The Wooden Sky

About a hundred years ago The Wooden Sky used to be called Friday Morning’s Regret and whenever they came through Calgary I would have to help put up posters for their show even if I didn’t want to. I used to know someone who knew someone in the band, that’s why.

The Wooden Sky played Victoria last night. I would have loved to go, but I fell asleep at 8pm instead. They’re touring their latest album Let’s Be Ready, which is good. Really Good. But not as good as 2009’s If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone which I think might be in my top 20 albums of all time.

This is a really pretty song from that album.



While the weather might be arguing otherwise, it’s fall now. In my city this means boots and sweaters and pumpkin spice and, most importantly, music. All the bands off of their festival tours start slowly making their way out to the west coast stages. I’ve been kicking off fall with a great show for several years now…

…Two years ago it was Father John Misty. The night involved whiskey and a break up, but the music was great. Here’s hoping he tours my way again soon and I can have a redo without the drama.

…Last year it was The National. I sang along in the pouring rain with my boyfriend’s arms around me and best friend by my side. Not much tops that.

…Tonight it’s Beach House. I don’t know much about these guys, but Kurt’s a huge fan. We’ve got a good crew and reservation at the VIP table (thanks to my young/cool/hip friend James) because how awesome is it to sit down at a concert? Sigh…I think I’m showing my age.


The other day I was complaining to Katie that I felt like I didn’t even have a summer because I was away so much. She glared at me. Ah, are you complaining that you went on too many awesome summer vacations? Touché Katie Mac. Touché.

I went to Vancouver for work. I went to Vancouver for a family reunion. I went to Seattle because it’s there. And to Portland to eat. I went to Qualicum Beach and Comox to see some people and just to get away. I went to Comox for work. I went to Vancouver to see my friends from Australia and then again to see my friends from Calgary. I went to Hope to see my high school bestie. I went to Vernon to drink wine (and see Kurt’s family).  I went to Vancouver to see Jack White. I went to Salt Spring Island to get at least a couple nights of camping in before the summer ended.

I did go away a lot. Nowhere far and nowhere exotic but away nonetheless. But that was only part of what made my summer so great and full because staying in town is awesome too.

I ran a 10km trail race. I became a blonde. I watched my boyfriend when the city’s lacrosse championships. I drank too much wine and too much ginger apple cider.  I saw 2 couples tie the knot and another 3 get engaged. I went on a pub crawl by way of a boat. I bawled my eyes out at Guardians of the Galaxy. I watched a lot of TV. I love TV. I had 11 friends from out of town come and visit me. I went to farmer’s markets and bought fresh produce and ate from food trucks. I watched Spaceballs in the park. I saw Death Cab for Cutie and all sorts of other bands at Rifflandia. I ran and hiked and spent hours and hours just being with my closest people.

Thank you Summer. You’ve been so good to me.

a thought

“He doesn’t get that his problems only fill a dust pan when other people could fill a dump truck with theirs. But that’s okay. A dust pan is all he’s strong enough to carry right now.”

My wise and brilliant friend said this to me over a beer the other day.

I love my people.

My Top Picks for Rifflandia 2014

If you live in Victoria, BC and run in a crowd of music snobs like I do, your social media feeds probably look something like this:

Rifflandia Super Pass for sale: $75 obo. Please someone, take it off my hands. 

Rifflandia just keeps getting bigger and worse. 

Rifflandia, proving that underwhelmed is, actually a word. 

Haters gonna hate. I don’t think there’s anyone out there would whole-heartedly argue that the line up this year is awesome, but it’s not the worst. There are a few gems amidst the noise. And if you bought your Super Pass early (or get one for under market value from a jilted fan), then it’s definitely worth the money spent. Here are the 10 bands I’m most looking forward to seeing:

Lightning Dust. Their new stuff doesn’t really sound like their old stuff which I’m madly in love with, but whatever. This is still going to be a highlight. Sunday 3:30pm at Royal Athletic Park

Reuben and the Dark. I’m a fan of this band. I love this style of music. I’m happy it’s having it’s time in the spotlight. Friday 3pm at Royal Athletic Park

Zeus. This is the best cover song of all time.  Sunday 1:15 at Royal Athletic Park

Pickwick. Love these guys. Friday 12:30 at Alix Gooden Hall

Old Man Canyon. I just heard this for the first time while doing my Rifflandia research, but I love it. Friday 9:30 at Public Market

Death Cab For Cutie. C’mon. If you’re under 35 I know you secretly liked these guys 8 years ago when they were actually relevant. I sure did. And I’m going to love seeing them play Saturday 7:45pm at the Royal Athletic Park.

