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Fixing A Hole 2 comments

One of my favourite Beatle songs is also one of their least known.

I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go

I’m filling the cracks that ran through the door
And kept my mind from wandering
Where it will go

And it really doesn’t matter if
I’m wrong I’m right
Where I belong I’m right
Where I belong
See the people standing there
Who disagree and never win
And wonder why they don’t get in my door

I’m painting my room in a colourful way
And when my mind is wandering
There I will go

And it really doesn’t matter if
I’m wrong I’m right
Where I belong I’m right
Where I belong
Silly people run around
They worry me and never ask me
Why they don’t get past my door

I’m taking the time for a number of things
That weren’t important yesterday
And I still go

I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in
Stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go oh
Where it will go oh

I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go (fade out)

Ain’t Life A Brook 1 comment

I was informed a short while ago that I’m soon to be spending some time with the person responsible for the greatest lesbian break-up song of all time.

Snippets of these lyrics go through my head with great regularlity and have since I first heard the songwriter perform them on a Live ’85 – the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival album – back when there was vinyl.  They are firm, direct and heart/gut-wrenching … depending on when you hear them in the cycle of a relationship.

I’m particularly fond of this part:

“… life don’t clickety-clack down a straight line track … it comes together and it comes apart.”

Do have a listen, someday, if you can manage.

Ain’t Life A Brook

I watch you reading a book
I get to thinking our love’s a polished stone
You give me a long drawn look
I know pretty soon you’re going to leave our home
And of course I mind,
especially when I’m thinking from my heart
But life don’t clickety clack down a straight line track
It comes together and it comes apart.
You say you hope I’m not the kind
To make you feel obliged
To go ticking through your time
With a pained look in your eyes
You give me the furniture, we’ll divide the photographs
Go out to dinner one more time
Have ourselves a bottle of wine
And a couple of laughs
And when first you left
I stayed so sad I wouldn’t sleep
I know that love’s a gift, I thought yours was mine
And something that I could keep
Now I realize that time is not the only compromise
But a bird in the hand could be an all night stand
Between a blazing fire and a pocket of skies
So I hope I’m not the kind
To make you feel obliged
To go ticking through your time
With a pained look in your eyes
I covered the furniture, I framed the photographs
Went out to dinner one more time
Had myself a bottle of wine and a couple of laughs
And just the other day
I got your letter in the mail
I’m happy for you, its been so long
You’ve been wanting a cabin and a backwoods trail
And I think that’s great…me…
I seem to find myself in school
It’s all Ok, I just want to say
I’m so relieved we didn’t do it cruel
But ain’t life a brook
Just when I get to feeling like a polished stone
I give me along drawn look
It’s kind of a drag to find yourself alone
And sometimes I mind
Especially when I’m waiting on your heart
But life don’t clickety clack down a straight line track
It comes together and it comes apart.
Cause I know you’re not the kind
To make me feel obliged
To go ticking through my time with a pained look
In my eyes
I sold the furniture, I put away the photographs
Went out to dinner one more time
Skipped the bottle of wine
Had a couple of laughs
And wasn’t it fine….

Playing With Playlists (2) 1 comment

I’ve got about six blog posts started and not yet finished. It has been that kind of month, I guess. I have all these big ideas that are in the cake decorating sleeve and no matter how hard I squeeze, the nozzle is plugged.

I’m going to try to unplug it by working on my second installment of “why I put this song on my birthday playlist”. We are in February and my birthday was in September. At this rate, it will take me until my next birthday to finish this! :-)

Closing Time (from Celebrate Canada) performed by Leonard Cohen): I’d call myself more of a Leonard Cohen admirer than a fan. I “get” why he is so revered and I do own a couple of Leonard Cohen tribute albums of other folks covering his work. The man can write. He just can’t sing. I’ll never forget the look of shock on his face in 1993 when he won Best Male Vocalist at the Junos and famously quipped “It’s only in a country like this that I could win Male Vocalist of the Year!” In any case, this song does not appear because of anything to do with Leonard Cohen. In the mid-90′s, J and I would often attend an aquafit class at the downtown Y and our favourite instructor used this song after the high energy cardio portion as a “warm down” and it has always sort of stuck with me, reminding me of splashing about in the pool like a three year old.

