La La La

The La’s were part of the new wave English wave from the 80’s. Similar to The Stone Roses, their style is a folksy rock with pleasant vocals & good song writing. One track was used by some clothing company which kept them in the public eye for awhile. Sweet music. Reminds me of The Byrds, early Jefferson Airplane.

 

Less sweet & definitely rock is Quebec’s Eric LaPointe. I have stand-alones Obsession, Invitez Les Vautours & as mp3: Le ciel de mes combats. I used to watch French Kiss on MuchMusic & his first couple of videos were hot – him shirtless, waist deep in water – mmm. His music is aggressive almost metal blues rock. His voice is emotive, at some quite raw & harsh.

 

Another French group is Laymen Twaist. I have stand-alone of Funkadelique. A continental French band that is the total tonal opposite of LaPointe. This cd is bouncy, funky, psychedelic & fun. The engineering is astonishing & when it comes up in my play rotation I usually play it twice & it always gets my hips moving. Definitely worth seeking out to broaden your musical horizons.

 

Next up is John Layton’s Femmes Fatales – which is not in French 🙂 John is a Toronto folk singer/composer. I meet him at the Renaissance Cafe when I was doing the open stage circuit. Sweet, amusing, wry & romantic. The songs are gentle without being cloying. His voice is engaging & the engineering is clean.

Lookie Here

Hello my name is Lookie as in ‘lookie here.’ Cute eh?I thought so. I got to pick that name. I don’t tell this to everyone, but i need to talk. I’m not even sure you can hear me. I doubt if you can see me. I know when someone can see me. That’s one of my gifts. That and the fact that I’m not real. I’m Davey’s invisible friend. You know Davey. Yeah, too bad about him. Getting caught by the cops and all that. There wasn’t much I could do about that. I tried to warn him but he wasn’t seeing me anymore. He was too old for that sort thing. the awkward age when they they know it all and don’t even believe what they can see.

I’ve been Davy‘s invisible friend since he was three. He didn’t know me then though, he was too young to understand I guess. I never really understood how this friendship thing was supposed to work. I’d hang around his bed as he fell asleep hoping I could slip inot his dreams to plant the seed, as it were.  Sometimes he’d open his eyes and I swear he could see me but part me of knew he couldn’t. We invisibles don’t have form unless we feel seen. You know what I mean?

Not that Davey was in denial. How can you deny something you don’t know about, right. So I kept hovering around him. Following him to daycare. Standing by his nap rug. Playing tag with the kids there that did see me. Hoping and praying for the day he would sense he wasn’t alone. Which was hard because he was hardly ever along anyway. Those daycare kids were always around for him to hang out with. I had tried to be an invisible friend to one of them but he was one of a pair twins. So he didn’t need anyone. 

Davey was an only child so I knew he had greater need of me. But he practically the third twin. What’s an invisible supposed to do? I knew there was no rush for me to get a real friend but it had been many years since I had one. Can’t say how many. Time doesn’t have much meaning for me. When you only exist when someone sees you time doesn’t move. 

Davey didn’t see me till he nearly 11. That’s pretty old, by then kids have an idea of what is real and what is make believe. Not that I’m make believe but I can’t reveal much of me to anyone except my seer. If you know what I mean. The fact that you hear me at all means that you are open to someone who isn’t really real. But you can’t see me. Can you? No, if you could, I’d know.

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

Sunday –  January 26 – 1:30 – feature: The Secret Handshake Gallery, 170A Baldwin (Kensington Market) – 1:30https://www.facebook.com/events/498405247456842/

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

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Flesh for Idol Fantasy

MTV/MuchMusic made stars given the right product. One of those photogenic products was Billy Idol. Carefully packaged, he was a sensation who almost became a superstar. He carefully curated image wasn’t enough for him to rise beyond charts of the times. I admit that I was drawn to him for those great videos – White Wedding, Flesh For Fantasy, Catch My Fall: and also by his willingness to exploit his body. Flesh for Idol Fantasy 🙂

His cover-song hits (Mony Mony) had a sort of a Punk Monkees feel to them – safe songs with a sneeringly dangerous look. Catch My Fall was a gay porn dream that kept its pants on. White Wedding was Meatloaf reheated with a hot spice thanks to Billy. Even his name is a call back to those teen boy, one hit stars of the Brit 60’s. Idol managed more than one hit though.