Fox Glove. I’ll admit that there’s a bias here. One of the members of Fox Glove is my coworker and friend. But still, how beautiful are they? Thursday 11:30 at Studio CMCT

Dum Dum Girls. Kurt is freaking out about these guys. I think this could be one of the top shows of the festival on Saturday 5pm at Royal Athletic Park. 

Danny Brown. I don’t actually know anything about Danny Brown other than he didn’t show up to play Rifflandia last year, and when he was in Canada a few months ago he said he was never going to come back. I also know that people who have good taste in hip hop are pretty stoked to see this guy on Thursday 10:30pm at Phillips. I’m pretty sure that everyone with a wristband is going to try to be here, so come early.

The New Pornographers. Classic Canadiana on Saturday 5:45pm at Royal Athletic Park. 






Read this: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Read this:girlwhowas

“You’re mistaking happiness for unhappiness. That’s why the French are so melancholic. Everything beautiful makes them cry. They invented existentialism as an excuse not to love their wives” 

And this:

“We left the motel one afternoon and went for a walk in the park. The clouds were like a group of sheep that was gathering to be shorn. There was a scent called Five Minutes Before It Rains. If you put it on your neck, whoever kissed you would cry.”

And this:

Children who just wanted a few more minutes were still outside playing. Their mothers’ voices were calling them in were like pieces of paper. The wind crunched them up and threw them away before they could get to the children’s ears.”

And this:

“There was a poster of a heart on the wall, held up with thumb tacks. There were little names of the parts of the heart with arrows drawn to them: Aorta, Obsession, Right Ventricle, Sentimentality, Pulmonary Artery, Pathos, Pulmonic Valve, Sadness, Romanticism, Delusion, Love, Hatred, Superior Vena Cava.”

And this:

“Up until 1932, unpasteurized milk weeded out the weak. Only the strongest little babies survived in Quebec. The greatest strongmen in history were born in Quebec at the beginning of the century. They swallowed boiled eggs whole. They lifted washing machines over their heads. They attached buses to their belts and walked down thee street. Louis Cyr was the strongest man who ever lived and once lifted eighteen men on his back. Once milk became pasteurized, poets were able to live past three months. They were all over Montreal with their pale skin and giant eyes. The poets and the strong men never had any idea what to make of one another.”

And if you’re like me you’ve already fallen in love five times over with Heather O’Neill and her latest book, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. Her follow up to the perfect Lullabies for Little Criminals. If I’m honest, I didn’t like this book as much as her first (one of my all time favourites), but it was still unbelievably beautiful. The Girl Who Was follows around the disheveled and dysfunctional lives of the barely adult children of a Quebecois folk legend. The story is great and everything, but it’s her emotional metaphors that get me. Each page left me feeling romantic and nostalgic and overcome.  So beautiful. Go read it.

Happy Sunday

A Special Song. How do I even explain this? You know when you hear a song on the radio and you know that there is someone out there who, when they hear that song, start thinking fondly of you? That’s a good feeling. There’s got to be a word for this in some other language.

Country Strong THIS MOVIE IS ON NETFLIX AND IT’S SO SO SO SO GOOD. It’s probably my new favourite. Katie has seen it 5 times. And last night I had a dream that Garrett Hedlund texted me asking for advice for fun things to do in Houston, Texas, which is not really right because he’s Katie’s movie star boyfriend not mine (mine is Tom Hardy).

Colleen Weekend. My boyfriend was out of town this weekend and while I missed him, being alone was kind of amazing. I did activities such as: running trails, getting a massage, loading the dishwasher without being told ‘I’m not doing it efficiently’, listening to CBC very loud, eating cheese, practising a cat eye, sleeping in a diagonal position on the bed, seeing some girlfriends, and watching so much TV. Once again, it was amazing. I’m ready for him to be home now though.

Amy Peohler. She rules.

NYFW. That stands for New York Fashion Week, which I don’t actually care about. I’d live in courdoroys and crocs if I cared less what people thought. But my best friend Katie is there right now, being the amazing hair stylist that she is, so that’s pretty freaking cool. If you do follow fashion, check out Alice + Olivia and I bet they’re models have the best hair do’s of them all.