Posts Tagged ‘music’

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Tinkering Away

December 1, 2013

km 064Well! The recording has been going somewhat painlessly. Imagine that!? This is our third go around together in the studio and I think we might finally be hitting our stride. We still have a few overdubs to go and then onto editing and mixing. Yeah!

I also realized that in the past year since he’s been with us, I’ve never officially introduced our newest addition to the band. We now have keys! It started out as, “Come out and jam with us!” one night and …. well, the jam session never ended. Gladly, I’d like to introduce our key master, Patrick. He went to town on all the different pianos available at the studio. He especially took a liking to the Petrof grand piano. Man, it sounded amazing. We’re even showcasing his vocal and songwriting chops in one of the songs.

We’re itching to get the new tunes out there but – patience. That’s what we keep telling ourselves. So I am off for a few days to visit my really cool aunt in the States, while they do the rest of the lead guitar overdubs this week. Then it’s acoustics and background vocals when I return. I’m hopeful to start some new writing again. Being away always seems to clear the cobwebs from my head. It’s like a new, clean canvas set on the easel just waiting to be splattered with some kind of new idea.

We’ll see!

Later!

NG

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Gearing up!

November 23, 2013

ImageToday is the day! Just finishing up my morning cup of coffee before riding over to the studio. We’ve picked one closer to home this time. We’re all pretty excited about the new tunes and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have great energy vibrating around us this weekend.¬† I’m always a little jittery on the first day. Not sure why. Guess it’s just getting used to playing in a new space for the next 48 hours straight – well, almost. We will be going home to sleep. ūüôā

Well, here we go.

Peace out and see you on the other side.

NG

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Summer Time

July 2, 2013

j1School is out and the summer has officially begun!¬† It’s a holiday today and everyone is out celebrating the Nation’s birthday with cottage trips, lake-side strolls and fireworks, of course. Where does the time go? (Can’t believe I’m starting to use phrases like that.) It’s incredible how you can think you’ve got all the time in the world and then suddenly realize there’s a gig just around the corner or you look through some of your old lyric pads and be shocked when you realize the date was from last year or older.

I was recently thumbing through an old notebook I carried around with me last summer, hoping to pick out any brilliant song ideas that were left cleverly, buried there. (insert snicker here.) And I came across the diary I kept when I traveled to the Azores. It was cool to read it a year later and remember what I experienced. I was still stuck with writer’s block back then and desperately trying to find my groove.¬† Thank goodness that’s passed – for now! Thought it might be fun to share, since I usually do with my travels.

So here it goes:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A very full first day in Sao Miguel. It’s been thirteen years since I last set foot on this island. I was just a kid. This island once so removed from my familiaritieIMG_0145s, now so removed from my memories of it. This place, this culture that used to stretch out its dirt roads to welcome you now presents its slick asphalt highway to get you from one end of the island to another. The main city now has its own doors (archways) to the city – or doors to the ocean depending on which side of them you are standing on.

7:20am the plane landed and it was a wonderful sight to see my favourite uncle, Nic, awaiting my arrival. Surprisingly a wave of emotion came over me as this is the first time I arrive here alone. It reminds me of the family that used to be here but is no longer as well as the family that didn’t come along this time.

It’s funny how our memories can keep our hopes and expectations frozen in another time – another era. But in reality everyone and everything moves forward. We arrive at uncle’s “garden estate” as I’ve decided to call it. Surprisingly, he no longer lives in my grandmother’s house (which is now his house but he has rented it out.) He now lives in a new property just outside of Ponta Delgada in a smaller township called Lagoa, which means lake.¬† And I call it his garden estate because it’s probably a full acre – if not more – of floral paradise. The long drive invites you up to the four bedroom homestead which I affectionately call “The Manor“.¬† All around are flowers and plants to a horticulturalist’s delight. Wild orchids, hydrangeas, hibiscus (the biggest I’ve ever seen), lemon trees, banana trees. A crop garden with rows of kale, garlic, tomatoes, exotic fruits like apple-melons (yet to try). And lastly an animal sanctuary where two geese roam free with their friends the chickens, a rooster, pigeons, rabbits, ducks, three pigs and a proper turkey to rule over them all. It’s like a mini version of Neverland Ranch without all the carnival rides!

Along the drive, when you look south, you are treated to breathtaking views of the Atlantic. On a clear day you can even see the next island over, Santa Maria. The air is fresh and swirls lightly in a welcoming embrace. The hillsides are lush and green. his man-made pIMG_1509ond full of frogs and lily pads bid you an inviting hello.

Home. There is an unspoken, settled feeling that I’ve come back home after so long.

After a neat breakfast and a brief tour, I promptly collapse onto the first bed I see and have a “nap” that will end up taking me seven and a half hours into the other side of heaven. I awake to uncle Nic’s friend AnaBela who is warm and charming despite her regular use of expletives. She instantly puts me at ease with her comedic ways and commentaries on frustrations of her day to day activities. With her, we take a quick trip into the city where new hotels now stand and a whole ocean front scene creating an Ocean Drive ambiance with an infinite row of open air restaurants lining the shore. It’s a new Sao Miguel I am seeing. Much more modern than the horse-back riding culture of when I was a child. The island always seemed to be a century behind the rest of the wIMG_1421orld but it’s clear to see that in the last two decades, the island is all caught up to 2012 with their internet cafes and ipad-toting intellectuals ordering cappuccino and downloading the latest Lady Gaga videos. This baby sister has finally joined the party of its older sibling, the main land.

