I Have a Friend Her Name Is Lisa

Our band, now officially named “My Friend Lisa” got together at Reilly’s apartment to rehearse last night. For the past few weeks we’ve been working as a 3 piece with Shan on the mic, Reilly on his acoustic guitar, and me on drums. Yesterday we talked our friend Aaron into coming out to play his acoustic bass with us and it sounded great!

Reilly has some pictures of the space (including my new drum kit) on his flickr site. http://flickr.com/photos/reillyphoto/sets/72157614392101097/

This week’s been pretty mellow for me. I’ve been trying to shake this cold that ripped through our office so I haven’t been going to the gym or anything. Bah! Tomorrow starts a new week for me and I’ll be back into the routine.

What’s going on this weekend? Tonight I’m catching Bill Frisell (jazz guy) and then probably heading down to the Biltmore to see Geoff Berner drunkenly rock his accordian. I’m excited about both shows and will try and post something later tonight or tomorrow.

Bongo – The Film

We saw an amazing presentation by two filmakers who went down to Tanzania to help a group of street youth record a hip hop album. They started a charity to fund the album’s recording as well as housing and school fees for the group for a year. The result is a film in progress called Bongo and I highly recommend checking out the clips on the website (http://giantantmedia.com/tanzania/). The story of how the whole thing came together is quite fascinating and it was entertaining to hear all the events firsthand. Check it out!

Celebrities and Northern Voice

Having a blast @ Northern Voice today! Nora Young, the host of CBC’s Spark program (which I am totally curious about now) gave a great presentation about what traditional media needs to learn and integrate from the social media revolution. She used the phrase “participatory culture” to summarize how things are moving to a community model instead of the traditional push model of media. I thought that phrase captured the concept brilliantly.

Next up was Rob Cottingham and his hilarious take on LOLCats, Memes, and other phenomena in the social media world. Instead of “25 things that most people don’t know about you” postings, he recommended, “3 people you’ve cheated on your spouse with.” I think that’d be way more interesting to read. Personally I’ve avoided posting my 25 things. 

Just got out of Steve Pratt’s presentation about how CBC Radio 3 created a “radio station” that’s 180 degrees from commercial stations. Their new website (which comes out this spring) looks awesome! Lets you have a profile that shows what concerts you’re attending and what bands you like. Totally built for a guy like me!

Robert Scoble showed up. He’s a high-profile blogger who I used to read in 2003ish when he worked with Microsoft. Interesting to see him here. Kinda took me by surprise. 

Even cooler is Tegan and Sara have begun following me on Twitter. Kinda strange and I’m assuming someone in their camp saw all my updates as our excitement built for their last Vancouver show. I’m following them now, hoping for a heads up for their new album’s release.

Mystery No Longer

I’ve been fighting off the cold that swept through our office this week and have had little time to myself outside of sleeping and working. Fortunately I’m on the mend!

Last weekend I drove to Vernon to meet up with my sister and her new husband. We had a great, but short visit. I took them on a scenic drive over the Hope-Princeton back to the Lower Mainland on Sunday and deposited them at my Aunt Barb’s place in Mission. We all had dinner together, my Aunt got to hear about all their adventures, and then I headed for home.

On Monday night I went out to dinner with my sister and then we made the obligatory stop at Dairy Queen for blizzards. When Theresa lived in Yellowknife they had a Dairy Queen, but it closed down after a couple of years but the addiction had already taken hold so whenever she’s in a city that has Dairy Queen it becomes a “must stop” destination.

It’s funny hearing the things that she misses about Canada. Apparently the cheddar cheese that’s sold overseas isn’t anything like the real Canadian stuff. She’s also been hitting Tim Hortons. Strangely I had the same craving for Tims when I went to Germany, even though I never go there when I’m in Canada!

Today I’m off to Northern Voice to hang out with the other Social Media types and see what’s happening in the world of blogging, Twitter, and Facebook. I’ll try and fire off some updates from that part of the world.

Murder City Devils

I’ve returned from the Commodore where the newly-reformed Murder City Devils blasted us with shrieking guitars and a screaming singer. Great show! I found it odd they had a casio keyboard as part of their sound. It worked, but I’d be curious to know how they decided to throw keyboards into the mix.

Opening band sucked. Some dude who was doing his best Kathleen Hannah (Bikini Kill) impression.

Sleep time now. Am driving to Vernon first thing in the morning to meet up with the newlyweds and bring them out west.

Your Love is Like Bad Medicine

I’ve been obsessed with Bon Jovi for the past week, mostly because of that cover that we belted out at our previous jam. I watched a couple of videos and discovered that Bon Jovi soaked themselves in 80’s glam fashion. I witnessed the glory of feathered hair, eyeliner, and especially the glittery trenchcoats with ironing board sized shoulderpads. Jon Bon Jovi even admitted he hasn’t shown his kids any old Bon Jovi videos because he’s embarassed to let them see his old hairstyle.

