Musing, mutterings and music: the blog

Solo set at Irene's in Ottawa on February 23 

Oh cool...a rare solo show!

It seems like its been ages since I've played a solo acoustic set, so I'm really looking forward to this Saturday February 23.

We're also raising money for the Ottawa Food Bank, so please bring a few extra bucks and/or a non-perishable food item or two. We'll ensure it all gets to the Food Bank post-show.

See you at Irene's!

Decide To Stay and Swim - Song #7: The Sympathetic Slur 

Part of an ongoing series where I revisit 2003's record, Decide To Stay And Swim

During the rollout of this 'Swim Redux' side project I've talked about how this idea came to me one cold winter night in 2018, but I upon hearing song #7, I realize that the seeds were planted much earlier.

Sometime around 2013 I was in the midst of recording my solo LP, "Volume Vs. Voice". I had isolated myself in a cottage in Quebec for a few days to see what it would be like to record an album in a fairly secluded location. The fact cell phones didn't work and there was no internet connection really helped me to focus in a way that was incredibly therapeutic.

During that session, I warmed up with a few covers including 'The Sympathetic Slur'. At the time I even considered putting this track on VVV.

I don't recall much about the inspiration for this song, but I do remember playing it live whenever I had the opportunity to play a quiet room.

So I'll let the lyrics speak for themselves.

Have a listen to the new version here:

Lyrics:

A 16 hour drive 
For 15 minutes live 
14 years of slow, eroding ties 
13 circus acts unload their gear and then purport to read my mind 
All lit up.

Listen along and follow me on Spotify:

Hear the original version of 'The Sympathetic Slur' here:

 

Decide To Stay and Swim - Song #6: A Makeshift Marvel 

Part of an ongoing series where I revisit 2003's record, Decide To Stay And Swim

As we roll into 2019, this technically marks the the halfway point through this revisiting process I started last year, reworking songs from Decide to Stay and Swim. It's kind of fitting, because while the original CD was out in 2003, it wasn't actually launched until 2004. 

I didn't know how far I'd get with this little side project, but I must admit I've been pleasantly surprised by the reaction online to these new versions.

I always think of A Makeshift Marvel as a theme song for the proverbial fork in the road. In my head it's about those times in our lives when a big chapter closes and we're faced with stepping into a new one, all while battling feelings of self-doubt. That said, I don't remember the context of how or why I wrote this song, so whatever.

I do remember this song being a standout from the album for some folks who heard it back then.

So as this version finds its place in the word, maybe it will be a pleasant reminder of the original song for some of you:

Lyrics:


The minute the moment takes over the road 

Isn't it weird then, to be so in control? 

I tried not to wake her, while digging through clothes 

I'm stalled in a moment she'll never know. 

The caption will read earth-shattering demise 

On a lonelier dirt road than we had in mind 

And its not the song, its that long distance girl in my head 

That I can't explain away. 

You may not have noticed, but I've headed out west. 

We'll communicate better with that off my chest.

Listen and follow on Spotify:

Hear the original 'A Makeshift Marvel' here:

Covering hippie powers 

Artwork by meltingplastic

Hey there, and happy 2019! 

I have lots of new songs coming down the musical conveyor belt, so keep checking back often and be sure to follow along on social media, Bandcamp and Spotify

First up is a cover of Car Seat Headrest's brilliant song, Destroyed By Hippie Powers from their 2016 LP, Teens of Denial.

Teens is a great record and topped many year-end lists in 2016, including mine. I love the production quality overall; the guitar sounds are vintage Steve Fisk (who produced the record) and Will Toledo's vocal delivery is absolutely masterful. 

Lyrically, Toledo is a songwriter who finds power in exposing personal vulnerabilities, which I think is a difficult thing to do. And that was another quality that drew me in to this LP. 

I read a quote from him that said he really strives to make records that people will want to come back to, time and again. That's a pretty hard feat in this current, all-access-music landscape, but I think he achieved his goal with Teens of Denial.

I started playing Destroyed By Hippie Powers on acoustic guitar not long after I heard it. I realize it's risky business covering songs you really admire, but I liked where it went in the studio, so I decided it would be a good one to kick off my releases this year. 

And ironically its now 50 years since, they say, the hippie movement peaked and died in that fateful year of 1969. That point isn't lost on me here either.

Listen on Bandcamp here:

Follow on Spotify here.

Apple Music is here.

Search out my cover of Destroyed By Hippie Powers on your fave digital streaming service.

Flying Vs and The Stand GTs: A quick trip to Seattle 

The Stand GT live at El Corazon/Funhouse, Seattle - January 12, 2019

Last weekend I had the honour of joining a bunch of old friends to make some pretty great music and play Seattle's Pop Punk Festival. This was year two of the fest, and it was such a blast.

There were so many amazing bands, including old friends The Smugglers, The Tranzmitors, Lisa Marr, The Subjunctives and The Young Fresh Fellows.

Our set was a hearty blast of Stand classics, that we whipped together two days before the show! Our old buddy Ean Hernandez (Sicko, Subjuctives) was kind enough to get us practice time in their killer space in Ballard, which we took full advantage of since the band hadn't been together since Beaus Oktoberfest in the fall. The dank and dirty punk rock hang reminded us so much of our days in our very own chicken coop, that we enjoyed our practice time in Seattle just about as much as the show!

While the Smugs and Tranzmitors always deliver a mind-blowing set, it was the legendary Young Fresh Fellows who took us all back and really dialed in and put on a rock and roll, power pop clinic!

Here is a clip of the end of the Smugs set...will this be their last song live ever?! Sure hope not!

Finally, a clip of our set, playing Into Downs:

UPDATED! Here's our entire set! Thanks to Chris Force and Ean Hernandez for hooking us up with this great footage. As Aerosmith says, STREAM ON:

 

 

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