Prine Prick At A Price

As a stand alone I have Lloyd Price’s Lawdy Miss Clawdy. It was one of The Essential Blue Archive series that were budget price compilations of early r’n’b artists. I knew the ‘hit’ from golden oldies but that was it. This is an excellent collection, the sound quality is excellent too. A fine voice & great New Orleans style blues, soul & worth having.

Another stand alone is Prick’s 1995 cd. I heard the song ‘Animal’ on a College Music Journal compilation CD & loved the guitar sound & the satisfying flesh ripping effect. The lp is aggressive without being pounding. Subversive songs & not a commercial success as the band didn’t care about radio or MTV appeal.

By John Prine I have lp to cd transfers of John Prine 1971 that includes ‘Hello In There’; Diamonds in the Rough 1972: includes “The Frying Pan” “Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You”; Sweet Revenge 1973; as mp3 – Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings 1995. His sound is labelled country-folk, sort of a less rock version of John Cougar Mellencamp. I loved his acerbic humorous merciless & sometimes emotionally stunning lyrics. A critics darling but never a huge public success. Maybe thanks to lyrics like ‘there’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes.’

His songs are stories as opposed to let’s dance or I love you & ‘a note in the frying pan said she ran off with the fuller brush man’ His influence is seen in Mellencamp, Springsteen & Jackson Browne. Even Bette Midler has covered his songs! Diamonds in the Rough is a good starter if you are unfamiliar with this amazing songwriter.

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

A Non-Obscure Canadian

He was Canadian! He had a hit record! It was sort of folk but not Gordon Lightfoot style! What was the world coming to? Yes, I remember when Leonard Cohen’s first album was released. It was on a major label! Not some semi-obscure Canadian label (was there in fact a non-obscure Canadian label?)02door01The album art of the woman in chains and in flames. Those lyrics: ‘the room filled up with mosquitoes when they heard your body was for free.’ He made a big splash & was no teen idol. merely a Jewish intellectual Canadian poet with a hit record that wasn’t rock but was also far from easy listening. The songs were real poetry.

I played that 1st lp grey, replaced it more than once. Was thrilled to hear his songs in McCabe & Mrs. Millar (one of my all time favourite movies). There must have been dozens of covers of Suzanne over the next year. 02door02I don’t think he was prepared for the reception for that first album. His singing style was low key, the music okay but the mood was, for many, impossible to resist. Sort of glum, romantic, ironic and full of Dylan Thomasesque imagery. The first real e.m.o star.

In my collection I have two mp collections: on the first is: Songs, Songs From A Room, Songs of Love & Hate, Death of A Ladies Man, Various Postitions, I’m Your Man, Jennifer Warnes.02door04From a room was more of the same; Love & Hate a live recording. Sweet images jumble from both of these – ‘santa comes forward there’s a razor in his mitt.’ Musically not different from his first lp but those lyrics stuck to me. Then I sort of lost interest because – his producers tried to give him a pop veneer than didn’t grab me. I didn’t follow him until The Future (more about that next week).

When I began to rebuild my past on cd I started to add work I had neglected. Death, Various, Man: which are solid, if musically uninspiring. There are brilliant lyrics though, but he seems to have lost direction. He worked with different producers, including Phil Spector with indifferent results.  Each has stunning songs though: Halleluija; Take This Waltz. The Jennifer Warnes is a sweet set of her covers of Cohen songs.

02door03To round out this first cd I added John Prine’s: Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings. Another fine singer song writer full of romantic angst, bitter, sharp lyrics but with a totally different musicality from Cohen, so it offers a nice contrast to the rest of the material while fitting in perfectly. There’ll be more about Prine when I get ‘p’.



Fran had left her slippers in the front porch.

‘Where are you going?’ he mother asked.

‘To get my slippers.’

‘Dressed like that?’

‘Like what mother.’

‘In your pj’s. It’s so common. You were brought up better than that.’

‘I suppose I was. Perhaps you’d like to get them for me.’

‘How did they get out there in the first place.’


‘Don’t get sassy with me.’

Fran opened the screen door and snatched in her slippers.

‘I don’t think anyone saw me. I was as a fast as a bunny.’

‘What am I going to do with you child? What?’ She brushed Fran’s hair back from her forehead. ‘Such a face too. You’ll break hearts before you get married.’

‘Marriage is too good for the likes me. It is so common too don’t you think.’

‘What are you going on about?’

‘Just that marriage is so common these days. Too bad they don’t last. That Gail Davis next door had a yard sale of her ex’s stuff. ’

‘Fran you are too young to worry about such matters.’

‘Future must be planned. That’s what Dad says and I’m just planning mine. I think I want to join the the Intergalactic Spousal Corps.’