Fortunately we had another jam tonight that was Bon Jovi free. We were at Rockspace so I got to hop on a full drum kit. Oddly enough, after playing the first couple of songs plugged in, we realized our music sounds better in it’s acoustic form. So we unplugged, I picked up the brushes and we spent most of the evening as the acoustic act that we realized we are.

Few more jams and we should be ready for some time on stage!

My Sister’s International Man of Mystery

Ever since my sister announced her marriage to an Indian living in Dubai I’ve been insatiably curious about him. Yesterday we finally got to meet during a three hour layover as they head to Vernon to spend this week with my Mom. Great guy! Name’s Rayomand, or Rayo for short and he works doing implementations for an airline software company. This lets him travel all over the world so instead of flying home in two weeks he’s going to be heading straight to Algeria to manage an implementation for a client over there.

The plan is for me to drive to Vernon next Saturday, spend the evening with everyone, and then take my sister and Rayo back to Vancouver on Sunday. My sister also said she’d show me how to cook authentic Indian dishes as long as I can grab some of the more exotic ingredients from a store in Vancouver.

Today I’ve elected to skip snowboarding and get things sorted out on the home front. I was a little wiped yesterday from a late Friday night and a full day so I didn’t get much done outside of running around and meeting up with Theresa and Rayo. Next year I think I’m going to go for a season pass at Cypress so I can snowboard in 2-3 hour chunks instead of trying to commit to full days (which I rarely have) on the hill.

Back In Your Head

My history with Tegan and Sara dates back to 2002 when I picked up a copy of If It Was You at A&B Sound. I listened to the “hit” tracks a few times but never got into the remainder of the album. A few months later I caught a clip of them playing on TV and was quite impressed by how evocative their music was when they played live. After that I made a mental note to check them out sometime. That promise to myself never materialized until I attended the Sasquatch Festival this past summer and was bowled over by their powerful music mixed in with hilarity in between songs. I find myself attending Tegan and Sara shows as much for the music as all the funny stuff they talk about when they’re not playing.

Last night I caught my third T&S show at the Orpheum Theatre where they shared a bill with Broken Social Scene. The show had sold out right away but we were lucky to be on top of getting tickets just after they went on sale. The bands music was as moving as ever and Tegan’s wardrobe malfunction (the top button on her shirt wouldn’t stay buttoned) provided a topic for them to joke about for the first few songs. Some people had cheered when Tegan announced her button problems and Sara wondered aloud if people imagined songs were better if the performer removes their clothes before playing them. “I really like this Bruce Springsteen song. I hope he plays it in his boxers!”

There was a part where Tegan announced her head had become full now that she was getting older and she would probably forget the words to the next song. Naturally she got lost, signaled the band to stop and then re-started the chorus again. Normally this would’ve annoyed me but the humor it brought out became another high point of an awesome show.

Broken Social Scene, the band following, was much better than the last time I saw them, but it’s tough to watch a mellower, more ambient band like theirs after an energetic Tegan and Sara show. I still enjoyed it though, especially the last song which they rocked!

Tegan and Sara have become a “must not miss” band for me and I’m looking forward to the next album and a string of new shows. They’d announced that this was the last show of their tour for their latest (amazing) album, The Con, so I expect they’ll be in the studio over the next couple of years making more musical goodness for us.

A Loaded Six String On My Back

Ever wonder what it would sound like to have three budding musicians give their best effort at doing the worst ever cover of Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive? Well we found out last night at the end of our jam! Fortunately (?) Reilly was recording the session with his new Zoom: Dead or Alive

Jam was good otherwise. It felt great to be behind a drum kit again, even if it was only a couple of pieces of a kit. I’ve started looking at kits in Craigslist so I should have a proper kit soon.

Calgary Adventures

Despite the unhappy circumstances I had a good trip to Calgary. There were a pile of people at the memorial that I hadn’t seen in years and it was great to reconnect with everyone.

My uncle gave a wonderful (and emotional) speech during the service. My late aunt Julia was an amazing woman who had a voracious appetite for books and learning. She spoke several languages in addition to being a master of the English language. My cousin remarked that he was the only 12 year old who could explain that laundry is “hung” and a man is “hanged.”

I stayed with my cousin Nick and his wife Aimee and got to spend time with them and Rowen, their 16 month old. He’s a fun kid to be around although I realize that it’s heaps of work to raise a child. Fortunately that’s not in the cards for me anytime soon! Nick and Aimee are pretty awesome and I always enjoy spending time with them. Their house is really cool too. They bought it almost 10 years ago when it was a dilapidated shack in Inglewood. Aimee’s Dad runs a renovation company so they got together, gutted the place, and totally restored it. I think it’s the coolest place ever and if I were to own a house, it would be that house!