Monthly Archives: July 2010

you got to hold on

I have all this stuff I mean to write but when it comes to typing it out, it seems pointless. I don’t mind feeling this way anymore. I’d much rather come off as witty or interesting, but I can settle for honest.

My policy nowadays is to act the way I feel. Instead of trying to cater to other people or fit into social norms, I do what I want. It takes some trust in myself to believe that I’m generally a good person, but everything seems to be working in my favour.

bird

With another wedding booked next year, I was able to justify a new lens. The final one in my lens path: Canon’s 70–200mm f/2.8 IS II USM. It lets me take pictures like this.

I have something major going on each month until December, at which point I’ll probably hermatize for three weeks until another round of holiday craziness.

I used to have Hold On by Tom Waits playing here.

The summer has been warm and fuzzy, and it’s filled me with contentment. I don’t care about the future anymore. I’m living in this moment, and thankful it’s a nice one.

Fell in love with a beard at 160 Workshops

I could explain how awesome this night was, but I think this beard speaks for itself.

It’s a custom-made piece by Emily Comeau — named the Smirkin’ Merkin — and a prototype for Jesse’s merch. As a person who’s never even come close to having a beard, I wanted to keep it SO BADLY even though it was brown and didn’t match the curtains (or the carpet, for that matter). I wore it for the first song I played, but it got way too warm to keep on in a house full of people.

beard

 

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The premature exit

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I barely stayed for two hours. It wasn’t the game (though it did prove to be as frustratingly random as I remember it) or the people (who were quite nice and refreshingly intelligent). When I told Jess, she said, “But it’s so early.” I just shrugged my shoulders. As an introvert, she understood.

Onegin: premature exit

 

Sometimes I wonder if I come off as an extremely anti-social person. I tend to be the first one to leave parties, and sometimes so early that the host will ask me if everything is alright. When it comes to being around people, I’m definitely a high-maintenance person. I’m much happier in one-on-one situations, and even more often I prefer being alone.

As much as I’ve grown and changed, I’ve always needed the world in small doses.

Collab

This is pretty much the most awesome situation I can think of. A jam session with Nic on beats and bass, Jesse rapping and on organ + glockenspiel, Audra on clarinet, and me on ukulele. Figuring out what sounds best, modifying arrangements, practicing until it feels right.

The night was actually a rehearsal for Jesse’s upcoming Canadian living room tour, the last stop of which is in Ottawa, at the same place I first met Jesse and Audra and Jacob.

Rehearsal

 

Because Jesse’s sister is only available on the eastern tour dates, that left a spot for one instrument on the final tour date, which I’ll excitedly be filling with my ukulele. It’s only for three songs (and singing one part of a three part harmony) but it’s going to be so much fun.

Here’s Jesse singing and rhyming and conducting us and playing the glockenspiel at the same time. It’s a new track off his upcoming album with an obvious theme about video, except in this version he made an arrangement of Video Tape by Radiohead and VCR by The XX to bookend the verses. I’d never heard VCR, so Jesse had to teach me the chords on the fly.

I recorded this on my iPhone so I could practice on my own; I won’t have a chance to see them for another rehearsal before they go on tour. I’d never heard the song before, and it was our first time playing it through together but everyone knew when to stop. It felt completely natural. We were communicating without words, our instincts culminating in that wonderfully solid unison.

Even though I’m still rusty, it felt amazing to be playing an instrument with other people again. And this time with material that’s fucking genius, not the same old conservatory pieces some teacher chooses for you. At one point I was playing around on the ukulele when Jesse had to get the phone, and Nic started putting beats to what I was doing and it made me want to steal Nic for all my practicing.

See Jesse Dangerously in your town:

Friday, July 23rd — The Bird House in Halifax, NS — 6156 Duncan Street, 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24th — The Galley in Fredericton, NB — 1-178 Westmorland Street, 7:00 p.m (with feminist/anti-capitalist gumboot troupe Rebelles).
Sunday, July 25th — Gallerie Rye in Montreal, PQ — 1331a Rue Ste Catherine Est, 8:00 p.m (with the vegan ukulele of Nicola IV).
Monday, July 26th — 160 Workshops in Ottawa, ON — 160 Primrose Avenue, 8:00 p.m. (with electronic/acoustic singer-songwriter Jacob Earl).

Visiting Pita

Pita is soon moving to the west coast of Canada, so I went to visit him in Montreal on the weekend. We lived together in residence in university and for two years in an apartment downtown, but hadn’t seen each other in years. I’m probably the only person to still think of him as Pita, the nickname given to him from the first week of residence. There were two pairs of roommates named Jeff and Peter, so everyone decided that one pair should have nicknames to make the distinction, and that ended up being us.

Pita's house

He’s moving out in two days, so his house is a jumble of packed boxes and miscellaneous items.

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