Just a short note to say we are all over the moon here as we welcome Royal Wood to the Dead Daisy Records family. Dead Daisy Records with Outside Music will be releasing Royal's forthcoming album. To find out more about Royal and all his greatness, and to listen to music visit www.royalwood.ca and www.myspace.com/royalwood ... Hurray!
ruby sessions on tuesday and i am warned about low attendance post-oxegen. happily, the room turns out to be full. Jack L comes up to duet with me on his song Happiness, and it is a show-stealer. lots of love to Conor and Niall for featuring me so much during this month on Ruby Sessions, they really bring an excellent night to Dublin every time they host Rubies.
no trip to ireland is complete without a gig on Moon River - the boat that sails up the Shannon from Carrick-On-Shannon. the last time i played on a boat it was a drunken and doomed sail up the polluted St. Clair River in Sarnia, with ex-members of Moist. there were unfortunate airings of Pat Benatar then, when you COULD hear, which was rare due to the boat engine roaring close to the PA. so my expectations were mildly low for another concert-on-the-sea, but everything turns around when Neosupervital take the stage, and stun everyone into either silence or disco-dancing with his synth-hits. i play, simon guests on guitar, cormac on piano and brian busts the Suzuki omnichord with which I am in love. in the middle of "see the sea" there is some kind of power burst and brian and I recover semi-seamlessly. MM says he sees a heron on the river at this point in the night. The heron is the official bird of this record in case you hadn't guessed, as there is one who is always out back behind the house on the river keeping watch and devastating the fish population. in true cruise-ship fashion, I play 2 sets, each ending in its own delicious and debaucherous way, where you're not quite sure where anything is going but somehow with enough perserverence it all works out. the last set ends with folks coming up to the mic to sing and showcase "Carrick spoken word". There is also a dedication to Catherine Reynolds, aka Queen Reynolds mother of Dee et al, who suggested i "only play upbeat songs" on the boat. Much to her dismay, I reveal her love for The Prodigy ["i love those thumpin beats" she has been known to say in her Carrick accent] so Brian busts the drum machine on the omnichord complete with the raddest drum machine fills anyone has ever experienced on the Shannon with the wind in their hair. as Owen Drumm confesses, the Moon River is an experience not to be missed. "Imagine Def Leppard on the Moon River," says another seasoned boater.
over to Sean Reynolds' yacht for further discussion and slumber partying. there are swan sightings, include swans with what look like a 3rd leg growing out of their back. egads! turns out this is not a product of some ill-fated, E-induced bird orgy, rather an illusion which occurs when young swans decide to clean themselves.
the long drive to cork lies ahead. drummski has provided the best soundtrack of all with his mixed cds, and i am wowed by his fabulous musical taste. MM proves to be an excellent seat-dancer and in 5, 6 hours' time, we arrive at Cyprus Avenue.
Matt Lunson is drinking beer in the sun with Kieran, the soundman. We set up in no time and Matt and Cormac, who have named themselves One Day International wow everyone with their mellow and rich set of new songs. Super-captivating. I play and later meet lots of great new folks, a couple of rad bands from Cork and some old faces, including Megan formerly of The Nutley Girls and Vinnie of The Cork Living Room Show. I field a few drunken questions from others, including, "what is a songwriter like you covering Dearg Doom for?" why not is my silent reply. I also meet a group of French folks and my Quebecois french binds us together, or at least i think it does.
to quote my brother, not sure if we are heros or fools, for driving back to Dublin after the show. i learn about the new functions of headlights and i keep to the left side of the road. simon takes over when Nathan's no-name Advil fails in keeping my headache under wraps.
we picnic in the park to celebrate Dee's going-away. the sun goes down too fast, and no amount of football can warm us.
brianx1 and i spend the better part of sunday at the bookstore searching for a band name for his Oxfam project. i get Gavin Friday on the phone and he has ideas of his own. reading through everything from Rimbaud to Betjiman gets me inspired and i feel like more songs are on the way. brian buys me The Tipping Point.
on my last night in dublin i make the acquaintance of a Canadian producer, Pierre Marchand. Pierre was responsible for a mess of amazing records, but most importantly he produced Sarah McLachlan's "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" which, in the dark haze that was 'my time east of Adelaide St in london Ontario' was one of my most-loved albums. dark and lush and full of minor keys and gorgeous melodies as many of you know. He also produced "Poses" by Rufus, which I love, and countless others. so to meet him is a trip, I am honoured, we have some good laughs and one day i will trick him into recording me.
i say bye to my dublin pals, comforted that i'll see some sooner than later. i know i won't see some of them for a long time and it's a hard reality to deal with.
up early to get to the airport and before leaving the house, find out all the taxis are on strike. I'm told by dee that taxis who drive to the airport could get their windshields bashed in. Hmmm. There results an inconvenient combo of taxi + bus and once at the airport I learn the flight is delayed. i've decided someone is trying to keep me in the country.
home now in what feels like Zaire. the heatwave is upon us all. culture shock is dulled by a few stops on the way home, to survey the landscape, and see familiar faces. no air conditioning here though but have not melted yet.
off to bed...happy to have experienced ireland YET AGAIN but happy to be back in Ontario.
so my friend nina persson has decided to sing 'blackwinged bird' for the oxfam album i wrote about previously, being produced by brianx1. so bx1 and i jet off to sweden, land in Ryanair style - where in the first few moments of coming in contact with the ground you're not quite sure if you'll have your life for long. get off the plane and throw my arms up to celebrate the hot sun which i have not seen for days. it is out and brilliant and unforgiving in the best way.
our first day is made up of drinking swedish coffee, strolling around and dining. while nina and bx1 watch world cup, nathan and I plot Hot One activity. Hot One are getting close to playing our first show, and though i thought it might be in toronto in august, it will more likely be in the U.S. in late summer. Ahhhh the long-standing perils of being arrested for protesting the RNC. i am, however, dying to play, as rehearsing bores me to tears even though the rock n roll we're making is my absolute favourite. as db said a long time ago, art isn't art until it reaches an audience's ears or eyes...however he also misdiagnosed me as being "pure as the driven snow".