is best know for his opera Dialogues des Carmélites (which I don’t have) but I had an lp of his Concerto champetre – a fun harpsichord concerto full of mood, percussive keyboard work & charm. I downloaded this version as part of a set of his orchestral suites which are engaging & almost impressionist.

So it made sense to add some Scriabin to this collection. So here is Le Poem de l’extase, Concerto for Piano, Le Poeme du Feu. This is brilliant, moody work that is lush, romantic & full of sonic intrigue. Not here, but which I have, are his piano sonatas that are also brilliant. Scriabin was gifted with synesthesia: seeing music as colours & beautiful colours at that. He was greatly influenced by Chopin.

Which lead to adding Jan Lisiecki (1995) recording of Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1/2, from 2009. Yes, he was a prodigy but his playing is emotional & sensitive. There was/is some quibble about a performer so young tackling the classics. I have other recordings of these concertos & his take is excellent.

 

Finally in this collection is the Shutter Island soundtrack. This a soundtrack that doesn’t need the movie – Max Richter pieces are somber, eerie, almost spiritual & clearly inspired by Scriabin atonal work.  The classical pieces add to the sense of darkness. The movie itself is high-drama, dark & stormy night, psychobabble spookiness that needs a soundtrack to work.

Are You Ready

My nervous pacing was as clear to me now as if it was yesterday not a month ago, when I first hooked up with Devon. Double-checked to make sure the buzzer system was working and the lobby channel was on the TV so I could keep an eye for who was coming & going. I wasn’t sure what to expect even though I had seen his profile picture & the few others he had sent me. The lobby camera was crap for detail so I was never sure what purpose it served. Even though I was expecting him I jumped when the phone rang at his buzz. 

Devon was exactly what I would have wanted. Smelt good. Looked good in and out of his jeans and was eager to get out of them too. We even managed some conversation after the sex. I agreed to meeting him again and again. Now a month had passed and we were actually seeing each other not just hooking up. We’d worked out a routine where by he’d phone or text when he was a few minutes away. Tonight, for the first time, we were doing something outside, in the real world, where people would see us together.

My cell phone rang. I answered automatically.

“I’m in the lobby.”

“I’ll be right down.”

He was pacing when I got to the lobby. I reach out to kiss him when my cell rang again. I answered it.

“Are you ready to die?” A voice I nearly recognized.

“Excuse me?”

Dial tone. Unknown number.

“What was it?” Devon asked me.

“Wrong number.” I laughed. It had to be. Who would want to harm me?

On the sidewalk I looked around. Wasn’t this how that movie started? Was someone watching me from one of those windows, giggling as I looked around to see if someone was watching me from one of those windows? I put phone into my coat pocket. 

“Don’t forget where it is this time.” Devon mimed patting his pockets and then his shoes looking for a phone.

It rang again. I got it on the first ring.

“Are you ready to die?”

Dial tone before I had time to say anything. Unknown number.

“What is it?”

My face must have paled this time. The first time I wasn’t sure I heard what I heard. This time I was sure.

“Some guy asked me if I was ready to die.”

“Is that d-i-e or d-y-e? Sounds like some weird promo for a hair salon if you ask me.”

“Or a movie.”

“Seriously. Someone is calling you with death threats. Go to the police.”

“These are first & so far the only such threats I’ve ever received.”

“What does he say? I’m assuming it’s a he.”

“I am too but they are so brief I can’t really say for sure. He says ‘Are you ready to die.’ ”

“You know the voice.”

“No. It’s not like those heavy breathers in the movies. Not even threatening. Matter of fact. Are you ready for dinner. Let’s meet for coffee – sort of normal.”


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

Killdozer

I read a review of Killdozer’s Little Baby Buntin’ & was intrigued enough to pick up the cassette. The band isn’t quite grind core but is relentlessly metal with blistering crude sexually loaded lyrics & spoken sections. I love it when they come up in my playing rotation. I ‘up-graded’ to mp3 eventually & add their  God Hears the Pleas of the Innocent. It extends their sound. The band has humour & the lp covers are a delight.

Similar to them is Gay Bykers on Acid. I have Drill Your Own Hole, and Stewed To The Gills. These are songs about tension, the crush of popular culture. Excellent samples layered with guitar, thudding drums, sardonic lyrics delivered with insinuating gusto. Another band I discovered after reading a review. Plus couldn’t resist their name or that title. Another that started as a cassette then upgraded.