 

I have stand-alone Rebel Yell; and in mp3 collection the hits: Vital Idol. Thanks to the amazing guitar work of Steve Stevens, Rebel Yell transcends the standard pop sound. His work on Flesh is sublime. Idol’s singing is solid but lacks, for me, emotional depth – he’s mostly loud but never really sexy, angry, introspective. But he is a good song writer as he co-wrote all the songs on Rebel Yell. 

 

Sadly he never became the superstar he hoped. I’m not sure what actually happened: drugs, ego, booze, fame undermined him. I have heard his work after his initial star burst & it lacks the drive of his MTV era work. He never re-invented himself as Madonna (another of those MTV video stars) continues to do. I hope he isn’t stuck in some Pittsburg Holiday Inn lounge singing for his supper. 

Trust

‘What do you think?’ the clerk sprayed some cologne on a small card and handed it to me.

‘Pleasant.’ I didn’t really like the smell of wet cardboard but it was easier to feign pleasure than become a grump.

‘It’s the latest thing from Loginfield. Trust.’

The smoked glass bottle had a golden tinge. It was completely round, a ball with a small atomizer on the top. It came with a special stand to keep it from rolling around through one’s make-up.

‘Perhaps sir would like to see how it smells on him?’

‘Trust me I wouldn’t you.’

The clerk’s face wrinkled slightly as if I had imposed on her valuable time.

‘But thank you for the offer.’ I stepped away.

‘We have another you might like. ‘Patience?’

Patience had a sharp floral cardboard smell on the card she sprayed it on.

‘No, thank you. I’m not in the market for any of these. Today.’

I resisted pushing her aside so I could keep on my way.

‘We have a special on ‘Don’t Hesitate.’’ She stepped towards me. ‘There’s also a bonus with the ‘I Forgive’ line. This limited edition umbrella.’

‘No. No. I’m sure they are all quite nice but …’

‘Sounds more like you want the ‘Not Sure.’ It has become one of our best seller.’ She reached for a clear glass bell shaped bottle. There was a hazy green liquid in it. ‘One whiff and I’m sure …’

‘Look.’ I stopped and faced her. ‘I am not interested. Leave me alone. If there was a way into the store that allowed me in without passing the perfume counter I would sure take but there isn’t.’

‘Ohh, I know your type. You want ‘No Escape.’ Too bad you missed last week’s special on that but I think I may have one left somewhere. The cutest little key chain.’

‘Yes. Why don’t you see if  you can get that special for me? I might be interested.’

‘Really?’ Her face lit up. ‘I know exactly where it is.’

She ducked behind the counter and I high-tailed it to my original destination – the bedding department. I checked behind me to make sure she wasn’t following me. Though, now that I was in the store, I had to find away out without being seen my her or any of the others. Perhaps if I bought a couple of pillows and carried them so my face couldn’t be seen. That might work.

I examined a duvet. There was a tap at my shoulder. It was perfume counter clerk.

‘Perhaps you might prefer this. It just came in. We call it ‘Trapped.’

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http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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That 80s Haircut 100

This mp3 cd filed under Haircut 100 is a time capsule of the 80’s. Much of it music made popular by MuchMusic when it played music videos, some of it comes from gay disco where I heard many of these songs for the first time.

It starts out with Haircut 100’s Pelican West – this falls under ‘new romance’ category fo sweet pop that wasn’t goth, punk or even power pop. Well produced but this British band fizzled after this release. One that hung on for a while is Thompson Twins. Here I have Into The Gap. Also ‘new romance’ they had a stronger ‘music you can dance to’ element and some of these track are so catchy they were dismissed as not being ‘serious’ music.

Less dismissed was Tears For Fears: The Hurting [UK Bonus Tracks]. They took themselves seriously enough with emotionally complex songs. Resonant, beautifully recorded & performed. Tears bridged the gap between goth & pop excellently. These Bonus tracks are remixes & extended versions of their sometime overwrought hits like Pale Shelter. 

Another Brit who had trouble getting ‘respect’ is the very sexy Billy Idol: Vital Idol – an MTV star for sure, but his hits are polished if not that radical. He bridged the gap between punk, pop & disco. Steve Steven’s guitar work on Flesh For Fantasy is astonishing. When his bad boy image was seen as only an image his star dimmed.

This cd also includes Dead or Alive: The Best Of: a rougher version of Boy George & less ‘spiritual’ as well. Singer Pete Burns propelled this group to several hits that crowded dance floors the way I liked it. Best include extended mixes & remixes of the songs.

