Posts Tagged ‘music’

Something Bright

May 12, 2009

Here’s the Eurovision entry from the Netherlands, from the Toppers (and I bet they are). What a great upbeat song with a positive message. And of course, it reminds me of my favorite Eurodisco ABBA songs of the late ’70s.

The Toppers are threatening to boycott Eurovision, held in Moscow this year, in response to a call from Russian gays. Last year’s Pride Parade was subject to violent police interference; this year’s may be shut down my force. (More from Joe. My. God.)



May 8, 2009

Freddie is tired of tests and referrals. So many times, so many doctors, so many non-answers.

In the doctor’s office Thursday, after the doctor had stepped out to arrange for Freddie’s hospital admission for the battery of tests next week, he expressed it again:

I’ve done this before. It’s always the same. They don’t know why. Don’t know what to do. Always another pill, another test, another frustration.

Venting, of course, but still…

I quietly sang a three word reply:

“Maybe this time…”

Natasha was spectacular, wasn’t she.

Major Cover Version

May 7, 2009

I love this version of Major Tom (Coming Home) from Shiny Toy Guns. It’s sampled in a Lincoln commercial, and I want to sing along whenever I see it.

That’s My Job

May 7, 2009

I’ve written before about my “mental soundtrack.”  Songs get stuck in my mind, sometimes for trivial things.  Sometimes they get stuck for momentous things in my life, and the lives of those I love.

When I was going back and forth to San Antonio so often in 2007 when my mother was sick, she’d always thank me for coming and helping.  I’d hem and haw as grown children do When Mom Says Thank You From A Hospital Bed, but often, that last year of her life, I used to think about the words in a Conway Twitty song, and I’d hum it to myself:

That’s my job
That’s what I do
Everything I do is because of you
To keep you here with me
That’s my job, you see

I’ve done this for years, actually.  Not just the mental soundtrack thing, but the “job.”  I’m the one who fixes what’s broken, who takes care of the one who hurts, who lends a listening and non-judgmental ear.  That’s my job.

These last few months I’ve been doing it more intensely than ever for Freddie.  He’s weak, unsteady, can’t stand for more than a couple moments without getting dizzy.  The other night he fell.  Walking across a big parking lot is pretty much out of the question.

We went to the doctor today, resulting in a scheduled hospitalization next week for tests, leading to who knows what.  Another one under the belt, maybe to result in “answers” or treatment, maybe more referrals and tests, or maybe palliative and adaptive measures.  Who knows what.

My money’s on Thyroid, like the name of a quarter-horse, but really, who knows what.

I’ve known all of our years together that times like this do come, but I never know where or when.  There was the day Freddie fell off the ladder at the San Diego house, and the next several months confined to an upstairs room.  There was the night in Galveston his blood glucose went down to 27 and I woke up to hear him moaning.  There were the countless hundred-mile round trips to the Houston-based doctors, and to the Houston pharmacies required by bureaucratic necessity.  And then our last move, with me preparing the house to sell while he was hospitalized again.  And here we are, today, not knowing, but still, always, knowing.

That’s my job.

That’s what I do.

CMT Crossroads – Def Leppard and Taylor Swift : “Photograph” and “Picture to Burn”

February 25, 2009

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We saw this last night on Palladia. Quite amazing to see little Taylor rockin’ out.

Bronksi Beat: Smalltown Boy

February 18, 2009

Featured on JMG today.  I remember when this Smalltown Boy came out in 1985.  How sad it was, how lonely, how perfectly it captured the sense of growing up gay in a particular place and time.  I bought the album, bought the follow-up, bought the Communards’ album, too, which featured Bronski lead singer Jimmy Somerville.

Listening to it now takes me back, and I can feel it all.  I feel chills.

For Bonnie

February 14, 2009

Freddie’s sister Bonnie passed away sometime late this week.  We’re not sure exactly when.  She had had leukemia.  Although she had been in remission a few years, she got sick again in December and had to start chemotherapy again at the end of last year.  Her daughter found Bonnie yesterday evening at her apartment when she stopped by to take her grocery shopping.  There was nothing to be done.

Hers was a difficult life and troubled.  I don’t know too many details, but I remember Bonnie well.  She left a strong impression wherever she went.

Bonnie lived with us for several months in San Diego shortly after her initial leukemia diagnosis.  When she had gotten out of the hospital, she had no place to live and little money, so we offered to bring her out to California from Florida, her home at the time.  After a few rocky months she took a trip back to the family home in Indiana for her son’s graduation, and she decided not to come back.

Bonnie had a complicated relationship with faith.  Her ex-husband was a fundamentalist minister, but he treated her very poorly and with cruelty.  She left him, and left her children, too.  Later she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, later still with borderline personality disorder.  She believed in God; she was angry at churches, angrier still at church people.  I can still hear asking about the leukemia, about the emotional disorders — “Why?  Why?  I’ll never be normal!  Why?”

There could be no answer, except reassuring noises and the help to help her do as well as she could.  Sometimes “as well as she could” was very well:  Bonnie dearly loved her children and never stopped trying to make up for leaving them.  Sometimes, however, it was very poorly, with a string of angrily broken relationships, bounced checks, abrupt life changes, and more.

I wanted to dedicate a song for Bonnie.  I don’t know if she would like it or not, but it’s from her tradition.  She would either love it or hate it, strongly.

I searched for the Happy Goodmans, specifically looking for Vestal.  She’s always been a favorite for both Freddie and me.  Perhaps Vestal satisfies that atavistic diva-love that many gay men have, even though she’s in a gospel miliue.  Wave those white hankies…  The higher the hair, the closer to God…  I can imagine Bonnie laughing at that.  Anyhow, Vestal Goodman and George Jones, Angel Band:

For Nadya

February 13, 2009

The latest from my mental soundtrack: “God of my want…”

She wanted “more,” but fourteen?

Not Watching The Super Bowl?

February 1, 2009

Who is the Bulgarian drag queen?  How did she get on that construction site with all those muscle men?  What’s she singing about?  Who cares — it’s better than watching football.

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Don’t Tell Me Who To Love

December 10, 2008

The latest from Ray Boltz, a hit-making and award-winning Gospel artist who came out in 2004.

The video is presented by Soulforce, an organization which challenges and confronts anti-GLBT religious bigotry.

I hope that he is better received than Marsha Stevens, famous for the seminal 1970’s contemporary/folk hymn “Come To The Water (For Those Tears I Died).”  Stevens was renounced and condemned by most Evangelicals after she came out as a lesbian, but she and her partner continue to work and minister with the Metropolitan Community Church and with concerts and appearances at other open and affirming congregations.

I remember Stevens’ song  as one of my favorites that I learned to play on the guitar and sing when I was a teenager, though it wasn’t one we used in our Catholic parish when I was in the choir.  It didn’t make it into our Dignity/Washington repertoire, either, although we did happily adopt “Lover Of Us All” by Dan Schutte of the St. Louis Jesuits.  I don’t know if Schutte ever officially came out, but I remember him introducing the song at the Dignity National Convention.