Who was I even talking to? I don’t remember (goodness my memory can recall such useless specifics and then forget the essentials), but when they asked why it is that I like the recording phase best – of all the “phases” of this work I do – even though it’s the briefest time-wise, I realized this: it’s because it’s the time when I get to work with other musicians.

I perform and work solo most of the time – heck, this here blog post is even written 100% my me alone (ha) – and there’s much about that that I like (erm, control freak? little bit) and that is practical (touring solo vs touring with a band), but there’s also much about it that can be lonely (enough with the brackets already).

“People used to make a records, as in a record of an event, the event of people making music in a room” – an Ani Difranco quote I reference often because it sums up what I like about making a record: people in a room. Musicians in a room – an altogether strange and wonderful category of people.

Part One of this story introduced the talented and generous group who built each one of my songs a home in those first four days at The Warehouse. Part Two has been unfolding in a sporadic way, as schedules and projects are juggled, and near a month passed from those initial days of construction to when Steve and I reconvened at his studio. I almost forgot I was making a record (again with the spotty memory!) but in the past couple weeks, the two of us have continued to build and decorate and decide and I can’t believe it’s just about done.

In fact tomorrow we will record the last final bit of sound – the vocal duet part for Paper Anniversary – and then mixing begins. I’m excited that we’re moving forward – and holy fuck am I excited about how this album sounds – but I also don’t want it to end, this phase of possibility, these days of people making music in a room.

Over the last couple weeks, such fine folk have been stopping by Henhouse Studio as:

JP Carter – to record a seriously killer trumpet part:

My buddy, the lovely and talented Cris Derksen, to sweet cello sounds down:

The beautiful Christie Rose and Maya Siegal, my first official back up singers:

I don’t have  a photo of Steve singing, playing guitar, tambourine, and all the other stuff he gets up to when I’m not around – but he’s a remarkable knack for filling in spaces that need it. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to be working with him?

This whole thing has been one big lucky, (mostly) joyful, mess in my heart. I could seriously gush. Maybe I am gushing. The brilliant part is that outside of my heart it’s not a mess at all – it’s a work of art, crafted and cared for.

Later this week the mixing starts. The mastering is booked for the end of the month. The artwork is underway. The release date is forming in my mind. The CD release tour has been blocked out in my Google calendar (my next big task is booking it all…). What more is there to do?

Oh right, there’s tomorrow. And right now, there’s sleep.



Last spring – Easter weekend to be exact (an intentionally poorly planned time) – E.S.L., Cris Derksen and I went on a wee tour. We had a blast.

Being a solo artist, I loved the feeling of being in a band – even thought I wasn’t in the band, I enjoyed fitting myself into their group dynamic, picking up on the inside jokes, and most of all having other people to talk to on the drives from town to town. Not to mention I love the music they all make and loved that Cris and Joy became my back up band for those nights though British Colombia’s interior.

So we decided to do it again. This time we headed to Vancouver Island. And this time, it was not a holiday weekend. Phewf.

Here are my photos from the weekend – the day before we left I joined 2004 and got an iPhone, as you can see from my addicted istagram use. (more…)

When we left off last night the hideous dragon had carried the maid to his cave by moonlight
He gnashed his teeth, and breathed his fire – the heath quaked, and we trembled in fear

I LOVED that song in high school – my musical theatre phase, or at least the height of it. I sing it still – it was often a lullaby for my babe – and anytime I think “where were we?” the lyrics are instantly on the tip of my tongue.

And where were we? When we left off last week, Cris and I were on tour in Ontario… (more…)

It’s a line I’ve sung many times over the past eight years. The song, Pussycat Pussycat, I wrote in my early hours back in Canada after a year of living in England, on a bus from Toronto to Montreal… I love performing it live and aimed to include it on Fell Out of Oz in 2005, but Futcher wasn’t feeling it. It clearly didn’t fit on The Wedding Singer and The Undertaker and I began to consider it would be a song I often sang but never recorded.

But I think it might be on The Living Record. At least, I’m going to run it past the gang. Despite her years, I feel she could fit in with the new crowd. She’s one that keeps being true for me and I’d love to see her get her dues.

Indeed, where have I been?

This trip, and I’ve been away just over a month now, has felt like a hundred journeys in one. (more…)

We all have our strengths and natural aptitude. Mine is not a green thumb. I’ve a few houseplants that I constantly yank from the brink of death and many that I never could maintain or save. The three stalks of “fool-proof” bamboo I was given have even dwindled to one. I gaze out at my patio and admire my dirt/weed garden where nothing I’ve tried to cultivate has lasted, and I don’t mind. (more…)