Come To My Window (from Greatest Hits), performed by Melissa Etheridge. Once again, Ms. Etheridge at her garment-rending best. The woman must have been a bodice-ripper in a former life.

Day Too Soon – Mock & Toof ReMix (From Some People Have Real Problems), performed by Sia: Still can’t find this actual edit anywhere on the Internet. Adore it. Apparently no one else feels as strongly.

DJ Play My Song (from Revival), performed by Jully Black: I have a friend who, until extremely recently, was a big time clubber. Every Friday, and most Saturdays, out she’d go to a variety of clubs. Lots of stories to tell, most of which prove to me that lesbians do not have a monopoly on drama. Straight gals got their fair share. Anyway, this song makes me think of my friend, the ex-clubber. Over the Christmas holidays, she travelled to Sri Lanka, met the man of her dreams, essentially got engaged, and will be moving there in the summer. Times change.

Donde Esta Yolanda (from Sympathique), performed by Pink Martini: I could be accused of thinking that EVERY Pink Martini song I hear is my FAVOURITE Pink Martini song. But, really, THIS is my fav. Honest.

Odd trivia – the aforementioned ex-clubber? She turned me on to Pink Martini oh so many years ago … sometime around 1998 I think, she handed me Sympathique and said, simply, “You MUST listen to this!” She was SO right, young and clever those Queen’s grads! She was about 23 at the time and I would have been about 35. The friendship, and the mutual adoration of Pink Martini, has endured. We went to their concert in March 2008 together and we both still agree it was the BEST concert either of us have ever been to, bar none.

Dreams (from Women & Songs 2), performed by The Corrs: Here is an example of a cover song that freshens up the original. Not many of those around.

Falling For The First Time (from Maroon), performed by Bare Naked Ladies: The album appeared right around the time that J and I were facing the beginning of the end of our relationship. This was also right about the time that I was nursing / fighting a massive crush on someone completely and ridiculously unavailable. This song reminds me of that time, in a good way.  The lyrics make me sit up and take notice, in particular these lines in the chorus:

Anyone perfect must be lying, anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely, anyone loved can be lost

The video that I have linked to … it was the only one I could find that played the original tune as performed on the album.

Figure It Out (from It Won’t Be Soon Before Long), performed by Maroon 5: I’m a recent convert to Maroon 5. Love anything that leads with interesting layers of percussion, like this cut does.

Harder To Breathe (from Songs About Jane), performed by Maroon 5: The lyrics are … difficult for this feminist to get her head around. It really isn’t clear whether they are truly misogynistic or ironic or something else. Putting that aside for a moment, this song just rocks! I can’t believe that I entertain fantasies of singing lead on this Very Angry Song … it must touch my inner head-banger.

I’m Yours (from We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.), performed by Jason Mraz: What a cutie! The song is cute, the fella is cute and he has just about the cutest damn web site of any musician I’ve seen. Cute overload!!!

I Can’t Decide (from Ta-Dah!), performed by Scissor Sisters: This particular video includes the lyrics which are kinda R-rated. OK – confession time. January 08, I was gearing up to overcome major fears and quit the job I’d left teaching to do. The whole situation sucked. In order to get myself into the right mental space, I sang this song at the top of my lungs as I drove the 1.5 hours out there. To burn off the adrenalin after the conversation, I sang it at the top of my lungs all the way home. I especially love the lyrics in the bridge:

Oh I could throw you in the lake
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
I wont deny I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone
Oh I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I’m sleeping

I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (from Ta-Dah), performed by the Scissor Sisters: I have nothing to say other than I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! Best heard at extreme volumes.

I Feel Lucky (from Come On, Come On), performed by Mary-Chapin Carpenter: My friend SPL and I are recovering line dancers. We met on the dance-floor, each with a different jo-ann. This song has exactly the right beat and timing for a raucous little two-step or line dance of some kind. This song, actually this entire album, reminds me of very happy times kickin’ up our heels and getting very retro indeed.

I Wanna Be Like You (from This Beautiful Life), performed by Big Bad VooDoo Daddy: I am so sad that I can’t find a decent version of this online. It’s a bitchin’ big band cover of the Jungle Book tune. When it comes on in the car when I’m driving, I tend to dance around in my seat like a very silly person.  Come to think of it, the original is pretty darn good, too.

Asian Vibes (from Real World Music), performed by JOI: This is one of those songs that I crank up when it shows up on my car sound system.

Just Came Back (to Say GoodBye) (from Sudden Stop), performed by Colin James: Love how the song segues from the old style blues guitar to gritty rockin’ big band blues.

Just Keep Me Moving (from Lesbian Favourites), performed by k.d. lang: Yes, I actually DO own a CD called “Lesbian Favourites”. Hey, it is a no nonsense title, straight to the point. Kinda like wearing comfortable shoes.

Like The Way I Do (from Greatest Hits), performed by Melissa Etheridge: And yet, I own only ONE Melissa Etheridge CD. Good lord, check out the hair in this video!!! I suddenly don’t feel so bad about my hair now.

History Repeating (no idea where this is from), performed by The Propellerheads with Shirley Bassey:  Don’t know how old Ms. Bassey was when this was shot, but I wouldn’t mind being in as good a shape as she is when I reach that number. Whoa. Rowr. Purrrrr.

Littlest Birds (from Blue Horse), performed by The Be Good Tanyas: Although this is their original video, the music is stronger on the actual CD recording. Also, the CD doesn’t speed up towards the end like this version does.

Come to think of it, I have several bones to pick with the Be Goods. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of Canadian female artists. But this is yet another time this particular bunch has let me down. This song, as recorded on Blue Horse, is gorgeous. Totally gorgeous. Intricate. Some may recall this was used in a Zeller’s commercial a few years ago.  However, the audio on the video sounds like it was taken from a practice track. My other major bone to pick has to do with the one time I saw them in concert in Toronto, a cold January a few years ago. I’d snagged one of the last remaining single tickets and I was sick as a dog, but determined to hear them sing Just This One Song. Well, to my enduring disappointment, they arrived on stage half in the bag and carrying plastic tumblers of red wine. They performed this song mid-point through the show, always debating the playlist in low mumbling tones, never making eye contact with the audience or speaking to us or acknowledging us in any way. Honest to pete, it took until part way through the song for me to even recognize that it was THE SONG I’d come to hear.

In spite of my issues with the Be Goods, this song still is very high on my list of songs I’d love to perform with a small all-female vocal group someday. Maybe after I retire.

OK – I should stop now … only 19 more songs to go to wrap up the first of three giant playlists!!! :-)

All We Have Here Is Sky 1 comment

“is it lasting?”
and in asking
the sphere becomes a line
a dotted line
and to follow it
you must make a jump each time

I’ve been quite effusive on Facebook of late about feeling “blessed”, almost to the point of absurdity. Sometimes I stumble through my day-to-day life, taking everything from my own footfalls to the air in my lungs to the structure of my life for granted. Then, I will be overcome by the enormity of the privilege I’ve been granted, through whatever miracles of DNA or circumstance or training or sheer shit luck, to live this life.

Here are some things that have struck me recently:

A Normal Day: I wake up.  All my limbs, organs and muscles work. My brain gets active. My emotional life stirs. I am hungry. I am thirsty. There is food and there is water. See? I open a tap, and clean – if somewhat bleachy – water appears in endless amounts.

Doesn’t that just knock you out when that happens? If it doesn’t, it should because there are more places than I’d care to mention – including right here in Canada – where access to clean, potable water is not taken for granted, at all. No, I’m not on LSD and no I’m not going to wax poetic about the beauty of water. But, seriously, consider that the majority of the population of the world cannot do this simple thing we take for granted, many times a day. It is a humbling and precious thing, our access to water.

My normal day includes coffee and most of the time it tastes exactly as I want it to.

There is always music in my normal day, sometimes background. Sometimes foreground. Always present.

There are people to talk with, laugh with and work with. I have things to do, things to be accountable for. I’m connected in that karmic web of offering of myself and receiving, integrating and synthesizing what others offer.

There are students to learn from.

I have my own home to return to at the end of the day, providing that I left it at all. Sometimes I don’t. Both circumstances, either leaving or staying, are precious. They suggest I have purpose out in the world, and purpose within my own world.

Health, food, water, shelter, people, connection, purpose. How lucky am I?

a dotted page
a dotted hillside
a blast of dots
a blind reader
a flock of sheep
a blast of trumpet shots

here – all we have here is sky
all the sky is is blue
all that blue is is one
more colour now

My Jobs: I have many jobs, it seems. A main one and a bunch of smaller projects on the go at any one time. All stretch me creatively, organizationally. Sometimes they stretch me emotionally.

