Van McCoy Voyage

This mp3 cd collection is filed under Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. Sweet Rhythm contains the hit The Hustle – which is a disco icon of the  Philadelphia sound. Strings galore, flute & still a template for dance music that emulates old skool. To be honest I hated it then but now it is sweet nostalgia & more than bmp under a diva’s voice.  Van McCoy died young in 1979 of a heart attack. Sweet Rhythm is easy & sexy.

Peter Brown’s A Fantasy Love Affair is more brilliantly produced dance music. In 1977 his 12″ version of “Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me” reached the million dollar mark making it the first gold 12” single in history. This one brings back memories of my arrival in Toronto in 1979 & my discovery of discos in the gay ghetto. This is hip thrusting music, catchy & fun. Sexual & sexy.

These two were performers I had heard of before I downloaded their lps (with bonus tracks). The rest of there were unknown to be, even though I did know the songs. All were ‘discovered’ by tracks posted in my Tumblr feed. My music collection needed more r’n’b from the 70’s/80’s to round it out. 

I have the hits collection by The Main Ingredient: Everybody Plays the Fool that includes Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely. I loved both these songs but didn’t know who originated them. A sold soul band with strong vocals – reminiscent of groups like the The Four Tops – this is great music. Similar but more on the disco side is B.T. Express: Do It (’Til You’re Satisfied) B. T. stand for Brooklyn Transit. Great club music with a strong sexy edge.

I don’t know what the T stands for in T-Connection. This a band out Nassau, the Bahamas. I have the  Expanded Edition of their self titled album that includes the dance floor monster ‘At Midnight.’ The song brings back memories of getting home after Midnight and reeking go cigarette smoke & sweat. A good memory. Similar to them is Con Funk Shun’s Funk Essentials. As you might guess this a dance funk band – one that I’d never heard of before but am happy to hear now.

The holds true for Blue Magic. I have the remastered release of their first, 1974 lp. More in The Spinners mode of funk.  The longest lasting of many of these groups is Earth Wind & Fire here I have their 1980 Faces. I have several of their other lps scattered through my vast collection. Best known for their ballads this is another smooth, funky with a dash of jazzy band that produced dozens of constant lps.

Finally a San Jose, garage soul band Syndicate of Sound: Little Girl. This a bit of an anomaly here as fun, disco isn’t noted for garage bands the way rock’b’roll is – oddly street-corner doo-wop was never considered as garage band – maybe too much emphasis on vocal harmony 🙂 Anyway this a fun lp, energy with interesting r’n’b under pinning.

Had Enough

Except for the bartender the tavern was deserted. Doug ordered a bottle beer. Took a table that wasn’t too dark. He sat and watched the beads of condensation form and trickle down the side of the bottle. They pooled around the bottom. The pool heavier on one side than the other. The table wasn’t level. He wondered if there would be enough bottle sweat for it to form a stream away from the bottle.

As his eyes adjusted he could see the stains of other bottles left to stand on the table. The lights from the bar reflected and distorted on the wet surface of the bottle.

“You gonna drink that or what?”

“Huh?” Doug looked up.

“You been staring down that bottle for the last ten minutes. Won’t jump up to you mouth, you know, you gotta lite it for the full effect.”

Doug looked up to the voice. It was a young man. Late 20’s, he guessed. Shaved head big smile loose t-shirt and baggy shorts.

“Or would you rather be left alone.”

“I’m just having a beer and a think. Not looking to buy anything else.”

“Do I look like a hustler to you?”

Doug shrugged. He didn’t know what a hustler would look like but figured no one talked to strangers in places like this just to make conversation.

“Besides you look to be doing more thinkin’ than drinkin’.”

“Yeah. Well a think is all I wanted. Here …” Doug slid the beer towards the bald man. “I’ve had enough to think for one day.”

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

Not A Deadhead

To be honest I was never a Grateful Dead fan. I didn’t get their vibe but as I aged it began to appeal to me more. Maybe if I was more of a stoner it would have worked for me. I have their 1st tucked away in an mp3 collection. It’s hard to categorize their sound but it was not pop the way Jefferson Airplane was, or blues like Canned Heat. The 1st holds no nostalgia for me but I’m happy to have it too. 

