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A bit strange, but everyone has a mortgage to pay.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been to this show…
I waited a long time for a Ruth Moody gig to come to Vancouver. A couple of weeks ago I actually drove right past Grafton, Ontario while she was playing at the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, but just couldn’t stop. It was totally worth it. My review is up at No Depression or you can follow the link at the bottom of the entry. There’s also a too shaky video of her Dancing in Dark that I couldn’t resist posting…despite the shakiness.
I offer up an ongoing series of lessons in bike maintenance based, primarily, on my own experience. Many of these, it seems, revolve around my ongoing love/hate relationship with the disc brakes on my Kona Sutra.
Basically, I love them when I’m stopping and I love them a lost less when it comes to maintenance. That includes changing the pads, in part because it means removing the wheels. Traditional brake pads can be swapped out quickly and easily in under five minutes front and back. Disc brakes are a bit of a more involved operation.
Still, today’s lesson is this: if your pads look like the ones above, you waited too long. That one on the bottom left from the rear wheel. The fact that the spring has corroded and broken probably explains quite a bit of drag on the rear wheel and the steady screeching I had for the last couple of weeks in which I was too lazy to do this.
Another fact of note: these were BBB replacement pads and I’ve hated every pair of aftermarket pads I’ve ever put on. Back to Avids, which cost about $3.00 more per side. Worth every penny.
So I finally got to hang out with Rose for a few days. It was pretty awesome.
I’m in Toronto on vacation, and the 2013 Greenbelt Harvest Picnic is happening. A few photos from yesterday’s soundcheck. I’ll have more photos from today’s show and a review in a couple of days.
As a rule, I don’t take photos of myself with other musicians. It’s a rule I’ve pretty much stuck too: I have one with Jenn Grant somewhere, but I may have actually lost it. Someone else asked me to take that.
This one’s all mine though: I interviewed Daniel Lanois last week and he was at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, so here it is. I’ll post the articles I’ve written here in a little bit: they’re elsewhere right now, and I’m very tired after a late night’s long drive.
I’ll get a full review of that Salmon Arm set up too, but my one line twitter review is already up.
So the week that was has passed and it’s been an interesting one. In addition to the normal busy work week—which this week included some root level Unix system configuration that I haven’t done in a very long time—I’ve been getting ready for an end of summer busy music season. Next weekend is the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues festival which I’m covering. It looks like a good one, and I can’t wait for it.
At the end of the summer I’m heading to Ontario to visit my newborn (and first) niece for the first time. She was born at the end of April, and I’m looking forward to that visit more than anything you can imagine.
I’m also stopping by the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic while I’m there, and in the lead up to that I’m writing an article about the festival that’s now in its third year. This means that in the last week I’ve had conversations with Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris and Pegi Young who are all playing the festival.
So that’s been nice and a real treat. They’ve all be lovely folks, and my Friday—they day I chatted with Lanois—was an absolutely inspirational day. We chatted for a while, and it was great. He’s a fascinating, open, affable, and very self-assured man.
That day ended as well as it started with an early evening visit to the stage at the bottom of the hill I live on where some music was happening. I sat with my bike near the front of the stage to listen and a few minutes later a little visitor dropped by—she was about a year old and walked right over to me where I was sitting and crawled into my lap before reaching up and put her arms around my neck. It was just about the sweetest moment I’ve ever had, and it was the absolute perfect way to end a perfect day. Her mother came by after not too long and my visitor disappeared, but that minute of cuddling was just about the sweetest I’ve ever had.
I’m looking forward to meeting this little far away niece, and hopefully there’ll be some moments like that on that trip because I love them so much and I don’t get enough of them anymore in my life.
I finally saw The Wolverine today. I went in with quite a bit of trepidation: I didn’t actually think the first Wolverine movie was awful, but it certainly wasn’t great. This one was different though: this one as, the story goes, tackling the Wolverine in Japan storyline that originated with the Frank Miller/Chris Claremont miniseries from the 80s. I owned the originals of that miniseries—James has them now—and it was a pretty formative story from my youth.
