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.



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).


  1. That is SO COOL!! Just be sure you know it cold because stage­fright can strike at odd­est moments.

    • I haven’t expe­ri­enced that but I com­pletely under­stand why that hap­pens. I saw it first-hand at a recital once…poor girl must have been mor­ti­fied when she got up on stage, sat down at the piano, and drew a blank.

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