Sunday, September 10, 2017

chester giles writes


i want to croon on cruise ships
    and in casinos
as the pensioners fill their bingo cards
and eat the steak special

blind in the spot light
singing other men's songs
a corsage in my lapel
a cheap tuxedo

fake plastic flower with nylon petals
strings on the backing tape
 in the shadows
at the side of the stage

 red velvet curtains

strings on the backing tape
    shit bossanova
cat calls and heckles

as i clutch in earnest at the air
singing to empty rooms and rows of empty chairs

singing to the nearly dead
  nylon and polyester
wet look gel in my toupe

 Cruise Ship -- Jan Senbergs


  1. Bingo is a game of probability in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly by a caller, the winner being the first person to mark off all their numbers. The game, as a lottery, began in Italia ca. 1530 as Il Gioco del Lotto d'Italia, then (as Le Lotto) spread to France in 1778, with the addition of playing cards (featuring 27 squares in a layout of three rows and nine columns; 5 squares in each row had numbers ranging from 1 through 90), tokens, and the calling out of numbers. As Tombola, it was used in 19th-century Germany as an educational tool to teach children multiplication tables, spelling, and other subjects such as history. In the early 1920s Hugh J. Ward standardized the game at carnivals in and around Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania , copyrighting it and publishing a rule book in 1933. Edwin S. Lowe, born in Poland as the eldest son of an Orthodox rabbi, migrated to the US at 18 in 1928; working as a traveling toy salesman the following year, he encountered a group at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia, engaged in a game called Beano, which followed Ward's rules but used dried beans, a rubber stamp, and cardboard sheets; when he returned home to Brooklyn, NY, he organized a game with several friends, one of whom became so excited at winning that she shouted "Bingo!" He established the E. S. Lowe Company for the production of Bingo game cards, which initially were released as 12- and 24-card sets, though later the firm increased the number of variations to more than 6,000 card combinations. In 1942 he received a patent for the modern Bingo card design. (In 1956, he bought rights from a Canadian couple who approached him with a concept of a game that they played on their yacht; he highlighted its origins bynaming the game Yahtzee. Later he worked in film and stage production, including the 1981 Broadway play, "A Talent for Murder" featuring Claudette Colbert.) In the UK, a 90-ball version is played, unlike the 75-ball variant that is popular in the US. In the UK callers traditionally used "bingo lingo" nicknames to refer to particular numbers if they are drawn; these are rhymes for each number from 1 to 90. In some clubs the bingo caller will say the number, with the assembled players intoning the rhyme in a call-and-response manner, while in others the caller will say the rhyme and the players will chant the number.

  2. Bossa nova ("new trend") is a genre of Brazilian music that was popular in the 1960s. It is a refined version of the samba but without specific dance steps and de-emphasizing the percussive aspect of its rhythm while enriching the melodic and harmonic content. Both forms emphasize the second beat, even to the degree that it is often notated in 2/4 time. As in samba, the surdo (a large bass drum used in many kinds of Brazilian music plays an ostinato figure on the downbeat of beat one, the "ah" of beat one, the downbeat of beat two, and the "ah" of beat two. (The clave pattern sounds very similar to the 2/3 or 3/2 son clave of Cuban styles such as mambo except that its "two" side is pushed by an 8th note.) The percussion section for bossa nova is the cabasa, an instrument made with loops of steel ball chain wrapped around a wide cylinder fixed to a long, narrow wooden or plastic handle, which plays a steady 16th-note pattern. Bossa nova is most commonly performed on a nylon-string classical guitar, played with the fingers rather than with a pick, in a simple 1-bar pattern; the thumb plays the bass notes on 1 and 2, while the fingers pluck the chords in unison on the two 8th notes of beat one, followed by the second 16th note of beat two. Two-measure patterns usually contain a syncopation into the second measure. In his song "Influência do Jazz" composer Carlos Lyra claims that the samba rhythm moves "side to side" while jazz moves "front to back." "Bossa" was an old-fashioned slang word for something done with particular charm, natural flair, or innate ability. In 1932 Noel Rosa used the word in a samba: "O samba, a prontidão e outras bossas são nossas coisas, são coisas nossas" (Samba, readiness and other bossas are our things, are things from us). By the late 1950s, in the Zona Sul, Rio de Janeiro's artistic beach culture, "bossa" referred to any new trend, and musicians used it to characterize a knack for playing or singing idiosyncratically. To promote a 1957 concert by the Grupo Universitário Hebraico do Brasil (Hebrew University Group of Brazil), consisting of Lyra, Sylvia Telles, Nara Leão, Luizinho Eça, Roberto Menescal, and others, journalist Moyses Fuks coined the name of the genre in his announcement, "HOJE. SYLVIA TELLES E UM GRUPO BOSSA NOVA" ("Today. Sylvia Telles and a 'Bossa Nova' group"). In 1959, Leão further popularized it at various events, including the 1st Festival de Samba Session, conducted by the student union of Pontifícia Universidade Católica, chaired by Carlos Diegues, a law student whom he later married who became a prominent Cinema Novo film director.

  3. But João Gilberto was the chief developer of the bossa nova style. Known for his eccentricity (once, committed to a mental hospital by his father, he stared out the window and remarked, “Look at the wind depilating the trees;” a psychologist rebuked him, saying , “But trees have no hair, João”, to which Gilberto responded, “And there are people who have no poetry”) and obsessed by the idea of finding a new way of playing the guitar, he often locked himself in the bathroom, because the acoustics were better, and played the same chord for hours; using only a guitar, he used his pickeing hand to incorporate the percussive instruments of a full batucada band, especially the surdo and tamborim. Aside from the guitar style, his other innovation was the almost whispering nasal projection of the singing voice, which he derived in 1957 from the Caboclo folk tradition of his native northeastern Brazil (usually pronounced "caboco" in the Amazon Basin and in the indigenous Afro-American religion Candomblé). [The Caboclo are mestiços, of mixed Indigenous Brazilian and European ancestry, a term derived from the Tupi "kari'boka" (meaning a person having copper-coloured skin, or deriving from the white.)] Gilberto is credited with writing the first bossa nova song, "Bim-Bom," written as he watched passing laundresses balance loads of clothes on their heads; inspired by the swaying of their steps, he reproduced their rhythm. He composed it in 1956 but did not record it until two years later, through the efforts of Odeon Records' composer, producer and arranger Antônio Carlos Jobim, perhaps the genre's most notable composer ("The Girl from Ipanema" and other international hits). The first bossa nova recording was "Chega de Saudade", a 1958 song by Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, on which Gilberto accompanied Elizeth Cardoso, wjo, however, sang it in the traditional brassy, almost operatic, manner favored by Brazilian singers of the time. Shortly afterwards Gilberto re-recorded it, along with "Bim-Bam," in his new style. He followed up with a 1959 album, "Chega de Saudade," which contained a number of Jobim compositions, as well as older sambas and popular songs from the 1940s and 1950s in Gilberto's distinctive style; this album was the beginning of the bossa nova craze. It was followed by two more albums in 1960 and 1961, featuring new songs by Lyra and Menescal.


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