Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The cake is in the oven - almost.
Well, hmm... apparently I'm not very good at this whole journaling thing. And really, it's not for lack of things to say as you who know me also know I'm never short of opinions on almost anything. And just to balance that statement out, I'm also never short of questions either. There. I feel better about myself now!


My New Year's resolution was to make this a year of music and so far it's been good! I started off as a fill-in singer for a Regina band called "The Uncoolas" which is billed as a tribute to K-Tel Records. Those of us of a certain age most certainly grew up with "22 Greatest Hits!!" "22 Greatest Stars!!" in bold, bombastic colours and loud TV advertising. K-Tel records was the precursor for the Much Music "Big Shiny Tunes" cds and was a great way of getting a whole bunch of hit songs on one album. I'll give you the website address if you want more info ( I've done a couple of gigs with this band and it's been fun and pressure free. I'm one of three singers and do mostly back-up vocals plus I don't have to book it or coordinate it or arrange travel or even drive to the out of town gigs! It provides a nice balance to my own gig where the responsibilities are a lot greater.

Speaking of my own gig, I'm looking forward to getting back to Saskatoon on March 14th & 15th at Bud's On Broadway. I'll be playing with Brett Schinbein, Brent Taylor, Dan Silljer and Mike Thompson and it will be a blast, I'm sure! After that, we'll be laying tracks for the CD and we'll be focusing on getting the right sound and presenting the songs as best we can. Speaking of songs, as it stands right now, there'll be eight original tunes and one cover ("The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald"). I still have a bunch of ideas for tunes that I just haven't finished as of today's date but we'll see how it goes.

Other than that, I have a corporate gig with The Uncoolas at the end of March and then my band will be playing for Redbeard's Birthday Party on April 11th at The Distrikt. (9:15 pm start for about 45 min., I think.) We'll be back at McNally's on May 23rd and for now, I think that's that.

Super lookin' forward to finally getting the disc out there...I'll keep you posted when I nail down a solid date but it will be soon!

Hope all is rockin' in your world and see you soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hibernation & Rejuvenation

Well, I can smell spring in the air and I feel good! I must admit though, I've been a bad, bad girl when it comes to communicating with my friends, family and fans and I sincerely apologise. I've been in a serious "mulling it over" phase which relates to the "hibernation" part of my title. I can only beg for forgiveness and understanding from those who have emailed me (and yes, they know who they are!) and have patiently waited for a reply, to no avail.

It's so strange. I get an email from someone or somebody signs my guest book and I feel so good. And then months go by and I cruise through my inbox and damn, with all my good intentions, I have not replied and then human nature guides me along the thought that, well it's too late now. What is up with that? I mean, I even made a New Year's resolution to respond immediately to each and every email! (I think I got through five before I got distracted with going to my day job or something stupid like that.) Speaking of New Year's resolutions, I did promise myself to work out regularly and strangely enough, only got back into that routine at the, ah, hmm...beginning of March. :-) Blame it on winter. No one in Saskatchewan should be expected to do any major actions in the dead of winter. That's all I have to say on that.

Okay, on to rejuvenation. I've been a ball of stress/excitement as I prepare with my band to perform at Junofest 2007. It's in Saskatoon and we're playing Bud's On Broadway at 11:00 pm for 45 minutes. This set will feature original songs including new tunes to be included on the upcoming CD, as well as some "eva gold" nuggets. We've also been asked to perform a set at 2:00 am as the bars will be open an extra hour. This set will be what I call a "party" set - lots of uptempo, super familiar cover tunes to keep people in a party frame of mind. It should be a ton of fun and I am really looking forward to it, especially since I'll have worked ten days in a row at The Keg to make sure I have some fun cash as well as pay my band at least a quarter of what they're really worth! Yes, kids, it may be my name on the sign but on the cheque my name will be accompanied with my signature to ensure payment to the required recipients. I am determined that when the CD is done my credits will include a thank you to Visa, Mastercard and the kindness of strangers, via the tips I make. Same goes to my live gigs, now that I've abandoned the "cover" song route. (Should have done that years ago but that's another post!).

I just celebrated a birthday and that, combined with the impending Spring season has filled me with a sense of hope and optimism. I do think the possibility is strong that I will reach my dream of being a full-fledged working singer slash songwriter, performing my own music. What a blessing that would be! Regardless of what happens, please know that I do consider myself very blessed. I was born into a wonderful family, filled with love and support; I am allowed the freedom to dream and pursue my goals without heedless criticism and I can thank my God anytime I want without the fear of persecution. I have a good man who loves me and given the right circumstances I can bring a full grown man to tears with my voice and a powerful lyric. What else could I ever need?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

And now it's December!!

