My interview with Rhea March on 88.5 CJSR It Takes A Village is up now! If you missed, you can click right here to listen back. Huge thank you to Rhea and producer Miles for having me in.
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Cheerful news! You can catch me on 88.5 CJSR's It Takes A Village with the darling Rhea March Tuesday 4th December from 1-2PM. Everyone's favourite mummy of Edmonton's music community has kindly invited me back on the air with her to promote my show at The Aviary, Saturday 15th December. Be sure to tune in for some FREE TICKETS and likely some stories from my tour of Ireland and U.K this summer.
In other news.... #TakeASeat or #TakeYourSeat is one hashtag you want to be using this week. Use this to send your personal message to world leaders at this year's COP24 to tell them exactly your thoughts on Climate Change.On 3rd of December 2018 delegates from 200 countries met in Katowice, Poland and will be there for one week. They will outline with business plans for how their individual countries will be able to execute their Paris Agreement commitments set out in 2015 and there is even one chair available for a civilian, The People's Seat. The representative selected for this is no other than Sir David Attenborough.
He can address the UN directly and tell them what climate change means for us, as a people. Watch his video address here, courtesy of WWF UK. There have been tens of thousands of people in Brussels protesting climate change using the hashtag #Claimtheclimate.
I URGE you to do your part. Read an article, write a piece, approach a member of parlament or your local MPs to get active. With Jair Bolsonaro's new victory of taking Brazil's presidency, he plans to effectively torch what remains of the Amazon Rainforest in favour of selling the land to beef farmers. The Amazon is our last remaining sponge, soaking up a large portion of carbon dioxide. Without it, the floodgates open and we descend head first into planet over-heat. With a person like this south of the equator willing to throw away every protective right we have bestowed on the Amazon over the last couple of decades, it is imperative that world leaders step up to balance out this potential hard swing towards total climate catastrophe.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated this week that we only have 10 years left to avoid irreversible catastrophic affects of global warming. I don't know where to begin. Another article I shared suggested to start by going vegan. I went vegan 15 years ago in Dublin and was never so sick. I have since tried to move towards the vegan lifestyle again but held steady at vegetarian. Some days I'm a Paris vegan - vegan at home, but eat meat when I'm out. I, like so many people, want to feel like I'm getting value for money when I'm spending that much out on food. Yet if you were to compare the nutritional benefits of a slab of meat versus an assortment of vegetables, I'm sure we'd view the vegetables as better value for money. I'm torn. I've tried not to eat my favourite thing in the world for a while now - fish. Salmon, mackerel, scallops, trout.....all the good stuff. I can no longer even justify buying cod liver oils. The immense weight of the guilt I feel any time I lift one of those off the shelf crushes me. Yet I slyly and begrudgingly will accept gifts of supplements like that or other foods like blocks of fancy cheeses (especially the Irish cheddars!) from my husband. I feel like a fake vegetarian. A scab. A vegetarian scavenger - morally upright through how I choose to spend my money in the shops, but weak, pitiful and only too happy to accept animal products that come my way. Of course, it's better than wasting food, isn't it? I mean, my dollar didn't demand the production chain continue. And I kept it out of landfill. That's a good thing right? It doesn't matter how hard I find it or how I justify it to myself. The plants gives not a fuck. We are on a countdown to meeting a world we have no idea how to function in, as it stands today. Whether I feel like it or not, the fastest way for me to make a significant impact to Mother Earth and help her calm down, is to completely stop eating her creatures of products from them.
Having hear Blood Water by Grandson this summer and having the good fortune to meet him (AGH!), I am more motivated than ever to help inspire change through my art. And fast. I hope we can do it. I hope in 20 years we can all look back and marvel at how all the world leaders and industries pulled together for the sake of the planet. That would be something. That would be a legacy. Better than legend.
I have a number of exciting announcements coming up in the next few months. Not least of all is my show on 15th December at the Aviary. Keep your eyes peeled, as details of that will be coming soon. There are also lots of songs scheduled to be recorded in the new year. As such, I'm deep in the writing process now. If you want to be part of my story and maybe find one of the songs I've recorded could be the one you've inspired, drop me a donation above and be sure to include some words to help inspire me. All those songs will be featured in their own very special Christmas online show as well, so don't say out in the cold! Step in, offer some words and help me create something beautiful. It would be a super gift for someone, come 25th December. Jus putting that out there!
This week we've been recording the magnificent Zia Mizera on violin for my latest song, Abacus. It's being produced by the very talented Andrea Shipka, who is a singer songwriter, herself as well. Who knows what an abacus even is? Answers on a postcard to the Contact page! I've always been a die hard fan of The Frames and now it looks like their musical influence is emerging in my work in a large way...coupled with PJ Harvey's work in her sextet of Man-Size from her Rid Of Me record.
I also managed to get an indefinite "temporary ban" from Facebook, because I was wanting to send my thank you video that I recorded especially for every single Burning Daisy fan on our page. I shall get to you all, just very slowly it seems! I always prefer to go one person at a time and actually hear from you in person. On that note, a massive lovin' hug goes out to our fan Julie S. all the way down in Georgia.
One of the best things I've done with my 2018 is religiously turn up at The Mill Creek Cafe every Sunday night for Rhea March's Song Circle. All at once the most scary thing and most encouraging thing I could do with my weekends. If you haven't visited this place yet on Edmonton's Whyte Ave just by Earth's General Store, you must go! This Sunday I got treated to a song Game Of Thrones on cello. CELLO! I love cello!
