My final gig in Montreal was playing in this lovely gazebo in Little Italy as part of the city wide extravaganza for the Grand Prix! A huge shout out to goes to my friend Cath.A.Strophic for hooking me up with a slot. Here are some photos!
Posts Tagged ‘Guitar’
Last week I played in a secret loft in montreal, as it was a secret I can’t really give you many details, but I do have some photos to share with you! :)
Finally, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to my friend María for these beautiful photos and also for inviting me into her home and letting me share my music with her and her amazing friends!
I feel that if this post were only a few weeks late then I could apologise for not having written in a while. But as it’s over a year since my last post it’s probably going to be easier to catch everyone up than to apologise about it!
Over the last year I’ve been up to a myriad of exciting musical endeavours and I’m hoping that come 2015 I’ll have an album for you all.
Around June/July I was really lucky to meet Barry Walsh and Tasso Argyrakos while I was working next door to their tattoo studio, Ink City North. At the time they were organising lots of in-store events and after hearing me practice they asked if I wanted to play a few tunes at their next soirée. I jumped at the opportunity as I was growing weary of open mic night shenanigans, and so my first proper gig in Montreal was a show at Ink City North supporting reggae legend Vernon Maytone.
A huge and heartfelt thanks has to also go out to Facteur Malice for the stunning photos she took of me at the show, it’s been nice to have some photographic evidence of me playing solo! ;)
Around the time I met the boys at Ink City North, I also began saving my tips from work and taking some guitar lessons with Mr Tim Dobby. This really helped improve my confidence and it was lovely to have someone other than a YouTube tutorial to direct all my musical questions at! I’m really hoping that you’ll all be able to hear my playing in my upcoming recordings and we’ll agree that my time with Tim was money well spent! ;) You can also listen to Tim’s delightfully pretentious band, Lakes of Canada, by hitting their name.
Between October and Christmas, most of my time was eaten up with my guitar lessons and with work. I dabbled in comedy for a brief time but I managed to get caught in some drama that made the whole thing infinitely less appealing and I refocused on making music my full time gig. However, during my brief flirt with comedy we were lucky enough to make a few good friends, one of them being the talented Kate Connor. After going to support Kate when she performed at The Wiggle Room for their weekly variety show Voix de Ville, I asked producer/co-host/all round comedic individual Paul Ash for a slot on the next show.
Voix de Ville is a variety show with a “monarch of the mountain” element thrown in for fun! At each show, all the acts are competing for crowd votes in order to win the grand prize of $100 and the honour to return the following week to defend their title. Guys, I won 4 weeks in a row! I really can’t express what a confidence boost that whole Wiggle Room experience was but I had a blast and I met some super awesome people, including everybody’s favourite republican Kitty Vanderbuilt & artist Salgood Sam who drew this awesome sketch of me performing!
Still on a high from my run at The Wiggle Room I decided to pursue paid gigs more seriously in and around the city and to peace out open mics for a little while! The first of these was a slot at Bar de Courcelle, allbeit it was the middle of the Canadian winter and it wasn’t the busiest show I’ve ever played, it was a nice foot in the door and a nice reminder that I’ve still got it! ;) Since then I’ve had a couple of slots at Mad Hatters and I have more coming up later this month. (I’ll include a full list of upcoming shows in the side bar).
ALSO! I’m ashamed of myself for forgetting, Kayla and I got engaged on Christmas Eve, I suprised her with a beautiful ring made by Meshu which is essentially a map of where we met and all the places we went on our first date. I think she was suitably surprised and as it turned out she was also working on a surprise for me! I’m the proud owner of a Taylor 214-ce and he sounds beautiful and he looks nice and he’s full size. Perfect! If you’d like to see a video of Kayla surprising me you can click here.
Anyway, back to the chronological order of things! I’ve had a really exciting year, and I feel like I’ve managed to build a wee Canadian fanbase for myself. I was delighted with my recent placing in the Cult MTL – Best of Montreal readers poll this month which I feel also proves that I’ve been adopted as an honorary Montrealer by everyone here! ;) I couldn’t ask for a better result than coming 3rd place to Leonard Cohen!
I think that brings us up to date! A year is a long time though, and surely I’ve forgotten to mention some stuff/people along the way! If you feel that you’ve been overlooked lemme know and I’ll apologise profusely!
As well as writing some new original material, I’ve also been trying to add new covers to my YouTube channel.
Here’s what I’ve done so far.
I play guitar, I don’t know if anyone has noticed.
I’m a singer officially, and I picked up some guitar to help with my songwriting, but I’ve since decided I like guitar much more than singing and I’m trying my best to improve.
I’m not very good, I’m not bad, but I seem to be hopelessly trapped in the limbo between vocalist and guitarist. You know that grey area that Tracy Chapman calls home? There.
I’m definitely better than I was 6 months ago. I know because I now have a favourite guitarist (Freddie King) and I know the names of all the notes on the fretboard. #winning.
It’s still frustrating though. I think learning an instrument must be one of the most privately humiliating experiences there are. We aren’t often exposed to beginners, we hear people once they’ve mastered their instrument. The hours they spend ironically crying whilst stumbling through While My Guitar Gently Weeps are reserved for their ears only, and the occasional neighbour living on the other side of their cardboard walls. I’m talking hypothetically.
Anyway, I’ve resolved to follow in the footsteps of Mr Robert Johnson. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s the king of Delta Blues. Myth has it that he was pretty mince, but he disappeared for a few months and when he came back he was one of the best guitarists who’s ever lived. It’s plausible he spent those months practising, but it’s far more exciting to invest wholly in the myth that he sold his soul to the devil for his mind numbing guitar abilities.
I reckon at this point my soul is probably worth about $50,000 (I had to knock some money off for misdemeanours). So, assuming that a one on one guitar lesson would cost around $20 per hour. That’s 2500 hours of one on one guitar lessons. Sounds perfect. I think tonight I’ll put my acoustic guitar in open D, march myself to the nearest cross roads, and wait it out for old lucifer to come and make me an offer I can’t refuse.
See you tomorrow when I’m famous bitches!
Another post about my Neighbour. Since I started DJing for him we’ve become best friends! It’s been hard to cultivate our friendship when he’s asleep during the day, but I thought I would let you all know about my new friend and how we spend our time!
His name is Ivan, he’s from Croatia. I know this because he has a super cool Croatia T-Shirt which he likes to wear – I hope he gets me one for Christmas. He likes it when I DJ for him, especially when I branch out and play him some bassy tunes! Usually he applauds me through the wall. He does the same when I play guitar. I don’t know if he knows this but sometimes I like to practice my guitar in front of the mirror and pretend he’s in the audience – he’s always having a good time!
He must be a smoker, because when I smoke out the window I can hear him coughing. He has a bad smokers cough. I think he must also be in the construction field because whenever he comes round to talk to us he likes to discuss the building integrity of our apartment, “the walls are like cardboard!!” he always says that. I think Ivan could have done a better job if he had built these apartments, he’s probably the best builder.
Ivan also likes to share. He’s a good sharer- he’s probably the best builder and the best sharer I know. For example, he has this bin that he keeps in the corridor for everyone on our floor to use. I know most people would think “When is that lazy bastard going to move that old broken Ikea waste basket?!” But I know that it’s just Ivan, sharing as usual so I put all my rubbish in it for him. Cause I know it makes him feel wanted.
My favourite thing to do for Ivan is play chap door run with him. Oh what fun we have! I knock his door then run back into my own apartment. I know Ivan has fun cause I can hear him shouting about what fun he’s having in Croatian.
I love my new friend. I think I’ll keep him.