Two theatre viewings of a old favourite and it’s still not enough, especially in the comfort of lovely mature ladies doing exactly the same thing: embracing childhood for a sec. .. for all the things wrong with the Disney version, this one attempts a transformation into a beautiful work of nostalgia balanced with coy humour and neat changes to placement of the interactions to tell the same story with the same enchanted ending. I know the critiques and I get it, but toddler Jude is very proud of adulting Jude for taking a break to enjoy a moment of beauty realized. #stilllessthanonceaday #beautyandthebeast #3dnot2d #heartstringsareplucked #hopelessromantic #mentalhealthwarrior

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2qX6DpZ

BOOK REVIEW: ‘love is a mixtape: life and loss, one song at a time’ by Rob Sheffield

*some small plot detail spoilers contained in the description below*

When I found this book on the stacks of Halifax Public Libray, as I navigated through the careful architecture pathways – looking for inspiration in environment or education or both – I noticed in the Table of Contents that the second chapter (all named after playlists and important songs to the story telling) was titled Hey Jude.  So, naturally my interest was piqued, if i am to play into this Beatles ascribed identity for this life. As I read the story at the beginning of chapter 2, Rob describes building a mixtape of only Hey Jude for the entire length of the cassette by repeating portions of the record into an album of filler “hey” “na na na nanana” and “JudyJudyJudy” – I knew the storytelling would continue to balance musical entertainment with heartache and joy in careful harmony to tell his story.

The story of his wife unexpectedly dying, and his coming to terms with their romance’s untimely end is eloquently explored by describing their relationship in a series of mixtapes from their life together. The mixtapes were evidence of their mutual adoration of music at the time, and the changes in the alternative-punk legacy with albums which had in the duration of the track length, each contributed to this love story.

His wife, Renee, completed the music part of his life, and soon filled in the gaps he didn’t know he needed filling by a southern accent and sassy comments. Their love feels so true off the page, being in their company must have been a simple treat.

And so, while reading this comfortable love story, the despair of her loss being within each story about his memory, I am comforted by the peace he has found in the joy they shared. It’s their love story, and it has ended – in the sense of no longer continuing into the future. but I can understand the need to preserve what was, for the sake of the beauty of the story. for the perseverance of our belief in love.

Reading into their life together, i was cheering for the happy couple the same way they were living it – until, as abruptly as it happens, Rob carries you into the truth of the situation. that in less than a minute, his wife dies from a brain aneyursm.

In the flurry of the grief and frantic planning of memorializing her body + memory he recalls not sitting with the immensity of the loss until later, on solo drives in the days following when music on the radio (no matter the station) would remind him of her. Stating what I feared was true, “I knew I would have to relearn how to listen to music, and that some of the music we’d loved together I’d never be able to hear again.” (149)

Soon after, this thought is followed by the assurance to the reader that as the story began, it continued:”mix tapes were the life raft I held onto” – and understandably so. It seemed this was what was happening while they were living and falling in love, but now more than ever, it would be the best self-made therapy to keep creating new memories in the style of the old ones.

—-

Where this hits home the deepest, is how there are plenty of unwritten stories kept within my personal memory of music intersectionalities. And how I share some of the songs with this tender couple’s experience, but how many of the songs were briefly popular during the late 80’s and into the 90’s – and they never made it into my working memory of the time period (okay, I was a small child living in a rural place..). Even with the missed association with the value of some of these songs I could appreciate their organization together as even song titles creating simple, abstract poetry of shared living in a globalizing community of shared stories.

And how, the era of the mix tape is unique all in its own. But we still understand the value of compilations, of sharing collections of music; track order does, and sometimes does not, matter. In many senses, technology is advancing faster than our ability to make use of it in our own time. When i was a kid I used our family’s CD/tape player to record copies of my sister’s CD tracks into a mixtape for the car (which only had a tape deck) or create strange CD mixes based on whatever music I had used our computer to download via Limewire, Napster, and whatever software at the time was able to translate a cool song into a digital file. As a child, I didn’t believe anything could happen by copying music in this way, because it’s just like making mixtapes and sharing music across the street, it’s just across the world now.

My history with music as a transition aid has been the most valuable part of the loss of places, people associated with those places, and the soundtrack we build underneath it all will be what holds us together when the rest falls apart. That’s where Riverhouse/Heartwood are a foundation – or atleast two deck posts- of my grief; layered with changing places (“we’re not us anymore”, unfortunately) and the loss of people who created them.

