Musing, mutterings and music: the blog

From the vault: Make hay (while the sun shines) - The Stand GT on tour with The Smugglers 

In August 1994, The Stand GT toured Canada with Vancouver's The Smugglers. We brought a video camera along, something that was pretty much unheard of for indie bands in the mid-90s. Needless to say, we captured a LOT of footage. Some of which I've started to digitize; some will stay forever in the VHS tape format, never to be seen again.

The Stand GT live in Penticton, BC, 1994.

Dirty Windshields is a terrific memoir by Grant Lawrence about the epic journeys and adventures our friends in The Smugglers experienced during their career in the indie rock underground. 

If you're familiar with the book, there's a little story on pages 84 and 85 about touring with The Stand.

Well, here is that story come to life. 

To set the scene:

This was the last night of the bands' cross country tour together; The Smugglers were heading home to Vancouver and The Stand GT were heading to the US to record their first LP with Kurt Bloch in Seattle.  

We wore The Smugs pink tour shirts in tribute that night in Penticton, BC.

So here is The Stand GT live during that show, as captured on video by The Smugglers, who kindly offered to shoot our set.

The Stand GT songs in this footage (in order):

1. Into Downs

2. Near In Control

3. Paying The Piper

4. The Wait

But as you'll see, The Smugglers had other plans as well.

The "sweet" thank you note they left on our van. I still have it.

 


 

Interstellar Basement Dweller for food bank donations 

New song! 

As many of you know, my new solo LP 'Decide To Stay and Swim Again' was due to release early April. I've decided to put that on hold for now, as I had a few fun things planned that can't go forward given the current crisis. 

We'll reschedule those, hopefully soon. 

In the meantime, I'm going to start releasing some demos I've been working on. 

"Interstellar Basement Dweller" is the first song from that list. You can download or stream it for FREE, I just ask that you please consider donating to your local food bank if you can. So many people are being laid off, losing their jobs and may be turning to our food banks for support during this crisis. 

In Ottawa, here two key banks I know of that are in dire need of financial support at this time. 

The Ottawa Food Bank: www.ottawafoodbank.ca/donate/ 

The Parkdale Food Centre: parkdalefoodcentre.ca/donate-2/

Thanks for considering donating! 

Keep safe.

Keep "physical" distancing.

Reach out to your family and friends. 

Cheers...enjoy the tune. ;) 

Note: Spotify, etc releases April 7. Follow me on your fave streaming platform for more details.

No, really. Hunker down.  

Hope you're keeping safe everyone.  

I've been in self isolation and practicing social distancing for almost 2 weeks now. Feels so weird.

I hope you're doing the same and most importantly, keeping that social distancing going. We'll get through this, but we need to work together and keep listening to our medical leaders. Seek out reputable authorities, don't rely on social media algorithms at a time like this. Timelines are quite possibly spreading misinformation.  

In Ottawa, I recommend following Dr. Vera Etches here, or checking out Ottawa Public Health.

As for me, I may do some Facebook/Instagram live stuff soon, but I've been struggling to wrap my head around the concept when there's so much misfortune out there.

On that note, I encourage everyone to think of their local food banks as I hear they are stretched and need funds.  

Some links here in Ottawa are:

In the east end of Ottawa, you can also sign up here if you need help or if you want to volunteer. I've signed up to help out if and when the time comes:  

 

My album release for April 2 has been postponed for now, hopefully just until late May, but I have a feeling this crisis is going to go on for some time.

I do have new music I will start to float out there on Bandcamp for those who are interested.  

Those of you who ordered the record, thank you. I will get the remaining Ottawa hand-offs out when it's safe to do so. I'm sorry I didn't get them to you before all of this exploded.

This will get worse before it gets better, but WE CAN make a difference by staying home (if we can) and keeping a safe social distance from one another. Most importantly, it will help protect everyone out there on the front lines.

Keep safe everyone.

Stay connected.

Reach out. 

The Stand: 35 years  

The Stand in the chicken coop, circa 1986.

It was March 15, 1985.

35 years ago today Glen and I got together to bang out some songs in his bedroom. I had a cheap electric guitar and an amp. Wally had his kit. 

Wally behind his original kit. This is circa 1985.

It's memorable for us, because the lady across the road burst into his house and bedroom to scream at us for making a god-awful racket, cutting our first rehearsal rather sort. Wally took the brunt of her verbal assault as I hid behind his bedroom door. 

Doug joined our new band soon after. And eventually Todd came along on bass to round out the original line up.  

Doug circa 1985-ish.

Todd hams it up at a band rehearsal. Note the Traynor stacks! I still have the head on the right, plus the 4x10 that Doug used.

While the first official practice of what would become The Stand was in the books, we now had the task of finding a decent rehearsal space.

We practiced, just once, in an old barn that stunk of cow crap.

Our pal Steph got us a stint in the round church in Dalhousie Mills, which was creepy but cool.

We eventually settled into an abandoned chicken coop on my parent's property at Curry Hill during the warm months.

For winter months, we had to travel to a local country school in Lancaster Township. The supportive Principal there allowed us to go in after hours, set up and make as much 'racket' as we wanted. For hours. We'll forever be grateful to Huntly McDonnell for being so good to us young punks.  

Many of these photos are by Stephanie Carpenter, who documented so much of our early years. 

Keeping that smoke machine on your radar 

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Date With A Smoke Machine, this is an acoustic reworking of a track from that album. 

I remember being incredibly sick just before I wrote this song. The 'on the ceiling' line comes from me literally being ill on the couch, staring at the ceiling. 

I also wrote the song on mandolin which is not something I normally do. I decided to give a little spotlight to that very Harmony mandolin during the solo of this version. 

It's a sad song, but a hopeful song. I'm happy to see it turn 10. 

LYRICS: 

On the ceiling 
Is where I look to figure out 
Which of these words I should shout 
And which I should keep 
Stirring in me 
To let the ill will die. 

Stop believing 
You can hold my hand awhile 
And you're the one who made me smile 
Understanding's coming crashing home. 

And if you're feeling 
I should somehow learn to cope 
And wash my mouth with laundry soap 
Like a faint star 
Keep me on your radar.

 

And you can hear the original here, loving crafted 10 years ago with quite a bit of Dave Draves magic:

 


Looking for information on the Decide To Stay And Swim Again vinyl pre-order?

Official release date: Postponed TBD

Read the details here.


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