Yusef Lateef plus

Lee Konitz (1927 – 2020) Brazilian Rhapsody (1995) focuses primarily on Brazilian standards. Konitz is a solid, lyrical sax player – inventive without being jarring. Here he does sweet work with some of my favourite Latino standards: Manha De Carnaval, A Felicidad – romantic without being cloying.

Yusef Lateef (1920 – 2013) Over a 2cd mp3 collection I have Lateef’s complete recordings from 1957-1963 – as well as Towards The Unknown with Adam Rudolph. Plus, in another collection, his later Eastern Sounds, Blue Yusef, Lateef’s Sound, In A Temple Garden & stand-alones Psychicemotus, Golden Flute. Also, in the mp3 collection, just for fun, is Logan’s Run (soundtrack) by Jerry Goldsmith.

I think In A Temple Garden was my introduction to Lateef – an impressionist mediation with temple bells that invokes quiet afternoons in another world – verging on new age but with real jazz underpinnings.  I picked it up as an lp & returned to it frequently. I picked up  Psychicemotus, Golden Flute two of his mid 60’s verve recordings as cd reissues with great liner notes. These are excellent with touches of world music & even a take on Gymnopedie #1.

The recordings from 1957-1963 are a more recent additions. I bought them from iTunes for under $10.00 – many of jazz recordings from the 50’s, 60’s are now public domain & you can find massive reissue collections like this to download cheaply. This one was sorted nicely into the individual releases with covers. Some are dumped with to regard to original lp order.

From 2010 is Towards The Unknown with Adam Rudolph. A fascinating collaboration that includes songs, orchestra & jazz combo – smart compelling modern music. He is a sensitive musician – sax, flute even keyboards – who explores with a lyrical sensibility that is always inviting & rarely dissonant.  If you are unfamiliar I would recommend starting with those Verve reissues.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Logan’s Run is a total delight. I watched the film, again, a few year ago & the synthesizer work is outstanding & totally captures the the early 70’s sound as well as the sense Hollywood had of what the future would be. Both are worth seeing/hearing.  

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Natural Nelson NERDs

 

The Natural Born Killers soundtrack is a template for what a pop music driven soundtrack should be with songs from Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Duane Eddy, Patsy Cline & more used to brilliant effect – sometimes to propel the action, to comment on it or as an ironic counter point – rarely is it used to create emotional content. The film is a satiric blood-bath commentary on what Americans will do for fame & how they capitalized on it.

Capitalizing on fame was a trend though the 50’s, 60’s when TV ‘stars’ branched out into recording in hopes of hitting the top 10. So you find the likes of George Maharis, Shelley Fabares, even Telly Savalas releasing singles & Lps. I tracked down one by Christopher Connelly: The Boy From Peyton Place. Some of them could sing some of the couldn’t.

One who could sing was Ricky Nelson. I have All My Best & Garden Party. Ricky had a string of hits: Travelin’ Man, Hello Mary Lou & a dozen others. Well produced radio fodder that never garnered him critical respect – as a musician & singer he is equal to Bob Seeger & the like. Seeger got respect, Ricky was dismissed until his Garden Party lp. Reflective, self-aware songs that proved he was ‘real’ & not some studio engineer’s product.

The next N is the not-yet-golden-oldie NERD. I have stand-alones: In Search of, Fly or Die, Seeing Sounds. Almost current pop 🙂 funky with state-of-the-art engineering. I saw a video for one of their tracks & picked up that first cd, at HMV. Can they sing? Who knows, with what can be done with voice in the studio but pleasant enough. Songs about romance, fame with a dash of explicit heterosexuality. I enjoy them when they come up in rotation to be played but I don’t feel drawn to them otherwise. Always good to know what the kids are listening to 🙂



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Moe & Krzysztof

By Canadian flautist Moe Koffman I have as stand-alones: Plays Bach, The Four Seasons & Best Of. Best known for ‘Swinging Shepard Blues’ he has had an extensive career of jazz classical exploration. If you listen much to CBC radio his Bach pieces show up frequently as theme or ‘pause’ music. There is a jazz trend to interpret classical music, much like prog rock (i.e. ELP’s Pictures at an Exhibition). Koffman does this with more of a pop than jazz approach. Great music. Sadly, as far as I can tell, his Four Seasons is out-of-print & not available in any form. Some of the cuts are included in the Best of cd.

