Sunday 20 December 2009

Time Slips, But There'll Still Be Trunks in the Afternoon

Time slipped away from me this last month and City of Craft updates were relegated to instantaneous splurts on facebook. Once I get my act together, the new year, I'll attempt to fill all kinds of holes I've left here and elsewhere...

For now, an attempt to prompt you out of your Sunday evening hibernation. My brawling ladies and I will be doing one last show of the season -- this might even be the very last show of the year! Those of you lucky enough to experience me in person in the days leading up to the megalopolis of craft might be wondering why I've thrown another one into the mix, well, this one promises to be a lovely sort of event with snacks and drinks and I have to do nothing but show up and hang out with a bunch of swell people. It's all happening at the new nifty collective Heartbeat 960 (that's 960 Queen St. West). Aside from things handmade - which will be plentiful, I'm also pretty excited about this show's promise of vintage and records!

Come and hang out! It'll be nice.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Thinking of Home in Homelessness...

This year's City of Craft has a serious installation angle thanks to the amazing and very, possibly insane Tara Bursey. Not only did she reel in 14(!) artists from around the globe (okay, mostly North America, but there is one Berliner!), but she has also put together this group show that includes the work of some vendors and organizers that opens this week and that we'll be kicking off with a party this Friday (Dec. 4) at Cream Tangerine (Queen St. W. @ Dovercourt).

I have a piece (of various nesting pieces) that I've submitted to this and as I freak about getting things made for the show and finishing said piece, along with all the last minute chaos of the show, you're just going to have to come out to get a glimpse of it.

Saturday 26 September 2009

West is Best

So we barely get a chance to our bearings back here in Toronto and in a week's time we'll be heading out on another long-ish road. One we must fly to, that begins in Vancouver.

If you are, or will be, there -- or, here, as it is -- come see us and say hello. It could be nice.

Oh yes! That lovely poster you see up there comes courtesy of Broken Press Design:

Oct 03 @ Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver
Oct 07 @ Open Space, Victoria
Oct 08 @ The Josephine, Seattle
Oct 09 @ Ella St. Social Club, Portland
Oct 10 @ tba, Eugene
Oct 11 @ The Hemlock, San Francisco
Oct 12 @ Vaction Vinyl, Los Angeles (in-store)
Oct 13 @ Synchronicity Space, Los Angeles (w/ Aidan Baker solo)
Oct 15 @ Terminal, Oakland
Oct 17 @ Anthem Records, Portland (AB solo in-store)
Oct 18 @ Dissonant Plane, Seattle (AB solo in-store)
Oct 18 @ The Comet, Seattle

Friday 11 September 2009


It's not so much that I've been neglecting this here blog, so much as this last month has seen us leaving Berlin on an emotional, and often depressing road back to Toronto. We did some amazing things with some amazing people on said road, and I'll fill in those blanks really soon. Right now, my time is spent in a minor haze as I readjust to what it means to be a Torontonian.

More than anything, I'm surprised at how completely underwhelmed I feel being back here. This is sad, sad, sad. Not only for me/us, but I feel really cruddy expressing this to all my friends here. However, I'm trying to snap out of it by immersing myself in Toronto greatness - of course, a huge chunk of greatness that is also very near and dear to my heart is City of Craft. This is something that will utterly consume me, and very possibly this space, in the coming months.

Other greatness includes the serious glut of literary talent here and I'm starting with Maggie Helwig's Girls Fall Down. It's already tapped into my various paranoia, and it probably wasn't a good idea to start reading it on the subway (especially as the train approached Bloor St. Station), but it's scary and lyrical in the best way.

In further Toronto-centrism, the Toronto International Film Fest is on and as the city is beside itself with Brad Pitt and Penelope Cruz watching, we made our way to the screening of Sook-Yin Lee's Year of the Carnivore. Actually, the film itself takes place in Vancouver, but it's the best kind of Canadian content - totally self-effacing, totally odd, and totally beautiful. Also, Aidan contributed music that was so well curated (is music 'curated' in a film?) throughout the whole film.

I'm thinking this is the best way to re-acclimatize. We're going to focus on what's really inspiring and try our best to ignore that other stuff.

Friday 14 August 2009

The Violent Matryoshka Revolution

Lost for almost a century, the brief manifesto that started the brawling revolution of the Matryoshka was recently found and will be published this fall by Coldsnap Bindery as part of it's new pamphlet series.

Oh yeah, finger puppets will also be available so that you could re-enact your very own brutal revolution.

Saturday 18 July 2009

Le fete de l'eté!

Apparently, the grammar wasn't the only error on the poster, but they got our info correct and after a long and pretty good and very mixed evening we got up on stage around midnight and cleared the room. After a lentil heavy dinner (that everyone attending the festival was welcome to), the jimmy-leg inducing dance antics of Les Trucs and then the screamy and wind instrumented noise rock of Death Sentence: Panda! the room was spent and as Charlotte of Les Trucs later told me, the steadily increasing volume and temperature made her want to barf - I have to admit, I felt it, too.

Oh yeah, before the show we walked around the old centre of Dresden - the only thing I knew about this city was that it was fire-bombed in WW2, but apparently long before the allies thought it important enough to brutally decimate it was an important centre during the renaissance, huh.

Friday 17 July 2009

Meltfest '09

We took a short jaunt down to Nurmberg, picked up a couple friends then made our way over to Vienna, and then over to Budapest - where my well-being proceeded to become one with the pavement. We were feeling slightly more aw(ful) than (esome) as we arrived at the venue, but things instantly improved as we entered the cellar room - it would definitely turn steamy when full of people, but for now it was cool. I should also mention that our sound man this final night with Lusca was the best and craziest I've ever met. It turns out that this day gig is as a chiropractor - I wasn't sure where he was going when he told me to take two steps down and turn around, and as he then proceeded to embed his knee into my spine and pull my shoulders back - but, he assured me that he was a licensed practitioner. However, when he offered to crack my neck for me, I declined.

The next day promised to be as unbearably hot as the last so as Mike and Ingrid made their way to their train home in the early a.m., we got up to see as much of Budapest's historic centre as possible before noon. We mostly just strolled along Danube (we've seen a lot of this very, very long river over the last year) opposite the parliament for as long as we could stand being in direct sunlight and then made our way up to the castle district to take in the view.

Closer up...

I have to admit to disappointment as we reached Budapest's suburbs on the way in and out of town - they kind of reminded me of Oakland, CA as seen from the freeway...

Saturday 4 July 2009

For You! & You! & Maybe, Possibly You!

I'm not altogether positive of the demographic that is readers of this, particular account of my life and doings, but I have big news for surely some of you. Maybe not for "you" you, but very possibly for you!

The weather is bordering on swelter, with a few hours of simmer thrown in each day, for most of the northern hemisphere these days and you might not want to think about things to come in December but I have to and as a reader, you will too.

City of Craft - my home within my other home back in Toronto has now opened the call for vendors and installations. The city has annexed (in a very good way), and installations are now a major focus of the show. Local and international proposals are certainly welcome. If you know someone who this should reach, please spread the word! To apply, go here!

Friday 3 July 2009

Early Morning Amusement

I can make excuses for not updating this here blog for some weeks - weeks that had me in Italy, France, and parts east, but it has come down to time and hundreds of photos to sort through. I will get it done, but I've also had company this last week and although the decidedly uncomfortable heat allows for little less than finding shade and drink, Jill and I got up really early this morning and trekked over to Spreepark for a little break and entry exploration.

Although the park is officially off-limits to the public, it's not difficult to break in and with a little bit of searching we found a well beaten path with a few inches of fence that could be squeezed through. It should also be noted that there has been reports of a security detail within the park on weekends.

