Monday, December 31, 2007

Outrageous and Courageous

I saw the fireworks over Ottawa, ON to ring in the New Year from across the river.

An impromptu blues song was sung in my honour. A gift to rememeber.

We laughed at all those who are on the radio simply because they networked (kissed ass) and made art people could tune out to while eating dessert.

I am where I am supposed to be.

There was much heartached in 2007... Much was learned as a result...

My favourite memory for 2007 was playing Pop Montreal to a crowd that liked what they were getting, though they didn't know what they were getting. While looking the best I've ever looked, without getting into the obvious specifics.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Still Rolling



I've been over 2300 kms in 9 days. How about you?



Some of the many highlights for me included:



Dec 22 - Standing on the end of a wharf covered in snow and looking at a huge lake in the mountains relieved of its summer tourists

Dec 23 - Buying a pair of trashy ankle boots on sale. These are so rough and decadent!

Dec 24 - Going swimming at a public pool in a NY ghetto.

Dec 25 - Seeing a plum pudding on fire for the first time.

Dec 26 - Talking to people over 90 years old and watching them still enjoy the buffet table

Dec 27 - Seeing people skiing on the sidewalk, and petting a black lab puppy in a tiny NY State town

Dec 28 - Sending suggestive text messages while looking at the CN Tower dressed up like a garish candy cane

Dec 29 - Learning all about Ontario's "Collision Centres" What a fascinating world of torment it is.

Dec 30 - Looking at the Kingston Penitentiary and reflecting on "cages" in Kingston, ON

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hidden

The universe watches those who steal others' ideas, words, imagry. Even if the ideas are just coop'ed as an "inspiration" to start something "new" of our "own". Bad dog! Let's kiss and start again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Boot It Over The Moon

One month after my attack on O'Connor St. in Ottawa, ON, I have now completed the necessary dealings with the Ottawa police services. It was a long, discouraging, at times re-victimizing, and necessary experience. In the end I felt that the woman at the police services was doing her best, considering she was just starting her contract.

I encourage anyone who's been the victim of hate related attacks (including verbal assaults) to report the experience to the police. I felt I reclaimed a bit of my dignity and person empowerment by giving a detailed description of my assailant and the events that occured.

Now I just wonder if the whole thing happened so I could find the saucy grey hat in the thrift store where I eventually showed up to sign the final police incident report!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Broke Boundaries

I broke boundaries today that had been set up by my own mind.

The snow fell so hard that the buses between Hull and Ottawa were useless. Miska and I ran across the inter-provincial road arm in arm singing some nonsense holdiay song. What a laugh.

Earlier we had gotten out the speakers that came with my cell phone (I had left them in the package for months) and danced around with the speakers on our heads.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Universe

I didn't know how describe what I was looking for this past weekend. But I knew what it looked like. But only after it occured, did I recognize it as the experince I was looking for.

The universe has a way of putting in to action what we can't put into words. -MM

Stay open.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Climate Chaos

I participated in demonstration on Parliament Hill today, to demand that Canada respect the Kyoto Agreement. It was the second political demonstration I ever participated in. I figured it would be interesting to meet people outside of rock n' roll and civil service. People who "care about issues". Tree huggers. Bunny lovers.

One of the speakers, an African farmer, told the crowd of 300 + that global warming was increasingly wrecking the small farms in Africa. So that's another example, of people who had almost nothing to start with , and had even that taken from them.

Lots of good solar energy from the people at the demonstration. More people are needed to really insist that Canada commit to reducing green house gas emissions. If a glamourous and high maintenance person such as myself can go to a demonstration, so can you. I encourage you. I felt reinvigorated by attending.

To learn more about how every person in Canada can make a difference in reducing climate change visit:

www.climatechaos.ca




Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Under The Tree

This time of year, I regularly see loads of frumpy women and underworked office workin' men dragging around garbage bags full of mass produced toys. I saw one of then said, "Ashley Age : 14 and a 1/2. the thought of this "Ashley" stopped my mind for a minute. What sort of life does Ashley have?

Sometimes I'm better at buying gifts then others. Once I gave a gift a pair of antique opera glasses inscrbed with "See Love." another time, I gave a cassette tape of Weird Al Yanovick!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hugs In Vogue

Yeah, what a weekend. It's worse to wait around for people than it is to be alone. Much better to be alone. Least then there's no expectations. Other than it's up to you to live your life. To make a plan.