Next K is am MP3 cd compilation of creepy soundtracks & more classical adaptations. By Krzysztof Komeda: Rosemary’s Baby; Jack the Ripper; by Paul Glass: Bunny Lake Is Missing; Essential Hitchcock: st music from Lifeboat, Spellbound, Psycho & others; Mondo Cane Soundtrack. And explorations of Satie by Joe Santos & by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. Velvet Gentleman.

My partner had the lp of Rosemary’s Baby soundtrack, which I enjoyed. I eventually I replaced it with a clearer sound & its was paired with another of his soundtracks. Komeda, a Polish jazz musician, did soundtrack for other Polanski films. The music is  suspenseful & moody. Komeda died at 36, so is mostly forgotten. 

The Mondo soundtrack covers various styles & moods & got an 1963 Oscar nom for the song More. Paul Glass’s Bunny Lake Is Missing is another moody work. I had the lp which I bought solely for the tracks by the Zombies – this was time when British films makers had to include a scene with a live rock band. I was & still am a Zombies fan.

The Essential Hitchcock: st music from Lifeboat, Spellbound, Psycho & others. Moody, impressionistic stuff with the Psycho music being classic stuff. Those shower strings pulsate with terror. Elsewhere in my collection I have the complete Psycho soundtrack – well worth searching out.

Finally more classical – this time of explorations of Satie by Joe Santos & by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra’s The Velvet Gentleman & The Electronic Spirit of Satie. Santos is  in the Tomita electronica realm but not as lush. Camarata is stunning. These were two must have lps at one time. Real musicians & moog combined to perfection. The lps cover more than the Gymnopedies. I love the spoken introductions on Electronic Spirit. Well worth tracking down for your collection.

scrap of a story from late 90’s found in an old notebook

The New House

The back fence was about twenty yards from the kitchen window. Kit could barely see the rag he had nailed to the post. It was one of the few intact fence posts. A few pickets angles away from it.

In front was a sturdy post for the mailbox. He’d painted it earlier in the week. His first claim to possession – the stamp of ownership. A new mailbox was all he could afford at short notice.

The sky blue of the box stood out against the green of the cedar hedge. When he found the time he’d add his name to the box. Moe too his efforts so far had been in the garden.

Untended for many years he had his work cut out for him. The ramshackle garden was the deciding factor in the decision to buy this house.

The red clay soil was a challenge he felt up to. He knew a year of two of mulch would bring rewards. A game of seeds was next to see what would suit in the mean time.

He’d seen  several shows on TV about how some plants helped the acid balance of the soil.

“What’s up?” Jim, his boyfriend, stepped on the veranda with him.

“Jim! I didn’t expect you up this early in the day.”

“I expect danger pay for barring those early birds.” He did a little dance like bird pecking around Kit’s head. “Actually I’m up because Carol called.”

“Carol?” Kit knew that could only mean one thin. “Time for Bix’s seasonal check up? Seems he just had one.”

“About this time last spring.”

“Well, we don’t want the stress we get when we skip them.”

“Right and we’ll get to see if the change in climate has been as good for him as it has been for our relationship.”

….

That’s it 🙂 I have a scattering of such fragments were I’m experimenting with just making people talk.  No outline or idea of where etchings are going, or who is going be there as the words bring them into the story. 

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Maria Muldaur

Maria Muldaur’s career spans decades starting with her work with Jim Kweskin Jug Band, with her husband on Geoff & Maria: Sweet Potatoes. Then solo. I have her early 70’s lps: Midnight At The Oasis, Waitress In A Donut Shop, Sweet Harmony & the later Heart of Mine (2006) of Bob Dylan love songs. Plus some of that jug band with Jim Kweskin: Relax Your Mind, Unblushing Business.