So I have an undercurrent of favourite songs which have and will continue to guide me along the path of getting over yesterday and growing into tomorrow. It’s in reading this book that I can put my experiences into the greater context of loss, and understand them to be far less consequential than the abrupt end of a marriage due to the loss of the person while the love remains. And then, it clicks, that’s what I’ve been chasing. Closure from the love that never ended, rather the physical presence was removed. So, I’ve learned to love the music and people of the place differently, without necessary discussion of why we are all connected, because it hurts too much.

And, some songs stick with you even after the loss is fresh. Hearing the song by the Replacements mentioned in this book brought back memories of the first year of infatuation with my Edmonton interest – who made sure I knew to listen for Unsatisfied during their set at Osheaga. But I didn’t, I slept through. And that was some cosmic joke played to remind me of a number of ‘read between the lines’ meanings. But also to remember that it is a song worth listening to, because of its legacy, and great lyrics, and weight. Hearing Leonard Cohen sing on a recording, and knowing you’ll never hear new music by him again. Or, in the heart of the loss, the warm fatherly baritone of Bobby Gibb recite the ode to the haggis on Robbie Burns day. Or see Shotgun Jimmie with Mark Kroeker – though the year he came through the prairies we each caught a show in our respective cities and congratulated the other on accomplishing that Bagtown goal. Some people are always going to be memorable. And if they’re lucky, they’ll get a mixtape of memories all to themselves. Keep the music makers close and the family of appreciators closer. (sometimes outdoor concerts are chilly!)

The nostalgia coded into a song’s storytelling and melody is crucial for its soul to come through, but it needs to transcend an individual’s nostalgia and become ubiquitous into the human experience. That’s where mixtapes – good ones- can communicate more than a kiss in some scenarios. They can be better than a therapist. (not a replacement, but enough to know why you’re unsatisfied, perhaps)

And if you’re lucky, you get to have someone narrate all the reasons why they chose the songs they did to you, with introductions and stories. Appreciating the community this music has created on the airwaves alongside the chaos of living.

I’m not sure if this book was an antidote or an amplifier for my retrospective tendencies, but flipping back through pages of the book now completed seem as familiar as floating backwards into my own memories – smiling at experiencing that joy with the lucidity of deja vu. flashes of curious familiarity mimicking past emotion.

And now, in the phase of my living where I am finding more courage to start learning music and developing unique style + character in playing piano and guitar, I understand the challenges involved with creating a ‘new’ sound, if only for the immediate frustration involved with the pain of not knowing how to get the sound you don’t know you need. So, my gratitude meter is restored with each new song, and each time I pick up a guitar and default to D chord, because it’s the transition from uke to guitar and I feel comfortable there. But i’m getting really sick of that note in particular. Thankful for all the sharers of music ability and advice. Without them my inspiration meter would have no traction against the current of modern life. With them, i have a memory of a time of my growing up and out of naivete.

“a mixtape steals those moments from all over the musical cosmos, and splices them into a whole new groove. … I’d rather hear the Beatles’ Getting Better on a mix tape than on Sgt. Pepper any day.” – pg 23/24

there’s more of my story to be told – about radio synchronicities and mix tape ironies. but for the moment i’m glad to have indulged in someone else’s. Highly recommend this read to you, internet person; if i haven’t spoiled it for you with the plot leaks.

Madic album alternative venue show in support of Family Hangover – Walrus takes over Lawrencetown Legion,… and soon the WORLD! #regularface #goodbyesomething 

Yo we playing the Legion branch 112 in Lawrencetown tonight #freepoolanddarts

A post shared by Walrus (@walrustheband) on Mar 4, 2017 at 2:21pm PST

From the chilly wind that brought them out of Halifax for an evening, this band of music bros arrived at the college town legion in the precolonial heart of the Annapolis Valley as a headlining local Nova Scotia feature band and so eager to play pool! When we were eating a meal after soundcheck, Justin + Keith (guess which ones!) were playing a phone pool game and chatted to prepare for things getting REAL at the local pool hall/legion.

