Monday, November 23, 2009

Twenty to three on a monday morning, perfect time for a blog

I woke up at three pm, Sunday afternoon, so there's really no chance of sleep for at least another hour. This is often my favourite time to be awake and alive in general because things seems to stop making sense. I spent the last five minutes watching this guys . There tones of good things to read and work to be done, and I watch lovely movies like Boogie Nights.

Maybe it's update time, haven't done that in a little while.

1. The EP, I released the disk 11 days ago and have gone through 50 so far. Mostly sold them, did give a handful away to people. The disk makes me want to record again with my control over the project, it was done quickly and sounds decent, but doesn't represent me as much as I'd like it. The picture on the cover, however, is awesome. It's clean and sharp; Rufus and I look really good in it. The songs are cool too, it is worthy of me, but I need to record more. I feel like I'm moving into a country jazz feel more then old time. It's wonderful to have a product though. It's an excuse to put on an incredible show at the Elmdale and a cool one at the folklore centre as well as having something to sell at the Mechanics ville monologues.(more on that later)

The release was one of the coolest shows I've been to in ages. Kenny started things off and blew the crowd away. His writing is captivating and his voice is breath taking as well as being a well rounded guitar and harmonica player. His choices of songs all have intense plots as well as great melodies. I'm going to do everything thing in my power to get that guy playing more. I have a feeling it won't need much work before he reaches critical mass. He'll get to a point were enough important people think he's amazing that success will be seamless.

Andre "Badgie" Blutea went second and was quite funny. He open up his quirky personality and everyone fell in love. He was being honest about his life and his songs and everyone dug it. He's a strange dude that I love and am glad I was able to share him with an audience.

A few blogs ago I spoke of Ingrid Gatin. We'll I still hadn't gotten around to booking a show for her and my anxiety surrounding the issue was rising. In the end, her Ottawa date that happened to be on the same day, was canceled, so she joined my bill. Her grace and beauty filled the room as she graced us with her sultry voice and inspired accordion playing. She's an incredible performer who's on her way to the top of the Canadian folk scene, mark my words. It was an honour sharing the stage with her.

I had a ball performing for my friends and family. It kinda felt like a birthday party, only the celebration was more deserving. I made this rad disk. Calculating the take, I figure 40 + people were there. And that was with minimal promotion. Makes me want to promote the hell out of the next one.

That was two thursdays ago, I had to miss rehearsal for...

2. The Mechanicville Monologues.

I'm sure I wrote about the play last time. We'll it's begun and every night is wicked fun. Three out of four nights have been sold out and we have another four days to go. On the first night, Annie pretending to be a drunk, pulled down a pole holding up the stage. I flung out and caught it at the last minute. Good times.

The audiences are fully enjoying it and I'm selling tones of CDs. Going like hot cakes. Ran out the other day, need to print more. Being an opener is a bit disconcerting since usually most people pay attention to me, but I've got a good sound system and good instruments so I concentrate on making the best music possible. And I've been getting compliments every night. A woman named Margaret Lawrence was quite captivated with me. She was somewhat inebriated, but quite fun.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the show, It's rewarding yet challenging and I know I'm making a good contribution to a greater performance. I hope to work with the company again and Liza the produce has spoken of helping me out with my career. Great people, great play. Check it out if you can, running from Wednesday to Saturday at the Carleton Tavern.

3. The Magazine. This came out of left field, well, more out of this blog actually. My writing has been improving because of this blog and I've been pining to write something with a bit more substance and staying power. The meetings I've had with my friends so far have been mostly giggle-fests but we've come up with some decent ideas. I've started formatting an online version and it's an enjoyable exercise. My first introduction is what I plan on contributing and the general direction.

The work so far can be found at

My friends Matt, Marc, Clyde, John Aaron and Lesley will be contributing on a variety of subjects. We'll be going for a concrete version of the publication eventually and probably putting on a concert for it's release. The process is a lot of fun, especially the feeling of my closest friends all pulling together on something.

4. My girlfriend Chelsea has enlisted me to be in a music video tomorrow morning at 8 Am. I can probably get a lift from my pops, so that ain't so bad.

Sleepy time,


Friday, November 20, 2009

Greetings and salutation. I just read that last one, and jesu,um crow that's some dark and angsty shit. That's what I'd call backing into a corner. Luckily, my outlet was this constructive black book and the glorious internet. I spoke to one of my profs, he turned out to be anxtious for the conversation, I think I'll be hanging around the offices more. The papers I owed for his class I can hand in at my leisure. I've got one more class to contend with and prof #1 speaks highly of #2. The truth of the matter is that I am busy as jesus christ on a bicycle, so much so that I've got repeatedly skip English class in order to "do some research on Hip Hop". Seriously. Psyche, It's that a working musician of my caliber can't always afford to lag on the latest breakdancing moves and hip hop news. All the music that I'm playing publicly is starting to dig into my "me" time. Hah. I did managed to get stoned tonight though. First time in a week. I came to the realization that I've known I've had the best family and friends since the age of two. For the last many years, we've been getting stoned and doing silly things, Now we've made a magazine.

