Nice Move

Over two cd mp3 compilations I have -The Move: The Move (1968), Movement: unreleased early tracks), Shazam (1970), Looking On (Brontosaurus) (1971), Message From The Country, BBC Sessions, Anthology: Live (Roy Wood, Jeff Lynn). As well as: The Nice: (Keith Emerson) The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack (1968), Ars Long Vita Brevis (1968), Nice (1969), Five Bridges: Live (1970) The title refers to Newcastles five bridges – combining, prog rock, classical music and jazz. Plus: Roy Harper: Flat Baroque & Berserk (1970); Spooky Tooth: It’s All About (1968). All British chart-toppers who never made a real dent in the USA charts.

My Move move started on the east coast with Split Ends, an lp from the Record Club Of Canada – that included tracks from their lps. I love the monolithic Brontosaurus. In Toronto I picked a double lp set of tracks from their lps. When I got high-speed I dowloaded the box set of everything – though how many version of Cherry Blossom Clinic can one enjoys? It was out the Move that The Electric Light Orchestra was birthed, as well the career of the zany Roy Wood (More about him when I get to ‘w’.)

The early lps are power pop full energy & sonically slick, radio friendly songs, Message From The Country is more mature, the sound is denser & the songs, to me, more interesting. The BBC sessions are fine but repetitious but showed that they could reproduce their studio sound. As I said how many versions of Cherry Blossom Clinic does one need to hear 🙂

Another late 60’s band is The Nice, propelled by Keith Emerson’s keyboard & prog rock energy these are interesting recordings chock-a-block with classic adaptations, orchestral bombast & arty experimentalism. At times ponderous & self-important they are great to have & heard. I didn’t pick up anything by them until I had high speed. If Emerson hadn’t gone on to establish himself they may have become even more of a cult item than they are now. There are touches of Soft Machine & early Pink Floyd in their music.

Roy Harper is an iconic British fold rock singer guitarist who despite realizing some 32 lps has never made a big North American ‘splash.’ On Flat Baroque he records one track with The Nice. Spooky Tooth is another Brit band that never broke into the US market. On this lp they sound a bit like Traffic/Deep Purple  & nod a cover version of, of all things, Janis Ian’s Society’s Child. More about Spooky when we get to ’s’.

Chopin

2

The lounge is nearly empty. It is so dim it takes our eyes a moment to adjust. Muted red. Yellow tinted windows. Top hat ash trays. Air-conditioned cool. Very nice. Adult. We sit at window table & order tall glasses of Long Island Iced tea.

“You are quite right, this place is nice.” The quite feels foolish as I say it. I want to relax with Jean but the misdirected anguish of our separation make me value safety first. Chopin may be all the romance safe enough for me to handle, yet I want her back.

“They’ve had some problems here.” She leans forward to whisper. A gold locket around her neck slips from beneath her blouse.

“Really? I haven’t heard.” My eyes follow the muted red glints shimmering in the tiny diamond middle of the heart. “You’re still wearing this?” I touch it, touching the flesh underneath it in the same motion.

“They tried to keep out the uh … undesirables.”

“Undesirables?”

“You know – gays.” 

She pushes my hand away. Is she ignoring my touch deliberately.

“This is the place?” I look around as if there should be a reason woven into the rug. “What happened?”

To us, I nearly add but fear that too would be ignored.

“The usual picketing. Business fell off & the management capitulated. I even signed the petition. I was all stupid, to me. I never felt threatened or come-on-to by another woman when I was here. Even if I was, Hell, I have the right to decide what I want to do, not the asshole management. You know what I mean, don’t you?” She nervously wraps the locket’s chain around her fingers knowing I never could share her interest in political causes.

David don’t know what to say. To attack her illogic would threatened any hoped for reconciliation. This isn’t safe talk.

“I don’t follow this stuff. You should know that.”

I am uncomfortable. She does this to me every time. What does she want? A confession of my ignorance? An admission of my latent confusions. Is that why she picked this place?

“I was never much for night life. What happens in places like this doesn’t mean much to me.” I always found that apathy could disguise my vulnerability from her. David is safe.

“Oh, I see, not unless it’s on your own front steps. Let me put it this way. What if you barred from here because you listened to Chopin.”

“Now that would be silly. Isn’t there more involved here than just a difference in musical tastes?”

