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.

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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.