I did get to a craft fair. Very soulless. Buy Buy Buy. Granola, fridge magnets, felt purses, guitar straps, vintage earrings, hand made cutting boards, greeting cards, plush toys. endless hedonism. these people searching for connection by buying their way straight into hell. Buy buying themselves under holiday consumer goods higher than the tallest Christmas tree in the field. I was exhausted and deeply disturbed by it.

Freee the mind from shopping chaos. A hug is a better gift than a diamond.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Big Day

It's an anniversary for me this weekend. I've said many times over the years that we should invent our own anniversaries. It's the only way to mark time. Slow time.

Though sometimes the "big day" can lead to big expectations. Big expectations can lead to even bigger disappointments. All of my reflecting was leading to an existential crisis.

I phoned up a musician with my existential music crisis. He couldn't deal. It is so sad to meet people who understand music but not art.

Keep going.

The universe is listening to those with pure souls.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Roughed Up

The rest of November was quiet for me. Regrettably I was victim to an episode of hatred in Ottawa, ON, on November 12 th from a random bigot, which was quite traumatic for me, and necessitated a call to the police. (The police still haven't completed their work.)

This trouble at least renewed my inner dialogue to be more gentle with myself, and also to continue my quest for building regularly scheduled calm into my week. I feel like I'm in an intriguing recovery mode from many burdens and health hazards. Luckily I have received the wake up call in time for me to be more proactive about my health.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

He's 100% Not Interested

It has occured to me that we are all unwanted by someone. This point was accentuated for me recently when a very handsome man told me a story about a woman who didn't want him.

Being unwanted seems really unfair - devestating even- when this happens to us. (Why doesn't s/he want to date you/me?)

The only answer I've come up with to answer the perverbial "Why?" is that if everyone wanted /desired the same person, that person would be mauled and trampled to death. While the rest of us would be lonely old bachelors and spinsters in our beds. So, basically, the world wouldn't function. Wedding cakes wouldn't be ordered. Carrabian cruises for two wouldn't be booked. You know?

So, really the only solution for being unwanted is to remind ourselves:

- Take comfort that this is just the way world has to turn in order to function, and be glad for the world for it's functioning

- Stop beating your head against someone who is apathetic about your wonderful and sexy self

- Start look for someone who does find you facinating and want you

Saturday, November 10, 2007

10 Cents A Song

I attended the 2007 Canadian Songwriter's Symposium. I may not have had any business there, considering I can barely spell, "symposium"; but since I showed up to the event a week early, I decided I owed it to myself to at least go back on the right day.

In brief, I went as a sceptic. For a couple of reasons. One being: Can songwriting really be taught? (No, but there's a $$$ dollar a year industry that will tell you otherwise.) Second, I went to this event in 2005. I had a "professional" songwriter evaluate my song. (He was professional for co-writing a Rod Stewart song from 1989 and a few terrible "filler songs" on a Cher album. Oh, and I think he wrote a song for the "Cocktail" soundtrack.) Anyway, he told me, "your songs are too personal" and, "never sing your demos again." ( I went on to play every festival I wanted to play.)

This time around someone who partially wrote an Allanah Myles song in 1987 showed up and explained how he thought of the song. And he threw in a few video clips of interviews with Neil Young and Tina Turner (this relates how) for good measure. He then went on to tell us "success" stories of making "loads of money" writing songs for a Hilary Duff Disney special. He also told us he had assembled the "songwriting writing team" for the tragic Canadian "drama" called, "Instant Star." Just for a laugh, I eventually asked him how I could get a job as one of the songwriters on, "Instant Star." He told me that he only hired "known writers" and that the business was "very hard." Translation: Thanks for spending $29.00 on my seminar, now get your nose out of my songwriting business.

There were some friendly folks in the room. All we could do was try to laugh our assess off at our common fate of being writers. I know I did.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Looking Back on 10 + Years in Indie Rock

Considering I started out a runaway teenager with nothing but a dream and a few plastic grocery bags of my possessions, considering the years I was hassled just for walking down the street, considering the "huh? what's that? Never heard of That - Must not like it!" mentality of the main stream music biz, considering all this well, it's pretty amazing that I have been able to get to the point where I had a band and made music in public at all, let all played big music festivals and was a hit.

