“it stays late so light here” i told the crowd in red deer

but they knew what i meant

and they knew the part of my heart that only answers when alberta calls her name

but i’m covered in mosquito bites

white mishapen mounds the size of quarters

and i remember why i left these prairie skies

the part of my heart

that only dances

when vancouver calls her name

is all dolled up

and waiting for the band to start

the only place you can get a wireless signal at lang’s motel, on highway 17, is if you sit on the adirondacks just outside the rooms. unfortunaley, it’s mosquito season. more unfortuante, i have always had the eau de exactly what mosquitos love about me and i am getting instantly covered in bites. yuck! swatting at swarms is making this whole typing business very awkward….

but tonight we played at green achers in wabigoon. it’s interesting on this tour, having played in many small towns, and the big cities in between, having the opportunity to compare the two experiences. for the most part, the small towns have been much more humane. like tonight, john booked us in at this motel, made us an amazing dinner with fish he’d caught not 2 hours before, opened some wine at the end of the show, helped with the sound set up…. and so on. he was generous and kind and fun and the audience listened and hung out after. one local even pulled out his slide guitar and made music for us. ideal! in a small town, there’s only ever one show on, if any. and generally, people appreciate it so much. in cities, there’s hundreds of things to choose from in a night, and it seems to create a blas’e attitude. in montreal, we couldn’t even get a staff discount on a cookie. but here in wabigoon, artist, audience and host are equal parts. which i love.

i don’t love these frickin mosquitos. i must run for cover!

4 days off and a gig in montreal marked the official turn around. as of today, we are homeward bound. amazing that we took over four weeks to get to our most eastern point, and in 8 days we’ll be back in vancouver.

at the moment i’m in sault st. marie. coming into the sault had us literally driving off into the sunset. a beautiful pink sunset. of course, the image of a cowboy and denouement has never indicated how hard it is to see the road with the sun in your eyes. but we arrived safely. i’m looking forward to sleeping on a surface i can fully extend my legs on. it’s the little things, you see, especially for little legs…

when last you and i met, it was hot summer days in ol’ t-dot. since then, the air has cooled and we’ve played in wakefield, ottawa, st. hyacinthe, hamilton and montreal.

wakefield may have been one of the best shows yet! what a beautiful location and wonderful room. james lamb and miss emily brown, co-east coast touring artists, were on the bill too so we performed in the round for the time saving sake of set changes. i am always soothed and inspired by james’ music. it was the first time i’d heard emily, and she too was lovely with graceful and smart tunes. the crowd was candle lit and reflected the warmth right back at us.

staying with french speaking friends in ottawa, i practiced some sentences for our gig in st. hyacinthe, kicking at the long untouched information stored in my brain from 10 years of french classes in school. turns out it needs more than a good kick to unpack the knowledge, but a few words did find me on the stage at cafe zaricot in the sweet french town. unfortunatley, my practiced lines – “meme si mon nom Couture est francais, je parle juste un petit peut” – only got me through the first few song intros, and i reverted to mostly english for the rest of the night. but they were patient and kind ears there. it was SO hot. the people sat outside until the first note of the first set, then shuffled in to listen. at the break they all headed promptly outside again and i wondered if they’d gone for good. but a quick pull on a guitar string and they were back inside, intent. i liked it there, or rather, j’aime st. hyacinthe, but i really hope the zaricot gets air conditioning for next time!

hm, so many mentions of the weather! its effect is inescapable this summer month i guess… or i’m just prone to whinge.

bob and aj, and friends, from the bob and aj show came to the montreal gig. they get a special mention because it was a number of years ago they first played a song of mine on their podcast, and we’ve somehow just been in and out of touch since then. it was fantastic to put faces to voices and it seemed we chatted like old friends. they’re funny people. j’aime funny people.

the few days before this homeward bound journey have been mostly spent with dear toronto friends. spending time with such bon amis make we want to live in toronto. sartre said hell is other people, but heaven is other people too, non? i’m sad to be leaving. i wish for a smaller world in the people sense. i want all my dearests within reach. sigh. that said, i am also looking forward to my bed in vancouver. “home, where my love lies waiting silently for me”. not sure about the silent bit.

