Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Riders or Bengough, Saturday, July 27

Out of all the members of the band, I care the most about the Roughriders.  If you are a fan of anything, success is fun, intoxicating and might become expected.  The last few years has seen success that leads to definite expecations, and now those expectations are being met.  The main questions are two: how hi can they get, or when do they crash?  I'd like to watch what happens this Saturday in Hamilton, as 5 - 0 sounds freakin' awesome, but watching the Gateway Festival audience watching us is going to take priority.  If any of you are debating your Saturday night options and Gateway vs the Riders is part of the equation, here is a top ten list of reasons why you should sway to the side of music vs. professional sports.

In no particular order, maybe....

10) Steve freakin' Earle - if the word legend can be used accurately with players this weekend, he is the only one that fits the bill.  Even if, somehow, by fluke, or bad strings on a guitar, he isn't stellar, he still brings his 'a' game and that is impressive for someone into his fourth (!?!?!) decade of making music.

9) You can PVR the Rider game.  Or you know someone who can.  Bring them to the show instead!

8) Workshop stages poolside: you heard me right!  Listen to workshops with a few refreshments under your belt and your belt underwater, if that pleases your sensibilities.  It'll appease many of ours to be sure....

7) Corb Lund: he seems to be the real freakin' deal, eh? Someone who seems huge, and is, but also isn't.  Killer headliner.

6) The Lazy MKs: yes, everyone on 13th Ave Records is a bit incestuous, so it would be no surprise that this blog would mention them.  But I don't really care about them - you should see them for their guests!  Hint: very few of them sing (I mean the guests).

5) 4 - 1:  still awesome.  Hamilton might be tough to beat, as I don't think the Riders can go much higher than they did against the team.  I'd like to see Fantuz play, but get three catches for 48 yards but give up at least two interceptions b/c he ran poor routes.  But I digress.....

4) Rah Rah: more incest, I know, sorry about that.  However, one of my highlights of last week's Ness Creek show was jamming with Marshall in the mess hall at 6am, after hiking all over the place and also after jamming around the fire.  He got badgered into doing "Jonquiere Tonight" and I sang with him on "Cuba Peru".  I was reminded of how awesome he is, even when he's not in The Lonesome Weekends, and I hear Rah Rah has just a bit of live performance experience.....

3)  The secret awesome vendor:  I recently heard poor reports about vendors at another festival in Saskatchewan, to which someone replied that the vendors at Gateway were second to none.  It is always just delightful to stumble upon something like holskap pie (!?? - just call it honeyberry, it's easier on the brain!) like at Ness.  What could it be this weekend?

2) "Crooked Line": new song by Devon.  It is perhaps the most intense song in our repertoire right now, and though there are rumours of recording, for the next little while we're going to be a band where you can only hear a lot of new stuff live.  With and without vanity, this song is at its apex right now.  It is kind of like what Kory Sheets is doing.  But remember, you can PVR the game!

1) Listen to the game while you get beer and/or pee: everyone has this sort of technology, that is for sure.  Just please remember if you are watching a band and listening to the game to cheer for a touchdown when the band does something awesome or finishes a song.  Or do it in the port-a-potty.  But then come let me know, even if I'm playing!

Riders 28  Ticats 18


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ness Creek, Bengough, Yippee!

It is officially festival season, and for The Lonesome Weekends this year that means Ness Creek and Gateway!  Last year we were pumped to play our first festival outside of Regina - Judy Mergel's Wood Mountain at the end of August - and while it was an awesome experience with plenty of generous hospitality, the two festivals the band'll be playing this month have got everyone very stoked.

At Gateway in Bengough, there is an incredible lineup that features Steve Earle and The Dukes along with Corb Lund and The Hurtin' Albertans, but apart from these heavies nearly every other band is from Saskatchewan, many of whom we're friends with and/or have shared stages with!  Way further north, Ness Creek features many a fine act, but I am personally most intrigued to see Crooked Creek, who I last saw 11 years ago.  A perennial favourite up there, just to know that they are still givin' 'er is inspirational on many levels.  Is it just because of the hippies?  There's only one way to find out!

The boys in the band are all over the place in terms of what they are expecting from these festivals.  If there is a consistent anything to comment on, it would have to be that Marsh is just keen to play.  With his band.  And hang out.  With his band.  Is it just that he's just happy to rock and roll on a more local scale as opposed to the international stardom that Rah Rah affords him?  Come on out and find out, but do so before the booze starts flowing, you know....well, if you are reading this, you just know!

Devon's a little bit more keen on the proceedings on offer, looking forward to checking out a lot of bands and camping in hopes of countering the hungover tent sweats when the morning sun is blazing.  Apparently this is a genuine fear of Prpich as well.  I now know that maybe I should not share a tent with him!  Thank god Pamps, Kale and German Karl will be there to hold his hand through all sorts of trial and tribulation!  Dev's also excited at seeing Mary Gauthier, as she does a killer version of Fred J. Eaglesmith's "Your Sister Cried", Tyler is pumped to see Blue King Brown (Australian Afro funk?), Sleights would enjoy sharing a stage with Shotgun Jimmy, while not a few of us are amped up to see Steve Earle.  Is it a vain hope that somewhere along the line we get to hang out with the man, share a stage, or perhaps even a cigarette?  Or is it more likely Tyler is f$&*ing going to request "Copperhead Road" and all our credibility gets shot in one drunken request?  It is unfortunate - or not, depending on your angle - that we can't share some adult pops with the man, but at the least none of us will be bringing our dog who happens to be vegetarian along, so no abuse will be incurred on that level... 