With them is the much more pop Aerosmith’s Pump. This was the huge comeback for the band & is a great lp of hits, muscular driving, heterosexist songs about love, drugs & being masculine.  More of the same out of Little Caesar. I have their First; & Redemption. This is metal music with abs, it is so muscular & writhing. I love their Motown covers.

Finally on this mainly metal mp3 cd is the soundtrack from The Return of the Living Dead. Metal that veers into rock-a-billy, tracks that are glam-rock with a sprinkling of actual dialogue from the film. The film is excellent, the music is superb. I had an lp to cassette transfer at one time, then opted to upgrade to mp3 version, which also had bonus tracks. Fun music that lives without the movie.

The Smell of Money

I heard the shower start. 

“You still want to join me?” Juan stepped out of the room naked and smiling.

“In a minute.”

He went back in.

I picked up his clothes from the floor, felt the weight of his wallet in his jacket and took it out, flipped it open to his i.d. 

‘Juan Pietro Cardosa’ 

He had given me his real name. Not quite as young as he claimed, But we all do that. Several twenties, fifties, even a couple of hundreds. I’d be nervous carrying that much cash around. Credit cards all with the same Cardoso name. I fingered the cash, became aroused, pulled out a twenty and put the wallet back. There was no rush like that quick little hit from someone you might care for. Better than money in the bank is money from someone else’s wallet. 

I rubbed the twenty around my balls. The feel of, not so hard, but cold cash made me harder. I stepped into the bedroom, stuck the twenty in a box in the bottom drawer of the dresser in a box with other recent cash deposits. 

I stepped into the shower. He had picked the woodsy body wash that Gary liked so much.

“Nice choice.” I slid around him, belly rubbing his back, then his rubbing mine, erections teasing cracks of asses, belly to belly. Hot water and slick with soap. The woodsy vanilla being rewritten as Juan’s scent. 

Kissing, drying, & laughing we pushed each other to the floor, onto the bed.

He nosed my pubes a moment then stopped. “You smell like money. I love that smell.”

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

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

Thursday 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

Oh K Corral

Thanks to MTV Angelique Kidjo’s fifa got much deserved exposure with its mix of traditional sound & funkiness. Her voice is rich & emotional and the songs fine. At times its like Osibisa with a female lead singer. I great piece fo world-music & an excellent start for anyone wanting to explore African music.

 

Kesha’s first videos were like a teenage boy’s sexual fantasy fulfilled – no – I’d go further as the sexually bold almost under-age female she projected appealed  to many straight men. The music was danceable, touches of electronic, a hint of hip-hop made her an  Animal. Slickly produced and carefully packed she was a hit. Turns out she wasn’t just a package that was easy to handle, she had a mind of her own & a sense of what she wanted form her music career, which lead to conflict with her manager & her record label. Men who clearly knew what was best for this upstart brat. Slutty girls sell but she didn’t want to be exploited fought back, was silences for a whole then came back with Rainbow. A great set of angry, joyful & thoughtful material. Plus, like Lady Gaga, Kesha can actually sing.

 

Next are stand-alones by the Killers: Hot Fuss; Sam’s Town; Sawdust; Day & Age. I can’t call myself a fan though. I enjoy these when they come up in rotation but haven’t felt called to play them outside of that rotation. A strong pop rock band – a ‘tougher’ version of Coldplay.

The songs are catchy, engineering is spot on, but I doubt if I could tell them from Star Sailor or Lifehouse – bands with a similar rock sound. I picked these up all on sale at different time for about $4.99 each.

 

How Old

“How old are you?”

That question always came at the wrong moment, not that there was a right moment to ask me that. I had to mentally flip through the various profiles I had on line, which one had been my introduction to Juan. 

“Is that relevant?” I pulled Juan’s fly down then undid his belt buckle. “We’re both old enough for this.”

“Yeah.”

This was our third time together. This time had been an actual date. Movie, drinks after, then back to my place. The first two times had been walk in drop to the floor naked. That always satisfied me but he pushed for more. I was open to that as well. Getting to know you as I’m getting to blow you.

We struggled out of clothes in the living room.

“Gotta take a leak.”

“You know the way by now.”

I gave him a few minutes to do his business then pushed the bathroom door open. He was looking at the body wash on the shelf by the shower.

“Time to come clean?” I was about to turn the shower on. I grabbed the body wash that reminded me of Gary, now I hoped it would remind me of Juan. 

“I’m old enough to shower by myself.” He nudged me out of the bathroom & shut the door.

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

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