It's called "Dragon Cock: A gamer's guide to fantasy role-playing games."

It will feature.

Rants, Raves and Wrecked 'em's by Maxim

Scat-Sociological comentary with Sr. Pancake and Whore Analyst, Marc-Andre

Conversation avec des non-bilangue.

Stories by Matt

Measurements by Clyde

Illicit profesization from J. A.

-Angry at nothing. Picture an old man yelling at a broken clock, ect....

-Bad Mad Libs.

-Age/Gender/Ethnicity/Religious/Culturally Specific Advice/Hilarious Hate.

-Horror Scope ( I need to copy right that one)

-Funkdementals ( I'm on band name fire!)

-Threats from the Undead.

"Dickens is fucking pissed off!"
"Washington is fucking pissed off!"
"Mandella if fucking, oh wait...."

Stoner Jesus.

I think I'll do a stoner jesus bit now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mid november update

Thanks to those of you who've been reading and enjoying this blog. I think the reason I write is the same reason I play music, dance, make cave art ect. Because I can. Because it's cool to extend your mind onto your environment. Posterity is also cool. Creating art or working out thoughts is the moment when the fluid energy of the mind is transformed into physical reality, even if it's tiny bites of information across a page. It is fascinating to find out how minds work. We're addicted to watching lives of fictional characters everyday. We strive to find out how they deal with various situations and each other. It's cool going back over old journals and blogs to see how I've grown. We often walk into the same traps of bad habits or patterns, to experience the same hangover or stress filled term paper. As long as the overall picture is improving, those negative behaviours are tolerable, but can sour the positive outcomes in a big way. I've been experiences mild emotional distress and on the same repetitive note, school is at the root. This blog is therapeutic because I can honest about my dysfunctional behaviour. This negative cycle has been going on since I've stepped foot in the establishment called "school".

Since day one I've put off, neglected, discarded the responsibilities associated with getting good grades. Basically I don't need anyone telling me that I'm smart, I know that already. However, it was my parents duty, however futile, to instil fundamental work habits into my psyche. This caused a tension in my life like no other. Year after year, I'd wouldn't do the big projects, then lie to both my teachers and parents about how I'd either done the work or that none was assigned. A foreboding sense of dread crept into my belly as the days wore on. Eventually my parents would stumble across various late assignments. As they fingered the dreaded mess of papers overflowing from my binders or bags, the knot in my stomach would clench. They would yell, I would cry, they'd help me with the work then we'd repeat the whole process every few months.

I didn't actually get accepted to university when I first applied. I graduated from high school on time, then did a victory lap to "boost my grades". That last semester of highs school I feel in love with a girl that I would be with for three years. I also branched out by joining the choir and the swim team. The funny thing was that most of my grades were still in the low sixties. I got rejected from Carleton University, aka "last chance U". My mother would have none of it though. Suddenly pamphlets for the "enriched support program", started popping up in my living room. Through my mother's due vigilance, I hopped through the right hoops and ended up in the equivalent of the special Ed class in university. It meant that I couldn't take a full class load and that there were extra opportunities available to me. The "first year seminar" I found infuriating. There was a lot of hand holding. I skipped many classes, did the bare minimum of work and ended passed the class, somehow. That's basically been my style since. A few english classes and my music performance class have been the exception to that model of mediocracy.

Not that I was an all around bad student, when It comes to classes, I usually kick ass. I've had a couple of brilliant professors, who've I've become decent friends with and poor profs, whom I've shamed publicly. In environments of progressive or at least learned thought, I'm always building, furthering and challenging the conversation. I've never had a problem with tossing out an idea while being able to back it up with various points from the book. So why is it like pulling teeth to write an essay? I think it's because the purpose of School work is usually not to inspire, but to prove that one can create a piece of work that fits into the appropriate format and guidelines. It's a contrived effort to bring forth good grades. If a paper is riddled with spelling, grammar and formatting errors, the brilliance of the ideas put across are trivialized. A structurally sound paper can say sweet f*#$ all still get an proportionally high grade. The counter argument would state that one who can formulate a concept in a more presentable manner has the advantage over a poorly constructed thought. My personal experience is that passion is necessary for the constructive materialization of scholarly expression. That last sentence was perhaps denser then it needed to be. But after four years of university, most examples of my writing were poorly expressed. It was the act of blogging, of creating sentences and paragraphs that were important to me, that improved my skills.

