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.
my favorite voice.
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.
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!
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.
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.
so i survived the marathon. i had tons of songs left over, and they weren't even just the crappy ones either. it was fun because i got to dig out some of the older songs i haven't played in a while. it makes me proud of my little teenagery-early-twenties self and gives me a reason to whip my school-befuddled current self into shape. i wrote some decent songs back in the day.
i also didn't mention about the country show in baddeck either. that was a blast. i really really enjoyed singing patsy cline songs, and my backup band was top notch. the show was right in the barn with the horses and we got to have a tour, introducing us to each one. some of these poor guys had a rough go, but the owners are super awesome people. it seems like the money they make there is just so they can keep their operation going and keep saving animals. i'd recommend keeping an ear out for these folks and attending some of their events over the year.
i was stoked because the barn was just full of chickens and dogs and ducks and ducklings and a goat, just wandering around. super fun to play with horses neighing and roosters crowing, and later i tried to catch some ducklings but they were too quick for me. it was too bad that the show happened during the most insane rain and wind storm ever, but a pile of people still came out and we only got moderately wet inside the barn.anywhoo, typing this extra long post may have something to do with the fact that i have a paper due in an hour and a half and i'm only part way done. check the sidebar and you will see that i am playing in sydney this thursday (it's a long weekend though, so think of it as friday). hope to see some folks out!
so tomorrow i am playing at flavor 19 which is a new-ish restaurant with realllly yummy food. i am a bit nervous about this show because my set is 3 hours long. i've never done that before. i definitely know enough songs to fill 3 hours but i've never played that many all in a row before. at any rate, i hope some people show up and get drunk on mojitos and keep me company.
anyway, the real reason i decided to make a blog post is to show you this lovely song and video of my friend john gill (aka the sea, the stars). i hope to do a video of this calibre soon soon soon to show off my new project's harmonizing skills and general awesomeness. anyway, enjoy this for now: