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.”

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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

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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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