Diggin’ Led Zeppelin

I picked up ‘Diggin’ My Potatoes’ a stand-alone compilation of Leadbelly tracks – original vintage recordings that have been sonically cleaned up. There were several such compilations of various blues artists released on the Blue Label. HMV had them on sale for $4.99 each. Excellent liner notes alone made it worth the price. The songs are classics – Rock Island Line, CC Rider – that have been recorded by so many rock, blues country groups it is good, & important, to hear these originals. Some of which are funnier & more sexual than expected.

One band that was influenced by Leadbelly is Led Zeppelin. I still remember hearing the first riffs of that first track when their first lp was released. I love it, I loved it all – though I did find the drum solo (on II) aimless & too long, but the guitar work was wicked. I have as stand-alones: I, II, III, IV, Houses of the Holy as mp3: Physical Graffiti, Live at the BBC.Each has tracks I love & some tracks I merely tolerate 🙂 I love the sonics on Houses Of The Holy – the songs are moodier it is my favourite of all the lps. The BBC sessions are amazing & shows Zeppelin’s prog rock side more clearly than any of the lps do.

On the mp3 collection that includes Physical Graffiti is: Donnie Elbert’s The Best Of: slightly obscure 60’s soul singer with a great voice. Best of The Big Bopper: a less obscure r’n’b rock singer with a string of well-know hits (Chantilly Lace). He has a great sexy voice that makes innocent into suggestive. Five Stair Steps: The First Family of Soul – best remembered for OOH Child they are the prototype for The Jacksons.

It made sense to me to add The Spiral Staircase’s More Than Yesterday here. Best remembered for that title song they produced fine blue-eyed soul. Unlike the rest is Zal Yanovsky’s Alive & Well In Argentina – a founding member of the Lovin’ Spoonful he left because of their commercial direction. He managed this one solo release which is fun but more for fans of the obscure like myself 🙂 Finally something a little more modern Van Morrison’s Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue. More about this when I get to M.

 

Snow

“Goddammit! We’re going to Hell in a handkerchief.” My gran stopped to take a breath.

“What?” I didn’t want to stop shovelling but I’d never her swear or ever heard that ‘handkerchief’ phrase.

“I said we’re all going to Hell in a handkerchief. The way folks complain, I mean, a little snow is no big thing but it’s top news story at six.”

I kept shovelling. The snow had been falling for two days when my Dad texted me to go over to shovel her out. After the two days of flurries I expected her to be snowbound. But she had already cleared a narrow path from her front door to the sidewalk. I was making the path wider.

“How are things in school?”

She was always on to me about school. I never knew what she wanted to know. If was going bad she tell me to be grateful there’s still schools to go to but if I was doing okay she’d just laugh and tell me enjoy it while it lasted.

“Fine Gran. No complaints from my students.”

The snow kept falling.

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

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! 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

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

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