New tunes, partially uncovered, sorta special!

Erin at CKUT

Have a listen to a few of my band’s new tunes here on the last day of our radio residency (three are embedded “live” tracks and there are three more  of ’em in the second hour of the radio show) + one unreleased song called Seed on this week’s Midnight Poutine podcast. Enjoy!

UPDATE: The links are fixed and the first one no longer directs you to this fan video for the Pulp tune The Fear. Thanks Tessa!


small adventures

Mini adventurer!

This polaroid was recently given to me by my father. It’s a snapshot from a day when we visited his buddies at a fire station in Cote-St-Luc. I remember that day! It always seems a bit magical to me when I find visual proof of my memories.

I made mention of a slew of recent mini-adventures a couple of weeks ago and now I can reveal all, or at least one adventure in particular. Big news: I’ve found the only place in Montreal where you can find typewriter ribbon (Next up: gonna find the last black and white photobooth)!  I searched high and low- there was rumour of an old print shop near Beaudry metro that carried The Stuff but I explored the area thoroughly and came up empty handed. After a bit more research, Dactylographe in St. Leonard was found to be the place to go. Since we don’t own a car and live in Verdun, the trip was kinda epic, but sorta fun. I took  the 132 bus up from Viau and sailed past the Big O up to Jean-Talon. Whenever I travel to eastern parts of the island, especially parts that seem pretty far north, I always assume that the population is predominantly Francophone, but when I stepped off of the bus I marched right into a crowd of English-speaking high schoolers and was schooled about how little I know about my own city. The last time I’d been to St. Leonard I was fifteen and on a bit of a bender with a bud and his cousins, but that’s a story for another time.

This is our typewriter! It ran out of ribbon about four years ago or so but now it’s back in working order. It was fun to surprise Mike and some other buds with gifts created with the help of this trusty, clackety machine, such as a zine filled with blank Proust questionnaires to fill out, complete with a space for the date of completion at the top of each one to track the person’s changing answers over time. If you’re looking for a crafty/zine-y gift to make for someone, I highly suggest adapting this idea. Side note: I took this photo with my laptop camera and it was kinda funny to see my two writing machines having a show down!

Hansen Writing Ball

The interweb is also an adventure; after casually reading up on typerwriter history the other day I came across this early version of the machine. Tres rad looking, non?

Anyway, this is what I write in now, my new journal given to me by Jess and started just yesterday:

Good for recording any and all exciting moments, nagging thoughts and grocery lists. Currently, I’m making notes in it about our last radio show. Yup, that’s right, our last show is today from 3-5pm and we’re the featured band! We’ll be playing some new tunes recorded over at Digital Bird Studios in the fall as well as a pre-recorded live set from last weekend at CKUT. More about that right here. We’ll be DJing and chatting too, of course. The image below is a hint as to one of the tunes I plan to play…



Stuff I Like Today

via Devenir Gris

1. Liz was late to her own funeral. From her rep: “The service was scheduled to begin at 2 PM but at Miss Taylor’s request started late. Miss Taylor had left instructions that it was to begin at least 15 minutes later than publicly scheduled, with the announcement, ‘She even wanted to be late for her own funeral'”. I’d never been a particularly rabid Liz fan until I read this book last year and now I’m a bit sad that she’s gone. What a full life she’d had!

2. This vintage sale in Toronto…wish I could go! Buds Citizen Vintage will be there hocking their wares, so head on out for some MTL goods, Torontonians!

3. Fine young lads Reversing Falls are playing a show tonight with Citizenship (ex-Murder Ford Monument peeps) at Cagibi. Sure to be an awesome time, espesh since The ‘Falls are freshly returned from their recent east coast tour.

4. Ivory and lace, as always.

5. tUnE-yArDs’ new shit. I love the tune Bizness and the video is pretty alright, but this Stereogum Progress Report is  wunderbar:

“To be honest, sometimes when I see a female artist who has a dude produce her album, I start thinking stuff,” she continues, “I hate that I think that way, but that’s one of the reasons that it’s been so important to me ever since I started tUnE-yArDs that people know how much of a working role I have in the music I make. I know it isn’t fair to make assumptions about artists in that way — to assume that people have all these folks behind the scenes doing everything for them — but I know that people do sometimes operate that way and I don’t want anyone to make those assumptions about me. It’s so absurd, but when you tour in a rock band and you are out on the road, you start to realize how few women are working in this industry. There just aren’t that many of us out there. I want to represent accordingly, you know?”

6. Easy-peasy DIY jewelry tutorials that actually turn out well! I’ve recently made lace earrings for a bud and a braided hexnut necklace for myself. Check ’em out!

7. Hussein Chalayan’s fringed shrug…if I were in the money and knew that the finge wouldn’t get caught on my guitar, I’d buy this up in a jiffy to accentuate my purported “shoulder dance” on stage. According to my bandmates, I’m groovier than I realize.

