Musing, mutterings and music: the blog

Interview and performance for Parkland's Cross Canada Journals 

Late last fall I had a chat with my west coast pal Rob Malowany as part of his Cross Canada Journals. We talked about my latest record 'Decide To Stay And Swim Again', being creative during the pandemic and how fun and honoured I was to collaborate with Spark Beer for their fine Pale Ale that carried the album's name. 

I also play two songs at the end of the interview which you can watch here.

Rob was promoting a new Parkland Music Project LP 'Eminent Ghosts' as the pandemic hit, so he decided to drive across Canada and visit his musician pals to both hand out copies of his new album and interview them for this series. 

I think it was a fun way to connect during a difficult time for independent artists, so I enjoyed looking back on this. Hope you will too. 

Of course all social distancing measures were taken during this chat and off camera we wore masks, in case you were wondering. 🤘😷

 

Bandcamp Friday new song: Soul Correcting 

The thing I like about Bandcamp Friday is it gives me an artificial target date I can work toward, putting out new stuff for whoever is listening.  

And hopefully the 'stuff' will project some comfort out there into the world during these nutbar times we're existing in.  

But this month, I struggled.  

The songs I was working on, with BF in mind, were not coming together and I was painfully falling into the overthinking-it trap.  

Something I battle often. 

  

So last night I scrolled through the folders marked 'new songs' and stumbled on one that was like an old friend waving from across the street. 

'Soul Correcting' is a song I've played live for years, but never released. 

(And almost every time I've played this song, John Higney strummed a tenor guitar beside me. And it was always so good.) 

This version is one I recorded alone recently (and by recently, I mean WELL before pandemic times) and it's just the right amount of raw. 

There are no plugins on this. No EQ. I barely set levels. This is how the recording came up. Waving at me.  

Alright, I thought.  

Just put THIS up on Bandcamp.  

Don't overthink it.  

This is a new song and this is how it exists right now.  

It's how it is. At this moment. 

So thanks for listening.  

I hope these strummable poems that come to me out of nowhere bring some comfort to all of you.  

As always, keep safe my friends. We are all in this together.  

 

Lyrics:

When I woke up with your danger 

Motion senseless, new found stranger 

Skip a heartbeat momentarily 

Is pretty much hard to absorb 

Promises endured unfairly 

It pains me hard to ignore this anymore. 

 

Contemplating skirt or apron 

To hide ink jobs you had no say in 

You ask me if I heard the revelry 

Of your friend's bar downstairs 

Or if I remember singing Dolly 

When we fell into your bed 

It hurts my head. 

It's a fortunate lie we perform.  

It's a fortunate lie we all perform.

Isolation sessions: Covering Billy Bragg's 'Strange Things Happen' 

I recently read a kind and thoughtful post from Billy Bragg that got me thinking about his great song, Strange Things Happen. 

In his ever-empathetic tone to those reading and possibly going through similar hardships, Billy relayed that his partner was diagnosed with and is battling cancer. Thankfully the prognosis is positive: https://www.facebook.com/billybraggofficial

I thought I'd send some long-distance positive vibes to Billy and his family by covering Strange Things Happen. Billy's music has given me comfort for over 30 years and many of you know this wouldn't be the first time I've played this song, which is a special one to me. The little riff at the beginning of the song was something Doug came up with when The Stand GT covered the song in the mid-90s for our 'Toasting Gears' EP. And I could never match the energy of the first time I attempted to play/sing this song, which is probably our best cover. You can hear that one on Bandcamp: https://thestandgt.bandcamp.com/album/toasting-gears 

"All winter long when I was locked in my room", is more poignant now than it's ever been. 

Join me in sending good vibes to Billy, his partner Juliet and their family. 

Isolation sessions: Blank The All-Stars 

Another song for the Isolation Sessions and another song by The Stand GT.

This one is from our last LP, "Good On The River" and is a favourite of mine from that album.

You can hear the original here:

Isolation sessions: When Sorry Takes The Wheel 

Another request for the Isolation Sessions and another song by The Stand GT.

I always really liked this song and it was a bit of a therapeutic thing for me at the time. It was only ever released as a B-side on the Sugarbuzz 7" EP which came out on Seattle's Top Drawer around '94.

There's also a nod to Superchunk in the lyrics, as I like to hide Easter Eggs in many of my songs for the amusement of those listening closely. 

You can hear the original song here: https://thestandgt.bandcamp.com/album/sugarbuzz-ep

You can support me by buying merch and downloading my music on Bandcamp under the Meltingplastic record label here: https://meltingplastic.bandcamp.com/artists

Thank you, enjoy, keep safe and keep looking out for each other.


Looking for information on getting a vinyl copy of Decide To Stay And Swim Again? Read the details here.


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