Along the way I encountered all the cliche negative forces:

- as soon as people think you "have something", they want a piece of it
- jealous people (hilarious, as if most of these jealous souls had my handful of cards they'd fold)
- special interest groups trying to claim you or define you or limit you with their labels
- music cliques
- musicians I booked for shows not returning the favour
- people who quit with no notice

But also many positive forces:

- sister solidarity
- kindred spirits doing their writing and reflecting
- cheers, applause and encores! from the crowds who felt touched by my music
- meeting friendly new people
- feeling that I did it despite the odds

The Super Model Syndrome was a group of friends, acquaintances, hired hands and excellent musicians. Our main accomplishment was that we offered unique subversive music that had not previously been seen in homogeneous music towns like Ottawa, ON.

I wanted the Super Model Syndrome to go out with a big bang rather than a fizz. So, I chose Pop Montreal, 2007 as the the gig that would be our last show as a band. And what a bang it was. (Description in a previous entry.)

I will now return to my roots, and simultaneously move forward, by working as a one woman show.

I am actively seeking to play only a limited number of shows in 2008. So, if you have an audience that would appreciate "heart music" (honesty, humility, stories, simplicity and soul) then please do get in touch with me to further discuss. In a band and want to book a gig together? Also worth chatting about.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Readin' N' Rockin'

Mackenzie has been nominated Entertainer of the Year 2007 by the readers of Capital Xtra Magazine. It was an honour to be nominated by the readers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pop Montreal 2007 Show Highlights In Brief

I played Pop Montreal on October 6, 2007 with Spy Machine. The bar looked like a combination of the set of the TV show "Cheers" and a hunting lodge.

I had out up posters in Montreal in the rain. I knew the posters would quickly be plastered over by someone else's poster. And they were. But I wanted to be able to say I had tired. That I had postered Montreal by hand. Rather than stayed at home and watched, "Law and Order." Hey, Madonna used to hand out flyers to her shows in the streets of NYC. Can't knock it.

Briefly what happened at the show was I decided I didn't want a single "bar conversation" to be uninterrupted during my performance. Simply because I'd dragged my piano through the subway system to deliver my message to people, and I wanted them to hear it.

At first people didn't listen. So I started singer like a tough dyke trucker. That got their attention. Soon enough, all the folks in the bar pulled their chairs around to face the stage in a big semi circle that looked like they were sitting around a camp fire at girl guides camp.

I spoke to the crowd in French about how Montreal was the city of my second birth. I was very honest with them. To my great surprise my truths touched people and the entire bar gave me a big round of applause. I got to deliver my message : See your scars as beauty marks. At the end of the show I announced that people were witnessing the last Super Model Syndrome show and collapsed on staged. I then received calls of "encore" through out the room. (Was this my life?) And that was that. an almost impossible mission of glam rock. Accomplished. We then drove home in a beat up rental and failed miserably at cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mackenzie Plays Pop Montreal

Mackenzie MacBride was selected to play Pop Montreal 2007, one of North America's most pretegious music festivals.

Saturday October 6, 2007 with Spy Machine and others.

Check the festival schedule for venue info.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

COME SEE ABOUT SHE

*Live Video on You Tube*:West Fest 0ttawa 2007, Main Stage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYvcPDu9nik

Pride Toronto, 2007, Alternative Rock Stage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhGeNBfvVUQ

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pride Ottawa 2007

Poetry Reading -

Mackenzie MacBride will read poems and maybe even pose trivia questions. Mackenzie opens for Sky Gilbert, a well known playwright from Toronto, ON. Marcus McCann, journalist at Capital Xtra will also be reading.

August 16 th, 2007 at 7:00 pm
Collected Works Bookstore
Westbro Village Ottawa, ON Canada

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New On You Tube

The last two songs of Mackenzie MacBride's Pride Toronto 2007 concert are now on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhGeNBfvVUQ

Behind the Scenes:

Two videographers were hired so as to ensure at least one of them would show up. Sure enough, one of them didn't show up. After the show Mackenzie and band were whisked away on a giant golf cart. Who knew?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mackenzie at Pride Toronto, 2007

Mackenzie MacBride & Her Super Model Syndrome will appear on The Alterna Stage@the Alexander Parkette Stage Located in the little park next to Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, between Maitland and Alexander near Yonge Street.Arrive for 3 pm. This Sunday . June 24, 2007 at 3:25 p.m. Please come out for some fun.

