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


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


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!
Posted: 2011-11-08 15:25:40 UTC by ap

marathon music

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:

Posted: 2011-11-03 12:47:34 UTC by ap


long time no blog. midterms will do that to ya. almost done and so far i'm still alive so that bodes well. i will live on to sing more songs to you. and i will sing a few tomorrow. in baddeck! in a barn! and they will be patsy cline songs! and my pals will be playing them with me (namely, steve wilton, shane o'handley, kristen read, yvette rogers and maybe a special guest or two). this will be a barrel of monkeys. or horsies. whatever. i hope to see you there.

Directions to Rocking Horse Ranch: take exit 9 on the Trans Canada Highway, and turn towards Uisge Ban Falls (away from the village of Baddeck) when you get to the end of the road, hang a right (still as if you are headed to Uisge Ban Falls) and when you pass the entrance to the falls, watch for a dirt road on your left -- there will be a sign directing you to Rocking Horse Ranch.
Posted: 2011-10-29 18:09:59 UTC by ap

last minute show!

stop by wentworth perk tomorrow (october 20th) between 6-8pm for some tunes and some coffee / treats. as an added bonus, there is great artwork being shown this month at the perk by gary addicott. gary used to play in a band with harry (you know, harry from static in action), and now he makes really cool intricately drawn pieces, mostly bugs and birds but there are other cool things too. definitely worth checking out.
Posted: 2011-10-19 13:25:57 UTC by ap

recording (wishful thinking)

i bought the new crowdis bridge cd today and it made me think about how much i want to record an album. i want to record something in a fancy studio that sounds super slick. the glitch in this plan is that i am so damn poor. i'm no good at writing grant proposals and i can't save money for the life of me.

i can't plausibly see a way this can happen any time soon until i'm finished school and working as a nurse (at which time i'll have disposable income but probably not much free time), so i suppose i must turn to the supernatural for help. maybe the universe is listening and it'll somehow make it possible. so i'll put it out there. i have my backing band all picked out (my friends are all so amazing). i know what studio i'd like to record in. i have a whole lot of demo songs to choose from. now i just need a miracle!

Posted: 2011-10-13 18:30:23 UTC by ap


that was a great gobblefest weekend. caper radio really outdid themselves! on saturday static in action played at governor's pub to a bar filled with crazy people who crowd surfed, jumped on tables, sang along and generally had smiles on their faces constantly. we enjoyed it every bit as much as they did and probably more.

last night i attended the evening show at st. pat's and caught one of the songwriter's circles featuring my pals mikey lelievre, carolyn lionais and sean macgillivray and then i got a special surprise and was asked to play a few tunes myself. it was a really attentive crowd, and that church museum is one of the nicest venues in sydney. but i gotta tell you the thing that made it so special was that carolyn and sean sang along with my songs (and sean even played some guitar for me). these guys will just knock you out with their voices, and they are also two of my favorite songwriters of all time. it's pretty amazing that all of these astounding musicians come from cape breton, and even more astounding is that they are willing to sing with me. to me there is nothing better than 3 part harmonies, and when you have singers like these in the mix, it's like being wrapped in a giant musical hug.

next up was crowdis bridge, featuring my friend ben furey (hear ben's pretty voice on my recording of "inverness" here). they are a kickass bluegrass band, and i highly recommend checking them out. they have a new album out and everything.

all in all it was a great weekend. i had some great food, i swam in the ocean (october 9th, no less!) and played at and enjoyed two great shows that were chock full of friends and music, and friends who make amazing music.

Posted: 2011-10-10 18:50:26 UTC by ap

gobble gobble

just a reminder that gobblefest is this coming weekend, october 8th and 9th. definitely check it out if you are in sydney. static in action are playing on the saturday at governor's pub (facebook event) with black tooth grinn and the wilds of borneo as well as some more dancy acts on the 1st floor.

here is a hilarious video about it:

and here is an informative video with a great soundtrack (ha ha):

to me, it's kind of special that gobblefest is happening this year. it's a tradition, you know? it's great to see everyone come together and organize, perform at and attend a great event every year that everyone looks forward to. so when you are done your tofurky check out one or all of these 4 great shows. more info can be found at caper radio dot com.

Posted: 2011-10-04 13:55:58 UTC by ap

country music

i want to tell you about an exciting show coming up which is being organized by my good friend billie yvette rogers. from yvette:

"so... there is an outfit in rear baddeck called "Rocking Horse Ranch and Rehabilitation" who takes horses who were abused / neglected / destined for the slaughterhouse, gives them a loving home, and runs a trail ride operation and lesson farm, and has some up for adoption.

it costs a lot of money to feed those friends."

so we're putting on a show! it's gonna be on october 30 at the ranch itself and each performer is going to be doing a couple of tunes by their favorite country music artist. i have chosen to do patsy cline, because she rocks. i'd suggest y'all come on out and enjoy some old timey country music for a great cause. and you know what else, it's right before halloween so dressing up country style is encouraged. how fun! check out the events section for more details.

Posted: 2011-09-27 14:08:01 UTC by ap