Like many my introduction was Midnight with its very jazzy tempo & evocative lyrics. The solo albums cover a range of styles & eras. Suggestive “Don’t Touch My Leg” to almost gospel “Sweet Harmony.” My favourite track is Waitress that is a perfect 40’s movie musical in under four minutes. She was one of several female singers  at the time like Linda Ronstadt or Emmylou Harris or even Bette Midler – who were ‘groomed’ for major careers.

Each took very different routes though & Maria’s never hit the heights of Linda’s. Perhaps the ‘glamour’ didn’t appeal to her after her politically charge folky years. The earlier jug band work is, as one would expect, rootsy, Americana with a strong anti-capitalism undertone. It is great fun & covers ragtime, big band (without the big band) & traditional with hippy fervour. Kweskin is worth seeking out if you are unfamiliar. 

I love the lilting, light quality of her voice which over time became less smooth but still emotive  & sweet. Her later work becomes more bluesy & some of it is Christian based. According to wiki she’s still alive, torquing the folk circuit & heading back to the studio soon.

Finally Steelyard Blues (1973): Soundtrack with songs written by Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield – some feature Maria Muldaur on vocals. They movie is a mediocre counterculture ‘comedy’ that isn’t as good as its soundtrack. Skip the movie get the soundtrack 🙂 

the final section from this short story I wrote in 1977

Chopin

3

We walk on silently, breathlessly, towards my place. She allows herself to feel, again, David’s desire to be there, to be there with her. We cross two empty streets, pass a ballgame, round a corner. Three houses down, I stop without warning. She stumbles against me, our faces touch.

Will the neighbours think we kissed

“Home at last. Be it ever so humble.” Lazily unlocking the door I lead her in.

“Ooh this is nice. Very nice. It is so much bigger than your other place.” She is glad she accepted his dinner invitation. Here she can read signs in his plants, confessions in the paintings he hangs, thoughts from the books he is reading. “There is so much more you here.”

“You think so?” Safe. I am safe here. “I’m glad you like it. It took quite a bit of work to get it this far. I sanded the floors myself.” David is rapidly opening the lp he bought. “I wanted it to be more than a place you eat & sleep.” I need to hear Chopin. “I tried to express things without being too blunt.” The lp is now. I want its newness. Jean is new, here. “It is very good seeing you again.”

Jean sits on the long couch, watching him wipe the static off the new album. “You’re still so very careful with you records. I’m amazed.” She wonders if those hands will still be as careful with her.

“I look on these as an investment to be protected.” As they protect me. Piano fills the room. David sits beside her. “I wish I could take back some of those ugly things I’ve said.” I blurt, looking quickly away from her. “Do you really like what I’ve done with this place?”

She turns slowly, her eyes moving over plants, carpets, records. A planter, hanging in the window, casts irregular shadows across her face. She squeezes his hand, the pressure to convey he acceptance & understanding of his blurted apology. The shadows ripple like fingers over a keyboard. A fantasy in lust & dark.

“I’m jealous. My place is such a mess.”

David is watching shadows play around her lips, into the creases of her calculating eyes. Yes, there is more than a chance for us.

“What are you thinking about,” she asks, her hands wanting to push his hair back. her eyes wanting to search his body for further information, for a sign she can trust & follow.

“Food,” I laugh, getting up.”What would you like?”

“Oh, anything. Let’s see what you’ve got.” She laughs, following him into the kitchen.

The kitchen is so small we keep bumping into each other as we prepare a light summer supper. There is mayonnaise on her cheek, I reach out to wipe it off by stop.

“I …” David wants to explain there is no motive but knows that such an explanation is a step towards the motives I would be denying.

“Yes?” She looks away, wiping her cheek, glancing out the window at his tiny little backyard garden

David leaves the kitchen, leaves the image of her standing, holding a dishcloth to her face. A perfect moment. Safe. Complete. I turn the Chopin over, add his Waltzes to be played next, turn the stereo up & let the music thicken enough for two.

She comes into the room, softly asks. “How can you bear to living alone?”

“I can’t.” I turn so quickly David’s look of unalterable longing reaches her before I can control it.

She blushes.

I kiss her.

She pushed him away. “Please, don’t”

I kiss her again. Harder. She responds.

I stop suddenly.

“I’m sorry.” David steps back, Chopin throbbing in my temple. Is this fair to either of us?

“Don’t be. I was afraid romance had died. Apparently it has only lost some of its former grace.” She laughs, putting her arms around David, pulling him closer.

“Maybe it has merely been replaced by desperation.” I whisper. My hands fumble to open buttons, hooks, buckles & zippers. The carpet is coarse, yet soft under my skin. Her shoulders are brown, well-tanned, except for straps of white flesh. For an instant David recalls the tanned shoulders of a more urgent body but that instant passes into piano winds brushing our hair as we roll with & into one another.

Bound by a stunning rush of cadenza I, for the moment, escape the need for safety, the worry of fairness. Safety from that clear hunger I am tempted by but am unwilling to understand.

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Scarlatti vs Schafer

By Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757) (son of Alessandro Scarlatti), a late master of the Italian Baroque, I have  2 cds of his harpsichord sonatas – that are lp to cd transfers from MHS recordings. Rounded out with John Addison (1920-1998) soundtrack to Tom Jones. 

I enjoy harpsichord but in small doses. This was a 2 lp set that I would listen to one side then a week later listen to another side. The music is,. as far as I know, excellent but I could only stand so much of that tinkling at a time 🙂 A little bit an go a long way though I did like this enough to do the transfer. I doubt that IU would recognize any of these sonatas if I heard them on the radio – unlike, say, Chopin which I can ‘spot’ instantly.

I am a great soundtrack lover. John Addison’s soundtrack to Tom Jones is driven by solo harpsichord, so it seems only natural to include it here. The playing, as expected, is more modern but it conveys the style of the time nicely, too. I’ve seen the film but when I listen to this lp I have no associations to any scenes in the movie. 

After all that busy baroque figure work it is a bit of a relief to come to R. Murray Schafer (1933), he is from a totally different time era & music philosophy. I’m including him here because he is next on the shelf 🙂 I have this sand-alone 1997 CBC live recording of Wolf Music. It is conceptual music meant to be heard live for best effect. The ‘concert’ would be heard walking through a forest while the musicians placed in various location would be playing. The music is evocative, soothing & it does hold up without the forest. I’d love to experience this but it is live music for the financially elite not common folks like myself.

Arts und Krafts

Kind readers one thing that I neglected to mention in my wee report yesterday was the Christmas Arts und Krafts display at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral’s Fun Fair. Like many of you I have seen my share of knitted booties for rifle stocks and candle holders made out of moose dung but there were some very fine pieces from the near by College of Arts and Reconstructionist Designers of Palmixalitato County.

I am well aware of the rivalry that has been going on between the students in that county and our own but remember we did trounce them the last three years in the Provincial Open Court Peach Pit Curling Play Off. So we can afford to allow them to excel at something and excel they did at the Fun Fair.

There were many charming crystallized bones pieces from the Anatomy of Design classes there. I was particularly taken by the crystallized moose bone reproductions of the Departments of the Cross that one Leslie Ann Marie Betty McDellon had created. 

I can’t imagine what sort of skill it takes to do such fine work but I can certainty respect the work that it took. 

Also many were charmed by the spiderwood furniture Gregh O’Treple has wrought there. A sturdy eight legged rocking chair with a fine webbed seat and back was very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. He hopes to follow in the family footsteps and may be opening his own furniture and restraints shoppe right here in Crab Apple Corners. He will surely be missed in Palmixalitato County. But their misery is always our gain.

Another feature of the Fun Fair that cannot be neglected was the food pavilion. Over 20,000 were seated at one time for a fine feeding of Trish Creamly’s delicious sprung bark toffee pie. Trish you have out done yourself this year. Just save that recipe for my wedding reception. I know if you keep your hands on the crust you’ll keep them off my man – just kidding folks.