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They were there to play a set, but priorities dictated darts and 8-balls were an ideal warm-up to a frosty March night. An assortment of local regular members of the Legion occupied one table, while the term’s students’ mingled and enjoyed a brief reprieve from intensive cartography et al.
I’d been to a Madic house concert a couple of times, and have enjoyed the atmosphere created by intimate settings of these like any other venue. They adequately meet the expectations of any lil ol café show, while keeping expenses low for the attendees. That, alongside capacity building and audience growth, helps the life of the musician just a little bit more. The well-rounded artist helps keep a community connected to their shows, not just a sporadic audience, especially when it remains a community-focused event: all ages, low costs, familiar spaces used to make a concert out of a natural gathering. In this case, the local Legion was the perfect place for such a show. Thanks to the COGS Student Association for supporting the event, it was promoted as a student oriented event, and allowed for a break from the stress we are all voluntarily in the Valley to be under. (Centre of Geographic Sciences, in a town that’s hardly on the map and is always confused with a surfing spot near Halifax… yet is temporary home to 200 map-heads. Go figure.)
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After months of toying with logistics, it came together, with great resilience to changing plans and contact people and unwavering confidence it could and would happen. Student support to put on the show was invaluable, but also, they enjoyed participating in a show. Being in Lawrencetown is an isolating experience, and once I began to introduce the idea of a live music event it became appealing as an alternate form of entertainment in a quiet town, especially for fellow classmates who missed interacting with the music communities of larger hometowns. Zac Fredericks opened the show with some originals and a cover of The Weight by The Band and What I’ve Got by Sublime, happy to be able to take the stage and play louder than a classroom or student-rental-level volume on the amp.
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It is  very rural and often quiet town. But, with a small contingent of students eager to do something on a weekend that isn’t school – you basically have to make your own entertainment. With the help of the student association, and after cycling through the options for a venue – settling on something familiar.  In a sense, I was struck by a reminder to ‘take a sad (town, in this case) and make it better.’ #sameregularplacesameregulartime becoming all too real for this Legion show. Though for the very Albertan type wind that had hit the valley that night, there was 40 students and a few out of town guests excited for this band of friends was playing a show nearby – before heading out on new 2017 adventures.
Walrus’ music continues to be compared to the Beatles, if not only for the initial name but also once those who had no idea what they were about to get into – the hypnotizing effect of warbling sounds and psychadelic solos provide a warmth very similar to Dan’s new sounds emerging from his former lives into Club Meds – a soundtrack to the changes in the band and life around them. Unmake is exactly that, with the dissolution of +Blacksmith as the permanent traveling band alongside Dan’s songwriting stylings emerging as a creative force allowed the split to remain amicable and professional. This split, however allowing the label producer side of Dan to emerge, and throw more energy into supporting other artists who can benefit from more shows, more tours, more sales. Ultimately, the goal of Madic Records is to be as professionally personable as possible, and make good music out of real life situations. The honesty – of music and of lyrics – is cherished deeply by this initiative, and supports the idea of balancing personal work with the work of responsibilities. Handling mental health and the experimentation of creative bursts drive this support network of curiosities more and more into mainstream with every new show booking in an interesting place with ‘happy little regular faces’. (seriously tho, check out this new video!)
The power of the alternate venue was confirmed when I was living in Edmonton – where the whole city kept rediscovering its capacity for hosting a fantastic show. From the Artery, to Wunderbar, to Pawn Shop, to be the same audiences rehoused in emerging redefinitions of favourite places including the Aviary, Buckingham, Arcadia, Mercury Room,  and now The Needle, Have Mercy, and Bohemia are emerging as the arts community remained determined to find houses for music, culture sharing, and supportive space for creativity in many forms. This transition, alongside communities of house concerts spearheaded by local community members – is an idea that doesn’t have to stick with a formula, it’s an idea that facilitates growth and taking valuable risks.