It is true, I admit it, that I have not always been grateful for my main job. I take it back. ;) It can be stimulating, allows huge amounts of latitude and freedom, and stretches me in often unexpected ways. It offers an unusual amount of security, which is a rare thing these days.

I’m grateful for my ever-growing network that seems to answer most needs, even quite unusual ones, with the flick of a few e-mails. Some days, I feel like I only need ask and whatever it is I’m trying to generate appears. Amazing.

Each day represents new opportunity in so many ways. How lucky am I?

a basket of apples
by the back door
beneath the sweater pegs
the autumn leaves
lift along the street
a pair of dancing legs

same as the vendor
who likes to sing
as loudly as he can
and all he says is
it suits me fine
that’s the way I am

Full Weekends: I flash back to a time when I was newly single in the Big City. Tough times. The break-up caused a schism in my normally dynamic social fabric. Many of the friends I had remaining were coupled themselves – weekends were their “couple” time. I could place activity in the weekday evenings, but the weekends often yawned before me, cavernous and terrifying in the depths of loneliness they could foster.

Now, my weekends need to be managed. So much to do that is self-care (groceries, errands, meal prep for the week, domestic chores), social (hockey, market, special occasions, casual get-togethers, home-cooked meals with friends, parties) and the occasional out-of-town guest. Sometimes, I need a weekend to recover from my weekend! How lucky am I?

here – all we have here is sky
all the sky is is blue
all that blue is is one
more colour now

I’ve seen this THING
you won’t believe
why it’s big – bigger
than the biggest trees
high as the mountains
wide as the widest skies
(and that’s both sides)
well – at least as big as me

Creativity & Communication: When I was in Grade 12, I was literally forced – by my best friend and my drama teacher simultaneously – to audition for the school play. I had taken a couple years of drama classes yet really didn’t feel very confident that I had anything to offer as a performer. Being hornswoggled into this role in a production of Shaw’s Arms and the Man was a turning point.

As it turns out, I’m less than adequate as a stage actor. But something about this experience started me on an increasingly conscious journey. Becoming more and more conscious of creativity and communication as powerful forces in my life, within me and around me. Both textual and subtextual. Dermis, not epidermis.

Here is what I’m really getting at: I could dig ditches for a living, or work as a short-order cook, or drive a bus. I could do those things and they are all useful and honourable ways to earn one’s keep. But, by some miracle, at some point, my creative output-generating brain kicked into gear and I can use it instead. How lucky am I?

speak a little softer
work a little louder
shoot less with more care
sing a little sweeter
and love a little longer
and soon you will be there

here – all we have here is sky
all the sky is is blue
all that blue is is one
more colour now

Today: It is January 20, 2009 and, along with millions and millions of others, I am so grateful a new steward is in place in the United States. Someone of integrity, vision, and with the ability to inspire and mobilize a willing public. His very existence breaks countless barriers. I am alive and conscious on this day, able to have at least a glimmer of understanding of how momenteous this shift is in America. How lucky am I?

these are some reasons
and same as the seasons
they hold and then they fly
the goatless ledge
‘neath the honkless geese
in the speckless sky
the speckless sky
I hear you
I hear you
I hear you

You May Ask Yourself … Click Here To Comment!

There are times in my life in which the days are so very full. My head is full. There are lists everywhere. People wait … wait for me to do something, produce something, finish something, say something. Respond. Focus. In this state, I let people down. I get a lot done, but not as much as I imagine possible.  I am present, “in the moment”, and some odd combination of frustrated and excited. I learn yet I do not reflect.

And I ask myself why I let things get this way. Some inner voice pipes up with, “I don’t want to miss anything!” I remember one of my favourite truisms … “successful” people, self-starters, get involved in a lot of different things. Some of them work out.

There are times in my life when the days stretch out lengthwise, hollow and long, like a curved tunnel off a turnpike. Just the slightest of curves means you can’t see the end. Different things make me busy and fewer people are waiting. This feels good for a while, a relief, and then it makes me nervous, a bit.

And I ask myself why I let things cool off. Some inner voice pipes up with “I don’t want to miss anything!” Because, in the whirl of activity, I miss things. A gesture, a tone, a sentiment … meaning.

