After our 2nd Night in Calgary

I wrote this yesterday morning:

We’re driving to Calgary, and it is still cold. I guess it should be a granted, that it is winter in Canada and therefore cold. I think I am perplexed because I’m not sure why I am always cold while I’m sleeping, usually indoors, and definitely outside. I think I might start wearing my coat all the time. Touring affirms all your most innate impulses: your survival instincts. Hunger, warmth, sleep, work and fighting boredom.

Edmonton’s show last night was great/weird. The room, in a conference center, was a rectangle with the stage at one end. Then in the center of the room there were two sets of bleachers not facing the stage but facing each other. At any rate, there was a mosh pit and crowd surfing which at times I felt was energizing and also confusing. Energizing because I have to think of myself at a younger teened-age, and how I reacted to music. Concerts were a big deal. And these being all ages shows makes that youthful enthusiasm invigorating. Were they listening to the music? I dunno…they must have been listening to some aspect of it, to be able to react to its lows and highs. Confusing, because I wonder if it is appropriate to mosh to “Money Babies”? I mean, there are no rules. So long as nobody gets squished or hurt.

I also tried to take some pictures, but they are totally pathetic so I’m gonna keep trying. I haven’t been partying much on this tour. The shows are very early and after putting Neptune to bed, I usually want to hit the hay myself. There’s just no point to not sleeping enough or being hung over when I get up with her at 8AM every day. So as the bus pulls out of town, and everybody rushes on after a night at the bar (or backstage), I am already (hopefully) toasty

And tonight I’m adding:

Wow. These two shows in Calgary were really amazing. Murray gave a little speech tonight before “Lights Off,” which he hadn’t done yet on this tour, and probably won’t again. We leave for Kamloops at 3AM this morning, so I’m gonna call it. Thanks to everyone who came out and listened, lit up their lighters, clapped and sang along, I love you all.

Rolling in to Edmonton

The bus – or convoy of buses we’re traveling in – is rolling into Edmonton now. Since we got to Winnipeg it has been brutally cold outside. Neptune’s one piece MEC snowsuit has really come in handy. I think it is snowing outside, but I can’t be sure…the darkly tinted windows on the bus are dirty and deceiving. They make every town look doomed. But I can be certain of one thing: the cold.

Today we’re at the Shaw Conference Center; where I remember I have been before for a Junos gala a few years ago. I wonder if we’re playing the same room? It would also be nice to go to a mall: someplace warm and indoors where Neptune could run around and I could shop for my Secret Santa.

Last post I promised pictures…I took a couple but haven’t uploaded them yet. Maybe my next blog will be photos only.

From the Husky in Hearst, ON

We spent a few days in Toronto, at the mercy of the weather, of the snow, of the cold. We left a 30cm snow fall behind, and prepped ourselves for this Jingle Bell Rock tour. Our first show entailed a lot of sitting around, waiting for our chance to figure our stuff our while other figured out theirs. We ate a lot of food, too. That’s just something that you do on tour when you’re bored, and there’s two catered meals backstage. We just eat. Wait and eat. And always the first few shows I gorge myself, then realise that I can’t do that every day so by the time we get to Winnipeg I think I’d have adjusted.

Our first show was actually pretty good. We haven’t rehearsed or played together since the Apple in-store a few weeks ago, but it was clear that that was not an issue at all. On the technical side, our shows on this tour are just going to get better as we get a few shows in. Metric is travelling with full production so we have the same monitors, the same lights, and the same stage set-up every night. All the bands are going to get in to a pretty solid rhythm…its almost too bad the tour is so short!

The first night we hung out in the backstage we were sharing with Tokyo Police Club and Sebastien Grainger and met everyone and their crew. Things have been running generally very smoothly. We were in Toronto for a few days, and I spent a lot of time with my friends and family…none of whom I will see for the holidays because of how and when this tour is wrapping up.

Also we traded our Secret Santa names on the bus. Murray suggested it but Laura has taken it over. Also, Yann is dying to know who everybody has. I can’t even tell Murray, which sucks because everyone else is allowed to tell their boyfriends/girlfriends not on the bus. I already have an idea of what I’m getting for my Secret Santa. I’ll definitely give a full report of that…most likely from Kamloops.

