The Cold White and Dead Lie All Around, Coming As The Seasonal Gift

Okay, I’m still writing the novel. Today is the deadline. Midnight tonight. I need to write three chapters, wind up the whole book effectively, and then reread and effectively edit the entire book. I also have to go shopping for groceries today. Anyone else see a problem?

So yesterday I went to have coffee and chat with a few friends, and it lasted three and a half hours. We were all tense and grumbly, even angry and defensive at first (it was one of those kinds of chats), but it ended on a fairly high note. Very productive and hopeful for the future of our endeavours. More I cannot say at present. More to come.

I also got to the Player’s Guild, a lovely little venue I haven’t been in before. It was to host six musicians, four of who are songwriters, some from rock & roll bands who have a softer, acoustic, folksy side to them, and some whose muse just takes them to the rustic side of the tracks.

There was Amber Edgar, whom I also know of as a graphic artist, who performed a number of her fine, slightly edgy acoustic numbers with equally fine accompaniment by former The Rest cellist Anna Jarvis, who played brilliantly, and even brought out her banjo, playing both for the the final number. You had to be there. I highly recommend catching Amber (and especially if she has Anna in tow again) if you get the chance.

Next up was Matt Sajn, of Niagara Falls band Norther Primitive. Full Disclosure: I’ve never heard them. I’ll be correcting that oversight soonish, but in the meantime, Adam Bentley assures me that Matt’s usual singing style is much more aggressive and rock-oriented, so last night’s performance was definitely a different creature from his usual fare. Low, twanging country folk songs with a tinge of his Eastern European ancestry bleeding through in some of his chord choices made for some very interesting numbers. He brought an authentically rustic charm, speaking fairly candidly with the audience, and a number of the ladies in the audience seemed to take him to their hearts, which was remarkable for such a seemingly-unpolished presentation. Good stuff, Matt.

Brad Germain might not be a familiar name to Hamiltonians, but the face is familiar if you’ve been skulking around the Hamilton music scene as long as I have, as he is most famously the former lead man of Hamilton alt.rock trio, the Marble Index, whom I sorely regret never having actually heard perform. Brad is involved in a number of acts these days, including The Dinner Belles, a country/folk musical ensemble I keep promising myself I’ll get out to hear. Brad’s medium-high, pure vocals and solo acoustic material are by turns whimsical and slightly magical. Very charming. It was great seeing a side of him that might not have been obvious or apparent to folks that followed him in the Marble Index days, and to effectively demonstrate how under-appreciated a talent they–and definitely he–were/was. Well worth catching.

And finally, the mistress of the hour, Molly Babin, singer/songwriter and somewhat recent transplant to Hamilton from the East Coast, who plays a Hohner Pianet and a rather gorgeous semi-hollow electric (missed the make and model; sorry), accompanied by her talented boyfriend, The Dirty Nil bassist David Nardi. They were both struggling just a tiny bit with colds that had affected their throats somewhat, but they put on a great show, with enough rock and roll enthusiasm to take the atmosphere up a notch from the acoustic acts that had preceded them. Despite the cold, her voice was in remarkable form, and she was charming and almost offensively disarming with her audience, demonstrating some genuine stagecraft and audience rapport, and is clearly madly in love with that boy of hers, which was lovely to see.

All in all, a lovely show to attend, even with the late start (technical problems; they got ironed out; it’s good to have friends in the local music scene to back you up in emergencies, I am learning). The Player’s Guild is an infrequent venue for original music, but I wouldn’t mind playing there some day, if I can just get my ass back to work on music and get my repertoire back up to scratch. Maybe this summer…

Anyway, thanks to Molly and all of her friends for a lovely evening.

Afterwards, I had a nice chat about music with Adam Bentley and his lovely fiancee, Tami Jordan, on the ride back to Stinson, and then ducked out of their car so fast, they must have thought my pants were on fire. It wasn’t you guys; it was me. Long, long day, and I needed to check on my wife, who hasn’t been well. We need to get together and be social some time soon, Adam. I’d love to continue that chat about Dave Bidini, Rheostatics, and complex songwriting structures with you.

One last note; we drove by the burned out building at 27 Bold, and had a short but spirited discussion about bandmates of his who had or currently do live in that vicinity, and how worried we all were about the residents who are currently having to make due in emergency accommodations, particularly on a night like last night, with the freakish snowfall that suddenly crept up out of nowhere. Hoping those folks are all okay, and that they’re getting the help and support they need. There is a 27 Bold support group out there, but I don’t have the link on my laptop. Google is your friend. If you’re local, or just feeling generous, please look it up and give your support. This is a bad time and place to be out in the cold.

And that’s all I’ve got to report. Time to get back to the novel. Thank you for reading. Pass it around.


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