When Walrus most recently played Edmonton (at Up+Dt Fest) , they were in the cozier space of Brixx Bar underneath Starlite – which has had its own history of revolving identities. But, decades later the building still houses touring acts alongside locals in the lofting concert hall with slanty floors. Because of its character, and legacy, within the city communities of movers and shakers have poured endless energy into sustaining the venue. Not unlike most of Halifax’s rebuilt infrastructure – both cultural and physical, these music making mellow magicians are one example of the reason why cities continue to reinvest in the arts. There’s something of meaning in holding on to cultural events as superb as these live music resources have come to be engrained within our experience of whichever home we’re at in the present breath.
These cities are just one example of a revolving door of music spaces hosting ‘final’ shows only to have the same people organize and perform at the bar down the road next week. But the identification with the walls of a bar can be formative to a band. Most importantly though, is for that band to never stop trying out a new stage. That, has been my experience with Walrus, ranging from Seahorse to Gridlock Fest in Citadel High’s parking lot, to Marquee Ballroom for #coldsmoke17, to running into them en route to a Montreal cat cafe while waiting for a Tame Impala show to begin. They’re neat dudes with neat tunes.
With some change in quantity of Keiths, they have been an actively touring band for over 5 years, and in the past year alone I have attended at least four of their shows – all within Halifax, though the first song I heard of theirs was on a BIRP playlist in 2012. They’re a band of surprises and honest connections to their music and fans, an attitude encouraged by Madic Records and Double Denim Management.  They’ve taken their chameleon sound and tested it in numerous audiences, and are always eager to try a few more. Something about the soft pop harmonies pique unsure listeners’ interest, and by the  time the guitars kick into Jordan’s drum solo everyone’s pretty much sold. Always seeking another dimension to the hypnosis, they are eagerly booking tours and single shows.
Those adventures are particularly exciting as new steps in their musical career (thanks to stellar management and alternative marketing techniques courtesy of Madic’s backbone of keeping music accessible). A European tour is on the horizon alongside the upcoming release of their first LP, in succession to the 4 song sample EP (available on walrustheband.bandcamp.com) will continue to push the small town success of a groovy garage band and turned their sound into a sensation being discovered by entirely new communities. Family Hangover, most recently previewed at Lawrencetown Legion Branch #112 will be  in hard copy by June. Until then, sit back with some paints and create some happy little  trees with these boys’ regular faces as your instructors.
https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=112672693/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
While they were in Lawrencetown, I asked these lads some familiar questions:
Hardest ever laughed
  •  MurphyDad’s house in Grand Falls (answers to this question are so often family related!)
Fave place to play
  • Hadley
  • Commodore Ballroom
  • Quebec City (Mostly because of the DIY scene they have built there, the venues always have a good turnout and people who get right into it.)
Fave song
  • Don’t look back in anger – Oasis
  • Thomas Tank Engine theme song (Keith)
 Fave cover song
  • Lucky Man by the Verve (played at show!)
Best road trip jams
  • Howard Stern, Serial podcast, Stone cold steve austin, Ricky gervais, Sirius radio stations
(Side note: My connection to loving satellite radio goes back to Said the Whale, when I was in Alberta, still very much connected to the christian community. I was the only one in the car who liked the music but I realized then “the church discouraged what was within me” – re: new lyrics! – the connection to the indie music scene developed from there, and when I was able to hear My Government Heart live, it was a  big ol deal.) This connection from hearing a band in digital form and then finally hearing (and seeing!) IRL the interaction required to create a full, dynamic sound. I love what that Discovery’s lead to. ‘i discovered my heart had become the earth,’ said the whale. and so, the story continues.
What is your Patronus/spirit animal? [clarified the intent is more the epitome of happiness that drives you, to appreciate the significance of spirit animals as a traditional indigenous honour statement; Patronus required a bit of a refresher but lead singer Justin was keen to fill his drummer bro Jordan in on its ability to provide safety for you as an embodiment of your greatest form of love]
  • Keith (new) identifies as a fox with cunning abilities
  • McGrath identifies with an owl
  • Jordan, hockey stick? ‘What does that say about me?’
  • Justin was curious about what object he could be if Dan was a bookshelf…..
(see my interview with Astral Swans, another on Madic Records’ label, about another way to answer this question.)

