August 14, 2012

Aug 14

My current adventures in Western Canada are drawing to a close in a matter of days. I am now sitting at my brother-in-law’s house in Edmonton, typing to you on a broken laptop. The LCD, you see, developed an inexplicable hair-line fracture in Penticton. Over the course of a few days this crack spidered up and branched across the screen in various directions, until finally the entire monitor went grey and whooshy. It’s a bit upsetting to look at, actually, so I keep it turned off. I bought a cheap monitor that I lug around with me until I can find a way to repair the screen. Drop me a line if you are a computer repair person in Ontario.
To start this tour I shared a number of shows with my friends Blind Mule from Hamilton. They are dancey and historically debauched, though Graham, the band’s frontperson, recently went on a two week meditative retreat that rendered him sobre, thoughtful and emitting a soft white glow. He’s Greyham the White now. He is the kind of guy who seems to regenerate once about every five years into a different version of himself. I love the current version more than ever.
I parted ways with Blind Mule shortly after the Brandon Folk Fest where I partook in a semi-impromptu collaboration with Jane Sibbery. I was honoured that she joined me on stage during my workshop — “Making things with Wax Mannequin”. This is the third year of my Making Things workshop. Each year it seems to get more elaborate and frightening. At this festival I convinced everyone to dip their fingers in a pool of hot wax, then attach the waxen digets to a straw hat that was to be awarded to Shayne Avec I Grec — the festival’s newly laurelled poet. I wasn’t sure what Jane thought of all this. I’m pretty sure that she, in improvised verse, accused me of being a creative vampire or dementor at one point, but by the end of the show she was meowing along with everyone to an unrehearsed rendition of Thing Game.
The rest of the tour has been equally exciting and tumultuous as I contended with two flat tires, a song-for-song battle with Geoff Berner on the streets of Winnipeg and birthday explosions at the Artswells Festival. It has been pretty dreamy all-in-all.
Today I part ways with my wife and son who will be flying back from Edmonton. I will tour home with performances scheduled for Calgary, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Then I will have a little bit of time off before flying back west for the Music on the Mountain festival, and then on to Europe for my ‘Saxon’ album re-launch tour.