Posts Tagged ‘montreal’

Call and Response – “Pleased to meet you — hope you guess my name”

December 3, 2014

What I want to say to Kim Jong-un regarding

Look, nobody does that anymore.  It’s very old-fashioned.  And how about feeding your people instead of monitoring their names?  What about that?  Being a Korean, I feel like I can pretty accurately say, Koreans like to eat.  Like really.  And nobody cares about your name.  Nobody.  But those people are still hungry.

There’s no word for “foodie” in Korean.  That’s because it’s considered just being alive.

Okay… speaking to dictators.  I’ve never done that before.  I should probably stick to what I know, like misinterpreting signs.

louer2louer 1

I liked seeing these signs everywhere in Montreal, because when I read it quickly, it always looked like “A Lover.”  Just big signs announcing lovers.  Like if you were looking for someone who loved so much that they identified themselves primarily as lovers, you could find one here.  Sat long enough next to that hater?  We have your antidote for you right here….  This was in Montreal.  Montreal apparently is chock full of lovers.  This must be why stores don’t open until at least 10am, and some don’t even open at all on some days.  Hey, when you have to love, you have to love, and love takes its own time.  And hopefully… it’s a long time.

showmegod 1And everyone wants to see God.  No one ever tires of that.  Look, in Montreal, they are asking directly.  Why beat around the bush (but check if it’s burning!).

While some people were looking for God, I found Jeffrey Lewis!

montreal 4He was right here on this poster, announcing his coming arrival to Montreal.  And, what was funny was that I did get to see him last night at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn playing an inspiring, fun-charged, rock and roll night with Kung Fu Crimewave (you know the Kellys, right?  The Kellys of Brooklyn.  Talent and awesome is in their DNA) and the beloved, powerful surge of rock exuberance known as Schwervon!  Sniff…

The neat thing about an 11 hour train ride back to NYC is that it gives you lots of time to… make friends.  I mean, 11 hours together.  You have time to sleep and read and stare out the window and ask all kinds of personal questions about someone’s job, their family, the lives of saints, the devil and miracles.  Marcos and I talked about all those things.


He’s the first priest I ever met.  I had a lot of questions.  He was really open to answering them.  He might even come to a show some day.  He’s right over in New Jersey, and even a priest needs a night off for Christ’s sake.

I should text him about the show on Friday and have him be a guest speaker!

Friday, I’m playing a night of songs inspired by The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” called Call and Response.  It’s a new series created by NYC musician and writer Ben Arthur.  Singer songwriters present songs in response to other artists and artwork.  I’m psyched to play…  I’ve got a lot to say about the Devil and about sympathy.  And I love it when I think of ways to make things even better, like when I asked Marlon Cherry to join me on percussion and vocals.  Oh gosh.  It’s going to be really fun.  All Satan all night with a Cherry on top!!!

Friday, December 5th, 8:30pm (doors 8:15pm)
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3
185 Orchard Street
New York, NY


Canadian Days

October 21, 2014

This is a rare bird of a month.  I’m not usually in Canada.  The last time I was here was for Ching Chong Song shows in Montreal.  Halloween 2008 or something like that.  Goodness.  One time before that, Murderizer played a bike messenger show also in Montreal.  The boys behaved so badly, I drove us straight home.  My bands have gotten more fun since then.

I will work backwards.  I just said goodbye to this lovely man:

He is a sweetheart whose name I feel insecure pronouncing.  It’s Alain, but you don’t pronounce the “n.”  The “n” is a felt, understood but unspoken thing.  What a subtle thing to think a letter but not have it come out your mouth.  If Chinese is a tonal language, then French is a subliminal one — filled with intentions that aren’t necessarily acted upon.  I suck at French.  My intentions are flung willy nilly.

But I’m loving hearing the language and the mix of French and English that is everywhere in this city.  Alain is studying landscape architecture.  His home is full of growing things–little plant cuttings in water.  A small tree.  Happy little beaded succulents.  Alain is also a performance artist and dancer.  Well of course he is, he comes from Rouyn-Noranda.  He grew up with Genevieve there.  This small mining town 8 hours north of Montreal is an unlikely artist haven.  I’m not sure what’s in the water there.  Alain says it’s pretty toxic actually.  But whatever it is, it must breed artists.  Genevieve and Matthieu, a couple who is also a rock duo as well as visual artists, have created a community there and a bi-annual performance art festival that attracts international theater and performance artists to L’Ecart, their performance art and studio space for a week-long celebration and communion of the out-there, the creative, the brave, the true(ish) expression.  Good lord.

Here are some revelers after our performance on Friday night.  They were inspired by the toning we did at the top of our set.  We ended up toning all night with the help of some apple brandy/whiskey thing that was delicious.

Julie made this world out of cardboard and paints for our performance.

Julie spent a couple days in the basement in her sweatshirt and underwear listening to hip hop, happily creating the pieces of this world.  She was so content there making these things.  I’m more visually challenged, so I marveled at the pleasure she got from letting her imagination have at it with cardboard and paint and old clothes.

Leslie, Julie and I had words on cardboard that we tied to our waists and dragged around for part of the show.  It reminded me of the handicaps that people dragged around in Kurt Vonnegut stories.  Mine was “baby.”  Just dragging around that inner child.

THis is the vaginal nest we made for our last number.  They actually supplied the kiddie pool we requested in our rider, so we made a nest for Julie’s vagina, which of course symbolized Every Vagina.

Alain made the food for the festival.  Oh my goodness.  A feat of deliciousness.

He also said we could use his apartment in Montreal while he was gone.  He said we could have sex in his room.  Now that is hospitality.  I smell like Alain now from the blanket he let us use on his futon.   It’s not a bad smell at all.  I smell like an adorable man whose name I can barely pronounce.

I bought jeans yesterday, probably because I don’t know how to give myself a break, and I’m wearing these jeans with the same hesitancy that I say Alain’s name.  Is this how you do it?  Is this okay?  Surely, this can’t be right.

This is my third week away from Brooklyn.  So so strange.  Most things feel strange, and I make myself nauseous over doing it (chocolate, apple cider vinegar, alcohol, you name it).  A few things remain consistently right– singing (it’s always better to sing than not to sing) and Alain’s laugh.  He has this cackle, high-pitched glee and pure joyful bubbling noise that flies out easily and sincerely.  It’s not a tortured, long-awaited thing that is coaxed out.  It’s this easy sound that sails and catches the air with the slightest movement.  It’s really something.  I’ll try and get a recording.

Alain and Carolina.  They are jokes and good times.  Alain says French is an unserious language compared to English.  I think he may be right.  But British people are culturally hilarious too.  There’s that.  I’ll continue this argument myself, don’t you think on it too much.

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