“I was simplifying for your benefit.” She sighs, wanting to push on to the ethics of what had happened but not wanting to rush him, yet.

David wants to leave

“Did I tell you I’ve moved?”

“Really? Out of that shoebox in the southend?” She is eager to talk of something else, not wanting to frustrate herself by beating against his disinterest in politics.

“I have a place just over on Crane Street. The downstairs of a house. Would you like to see it? It’s just a five minute walk from here?” I feel myself blush with my lunge, I expect a refusal but don’t think I’d forgiver her if she did. Masculine pride.

She looks at her watch.”I don’t know. It’s nearly 4 and I have to be on duty for work at 6:30. I still have to eat.”

“No problem. You can have supper with me.”

“Well,” she says reluctantly. “It sounds like a lot of trouble.”

“Don’t be silly.” I got up, making her decision for her, as I hope she expects me to do. We both seem to feel things aren’t over between us.

As we leave, the boy in overalls enters. He is wearing  tee-shirt now. He brushes me. Our eyes meet briefly. There is a clear hint in the boy’s eyes that I suddenly, totally, want to understand, but the surrender passes with heartbeat quickness. I also see that he isn’t a boy but a man near my own age.

We go up the street, a bit too fast, David wondering if Jean senses any change in attitude. If she realizes that the place I have for her in my life is one for my protection.

“What’s the rush?” She asks, pushing her face at mine. Twisting her head awkwardly to get my attention, her spine curves strangely, letting my hand slide from her shoulder down to her hip. I hope she’ll take this accidental caress as an answer.

part 3 next week

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Mandrill Fudge

I put these two American progrock groups onto an mp3 cd filed under M for Mandrill (out of Brooklyn, NY.) They are paired with the much better known Vanilla Fudge out of Long Island, NY. NY is the only thing these bands have in common 🙂 

Vanilla Fudge’s slow extended heavy rock arrangements of contemporary hit songs established them as a progrock band. Baroque organ, pile driving drumming & often overwrought vocals laid the ground work for decades of heavy metal bands that followed. 

I have their first Vanilla Fudge; The Beat Goes On; Renaissance; Near The Beginning; Rock & Roll; their return in 2015: Spirit of ’67. The first is my high school soundtrack & I’ve had several copies of the lp. I loved polarized yellow & red cover & of course the ‘meaningful’ music. I hated ‘The Beat Goes On’ the followup, which is turns out they hated it too – a pretentious mishmash  they blame on their producer. I edited it down to just the music.Renaissance is perhaps my favourite & their most progrock lp despite it’s hideous cover art. Season of the Witch get’s worked over. By the live Near The Beginning – their sound had become sludge & predictable with now aimless drum/organ solos; with Rock & Roll – tempo picks up, more original songs appear but their moment had passed. They made a decent return in 2015 with Spirit of ’67 – an excellent collection of re-imagining of songs like The Letter.

There was a wide range of progrock that sprung from Vanilla Fudge: Deep Purple, ELP, Yes. But these were rock. Then there was Mandrill out of Brooklyn, NY. Their’s is an rootsy, soul, r’n’b, African mix that took prog in a different funkier direction. I have mixed in with Vanilla Fudge – Mandrill; Mandrill Is; Composite Truth; Just Outside of Town; Energize.

Their sound is a gritty version of Chicago – full horn section, percussion, rock guitar. Great vocals. Songs about love, ghetto life, racism & hope. Long extended jams, almost jazz explorations & of course a couple of pieces that cover one side of an lp. They never really had a hit single (that showed up on the Cape Breton charts anyway.) There are dozens of these lost bands & this is one worth searching out of you want your progrock on the soulful side. 

“So you were one of his new family?” Vasili pushed the beer bootle in the pool of sweat that had formed around it.

“Not for long. He coached the chess club for a few years. I was part of the team for the last few months before … he stopped.”

Vasili pushed his hair back with one hand – the hairs on the back of his hand almost as black & thick as the hair on his head. We had chatted briefly at the viewing. Only a few people had come.

“He would write us long letters about new his life here in Canada. How hard it was for him not to have us with him. After he defected we were taken from our mother least she leave with us.”

“I didn’t realize he was that important.” 