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Hat’s off to Walrus for a community gathering alternative venue show at Legion Branch #112 in March 2017

Good luck in Europe! Goo Goo Gajoub!
(What’s holding you back from organizing a show of your own? Get in touch with madichouseconcerts@gmail.com with any questions for hosting an alternative venue or house concert.)
http://www.madicrecords.com/madic-house-concerts/

geo-madic musings: leaving forests be

Regardless of the instance, I’m always seeking a better way.  For the sake of saving time or saving face it’s why we’re here in the first place. It’s why we sought out these third places of our past – for solace and sympathy, for challenge and calamity. For comfort, and for refuge from the fear of saying ‘i don’t know’ yet again.

But we’re not all here from the same past and we’re all going to different futures –  when the worth of our bettering loses sight of that quest it’s time to hold back and just agree. Sometimes, it sucks. Sometimes, it’s harder than it should be. I want to say it’s possible but the roadblocks that detoured me here said that some things aren’t supposed to be changed – at least not yet. Sometimes you need to take a reprieve and take a leave of absence.

Find yourself in the leaves of the forest, or in the generalized polygons of the forest. It’s all for something if it’s not for naught.

Give your struggle meaning. It will figure itself out along the way.

Ask questions, and accept answers. find ways to make giving a shit fun.

Ch-Ch-Changes on the same Theme

I was making this playlist on paper, then spotify, when i decided i needed to think a bit more deeply about 2016 so I called up my grand-family friend. We talked about his life, and about mine. And all the things I think of when I’m offline, i’ve discovered, are key pinpoints of my brain’s inner workings that I’m thankful i have.

I support the conversations with elders in our personal story. For wisdom, for kindness, and yes… quickly witted comments about the state of the world. But also an informed sweetness, to know the benefit of reflection,  to have moved on from so much until this point,  the memories which remain are not only valuable.. They’re all you’ve got.

Having a conversation with this grandfather-figure  not too long ago, he  told 3 separate stories to make a point about serendipity.  Each of these stories  (snapshots of moments – 1000 words to paint a picture) involving himself and our dearly missed MB. Their lives crossed over in odd ways for 20 years,  living separate lives, with reason to interact  at first – then contact became sparse,  as needed but always welcome as the years went on. He recalled: “It was around the time my father died, I called her up, as I hadn’t done in quite some time. I rang and she answered.” He said, in a particular manner, ‘I knew there was something the matter with her the moment I called.’ … “then you find out why”

Her father had also died.

She says: ‘oh my god it’s you’

With that, no need to go into details. You go straight to empathy.

That moment, and a few significant others, were moments of that serendipity.  He explained, now, after her end and our grieving: “There’s truly a chapter for each one. {45 years from now., ago} He continued, how a previous instance, he courageously decided to mention the importance of their interaction, on the cusp of her marriage. I’m going to have to say some things to you.. ‘I have no interest in getting in the way […] I really care for you. And the reason I’m telling you now is that it doesn’t matter’ And she never took me up on that dinner. But I was there, at the beginning and the end, in moments

The transition .. If you want to know…” And I did.

so, we continued to talk about the distance they survived, by means of networks of community and places of important beauty. Both in storyline and landscape.

From this chat, I reflected how this version of the same synthesis In my context Has not been easy but it has been kind many times over. This transition, is twisting the story in  important ways Until the time comes to demand we accept our capacity ..for foolishness of love, for impatience, for cruelty, for fear.

And in that appreciation of oneself, we see without astigmatism.

In this conversation, we also talked music and how Leonard Cohen had passed away. How on his latest album everything was softer, darker, still so characteristic of his style. And that he was reflecting on the end of his life, and produced a summation album of his wisdoms as he collected them and made a career out of it.

‘make sure you listen to Treaty, and include that one in your list,’ he says.

and so i did, track no. 13. in a Dan Mangan sandwich with Gord Downie alongside some modern favourites closer to the heart, within local networks. i’m honoured and delighted to be able to collaborate favourite memories next to each other. And within modern streaming, to create and share a mixtape with the people making the music in real-time.

and a little bit, of all of it, is the Beatles too. and that’s cool with me. especially on days when the weight of the world is a bit too heavy on my aching shoulders (i.e. mapping laptop)..

gratitude for growth

My friends are people who are doing well, who are happy purposeful people. They are connected by those who I have chosen to keep around, the fabric of my life I knew was important the moment I met them.

This has been the case with series of people in various places of my living, in only 26 years. I am grateful and bewildered by the community which supports cheerfulness, and magnifies the weight of living next to the weight of grief.

Many of the words that cycle through my head are memories of lives I am still living, in the alternate headspace of nostalgia, in the refusal to forget things which truly mattered.

The past few years have been a magnificent surprise. Reassurance from whichever cosmic forces once felt like tricksy fools have become the hedwigs of serendipity – when I least expect it, a peaceful beacon of comfort. A reminder that there is another world beyond the one our physical body is living in.

Thanks to cell phones, and facebook, and instagramming our favourite snapchats of the day all help stitch our favourite memories of today next to the imperfect offering of yesterday. We weave these fabrics as solo agents, but also beside each other more honestly than many cultures previously had permitted.

These moments unite us with stitches of fisherman’s twine. Accidental lessons, and futuristic dreams become one in the same, less distant with every odd seed creating the most beautiful flower. Less out of reach when trees widen above as they do below; less disconnected when we understand our fears run as deep as our love.

Without naming particular names, it is hard to tell the details of the story which has been a result of a serious attitude adjustment, quarter-life identity crisis, and vulnerable strength enough to pursue a particular fascination with hopes to turn it into a career.

