Cursed Arrows

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chronicles: Autumn 2012

It is with all of my might and sincerity that I present my ramblings on varying subjects having arisen during our travails late in this mythical year.   You may find yourself wandering through clauses and tripping over phrases, but I assure you the end will pool in punctuation...

Some days are average.  Some are terrible. Some are glorious.  Still others see you driving 20 hours away from your adopted home, away from the salt and green and into the grey.  They'll see the stench of cat piss and rattle of vintage tube amps inside a clown car, with wilderness, lakes, mountains and plains rushing by. They'll see your face in the clouds, up and away...

We've had so many great experiences of late, I figured it's time to share.  Since September we've discovered the punk-soaked beauty of the DIY Collective art space in Barrie, the live-in bohemia of the Artel space in Kingston.  In Windsor we were ghosts in a roomful of delightful goblins.  The lights and sound of the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, where the sound engineer is a  professional gentleman, where musician of many achievements Steve Fall (aka, Jeffrey the Corpse from my favourite director Bruce McDonald's Highway 61) helped load out our tiny stack of gear and inoculated us with positive vibes on the strangest of full moon nights, where fabulous DJ Shannon brought on Dance Cave flashbacks, and Ryan unwittingly scrawled our name just beneath that of the holy Dead Weather, infused us with goodwill towards rock'n'roll humanity.  We discovered the Twin Peaks-worthy interior of Trinity Lounge in Sarnia, full of smiling, dancing faces and met many sweet, generous folks who were kind enough to buy our records afterward, including a very inquisitive Dave Genn, whose band 54-40 had just performed at a big theatre around the block.  

I am left almost without words to describe the exhilarating transcendence of attending the live shows of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Patti Smith (both in one evening, no less).  Suffice it to say that I smiled through the Bob show, nearly lost consciousness during Tangled Up In Blue, and was a weeping soggy mess for much of the Neil/Patti sets.  When the stage lights came on and she appeared before us singing "Dancing Barefoot," it was all I could do to keep from climbing over all the politely confused Crazy Horse devotees before me as I ran toward Patti onstage in ecstasy.  Venue security ejected a rock'n'roll dad who'd just lit up a joint with his pre-teen son in tow.  The two were gleefully singing along to Powderfinger as The Man put his feeble foot down, and my middle finger went up.  The duo of Jack White shows in Toronto/Montreal led us to hotel rooms with ominous red lighting and smoky back alleys lined with big sexy black tour buses.  I smiled into SUVs as Pokey Lafarge vociferously savoured the aroma of my stogie.  These excursions inspired a second video update, soon to be released.

Never ones to stay very long in one place, we are booking the next leg of our tour westward, but not before revelling in Ottawa's abundance of vegan food (to the chagrin of our pocketbooks).  Our show at the phenomenal Daily Grind Art Cafe was positively memorable and its staff and proprietor Mike are among the warmest and most inspiring people we've met.  We made the first of many visits to Vinyl Alibi, and made lovely friends who shared their wedding with us - a real honour.  Fellow Albertans and DIY comrades The Famines showed us a napkin dancin' time at the Silver Dollar Room in Toronto, where historically significant promoter of the ages Dan Burke gave us another shot, and me a big'ol hug at the end of the night. We narrowly avoided a police shutdown of a punk house show (rivalling those of our early youth) in downtown Brantford, near the train station, by falling over onto our gear and causing Wayde to lose his glasses.  The train station itself harbours fine music in a cafe setting over the din of railway traffic a few feet away.  Ryan once again severely wounded his Gretsch in a tragically unceremonious headstock accident, taking the babe from his arms for a good week of repair.  Once the guitar was back in action, The Brain - a cornucopia of beat era inspiration and a real visual pleasure - accepted us into its heart as we revelled in its impeccably staffed and lovely bathroomed glory with Hamilton sweetheart Aron D'Luxe D'Alesio.   The evening found us filming and swooning over Aron's haunting (haunted) guitar landscapes in a late-autumn delirium while Dylan Hudecki helped us out with the camera(s) - and reuniting with a lot of old Ford Plant friends as the night went on.

Our dear friends Familiar Fiends filled our heads with their naked Ontario-via-Montana anthems, and the Copocs let us fill their magical home with our music - and recording equipment.  Their records will show you the love.  We all filmed some time capsule worthy footage at a low-key show at Homegrown Hamilton - the finest smelling, warmest, most ideologically sound venue we've seen of late.  The seductive aroma of newly roasted coffee enveloped us as we performed alongside fellow workhorse CA Smith, whose songs and presence are always enchanting, and later, as we attended the Canada-wide premiere of Seth Smith's film Lowlife, a film dominated by stellar acting and ethereal East coast scenery.  We continue to play shows with the Fiends and our new comrades and unofficial high school reunion candidates Hawkeyes, all of whom we are hoping will join us on our epic jaunt around this rugged country in the newest of new years.   

To wind it all down, we've found a cozy new art space for the winter months, so we can zero in on our final mixes and album art - not to mention hundreds of hours of video production that will accompany our fourth full-length release to come in the regenerative springtime.  Before that, you can expect a lot of written words, avant-garde video, photographs, paintings, and whatever else we get our hands on as we keep out of the blowing snow.  

Some days you find yourself walking alone.

Some days you find you can't walk alone without running into somebody with insight on their tongue and a smile on their lips, whose sole purpose in that moment is to reinstill in you the vitality of youth, of art, of love, of rock'n'roll.

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