Okay, how the heck did that happen? Well, as they say, time flies when you're having fun or sometimes, time just flies. It has been a hectic four months and enlightening to say the least. Shortly after my last post, I applied for and got hired at SaskMusic which is the Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association (SRIA). I was quite excited about this new experience as it was a position in my chosen field (music) and I really like the people that work in the office. My position was Administrative Assistant and I'd work 25 hours a week, Monday to Friday. In the three months of my employment, I experienced some cool things including attending the Juno press conference in Saskatoon and the Western Canadian Music Awards in Winnipeg. Overall though, I kept feeling a nagging doubt. Yeah, I was in the middle of the "music industry" but it wasn't feeling right. Then, I remembered an episode of "Seinfeld" know the one where Elaine starts hanging out with George's girlfriend, then the whole group and George starts freaking out? Basically, his explanation to Jerry is that there is "Relationship George" and "Independent George" and with his girlfriend now hanging with his buds, "Relationship George" is killing "Independent George"! (And a George divided amongst itself, cannot stand!!) Well, essentially, that's how I felt. I had "SaskMusic Casey" and "Creative Casey" and "SaskMusic Casey" was killing "Creative Casey". I was losing interest in being a writer and a performer which I know is odd, since being immersed in the business should maybe spur an interest in getting my own career moving. But alas, that's not me. So I gave my notice and now I'm back to just working at the Keg and working on my new CD.

Speaking of which, things are coming along nicely with our demos. I'm working with Mike Thompson and Dan Silljer, with help from Jeff McLeod and Kris Craig and we're slowly working our way through getting some rough demos recorded. I have to say that at our last get together, I was quite blown away by the energy that was coming off the tracks and I can only believe that is a good sign! Once we're done the demos, we'll sit back and live with them for a bit and then prepare ourselves to do the actual CD. There is absolutely no way that I can express how grateful I am to the above mentioned musicians for the contribution of their talent and time. I'm not sure what I have done to deserve their efforts and respect but God, I am thankful! I will keep you posted on our progress and when we expect to have it finished.

Since I am now back to only one day job, I have been thinking a lot more about song ideas and getting back to performing. I've got some cool things brewing, I believe and it feels good to be welcoming those creative ideas again.

Unfortunately, things have not been so well regarding our pets. This has been a rough year on my furry friends. Brent and I had a "special needs" cat, "Miss Kittie" that passed away in the spring. My little apple of my eye, Jack Russell cross, Jessie, developed a tumor and had to be put to sleep in July. I cried so hard. I didn't know I could hurt that bad - I was so devastated. She had such a strong passion for life but her tumor prevented her from keeping food or water down. She would have starved to death so I had to do what I had to do. In my previous post I told you about Harold, the cat who was quite fat. Ultimately, it was his undoing as he died in August of liver disease. Then, two days ago, I euthanised my Doobie Dog, Jack Russell cross terrier/terrorist who never met anybody he didn't want to bite. (Please hold all comments regarding "dogs are like their owners" :-) ...)He was 13, losing his senses, with an injured/arthritic leg and an ornery temper to match. I had him since he was 10 weeks old and it feels very empty in my life right now. With Jessie, I felt that I lost my shadow, and with Doobie I feel like I lost my best friend. But I guess, that's the way it goes with pets. I don't have kids - and parents, I'm not comparing!! - but there are two integral differences between pets and children. Number 1, pets never learn to speak english. How many times I wish my dogs would have understood when they looked at me so sadly and I would say, 'but I'm coming right back!' Or, 'you really will throw up if you eat this, I'm sorry!' Number 2, kids grow up and (hopefully!) become more independent and sometimes want nothing to do with you. Dogs, in particular, grow more dependent on you, the older they get. It seems to become more devastating, each time you leave! Oh well. I did my best with them and they've carved their souls on my heart.

Well, that's enough for now. Hope all is well and drop a line when you get a chance!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Moving Madness and Merriment

Okay, okay, so I'm a bit behind on my "once a week commitment" to write a post but here I am. So there. As my title states, I've been in the middle of moving madness as I've abandoned my cozy little bachelor suite in Cathedral to move in with my honey, Steven at his condo. Joining us is Steven's cat Harold and my Jack Russell terrorist, I mean terrier, Doobie. Doobie is 13 and as hyper as ever, it seems. He's adjusting well to the move and really likes the nice big park out our back door. He's already insisted on a morning routine of a few laps of sniffing and peeing and until this happens, I am constantly "talked" to (otherwise known as growling). Harold is a good replica of the famous Garfield except where Garfield's official weight is 27 lbs, Harold sits in at a whopping 30 lbs. and that's without lasagna. He's had a bit of a hard time adjusting to all the chaos and the introduction of his own personal Odie probably hasn't helped much. He did though, munch down a bird yesterday (I don't know how he caught it but he did) so that probably was a good stress reliever for him.

Other than that, I cleaned and cleaned the old place to ensure a full refund of the old damage deposit and was successful. My brotha from anotha mutha and guitar player, Dan Silljer along with Cherry Bomb singer and bass player respectively, Stacy and Kevin, as well as Stacy's honey, Mike were kind enough to aid in moving out the big stuff for which I am forever grateful! So now it's all about trying to get organized here and along with the day job, it's a slow process but we'll get through I'm sure.

