The camping (and festival) season is upon us

Sasquatch was a crazily good time! I’ve got a heap of notes that are to be turned into a blog entry and I’d planned to do this last night but I’ve been kinda wiped out the last couple of days. Maybe this weekend.

Speaking of the weekend I’m thinking about hitting up camping tonight and doing a hike to the Black Tusk tomorrow with Josh and co. I like to take advantage of camping opportunities as they come up so it’s time to enjoy the outdoors!

Will post more this weekend.

Sasquatch!

Josh and Shan are wheeling over to my place shortly and then we’ll be headed to The Gorge in Washington for the Sasquatch Festival! Three days of music by top bands. I’m excited! Last year was awesome and the weather looks like it’s going to be stellar for this year’s festival too.

I’ll see you all back on Tuesday afternoon sometime.

Beam Me Up Patrick

Last week was a busy week too. On Wednesday night I showed up at Richards on Richards anticipating another amazing show by Patrick Watson. We saw him a couple of years ago at a small pub on the UBC campus and were quite blown away by the musicianship. The power had even gone out during one song and the band jumped right into an acoustic style without skipping a beat. It was so smooth that we never realized the power had dropped out until it came back on!

Richards didn’t have the same power issues and the band was still as awesome as I remembered them to be. Imagine Radiohead performing an eclectic set that blends great music with kazoos, mandolins, and even a megaphone with a toilet plunger head as a horn! Patrick Watson is a show not to be missed. Hopefully he’ll be through Vancouver again in the near future.

Thursday night I got together with the North Shore crew to see the new Star Trek movie. It was good. A little cheezy in the right places and lots of action. A couple girls even showed up wearing Vulcan ears. I’ve been seeing photos of trekkie geeks dressed up in the paper which led me to comment, “I’ve gotta go put on my Klingon outfit to see Star Trek” at work. Everyone looked at me like I was serious and I had to explain that, no, I’m NOT some trekkie geek who has outfits in my closet. Good lord people!

This weekend’s been all about clearing up my new place and that’s mostly done. My living room looks like a properly organized room now and I’m feeling like I’ve finally settled in. Just in time to head to Sasquatch next weekend for three days of music festival goodness! I’m pretty excited. Gogol Bordello, TV On the Radio, Janes Addiction, NIN, Blitzen Trapper, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mike Watt, Fleet Foxes, and too many more to list! Sasquatch has had wicked lineups the last couple of years and I think this is going to become a yearly event for me.

Whirlwind Weekend

I had some friends heading up to Chase (just past Kamloops) to do some camping and I’ve been hemming and hawing all week about going. I’ve got a pile of things to do this weekend, most importantly is to finish unpacking and organizing the rest of my boxes so my place feels like a proper home instead of a hurricane of paper, clothes, and computer gear.

Finally last night at 5pm I realized I didn’t have the ambition to do anything else with the condo that evening and made the snap decision to head up to Chase. It took 30 mins to unearth my camping gear, load up my iPod and hit the road. Along the way I made some stops for groceries and gas and finally rolled in to Chase around 10 that night. There was a bit of an adventure finding the park, Niskolith Lake Provincial Park, because it was dark and some donkey in his jacked-up 4×4 had decided to pull into the ditch right in front of the sign that marks the park turnoff. You’re already on a gravel road in the backcountry and it’s tough to see any signage at night already. So I had a little tour around the backroads of Chase before everyone started texting me to find out where the heck I had disappeared to. Cell phones are the best for meeting people!

I had a great evening sitting around the fire with everyone and it really let me wind down from the past few weeks of moving and unpacking. When I got up in the morning it was 6:30am and I decided to scoop Reilly’s kayak and take it out on a paddle around Niskolith Lake. Our campsite faced a green swath of farmland across the lake and I love getting out on the water to see all the scenery. There’s a little island farther down where someone had beached two small kayaks that were being guarded by a flock of Canada Geese who honked and splashed around as I approached. 

With the morning paddle done I was feeling like it was time to get back to Vancouver and rip into my long, long list of todos for the weekend. Everyone was still asleep so I tossed my stuff into my car, wrote a quick note to the gang saying thanks for the wilderness experience and headed for home. Normally I’d stay out all weekend but we’re going to hit the Sasquatch Festival in Washington next week and I want to have everything cleared up before then otherwise it’ll be hanging over my head during the festival.

