Jones and King

I loved Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings old-school soul sound from the first moments of the first track on Naturally. I read a rave review of her somewhere & for once wasn’t disappointed. The same is true of 100 Days & I Learned The Hard Way. Great songs, great band, fine Dap Kings horn section & Sharon’s voice – it all seems so effortless – like stepping into a time machine into a 1968 r’n’b review. If you’ve never her you are missing something.

Not next on the shelf but close enough is Carol King’s Tapestry plus an mp3 collection that includes her Music; Rhymes & Reasons; Fantasy. Tapestry was one of those unavoidable albums – everyone I knew in Sydney had a copy of it, except for me. Not that I didn’t like it but I found some of it too limpid – I was a Led Zeppelin fan 🙂 Too peaceful, as is nearly all her music.

In the mp3 collection I also have Françoise Hardy’s Le Premier Bonheur du Jour – I had an lp copy of this I bought in Montreal sometime in the 90’s. It is her 2nd release & is full of sweet girl pop. She was the French version of Marianne Faithful – gentle rock/folk innocence.  

Also Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs – mainly Brecht (gasp!). I had a cassette transfer of this given to me by a friend & I replaced that with mp3 download. I love her voice, her phrasing & the songs, all in German, are classics. Never a big US star, like Detrich, Lenya is a treasure.

More French, this time PQ with Monique Leyrac: Les Grands Succes, Chant Leclerc. An international music icon who could rival Celine Dion, Monique ever courted the US market & as a result never achieved the same celebrity status as Celine. I love her versions of Pendant Que & Mon Pays both included in Grands. An amazing voice 

Beatrice Lillie: The Very Best of – Canada’s own darling 🙂 great comic timing, excellent songs that straddle English musical hall & Broadway. Very funny.

Free Your Mind

‘Peaches … readers … congratulations … filling … piecrust … rodents … ski … slope … car … carpet … time … clocks … grass … lawn.’ Jeff shouted each word as loudly as he could. ‘Green … tickle … piano … anger … cage … French … carpet.’

‘You already said carpet.’ Paul muttered.

‘Thanks … regrets … simplicity … theatre … teachers … dy-no-mite … carbonated … selections … execution.’ He stopped for a breath.

‘Are we getting close to the end of this?’ Paul yawned.

‘Conclusion … finality … death … roadwork … cantaloupe … comic … trigger … shovel … lawn.’

‘You’ve already said lawn.’

‘Repetition … suspicion … furtive … creep … birthday … cardigan.’ Jeff glanced at his watch. Another minute to go. ‘Devious … bible … wedding … swimming  … sand … teeth … filling … candy … spoon.’ He stopped.

‘Is that it?’ Paul began to stand up. 

‘Yep. For now. You should try it.’

‘It sounds pointless to me.’

‘Frees the mind. If anyone needed to free their mind, it’s you.’

‘Thank you. But I’ll stay stuck, rather than sound like a street person off his meds.’

‘Go on try. Say the first thing that comes to mind. Let the words spring up without trying to make sense of them.’

‘No I’d rather stick to cohesive links.’

‘As if that produces anything. You need to learn how to free your mind.’ Jeff grabbed Paul in a head lock and rubbed his head with his knuckles. ‘Come on let it out … let it out.’

‘Get the fuck away from me.’ Paul shoved Jeff aside. ‘Idiot  … asshole … fuck head … prick face. How’s that?’

‘Not random enough. Too much thinking and purpose behind each of them. You need to liberate the editor and let the subconscious well up and flow out. It really clears out the mind and sets you up for what you really want to say.’

‘Look, I know what I really want to say, and that is, that you are an idiot.’

‘That’s merely what you think you want to say to hide what you subconscious is thinking.’

‘I see, so this ‘shout it out’ process also makes you psychic?’

‘Doesn’t take esp to see how uptight you are. Come on just let it loose. The words will set you free. Try it.’

‘Boxer uh midget uh delicate uh…’

‘Louder and don’t select. The right word is the one that appears. Go on you can do it.’

every Tuesday 2019


Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors


Stratford Festival – The Crucible


The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C. 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s – sweet, eh?