I just don’t want to miss anything. And I know I do.

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful
Wife
And you may ask yourself-well…how did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…

Water dissolving…and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? …am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
My god!…what have I done?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…

Out of Africa 6 comments

I’m about to either treat, or torture, my readers with an avalanche of posts about music, provided my life opens up just enough to allow such activity. Before I get to the, oh, 140 or so songs I put together for my 45th birthday party several weeks ago, I feel I need to start with one musical memory in particular.

There are some pieces that, for me, wind up having layers upon layers of meaning. The piece I’m concerned with this evening is just such an example. I have found it on YouTube and will be posting a link at the end of this entry. But please do bear with me for the long tangled story that accompanies it before you jump down, ok?

It was 1986, I was 23, and I was smitten, consciously and openly, for the first time, with a woman. Sure, I’d had crushes before but never anything I could acknowledge, even to myself. It was pretty heady, intoxicating stuff, those first conscious acknowledgments of what I was feeling, and the thrill of finding out that she was also attracted to me was almost too much to bear. She was (is) a movie and music buff and exposed me to so much that still resides happily in my musical repertoire … The Pretenders … Propaganda … The Cure … And, as far as movies go, there were many. The one that stands out remains one of my all-time favourite films: Out of Africa, with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. A powerful, rich story, beautifully told. The soundtrack, by John Barry, could almost be considered a character in the film – so many scenes would seem completely empty without the support, or urging, or comfort of the music.

One of the most moving movie moments of all time occurs about two thirds of the way through the film. Denys (the character played by Redford), shows up unexpectedly at Karyn Blixen’s (Meryl Streep) farm in a biplane. She is excited and taken aback and, as he hands her a pair of flying goggles, she asks, “When did you learn to fly?” He responds, “Yesterday!” and away they go, into the African sky.

Much earlier in the film, this moment is foreshadowed by Karyn saying that Denys gave her gifts, one of which was seeing the world through God’s eyes. This is that moment. Denys has been on a mission to show Karyn Africa as it existed before white men spoiled it. It is becoming spoiled so quickly at this point in history – the film is set in 1913 – that he has to resort to desperate, dangerous flight to accomplish his task.

But we don’t get any of that explanation in words. We get music.

The three or so minutes of John Barry’s variation on the main theme are heart-stopping, as are the visuals which it accompanies. The first 1:47 is almost choral in nature, a deep drone holding the foundation of a single muscular line of melody that is almost addictively hummable. Strong, extremely compelling. I’ve always wondered why it is so compelling and, as I listen to it again tonight for the multi-thousandth time, I hear that the deep woodwinds and strings are blended with human voices for added depth. The voices, almost like Geogorian chant, are hiding behind the instrumentation. At 1:47 the whole piece opens up into its own complexity with now many instrumental lines working in concert to draw you on, the main theme bursting forth in glorious richness, sadness and depth.

In the film, as Denys and Karyn journey over plains and impossibly beautiful vistas, she finally understands what he has been trying to show her, to tell her. She is seated in the forward seat in the plane and they are unable to speak or even see each other. She needs to communicate to him her understanding, her “a-ha” moment. She does. Only Meryl Streep could pull this off with such grace, clarity and intimacy. This particular piece of music, Flight Over Africa (Track 7 off the soundtrack), helps cement this moment in the memory of most people who have seen the film.

Just as Karyn was able to later articulate the gifts Denys gave her in their short time together, I can say that my first amore granted me many gifts as well, one of which was this film. She helped me see the world, briefly, through her eyes which, interestingly, helped me eventually see more clearly with my own.

Years later, I was in a quirky little used bookstore in Vancouver, enjoying my one and only visit out there. It was one of those dingy, slightly suspect places that make you wonder how they can afford to survive with only dusty old used books on disorganized shelves and practically no customers. I had the luxury of being able to take my time that day -I think I was killing time waiting for someone – and I suddenly found myself welling up with tears and just, well, emoting all over the place. What was going on? There was no one else in the store and I realized that the clerk had turned the music up a few notches. It was the soundtrack to Out of Africa. I hadn’t heard the music for ages. I had no idea one could actually Buy The Soundtrack to such a film. I stayed in that store much longer than I should have, wiping tears off my cheeks as they emerged, as each track took me to a new place of memory.