“Oh yes. He was … someone the government was proud of, a hero to the people, like … a cosmonaut. I later found out we where held as a threat. They told him would be harmed if he didn’t come back. We weren’t, you know, harmed. At least not directly by them. We kids were never told what happened. One day we were living with our mother and when we came home from school militia put us in a car & drove us to the farm where we grew up. No explanation. We didn’t get his letters until years later. Many years later.”

I wanted to say ‘how sad’ but there seemed nothing I could say that didn’t sound weak.

“He showed us pictures of his family. He missed you and …. didn’t know how to do anything.” 

Pushing my memory back those twenty years wasn’t easy. I’ve had so many of my own issues to stumble over and forgot Mr. Razov after a year or so. “Teenagers can be so self-centred.”

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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.

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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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at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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Stephane Grappelli Hall

I think the first lp I bought by Stephane Grappelli was the double set Satin Doll. I loved his playful, soulful tonality & the range of his music tastes. Never adventurous but never boring. He is a jazz master for sure. In my collection I have Stephanova, Live, 1971, Hommage a Django, Satin Doll, Duet with Menuhin 2 cds, Romouski 94. Some as stand alones, some at lp to cd transfers & some as mp3. All worth listening to.

The mp3 collection also includes some great tango work: Gotan Project: La Revacha Del Tango. Grand Salon Orchestra: Tango’s. Gotan is a more modern take on tango while Grand Salon is traditional. Both are fun. 

With them is Chile’s Los Jaivas: Alturas De Manchu Picchu; Aconcagua – this is latino progrock – a fine delightful mash up of folk, jazz, rock that is worth seeking out. Finally a pair of lps by Cacho Tirao: Guitarra, Imágenes – this is splendid latino guitar, a little experimental but beautiful & transporting.

Nearby on the jazz shelf is a stand-alone by guitarist Jim Hall: Concierto. A jazz standard is Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, a classical piece for guitar, that countless musicians from Miles Davis to Emerson Lake & Palmer, have reinterpreted. Hall’s take is sweet thanks to Don Sebesky’s arrangement. Joining him are legendary Chet Baker & Paul Desmond.

Empty

Mark stepped on something. A harsh crack and an echo.

‘What was that?’ he stooped to see what he had crushed. A small silver bead. Glass. ‘Wonder what it was?’

‘Christmas beads, you know those strings for around the tree. When I was unpacking it to repack it, it broke. Beads all over the place.’

‘Not hard to visualize this place as full. Table, chairs, bed.’ Mark walked over to where the bed had been. The floor was scratched in the four spots where the legs had rubbed back and forth. ‘There’ll be something off the damage deposit for this.’

‘Honourably earned after years of use. And I don’t mean single occupancy either.’

There were lighter spots along the wall, where the various paintings and pictures had been. Different sizes and shapes. Peeling wall paper along wall near the bottom of a door that the cat had taken a dislike to it.

‘What happened to the cat?’

‘New home. Ginger was the first thing out of here in fact. He’s adjusted. Takes a while.’

Mark sniffed. ‘Don’t smell much of the cat here now. Good thing. That always makes it harder to rent.’

‘I suppose. Here are the keys. You have my number if there’s anything.’

‘Yeah. You did an okay job clearing out.’

‘As best as I could bother doing. Not really my responsibility is it? I’m not sure what to do about the crap on the balcony though. Gardening stuff.’

‘He liked to garden. I’ll see if the other’s tenants may want some of it. Those big pots looks useful.’

‘I was wondering …’

‘What?’

‘If I could be here a few minutes. Alone. Now that it’s empty of everything I want to just be here. Bare walls & dust. The door’ll lock behind me when I leave.’

‘Okay.’ Mark left. Strange notion but after years of being super here he’d seen his share of strange notions. What did the guy expect to get in an empty room? A chill. No ghosts here.

New tenants were already lined up. The waiting list was long. It was a big bachelor, could be made into a one bedroom easily enough. Might think on that. Raise the rent too, without having to do much work. 

Shame though, the guy that lived here had been such a good old guy. One of the long term residents. But when death comes it makes room for the next tenant.

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every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

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

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com 


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September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

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Jethro Tull


I am amused by the press Lizzo gets for bringing the flute into pop music when decades ago Jethro Tull brought flute into pop in a bigger way. Sure Moody Blues used it occasionally but never the same driving way Ian Anderson did. I played those early lps constantly. I loved the scraggy hippy look the band embraced which was a strong contrast to the complex blues baroque jazz pop music they  produced.