As a change of pace I included  Trip Shakespeare: Across The Universe. I remember coming across the cassette & really loved their middle mid-60’s sound. Off kilter love songs. Finally for a real change of pace is Lenny Kravitz’s Let Love Rule. Very hot to watch, great to listen to and another side of the 80’s pop explosion. 

Visit

‘Can you be a bit more precise?’

‘Nope.’

‘You are coming?’

‘Oh yes, that much is for sure.’

‘But you don’t know when.’

‘No. Not yet. I should know tomorrow or the day after at the latest.’

‘It will be this month or at least this year?’

‘Now don’t get like that. I said we’ll be there before Christmas. That much you can count on.’

‘Perhaps we’d better call the whole thing off then.’

‘What!! After all the trouble I’ve gone through to get some time off.’

‘That doesn’t do me much good at this end, now does it. In time for Christmas – that could be the 18th or Christmas eve. What am I supposed to do? Keep on tip toes till you show your face?’

‘You’re right, it is too much trouble for you. We’ll stay at a hotel.’

‘Sure, if you can find one that’ll take reservations for no specific days of arrival and departure.’

‘What’s gotten into you? If you don’t want us to come, just say so and we’ll stay here. At least we know we’ll be around when I get the time off.’

‘Good. Be like that. Why is it such a big problem to get a straight answer out of you about anything.’

‘Must run in the family.’

‘Does not.’

‘Does too.’

‘So are you coming or not.’

‘Do you want us to come or what?’

‘Sure I do. We haven’t seen you for years now. How long has it been?’

‘Not since the wedding.’

‘That long.’

‘What a fiasco that was. No one knew what church it was in. They forgot to put that on the invitations and didn’t notice it either.’

‘Reception. it was the reception that no one could find.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes.’

‘Whatever. It was so funny. Half of us ended up at some IODE rec centre and rest went to a nearby bar.’

‘Right and no one showed up at the reception expect for me and the bride and the groom.’

‘You did get pictures though. No else did.’

‘No one else was there.’

‘So you still have that camera.’

‘Digital video now. Right to the hard drive.’

‘I see.’

‘So you’ll let me know in a few days when you’ll be here and how long you’ll be here?’

‘Why is all that so important? I never got this need of yours to know, to control.’

‘I never got this need of yours not to know. Meeting someone around 8 doesn’t mean showing up at 9:10 & expecting them to be waiting for you.’

‘You still smarting over that. I suppose you have photos too?’

‘No but somethings stick in the mind.’

‘I can’t wait to see you though. I’ve missed you so much.’

‘Same here. You know if you want a drive from the airport knowing when you’ll be there would be helpful.’

‘I can take a taxi.’

‘And if I happen to be out when you arrive? Then what? I could be gone myself for a couple of days. That’s why I want to know.’

‘What! You’ve got somewhere to go?’

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http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

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

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

 

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Cash Cars

Two stand alone’s next on the pop shelf: first – The Cars: Heartbeat City. Oh yes, the early 80’s American pop – not be confused with rock i.e. the Ramones – not disco – not Brit romantic ego – but good old USA radio video fodder. Without MTV I don’t know if this band would have hit what heights it hit.

sculp01

They were established before this CD hits the market but it was the Andy Warhol video for Hello Again that pushed them to the top. State of the art at the time the visuals were funny, the music was energetic and fresh. Drive was another smash that owes a lot to the visuals but the song has a lief without them. Though if Celine Dion covers it is it merely middle of the road after all. But that does mean she, or her producers, have better taste than I give them credit for.sculp02

The cd holds together well. Tightly written songs though it is clearly of the early 80’s in studio sound. I didn’t pick it up until 2010 mind you more for memory than because I was a Cars fan. I paid $4.99 for it at HMV. Remember buying cd’s? sculp03

After them on the shelf is Johnny Cash: The Hits – on Mercury. I mention table because there so many versions of his hits. I picked this up way mack in 1998 because I wanted Ring of Fire & I Walk The Line. I think I had seen documentary about him & versions of these were included. I love the lyrics so searched them out.