The children at the Fun Fair were also treated to a production by the local Armature Theatre Guild. They performed tragic scenes from various plays. The beheading of John the Baptist brought the crowd to their feet and kudos must go to Hank Grebly who did a fine job in the title role 

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Low Roar Faker

Coldplay opened the door for an endless series of introspective, soaring, soft-rock, shoe-gazer uplifting bands from everywhere. The sound is similar in the way the singer is miked & the music is engineered. Sweet, sometimes jangly guitars, touches of synth, burbles of electronica, strings & sensitive yearning lyrics.

From Iceland comes Low Roar. I have the self-titled Low Roar & 0 – I’m not sure if it is O or 0 though. Not that it matters. It is dreamy, shoe-gazer, electro folk. Relaxing. Out of Australia comes Chet Faker: Built On Glass. More of the same musically with perhaps a bit more energy & humour. Which is what one would expect with a name that parodies Chet Baker. I was hoping for some jazz in this Glass but there was none. From the UK comes Bear’s Den with Islands. Blindfold test & I cannot tell one from the other 🙂

Even before the emotive cool of Coldplay there was Brian Ferry. Perhaps more relaxed but a clear inspiration for many of these bands. In this mp3 compilation I have Avonmore. Gentle, soaring & sort of a sequel to his Avalon. No matter what he does it always sound like Roxy Music. No matter what Cold Play does it sounds like Cold Play.

To balance all this gentle pop I added Germany’s Einsturzende Neubauten: Ende neu Kleff. Electronica & homemade instruments this is a punchier version of Kraftwerk. One of their videos had been posted to Tumblr – it was hypnotic, propulsive & right up my ear alley. One lps was enough to satisfy & this is wild music but not too aggressive to listen to.

The same holds true for Underwater Noises. This is a globe hopping compilation of electronica all with some water element in the mix. I may have found this free on the Internet Archives site or perhaps Bandcamp. Finally is the soundtrack from Beasts of the Southern Wild. Evocative, comes rocking with Bayou funk this is a great soundtrack for a great movie.

(a piece from May 2007)

Sense of Absence

you’ve heard of phantom limb syndrome

well, I suffered phantom pubes

when I had them shaved for surgery

I didn’t realize how I relied on them

till they were gone

there was a constant sense of absence

as they grew back

reaching down in the morning

for a comforting little scratch

with no welcoming thatch of hair

for my fingers to work though

 

not that having them shaved

was much of a thing either

before it happened 

I had some worry about being aroused

an erotic shaving panorama

warm sudsy water

frothy white almond lather 

vanilla peppery smell

on the tip of an ultra soft brush

careful caressed on

hone stropped sharp blade

sliding through the soap

to leave me smooth as a baby

flesh tingling

 

it wasn’t a bit like that

a shoulder nudge at 5:30 a.m. 

‘here to shave you’

female was all I could tell

with light hitting my eyes

a spray bottle

like window cleaner

two cool antiseptic squirts

scrape scrape scrape

less than a minute

‘wipe off at the sink’

back in the bed 

a glance down

gone gone

my crowning glory gone

 

it lead me to wonder 

the why of pubic hair

certainly not ornamental

it can’t be one of those hormonal triggers

you know how girls 

flick their hair 

a come hither gesture

that is never done with pubes

not even in private

they don’t offer much

protective cover in case of emergency

they can be hard to get out of 

the teeth of a zipper

or of someone giving you a close inspection

 

phantom pubes

I could feel them

even when they weren’t there 

but at least that’s all that was removed
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The King Kinks and the KLF

The Kinks were part of the first great British invasion that followed on the heels of the Beatles. Tight, punchy pop songs like You Really Got Me established them as a cut above many of the other invaders but they never achieved the popularity of more commercial groups like the Dave Clarke Five. I have their first lp (with bonus tracks) tucked away in an mp3 collection. 