I should start taking some pictures. We have been driving for 8 hours and are only halfway to Thunder Bay. It’s really snowy out there, and we’re travelling convoy style with Tokyo Police Club’s tour bus. It’s gonna be a long day on the bus, and the wifi is not working very reliably…which is why I’m taking this truckstop moment to post…

All Things Dears

I went for an optimistic, wintry walk with Neptune. Even though I bundled her up like crazy, she just stood at the playground for five minutes, said: “It’s cold,” got back into the stroller and opted for a sight-seeing trip to the grocery store. Clutching her two Polly Pockets with a death grip, we did the aisles, collecting the things we needed, then headed home.

My inspiration for today’s blog was a poster glued to a boarded up building on Ogilvy and Querbes for the movie” “Zack et Miri Font un Porno (version francaise de ‘Zack and Miri Make A Porno’)”. I thought I would post an update on all the bits and bobs that are going on right now, starting with this movie, which features our song “You and I (Are a Gang of Losers),” though typing this now I realise I already made this observation last week in my Tour Round Up and Out post. I guess I can’t stop talking about it. Here are some other things I can’t stop talking about, in no particular order:

– Apple in-store: Tuesday, November 25th, 8PM at the Montreal store on St. Catharines. Because apparently Apple is on the exclusive list of “non-evil corporations,” and this means one of my close family or friends will be getting a new iPod for Christmas. Our only MTL performance until 2009.

– The Gospel According to The Dears: Have you watched it? Murray is working on episode 4 now, but the first three episodes are not to be missed. Each episode is in two parts so make sure you see the whole thing. Here are all the links: Disclaimer EP1PT1 / EP1PT2 / Bangwagoneers EP2PT1 / EP2PT2 / No Return EP3PT1 / EP3PT2

– Support the Pablove Foundation by getting a copy of Give. Listen. Help. Volume 5 at Urban Outfitters.

– We have a bunch of new Dears stuff for sale at our new online store. Including neckerchiefs.

– Jingle Bell Rock: Dear Canada (rather, everything west of Toronto), we’ll be hitting up major cities this December with Metric, Tokyo Police Club and Sebastien Grainger. I am looking into some badass winter boots. Probably Sorels (not to wear on stage…that would be garish). A portion of the ticket sales go to local charities for youth find out the tour details here.

– Mexico 2009: Details are still being worked out but I am pretty sure our friends in Mexico City and in Guadalajara, Mexico can expect a visit from The Dears in 2009.

Potato Surprise

We are home and have totally plugged right back in to domestic vibes. Today was a super domestic day for me: I did yard work. I donned this navy blue 3/4 length pea coat that I used to wear when I was like 21 that I now only use when I have to work outside in the fall. I think I got it at the Salvation Army on St-Antoine and Guy. Anyhow, I put it on and was like: “This coat isn’t actually that bad,” just before handing my work gloves and grabbing a garbage bag. I collected all the trash that accumulates in our yard, cut back the dead iris leaves and tidied up some leaves. In the back yard I put away all Neptune’s outside toys. I also decided to pull the rogue potato plants that will likely die during our next overnight freeze. Point being I was very pleasantly surprised by the haul of new, little cute potatoes:

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I mean, it’s November and – according to Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home cookbook – way too late for potatoes. In fact, when I followed his instruction for planting potatoes I got nothing except a bunch of rotted, mushy post-potatoes. Canada certainly does have it’s own rule on the agriculture side and no matter how much I’d like to try, I can’t pretend that our growing season resembles that of the UK in any way possible.

Anyhow, Murray’s gonna roast the potatoes today or tomorrow for dinner. On the domestic side I installed a couple light fixtures today, too. Renaissance woman. I also booked flights for the band to get us home from the Metric tour, and next I’m gonna add a bunch of archival images (we’re talking 1999-2002 styles, courtesy of former-Dear Jonathan Cohen) to our tour history on thedears.org. Boom.