This film handles even the non-original music so beautifully. Have a listen to the treatment of this two minute excerpt -Mozart -Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A (K. 622). The pace of this version is much slower and more deliberate than it is normally played and yet the more deliberate pace doesn’t add any heaviness to the interpretation.

Film is the ultimate collaborative enterprise. All the pieces have to work together, in concert (pardon the pun), for the ideas, nuance, even narrative to be communicated to the audience. If Meryl Streep doesn’t do her thing in the plane on at least one of the takes, then the director hasn’t given the editor what he/she needs to move the story along. If all that doesn’t happen, the composer has very little to go on to add his polish and punctuation. On the occasions when it all works, film is an art form to be much admired.

Africa is a mysterious place to me. It strikes me as the ultimate collaborative disaster. Having experienced Africa only from a distance, my perception fed on media and popular culture only, it seems that outside influences have worked only to fail the people and the creatures there. I am happy to get information from my friends who were born and raised there, who are there – or close by – now, or who are about to be there, that tell different stories. The workshop I did this summer on drumming/singing from Ghana also told a different story. These are stories that need to be told. Stories that give my knowledge of that place more depth and context.

Yet, somehow in my mind, I when hear stories of Africa … I hear this music in the background, bringing tears to my eyes.

Here is a link to the Flight Over Africa scene.

Here is a link to a 10 minute edit of the film that showcases the soundtrack as a whole. (Gotta love YouTube! Some other music headcase has done this for me!)

Big Butch Woman Click Here To Comment!

Back in the day, I sang in a choir that sang this song. It was SUCH good fun … and resulted in me re-claiming my beloved flannel shirt wearing self. For ages, I’ve wanted a copy of the lyrics and props/kudos to G for forwarding them – thanks! Sadly, I don’t have the lyricist/composer information handy but if it does become available, I’ll update this post.

Big Butch Woman

It used to be in the good ol’ days, you could tell a butch from a femme (butch from a femme)

When you checked out a woman, you knew right away “was she one of us? or was she one of them?” (one of us? one of them?)

You’d see the butch at the bar with her hair slicked back and then her pretty wife in heels by her side. (good wifey, oohhh)

But now those days are gone.  You can’t tell us apart.  It makes me just wanna lay down and cry.

(Chorus)
I want a Big Butch Woman in a flannel shirt, who drives a pickup truck and who smells like dirt.

I want a big strong mama who will cooch and coo, someone who’ll roll in the hay ‘til my face turns blue.

Don’t want no pretty girl with her hair so nice, who puts her makeup on and wears her jeans too tight.

Give me a Big Butch Woman in a flannel shirt to keep me warm through those cold winter nights.

So many women.  So little time.  You can’t afford to make a mistake. (can’t make a mistake)

You gotta go for those women you know for sure you ain’t wastin’ time on someone who’s straight. (run away if she ain’t)

A little pinky ring, shirts and pants from the Gap, or take a look at her comf’table shoes. (Doc Martins oohhh)

It’s just those girls at the bar, who drive those cute little cars, leaves me nothing but feeling confused.

(Chorus)

We know we’re stuck on a stereotype, but those cute little femmes just ain’t worth all the hype!
What do we want?

(Chorus)
Baby! Keep me warm through those cold winter nights
Big mama! Keep me warm through those cold winter nights.

Angle Three – The Soundtrack 2 comments

Adding an iPod to the cycling experience is brilliant, for me anyway. I am prone to boredom, well, not boredom so much as irritation as I ask myself why the hell I'm doing something that hurts so much, or takes so long, or seems  repetitive and fruitless. Somehow, the music shuts down the Type A part of my brain that insists, always erroneously, that I should Be Somewhere Else, or Doing Something More Productive. Listening to music is, somehow, always productive and worthwhile for me.

