Friday, 30 August 2013

M.I.A.? Nope, just gone video crazy!!

Crazy days of summer are winding down as we can feel the autumn coming on. Maple trees are beginning to turn colour and the air is far more humid than it has been for the past three months. Speaking of which it’s been nearly three months since I sat down to blog.  I have actually started a blog several times throughout the summer, but got swept away in the tides of life.
Normally I tend to spout off about what I find disturbing in the world with links to things that the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know about. For this blog I will dispense with the rantings and stick to the music. I do try to bring into the light only that which is founded in truth. That is why I always try to back up things with links to the source. It’s not that Steve’s antics or his cousin puppet Obama haven’t stirred my ire, but so much has gone on in my musical world and that’s ‘mostly’ what this blog is focused on.

So here’s my best attempt at a recap of the last three months. A lot of attention was paid to getting things ironed out with my new distributor. Thanks to the people at Indie Pool, the BoodAbooM album “The Answer” is available through a secure purchasing portal and of course where would we be without iTunes. There are still some things that are being worked out over at Indie Pool and it would have likely been easier to stick with CD Baby as I did for the “Choices” album. Both companies have their advantages and disadvantages, the problem is disadvantages are not usually discovered until after the deal is done.
There has been a whole lot of video getting done since my last blog entry. The video for the song “Run” was done back in June. Shot in the backwoods of Vancouver Island we choose a remote location since there was to be shot guns fired off, flash bombs and a lot of zombie characters running around. For most of the videos I’ve done there is usually only a handful of people. In this case we had a lot of bodies running around and doing things. Jeffrey Randle joined me in the shooting of the “Run” video for the musical portion and director Marius Von Lohmann did the headless chicken routine directing the actors, setting up scenes and zipping around with the camera. Also, this is the first time I've let anyone else take control of the script for my videos. Check it out and tell me what you think. We felt a little tongue in cheek approach offset the more serious subject matter of the song.
Shooting Zombie video for "Run"
I went a little video crazy after that and produced another video on my own.  I had been pondering on how to present the song “Not For Me” in it’s video form when a little experimenting lead me to featuring “Pepper the feathered philosopher”, along with some video taken in the studio during the recording of the BoodAbooM album. Again a bit of a humourous tact and a lot of fun. I must admit that lip sync is much harder with someone who has no lips!
The video madness didn’t stop there as I rediscovered some clips from previous concerts and shows I’ve performed at and began a series on my YouTube channel called “Raw and Organic”. I’ve posted a video clip on myself and Marisha Devoin playing the song “Living Peacefully” from my BoodAbooM album “The Answer”. Just the upright bass, guitar and voices in this stripped down version. No editing, no digital wizardry, just straight from the heart raw and organic performances. Check back on my YouTube channel as there are more of these “live” videos coming soon. To hear the studio version of “Living Peacefully”, check the sample tracks on my iTunes site.
During the summer of 1988 I was fortunate enough to have one of my songs reach the #1 position for Canadians on the RPM Weekly Adult Contemporary charts. “The Voyager” was the title song from my album which had already seen action with the songs “Lot On My Mind” and “Mephisto Waltz” from that collection. At the same time as “The Voyager” was playing in every major market in Canada, my distributor of the time lost every piece of inventory they had at the warehouse. So while the title track was receiving great reviews and radio support, I had nothing on the shelves to sell. A year later my vinyl and cassettes were discovered during an inventory. They had the wrong numbers on the outside of the boxes and hence were continually overlooked. A year after the album had run it’s course, the inventory represented far less value.
Still I am grateful for the radio exposure and the chart numbers. Digging through the archives I decided to compile a  video for this song as well. So check out this very “late 80’s” sounding rendition of “The Voyager”, my A/C hit from 1988.
Beyond the world of video, I have been performing throughout the summer at various gigs and open mic nites. I like the open mics because not only is it an “audience building” experience, but the social aspect of hanging with your musical peers and meeting music enthusiasts is fantastic. The people you meet and the sharing of ideas is amazing. Jeffrey Randle joined me for a few shows including a private hall “pub night” and the “Nanoose Art in the Garden” festival which was also a fundraiser for the local food bank. Just prior to the “Arts Festival” show, Jeffrey also joined me in support for an interview / performance video segment we did with Shaw Cable TV.  Kait Burgan conducted the interview which can be seen here at this link.  
Jeffrey Randle
I’ve done a couple of shows at the Corner Bistro which is a new establishment in a renovated familiar location. Phil from the Corner Lounge has taken on 75 Front Street in Nanaimo and turned it into a top rate Bistro with incredible cuisine, roomy surroundings, great service and a focus on live entertainment. Being a bistro also means that minors are welcome, as long as they don’t indulge in alcohol libations available from the full service bar. It has been mostly music shows so far, although I know that Phil is planning to host a comedy night as well. Who couldn't use a good laugh every now and then!
As for me, plans are to be hosting a series of “Singer / Songwriter Showcase” nights starting on September 11th at the Corner Bistro. Starting a little after 6, I will open an evening of music after which I will bring on an invited guest for an hour concert of songs and stories from their respective albums. All of the invited guests are recording artists with CD releases starting with Glen Foster on the 11th, Jeffrey Randle on the 18th, Brian Hazelbower on the 25th and Ira Pelletier on October 2nd. After their concert I will close the night out. It should prove to be a great dining and musical experience for the patrons and audience in attendance. September 20th I will be taking the stage with a party rock cover band that I joined called Hygrade. We are working on getting our ‘web presence’ in order, but these things do take time. The Hygrade band is a four piece ensemble, but we are all busy campers managing other careers and endeavours.
Me and the boys in the band
The show takes place at the Sportsman Hotel in Ladysmith. The twist with this band is that I sing only a few songs while drummer Dean Doyle ( part of the BoodAbooM family ) takes the lion’s share of the lead vocals. We play all the party time rock favourites with a twist, tons of harmonica on songs that don’t usually have harp on them. Here’s a “raw and organic” video of an early jam we had on the Tragically Hip tune “New Orleans is Sinking” to give you an idea. Come on out and see what else we have in store for you. I am belting out a few songs a night which is fun for me as I don’t always include songs from “The Black Keys” in my solo / duo shows.
Ok, I’m over shooting my word count so let me leave you with these links to ponder. Sad to hear that J.J. Cale passed, Greta (my sweetie) and I saw him perform many years ago in Victoria. A treasured memory.
A statistic most aren’t aware of, in 2009 over 50% of Canadians were living on or below the “low income cut off”. That’s the more semantically soft version of “the poverty line”.
Not sure if Canadians realize that the Snowden / NSA fiasco is not just a USA modus operandi. In Canada we have our own snoopers at the CESA.
A 2 minute brilliant discourse from author Robert Anton Wilson on belief systems, even your own. Check what he says about everyone’s B.S.
And finally, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard a better social commentary than this on “Why everything sucks”. Craig Ferguson is a very funny man, but in this 3 minute clip he delivers a very brilliant observation on today’s world in his own hilarious way.
Let me end as always with a reminder to be mindful of others. Do your best and strive to approach every situation from the standpoint of loving kindness and forgiveness. Conquer hate with love, evil with good, falsehood with truth. Let’s bring the humane back into the human being.

Until next time, Brother T