Went for a walk in the market today.
Saw a yellow-haired homeless man almost get run over as he absent-mindedly tried to cross the street against traffic. When the driver gave him an extended honk, he took a slow drag from his cigarette as he sauntered back to the sidewalk. There was no shame on his face, no embarrassment, no worry. He couldn’t have cared less. It was as if you could take nothing more from him.
I’ve always loved people-watching, and today was no exception. A little game I play with myself to figure out someone’s tastes and habits through their mannerisms. There were people on every corner, and so much wonder held in the mystery of every one of them. It’s impossible not to feel hope at this realization.
I’m always after that moment, when I’m caught between the focus and the enigmatic blur, lost to the colours and the wind on my skin, and trying to make it last a lifetime.
Owing to the success of last year’s house show, I’ve invited both Shane Watt and Jesse Dangerously to come and perform again next month. Not only will there be awesome music and an assortment of mini-cupcakes hosted in my living room, it’ll also be Jesse’s birthday party.
This will be a collaboration across Eastern Canada, as Shane will be coming from Montreal (with a potential secret guest), and Rosie will be traveling from Halifax on mandolin to join Audra, Nic (also coming from Montreal, as Rockefort F. Loopfrog, the beatmaker), and I as part of the Dangerson Famile. However, I don’t think Dolly will be making an appearance because the sheer number of people in the house last time really freaked her out.
I had a lot of fun making this flyer, featuring Mr. Cupcake. The great thing about Avenir is that it supports so many variations of the typeface, which lets you make movie and concert posters in the classic style of a full-justified column of information.
I’ve known Sikander for a few years now, but the extent of our interaction only happened online. We knew each other through the Ottawa blogging community, but at this point, neither of us can remember who found who first.
Now he lives in Toronto with Lunato, which I didn’t know wasn’t her real name, and whom is now his wife (I think they were just roommates when Sikander and I first started talking). I’d see little glimpses of their lives through their pictures, along with their perpetual smiles, kawaii details, and motley assortment of friends. It was interesting to see how two people from different cultures could get along so well; as Sikander said to me, he used to be a good Muslim boy before he met her.
They happened to be in town for a wedding, and it was the perfect chance to finally meet in person. We settled on some gelato over which to talk; I always marvel at how small the cup sizes look, and then how full I am after a medium.
We’d send music back and forth over the years, though usually it usually stays in the ambient, electronic genre between us. Funny story: Lunato told me she liked my video of Hong Kong markets, and it was actually Sikander who gave me that music from the Code 49 soundtrack (which I slowed down about 50%). He said it sounded familiar but never realized where it came from.
Before parting ways, Sikander gave me an album by Oka, an Australian electronic reggae/dub outfit. He once saw them perform at a busker festival in Toronto (though they’re not buskers), and it was the first hard-copy piece of music we shared. A music recommendation is always gift, and an actual physical album feels all the more special.
I know I need to hurt right now. I need to go through this.
I could ignore everything and pretend like nothing’s wrong, but it’ll all catch up to me sooner or later. These emotions are the antigen; to feel the full extent means it’ll be over sooner.
And if I survive, I’ll be stronger for it.
Jesse sent me an e-mail this morning, inviting me to play a few acoustic tracks on his set tonight at the Elmdale Tavern in Hintonburg. Naturally, I couldn’t say no. I got to his place early, and in the four hours leading up to the show, we worked out the arrangements.
The venue was nice and cozy, with the front tables only a few feet from the stage (which was barely elevated itself). There was no kitchen but a bar and a pool table in two main rooms, and this fact meant the place lent itself to people coming to watch something, instead of socializing and talking over it, as it commonly happens in a restaurant or pub with live music.
I wasn’t nervous the entire night until the minute up to the very first song; I was doing the main chords and it would have been painfully obvious had I made a mistake.
And since we were unamplified, we came off the stage and stood at the tables, with Jesse resting his glockenspiel on the front-most one. It made the audience all the more visible — and me all the more nervous — so I just kept my eye on Jesse for timing and volume cues to take my mind off it.
But with a little more time, experience, and practice, we nailed every track. Also included was an appropriately spotlighted group high-five after the Videotape-Write Protected-VCR medley, which is certainly the most difficult piece (on my end) due to the fact that I’m playing the vamp that leads the transition between each piece and the timing is really tricky to get down. I also noticed that I kept strumming my strings habitually to make sure I was in tune to avoid the disaster that happened last time.
A tall, dark-haired gentleman with a cigarette in his hand said, “Good job, buddy. It sounded great.” as I was walking by to load gear in my car. It was a nice little acknowledgment.