Monday, February 11, 2008


I've been bad. Bob Wiseman did the coolest thing for me and I didn't even mention it here. He did this concert where he jammed with Catherine MacLellan on a CBC show called Fuse, and he invited me* and a few other folks in town to go, and it was great.

The idea with Fuse is they ask one musician or group to pick another musician or group that they have never played with. Then they put them together and these people get, like, one afternoon to hack around and come up with a concert together. It's really neat and the best ones have this kind of jovial feel to them, a bit like being in a living room packed with 100 strangers, with some musicians doing their thing in your midst. (CBC will soon archive the show for online streaming and when they do, I'll post the link.)

Toward the end Wiseman and MacLellan did a cover of Liz Phair's "Divorce Song" from Exile in Guyville.

That Liz Phair album reminds me of being in Vancouver in 1993, where I first heard really old Bob Dylan recordings** and got properly introduced to Elvis Costello by my friend Paul, and my roommate Chris gave me Bob Wiseman's City of Wood and the Wrench Tuttle album. I also remember a geeky friend of mine excitedly pointing out that part of Phair's nipple showed on the cover of Exile in Guyville, just as I recall the night we all got out of hand and gleefully kicked a hole in the wall and discovered that our shitty, robin's-egg-blue student house was uninsulated.

So anyway, Bob and Catherine decided to do a second take of Divorce Song, and they invited people up to sing with them. The friend I was with knew I knew/loved the song because I'd thoughtfully jabbed him in the gut with my pointy elbow when they first announced they were doing it, and whispered, "Oh yeah! This is gonna be great!"***

Most of my friends know I won't do karaoke because even though I love the idea I just can't do it. I just can't and won't so don't try to make me because I will claw out your eyes and kick you ruthlessly in your most tender places and cover your entire body with acid spit and writhe on the floor.

So my friend, who apparently never read the dossier on my inability to sing publicly pushed me on stage to sing along, and, you know, what the hell. Get over yourself, I thought. Liz Phair, she's just so good, and something about the feeling in the room that evening was just so relaxed and good natured that somehow I didn't fall to my knees and weep with embarrassment. It also helped that I stood so well back from the mic that I was probably inaudible. The woman to my right had a beautiful voice, and Amanda Putz seemed to know what she was doing with that shaker.

Some kind stranger took this picture, and then sent it to me because I asked.

Anyway, thanks Bob, for being kind and fun and giving a great performance, and thanks Catherine MacL for your sweet voice, thanks random strangers for taking pictures of me giving Bob devil horns while he flipped the bird at the lens and then sending them to me, and thanks CA for letting me beat you around the head, face and abdomen with my forehead and elbows.

*understand that we don't really know each other, so this is generally just a generous and trusting cool human thing to do

**where you could still hear how wistfully in love Dylan was, musically, with Guthrie, all played to me by a guy who I was in secretly love with, but who would have been all wrong for me, who was more in love with Dylan anyway

***also bonking him forcefully on the nose with my granite forehead as I tried to get my mouth near enough his ear to whisper


At February 13, 2008 2:30 PM, Anonymous blackbeltbarrister said...

love the hair, beautiful, love the hair!

At February 14, 2008 6:40 AM, Blogger Phil said...

The hair looks good long Roo.

At February 14, 2008 3:09 PM, Anonymous yo sisto said...

Well, I think your new short haircut looks stunning, so don't start feeling any regrets after reading the other two comments!!!

At February 21, 2008 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best possible dog name is 'arlo'

I can't make it any simpler. I have validated with Ben, and he says he wishes I'd thought of it for him :-?

At March 17, 2008 12:39 AM, Anonymous Gooball said...

your blog is approaching Adrian Mole status - better and better every time I check in.


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