I have stand alone’s This Was, Stand Up, Aqualung, Thick As A Brick. In mp3 collections Benefit, A Passion Play, War Child – plus another version of Aqualung that has been remastered etc. All with various bonus tracks & interviews. I had all as lp at one time & gradually replaced them with either cd or mp3 versions.

Tull was the epitome of progrock without delving too much is not the classical end of things, sure there is enough of that but they weren’t flaunting it, the way ELP did. Lyrically the songs were about love, the system, war. Two lps Thick as a Brick (inspiration for Another Brick In The Wall?) & A Passion Play – are two long suites – with mp3 one gets to hear these without having to turn over the lp :-). Brick is commentary on British class & schools, Passion is a fun mess & includes a rather twee fairy tale in the middle of it. Both lapse into British music hall at times.

Later lps – War Child, Songs from the Wood are good with real social commentary & the band is drifting into Celtic folk territory more & more. If you are unfamiliar with Tull start with This was or Stand Up.


On the mp3 collection I’ve added Noel Harrison: Collage – sweet nostalgia for me. Maggie Bell: Queen of the Night, Suicide Sal – bluesy work by a British Maria Muldaur – adult pop. I rounded out this mp3 collection with the classic Steely Dan: Countdown to Ecstasy.

Set A Spell

‘It’s dry.’ his chair creaked as he leaned back against the sun-stripped paint in the shady part of the porch.

‘Been that way for a while now.’ The other rubbed his eyebrows.

‘Yep.’ The third rubbed his nose.

‘Looking to stay that way for awhile longer, if you ask me.’

‘Yep.’

‘Don’t need no one to tell us what’s as plain as the nose on your face.’

‘Yep. That’s right hard to miss.’ He rubbed his nose again with a small grin.

‘Not much we can do about this dry, is there?’

‘Time for …’

Silence.

The three men turned to look at the fourth. He leaned back against the porch rail and spit into the dust.

‘What! What!’ He dabbed at his mouth with the tattered almost-white hanky from his back pocket. ‘You all been thinking the same thing. I know. I can tell when that thought is in the air.’

‘Least you got enough wet in ya ta spit. Some of us aren’t so lucky.’

‘Takes more than luck.’ the first leaned out of the shade. ‘You got something up at that place of yours we don’t know about?’

‘Me? Yeah. Come on up and I’ll show you the hidden river that runs through Dust Canyon. It comes up right under my bedroom. Keeps the missus happy to be so damp all night.’

‘Good thing. Nice missus you got there.’

‘Yep. Some would envy a gal like that.’

‘Sure is dry though. Can’t remember seeing it this dry before.’

‘Years back it was bad. Real bad. That was the last time we …’ he pulled back into the shadow, took off his straw hat to fan his face.

‘You remember that?’

‘Sure enough. I was just a boy, mind you. Just old enough not to worry about being asked to participate.’

‘That was the Gimbly kid wasn’t it.’

‘Not going to say one way or the other. Can’t. Not proper to talk about that sort of stuff. Not here or now. Too much talk takes the power away from it. You understand?’

‘Yep.’ 

The heat couldn’t be avoided. The sun blistered down on the four of them. Each edged more into the scant shade the porch afforded. Time to make plans and in the heat thinking became harder, slower.

‘Can’t take much of this. It’s hot enough to set things afire.’

‘Almost. We don’t need to worry about that. Nothing left to burn. Is there?’

The four of them laughed.

A black-haired girl, about five, came out of the house with a bucket of water.

‘Ma says you might want a splash of this.’

They looked at the water. The first tickled it with his finger tips and splayed the others with it.

‘See. Told you this was the right house to come to. If anything’s gonna done. This is where we’ll find it.’

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every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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Focus

Focus is a Dutch prog-rock band I love. I have an mp3 collection with Moving Waves, In & Out of, 3, Hamburger Concerto as well as some of Thijs Van Leer’s solo work. I can clearly recall hearing the amazing Hocus Pocus ‘yodel’ that, thanks to excellent engineering, & stunning guitar work, would bounce around a room, or inside your head if you were wearing headphones.