We arrive back at midnight and proceed to do three hours of catching up, which always include Uncle Nic’s infinitesimal anecdotes that always leave you gaping or exploding with laughter. I’ve missed that. I’ve missed his story-telling, the sense of connection to my past, my grandmother, my family.

So at 3am we finally decide that we’ve got seven more days ahead to continue catching up.¬† And after biding each other good-night I am off to enjoy and much earned, full night’s slumber. Tomorrow will be another adventure, I am sure.

NG

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Journey

March 2, 2013

soundcity-poster-p

As I roamed through the bookstore yesterday trying to find just the perfect notebook to hold all my spontaneous inspirations of the written word (insert a little bit of sarcasm here), I came across a very simple one with no fancy colours or drawings on the cover. But it did make me take notice of it because on the cover was written one sentence. “Inspiration is everywhere.” It really made me stand there and stare at it for a while. Why was I always looking so hard for something that was standing right in front of me most of the time? We seem to have this preconceived notion that what is art and what is inspiration is supposed to be something so grand and over the top that they will be making documentaries and feature films about it long after you are gone. But the simple truth is this. Keep it simple, stupid.

As I may have previously mentioned, I am a rock bio pic/documentary junkie. I love delving into the makings of great artists and musicians. Even if I don’t care for their work, I still have great respect for the story of where they came from and how it all started. Especially since everyone, no matter how great, had a helping hand along the way. Everyone.¬† Every time I hear the phrase self-made millionaire, i just about want to jump out of my skin. Who do these people think they are to care on that kind of title? How can you be a self-made anything without the support, the aid, the encouragement, the belief of the people around you? The whole human experience is about interaction – no matter what your goal is. And that is why I love being a part of a band instead of being a solo artist. Although, even solo artists have people around them that give them guidance.

The reason for this long introductory rant?

I just finished watching Dave Grohl’s SOUND CITY and I am in love with music all over again. I have re-birthed my drive and love for the art called music and everything involved in its creation – which is the basic premise of the documentary. It tells the story about the infamous Sound City recording studio in California, where some major artists and bands like Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and Nirvana,¬† just to name a few, recorded between the 60’s right up until 2011 when they finally closed down. But what made me tear up a few times was the love you felt throughout this movie. The relationships that these people created when working in this studio space. And how music brought it together and sealed it with a kiss. Keeping it simple. You really should watch the film to get the full grasp. Dave Grohl is a great story teller and kept me wanting for this film to never end, really. I could listen to everyone’s stories and memories of their experiences forever. But of course, all things have to come to an end but I walk away feeling more in love with music than ever before.1682339-poster-1280-foo-fighters-front-man-dave-grohl-explains-how-sound-city

You know, as a dancer, I have always felt enveloped by music. Like it cradles you and inspires you to move accordingly. But when you are a part of creating the music, you feel inside of it. It courses through your veins and when it’s done right, it’s like the closest¬† feeling to God or the Universe I think one could ever feel. I’m sure anyone can say that about their passion. Their truth. Mine is sound. Musical sound. It’s why I love this journey called life. There are many out there that question what the meaning of it is and for me I think this magical experience here on earth, interacting with other human beings is what it’s all about and you see it so clearly when you watch the musicians in this film play together. They really are in a state of joy. (Paul McCartney playing with the some of the members of Nirvana.)

I believe it’s Jim Keltner that comments about the fact that today, you are able to make music completely alone. You don’t need the amount of man power it once took to create music BUT you’ll have much greater joy doing it with others. And that right there, ladies and gentlemen is when cupid shot an arrow right through my heart. He speaks the absolute truth. And it’s that truth that always brings me back to the band even after a long journey away. Home is where the band is. Keep enjoying the ride……….

Nowhere Girl

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Day 223 – Deaf Can Dance

November 27, 2010

It’s always interesting to see how different people interpret beats and rhythms. Coming from the dance world, I see it all the time how people find different spots in the music to move to. During playback after last night’s first go at the studio, I looked about at all the men standing around bopping their heads. Some used their shoulders a bit. Almost all of them either tapped their feet or pounded the floor with one foot. What really intrigued me was how some would bop their head to the left, some forward, some to the right. Everybody had their own way to feel the groove. We humans really are a masterpiece. When you think about it, how could there be so many of us on this planet and be so distinctly different from each other? Really think about that. We all have some discerning quality: the way we look, the way we speak, how we behave, how we learn, how we interact. The list can go on. Isn’t that amazing?!

And no I’m not losing my mind – at least not yet. I just get hit with these realizations every once in a while at how much of a phenomena we really are. And yes, last night’s first go at the studio went extremely well. We worked on our levels and got comfortable. It was very productive. We even got a few really good takes right out of the gate. Let’s hope today’s full day will follow up even better than last night. I’m even getting¬† a cool song idea as I am writing. I can hear the 60’s beat in my head already. Okay, got to go! The studio awaits!