Here's the map:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=12+alexander+st.,+toronto,+on&daddr=&sll=43.661335,-79.379257&sspn=0.007016,0.014462&ie=UTF8&ll=43.663696,-79.37959&spn=0.007016,0.014462&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=1

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Compliment In FAB Magazine

Singing From the Soul Aint Always Pretty

"Mackenzie has an amazing voice. I always think of Klaus Nomi!" - Pride West 2007 Promoter in Fab Magazine # 321 with colour photo June 11, 2007

http://www.fabmagazine.com/

I was hoping to get in this fun magazine for years. One day it just happened.

Monday, June 11, 2007

At Her Best At West Fest

As the sun set on Richmond Road in Ottawa I was up on the CBC stage looking over the crowd. "How did I get here," I wondered? A lot of hard work. In the distance I could see a big church steeple. I focused on that for a while. Slowly I started looking at individual people. I could see they were really our music.

I dedicated the entire show to the late and great Tiny Tim, who died in 2007 of a heart attack after consuming nothing but beer and raw potatoes for years. (The other side of stardom. eh?)
I felt like Tiny Tim was watching over me. The camera man for the fesitval said, "You stole the show." after we came off stage.

Putting a 6 piece band on the stage is more work than coordinating a class trip for 30 kids in Grade 3. So glad it was a hit.

Also to view a clip from the show here's the You Tube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYvcPDu9nik

Monday, June 04, 2007

MacBride In Concert

West Fest June 8- 10, 2007

Mackenzie MacBride & Her Super Model Syndrome will appear at Ottawa's best live music festival, West Fest.

Mackenzie will appear for a full set of music:

Sunday June 10 th

beginning at 5:00 pm.

Please bring your sense of fun and dreams of NYC to her stardusty performance on the outdoor stage on Richmond Road.

For more info and directions please go to:

www.westfest.ca

West Fest is free.

Often cute people and tasty eats.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Kitch Appeal

Mackenzie MacBride's folk electro beat record "Eccntric By Accident" was reviewed at the Montreal Music and Tech Conference (May 30 to June 2, 2007) by a panel of judges.

Comments included:

"I would listen to this longer. I like music that's like a car crash. Great craptronics!"
- Patti Schmidt, former host of Brave New Waves, CBC Montreal

"It sounds like there should be a stage show that goes with it."
- Seth Horvitz (Sutekh-Context) (A record company in San Francisco

"Very unique. Thanks for giving us something different to listen to. It stands out."
- Richie Hawkin (Mmus) (A record company in Berlin.)

I sat in the back and laughed with delight that I have a new term for my music. "Craptronics" Hoorah! Luckily it was meant with respect. Those who are able to laugh at themselves will never cease to be amused!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Self Made Glam Girl Rocks On

Here's a great read on my emergence from underground cult rock figure to present day. Thanks to J. Donnelly at the City Journal.

