Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Aug 2 - Toronto, ON

Apologies for the delay in blogging. The tour lately has been busy, and wonderful, and hard. My psyche has been a mess.

Where did I leave off? South River?

Renee's Cafe in South River was a really cool spot that for no good reason people in the area didn't seem to know that much about. Well folks, if you live or cottage anywhere near South River, get your adventurous buns over there and listen to the great music they have in on the weekends and try their ridiculously amazing desserts. I have authority on these desserts, you see - I had two. Yum. That's all I gotta say.

The one part of the show at Renee's that sticks out in my head is how I played Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" that night. Sometimes I get in a zone with a song, and that night I felt every word. This experience is what makes music worth playing for me, and I find when I can lose myself in a song like that, it is more enjoyable for the audience as well. It was relieving because I hadn't really felt like that since Nanton, Alberta, where almost my whole show felt "in the zone".

After the show we slept in a funky little hotel on the highway that is all painted up on the outside. I think Derek posted a photo of it here. Despite the beauty of the place, I slept horribly due to vicious late-night over-consumption of caffeine and sugar (remember the two dessert thing?) and the next day I felt pretty horrible. I just lounged about the front deck of the hotel, making conversation with the quirky owners, and only going into town to purchase a personality-full shawl and some glass-bead earrings for Asta, which are apparantly a hit now. Geoff Holbrook's (Derek's pal from Montreal who has been promoting our show there and showed up seemingly randomly in South River) family gave me a hugely helpful lift right to Vki Lucier's Zen Waffle Inn (which isn't an Inn, by the way) driveway. My sigh of relief was long and wonderful.

I got in Vki's door and quickly went swimming in Georgian Bay. We feasted on healthy organic soup and steamed veggies, watched a movie called "The Time Machine," and got to bed relatively early. The next morning I got up and dipped in the bay again, feeling happy about using cool water and sunlight to wake me instead of coffee. [Since I stopped cycling, I've been leading a little more typical musician's life: lots of booze and late night partying. It really isn't for me, but old habits die hard.] At the noon hour was the "Waffle Off" sporting a head-to-head competition between Vki and her beau Peter who made independant and incomparable and delicious waffles that the crew that was slowly amassing enjoyed very much. One thing that was discovered was that the circular model of the waffle iron produced thicker, fluffier, tastier waffles, so Vki was working with a handi-cap with her square waffle making iron. No matter, though - chocolate and cranberries always taste good! The atmosphere was relaxed as we started the show a little late. I felt a little off that day, musically, but Derek was ON ON ON - he was making jokes and had that little group of people in the palm of his hand. My failings passed right by me, though, as I enjoyed more swimming after the show and a good conversation with a woman named Kate who is very vibrant and animated. She is always moving, like she has constant music going on in her head. We all stayed up a little late. Derek jammed with Peter and Vki and I played with the kids. Sleep was deep that night, and I woke up refreshed. Peter gave me a lift into Hamilton which turned out very long because of a 60-car accident on the 400. Welcome back to Toronto, I thought - what a dump!

Asta came and picked me up in Hamilton, gracious enough to wait for me though I was close to two hours late. We took off down to her sister's place in Simcoe and spent a couple of sweltering days there, exploring what Port Dover and Waterford had to offer. The heat was so strong it seemed to drain the life from us, and we spent most of both days lounging stupidly, unable to come up with inspiring ideas for things to do and generally lacking spontenaity. A little bit of bad timing on the weather's part for when I was visiting a new flame. How can you recognize heat when you're in a fire? Ha ha ha. I was thankful for the visit, all the same.

Up to Toronto I went on the Wednesday, when another friend, The Deuce, came to my rescue and graciously gave me a lift all the way up to Alliston through more Toronto traffic. Why anyone lives and drives a car in that city, I do not know. Its charms are lost on me, I must admit.

The show up in Alliston was in conjunction with "ladies night" at Groundswell Coffeehouse. Derek missed out, as I was one of two males in the joint, and the other one was wearing pearls, so I don't know if he counts. It was a fun little show, and I got to partake in the delectable desserts there. Mostly I remember swimming afterwards in one of the employees friend's pool. I swam (again wishing I didn't need a bathing suit) and watched the stars and talked to the girls - again I was the only guy. Yep - it's good to be me sometimes! Ha ha ha.

I got myself on a bus to Toronto today and here I am, at the apartment of The Deuce, preparing to take off to play music for a living while she goes to save lives as a paramedic. Nope, my life ain't so tough, is it?

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