What surprised me the most was the TexMex horns on these songs. He must have recorded these songs different times with different arraignments. I have done no research so can’t tell you if these are the original singles that I recollect hearing not he radio growing up or what but they are fine.sculp04

The cd is a a good introduction to Cash & also to country music of that time. There’s isn’t a lot of this sort of music in my collection either & what is has been added in the last few years. As a teen I hated country western music but now have no dislike for it but no real interest either. I walk that line comfortably.

sample

12 things I miss about you (not in any order)

1 your smile

2 cosmetic bag filled with enough cosmetics for three weeks on a desert island [which is where I’d love to be with you]

3 shoe bags

4 that first real kiss after not seeing you for months

5 our flesh bare for the first time

6 the crinkle of your pubic hair

7 the smoky taste of of your tongue

8 the smell of your balls

9 the taste of your precome

10 your groan of pleasure

11 the hot splash of your come on my belly

12 your voice

12 things I love about you (not in any order)

1 the way you walk

2 your eager intensity

3 your worry about money

4 your cozy little apartment

5 your smile

6 your voice when you call me

7 that first real kiss after not seeing you for a week

8 the heft of your balls as your cock gets hard

9 your little leg over mine when we snuggle under the covers

10 the hot splash of your come

on my belly

11 the gleam in your eye when you have a naughty thought

12 your photo eye

You know this list goes on and on, so I limited it to 12 so as not to embarrass you too much, just enough to let you know I care. There are qualities that can’t be listed that bring & keep people together in the way we have be brought & kept together.

Each love is a different opportunity to experience and grow with another person. Sometimes not in the ways our dreams would want but always in the ways that God allows.

So many opportunities slip by when we stay stuck in our dreams and often those opportunities can out last the dream if we are open to them.

Thanks for being one of my opportunities, for being someone who has left my dream far behind and given me a reality far deeper and richer than anything I might have imagined in the first place.

Stay well till we meet again, which is never soon enough –

hot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

money

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statue

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#CanCon Success Stories

One of the things that CanCon & MuchMusic managed to do was ‘create’ one-hit Canadian wonders. When I watched MM it was more like radio with pictures than real entertainment. One of those wonders was ‘barlow’ (Sept03). I honestly have no recollection of his video but I did enjoy the pop sensibility of this well produced cd. Walk Away was a summer of 2003 ‘hit’ – a folky rock song of positivity & survival.

hose

fill’er up

He has a Cory Hart look – sweet meterosexuality. A pleasant voice. The songs are socially uplifting, amusing at times and easy on the ear, as his is innocuous pop voice. I bought his CD on sale at HMV. He is still around, his web page is active & he recently did a show along with Burton Cummings.

tripod

don’t tripod that with me

On the shelf he is followed by another Canadian flash-in-the-pan – bass is base: Memories of the SoulShack Survivors (Jan00). As the title implies this is a soul/funk band – recorded in Mississauga. They had bigger chart presence than barlow, I think. Very popular locally, the hit here is Funkmobile – another fun summer song.

reflection streetcar reflection

The cd, which I bought at a CD Cat (now gone) on Yonge, is a sort of concept piece, with spoken recollections scattered between the various songs. The music is funky soul with some jazz & dance flavor. Another band that can thank MuchMusic for their profile. The band split by the end of the 90’s but members are still recording. But as I rarely listen to the radio or watch MuchMusic anymore so I can’t tell you much more about them. A great CD though.

sample

Winter

Ruth’s eyes surveyed the room, quickly finding the items that she could carry and that would bring the best price. She had some reservations about Kim’s winter coat though. She knew Kim wouldn’t need it for the next few weeks and last winter it had been so mild it had only been worn a few times. New it cost nearly one fifty so it should be good for at least twenty bucks. That’s all she really needed.

If she had that twenty bucks then everything would be alright. She’d get her fix for the day and things would be alright.

She grabbed puffy green and pale yellow parka. It was so light how could to keep anyone warm anyway. Maybe she’d be better off with the VCR. They hardly watched videos anymore so it was just collecting dust. But there were too many wires in the back to worry about and she needed to get her fix fast. Now. The longer she looked around the room the greater the pain became. Her eyes watered and her heart began to race.

Yes Kim’s winter coat would do for today. The VCR would be good for another day. But she had to have something else. This wouldn’t be enough. She knew what those guys were like. They would take one look at the coat and just laugh at her. It wasn’t even a real coat just some cheap knock-off. If it was only a Tommy or a anything other than it was. It was just a piece of shit. Like everything else in the room. Shit.

Her life had become this pile of useless cheap objects, none of which she saw would bring her what she needed now. Money. Money.

If she could just this one little fix today she could be okay for the rest of the week. She’d be able to start fresh in the morning. Tomorrow. No, after the week-end. She just needed this one fix to get her

through the next three days then she could start fresh.