The lp I owned when I lived in Cape Breton was Face to Face. This remains my favourite. The production  was influenced by Sgt. Pepper. The songs have sound effects & other studio tricks, all of which work. Like all their material they are sardonically romanic, socially sharp & flower power trippy. Chipper with touches of English Music hall. My favourite track ‘Rainy Day In June.’

I never did become a fan though. I did love ‘Lola’as one of the first pop songs that was about sexual diversity. I had the cassette of ‘Lola Verses Powerman’ but the sound quality was iffy – the song cycle is about the music industry & has sharp comments, that remains are today. I finally upgraded it to a stand-alone CD & guess what the iffy sound quality remains 😦 I guess it was engineered that way.

I also have 2cd set Kinks Kronikles which is a sort of hits compilation which satisfied my need for their later work. I enjoy the Kinks when they come up in my play rotation. The Face to Face cd has a slew of bonus tracks. 

On the shelf near the Kinks is movie soundtrack of The King & I. This was one of my mother’s favourites & remains one of mine too. Brenner does his own singing, Marnie Nixon dubbed Kerr. I love all of these songs. This cd has the re-constructed Uncle Tom ballet which was not on the lp. Sweet.

Finally on this bit of the shelf is The KLF: Justified & Ancient featuring Miss Tammy Wynette – an ep of different versions. I love this when it hit the discos & takes me back to the early 90’s in a good way. One of the most surreal mash-ups of country & dance music ever & it works.

Killer Joy

Devon squinted his eyes, dropped his voice to a growl. 

“Not, Hey Mark do you want to be killed, strangled, mutilated and left butt naked in the back seat of a ’58 Plymouth.”

“Nothing like that.” 

My cell phone rang and rang.

“Aren’t you going to answer it.”

“It can go to voice mail.’

“You are really afraid.” Devon sort of laughed.

“You aren’t taking this seriously are you. Or do you know more than you are letting on. You do, don’t you, you fucking asshole.”

Devon’s smile got bigger as he back away from me. 

“No! No! Honest. It’s weird to see you sort of panic like this. You are usually so calm.”

“If this is some set up I’ll never speak to you again. This isn’t funny.”

Devon tried to keep a straight face.

I checked my voice mail. 

“It’s Dave. He wants to know what’s keeping us.” I called Dave back.

“Hey Dave we’re on our way … A little delay getting the car parked.  Yeah Devon is with me. we should be there in about five minutes.” I shut the cell phone.

“Was it him?” Devon asked.

“Him what?”

“That called you. Did the voice sound like Dave’s?”

Devon’s cell rang. He answered it. He dropped it the ground.

“What!” I asked.

“He said – Mark wants to kill you.”

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

January

Thursday 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 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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Dr. Paa BoBo & Snow White

Dr. Paa BoBo: The Greatest Mix – Ghana – I picked this cd up at the $1.00 shelf from the 2nd store that used to be around the corner from me on the Danforth. For a buck I figured I could add a little something to my world view. Bouncy, energetic music. I did google him then to find out just where he hails from. I did another check for this post & found out his reputation is large. There’s a huge, whole world of music out there beyond the limited scope of English language pop.

wet03

reflection 1

Boogie Nights: soundtrack – now this is a great sound track – nearly as good as the ones from Studio 54. I loved the movie, that opening shot to Jungle Fever gave me chills mainly because the music choice was spot on.

wet02

reflection 2

A fun mix of material too, a bit unpredictable – Melanie, Walter Egan – Magnet & Steel is one of my top 100 favourite songs of all times – too bad the lp it comes from doesn’t hold up to the single. The track I like the least, ‘Sister Christian,’ also comes from the scene I like the least – those firecrackers ugh – a scene I fast forward through because it is so annoying.

wet01

reflection 3

There’s also a hidden track that features the song that Mark Wahlberg’s character records in the studio. It is sweetly lame. As an actor he hold his own – gee this is turning into a movie review too – but the endowment prosthetic was laughably fake looking.  Move & sound track are highly recommended.

sample

Snow Falls Twenty Years Too Late

‘You’re looking quiet well. Unchanged.’