http://www.cityjournal.ca/article-100327-Selfmade-glam-girl-rocks-on.html

Don’t ever tell Mackenzie MacBride she doesn’t have the right stuff to be a singer. She’ll just laugh in your face, pull out a mic and belt out another glitzy show tune.
Perseverance is what’s kept the self-styled “cruise-ship Vaudeville glam rocker” sane all this time, she admits. “I’ve been at this over ten years and it’s only in the last year that anyone has paid attention,” says MacBride, a self-taught musician and dirty-blonde Cyndi Lauper type.But after what’s seemed an eternity of brush-offs and Cheshire smiles from promoters and fellow musicians alike, the singer – who this past year alone has birthed numerous Ottawa shows alongside high-profile acts like Hilotrons, The City Above and Lesbians on Ecstasy – is finally getting what she considers her just desserts.She just rocked the Russian-styled Avant Garde CafĂ© this past Saturday with Night of Knights and Emile Pelletier, and is set to lay down another set of “story-songs” at the CRIAW Conference with slam poet Oni the Hatian Sensation at the Elgin Street Church this May 5.The act itself is completed by backing band The Super Model Syndrome and is one of sheer sonic mayhem, a wave of guitars, liquid synths and oddly belligerent, operatic vocals ripping holes in conventional stage performance like runs in old pantyhose. “It’s New York City balladry, or glam rock,” she explains, adding she draws on influences like Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart to write her offbeat songs.“My music is from the days of bleeding ballads and eloquent words,” she says. “The concept of telling my own truths, and my own stories came to me over time… but I think what people are picking up on now is that I’ve emerged from what we could call a musical bunker.”That bunker, she explains, was her experience growing up in rural Nova Scotia. A land of conservative views and predominantly Celic-style tunes, MacBride says she couldn’t find a single musician to work with for years.Over time she grew more comfortable with her eccentricity, she recalls, playing electro-lounge sets on “B-grade cruise ships” for a while. As her comfort level rose, however, so did kudos from critics and fans alike.“I like to titillate people’s senses, and that includes their laughter button as well as their soul button,” she says. “I like to get onstage and tell the truth as I see it, and in my case I’m trying to share universal truths of heartache, hope and perseverance.”Indeed, jaded lyrics like “Everyone’s sending out their press kits and promos/begging the papers to run their front-page photos” from her tune ‘There’s a Rock Band on Every Corner’ go over well with the indie rock crowd, and MacBride has garnered a local following of fans of late.It’s through a celebration of truth and emotion in all its facets, from sublime revelations to rock-bottom depression, she says, that she's able to connect with audiences. “I try to present that for people so they can see that life is full of highs and lows,” she philosophizes. “Some people it grates on like sand in a shoe, but ultimately people tell me they ended up feeling comfortable with their own uncomfortableness.“And that’s what people come out for. It’s a gritty, angstful evening.”

Friday, May 04, 2007

Radio City

Mackenzie will be interviewed on CIUT (University of Toronto Radio) on Saturday May 5 th at 5 pm. She will be discussing her music. The conversaion will also examine the challenges (and odd triumph) of working in a sex and gender rigid music business.

Basically, here's a show that celebrates being outside of the box. yay! for Sex City!

Tune In:

http://www.ciut.fm/schedule.php

The pod cast for this interview will be published in July, 2007.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

For the Gals

Mackenzie will sing an intimate set of music for the CRIAW Conference on May 5 th. The CRIAW Conference is a conference focusing on women's issues.

Where:

The Well
St. Mark's Anglican Church
9 pm,
Elgin St., Ottawa, ON

CRIAW website:

http://www.criaw-icref.ca/indexFrame_e.htm

All are welcome!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Local Spectacle

Staging NYC themed kitch rock concerts in Ottawa is not easy.

Ottawa, known for it's two social extremes of:

1. Sleepy office workers who enjoy watching Jim Carey movies in their basement rec rooms and

2. Punk rock, heavy metal and scenester music cliques who control the local bar scene

...

Noone could argue how making unique music in Ottawa could be a project that is:

"hard on the heart"

Luckily, it's a labour of love, and there's some fans of kitch rock in town.

One of them turned out to be a journalist with the Centretown Buzz, David Gladstone.

He wrote this fun article about Mackenzie's musical ups, downs, and all arounds.