I'm ages behind on my reading and writing for the two classes I have tomorrow morning, but I'm getting such a kick out of writing this blog, I just can't stop.

I need to speak to my teachers one on one, and soon. If I don't I'll just keep messing every thing up. Failing these two classes would be a terrible waste of money and time, but time to a lesser extent. I've enjoyed the classes and have learned a fair amount. But if I only wanted to learn and not had this society desire to prove to others that I've learned, I would have simply gone to all the classes and not paid tuition. But my parents saved for years so that I could get a degree...

Alright, I think that's it for now. It's 2 11 Am, and apparently theres a meteor shower outside. I checked a few moments ago and saw nothing. Light pollution is a bitch.

This blog is un edited. School starts at ten, maybe I'll do it then.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Autumn rizing.

This is published simultaneously on Facebook and blogger.

Hey folks, happy November. I'm always a fan of the months changing. New cycles excite me. I dig fall because it's death. It's the end of one structure, to be torn down and reborn. A blank slate. A time to wipe away sins and indiscretions and start fresh.

Here are some cool things that I've been engaged in recently.

1. Solo Ep. The new CD is finished. Now it's a matter of getting it reproduced and online. My ideal plan is to have the record available to download, paying what you will/can. You'll be able to stream it on myspace presently. I'm quite pleased with the outcome. Seeing as it's my first official release, I've kept it simple. It sounds exactly as I would sitting in front of you playing and singing.

I'm having an official release party next week at the Elmdale tavern. 5$. November 12th. And it 19+, so get a fake ID if your underage. This is a fairly monumental occasion for me. I've been performing for about ten years, and now I've started taking things more seriously. This marks my first of many releases and it's gonna be a beautiful evening. The other musicians are talented and good friends of mine, I'm sure Ken Voita and Andre Bluteau won't disappoint.

Elmdale Tavern
1084 Wellington St
Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y5
(613) 728-2848

As well as being able to take a piece of me home, I'll be sending the songs to folk festivals around the world. When I'm done school, I'll be going on a long tour.

2. School. It kinda sucks my soul. I'm still incapable or unwilling to plan out rational work schedules when it comes to school. Then I get super stressed and hand in a sub par piece of work. I'm quite enjoying the classes though. The discussions are usually quite enthralling and my teachers are informative and concise. I'm looking forward to being finished.

3. Mechanicsville monologues.

Mechanicsville is a blue collar neighborhood in the west end of Ottawa. It's notorious for whores and gangs, but it's getting better. Seems like all the trouble in Ottawa is moving to the fringes. This play is a series of monologues from the perspective of people living there over the last sixty years. There's battered women, trannies, a cop, a taxi driver and an array of richly crafted characters. I'm playing banjo, harmonica, fiddle, resonator, mandolins and hand drum as well as singing between and during the monologues. My friend Matt Smith asked me to perform and I'm indebted to him; the practices have been awesome so far. The writing and performances are highly compelling. There's a lot of spirit in this play, it's just one person speaking at a time, but it's not dry at all. The actors are all fantastic and It's inspiring me to write some really cool music, I recommend checking it out. Plus it's performed at the Carleton Tavern, so it's interactive and you can drink while watching!

5. Sick Sick Sicks/Unnamed new swing band.

The Sicks rose briefly to open for Big John Bates, and it was a wicked show. I threw together 6 musicians at the last minute, all in suits. Photo's and videos will come eventually. The end result it that the Sicks will continue in one capacity or another and that I'm starting a slick swing band with my friend Bob Primo. I don't know what the Sicks will sound like, but It'll be cool. The plan for the swing band is to have three hours of Louis Prima style jazz and swing then some cool originals. I'll keep you informed.

4. HOLAS, Humanitarian Organization of Latin American Students. I met the prez and Co prez at Critical Mass a few weeks back and decided to check out their meeting. Every Monday night they offer salsa dance lessons and every Friday before the general meeting, they offer Spanish and Portuguese lessons, all on a donation basis. Their two main goals are the promotion of Latin American culture and humanitarian projects in the Americas. They've grown substantially in the last two years and are now on the verge of legalization into NGO. I quite enjoyed the Spanish lessons, the meeting and the group of people. Everyone is encouraged to attend meetings, lessons and events. This is a great group of dedicated students who have an awwsome time getting good things done. I'll be blogging for them.

5. I'll probably be doing some runway modeling for Fashion Cures A la Mode, in support of Ovarian Cancer. These shows are cool for people/clothing watching and it's a good cause.

I think that's it for now, Come on the 12th.

Love you all,