Haley to Hardy

 I have as a stand-alone Bill Haley and His Comets:  From The Original Master Tapes – This is total nostalgia not memory. I was a radio addict growing up & occasionally his hits would show up on program as a golden oldie. Then they were too rock-a-billy for me as opposed to rock-and-roll. My idea fo rock was the Beatles. By the time I picked up this Cd in 1999 I was familiar enough with the songs. But listening to them doesn’t bringing back any real moments the way a lot of music can for me.

Next under H is Françoise Hardy. I had Le premier bonheur as lp – which I bought in Montreal in the mid-90s at La marche (I think that’s what it was called) which was a huge 2nd hand lp, cassette, book store. When I visited I would spend hours flipping through the endless bins of lps. My hands would be black from the flipping. I was attempting to learn French via music.

Le premier bonheur was one of her first release. She started her career in the 60’s career. Her whispery voice clearly inspired Feist. Françoise was a huge European star, sold as the equivalent of Dusty Springfield. The songs on the early lps are a sweet French version of gentle rock & folk-rock & I love them.

Now I have Le premier bonheur, and Comment Te Dire tucked onto various mp3 collections. Also as mp3 I have Vingt Ans, Vingt Titres: which as you might guess is a best off that covers her from the start. As stand-alones I have two other collections: La Collection: which covers her early career; also Les Plus Belle Chansons: which covers her later work. 

As she aged she took more control of her material. She dropped the little girl voice, moved away from the folk-rock & became a chanteuse. Adult pop, jazz & even blue. I consider her one of the prime influencers of many female vocalists today who might even realize what an influence she has been. Try her early work for a sense of innocence that is quite delightful.

Simple Santa

Blake glanced around the mall – looked from one side to the other as he walked from one entrance to the the other. It was early in  the day and not too busy. He could smell the food court coffee. He had  enough time for that.

The bank would open soon. The jewellery store clerk was getting things put into the front display window. Normal. For now.

He continued out the exit and to the truck.

‘Well how does it look?’ Frank asked him.

‘Same as it did the last two morning.’

‘No one notice you or anything?’

‘Oh yeah, the security guy asked me what I was up to.’

‘Oh shit!’

‘Look, I’m joking. Here.’

He handed Frank a muffin and coffee. ‘Had to buy something to throw off suspicion.’

‘How much longer.’

They both looked a their watches. ‘Ten minutes,’

‘You sure you want to go through with this?’

‘Yes. You?’

‘Don’t have much choice do we.’

‘You got the costumes?’

‘Right here.’

Frank opened the garment bags. Rich velvet red Santa suits, full white beards. He handed a beard to Black.

‘Feels like the real thing.’

‘I should hope so at this price.’

The two men changed into their Santa suits.

‘Look good.’

‘You too.’


‘A little. I’m sure glad we checked out the mall a few times though.’

‘It’s always good to know what we’re in for.’

‘If only everything was this simple.’

‘Wait till we’re done and we’ll see just simple it all is.’

‘You ready?’


They walked to the store. Each headed for a different entrance.

‘Hey Mommy. It’s Santa.’

‘Ho ho ho,’ Blake replied. ‘Have you been a good little girl?’

‘Oh yes. Haven’t I Mom.’

Mom smiled. ‘Depends on what you call good.’

‘Can I sit on his lap now.’

‘Ho ho. Not yet little one. You’ll have to wait till I get to the North Pole booth. There’ll be lots of time then.’

‘And a photo. I really have to have a photo. Can’t we get one now?’

‘Mommy doesn’t have a camera dear.’ The mother tugged the little girl away.

‘There’s one inside. Don’t worry.’

‘Okay Santa and I have been a really good girl. Really. Don’t listen to my Mom.’

‘I never do.’

Blake went to the Santa booth near the entrance. Frank had one at the other end of the Mall. Chances were that the same kids wouldn’t see there were two of them. If they did, a little suffering was always good for the soul.

every Tuesday

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

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