On to merriment, there has been much. Our gig at Taste of Regina was a blast and I was overall quite pleased with how it went. We spent some time rearranging our new songs "Bruise Me" and "Randy's Song" and the results were awesome. Especially in the case of "Randy's Song", I've been tinkering with that arrangement literally for years (much to the chagrin of my players, I'm sure!) but I think we've got it very, very close to where it should be! We introduced a new song "Tenacious" and I am so digging this tune right now. Once I get a bit more settled in, we'll begin work on recording these three and getting them up for you to hear. I'm excited, I tell ya!!

After my last few applications of Windex and Pinesol at the last apartment, I headed for a quick shower and then attended my very good friend, Graham's Deck Wetting Party. This was also an unofficial birthday party for Graham and his oh so wonderful Corgi, Ogden. I must say, I was quite flattered that Ogden blessed me with his companionship, with so many to choose from but then again, I shouldn't be surprised as I bring him beef.

This party was also a chance to mingle with the many who all love Graham, including my super girl friend, Sherry from Saskatoon. She and I went to Portugal together and she had just returned from Italy, sporting some fine duds, absolutely. Except for her wanting me to light her cigarette, it was a great visit! I also got a chance to reconnect with Harry Duke, who didn't know what a blog was, so I said I'd be sure to mention him and his dedicated fundraising efforts for Parkinson's. He also got me off the hook with the whole cigarette lighting incident so that was good. There were many interesting people, including a few who signed my guest book (Thank You!!) and a good time was had by all.

Tuesday was a day off from work and I strongly felt I needed a treat. So, I recruited the bass player I work with, Brett Schinbein and his lovely wife, Charlotte to join me for a feast at the Keg, which is also my "day job". Most people would consider it a "night job" but I'm a musician so any job that usually ends before midnight is "day". Period. We dined on steak and lobster and shrimp cocktail and scallops & bacon and cauliflower au gratin - I told you I wanted a treat - and then moved over to the deck where cold beer and shots of tequila wrapped up the evening. I need to shout out a thank you to manager extraordinaire, Bruce Crowe for putting up with having to staff three tabs for me. Sorry, for all that moving around! It just happenened! Anyway, great conversation, with good people and an awesome meal; life does not get much better!

Well, I need to start organizing around here before it's off to work. I have many topics I want to cover, including the ongoing "Rock Star" tv show and how my audition experience was so that will be coming up in the future. Please feel free to post comments and above all, stay in touch! It's always so good to hear from you!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Procrastination and Inspiration

Well, I must say I have a strong dedication to procrastination.....explanation - the lovely Lorena Kelly, finished this site for me in March and it has taken me until now to not only post my first blog but to let everyone in my mailing list know that the site is up.

Ah, but as is the case with a lot of things, I do have my reasons for the delay but these usually only become clear to me after I've wandered around for some time thinking about something else. As much as I can figure, here's the way I see it. For some time now, I have been struggling with a feeling of indifference towards music, the music business, singing, performing, writing, well, you get the picture. I've been trying to figure out exactly why and I think a lot of it had to do with two efforts on my part. First off, I'd been doing the same thing and using the same old approach to performing for a while and getting unsatisfactory results (in my opinion). Secondly, as is my nature (nothing in moderation) I swung way out of the comfort zone and tried a few things that were akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole. Whether I was the peg or the hole would be interesting to know but either way, a fit was not to be found!

Ultimately I ended up being bored and with a bruised ego. Not necessarily a fun place to be. Anyway, to make a long story short I've reached the conclusion that what I really need to do is be myself and present as honest a picture of me, the artist as possible. This is the best way, I believe to achieve what I want musically and to finally get my new cd done and done the way I want it. Until then, I'm going to keep proceeding with 'baby steps'. (Those two words always remind me of the movie "What About Bob?" with Bill Murray. Cracks me up everytime!)

As an aside, during this "hiatus" from performing and writing, when asked whether I "was still doing music" my stock answer was "In my head". It warranted a few strange looks but it ended the inquiring. Yes, I know. I'm a smartass. I couldn't help it though. It just felt like such a personal question. And yes, I know. I'm a bit odd. I'm coming to terms with it.

So bear with me if the next few months don't bring about massive touring all over the country or even in my fine home city of Regina. But we will start doing more performances - rehearsals for our upcoming "Taste of Regina" show have been fun and inspiring. The set will be 95% original tunes with some old favorites getting a new arrangement and some brand spanking new ones as well. I'm playing with some of my most favorite musicians: Dan Silljer (guitar), Jeff Mcleod (keys), Brett Schinbein (bass) and Mike Thompson (drums).

I have faith that this new kickstart of inspiration will linger and keep reminding me of what my life-long passion has been and remains to be.

Please know that friends and supporters of my music (you know who you are!) continue to provide a firm foundation for my wishy washy, sometimes adrift, procrastinating ass. Thank you and don't stop the support!