Similar to British prog-rockers the Nice, or Pink Floyd but less music-hall & more jazz & unexpectedly heavy metal at times. The music was sonically dense, crisply engineered and captivating. Leader Thijs played keyboards & flute & one his solo lps proved to be an accomplished classical musician as well.

The band never did ‘songs’ – there are a few attempts but they lacked a vocalist. Long instrumental suites, sometimes aggressive but usually contemplative. I checked iTunes and they recorded as recently as 2016 so they are still around.

 

Nearby on the shelf is Foreigner: Agent Provocateur, Unusual Heat. One of those almost super groups with members from other British bands: King Crimson, Stories – this is solid metal rock with blues base & solid song writing. I Wanna Know What Love is is an amazingly emotional piece of work that is unlike most of their work.

The gay guide was mostly in French. He knew the basics: cuir = leather; commericals = hustlers; enough to avoid what he didn’t want. Too bad what he didn’t want was as out of his reach as what he wanted.

He took a quick shower, rinsed his socks and underwear. He lay on top of the bed with a dry towel over his chest. Cool air through the open window tickled his public hair.

What could he do? Should he go down and join the new arrivals? Is that what one did here? Guests mingle at sunset. Without Patrick he didn’t know what was right. But that light was red. He could go down and ask about a restaurant. Or would that make him look hopeless and alone?

He got dressed, made sure he had his room key and walked down the stairs. He stopped at lounge and looked in. Two of the new arrivals were still there. Both appeared to Mike be in their late 20’s. In almost matching jeans. The taller, clean shaven, had very short hair cut the other a head of loose reddish curls and he needed a shave.

The taller of them smiled at him. “Hej, taler du Engelsk. … Sorry I mean English you speak or French.”

“English.” Mike answer. He thought a moment. “Besøg fra Danmark.”

“Ja. Ja. Du taler dansk?”

“Ingen. I have had some Danish students though. I know a few words in many languages. Vaša prva poseta Kanadi?”

“Huh?”

“A little Bosnian.”

“You are teacher. Here?”

“Not in Montreal. I teach ESL. (plant this info earlier). English as a second language. I am from Halfiax.”

“Yes. I know Nova Scotia.”

“Right.”

“I am Eluf, this is Tyge.”

Mike shook hands with them.

“We are both from Odense.”

“On your honeymoon?” Mike asked.

“Ingen.” Tyge blushed. “A field trip?” He looked to Eluf to made sure he had said the right thing.

“Field trip?”

“We are seeing how alternative lifestyles are supported in other countries.” Eluf explained. “For university.”

“Are all of you here on a field trip? I mean when i cam in there were others with you. Here.”

“Ingen. We met them first time. They go to supper.” Tyge said.

“If you are doing nothing you could come.”

“Come! Yes he can come.” Eluf began to laugh. “Come is (some Danish sex slang for shooting off.)”

Their laughter was contagious and Mike joined in. “I would like to dine with you. Coming with you we’ll have to talk about later?”

“Good. Good. Then we can go to the fireworks.” Tyge pointed to a flyer on the wall of fireworks. Mike read it carefully to make sure that it was in fact for a fireworks display and not some bar event.

“Sure. Why not.” Mike said. “You’ll needed warner coats though. Gets cool fast & it’ll be even cooler by the river.”

“Righta said Nutteta.” Tyge playfully punched Mike in the arm.

“I’ll get coats.” Eluf went up the stairs.

“Nutteta?” Mike asked.

“Yes. I give you Danish name. Means … cute. Yes. Nuttet means I can call you cute and only Eluf will know.”

“Thanks, I guess. You think I’m nuttet?”

“That comes as surprise? Yes I forget in America the young gays don’t find experience men … sexy. Not me.” He squeezed Mike’s ass.

“Here is your coat.” Eluf came into the room. “It is much warmer now than when I went upstairs.” He looked knowing at Tyge. “You have been flirting again.”

“Ja. Kan du bebrejde mig?”

“Er han gammel mand nok til dig?”

“Huh?” Mike said as they put their coats on.

“Elug wanted to know if you were mature enough for me.”

“Tyge usually goes for the grandfather.” Eluf laughed. “You are not that old.”

“I’m not sure if I should be flattered on not.”