As a stand alone I have Anthem of the Sun – the cover is classic psychedelic. The music is fun & shows their jam band experimental sound. A mix of live & studio that slips into delicious acid trippy – in fact I have a great memory of listening to this on LSD back in the day & being amazed. This cd release includes bonus tracks that are great.

On another mp3 collection I have Workingman’s Dead; American Rose. Recent additions, though I did have Rose as lp at one time. These are sweet but depressing recordings. Sort of lifeless with a kind of country/pop flavour to them. Not music that makes me long to hear it or that even holds any memory of my past.

As with many of my mp3 collections I like to mix genres & time eras so there is a some Iggy Pop here which spans his career for 1977 to 2016. An amazing live set: Iggy & Ziggy Cleveland ’77, Post Pop Depression – his most recent release. I watched Velvet Goldmine & checked to see if Iggy & Ziggy had performed together & found this set on iTune. Good sound quality, mostly Iggy’s material. Was he dedicating I Wanna Be Your Dog to Bowie? Post Pop is solid fun.

Next a couple of Tumblr finds. Tomorrow – is a mid60’s British psychedelic band – the music is chockfull of wha-wha, phased echoed passages – very Saucerful of Secrets. Completely different is Sir Stan: The Nitty Gritty’s In Town – r’n’b blues bar music of the first order in the Paul Butterfield style. 

Even more different is Earth, Wind & Fire: Greatest Hits; – some of these bring back disco memories of when I moved to Toronto. Funky, dancing, romantic but rarely adventurous or even raunchy. And to end this particular cd is a collection of even more coming out disco memories: Twelve Inch Classics: Classics from the 70’s which includes Peter Brown’s Crank It Up. Songs which I vaguely recalled & some that never hit the dj’s in Toronto. Some of which were done by ‘groups’ that only existed in the studio for a song or two. 

From the Grateful Dead Keep on Truckin’ to disco down Crank It Up this is a fun mp3 collection.

Scam

What could she do with the girl? It just wasn’t easy being a mother. At least she wasn’t like her brother Sal. Sal took after his Dad. Quick to anger and always on the look out to pull a scam. Judy was more like her. Quiet and pretty. Yes, very pretty. That would get her into trouble one of these days.

‘You seem a little down honey.’

‘Oh it’s nothing mom.’

‘You’re doing okay in your classes aren’t?’

She sat on the edge of the bed. Judy was at her desk with a book opened in front of her.

‘As good as I can.’

‘What’s this? That old skip rope of yours?’

‘Oh yeah. I found it my closet the other day.’

‘I remember how excited you were to get this and then you hardly ever used it.’

Kids were like that. New one second and old the next. No keeping up with them.

‘You sure there isn’t something? Some boy?’

‘Ma no … well, there are these girls … ’

‘You have to try harder to make friends. I know it isn’t easy but if you only made an effort you could do it. You know what I mean.’

‘I guess so Ma. Thanks. I’ll try harder.’ She turned back to her book.

‘You miss Sal don’t you?’

‘A little. Sure is quiet without him around here.’

‘Not that he was around here all that much.’

‘Right.’

‘He may not be back for awhile. You know that don’t you Judy? What he did is serious.’

‘I know Ma. He’s not a kid anymore, right.’

‘Right you are, but you are still a kid. Why don’t to finish that homework later and have some ice cream with me. I got some on the way home. On special at the Market. Strawberry Ripple. Your favourite.’

‘Okay Ma. I’ll be there in a minute.’

‘Don’t be long then. That show you like is coming soon too.’

She stood, reluctant to leave the room. She could tell there was something Judy wasn’t telling her but she could figure out what. Wasn’t drugs or boys. That she could tell easily enough. She could remember what it had been like when she was fourteen. Drunken dad and crying mother. She had made sure her home wasn’t like that. Peace and quiet.

Though Sal hadn’t turned out like she’d hoped she felt sure Judy would. Judy was a good kid. Sweet and patient but just kept too much to herself. What was a mother to do? If only we were mind readers. Yikes, now that is a scary thought.

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)
 capfireslam.org 

September 25, Tuesday – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet