A teaser of my upcoming video release for LONELY BLUE WAVES (i WANT YOU), off of THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT, avaliable on iTunes.
LONELY BLUE WAVES (i WANT YOU) will officially be released on May 20th, 2012 and is a Torrid Production.
Things are picking up again for us at TORRiD PRODUCTiONS – so let me catch you up on the latest and greatest!
First – I had a meeting with fellow members DANNiEL OiCKLE and OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY – as the three of us will be performing at SAW GALLERY on Friday, May 25th as a part of H’ART’ 10th Anniversary Gala: 10 Plus 10. They are celebrating their past 10 years as well as well as their next 10 years – and as such H’ART has collaborated with 10 Ottawa artists – so I encourage you all to come out and see the results, which will include paintings, a fundraiser auction and raffle, a slide-show, live music (that would be us!) and of course, food and a bar!
H’ART is a non-profit organization that does a lot of amazing work by connecting artists/teachers with children who have disabilities and I’m very excited to be a part of this at all. That night we will perform an acoustic set as a trio, taking turns at playing an assortment of tunes from DANNiEL’S CORRUPTiON of FLESH and my album THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT. It might sound strange as we too wondered how we could combine folk/country with DAN’S electro-pop sound, but worry not, as we’ve stripped things down and have found a way to combine both worlds ! Last night was fun to work on these tunes in preparation. It’s going to be a low key show – so don’t be expecting us to wear our fur shorts and horns! We do promise however, to entertain.
For more information on H’ART: www.hartofottawa.ca
Also – as part of another fun side project, the three of us are collaborating with DR. SKETCHY’S ANTi-ART SCHOOL (www.drsketchy.com), and for those unfamiliar with DR. SKETCHY, it is the brainchild of artist MOLLY CRABAPPLE, and is essentially an alternative to the old-fashioned way of sketch-drawing models. Since 2005 they have brought artists a “rule-breaking cocktail dames, drinking and drawing” – and subsequently they have branches all over the place, including Ottawa’s very own CLUB SAW GALLERY. At MERCURY LOUNGE next Monday night, (April 30th) DAN, OLEX and I for this we will don our CORRUPTiON of FLESH attire (horns, fur shorts and fuck-me boots included) all in the name of art – where a group of sketch artists will spend the night doing just that, sketching us. Call it an alternative to the average nude sketch session – which I think is fun and interesting to be involved with. Special thanks to DR. SKETCHY and all involved in inviting us to partake in any way. I also encourage people to check out their website to see the other various exciting and titillating things going on with them all over the place.
To keep you updated on both DAN and OLEX respectively – here are some additional things they are currently up to these days:
OLEX, of Ottawa’s very own THE PEPTiDES (www.thepeptides.com) have had one helluva great year so far. With THE PEPTiDES OLEX gets to shine in her own very special way – & if you have never been to one of their shows I encourage you – they are a fierce act and put on a funky show. Check out their website for updates on their summer tour but I can also tell you that they are set to release their new album in the fall, and in the meantime will be performing this summer on the main stage at BLUESFEST! Also, THE PEPTiDES will be partaking in LiVE 88.5fm’s THE BiG MONEY SHOT competition. For more on it please check out this link: http://www.live885.com/index.asp?mn=10. OLEX I’m wishing you guys the best of luck!!!! Go get em‘!!!!!
This goes to show how the three of us (as well as fellow TORRiD PRODUCTiON members AiLEEN MARTELLA and BONNiE FiNDLEY) are symbiotic yet we have individual outside projects at the same time.
Speaking of which, the multifaceted DANNiEL OiCKLE is working on releasing a book of poetry called MY HEART HAS TEETH and on August 18th he will officially be launching the book at La Petite Mort (www.lapetitemoregallery.com) with an exhibit as well as a performance so be sure to come out and enjoy the night. Als0 – wearing his producer hat, on May 20th he will be releasing the official music video to my song LONELY BLUE WAVES (i WANT YOU) which is a project we’ve been working on over the past several months to say the least. Like I said – DANNiEL is a whiz at many things – so just as I hope he is, I’m very eager and excited about getting to release this video to the public.
For now I’ll wrap this up but I thank you for taking the time to stay abreast of such things!
Back in 2011 I did a photo shoot very much inspired by my family and our Ukrainian background. I had been experimenting with all sorts of eccentric characters and shoots by then, but I found myself thinking about my grandparents and even great-grandparents; their history surviving and thriving in Saskatchewan during some of the hardest times before the 1930′s and on. I may not know a great deal of that history, certainly not as much as my two Uncles, whom have fortunately retained a lot of those stories passed down to them from their Uncles, Aunts and parents. At times I find myself very much wanting to be connected to that history – to know and understand my roots as well as pay respect to those important and beloved people before me.
I inevitably I ended up imaging what my life would/could have looked like had I been born in this generation. How could I have lived, even as a gay male – would I have suppressed all of that – opted for a life of family and hard work in the fields or mines? How would I have faced the possibility of going off to war? What would life have looked like through his eyes and what were the stories would have told?
Eventually, after time spent in character, I came up with two images; first I imagined a younger CC, before the second world war he would more than likely have found himself faced with as did my family. He would have been living in Saskatchewan on the farms, a part of my families history long gone. Later on I experimented with make-up and lighting – coming up with an older version of that same CC; I imagined him to be a quiet sort of man – a hard worker and dedicated to his family. Perhaps he would have been a single and solitary ‘bachelor’ – who knows – but I did enjoy the process and the outcome. The photo is very much a tribute to the past and my family which has always provided me with a source of fascination and inspiration.
I’ve also included a shot recently taken by myself, as I tested out my camera and some costumes I had borrowed for a different shoot. Let me know what you think – it’s a sort of alternative to this idea; more decadent, outlandish and luxurious - definitely a sort of character from that time….
Just recently I became hooked on the HBO series TRUE BLOOD – although having come off the heels of another vampire series (BUFFY THE VAMPiRE SLAYER – I had to re-watch it!), TRUE BLOOD is about as different as any vampire series I’ve ever seen. Within the first 5 minutes of season one I new I wasn’t in Sunnydale anymore. TRUE BLOOD serves as an alternate universe to BUFFY. And thank goodness – I enjoy both!
TRUE BLOOD has many interesting characters and plot-lines, including telepathic waitress/fang-banger Sookie Stackhouse (ANNA PAQUiN) and her alternative romance with vamp Bill Compton (STEPHAN MOYER) - but for today I salute RYAN KWANTEN, TRUE BLOOD’S not-too-bright, self-involved Jason Stackhouse, who is vigilant in defending and protecting his sister Sookie. I’ve only just finished season one but I’m hooked and I find that KWANTEN’S character is easy to both love and hate – as are several of the characters living in this fictional town. He’s all over the place – is he a good guy, or a bad guy?
It’s difficult not to appreciate KWANTEN’S physique at the same time, as TRUE BLOOD has no shame in parading all sorts of characters around in various stages of undress – but I did appreciate his humility when asked how he feels about his sex symbol status in a recent magazine. “It’s hard to fully accept the title with complete and utter humility,” KWANTEN said. “It’s obviously not my goal to have this title, but if someone wants to give it, hey I’m all for it, you know.” Awww – how sweet and humble hey? Hey guys, if we all did yoga for 7-8 years we too could achieve this body! Where’s my yoga mat?
I know I’m a little behind on this series but now that I’ve started, I’m really looking forward to season 2 already – so many unanswered questions! What’s to come? In the meantime, check out these selected pics of KWANTEN, clearly as shy about posing for pictures as he is with parading around on TRUE BLOOD – just remember his intent!
This past week, as I mentioned previously, my pal DAViD FORT, of Winnipeg based band TWiN, performed at UMi CAFE, along with iNGRiD GATiN & DEViN JOHNSTONE.
I’d never been to UMi CAFE before but it was an intimate setting for an intimate trio of performers. JOHSTONE & GATiN gave beautiful performances, respectively drawing us in with their musicianship and stories. I picked up a copy of GATiN’S TiME WiLL CHANGE US and it’s fantastic – check it out along with one of her music video’s below. They were highlights – as was TWiN. Special thanks to DAViD for inviting me up to play THE PEPTiDES SAiLOR SONG – we’d only jammed it out a couple of times but it was a fun moment to share with him, and at least I can say I did it.
For more info:
Also this week I had a chance to connect with my pal iSAAC (aka JOSEF POLLOCK), who’d just recently moved into his new digs. For a change of things I headed over to his place, where we got the chance to hang out and work on some music. In particular we continued our work on 5 tracks; a redo of iLLLUSiONS, iSAAC’S ‘WORKHORSE‘, PRAiRiE BOY iNSTRUMENTAL, and a BEACH BOYS cover tune called iN MY ROOM. I’ve also been tinkering with a melody to a poem by none other than my friend AiLEEN MARTELLA – called MiNE, MiNE, MiNE. It’s a twisted sort of love song/interlude – and perhaps someday I’ll be able to share more about the writer’s thoughts on this poem/new ditty.
For now I’ll leave you with these pics taken in iSAAC’S new apartment. Oh, also – if you’re a fan of iSAAC’S/JOSEF POLLUCK (and you darn tootn’ should be!) stay tuned for more from this talented guy. Be sure to check out his recently released album MiGRATE here: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/migrate-ep/id512995130
On Friday night a group of us went to see THE ABRAMS BROTHERS at CENTREPOiNTE here in Ottawa, and I just really can’t stop raving about these guys. To be honest, I knew very little about this much-loved Canadian trio leading up to the show (proof I don’t get out enough!), but there was no doubt they grabbed and held my attention for the entirety of their show.
Many of you might be familiar with THE ABRAMS BROTHERS and that makes perfect sense having learned they’ve been in the business for something like 11 years. Consisting of brothers JOHN and JAMES as well as shaggy-haired cousin ELi, these boys have been recognized for musicianship BEYOND their years – delivering bluegrass, country and folk-rock with hints of pop sensibility. I fell in love with it all; I mean there was no doubting the talent up on that stage – and of course they are all easy on the eyes and perform with such professionalism and energy. And the harmonies - MY LORD – I live for music like that and found myself immediately hooked. I wanted in!
I grew up on bluegrass, country, folk, pop and rock – but unlike THE ABRAMS BROTHERS, did not come from a musical family per se (not counting my dad and Uncle) and we certainly did not play together as a family unit. In between songs, JOHN (gorgeous and well-spoken to boot) talked about the significance of music in their family history, and I found myself touched by that because you only have to see them perform once to understand how close they are – and how lucky they are to share in this bond. I wanted them to adopt me !!! Begging me to question – Boys – can you use another member in your family act? Perhaps, pseudo-cousin CC? I’m very malleable and I’m sure I can find harmony with you! (P.S. I’m the one who took your set list, as pictured above…I’m bad, I know – but I needed some sort of memento. Plus… I was sitting right in the front row, who could resist snagging a keep sake?)
THE ABRAMS BROTHERS are fourth-generation musicians with musical roots reaching back to their great-grandparents. And despite their age, veteran is certainly not a word out of reach given their credits. They’ve been touring together for almost a decade – and in the past few years, have become Canadian festival favorites. In 2005, the Ontario-based group became the youngest Canadians to appear on NASHViLLE‘s iconic GRAND OLE OPRY. They’ve toured Europe, and several times have performed for the Jacob’s Ladder Folk Festival in Israel. In 2006, the band received the DANiEL PEARL MEMORiAL violin, given to especially gifted young musicians. These are just but a few accomplishments I discovered after checking out more on this trio.
Last year the band released Blue On Brown, an album of songs by ARLO GUTHRiE and BOB DYLAN. The record was a tribute to songwriters they had always admired – and although their show on Friday had several highlights, these covers were exceptional and had me closing my eyes, tapping my feet and forgetting all my troubles – which is just what the doctor had ordered. I was seriously, and pleasantly surprised to find myself thinking “Heck, this is one of the first times in a while that I’ve enjoyed a show from start to finish”. Even ARLO GUTHRiE, the legend himself, recognized the talent of this trio after he first heard them playing his own songs at one of his shows and thought they were “way too young to be playing that good. I know I will be hearing from The Abrams Brothers for a long time to come.”
Thank you boys for a great night of music – I hope to catch you again sometime in the future! Props as well to the opening act, DARRELLE LONDON, a sweet and lovely thing who played an intimate set on piano and ukulele – setting the right tone for the rest of the night. She looked like a vision of a very young DOLLY PARTON in some ways, dressed in an adorable little red stage dress and blonde hair, singing sweet songs inspired by her own life as a young girl with a lot of dreams. I really enjoyed her as well.
For more on these guys check out www.theabramsbrothers.com and this selected video below – which was a highlight moment of their Friday night show for me.
What’s that saying – In every young gay boy’s life an unrequited love for his straight friend must fall?
I had a bit of a crush on my friend in high school. He was also one of the few guys I knew in high school who treated me less like a freak and more like a friend. Nowadays he is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and leads the hypno-folk band TWiN, and let me reccommend them if are not familiar. DAViD is a singer/songwriter with a knack for writing as well as singing very poetic songs that are inspired by the stories of his own zany life. Well, I say zany but from my perspective I’ve always found him a unique man with sensitivity, although he is no angel either. All in all – I know him to be nothing short of humble and human. This is only my opinion – I’m not one of his ex-girlfriends and trust me I’m close to a few of them too! All of these dynamics of his character come through in his songwritng and he tells great stories – sung or told. His band TWiN works with many different artists to create intimate, beautiful performances, recordings, and powerful song creating a “regional soundtrack” everywhere they go. TWiN are also the founders of the RiVER ARMADA concert series.
After a little bit of pasta and lot of reminiscing – he pulled out his guitar and together we worked on a song that I’ve personally been trying to develop a cover of for some time now. SAiLOR SONG is a CLAUDE MARQUiS penned PEPTiDES original – and after taking the opportunity to cover it in my own style, I determined I first needed to find someone who could not only appreciate the song the way I do but who could also take on the challenge of re-working the guitar, as I was getting nowhere with my guitar- fast. The original recording is on a ukulele I believe and for a guy with a lot to learn on the guitar alone I really didn’t know where to start. Luckily DAViD and I had been in contact leading up to his Ottawa trip and he graciously took on the task with me – and by the time he was over we were able to ease our way into doing it together.
I really have to thank DAVE for this time together. The results of our work on SAiLOR SONG are promising, what’s more it was fun to play with him. Next step will be to lay down proper recordings, which at first sounded impossible, what with him residing in Winnipeg – but thanks to the advancement of technology, the collaboration is not affected & I’m looking forward to doing what we can. I’ll keep you all posted on any development.
DAVE also shared an original of his – GiVE iT UP – and with his permission I was even lucky enough to record it in effort to share this good time. I missed the first part of it – but I think you’ll enjoy the jist. Check out the youtube vid below.
Part of what brings DAVE here is that he/TWiN are performing at UMi CAFE (7:00pm) – a release party for their SHARiNG SECRETS WiTH STRANGERS EP. There will also be an underground screening of The Los Angeles River Music Armada Documentary as well as performers iNGRiD GATiN and DEViN JOHNSTON. Come check it out.
Here’s a still from the Lonely Blue Waves (I Want You) video, set for release on May 20th.
A Torrid Production
Cinematography by Bonnie Findley
Directed by Danniel Oickle
Lonely Blue Waves (I Want You) is available on iTunes here: http://bit.ly/zQFwDg