A few highlights …

  • circling around the edge of a picturesque lake, with farms on my left and water to my right as the Puppini Sisters launched into a faithful rendition of Old Cape Cod
  • waving at cows who stared back, or ignore me entirely, as I stood on my pedals, grooving to the Scissor Sisters' I Don't Feel Like Dancing
  • laughing out loud while slogging up a long, slow hill as Julie Andrews camps up Alan Jay Lerner's My Love Is A Married Man

My love is a married man
I'm a marital also-ran
Tho I love him so, does he love me – no
I'll never enter his life, because he's true to his wife

My dreams abundant, are redundant
And they fall very short
The ship I hoped for, sat and moped for
Docked in someone else's port

The man who controls my heart
Has a conjugal counterpart
And her dinner meals are enough he feels
He'll never have to go a la carte

  • Sia's Day Too Soon (Mock & Toof Edit) … mmmm … not the original girl with guitar version but the funky one with the bass riff and the bongo drums. Can't find this on YouTube.
  • singing along with Jully Black on Seven Day Fool, scaring the creatures by the side of the road
  • Maroon 5, Figure It Out … Let's go!
  • Coldplay Viva La Vida (on repeat, thanks very much) … Strawberry Swing (it is such a perfect day, such a perfect day …) … Lost (no, really, I'm not, and boy it is hard to keep up with the hand claps AND keep the bike on the road) … Death and All His Friends (… so come over, just be patient and don't worry …try … ) … 42 (you didn't get to heaven, but you made it close … )
  • Puppini Sisters Walk Like An Egyptian

PS – Although I don't have this on my iPod, I just found this on YouTube … the Puppini Sisters ROCK!!!

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Once Upon A Time … 1 comment

… in a land far far away, I used to do a lot of vocal / movement / performance training. I'm still working on why I stopped, or what I allowed to stop me. But that is for another post.

Isolde sent me this info and I've signed up … sometimes, it is good to be scared.

Vocal Technique / African Singing / Balkan Singing

Voice professionals Katherine Duncanson, Kathy Armstrong, and Brenna MacCrimmon join forces in these two workshops designed to reveal, develop and integrate vocal, movement, musical, rhythmic and imagination skills. Class work will be generated through the use of improvisational scores, existing music and text in a co-creative, safe and playful manner. Katherine will open each class with extended vocal exercises designed to free the voice. For this work it is recommended that each student memorize a few lines from a song or a text to use as a source for vocal improvisations.

In the Vocal/African class, Kathy will follow Katherine’s work using songs from Ghana, West Africa in a variety of languages. Emphasis will be on developing inner pulse through the use of movement and rhythm together with the songs. Ghanaian music is wonderful for connecting mind, body and soul and enhancing a performer's connection with their co-performers and audience members.

In the Vocal/Balkan class, Brenna will follow Katherine’s work using folk songs from a variety of cultures in a variety of languages to learn different rhythms and harmonies. Folk songs allow for a great range of expression and interpretation and can be used to great effect. Singing folk music can help shy singers gain confidence and best of all – it's fun! Working from music towards theatre creation is also part of the method used famously by Poland's Gardzienice Theatre, and is now a creation tool used extensively in Eastern Europe.

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Stop Me In My Tracks 1 comment

I'm listening to my iPod more now than I ever have and lovin' it. I've always been a music hound but this work situation

has just cranked that up a notch or two. I find, with the iPod, there are tunes that come on when it is on shuffle that just stop me in my tracks for one reason or other. Here are three that either make me stop and listen, or just make me grin like a stupid fool.

In the "stop me in my tracks" category, we have "Sand and Water" by Beth Nielsen Chapman. There is just  something about the simplicity and the emotional rawness of the lyrics demands that I stop and pay attention. I would love to be able to perform this someday myself.

In the "big stupid grin" category, we have the live version of "Mama Just Wants To Barrelhouse" by Bruce Cockburn. Raise your hand if you are tired of this song. No? Good. When this came on at the gym the other day, I must have looked retarded, hauling myself up the

Gravitron with this silly smile on my face. This live version is the first one I heard and I realize that when I've been performing it, I've been playing it too fast. I made this repeat several times throughout the workout so I could remind myself of a few the the nuances that I'd clearly forgotten. No idea why this song appeals to me so much. And, NO, I don't do all that fancy schmancy Bruce Cockburn guitar work. I just, you know, play it.

The "big stupid grin" category also contains, surprise surprise, anything by Julie Andrews. On my iPod, I have two albums she recorded before the disastrous surgery in the summer of 1997 that killed The Voice. Here is a Broadway standard that has always been one of my favourite pieces of music anyway, regardless of who sings it. There is something about Dame Andrews, in particular her singing voice, that just pushes some ancient button. No idea why, and I know that many many others do NOT share this button with me. That's ok

– diversity makes us strong, right?

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