but before i curl around my favorite pillow back in east van, we’ve got to cross the prairies and play a few shows. i’m looking forward to each of them – especially edmonton! it’s home too, or was for many years. i am fond of edmonton for that, its part in my formative years. there are bits of concrete, sidewalk corners, trees, backyards, hospital wards and high school bathrooms there that store secrets, stories like photographs from my life, age 4-18…

so it feels somehow suiting that the last gig of this tour, 34 of 34 or whatever it’s been, will be at a place that was my starting point. but before that ride into that sunset, tonight’s sleep in sault.

there is more that i would like to tell you about these past couple weeks, but i’m tired! check out the photos, there are a few more stories in them.

bon nuit*

christa

in toronto, in degrees, that’s where it’s at – latitude, longitude and celsius. as for the 25 degrees, the weather network says it feels like 32 degrees, but up here on the top floor of a forest hill home, it’s feeling more like broil until browned.

hot!

luckily, i’ve had time in this town to be very summery, not fighting the heat. 3 hour brunch dates on patios, long picnics in parks playing “gentle” scrabble, then on to other patios strung with lights and ivy for hours of drinks with friends.

life is good in toronto. and the friday show was great (thank you all the good people there!).

getting here was a long haul – three 8 hour days in the car does not a lithe body make. but the scenery was beautiful! i think the last time i drove across ontario i was asleep for the lake superior bit. i wanted so much to pull over and greet the water with bare toes, but places to be, and so on…

we passed a few of canada’s “largest”, as one does on road trips. the giant geese in wawa ontario, and husky the musky in kenora. i didn’t see the claims to size at the time – driving by is not conducive to plaque reading – but research since has confirmed their “largst” status. they were of course situated as attractions and it made me wonder about the phenomena of having the “world’s biggest” whatever, and i recalled how many of north america’s i’ve seen – hockey stick, cowboy boot, teepee, easter egg… many more. “monuments built by communities to draw tourist dollars” – but why, as tourists, are we drawn to these? anybody?

the thing is, it’s not like that egg is really an egg. it’s just a sculpture. it’s the world’s largest sculpture of an easter egg – do you think that makes a difference? viewing them as sculpture, what is their artistic value? how would they be received as public art, without their fame being installed with their size?

sigh, so many questions. perhaps i should abandon myself to whimsy, celebrate a small town’s pride and make sure i get in the photo with husky next time.

husky1.jpg

(more…)

it’s been one week on the road, and today i headed to cbc radio saskatoon to do an interview with sook-yin for DNTO.

very exciting, as i love DNTO and consider myself one of the biggest fans of all of CBC’s hosts. it was great. i’m learning a lot this tour about interacting the media, observing more often how THEY’RE responding, instead of how I am. but sook-yin and producer sarah really opened it up for a warm and welcoming chat. thanks ladies.

and now i’m officially collecting cbc radio locations. being a vancouver girl, i’ve been to the cbc on hamilton a number of times. my first radio interview ever (I miss Richardson’s Roundup!) was done at cbc studios in london england. but two locations isn’t enough for a collection, right?

three however, is. i’ve decided.
cbc saskatoon

yesterday was a day off, spent wandering around regina. they advertise city wide wireless, but getting on it is not an easy task. so i skipped checking email and sent postcards instead. those of you waiting to hear back from me, check your mail in a few days…

the sun is shining in saskatchewan and i am grateful for it. there are two cats here in this house, napping in puddles of sun. i think, as there’s no where to drive to today, i shall find a spot to nap in too.

la la.

c

okay.

day 1.

i cried! the car loaded, standing in the doorway i actually cried about leaving… which surprised me. but it’s a long trip this time away from my man and all things familiar. i love touring. but it does mean missing things. people-like-things.

a juice and just-out-of-the-oven-and-so-hot-i-couldn’t-hold-it-muffin from juicy lucy’s comforted somewhat. i picked up mary and we headed for rossland.

day 2.

happily the slice in lethbridge gave us a couple hotel rooms and we were able to nap before the show. a crowded drunk saturday night that involved signing someone’s chest and another’s arm (my first body autographs… shout out to shawnee and saiya!). there was one asshole – rob. dude, grabbing asses and lines like “trust me, i am a man and know how to use it” will get you NO WHERE with NO ONE. fuck off.