Image via Style Bubble

8. Those little baby mini Boris beers at the local dep.

9. CKUT radio. All the time these days- gonna miss it when our series is done! I’m a broken record about this, I know.

10. Cronenberg. One creepy film a day this week. But I’m not quite living up to Mike’s movie standards yet; I quote: “at least watch Videodrome, Rabid and Dead Ringers“. I should mention that I’m the least encyclopedic film graduate in existence, that or I’m more selective in my choices where as Mike watches almost everything, for example The Stuff (1985).

Say cheese!

Happy birthday to my band mate and bestie Erin (pictured on the right)! Here we are in sorta similar photobooth shots from about ten years ago or so. We both look pretty much the same, not too bad eh? I wish black and white photobooths still existed in Montreal!

Window Shopping, 1.

Thought I’d sort through and share my Etsy ‘Favorites’/window shopping picks for spring and summer!

vintage 1970's GUNNE SAX calico jacket

vintage 90s chambray hooded spring jacket

plaid ultra high waisted two piece

Fox Tote

Colorful vintage Plaid Madras Sundress

vintage 1960s evergreen wiggle dress

vintage EQUESTRIAN wrap skirt

red mexican tunic with colorful embrodiery flowers and birds.

Stuff I Like Today

1. Kaffeklatsch, part deux. The date is set: Sunday, April 17th, from 2:00-5:00, with Cafe Myriade. Facebook group ici! We’re bringing a group this time.

2. The CKUT MTL Sessions radio series. I can’t believe today’s show is the second-to-last epidsode. I’ll miss them: so fun to host, lovely to hang with bands we enjoy and take part in the excitement of their live sets. Today we’re having Sick Friend on, so do have a listen.

3. Recording a live session this past Sunday at CKUT. We tracked three new tunes we’re working on to use as sort of pre-production before we start on the album as well as to play on the last episode of the MTL Sessions next week.

4. Tarot card readings with righteous ladies!

5. Craft circle convos!

6. Drinking and sharing my apple cider!

7. Not finishing books I’m not enjoying (i.e. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand).

8. Spring wardrobe considerations. I’ve been able to wear my little black leather jacket and polka-dotted rain coat these days!

Brooke Doyle via Citizen Vintage

9. The Citizen Vintage Citizen Q & A series that’s starting up.

10. Planning future travels: NYC, a tour, Ottawa + Toronto to visit new babies, etc, etc, etc!

Homemade Apple Hooch, part deux!

Check out part one of the process here: Homemade Apple Hooch!

The smell test.

So we made apple cider, y’all! We each walked away with sixteen bottles, which is pretty darn good. We’d expected to yield about 22 litres each but one of our batches didn’t work out and tasted like vinegar. Definitely well worth the two days of work we put into this! Thanks again to Tony for guiding Vaughn and I through the process and letting us occupy his basement for hours on end.

Drying bottles.

Ice cream sandwiches powered us through the hours!

Now-empty carboys beautifully filled with bubbles during the clean-up.

Some bottles, all ready for drinking!

I didn’t take as many photos this time around as we were trying to finish the process by dinnertime but I did make a short video, below, which documents our first taste of the stuff. The day was spent cleaning and drying bottles, getting the filters and pump working properly and, of course, bottling. The gents buoyed our spirits with hearty rounds of Ol’ Dirty Bastard tunes, and the like.

Photo by Citizen Vintage. Note my Lil' Wayne shirt and lack of knitting: Tony gave me the tee and I was too tired to craft much at all!

There’s nothing like a little bit of old fashioned kudos to make one feel like it was all worth it. After lugging my haul back to Verdun, Mike opened a small bottle up, tasted it and then scurried away to his office to finish it off. I scuttled off to a craft circle with two more bottles and the craft ladies really enjoyed the cider, appreciating that it wasn’t too sweet. I found that the flavour varied from one bottle to the next, and though I’m sure that was due to the fact that they were probably from two different batches, I’m wondering whether that had anything to do with the second bottle having been chilled. It was more pungent, but not in a bad way.

Thanks to Brooke for hosting the circle! The onion rings and cinnamon rolls were delicious, as were all of the other treats the ladies brought along (like Erin’s delicious peanut butter cookies!).


Stuff I Like Today

1. A simple lunch of brown rice noodles tossed in rocket pesto, topped with slivered tomato and sprinkled with truffle salt. Thanks to K&M for the yummy ingredients!

2. The trailer for the movie The Tree of Life (2011) by Terrence Malick. Once again, can’t wait to see it.

3. Gunne Sax style jackets everything for spring! “the term “Gunne Sax” is often associated with its 1970s fashions, which could stylistically be called “prairie-revival”, drawing on many elements popular in late-19th and early-20th century American fashion such as pinafores, gingham prints, and calico. The company was named after the “gunny sack” or burlap trim used on some of the earlier dresses.”