They walked up to corner of St H and St C. Eluf hailed a cab. The three of them crowded in the back seat with Mike in the middle. Eluf quickly gave the driver an address.

“You know Montreal?” Mike asked.

“Research. He is taking us to Pou-Pou Palais. According to guide it has the best poutine in Montreal.”

“We have never had poutine. I must try it once. You are a fan of poutine?”

“Can’t say that I am.” Mike said trying to stay focused as Tyge’s hand moved along his inner thigh. He was tempted to push the hand away. “Do you have enough room.” He inched away. “Am I sitting on you?”

“Not yet.” Tyge answered with a wide grin. “Would you like to be?”

He and Eluf burst into uncontrolled laughter.

So this is what I’ve been hiding from by being with Patrick. Using our relationship, no it was never than, using our hook ups to be safe.

The taxi pulled up at Pou-Pou Palais. Eluf paid the driver before Mike could offer. It more a take out restaurant with only two large round tables for sitting. Each table could seat ten. Mike explained as best he could the tables where shared. That strangers would often sit together to eat.

The menu boasted “soixante-dix-sept variétés délicieuses.” He scanned the lists which were organized by main toppings. Each type had its own number. Plus you could “crée le tien” by picking your own toppings. He wondered if there was a salt free option. He watched as another customer picked up their order. It was huge. The fries were dripping with dark gravy, on top of which was chunks of bacon and what appeared to be avocado and beans.

The Danish guys both opted for the traditionnel. Mike ordered  the Grec that added gyros meat and replaced the gravy with tzatziki. It would be almost healthy.

For some reason the food silenced Eluf and Tyge. They took photos as the chef prepared their meals and of the finished product. After their first few bites each typed in notes on their cell phones. He expected them to take pictures of each other next. But they didn’t.

“You have enjoyed your pou-pou?” Tyge asked him. “Oh you do have the rich sauce. It is very nice.” He dipped a finger into the tzatziki left on the bottom of Mike’s bowl. “Mmm … comes alive in the mouth.”

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kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

November 1-30
2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


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Deep Purple

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Deep Purple morphed from prog rock to classical leanings to straight ahead heavy metal. I have stand alone’s: Shades of Deep Purple, 3, In Rock; The Book of Taliesyn is tucked into an mp3 collection with Iron Butterfly. Even their prog was more rock than anything else – thick organ, layered with guitar and harmonies. They remade songs like Hush, Help, Kentucky Woman – clearly influenced, or was it the other way around? by Vanilla Fudge – but less turgid than Fudge. Hints of Procol Harum abound on the first 3 lps as well but they lacked a lyricist like Gary Brooker.

They were never really all that experimental – in the way bands like 09-grid02Yes, or even the Nice, were. Some tracks are flooded with fun percussion – they attempted a rock concerto with orchestra that wasn’t much of a success. Pretentious? Who knows – they were given opportunities to do things & did them.

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Book of Taliesyn, their 2nd, was reviled at the time – trying too hard etc. I had some of these on Lp at the time & replaced them with CDs & the memories are more important than the actual musicality of the band.

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After their unsuccessful attempts at fusing rock with pretension they returned to heavy metal with In Rock – power driven guitar rock. I liked it then, still do. I did hear some of the Rainbow stuff but didn’t hold my interest. Enough was enough. 🙂

 

sampleAbility

In the process of selecting a suitable apprentice from the many candidates that often seek such opportunities it is wise to remember the three A’s – appearance, availability and ability. To chose an applicant who doesn’t fulfill those three criteria limits chances of  success.

Appearance – this is someone with whom you will be expected to work at close quarters for several years. He should be someone who will fit in the habitation you have – someone whose personal habits, hygiene and health will not distract either of you from the tasks at hand. Choose someone whose appetites are within the limits of what you can provide – a hungry apprentice will not learn as easily as one who is well nourished.

Availability – be positive that you have the time and inclination to share your knowledge with someone. Make it clear to the applicant that he must have the time to learn. One master per apprentice is a good rule of thumb. It is possible for an apprentice to move on to a second or even third tradesman but for the teacher it is best to stick to apprentices who have no previous learning. The gift of knowledge you are about to impart must last a life time. If the applicant isn’t available to practice your skills for his life time it is pointless to impart anything to him.