other than that, it was a lovely conincidence that fellow east van kids, C.R. AVERY AND THE BOOM CHASERS, were also on the bill in alberta that night, so c.r. got up and played harmonica on a few songs. i love that boy.

they of course brought the house down, as they always do. i love that band.

day 4.

played at the ironwood last night to a cozy group of sweet listeners who braved the rain. i was missing my dad. something about being the prairies, being closer to his home. so sadness permeated my songs (more than usual… ;)

now at “weeds” somewhere in this nw/ne/sw/se town, and regina spektor is playing “we’re living in a den of theives…” good stuff.

between my blog here, myspace, facebook, ilike…. i tend to just post the same thing, “as posted on christacouture.com” and so forth. part of me feels like i want to write something new for every site. i wonder how much cross over there is, in terms of readership? i wonder why every time i cut and paste i feel a little like a phony? it’s just spreading the word, non? and i’m always torn in these forums between presenting my work/myself as a musician, and not “presenting” myself at all. meaning, just plain old me. not folk singer me.

of course, they are rather intertwined and there never would be total separation. but there are aspects of my life that are unique to each “side”.

that’s not surprising news of course. so i shall move on to the good stuff. it’s after midnight (much later than i meant to be up considering i’ve an early morning tomorrow and – ga – a root canal in the afternoon) but i am determined to broadcast that my new album, The Wedding Singer and The Undertaker, is available now!

which is the best news of the moment. the other news worthy item is that i am, once again, in a t-shirt factory of my own making. yes, the results of many thrift-store visits are strewn around my house in different stages of production. most have at least part of the new design silkscreened on them, half have the whole design, and half of those have been ironed/heat-set and are ready to hit the road.

i’ve got some pictures of them to upload – i’ll do that this week. i’m too cozy at the moment to get up and find the cable for the camera : ) – as well as photos from the first few gigs of the tour. mary has been much more on top of taking pictures and posting tour diary type blogs – where we’ve been, the characters there… i write these notes in my head while staring out the window at the 120km scenery, but i don’t seem to get them out of my head often. maybe that will change with this tour… maybe not : )

it’s amazing to think this is my third record. to look back on where i was when “starter” came out, what’s happened since. this last year has been intense in terms of the amount of work i’ve been doing for this here music gig, the busiest year yet for me. that’s what i get for choosing to release the new record independently! i’ve been busting my butt, but it feels good to have everything in my own hands. to have such ownership on both the creative and business side. maybe i’m a control freak. though i keep joking about getting an intern, a la Steve Zissou, and i do look forward to a time when i’m not the only one getting this show on the road, but in the midst of t-shirt mayhem, half packed for heading east this week, i don’t mind being a one woman army. at least, i’m feeling hopeful that the work can pay off.

there’s thunder/lightning in vancouver tonight. terribly romantic weather for late night blogging surely… okay i have to go post this on facebook now… ha.

c.

– it’s very chilly in here (i think the cat window is open, but the cold has yet to win over the laziness for me to check)

– i’ve posted another new sneak peek track from the new album, under audio to the left you’ll find “nothing’s changed”

– coincidentally, “nothing’s changed” was written in a very cold room (perhaps i should grab my guitar before closing the window, if this air inspires)

– once again, t-shirt making has come down to the last few hours before leaving on tour… there’s a STACK (all caps, as in precarious, overflowing, abundant multi-coloured pile) of t-shirts on the living room floor, waiting for me to silkscreen them. and in two sleeps, there’s a ferry (or there will be, if life continues as it is) to take me to the island for 3 shows this weekend where i hope to have for sale, said t-shirts. screened and ironed and looking their best. will she or won’t she? i think i need to break it down in to small hills of clothing, the mountain is daunting…

– there’s a typo on the poster for the cd release party, AND a typo in a facebook update i just sent out. together, the two, are taunting me.

– ah. laziness is fighting a losing battle as the chill has fully enveloped me now. off to put the kettle on and close the window. no worries for the cat as i can hear him snoring on the couch behind me… beau reves.