October 17, 2012

Oct 17

NEWS! I’m performing in London ON at Fanshawe College cafeteria on Thursday, October 25 at 12pm
AND, my Hamilton record launch party is on Saturday, October 27th… see:

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Click on the image to RSVP on the facebook event, and to invite others.
I’m super excited to be sharing the night with The Human Race and Richard Laviolette.
Two of my Southern Ontario favourites.

I got home from Europe about a week ago feeling paper-thin, but today I’m rested, renewed and thickened. I think I hibernated through my post-tour hangover. It was a great adventure. As usual I can only remember the good parts. I attribute this to some kind of survivalist selective-memory instinct — a useful thing that keeps me motivated to travel again and again. I began in Berlin for a couple of days, rehearsing with the band and enjoying wandering the streets, beer-in-hand. From here I took a long train up to Leiden, NL. Leiden is a Dutch fairy-tale town with winding rivers, cobbled bridges and windmills — the first windmill that I’ve seen in the Netherlands, actually. I performed at the TripleX festival. There was no pornography there. You see, Dutch people indicate how countercultural something is by the number of Xs in the name. Triplex. That’s pretty alternative. I met up with my good friend Mark Lotterman in Leiden. Mark has a new record coming out and will be touring Ontario with me in March. Here is a video for one of his new songs:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVdud9lvGYI
After Leiden, I took an insanely long train ride to Gera, Germany, where I performed at the Museumnaght festival and met with the folks at my new European Label, Artfull Sounds. I didn’t make it into any museums, though that was kind of the purpose of the festival. Nevertheless, Gera is another beautiful place — an East German town that faired will enough in the more recent wars (though it was smashed to bits in the 1400s), so there are plenty of pretty old buildings around. Bratwurst was invented in this part of Germany so I ate a lot of that. Meat in tube form.
From Gera I went to Berlin for a show at the White Trash — a sprawling, maze-like, rockabilly Hamburger bar. It was fun to play at a place where jumping on tables (and falling off them) is not only tolerated, but almost mandatory.
After Berlin I made it back to Hannover, Hamburg, Castrop Rauxel… lots of places, but by far the most interesting night happened in Innsbruck, Austria at Die Bäckerei — a converted bakery complex that houses a bicycle repair shop, an art gallery and a music venue, among other things. Here I was wearing the candle for the first few songs. When I stopped wearing the candle, things lit on fire. Not people, thankfully. Just things of mine. Members of the audience quenched the flames with German beer. After that there was a lot more drinking and dancing. The language barrier has always made communication with European audiences an interesting challenge for me, but few things are more universally understood than fire and destruction. I found plenty of destruction and construction during this recent adventure and I feel better for it — in sprit if not in body.