I’ll Celebrate Your Birthday By Organizing My Place and Cheering For the Chicago Blackhawks

My condo is coming together. On Saturday night I was getting tired of constantly digging through boxes for stuff so I spent the entire evening setting stuff up. My under the stairs closet is finally cleaned up and the piece of junk Ikea shelving unit the previous tenant had left behind got pulled apart and thrown away. Once I’d swept up all the drywall dust I could finally hide some of my less-used things in there. Then I put up my second bookshelf and stocked it with all my software and business books (2 shelves of business related books! I should start a company or something).

This morning I set up my Yamaha electronic drumkit so I could finally get down to some practicing for our band again. Not that I did much today. Reilly phoned just as I’d finished setting up and we got together for a late brunch at the Alibi Room across the street. I love that place and it’s only half a block away now! He and Miranda have started fixing up their 1969 Beetle and it’s made me all envious of their cool car. I kinda miss having a car I can monkey with. Mind you, the Civic’s been a great vehicle. I’m not sure what I’ll go for when it finally dies. Hopefully that’s a few years off yet.

Back to Friday night when a whole swarm of us descended on Steamworks for Shan’s birthday. Good times at Steamworks. Aaron ran us through how STV works and I’m going to do a little more research on that before making a decision. I like the idea of proportional representation, but I’m not convinced that STV is the best way to go. Especially since there seems to be few people who really understand it. I need to do more reading tomorrow.

I spent Thursday evening at this ridiculously huge sports bar called Schanks in New Westminster. This place has 150 hi-def televisions on every corner of the bar so you can see the game on at least three screens even if you’ve fallen down drunk on the floor. The cheering from the mass inside didn’t help the poor Canucks who sat back in the third period trying to protect their 1 goal lead. Eventually Chicago was able to capitalize on a couple of mistakes and slam a puck in the net with 2 minutes left in the 3rd. In overtime they got one more past Luongo to win the game. I didn’t watch the game on Saturday and it sounded like the same ending which puts the Canucks on the ropes in this series. One more loss and it’ll be the end of hockey in Vancouver.

Rolling Tundra Revue

 Rolling Tundra Revue

I’d intended to catch the Saturday night Weakerthans show with a couple of friends but it turned out that I had friends going to both the Friday night and Saturday night shows. So, in the spirit of living as though I may not see tomorrow, I decided to hit both shows! I’ve always wanted to see the Weakerthans and I figured I ought to see them twice while I have the opportunity. 

Friday’s show started with Oh Susanna, a folk artist from Toronto. She’s another act I’ve been interested in seeing for a long time now and I don’t get out to many folk fests so I’m lucky she got billed with “the rock boys” as she put it.

The Contantines came on next and rocked. Great band. I was reminded of the Wintersleep show I saw a while ago. I’d seen them last year at the Sub Pop festival but wasn’t impressed, probably because I was all excited about seeing Green River or Flight of the Conchords. I think I was more into them this time because they were in a club setting and I wasn’t wishing the clock would skip ahead to Green River’s show time.

When the Weakerthans came on they jumped in with a couple of songs off Reconstruction Site which is one of my all time favorite albums. The show alternated between slower stuff off other albums and faster songs off Reconstruction Site. Great show, but I didn’t realize they would outdo themselves the next night.

Last night I showed up for night 2 of the Rolling Tundra Revue. I’d picked Miranda up from the airport and made it to the Commodore just in time to see the Constantines again. I got right up to the front so I could get a good view of the band where I discovered that they have an amazing drummer! The dude was awesome. It’s going to take heaps of practice for me to get to his level. Maybe it was where I was standing, but I thought the Constantines were way more kick ass than they were the night before. Maybe they’re just one of those bands that took a couple of shows to grow on me. I know I’ll be listening to lots more of their music in the next few weeks.

The Weakerthans came on with a bang and rarely let up for the rest of their show. Way more energetic than Friday’s show and by the time they went off it felt like they’d only played for a few minutes! I think they’d played more of their mellow stuff on Friday and saved some of the faster songs for a Saturday night blowout. It’s great to see a band a couple of nights in a row because you get to see the differences in their sets. I also find I get more engaged in the songs they play on both nights.