http://www.centretown.net/news_detail.php?news_id=176

Mackenzie MacBride, Singer/Songwriter/Bandleader

Date Posted: Friday April 20, 2007

Written by David Gladstone
After taking in three shows since the beginning of 2007 (at the Avant Garde Bar, Barrymore's Music Hall, and the Saw Gallery) by Centretowner Mackenzie Macbride backed up by the The Supermodel Syndrome, I got together with her at Elgin Street's Bridgehead coffee house on Good Friday. While the WiFi crowd tapped away, we had an old-fashioned chat.Mackenzie has lived in Centretown for the past five years, having moved to Ottawa from the Annnapolis Valley, where she grew up, including picking apples and strawberries. She graduated from St Mary's University with a Bachelor's degree with a majoring in Industrial Psychology. After a fruitless job search in Nova Scotia, coupled with wanting "new musical opportunities" ("creative ambition and mercenary practicality") as she puts it) she was offered a job in our fair city, where she works as a government communications officer.Her first two-and-a-half years in Centretown were spent in a MacLaren Street apartment overlooking Somerset Street with a prized view of the Library of Parliament, "which made me feel I had come a long way". She now lives nearby in the Abiwin Coop.Music is clearly Mackenzie's passion, a love she discovered early on, starting with the piano (which she played on the Bar Harbour to Yarmouth ferry), moving on to the alto saxophone and then the singer/songwriter's favourite instrument, the guitar. She started to write songs, in order "to find my own voice...to find my own pure light and my own creativity". She describes her style as being "New York balladry" a la Lou Reed and Annie Lennox, agreeing that her voice resembles that of Cyndi Lauper.What does she sing about? "I deal in truths...my own personal observations of the world. I deal in pain and hope and continuing on". She's had four CD releases so far, the last full-album "Eccentric by Accident". Songs on them include "Hollywood in the Morning" - about an office worker who wants to be a star-- "Curtains Come Down" (on a 10-year friendship), and the autobiographical "This is My Story". Mackenzie works hard on her musical career, contacting clubs, postering for her shows (which is what got my attention, incidentally) and putting together The Supermodel Syndrome (mostly Carleton Music graduates, including "musical partner" Emile Pelletier), who back her up. She's been interviewed by Capital Xtra, but refuses to be "labeled" and wants to develop a fan-base.Want to see Mackenzie MacBride and The Supermodel Syndrome in action? They play The Avant-Garde Bar (Besserer Street) on Saturday, April 28th and, in a bit of a coup, WestFest on June 10th. In May, they'll be playing clubs in Toronto and Montreal.Check out www.mackenziemacbride.com for more info and/or to contact Mackenzie.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Glam Ruckus - A Music Show

Mackenzie MacBride and the Super Model Syndrome
with Guests:

Night of Knights (Soft rockers from Kemptville, Ontario)
Emile Pelletier (Pop/Folk singing and guitar)

Saturday April 28 th
Avant Garde Bar
135 1/2 Besserer St., Ottawa ON
9 p.m.
19 + All Ages
$3.00 at the door

Please join us for a night of fun music, stories and Russian liquor!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Carnie Night!

The Carnie is March 31 st, 2007 at the SAW Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario.

Here's a Q and A to get everyone primed about the vision behind the evening and what they can expect if they attend the show.

What is your definition of a Carnie?

A Carnie is an evening that celebrates unique, odd ball, non-conforming yet wonderful musicians and performers. It's an opportunity for artists who may be marginalized from the Top 40 scene to have access to stage time and a positive experience by sharing their music with others. I keep bringing it back to my guiding belief, which is that the world would be a better, safer and more dynamic place if everyone could see and appreciate the beauty that lives inside the bizarre. What made you want to put together one of your own? I put this Carnie show on for two main reasons. One, as a way to live with a, "Carnie Spirit." Meaning to, "do it" rather than give up on your dreams. You don't have to stay home just because your sponsor is not Cadillac. You don't have to quit just because the homogenous music loving "artistic director" of a local music festival passes on your unique musical act. Be determined. Keep looking for the audiences and "artistic directors" who can look beyond their hang ups to see your musical magic. This is what I try to do. The "Carnie Spirit" of dancing even when you're missing a shoe inspires people. To keep trying. To grab back moments from our troubles and enjoy life a bit more than we had originally planned. Second, I put the Carnie show on to encourage unique, non-conforming, but wonderful musicians to keep making their art by inviting them to be a part of the show. A good Carnie hostess knows that everyone needs encouragement to keep going with their art. I could have used more acceptance, encouragement and solidarity from other musicians over the years. So this show is about reaching out to people like I would have liked to have been reached out to. In the process, I've given myself the chance to be a part of the dynamic of musical community after all. So there's some healing and "making good" for the "Carnie worker" in me.

How is this event Carnie-like?

The performers at the show will be making their own unique and sometimes counter culture music. Music is outside of the meat n' potats Canadian indie rock and "Rising Star award" templates. Performers like this share a lot in common with Carnie workers. They are both sought out by audiences interested in unique arts and looked down upon by mainstream types. There's a beauty and a loneliness associated with Carnies. The fine line between being celebrated and ostracized. The fine line between being authenically appreciated for your art and just being the fodder for rubber neckers. Modern day musicians who don't fit the cookie cutter Indie Canadian mould are like the Carnie workers of by gone eras. We're not sure where we are on these fine lines, but we keep going on with our art and music. Like most Carnies, it's fun, low budget, do it yourself and a unique experience every time. It's not like a prefabricated trip to Epcot Centre, a black tie event with a "Carnival theme" or stale production at a Casino or a youthful rehash of Neil Young. The decor will be sparse and the guiding principle will be, "This is a DIY evening. Like life, it will be as fun as you choose to make it." The space will be a "safe space" for all. The event will be "All Ages." Noone should feel they are too conservative, too old or too uptight to attend the show. There will be office workers in attendance. There's more to live entertainment than a night at the NAC.