How clean is your recycling? Did you know Toronto and Edmonton suffer from the highest proportion of contamination in their recycling facilities? With 26% and 24% contamination respectively, against a minimum standard of a mere 0.5% contamination cut off rate from China, our largest importer of our recycled paper and other materials, it's no wonder the cost of recycling is going up and making us less and less money. Please carefully wash out all your containers. Pizza boxes with cheese or fat stains on the box are rubbish and used blood bags, syringes, batteries, bullets, propane tanks and dead animals are not allowed....did I really just have to say that?! More info here. Happy recycling everyone! Don't forget that it's way better to just bring refillable containers instead of buying more packaging to shops/restaurants. Big up to Legendz Diner in Golden, B.C for being sound about letting us put our left overs in our own containers.
A massive thank you to the people over at MonoCreators for designing this this sick and very slick travel bag that I waited with baited breath for 3 weeks to come in. I was like a kid the week before going back to school, opening all the zippers and pockets in the back of my car before going anywhere. Utter geek and I love it. I can't wait to take it to Ireland and the U.K this summer. Not to mention being able to cycle to all my open mic nights once this snow finally abates.
I had the loveliest post arrive at my house late this week - my cheque from the very kind people over at Edmonton Arts Council who want to help me get to Ireland and the U.K this summer. Thank you, EAC! What a relief...out of the envelope, straight onto the credit card for the flights! Easy (or not so easy) come, easy go.
I had the most inspiring week this week. During the day I helped kids learn new instruments and discover how to rock out as a band at a Spring Break camp, then I went to see the stunning Alvvays play their first Edmonton night (of two) at The Starlite. Such sublime melodies and soundscapes. I am in love. Their songwriting and arranging is gorgeous. One of the openers (sorry, Lab Coast, I couldn't hear much of you as I was standing outside, FREEZING, waiting to get in) was from Brooklyn called Frankie Rose. Fell in love with them and their lead singer. Her voice. Like satin rivers through your ears. Tingles. I also got some really sharp photos and logos from the wonderful David O'Sullivan ( www.davidos.me ) . They should be populating my site any day now.
As I sit on the bus from Calgary to Edmonton tonight, I am reading more of a wonderful book, Better Than Before, lent to me by my dear writer friend, Katie Bickell. The book is all about forming habits - good ones, for the better. It occurred to me that since starting the book, I have, ironically and much to my dismay, dropped a number of habits of late. Habits I used to do: meditate for 5 mins in the morning, automatic write upon waking, piano practice, regular reading and exercising. However, as I dropped these, I formed new ones - better, easier to sustain song-writing habits, more guitar playing and learning cover songs. Admittedly, these all have been driven by encroaching deadlines, and I met each one of them. My experiment this week will be to see if I can find a way for them all to co-exist happily and sustainably.
Speaking of sustainability - check out www.CoraBall.com on how to keep microplastics from entering our waterways every time you do your laundry - no, the answer is not to do less laundry, don't be gross! They even got a visit from the lovely Jack Johnson to support them! To my dismay I read this week that Estee Lauder and a number of other cosmetics lines have resumed animal testing to satisfy ludicrous safety standards in China's market. I used to work for Estee. I stood behind them for a number of reasons. Never again.
Big up to all the Calgary locals who got a massive shoutout from Matt Berry in the FrogEStyle podcast this week: NaPalmPom, All Hands On Jayne, Lab Coast and Fake James! And my friend got his name on the side of a jet plane....as you do.
I'm SO excited to announce my date at The Fiddler's Elbow in Camden, London. 9th of July 7:50-8:20PM ! I can't wait to see all my London people I haven't seen in years! I'm also incredibly flattered that Immy from Sustainably_Vegan is going to take some time to show me around her favourite zero-waste shops in London while I'm there. I'm just a tad obsessed with her YouTube videos . I'll probably need to stop at a good market to refill on yummies by the time I get to London. If anyone in the U.K wants me to do a house concert while I'm there, drop me an email. I love playing house concerts.
I learned today that walking 1hr15min home from an open mic, even if it's for Earth Day, isn't the smartest idea. A girl walking through dark lanes down by the river and through the bad corner of downtown at 10.30PM with a big guitar strapped to her back, isn't the safest idea. Even with lots of police cars patrolling the area and all my Krav Maga training from September furiously trying to refresh itself in my reflexes, I still wouldn't put money on me coming out unscathed. Now that the weather is better I'm going to cycle.
Next Sunday I have the privilege of opening Rhea March's Song Circle at The Mill Creek Cafe in Edmonton as her featured act. I'm playing 6:30-7PM Sunday 29th, so come down and grab some tasty dinner. I'm yet to find a better way to start my week. I can't believe how supportive Rhea has been of me. Only 3 months ago I made my debut at her open mic, a quivering wreck of a human, barely able to keep her shit together for 2 simple songs on a guitar that was badly in need of a setup. I mean it was in tune 20 seconds before I went on and by the time I was playing it, it sounded like ass. The calibre of musician there was so high! I was glad I elected to go first that day. Every one of those performers was beyond supportive and kind. They blew me away. Now I get to have a full set there. The hard work pays off. It'll be a nice test drive of the set for my show in Calgary on Saturday 5th of May with Whale And The Wolf. Those are some boys worth checking out, as they've been nominated for 3 awards at Edmonton Music Awards this year: Group Of The Year, Single Of The Year and Rock Recording Of The Year. Nuts!
See you all soon x