Ability – if your trade calls for fine finger and hand work do not chose one whose hands are too large to handle the equipment. If your trade calls for strength and brawn do not chose one whose frame isn’t fully formed and muscular. If mental and verbal skills are needed do not chose the thick of thought or timorous of tongue.

If you follow these three A’s appearance, availability and ability you will be sure to have an apprentice or apprentices who will assist you in the development of your craft, who will carry on the sacred knowledge that has been bestowed upon you by the grace of St. V’ths. To vary from these simple and traditional suggestions could mean the loss of even more information.

We must preserve our past, we must find new men willing to learn and who may be able to delve even deeper into our past based on your present knowledge.

Select with care and with the Blessing of St. V’ths upon your choice.

soon

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on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

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http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

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https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

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https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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http://nanowrimo.org/

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under the Golden Gate

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Blazing BeBop Deluxe

On to one another of my favourite, nearly unheard of groups: BeBop Deluxe: cd1: Axe Victim, Futurama, Starburst Finish, Modern Music, Live in the Air Age. cd2: Drastic Plastic, Radioland (BBC); Bill Nelson: Sound on Sound, The Love That Whirls; Yellow Magic Orchestra. Stand alone: Raiding the Divine Archive.

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patio mushrooms

Prog rock was a force at one time, one that never really made it to the charts mind you. Bands like ELP, Yes, Caravan – to name a few – where pushing pop in what was supposed to be complex directions with lot of classical organ, piano & seemingly random structures.

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shaft of light

BeBop, is a guitar based group – the genius of Bill Nelson on guitar. For me it was truly progressive. Starburst Finish & Modern Music are the two lps I know the best – stunning engineering, surreal lyrics & a scifi subtext propels their music. Always surprising and rarely dull I always enjoy re-listening to their work. Unlike, say, ELP, which can be a bit of a slog at times – slog prog: a new genre.

Many of the arrangements are astonishing – each line seems to come from a different song yet they cohere and take me with them with a consistent sonic flow that seems effortless. Some of the lyric writing now has a sense of the time: that ironic 70’s stance, but who cares.

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carpet hedge

Rounding it out is a couple of Bill Nelson’s solo & other work: excellent. His Beauty & The Beast is worth tracking down. He released a new CD, After the Satellite Sings, in 2014 – every bit as good as the recent David Bowie. I also added some Yellow Magic Orchestra lps: electronica from Japan that is a delight to hear, at times a bit cheesy but without these guys there’d be no FatBoy Slim.

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Thought

The radio suddenly went dead. The overhead lights flickered and went off. A few seconds later the emergency power kicked in but that was only enough to keep vital monitoring machines going.

“What the fuck is going on?” Carl’s shouts echoed down the hallway. “Did I just die or what the fuck? I thought this was a … “

“Keep calm and quiet.” the nurse pushed the door to Carl’s room open. “We have enough to worry about without your shrieking.”

“Sorry to be such a bother but what am I supposed to do? It’s not as if I can just get up and get out of here.”

“Yes, well, if it came to that you’d have nothing to worry about.”

“Haven’t met you before, have I?”

“Janet Green. No you haven’t met me before I just got back from leave of absence. But I have heard all about you.”

“I’m sure you have.” Carl laughed. “Gotta keep you guys on your toes.”

She smoothed his bedding and headed out the door. “I have others to check on.”

“I’m sure you do Janet. But what the fuck is going on?”

“I don’t know. Got batteries for that radio?”

“Nope.”

“None in your vibrator?”

She let the door shut and went to the nurses station.

“So any word on what’s going on?”

Don held his hand over the receiver of the telephone. “It isn’t the end of world. Looks like a transformer blew. They should have us back on line with-in the hour.”

“Just what we needed.”

“Thought things had changed while you were gone?”

The emergency power flickered and plunged into black.

“Oh shit now what.”

“What the hell is going on here.”

“Yeah.”

Frightened complaints flowed out from the rooms on the floor.

“I gotta go down and see what’s happening.”

“You know about that sort of stuff?”

“Well, no, Janet but someone has to go down. The phones are still live anyway. You see if you can get someone. An electrician would be the best thing.”

“What about  the maintenance guy, Amos?”

“Try him at home. He might be able to help.”

Don was on his knees looking for a flashlight on a shelf under the nurses station when the lights flooded back on.

 

 

 

 

 

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