Tell me a bit about the recipient of the evenings' funds--why you wanted to fund Camp Ten Oaks.

Camp Ten Oaks is an Ottawa based not for profit charity that treats the children/ youth of glbt parents to a week of summer camp. The week at camp focuses on fun and learning while providing a supportive environment where the children can be themselves and talk openly about their family life. Campers come from all over Ontario and Quebec. People can get more info at http://www.camptenoaks.org/ I found out about this charity when I was doing some journalism work at CKCU FM. I related to this charity because it started with nothing but a dream and some courage, and made it into something that makes people happy. That's a near equivalent to my journey with music making. As well, I ended up meeting a 3 years old child in my apartment building who has two Moms. I want this camp to still be going strong when he's ten years old so he and other kids can go to the camp in the years to come. In general, I try to pick charities that don't receive a lot of corporate sponsorships or tax dollars. This charity fits that profile.

What exactly will happen that night (give me a rundown of performers, etc)?

We will open with a bit of spoken wood performance, and then move into music, which including:

Mike Dubue (of the Hi Lo Trons) - Pop / New Wave
Emile Pelletier - Folk Rock Singer / Songwriter
The City Abuve - Ambiance / Experimental
Mackenzie MacBride & the Super Model Syndrome - NYC Theatrical Balladry

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Burlesque

I performed at a Burlesque Show at SAW Gallery. the show as put on by AGITE, a group of queer woman of colour as well as a local Women's Burlesque group. I really appreciated the chance to open the show with a song. I told every woman in the room about the upcoming Ottawa Carnie show. Hopefully they will show me some sister solidarity and attend.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Toronto Cover Band Fails to Stop the Glambiguous Superstar

I learned a lot about the treachery and solidary of the music business this week. Dido for the human race.

I had a backing band booked for two months. A group of worn out cover band musicians who've gigged Toronto's bottom dollar establishments for 20 years. Let's call them the "Jip Rocks."

The woman called up and told me the entire band was quitting two weeks before the show. "We thought this was Dolly Parton cover tunes and roots music." Huh? The band I had then booked to open for me then proceeded to have a fit and try to force me off the bill. Let's call them the " Hassle Hens"

After much work to find new players and a rush trip to Toronto to rehearse the players I found myself working with true professionals who really enjoy my unique music.

We played the gig last night in Toronto. At that time I learned that the band the "Hassle Hens" had tried to book to yank my gig from me was none other than the "Jip Rocks." Isn't that just so dirty? The band I invited on the bill and my own backing band conspiring to steal the gold and leave me on their sinking pirate ship.

We had a full house of people in Toronto. I dnaced on top of the booths where people were sitting, pulled someone's hair and sat in someone's lap.

Aside from the other musicians, luckily it's not all combative. I've had some really touching and beautiful responses from every day people. One of the most unexpected things is people like to start talking about themselves after they've seen my show. Maybe it's because I've been so real, unapologetic, and yet vulnerable on stage that they feel free to take down their own facades. After a recent Toronto show, a woman sat me down and told me her son's "coming out" story. I think our chat was her “coming out.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not Over Night

My music making was the featured story in the Ottawa Citizen's Thursday Arts Section by Fateema Sayani.

When I saw the cover picture I was standing in the midst of a very vaudville scene.

I was in a grocery store talking on the phone with my freind Seamus in Vancouver who had gone to my earliest shows in Halifax years ago. A senior citizen was complaining about politicians. A man with dark sun glasses was playing Bette Midler classics on an out of tune piano.

My story has been one of determination and carrying on despite rejection. How have I gone from obscure sonstress to a musican to be noted in city papers. The answer is certainly not "over night."