Kim would help. Kim was such a good kid. Always home right after school to look after her three brothers. They were the real problem. If she could only get those boys to behave she wouldn’t have to do this. She wouldn’t need anything to help the through the day. Maybe she could find something in their room.

Damn! Locked!

They just didn’t trust anyone. Not even their mother. She knew they had stuff. Lots of it. CD players. She could get some good money for one of them or two of them if they were in there.

The door was solid against her thin shoulder. The door nob stiff unturning. Damn those boys. When they get home she’d give them a piece of her mind. She’d make them sorry they didn’t trust her the way Kim did. Kim’s door opened silently. The room was dark, cool even the in the morning sun. The bed was made and the Beanie Babies lay in a row across her pillow

Beanie Babies!! One still had its tag. The purple whale. What could that be worth?

Oh thank you God.

She shoved into her backpack and rushed out of the apartment.

wp202 fish out of sequins

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Les B.B.

Next up in my pop collectionare are two recordings by Les B.B.: BB, Snob. They are a late 80‘s PQ equivalent to Glass Tiger. Another of those bands helped by CanCon rules for radio & MuchMusic video play. In fact Quebec’s airplay rules were much stricter, as only a small percent of English was allowed on the air waves, thus their musicians got a greater opportunity to develop without competing with US rockers. There was a huge cover-song industry in the 60’s, 70’s of bands doing French versions of US hits. Les Aristos, anyone? More about those cover bands as I work though the shelves.

clubs duex

I used to visit Montreal regularly for a 12 Step conference in the 90’s, & began to collect this music there – starting with Lps, then cassettes & finally cd’s. Supposedly to improve my French. As I result I have a large French collection from Les Aristos to Brel to Piaf to Eric LaPointe.

diamonds diamants

There were two excellent spots in Montreal for a music lover. Le Marche (I think) that was acres of bins of used Lps, then cassettes, then CDs. I would spent hours flipping through those bins. There was also Archambault’s – with its vast stockpile of new music. I discovered there that Brigitte Bardot was, in the 60’s, a major pop force in France. More about her as I work though the shelves.

two carddeux encore

The BB’s have a standard issue sound for the time. That synth horn sound, propulsive drumming, harmonies, tender lyrics. A range of styles from radio friendly, a touch of blues, not much of that tiddly-tid folk that some PG bands get. Sweet & inoffensive.

sample

Winner The backyard was covered with snow. A path from the back door to the composter had been used a few times but otherwise the snow was undisturbed. Not even the foot prints of birds or squirrels could be seen in it. A light rain had fallen before temperature dropped and so the snow had a shell. As Mike stepped on the shell he imagined he was crushing the skulls of those who had fallen under his heel – those he had conquered – white brain stuff escaped in small spurts as he tromped down hard. Crack crush crack crunch. “Take that.” He muttered. “Take that and that.” He jumped from where he stood over a low rise in the snow. Only he didn’t crack the surface when he landed. His feet slipped and he fell with a sullen thud on the snow. One elbow hit harder than the other. It stung. “Ouch.” He stomped with the heels of his boots as hard as he could. “I’ll teach you to toy with the Mighty Morpho.” The snow was at its lowest where he had landed and was more like a thick slab of ice than snow. His kicks didn’t dent it. Carefully he got to his feet and looked around to see if there were any laughing faces in anyone of the windows in the nearby houses. There was none. “Stay in your homes. You will be safe. I will protect you against the Ice Blizzard Wizard.” He took off one glove and fumbled in his parka pocket and pulled out the three Morpho cards he had. SeakZ2, Graphoka and Shelbab. “I call on the power of Shelbab to dispel the evil of Ice Blizzard Wizard.” He put the card on one corner and spun it on the ice. “We’ll see who the winner is today. Once and for all. I challenge you to this battle against the Mighty Morpho. Be prepared to face thy doom.” The card spun a few times and tipped to its back. The face of Shelbab flat and unchanged as the cold tried to hold it to the ice. Mike peeled the card away. “See you have no power here. I will be ruler of all I can see. All.” Mike stepped over to a thicker area and once again crushed the skulls of the defeated underfoot. Crack crush crack crunch. His boots like pistons merciless and through in stomping all resistance form those who would dare resist. “This is my planet now. I am glad to report to all we have been once again victorious.” He went back to the house to bring the glad tiding to his mother and perhaps get something in return. Cookies and a dvd to while away the rest of the long afternoon. cone

pinebow pine cone of silence