Monthly Archives: August 2012

let's leave these rusted old folks back in the city

It’s been too long since we took a ride togeth­er. Too long since some­one else was at the wheel and I got to score the pass­ing Canadian fields with my new favourite songs. Too long since I saw the old crew and filmed them land­ing aeri­als on the farm.

two dogs in a car

We dri­ve through love­ly lit­tle vil­lages I’d nev­er want to live in but always think of vis­it­ing some day. They’re too small for com­ic book stores and decent Chinese food and any pos­si­bil­i­ty of get­ting lost, but big enough to hold the hopes of any­one who ever want­ed to build a life for them­selves in a qui­et com­mu­ni­ty full of old-world charm and decay. The tiny econ­o­my based on tourism from an annu­al coun­try music fes­ti­val or his­toric school will make sure it stays like this for­ev­er.

Continue read­ing “let’s leave these rust­ed old folks back in the city”…

a reason

In those moments between our­selves and the rest of the world, it’s hard to think of any­thing but how good you look with curls in your hair, and how you nev­er wor­ry about tear­ing your del­i­cate dusty-rose dress when you think it’ll look sus­pi­cious if we’re gone for too long.

I need moments like this — like good­night kiss­es and the things you tell your friends about me — all the lit­tle details so many take for grant­ed. That’s why I haven’t been able to write. Not because I’ve been too occu­pied with life, but because I’ve become numb to every­thing else, and inspi­ra­tion has always come from my capac­i­ty to feel.

So brush your hair behind your ear, take anoth­er walk with me, and give me a rea­son to speak to the world.

Slept Through a Landslide

Jesse Dangerously — Slept Through a Landslide cover

Rap Legend Jesse Dangerously just released his lat­est sin­gle1, a remix of Tired Angels from Krista Muir’s most recent album. He want­ed a bit of breath­ing room between vers­es and asked me to write a ukulele solo, so we hit the stu­dio a cou­ple months ago. I was lucky enough to learn a lot about the record­ing process that had large­ly remained a mys­tery to me.

This was my first time try­ing to write music that was­n’t a cov­er. It was unique chal­lenge, cause it’s hard for me to tell what sounds good vs. what sounds good only to me. I also have a habit of try­ing to fill my arrange­ments with too many ideas instead of fol­low­ing a theme, so this time I tried to build on the hook that Krista sings. Then I added as much vibra­to as I could on my soft cedar-topped nylon-stringed uke to fill out the sound.

I also pro­vid­ed some back­up har­monies at the start of Noah23’s verse, and it’s weird to hear my singing with some real pro­duc­tion. I don’t think I’d rec­og­nize my own voice if some­one did­n’t tell me it was me.

Jesse has the abil­i­ty to piece togeth­er a bunch of mot­ley musi­cal ideas from var­i­ous gen­res, and it’s awe­some to hear some­thing that start­ed out as a sim­ple rap song become more than the sum of it’s parts.

  1. In the cred­its at the bot­tom, the city of each per­former is includ­ed. I love how Rosie’s loca­tion is “lives in a van”. []

I want to know do I stay or do I go


Filmed a great wed­ding yes­ter­day, one that left me tired and sore and much deserv­ing of a break. It’s a hazy Sunday morn­ing, and anoth­er day that it’ll feel like it’s above 40°C with the humid­i­ty. Working near­ly 13 hours and turn­ing into a lit­tle pud­dle of Asian man means I’m con­scious­ly avoid­ing the out­doors today. I’ll be con­tent to sip my cof­fee and peer out the win­dow at the gen­tly sun­lit trees.

cat and drink on a hot day

Majel helps us taste-test cock­tails for the recep­tion.

Even though it’s get­ting ever clos­er to her wed­ding, and Lisa has an increas­ing num­ber of things to get done, we’ve been able to see each oth­er more late­ly. I’ve real­ized that it’s not good enough to have her meet my needs. I have to fill a cer­tain role in her life too. That’s what brings mean­ing to the rela­tion­ship, cause it means she appre­ci­ates me the way I want to be appre­ci­at­ed. So often, it feels like that’s all I’ve ever want­ed.

I’m glad to have devel­oped a rit­u­al get-togeth­er with Aaron too. When we don’t see each oth­er one week, it feels like a year the next time we catch up. Tonight I’m head­ing over to his house for the start of bach­e­lor week, some­thing we’ve been excit­ed­ly plan­ning for a while now. It’s the first time he’s had the house to him­self since the kids were born, so I’ll be stay­ing there for a few days of games, movies, bar­be­cue, and gen­er­al guy stuff, com­ing back home to feed the kit­ties every now and then. We’re doing a six per­son Magic tour­ney tomor­row, my first in the Constructed for­mat, and every­one’s mak­ing new decks for the chance to open some M13 boost­ers. I think my deck con­cept is BRILLIANT and I can’t wait to try it out.

Chet Atkins has also been keep­ing me com­pa­ny late­ly. I’m so glad to have found his instruc­tion­al DVD, where he talks with his old man charm about what he likes in each song and how to play them, phrase by phrase. I grew my thumb­nail out nice and long for near­ly two months, cut it off for prac­ti­cal­i­ty’s sake dur­ing wed­ding sea­son, then imme­di­ate­ly regret­ted the deci­sion. The elec­tric strings I’ve been using have a real­ly flat, dull tone in the low­er reg­is­ter, and since the bass line is so impor­tant in Chet’s arrange­ments, it’s like an entire part is miss­ing from any song I try to learn. I’m going to try learn­ing with a thumb pick, which is some­thing I’ve been avoid­ing for a while now cause I hate the loss of sen­si­tiv­i­ty (like a con­dom on your thumb), but hope­ful­ly the com­pro­mise is worth it.

I have things to orga­nize, chores to do, errands to run, and a house to clean before I leave. For now, I’ll enjoy the rest of the morn­ing, wast­ing time.