The map of this journey has been a yin-yang  of jungalungalays and having fun with da baes. (in the Bay of Funday)

It has been a road trip and a train journey. It has been a reminder of human endurance, and resulting creativity.

I am sure to document each new particularly important era by means of travel notes and desire paths – both real and imaginary.

I do not pretend you understand me. But I offer you the most sincere challenge to get to know me,  if you care to do this two step in 3/4 time

I am hardly a heartbreaker, but I hope for the best in all our smiles.

This series of eras, of my getting to know myself, happened in waves. Like any privilege may offer, there were blissful opportunities to understand happiness. Yet like most of reality, though the world it might be dangerous, all it seems to do is turn – meaning the best situations get shaken up sometimes. My lesson of the decade is how we can all be hurt sometimes; and we can all sometimes hurt.

I keep myself a half step back from most crowds, until I want to be right in them.

I find safe spaces to remain cautious in, yet trust people in the concert crowd brushed their teeth when they ate pad thai for supper.

(of course the security is false, peanuts are everywhere. Danger is everywhere. We have a blissful setting which can be tuned into.

It doesn’t mean I’m always happy, it doesn’t mean I’m comfortable half the time. But it does allow for the opportunity.

The opportunity to become more true to myself is something which I never knew the magnitude of…in this capacity. Love is an indominable fear that we must live through all the time. If we do things correctly, we can work through the fear and become stronger people.

Gay Nineties “Decadent Days”

I’ve had the pleasure and delight of meeting the band members of Gay Nineties a few times, thanks to the years I lived in Edmonton, AB. The year Parker came through on a tour with Mounties bandmates Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays, and Ryan Dahle I recieved a signed drumstick from a friend over at SONiC 102.9. I had no clue who this Parker Bossley  was who drew the cutest of hearts near the end of this gift, but soon after his partnership with the Mounties dissolved his band Gay Nineties began to tour. When they came through Edmonton I made a point of attending, and visiting the merch table after the show to chat. No matter if i was attending alone, or with a friend, it was a great night filled with posivibes.

That first album, Liberal Guilt, meant so much to my mental health – to understand sexuality next to anxiety, to appreciate success in love and earthly experience. When I learned they were playing an early afternoon show at SONiCBOOM 2015, I jumped at the chance to swoon once more. The psychology of their lyrics are encouraging:

“it’s like we’re living in a dream //

let me get you into my life, i don’t wanna have to think twice”

the timing of these lyrics into my life was a perfect way to send my wheels of productivity out the window. I got wrapped up in the serendipity of dream-like events narrating my goals. I didn’t know what i wanted, so i responded accordingly to that which was happening around me. I pursued that which was producing these moments of synchronicity: real and honest people behind the music I loved. Whether that meant supportive friends with new music to suggest, or radio friends connected to the industry, or the musicians themselves… i fully engrossed myself in the curation of the moment to its fullest capacity.

Parker describes an album by Grace Jones (interview: My Favourite Things) as a “sexy, surreal, androgenous” production – similar reasons to why I enjoy parker’s contributions to my music awareness. That, as creators of ideas, the personalities are extraordinary.

The dream-like state of the entire experience from 2014 until now has been pretty incredible. The personal transformation narrated by these lyrics and simultaneous stories is something i didn’t know how to appreciate or make use of at the time. But now, a few steps from the place in that time, I feel refreshed by it.

Parker is a name that perks my ears up – I just assume if Mr. Bossley is involved it’s gonna be psychadelic and strange in the most delightful reassuring way. I often stop by Parker St. in Halifax and talk to the trees in the park nearby; the moon and I communicate with silent glances while the streetlights and traffic movement serve as melody to the synchronicity.

The last time I was there was on a walk yesterday evening alongside some best buds on a happenstance of a mid-winter, mid-week meetup. Previously, I was alone, with an iPod for company, and shuffle landed on “Jude” by Dan Mangan. It’s a song with a lot of weight – even if my chosen name didn’t mirror the title, or the Beatles references serving as an undertone in the commonality.

Lyrics in that gem offer similar thought-stimulating comfort:

“so much for bones to pick; so much for fear//so much to fill you in on, now that you’re here// timing is everything, moments arrive//it ain’t no accident, planets align”  (Dan Mangan)

as I think about how this is a perfect summary of the past few years the responsibility to be more of a Jude and take on the world. All kinds of echoing musical advice follows those thoughts too: don’t make it bad, don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, and well, you know it’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder. (oh, hey Beatles…)

I’ve gotten by with quoting these lyrics as a way to network quickly. I still ponder the true message of the whole thing. It’s a call to action as a leader, but also as a lover. We want to care, and empathize, and contribute to the community around us. But we are also haunted by the demons of failure, fear, and vulnerability.

at the intersection of Parker and Jude, i am strengthened to take on the world.