There will be more to discuss in a post post-festival, but on a personal level I could not be more thrilled about playing Ness Creek.  11 years ago I was intent on relocating to a tropical climate for a female, as cliched as that might sound.  My world got rearranged and better focused while jamming around a campfire light at Ness in July 2002, with a vibrant stranger from Regina.  After all was sung and done, I said nay to the tropics and said yea to making music on any level in Canada.  Somehow music got put to the side as the stranger and we wound up making more babies than tunes for a while, then life slowly turned a dad into a musician that became a member of a killer band that just happens to be playing Ness Creek in less than a week.  Ness Creek is full circle time for me, and I am grateful beyond words to all the musicians I've ever played with, the organizers of both festivals, my kids and my partner.  As Kurt Vonnegut once said, "Watch out for life.  It'll get you!"  And as I might add, "You should let it."

Or as Marsh might say it, "Kiss The Bottle"!  See ya'll down the road.....


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Getting To Know The Band Part Two

Well, as with Hollywoodland, this summertime season sees this blog being all about the sequels - part twos galore!

After the amazingly well-received first edition of band facts, I did my best to politely decline fan requests for shirt-sizes, birthdates and favourite types of cheese of my bandmates (ok, Dev's is gouda, hell we all love gouda, let's get that out of the way) to focus on way more important items of interest to tickle your sun-addled brain.  So, without further ado, here are more deets of the men who sell themselves and their wares as The Lonesome Weekends.

On celebrating summer

Prpich: Shovelling tons of gravel and working on my tan, simultaneously, along with pitching my new family tent.
Hat: Weeding gardens, blaring 329% more reggae than usual from the backyard boombox, and thinking of ways to explore sun and nudity and get away with it like my kids in the paddling pool.
Dev: Quitting my job and taking an early retirement, just for summer.
Ty: I get out my motorcycle for this time of year.  Of course when it gets real hot out I keep my Scandinavian ass sedentary in an attempt to not melt away.  It's a losing battle.  (Watch the melting in action at a festival show very soon - ed.)
Marsh: I'm not.
Sleights: I just bought some internet, but the internet is lame. I have been working hard, but will celebrate on my trips this summer. Marsh & I will see Dylan and Wilco in St. Paul next week.

Music currently grooving to

PrpichWhispering Bill Anderson, Nick Lowe, Bonnie Prince Billie, Dwight Yoakam.
HatDevendra Banhart Mala MalaJuana Molina Un Dia, Cesar Evoria, Big Sugar.
Dev: Sixto Rodriguez and Ratatat.
Ty: Empire of the Sun Ice on the Dune, Charles Bradley and the Menahan St Band No Time for Dreaming, The James Hunter Six Minute by Minute (seriously, I can't say enough about this record. It's as if Ray Charles and Sam Cooke got together and had a bastard English baby. I have to thank Babs for the find!)
Marsh: Tim McCashin.
Sleights: Patti Smith Easter - she's a poet, a seer, the Wanda Jackson of the 1970s

Thoughts on Thriller

Prpich: It always grosses me out, how MJ's bones are sticking out of his wrists on the album cover....disgusting!  And baby tigers?????
Hat: It makes me rethink my recent reassessment of Paul McCartney, though half of it is awesome. I used to think Sir Paul was only capable of syrupy schlock, then I got McCartney, Ram, and McCartney II. However, "The Girl is Mine" makes me violent. Perhaps those three were the exceptions to the rule? Anyways, "Beat It", really, cannot be beat. Listen to it again and shake your tail feather.
Dev: Mmmmmm, isn't that a ride at the Melfort fair?
Ty: It's alright but it's no Off the Wall.
Marsh: No comment.
Sleights: It's the Jurassic Park of records.

Cake or Pie? Why?
Prpich: Cake, cuz it's cake! And b/c most people can't make pie.
Hat: Pie, b/c it is way more sexy than cake.  Think about it.  You know I am right.
Dev: Pie, cuz I've had bad cake but never bad pie! 
Ty: Unfortunately, for me these days it's neither (gluten/carbs), so.....coconut milk ice cream!
Marsh: Chips.
Sleights: Pie, b/c it's less sweet than cake, and if I need less of anything in my life right now it is sweetness.

The best part about being a musician is.....

Prpich: Playing with Hat's wife.
Hat: Meeting a wonderful assortment of people that dig what I/we do - hey, it doesn't happen often in life, in any context - so I totally soak that in as much as possible.  Also, making a joyful noise by all means possible, but mostly electronic keyboards.  Oh, and knowing that even with lugging gear, I/we win everytime compared to anyone golfing (except par 3 of course, that's awesome).
Dev: No matter how often you tell yourself "I'm getting too old for this", you keep playing.
Ty: Most likely the sex...buth then there are those drugs too...oh and the Rock and Roll...hmmmmm.
Marsh: Drinkin' beer and makin' friends.
Sleights: Manipulating sound waves.

Alright then, satiation from band info is nearly complete!  Let's give the drummer some respect and end off with a little bit of The James Hunter Six.  See ya soon!