It's a complicated and bizarre tale of how the park came to be, and if you click on the link above you should read it to the very end -- that's where the story gets especially strange. Knowing the story and walking the grounds early this morning felt eerie and not just a little creepy. However, as confirmed by the couple we stumbled upon making out in the overgrown grass, it's a kinda peaceful and lovely spot in the city.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

It was a rainy day in Paris...

But, first it was a stormy night in Lyon. We found ourselves back at Sonic and playing with our friends Troum. This is also a favorite venue of mine. The obvious reasons are that it's a boat in a really beautiful city with portholes that one could look out at the city through.

The other reasons probably have something to do with us playing with good friends here and Pierre, who's books our shows, is one mega-amazing cook. Inevitably, though, a night in Lyon means a night in Pierre's crazy apartment on the top floor of building that is older than Canada.

Next up, Paris!

We arrived a day early to our really great accommodations care of Ziad, who essentially gave us his apartment while we were in town. Also, just a few blocks from the venue, Les Instants Chavirés, where that night Peter Brötzmann and his pals were free-jazzing it. Lucky, as we sometimes get.

It was pouring rain as we attempted to whip around the city, but whip around we did to the basics, as it was a sad Monday and the museums were closed. Eric took some great pictures and you should look HERE for his account of how things went down.

The show itself was pretty great and the super soundguy even taught me a neato trick to keep my crappy bass grounded - I, of course, then worried about potential electric shocks; but then, I tend to create terrifying scenarios in my head that aren't likely to occur.

Saturday 6 June 2009

Riviera Riviera Pomodoro Tomate

We left Genova and took the scenic coastal route along the Mediterranean - we had a bit of a rough start as the Italian Riviera is seriously congested with both people and cars and pedestrians think that just because traffic is moving slowly it doesn't mean that they will not walk into cars and freak everybody the hell out.

I was pretty excited to wade into the Mediterranean, but as we pulled over in Menton, FR and wandered over to the shore, I'll admit it was pretty icky. However, I was kind of determined so we found a rocky little chunk of shoreline that didn't have any visible garbage floating in the immediate surf and in I went, only to emerge with itchy legs...

I guess it's all pretty resorty along this coast, that is, unless you're 'that' kind of rich and we were not, so we moved along to stay with friends we've never met who live in the lovely country side of Provence.

I just have to say here that a day off with Jerome, Alex, Jules, Charlotte, and one crazy kitten was exactly what we all needed. We were met with good food and the sweetest, nicest family in all of France.

La tres jolie Charlotte was my stand-in as I took a couple shots of really beautiful and old Pertuis.

Friday 5 June 2009

Bella Italia

After a really dizzying drive over, through and around and around the Italian Alps, we arrived in Brescia (IT) to play a really weird show in a restaurant. We felt oddly unwelcome, but this is only because of the way things are done here and we were probably just as welcome as any band that comes here - I'm not exactly sure on specifics of how things are actually done, but it was strange and we slept in the restaurant owner's apartment, in the room next to his grandmother's. (Actually, our suspicions lead us to believe there was no grandmother on the premises and he just didn't want us to use his couch pillows to cushion the floor a couple of us slept on; but, I digress...)

We were fed really well and drank some great Campari cocktails. Also, we played pingpong.

I really sadly didn't get to see either Venice or Milan as we drove through Northern Italy, but we stopped for lunch in tiny town near a fountain and a church.

Our next stop in Genova was both a treat and possibly the scariest driving exercise I've ever had to endure. It's a really big, old city built on a cliff at what seems like an 85 degree angle. If you miss your turnoff, you have to drive up the mountain and then back down, all on really curvy and very narrow alleys - with really tight u-turns, all with a couple dozen death-wishing scooters buzzing madly around at all times. We finally found our way to Burrida, a huge old villa turned arts complex perched on a hill - but also down into a valley.

On a short walk:

Today, we set out along the Italian Riviera and into the French version making a pit stop in Menton, FR to wade into the surprising dirty Mediterranean before our day off in Provence.