But even more important, I’m empowered to allow myself to love as honestly as I am capable. In the face of the angry, hateful fear ruling political decisions, the hope created by these interactions with music and the rest of living are critical for keeping sane.

I’m all for documenting our intersections into each other’s lives, and making those collaborations better, but I’m also about keeping out tsunamis of disaster.. as the moon got too close, my cosmic awareness was a tide that washed out some of professional rhythm.

As much as I love Parker’s music, i have had to distance myself from the community which introduced his beauty in the first place. That letting go has been cleansing. The dream which introduced inspiration into my life was something that (now, I see) was temporary.

The future is still to come, and I am more careful now with attachments. But Parker is still one of my top 3 potential kid names… and i’m ever so grateful for the empowerment which resulted from learning how to talk to musicians as publically real people, thanks to those dear radio friends.

I’m working on acceptance, appreciation, + civil duty to address that which needs improvement and/ or radical change. I’m committed to growing a career which will support this interest in thoughtful responses to the world. Whether that’s in map, music, or hugs, I’m not comfortable staying silent in a world in such distress.

to those who have contributed to this vulnerable strength, I thank you. for those who continue to fight louder, stronger, and more deliberate, i support you. for those trapped by new systems of rules, i want the world to accept diversity for you and us all.

as for the Gay Nineties: try on this new music video for size. great new work, team! in honour of those decadent days which sustain our lust for luxury..

http://www.sonic1029.com/2017/01/06/listen-gay-nineties-decadent-days-new/

 

A nasty woman’s rant clinging to optimism and honesty 

​Sometimes I challenge myself to believe we silently elected Trump the same ways Harper remained in power for 10 years, by not speaking out, by accepting our cultural bias blindly even after becoming globally aware. Our maps are the story of this awareness shift. That our resistance must tell the story and allow it to evolve.

This challenge has been embodied by the nature of our culture within this geography. 

Our fear of self-care, of narcissism, of true honest love is what keeps us rebelling against our mother (earth, in this context). 

I understand narcissism, much of my anxiety is rooted is in attempt of being humbly mindful of all the insecurities that prevent acceptance of yourself within the world around you. 

I understand healing from the pain of awareness – ignorance is no longer bliss when the shield is ‘woke’. 

This past year I’ve been inspired by a call to action, sourcedby the generations evolution which has got us to this point. To experience creationism (if only a delusion, say some) is to allow a collective reason for hope. Surrounded by such a glorious world of rugged terrain and magnificent forms of life, I’d declare God too. 

But for the transformation of that obsessive attachment to that story to have magnified our ignorance to the power of our energy bill.. means North America needs an attitude adjustment, maybe elect a president who would make Sublime – What I Got as the first dance song, with a follow-up from Uptown Funk. Or something. America, I thought you were cool! Oh right, as a quick filter into the lens of racism we’ve realized there’s still something very tragic happening within our consumption culture that has elected a corrupt businessman to take away the freedoms within which he was raised to take for granted, and  somehow is getting away with it. 

As a relatively well-adjusted ‘woke’ Canadian also living within these freedoms only a border away, yes, I am concerned about the effect. I am concerned about the current state of environmental protection requiring improvements, not further pipeline risks and pollution at the cost of our dignity as a species. If there’s a god, she’s probably not too pleased about you not cleaning up your room regardless of how you pray in words of thanks between requests. 

And so, this idea of women’s inferiority told through generations of institutions has been magnified to pussygrabbing and abortion rights decided upon by men. If 2015 was Justin Trudeau electing a 50/50 cabinet, but Trump/Pence 2017 is blantently mysogenist and ignorant.. how can that dichotomy exists between neighbours, we wonder in silence. Afraid to ask America about another black eye or second ‘stay normal’ triple-triple in their hand (after we explain this is Tim’s slang for coffee, eh). 

That’s where I’m at with this, how can our altered perspectives exist simultaneously..? But, both that confusion and the question itself, are important to how this earth operates.

And so, we ask them. We MUST continue asking them. Why did you think you could get away with that? When have you checked your privelege next to those seemly worse-off? How did that feel, do you even understand what you are saying?? Yes, I’m a nasty woman. I bleed and can ‘by pure accident’ become pregnant yet forced to raise a child, but you say that’s my fault, that you or any other slimeball can grab my precious pussy because you’re a star, or a man, or assertive enough.