I'm opening for the Hi Lo Trons on Feb 17 th at Barrymore's. This hall is an old theatre with a golden ceiling styled like an ornate Roman palace. I can hardly believe Dee Snyner and Twisted Sister have played the same stage in 1982.

http://www.canada.com/cityguides/ottawa/story.html?id=08639932-53ec-49e6-99cb-7ea28eb83fc8&k=75417

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Canada's Counter Culture Carnie - Premiere Dec 15, 2006

The Carnie got off to a great start in Toronto by being snubbed by too cool for school scenester kids, dismisive queers and stuck up fashion designers. Instead we had fun with edgy scnester kids, fabulous queers and talented fashion designers.

Putting on the Carnie was hard, hard, hard. It was a true exercise in DIY and not giving up. Such an experience warrentls counting our little successess. We were able to get press on the CBC, Queer West Toronto, and other leading Toronto net blogs. We were also on radio stations at both the University of Toronto and York University. If I can find these links and podcasts I will put them up. In the meantime, please enjoy some pictures of the event.

The next stop of the Carnie is March 10 th, 2007 in Ottawa at Maverick's Bar. Don't just stay tuned, get involved. We are seeking musicians, indie fashion makers and audience members to get in on the fun. Please be in touch if you want to participate.

About the Carnie:

The Carnie has two main focuses. The first is music. This is a Carnie styled music concert. The bands on the play bill are from a collage of genres including opening acts that play indie rock and headliners that play disco rock and glam rock. Some people associate indie music with rough crowds and seedy joints. Here's a chance to catch a medley of quality local music in an uptown venue with your very own chair to sit in if you like. Some people may not be able to see themselves at a Carnie. But if so, where do they see themselves? At home on the sofa? Can you say, "364 days a year"? If you come to the show, then in two weeks you'll remember where you were on Dec. 15 th without having to write your "daily gratitudes" in a journal Oprah Winfrey hawked you. No need to be afraid. It's not communism. It's a Carnie.

The second focus is living with a, "Carnie Spirit." Meaning to, "do it" rather than give up on your dreams. You don't have to stay home just because your sponsor is not Cadillac. You don't have to quit just because some music editor is putting her friends on the cover of arts rags instead of you. Be determined. That's the Carnie way. To soldier on even when you're broken. Offer the world a toothless Carnie grin and fire up the Ferris wheel. Have a fun time along the journey. This "Carnie Spirit" of dancing even when you're missing a shoe inspires people. To keep trying. To grab back moments from your troubles and enjoy life a bit more than you had originally planned.

Proceeds this time around will go to Camp Ten Oaks, a charity that treats the children of queer parents to a week of camp where they can take pride in themselves. Last year the camp had a waiting list of ten children. Every child who wants to go to camp should get to go. So we thought we'd try to help them get there. ***What kind of fashion is it? Is it DIY stuff based on a theme, or products by established local designers?***

The actual event is Canada's only Counter Culture Carnie. The show the Carnie is putting on in this case is called, in extreme jest, "The High Fashion Show". The fashion component is meant to be an accent. There will be some DIY fashion for sale at tables. As well members of the bands will model some of the fashions when they are playing on stage. But anyone who expects to see garish gowns and matronly patterns needs to be ready for a make over! We tried to get designers who make fashions that make you wish you'd known about their merchandise before you went out and bought a mass produced piece of costume jewelry from Le Chateau. But it's no small task to find these obscure but talented little fashionistas. Hopefully, the world will spread that this show, and the show in April, 2007, aren't about going to a stuffy fashion show at the mall that's being MC'd by personalities from the local news! It's about being edgy.

Carnies know that everyone needs encouragement to keep going with their independent arts. The Carnie is a way to reach out to local people making fashions with their own hands, imaginations and passion. We wanted to showcase them so as to encourage them. We want them to keep on going with trying to provide us with an alternative to having to buy everything at Suzie Shier.

Thanks to big business and sweat shops trying to pass themselves off as haute couture at the mall, it's getting harder not to be one of the people at the office wearing the same shirt as the next cubicle soldier only in a different colour. Carnies hate moments like those. Almost as much as they hate cubicles. Obviously this event is meant to give props to people who are trying to, at least in part, employ themselves with their own talents rather than work exclusively for the Man for minimum wage.

The current website for the Carnie is www.highfashionshow.com but it will be moving soon.

Two pictures to get us started at a look back on the premiere. More pictures to follow.

Don't tell me about no givin' up, ya hear?!