In my modest Madonna collection I have, as mp3: Like A Virgin, The Immaculate Collection, Music & as a stand-alone Confessions From The Dance Floor. So it is clear I’m not a fan – fans have everything, fanatics have everything plus the remixes, the outtakes, the concerts, the artfully torn t-shirt & the aluminum Sex.

Is she musically creative? Does it matter when you have such great collaborators, producers, costume designers, stylists & video directors? She admits she is a product, package & a boss lady. To me she was more a provocateur than a visionary. Like Mae West she used sexuality to establish her self, unlike Mae Madonna didn’t rely on a single persona to keep her career moving.

I love some of her songs, hate some of them – Vogue was one I hated & would leave a club (when I went to clubs) when it was played – I just knew we would get the 45 minute remix. Same with Papa Don’t Preach. Some I couldn’t resist: Lucky Star, Like A Prayer.

She sampled, borrowed, adopted, adapted freely from most pop genres with varying degrees of success. Her electronica didn’t work for but her retro disco, Dancefloor, cd was great. The Immaculate Collection of her hits is probably enough nostalgia for anyone; Material Girl is solid pop & in its way, is a landmark album of promotion power. I did have her ‘Sex’ but lacked

the sexy spunk of Mae West. 



I heard later than two guys were arrested for the beating. Jim Donaldson and Victor Hanson. Both almost twenty, so not guys we knew at all. My father called them trouble makers and wasn’t surprised they were the ones behind this. Seems they heard Mr. Razov had money hidden his house and broke in to get it and when he caught them they beat the crap out of him and left him for dead in his own house. Some kids have no respect for anything these days. My dad liked to ride that one whenever he had a chance to remind me to watch my step and show proper respect.

Midterm exams were coming up, so we all sort of forget about Mr Mr. Razov. He did recover from the beating but walked with a weird shy turn of the head whenever we guys saw him in the street. He never did come back to tutor the chess club. I don’t even know what happened to the guys who beat him up. 

Fifteen years later and I’m visiting my folks for a few weeks in the summer. University out of the way and I have a decent job in the movie biz. Lightning and that sort of thing. Pays well when it pays. I’d just broken off with Kevin. He was sweet but we both saw it wasn’t working out. So a few weeks out of all that was appealing to me.

Sitting at the table in the kitchen that had changed every time I saw it – new cupboards one year, new appliances another – it was not the repository of any childhood memories. My favorite cereal bowl wa along gone. This summer they were having the pluming redone to install a dish washer and so there’d be new counters et al. 

My Mom brought me a cup of tea. “I suppose you heard Mr. Mr. Razov finally passed away. Poor man. He was never the same after that time. You remember him?”

“When did he die?”

“Just last week. Service early next week. They’re waiting till his family could be here.”

I vaguely recalled that when he deflected he’d left behind some family. 

“Wife?” I asked.

“Nope. A son. It’s all in the newspapers out in the front porch.”

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it. 

The Book of #Blondie Love

This is the last of Blondie with Autoamerican. This is a great piece of work as they continue to grow, try new things and sadly run out of steam. They recorded some but the band seems to have burned out as a creative unit. I heard some of the later work & it fell flat, to me. Rapture showed white gals can rap before black or white gals dared to rap.

Also on this mp3 cd is Dalbello: whomafoursays – from 1984 a stunning Canadian lp by a stunning voice but she never caught the public fancy. Spare production eerie and chilling make this a great lp. If this’d been released first in UK or USA it would have been huge. The follow up (somewhere in my collection) Tango is good but not as good as this one.


tree garter

A band clearly influenced by Blondie is Book Of Love: on this cd I have their first (with bonus tracks); Candy Carol (a sweetly sexy lesbian overtones Christmasy cd). I also have stand alones: Love Bubble: funky disco pop with a bot of B52’s in the sound. The Best Of. Book of Love is a mix of goth, emo & shoe gazer with a dash of dance with great vocals & excellent production.


the net effect

What better place to include Bette Midler’s first lp The Divine Miss M – this is an amazing debut album. The voice, the sense of humour and the songs all come together for one of my favourite albums. Full force queer but your mother would like it anyway.

There was room on this cd for Madonna’s Immaculate Collection. I can’t say I was a big fan but she is what Blondie led to & the hits here are catchy, danceable & at times even emotionally resonant. She wanted the career that Debra Harry opted out of.



Wait there’s even more as I added ep’s by a couple Toronto singers: Francesca Blandizzi: I heard her at a Coffehouse Cabaret: jazzy pop. Underdog: Jinx: funky fun. I picked this up at a fundraiser at the Transact Club years ago. Whew that’s it for this week.



I don’t see the alyssum as its scent fills the warm evening air. It had rained in the afternoon and that rain had brought out the sweetness of the garden. From where I stood on the back porch I could smell the flowers even though they were out of sight at the back of the yard.

I don’t want to go back into the empty house. Two floors, eight rooms. The only sound is the TV which I had left on when I went out earlier in the day. Left on to give the illusion of occupancy.

It didn’t work on me now.

I don’t want to go into the garden. I was glad the rain meant I didn’t have to water the various beds that lined the fence. Flowers  plants, weeds, grass all that persisted in growing, unknowing, uninterested in their planter but following the inner logic of nature.

Now early in August many of them were at their peak, bursting forth each day with new and seemingly bigger, brighter blossoms; as if hoping that the brightness of their petals would reflect into the darken house.

I could recall only a few months earlier digging the spongy soil to plant those alyssum. How much we enjoyed their gradual but sure covering of the whole length of the fence. White and blue merging into a blanket that threatened to cover the whole yard.

No, I didn’t want to go into the garden so full of surging life and promise. I knew I would have to soon, though. Plants don’t struggle with loneliness just with water.

No, I don’t want to go back into the house. The empty house. My mind was already wandering the deserted rooms, hovering over the sofa we meant to replace, the laundry I was unwilling to sort. Only mine needed to be washed now. Not … not …. his.

He wouldn’t be coming back to this house, to this garden, unless it was through me.


April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.


May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 1 finals – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –


June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC


(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville


register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice




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anyone for red head