‘Thank you.’

The lack of feeling in the reply made her regret ever coming back but she knew in her heart that is was where she had been the happiest in her life. The one place where she had felt whole, complete, loved for herself and not as a trophy, or an omen or as breeding stock.

‘Genetics.’ Doc stepped towards her.

‘More like nothing ages in the enchanted forest.’ Grumpy reminded him.

‘Gosh it is good to see you again.’ Happy took her hand. ‘Whatever it is …’

‘Leggo go,’ Bashful pushed Happy aside and took her hand in his. ‘Not as soft as it used to be. Poor thing.’

‘Just passing through?’ Sneeze sneezed on ‘through.’

‘Actually …’ she didn’t know where to begin. Her amazement that the seven of them hadn’t aged in these twenty years almost made her forget why she was back once again. She knew she’d lost something, left something of herself when she left but didn’t know if she could claim it now.

‘He beat you?’ Grumpy punched the palm of his hand.

‘No! No! Nothing like that.’

‘You someone we know?’ Dopey squinted at her. ‘Don’t recollect anyone with that many wrinkles except …’ he stepped back. ‘It’s her. It’s the witch. The one that killed what’s her name.’

‘Calm down,’ Doc gently patted Dopey on he back. ‘It’s Snow White.’

‘Snow White!’ Bashful’s eyes glazed over. ‘She was so pretty.’

That’s right I was so pretty then. So full of myself and too eager to leave. She looked at the seven of them and longed for them once more. She wasn’t surprised that she wasn’t recognized by them. The years hadn’t been kind to her.

Twelve children that survived out of the nearly twenty she had carried hadn’t given her much time to luxuriate in the life of wealth Prince Charming offered her. The pitter patter of little feet she wanted to hear now where of these men bringing her diamonds once again.

She looked down at her child birth ravaged body, distended breasts, varicose veins tingled in her legs, grey wisps in her once jet black hair. No wonder Prince Charming had been seen hanging around that bitch in the tower. That bitch with the wonderful hair. No wonder her old friends now saw her as the Wicked Witch.

‘So what brings you back?’ Grumpy nudged her out of her reverie, ‘besides that ugly ass you rode in on.’

She knew if she told them she expected to find her lost girlhood here, they would laugh. The thought amused her too. If only they had aged she might have felt more comfortable more welcome but they looked exactly as they had when she left.

Her eyes delighted in their short stocky firm bodies. She longed to pull off those dusty tunics to see the hard muscular bodies underneath. Seven sturdy studly men who could have been hers if she hadn’t run off to fulfill some happy ending that turned into endless sameness. But what was a girl to do but follow what she was taught was to be her heart’s delight? A perfect handsome Prince as opposed to seven sweaty soiled little men.

‘I was wondering how you’ve been all these years.’

‘We sent gifts for each of the children.’ Happy said. ‘You did get them.’

‘We never got a thank you note you know.’ Doc muttered.

‘Yes yes. Thanks. Hansel, Gretel, Peter Peter, Dick, Jane, Cinderella, Topsy, Nan, Buffy, Aladdin and Helen were all appreciative.’

Her heart begin to sink. She knew she wouldn’t fit back here. It was too late. Now she had no where to turn to, no place left to run except back home. Back to the ever so Charmings.

‘Nice to see you again.’ Sleepy roused himself before nodding back off.

She got up to leave. There was a knock at the door. A rush of excitement went through the seven of them. Each adjusted his clothes, then brushed back his hair to look presentable.

‘Who is it?’ Doc sang out invitingly.

‘Simple Simon,’ came the reply.

‘Oh Simon!’ They called out in unison and Simon entered.

Conversation flowed around her rapidly.

‘You look great … You’ve been gone all day … Make yourself comfortable … I got the hot tub all set for you …  Don’t mind her she’s just leaving … I would have come sooner but I had to get something special from the pie man for you guys … I missed you so much  …  Especially you Bashful but you aren’t so bashful when it counts are you  …  let me just look at you  …  Why don’t we get out of these itchy clothes  … ’

She stopped trying to figure out who was saying what to who. She knew she had really missed the boat and it was too late to get back on now. Without a good bye she let herself out.