'1970s Yellow Quilted Victorian Inspired Jacket ' from ReCultivation

4. Bottling the apple cider hooch this Friday! Documentation and all that to follow.

5. The Chicago Code tv show (theme music by Billy Corgan)

6. Reading through all of my teenage diaries. I was hoping for moments of profundity, but truthfully it’s mostly hilarious. It seems like I may have written a library’s worth of earnest, radical feminist poetry about my reproductive system. Keywords: goddess, validate, truth, scent.

7. The open letter calling on the Haitian government to cancel the second-round vote scheduled for 20 March and to organise a new round of elections, without exclusions or interference (thanks to Haiti Action Announcements for the link).

8. Relief efforts for the Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami: Canadian Red Cross.

9. The Lunar Perigee

10. This crazy image of a seahorse

11. Francesca Woodman

12. Homemade oatmeal muffins, so delicious smelling.

Blue Week

Rain jacket layered over heavy lumberjack shirt (buffalo plaid- I love that name!)

I give the past several days a mixed review, filled as they were with good times and with not-so-great news and so I haven’t been posting much. Montreal has also been quite rainy and my body hormonal and so I’ve taken these as good excuses to read my face off (finished Villette and then The Glass Castle and now I’m reading Russel Brand’s My Booky Wook, of all things) and to lay low.

Mike and I wanted to go vegetarian this week as part of a pseudo-cleanse after last week’s red-meat-athon, but that was all pretty much over with by Wednesday and definitely killed dead by what I call “Beer Thursdays”, as my band indulges while jamming on that particular week night. Anyway, for a few days there we were super good about eating veggie and doing stuff like drinking ginger tumeric tea and making spanish tortillas and drinking morning smoothies.

Spanish Tortilla

Slice of tortilla with haute sauce and spinach

Producing the CKUT MTL Sessions series has been a blast and you can check out the live sets and interviews on Nightwood’s site, of course. The experience of interviewing and supporting other bands has been quite rewarding and just plain fun. We’re gonna play the last show of the March edition (on the 29th) and so we’re preparing for that as well. Tune in!

Using a diffuser when blowing dry encourages curly hair to be its best self.

I did strike out into the world a tiny bit and had two mini-adventures on Wednesday and Friday but they are so top secret in nature that I can only report on them once the actions have produced the intended results. More soon and with less mystery. But I ventured as far as St. Leonard one day and traipsed around NDG on the other: got lotsa use out of the STM transit system.

Look at him! So small!

Here at home, I have a new-to-me hard drive (thanks Mike!) which is easing the strain on my home recording set-up. I investigated some of the old files I had stored on there and found some of my blond prince on there! Look at him, so small! You may remember that he was ill recently– he’s been well ever since, thankfully. Here’s a recent photo for size comparison.



Gibson Girl Bessie Henderson via Of Another Fashion

Happy International Women’s Day! One hundred years!

I’m a bit too tired to write much today so I just wanted to send out my best wishes and to wish everyone luck and strength and creativity while fighting the good fight. If you wanna, you can hear similar best wishes spoken aloud by moi over here on the archive of today’s Montreal Sessions show (at about the 15:15 sec mark). Earlier today, however, I did have a bit of free time to answer a Facebook chain mail-style list, so do have a look at that below if you’d like.


PS: Do check out the Tumblr that’s linked to the image above called Of Another Fashion which features historical photos of American women of colour.

Suzi Quatro


15 WOMEN WHO ROCK IN 15 MINUTES (for International Women’s Day)

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen female ROCK & ROLL MUSICIANS. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes and in no particular order. Tag fifteen friends, and me, because I’m interested in seeing what singers my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note — in the ‘tag’).

Notes: Except for the first entry, all others I’m ordering alphabetically and numbering only cuz that’s the game. This is not a complete list of rocking ladies, of course, just the first few that leapt to mind. Chain mail!

1. Erin Ross (Nightwood)…always!

2. Alison Statton (Young Marble Giants)

3. Caila Thompson-Harnett (Mozart’s Sister/Shapes & Sizes)…saw Mozart’s Sister on Saturday and lurved it!

4. Dirty Projectors (my way to sneak both ladies in the band onto the list)

5. Emily Deimart (Silver Dapple)

6. Heart (my way of sneaking both Wilson sisters onto the list!)

7. Jacquie Neville (The Balconies)

8. Joan Jett

9. Joanna Newsom (rock music kinda?)

10. Kate Bush

11. Marnie Stern

12. Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs)

13. Satomi Matsuzaki (Deerhoof)

14. Sleater-Kinney (my way of sneaking in three ladies at once! Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss)

15. Suzi Quatro