‘Yes. Two of the recruiters where at our school this afternoon. So pretty and excited. It’s adventure and opportunity. “I woman can do what no other can.” ’

‘You mean you would want to leave your family, leave your home, the earth and … and … breed like that?’

‘That’s not what it is at all Mother. It’s an opportunity to explore new worlds, to keep the human race at the forefront of life everywhere.’

‘You sound just like a TV show – go boldly go. You haven’t signed up for anything have you?’

‘No. I wanted to talk to you about it first. To you and Dad but we know who has the final word around here about anything.’

‘Yes. You.’

‘I mean you Mother. Haven’t you ever longed for something more than this. Than kids and Dad and laundry.’

‘I have my work too you know.’

‘Writing isn’t real work Mother.’

‘It isn’t!”

‘You know what I mean.’

‘No, I don’t know what you mean. You think raising alien offspring is any different from raising real kids like you? It’s the same only now you have to worry about real toxic waste. I’ve been researching the inter-species breeding program and it isn’t all a bed of roses.’


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

June TBA: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC – I’m registered 🙂


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Raised by Noir Wolves

Cabaret Noir started the new year off in fine style with dynamic sets from Brock Hessel, David Bateman & music by Cap & Kev. Kevin, at the Central, with zydeco then French Pop 60’s playlists created a great mood for the show.


I’d seen Brock perform recently and was eager to hear what new material he had. His first piece about a bathhouse Betty introduced us to his relentlessly pointed observations of gay and pop culture, politics and the mental health system. ‘Someone called me an asshole – how can a part of me represent the whole?’ He closed with Joanne’s Hands or is Johanda’s Hands – a no-holds-bars milking of Canadian cultural icons from Layton to Lightfoot.


  Next up was David Bateman. I’ve heard David several times and each time he’s had strong new pieces, so I was looking forward to his latest observations, stories and maybe a haiku or two. No haiku’s but a fine long memory piece: ‘I kissed her husband ten times, deeply,’ ‘raised by wolves in a badly furnished den,’ ‘now that I’m too old to die young.’ The piece was rich with cultural references: KFC, Dairy Queen, trailer parks and assassinations.


This is the first time I’ve heard musical feature Cap & Kev, as Cap & Kev – as members of I Hate Todd – I’ve heard them in various combinations with other circle of jerkers. A violin & acoustic guitar duo they treated us to a great set of mid-tempo, adult, folksy material. The violin added warm, Celtic accents that took me back to my coffee house days in Cape Breton. They mixed original material with some great covers of John Prine, The Pretenders (!!) & Death Cab. When they started Brass in The Pocket I was slightly dismayed but Cap seized that song & turned it into her own with a dynamic performance. Loved their hockey song as well – not sure what it was called but it scored.

A Noir full house made for a great start for 2014 (plus an all too brief lap dance for me from Nelson Sobral.)




Jess looked down at the knife. It was in her hand. She held it. Clutched it would be more accurate. It was embedded in her grip and the sight of the silver blade gripped her.

She held it at arm’s length to keep it as far from her face as possible.

“Is this a dagger before me?” She breathed the words into the cold air, her breath a cloud of frost before her. A cloud that for a brief moment hid the knife from her.

The moon reflected from the beads of her breath as they formed a frost pattern on the blade. Cold hard steel that would liberate her, free her people, if she wielded it properly.

“The Word will come to pass.” Jess held the blade over head, the tip of it grazing the low branch of the oak tree above her. Where it grazed a thin spark of blue appeared and vanished.

“The Tower of the east will no longer have the power to possess.” She turned to the east with the tip of the dagger aimed in that direction.

“The Fires of the south will no longer have the warmth to boil the life out of our souls.” She muttered as she moved the point of the dagger to the south.

“The Watch of the west will lose all grip on reality, on the word she thinks holds her intact.” The blade vibrated for a moment as it locked into true west. “You can resist but only for this moment.”

“The Desert of the north will blow across the land only one more time.” She brought the blade point to north. “We will allow it only one last time to cover all the land with the healing power of dryness. Then life will spring anew.”

She directed the blade at the rocky ground beneath her and with all her force drove the point into stone. The stone shattered and separated beneath her feet. The very planet shook for an instant.

“Earth has been moved for this moment. As has been written the Spirit of Life has been set free again. All elements will be bound together for ever.”

Jess tugged the dagger. It was solid in the stone. With all her might she pulled but it resisted. This was not the way it was to be. If all was done right the dagger would slide out easily from the stone to reach once more past the moon and to the sun as it rose.

If she did not raise the dagger high she didn’t know what the consequence might it. It would not be good.

She stopped tugging a moment and held the handle gently in her hand.

“You take what you need from the earth.” She wiped her brow and gently slid the dagger out. The silver blade was now black, with no reflection. She couldn’t tell where the blade ended and the night began.