the new year approaches

despite having a bit of a cold and being really tired for much of it, so far this holiday season has been great. it's been filled with friends from away (and ones that have been here the whole time who are also awesome), family, and food. i'm thrilled to have time off school but also really looking forward to getting back and starting a new program. next term is 100% biology - my inner nerd-self is quivering with anticipation.

a few gigs coming up - tomorrow static in action is doing a benefit for attawapiskat. also playing is mortality work (an awesome band featuring my roomie jason burke who i also play with in the novemberists) and our buddies black tooth grinn.

then on the 14th i'm doing a live at caper radio with my pals carolyn lionais and ben furey. this will be particularly great because we can sing pretty harmonies together. you can listen to this live online at www.caperradio.com but it would be even better if you stopped by the station and listened in real life for free.

ALSO that video that we filmed that i was telling you about? or raving about, i guess. i am told it will be ready to go by the time that show rolls around, so i am crossing my fingers!

anyway, i hope you all had lots of time off from work and school or whatever you do, and i hope that time was as awesome as mine has been.

Posted: 2011-12-29 16:48:44 UTC by ap

CHRISTMAS!

well. i love this holiday. there is no school. there are presents. and tofurkys. friends home from away. music galore. trees. sparkly lights.

i made a christmas album! and it is available for you to download for free! just click here or visit the music tab. i put some of the tunes up in the music player as well.

i recorded this by myself earlier this month at my friend harry's place, aka small studios. i had to keep it relatively hush hush because it was a present for my parents. however, i gave them a copy tonight so now i am free to spread the xmas cheer.

notable features include: an a capella version of white christmas, a whistling solo by harry (fun fact: i can't whistle a note), and a special guest appearance by my boyfriend (duets are adorable). if you would like a hard copy, i have about 15 of them and i will be selling them for 5 bucks at stoked for the holidays (see events section). if you can't make it and still want a real copy, get in touch with me and we'll figure something out!

enjoy, and happy holidays. get real drunk!

Posted: 2011-12-20 02:25:29 UTC by ap

holiday shows

since the holidays are always a bit hectic, i'm gonna put all my shows in the sidebar, even ones for static in action and (cross your fingers) the novemberists. this year might not be too crazy, actually, i haven't been really on the ball with booking stuff. but anyway i'll still do that. check back soon for more updates.
Posted: 2011-12-13 13:47:56 UTC by ap

gettin' in the xmas spirit

well, i've spent all week singing christmas songs. i love this time of year - the trick is to avoid malls and only listen to good radio stations. the tunes don't end up driving you crazy. unless you are a poor unfortunate soul who works somewhere that plays them all day, in that case i can't help you. but anyhow, i'm all cheerful and i can't wait to put up my tree. and now that it's december i think i'll share a few early xmas presents with you.

if you click here you can hear a song by static in action that we recorded a christmas or two ago. it came out smokin' i think.

and here is a live (slightly drunken) recording of myself, carolyn lionais, and sean macgillivray (aka team powerhaus - see below for the video of us singing "how can i sing" together at gobblefest this year) doing a hawksley workman christmas song called three generations. this one was definitely a few years ago. again, charm.

i'll eventually put these up in a christmas section in the archive, but for now you can just enjoy them from here. i think you should check back soon, because there will be more treats in a few days!

*ps. i put up giant .wav files by accident. they should be fixed to normal sized mp3s now.

Posted: 2011-12-04 01:18:29 UTC by ap

can't help but share

my favorite voice.

Posted: 2011-11-30 16:47:55 UTC by ap

more content!

ok so i said stuff will be up in the coming weeks but i really meant only a few hours. well, first i have two new demos up.

one is a b-side called promises. i always found it a bit too long and was never able to really polish it to the point where i liked it as much as the other stuff, but this recording is nice and i guess it has its charms.

the other one is called sinking ships. the recording is really quiet and i was trying an experiment with a capella but i think it also has some charm. i used to play this with the responsibility band and it was super cool with drums. maybe i'll resurrect it, who knows.

the last thing i put up today is a cover song by ian macdougall, who i used to play in a band with (the tom fun orchestra). it's also really quiet but there is something kind of sparkly and pretty about this recording that i've always liked. i recorded it a long time ago and when i dug it up recently it made me smile. maybe you will like it too. anyway you can download it here.

so yeah, click those links or you can just go to the music tab and look around.

