Gryphon D’or Tearoom October 7th @ 8 pm!

 

It’s going to be awesome – Clairely Now and J Stevens?  Quite the lineup!

 

See you there.

 

 

 

shaika tomorrow.

Hey everyone!

This one’s a quickie, but I want to tell you all about my show tomorrow night at Shaika in NDG.

See you then!

the trick of it.

I took all day yesterday to record three songs. That’s right, about six hours to record about eleven minutes of usable material – and I’m not even sure about four minutes of that.

It’s pretty easy to drive yourself nuts with this kind of stuff. My trick is to assume that every rendition of the same song is of no consequence, even though I really have to get this done this week. It’s how I help myself relax, and even then, sometimes that doesn’t work. What if the cats get bored and start yowling? What if someone’s baby decides to start wailing just in front of my window? And then I tell myself that if the cats and babies in the neighbourhood decide to practice the Carol of the Bells together, then I can just try again tomorrow. It’s funny how I keep believing it.

That trick is sort of like something one of my friends taught me recently. He says that he can manipulate time by simply lying to himself; try it yourself. The next time you catch yourself saying, “Oh no, it’s only 6:30…” stop and say, “Hey! It’s 6:30 already!” And the time warp begins.

If all else fails, look at this picture.

Then, imagine how bad it would feel to be presented with a piano and have no thumbs.

i’ve got you.

Check out this new music video for Brian Rose! The song is I’ve Got You from Cats and Mice [2008].

The video was recorded by yours truly at Shoestring Studios, starring Patrick Purrswayze and Eugene Bazorov.

Enjoy!

radio waves & open mics.

Last night, J. Stevens and I went to a new open mic at Shaika.  Shaika is a cafe in Notre Dame de Grace.

That’s me!  I sang The Next Market Day, which was featured on CKUT 90.3 yesterday morning on the Tuesday Morning After Show. Geordie was also featured – it was super cool to hear my songs broadcast out so far to so many.

If you want to listen to my songs on the radio, check it out here.

tickling the ivories.

We have a new instrument here at Shoestring Studios, and I’m super excited about it.  It’s beautiful, the action is wonderful, and the sound is pretty unbelievable.

Thank you so much to J. Stevens for taking these pictures!

I’ve been practicing sight reading and trying to hammer out some Simon & Garfunkel.  It’s been painful and slow, and I’ve been having visions from being in 10th grade in awkward music classes, but I think that playing such beautifully constructed songs will help me learn more than pretty much anything else.  That’s what I did with the guitar – I have a book of songs from Buffy Sainte-Marie as well, and that’s how I taught myself how to play.

Oh, I’m so excited!  I’m going to go practice.

red roses & stars.

Last night, I went to the Wheel Club.  I’m always super nervous when I’m about to play in front of a bunch of musicians; after all, musicians make the most informed kind of audience.

But it went incredibly well!  I had some Patsy Cline ready to sing, but a quick chat with the violinist revealed that he knew some songs that I recorded on From the Kitchen of Clairelynow.  I sang ‘Red is the Rose’ and ‘The Star of the County Down’, and I was super excited about how well it went over.  It’s a pretty big compliment when someone wants to trade their CD for yours (which happened) and someone gave me their 50/50 ticket so I went home with some Hank Snow as well.  I sold some other copies, and I went home feeling really pleased.

I really love singing, but I don’t really like learning songs that are absolute classics.  A good example of this is ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline.  She’s an incredible vocalist, and I love listening to that track, but I feel as though her rendition leaves nothing left to be desired.  What could I possibly add to that song?  Cline had an amazing voice, and an incredible sense of presence.  I have my own voice, and my own stage presence, but it’s not the same;  Cline owns ‘Crazy’ even more than its author, Willie Nelson.  ‘Three Cigarettes on the Ashtray’, for instance, is less iconic.  There’s more space for me to play.

I started singing those traditional songs because I realized (about five years ago) that if I wanted to hear those songs the way I thought they should be played.  Experiencing that amazingly positive feedback really supported my theory that musicians need to play music exactly how they hear in in their heads, and that spending time learning music you don’t want to is sort of an energy suck.

I wonder what I’ll play next week!  Oh, yay.

awesome, but odd!

thrums.

In knitting, there is a technique wherein you can produce an insanely warm mitten by knitting in thrums – loose portions of fingering weight roving at about staple length.  They’re common in the North when fur isn’t available.

I’ve been singing a lot lately, and marveling at the word.  Thrum – doesn’t it sound just exactly like a thumb striking some guitar strings?