It doesn’t. It’s not even close. Again, the movie wasn’t awful but it falls far short of what it could have been and right into the traps of Hollywood superhero adaptations.
It’s OK. I’ve only listed to this song about 50 times in the last 24 hours.
Advertising as a work of art. Beautifully done Honda.
If you haven’t seen the documentary Senna you should watch it. It’s beautifully made.80mph on Human Powered Bicycle
So I’ve hit 73km on a downhill and it gets pretty scary. 80mph under your own power? I can’t even imagine.
A beautifully made film too.
Calling Yvon Chouinard an inspiration hardly seems enough, really. The Patagonia founder has changed the world more than once, and has an outlook on his business that more leaders should share. In a world of disposable things, Chouinard makes things that last a long long time. Listen to him.
When I say it rained ten years ago in Vancouver, I don’t mean “it rained a little bit.” I mean it poured: the day was mostly dry, as I recall, but the skies opened up at about 9:30 and a tremendous downpour ensued. It was pretty epic. It was also the last day of rain for about a three month period in Vancouver—we officially had a drought right after that. I could tell you a funny story about why I remember that, but let’s save that for another time.
I know this now not because I’m some kind of weather savant: I, in fact, am loathe to speak of the Weather Network and fail to understand people who watch it obsessively. Step outside. Live a little. Absorb the rain, the snow, the wind. You will be better for it. Don’t watch it on TV.
I know this because I got married 10 years ago, and that’s not the kind of day you forget—even if you try.
I moved to Vancouver in 2000 (though barely, arriving on Christmas Day of that year.) Kaye and I moved here following a job opportunity she had. The company I was working for in Toronto was failing to get its startup traction, and I had no compelling reason to stay so we headed west to grow up with our country. (Sorry about that Lucinda, but it’s a great line.)
It was good. Our first place here was literally out the back steps of Granville Island. I walk past that place on a fairly regular basis, in the vague way that you do when you wander around that neighbourhood. It was good.
We’d been together for a couple of years before we moved, and eventually—after being here a while—we decided to move and bought a house together. It was in North Vancouver, in the Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood. It was a townhouse, to be precise, not a house but it was ours. We were happy, and it was quickly made into a home: we replaced flooring, bought new furniture, painted walls: all the things you do when you buy a place. The day we moved in, Richard died. When I got an email letting me know I crawled back into bed in tears. When I told Kaye happened, she told me to “Go to sleep.” I couldn’t. I got up and walked until the morning. I should have left that day. I know that now, but at the time I couldn’t see it. Being in love does that you. It makes you ignore the flaws. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s bad.
Not long after that we got married. Things were good, and she was happy. After debating a few options, we decided to get married in Lynn Canyon. We loved that place. The restaurant that’s there now had just opened. As I recall, we were their second wedding. My memory way be wrong on that, but there weren’t many before us.
It was a good day: she looked beautiful in a custom made dress—cut on the bias of course, though I’ve no idea what that really means to this day—and I was outfitted by Harry Rosen. We had about 30 friends there and a good time was had, I think, by all. We threw a small party, we paid for it, and didn’t expect a thing. Kaye later told me that it was the happiest day of her life—she really did. It was for me too. We had a small group of friends and family. There were a few who couldn’t make it, but that was no big deal. We’d see them soon enough. We were happy with the ones we could share the day with.
Five months later, she left. Five months to the day. I’m don’t think she planned that, but if she had she couldn’t have timed it better.
For the last three years, the CBC has been running a pretty good little series of concerts called—somewhat cheekily—Nooners on an outdoor stage in downtown Vancouver.
This year’s series kicked off last Friday with a show from Shad. Today was a day I’ve been waiting for for a while though: Jasper Sloan Yip played a set in advance of the release of his new album Foxtrot. Good times were had by all, and new fans were made. That’s what makes a good day of outdoor music.
The commentary by Nels really makes this thing.