Finally she understood the Wicked Witch.

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Tea Room Tramps

More Pride month queer pop. Another mp3 collection: Johnnie Ray: High Drama, Live in London; Justin Paige: Justin; Rough Trade: Avoid Freud, O Tempura; Pink Flamingos: Soundtrack; Pansy Division: More Lovin’ From Our Oven, Total Entertainment; Huggy Bear: Taking the Rough With The Smooch; QBoy: Moxie

chair view from cold mountain

A panorama of history starting with Johnnie Ray: an early 50’s crooner on his way to the top thanks to Cry – nearly huge till he was caught in a washroom with the wrong man & his career was ruined. A sad story that deserves a movie soon. The music is standard & listenable.

Justin Paige – is a Toronto performer I know nothing about. With songs that mention the Parkside, talk about Kay Y Kuties & Tea Room Tramps we are in full out mode here – I bought this Lp in early 80’s & was thrilled with it. A bar-room rocker in Joe Cocker style he was doomed – gays want to dance & not be teased about being a ‘Steam Queen.’ If anyone knows more about Justin get in touch.

lies lies trashed

Rough Trade – icons of the first order – I remember hearing High School Confidential the first time – I played the Lp grey & bought another copy. Carol Pope ruled. She even performed a show with Divine – who appears on the cover the Pink Flamingos soundtrack – a movie I remember fondly.

Pansy Division brought a whole new energy to queer pop with their vibrant, fun & out there songs. From ‘I’m Gonna Be A Slut’ they make no bones about being queer guys who like queer guys. Power pop of the first order with humor, emotion & romance.

runners knocked your boots off, eh

Huggy Bear is queer art rock, experimental and fun. QBoy is electonica dance music – high energy, socially aware & beautifully produced, but lacking, shall we say identity – it could be any electronica guy but with a bit more queer content.

samples

Wrong Number

 

I held my hand under the shower head. Warm, close to the hot I enjoyed. I heard a faint burr over the gush of water. Telephone. A sound I couldn’t ignore once I’d heard it , it was the call of the telephone’s demand to be answered. I just hoped it wasn’t Dan ducking out on dinner, again.

“Hello.”

“May ah shpeak to Fazadi?” A confident male voice asked.

Nuts! I hated that. Bad enough the phone would ring while I tried to get ready for my date but it had to be a wrong number.

“I’m sorry you’ve reached the wrong number.” I never did understand why I had to apologize when someone else made the mistake.

“Such is whrong numba?” Came through the receiver followed by a rapid slur of anxious words I didn’t understand.

I repeated slower, “You  have  reached  the  incorrect number. There is no Fraladi at this number.’

‘“I lokshin for Fazadi not Fraladi. Fazadi is there. No?” He sounded less confident.

“No. There is no Fazadi here. You have … what number are you trying to reach.” I could hear my shower. All that hot water down the drain.

“Seize none fie sixe fo fo none.” The man on the other end of the line said rapidly.

I didn’t understand what he said but I didn’t want to confuse him even more or have him feel I was making fun of him by having him repeat the numbers.

“That is not this number. I have to go now.” Why did I feel like directory assistance? I was even using that slightly pleasant tone they used. “Please hang up and try your call again.”

“Wait! Wait sirrah. Pleasche you tell mes right numba?” There was genuine panic in his voice.

“You have the right number but you must have dialed it wrong.” I looked around for something to pull over me, as if my not being nude would help me help him.

‘Dhialled? You men I pooshh boottons.”

“Right. You pushed the wrong buttons. Try again.”

“You heelp me. Pleasche I not shure now if I do right.”

Help? How could I help this man? All I could hear was the crawl of street traffic behind him and my hot water heater empty.

“Try the operator. Just push zero and someone will help you. Good bye.”

I hung up before he could reply, got into the shower where I ignored phone as it started to ring again.

Nuts! Cold water.

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