See ya!

Nowhere Girl

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Day 105 – Rambunctious!

August 2, 2010

RAMBUNCTIOUS on the bar at La Palette

It was quite a jam-packed weekend with today being the wrap up of a holiday long weekend. The last three days have been filled with more emotion and more action than I’ve seen in a while! Sticking to the highlights instead of the lowlights of the last three days, I have to gush about the fabulous experience I had at this new wine bar, slash, restaurant that I discovered on the main strip here in the west end. It’s the same place where I thought the waiter was really cute until I almost choked on my drink when I found out he was barely legal.

Anyhow, one Saturday night a month they have this really groovy Dixie-Land-type band called Rambunctious play there. They are very New Orleans style. So much fun to watch and hear. (As an aside; If you haven’t had the chance to hang out in New Orleans for a day or two, you’ve got to add that on your bucket list. It’s a town not to be skipped when researching great musical cities.) So! These guys are called Rambunctious and boy, are they ever!

They don’t come on until midnight because that’s when the kitchen closes and they set up a platform over the cooking area. (They have an open kitchen.) The drummer sets up on the platform – who is a chic, by the way. So cool because that’s not very common. And the other six or seven horn players come out from the back in a procession, playing. They continue the procession up onto the bar stools and atop and across the bar. It’s very Coyote Ugly but instead of scantily-clad girls jiggling around, it is a mixture of male and female horn players doing their thing. And the bar continues to serve their clientele in full swing. You are literally taking your drink between somebody’s legs!

It’s really loud and really fun to be in the thick of the sound. It’s something very unique. Especially on that strip which is mostly nightclubs and Rock Bars. The place was packed and passers-by clogged the side-walk to watch. (They have an open sliding door so foot traffic gets a good eye and ear-full of the whole fabulous fiasco.) I tell you, I felt like I was down south in Louisiana! It was great. And they jam most of their stuff on the spot. They’re very interactive. Man, I felt so alive being in the middle of it all. I say, the middle, because the musicians surround you across the bar and then along the kitchen’s ledge and drummer’s platform.

Stellar is all I can say based on my experience but please don’t take my word for it. You should definitely check it out for yourself if you’re ever in the city. The place is called La Palette and the band is Rambunctious. It leaves you feeling as such.

Aaaaaaah,…………..I love summer ………..and I love the experience of music, art, life………….

Playing on…….

Nowhere Girl

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Day 13 – Wake up and live!

May 2, 2010

Today, will be a good example of a somewhat bi-polar entry. Yesterday was all about feeling lost, alone and misunderstood. Today, it’s all about feeling alive and being in the moment. When you really stop and savour that moment – whatever moment it is, you’ll really amaze yourself.

So last night, guess what I did? Of course, went down to one of my favourite little hang-outs to hear some really great acoustic musicians. While I enjoyed the whole night; there was one that was borderline making me want to plug my ears. Until I took a moment and  just stopped and watched. Really watched. And then I saw it.

Someone was putting their heart on the line. Showing the world what they hold most dear and that is their passion for music. It takes so much courage to do that – especially when it’s the beginning of the night and not many people are around to cheer you on and be supportive. That passion is what drives us as artists – our thirst for the creative. It’s like we hope to invoke the gods of song to shed some creative force in us to make us brilliant. That’s what’s so magical about playing music. I really believe it’s the most powerful art form. It inspires all others. Music inspires dancers to move, writers to write, painters to see shapes on their canvass. It can be so euphoric when the juices are flowing. But it’s so easy to get down when nothing is coming your way. But a dear friend once told me that you are not responsible for the creativity that flows through you. (ex: when and how.) But you are responsible for capturing it when it comes. And that statement keeps coming back to me as the years go by…….

So the night rolled on and it got pretty happening that at one point I jumped behind the bar and helped my friend out with the crowd. Everyone was happy to be there. Most of them musicians. Either playing their stuff, listening to others play and at one point, the last duos started playing some old Rolling Stones covers and people just got started dancing and hopping around. And when I stopped to watch this scene, rolling in slow motion in my head, I saw pure glee. They were all in the moment. They were enjoying that small pocket of time in this universe, there together, sharing a song, a smile a twirl, a moment.

It left me wondering why we don’t do that more often?

Just let yourself feel alive………

Later.

Nowhere Girl

Alive

Forgive Me Father ’cause I don’t really bother

With things like feeling ashamed

Low Down Rotten, goddamn unforgotten

Liars, thieves and whores for sale

CHORUS : But I’m alive and I’m on fire, yeah

Baby, baby, baby tonight

And I’ll survive this desire

Baby, baby, baby it’s alright

V2: Forgive me Lovely, I find it rather funny

I can see you’re about to sin

Don’t let it rule your karma, it’s just the way it’s started

to unrfurl before it begins

repeat CHORUS

Bridge: Don’t you leave me hanging, I feel the walls banging

I’m running but there’s not way out

Sweet surrender, criminal offender

Tell me what it’s all about

repeat CHORUS