I’m a nasty queer, how do you like that? That, maybe you don’t do it for me. That I too, have trouble controlling my own sexuality at times but that does NOT mean it is okay. It means there is a lesson to learn. Consent, triggers, moral code, ethics, decency… I could go on, but I best stay focused. 

I have some other things to be afraid of, thanks for environmentally aggravated GMO/pesticide/processed exacerbated analphylactic relationships with food. So, my day to day consists of reading food labels, asking ingredient questions, and being hyper aware of what’s around me. ‘did he just walk by with a peanut butter sandwich?’ ‘those muffins looks great! There’s eggs in them, right?’ ‘cool, trail mix! Hey, is that a peanut?’ Whoops.

One hospital trip to stabilize anaphylaxis without healthcare and supportive family would have been an expensive local vacation. And, I can’t imagine if I wasn’t near my epi-pen.. but Canadian healthcare literally saved my life without a bill attached.

So, I appreciate that Obamacare has been revolutionary to the USA for the past 8 years. And for Pres.Drumpf to now be burning those documents without even catching a whiff of the wax seal melting, is -as our new demagogue puts it -‘Sad!’

It all infuriates my anger reconciling with those more dominant world events happening in real time. (Mind you, I’m still weeping over the loss of the Alexandria Library 2 millenia later..) 

To be able to also live within a community that has Race to the Bottom & Whistleblower as a soundtrack..reinforces that dichotomy of ignorance surrounding islands of awareness in our collective headspace. thoughts of ‘what do we do with this now?’ dominate.

To retreat into the safety of melancholic depression, I find peace in the concept of these imaginary islands I’ve been creating. Representative topography. Emotional geography. Visualization of headspace. Favourite places refined to an ideal. Safe workshops of hope recycled from despair.

And that’s where I go when reality is too much to process. That anxiety I mentioned? It’s the gravity that keeps the water suspended next to land, that which creates flotation and peace. 

In each cyclical transition of my life, as they’ve come around again and again with deeper resonance, there’s a persistence in healing energy to be offered next to the pain. One blessing I’m grateful to be aware of. And so it goes. 

One year ago I visited Halifax in search of peace from the particular emotional storm I created this time. It was an extension of my definition of running away – a flight over Canada. And again, this weekend I was in Halifax, an afternoon drive from home this time. Perfectly timed gathering with the one who encouraged me to stay during that first visit. Those synchronicities have been dominant lately, fueled by accepting positive opportunity regardless of whatever negative must be endured. 

Apart from global events, I am optimistic about 2017. School has been a welcome change, and will offer great possibility for personal progress beyond past regrets. The mantra ‘i wanna get better’ echoes next to other anthems of enlightenment ca. 2014/15. (See: music journal.) 2016 being the death of so many inspired souls was a more dreary playlist, but hopeful + steadfast towards love just the same.

I’ve asked a lot of questions in 26 years, I think it’s time to start writing some answers:

Favourite Song: So Much for Everyone – Dan Mangan or Salem – Marin Patenaude (and the Follow Through, Revenge of the Trees – Into the Night II is also rad as fuck.

Favorite Cover song: Hang with Me – Dan Mangan (cover of Robyn), or Jolene – White Stripes (even though that one time I said I didn’t like it better than Dolly’s, sorry Pete)

Best road trip playlists/podcasts: well, ch-ch-changes 2016 Spotify one lately, both ‘Fo Twenny’ and 3:56 are neat random assortments based on length of songs (equal distribution in a playlist is somewhat strangely neat); podcasts – DTFH, Joe Rogan Experience, Alan Cross, CBC radio 3 interview series’, vinyl cafe..

Favourite Place to see a Show: this might be the hardest question for me, formerly the Artery ( ❤  rip) though Aviary is just as rad. Honestly, house concerts rule too. Riverhouse Cafe weekend jam sessions gave many lovely memories. But for, ever, no matter the band? Nancy Appleby Theatre in Athabasca, AB. (home)

When did you laugh the hardest: probably at a Cake Monday dancing to Uptown Funk on the counters wearing a banana costume. Or smashing a gingerbread house with my grandma. but also laughed out coffee on my computer monitor yesterday, sooo…

Patronus (formerly spirit animal): ‘flying buffalo’ aka moose (according to the highway signs in northern Albrrta)