Posted: 2011-11-25 23:45:49 UTC by ap

content

so my friends at caper radio put up a new video that was taken a while ago at gobblefest. here it is:

i'm putting this up despite the fact that i hit some sour notes near the beginning (we'll say i was distracted by the improptu harmonizing) because it was a pretty magical moment. this was the acoustic songwriter's circle of gobblefest and i didn't know i would be playing this show. but when i arrived the organizers asked me if i'd get up and play a few songs, and while i did so my friends sean macgillivray and carolyn lionais (in the audience, not pictured) began to sing along with the most gorgeous harmonies. it wasn't a complete surprise, because i tend to rely on these guys to enrich my songs by singing along every time they are around for a show of mine, but yet, every time they do it i feel like i am incredibly lucky to know such talented people. i think you can tell how happy i was while this was happening in the video.

i'm gonna put this up in the video section as soon as i can AND there's gonna be a new, fancy, professional one by jenni welsh and stefan macneil any day now. in addition to that, i dug up some old demos that i didn't realize were on my computer and i'll throw them up in the archive any day now too. they're not the best quality, and they're more like b-sides, but some people like the b-sides better, you know? so anyway, stay tuned because there will be a bit of new stuff up in the coming weeks!

Posted: 2011-11-25 18:29:44 UTC by ap

something to smile about

jenni and stefan hit another one out of the park. i am so excited for my video by them to be edited you can't even believe. wait til you hear the harmonies. anyway listen to my friend colette deveaux's gorgeous song, video'd by the dream team.

i'm editing this to add a video by breagh mackinnon. also amazing.

another thing i'd like you to look at is my favorite comic artist, kate beaton. if you have not heard of her before, check out her website hark, a vagrant! for the most hilarious comics you'll ever see. but you probably did hear of her because she's super famous. anyway, i am a total devotee. today i sat alone in a room an laughed out loud for several minutes like a maniac because of the comic i linked to above.

Posted: 2011-11-15 00:54:54 UTC by ap

state of the union

i played a really awful show this weekend. i mean, i played ok, and my co-stars, alyce maclean (aka fair jeanne, check that out), and vik dugandzik (of back pocket material) played great. but the bar was full of screaming, drunken dude bros who have about as much interest in music as i have in axe body spray.

i hate to be whiny about it, but i just don't understand why people would want to spend time getting ready, going to a bar, paying cover and then sitting through 3 hours of music they don't enjoy just to get hammered with their pals. unless the whole point was to wait till their "buddy who knows how to play guitar" can drunkenly ask one of the performers if he can get up and play a few tunes. and then give him a standing ovation when he plays a rather pedestrian version (is there another kind?) of wagon wheel. true story. i didn't let him use my guitar.

the thing is, i've played this show before. many times. and i'm sure most of my music making friends can say the same. why does it keep happening? maybe i'm playing the wrong bars. maybe it's overflow from the big dance club closing down. but it seems to me that this is one of the only professions where you're expected to put in years of practice and time, and then become mere background noise for people to get drunk to. you're a jerk if you ask people to settle down and pay attention. to avoid it you might have to very carefully select your shows - still no guarantee of an attentive crowd - as if it isn't hard enough to make enough money to cover even a fraction of your expenses in this business anyway.

sometimes i wish i just liked that popular garbage that these morons gobble up. they have lots of drinking money, that's for sure. cover bands make a killing. but i just don't. and the truth is, after playing both types of show many times, i'd still rather play to ten people who are paying attention than a hundred who make me feel like i'm imposing on their night out by playing the gig i booked.

maybe i am just playing the wrong bars.

Posted: 2011-11-12 18:14:11 UTC by ap

video

i made a music video! or rather, last night my incredibly talented friends stefan macniel and jenni welsh filmed me along with carolyn lionais, ben furey and steven wilton while we played one of my songs. these are the same people who made the john gill video below, so needless to say i know it will turn out awesome. should be edited and ready to show you all in about 3 weeks or so, so stay tuned.
Posted: 2011-11-10 18:36:34 UTC by ap