Archive for July, 2015

CC CHRONICLES: Thick Skin & Lookin’ Within

Published by cctadmin on July 30th, 2015

_______________________________________

I was walking home along the boardwalk yesterday; enjoying the sun on my face and in particular, time to think about and reflect on what it means to have ‘thick skin’. I’ve heard it said that to have thick skin is a ‘gift from God’; that it takes time and learning to acquire it, and finally, that in order to face life’s rejections, haters and obstacles, it’s all but essential to have it. The very definition of ‘thick-skinned’ is “insensitive to criticism or insults“.

Why the contemplation? Well, I can identify things I want in my life; like strong family connections, a healthy relationship with my partner, financial security, education, a home and a fulfillment from music. The list goes on. I’ve never expected any one of those things to come easy; and in fact, they never have. I continue putting time and effort into my life’s ambitions with a quiet confidence that there’s worth in that patience and dedication.  Hopefully that worth is the joy experienced along the way.

On the other hand, within our passioned pursuits there is also much opportunity for disappointment; the ‘nothing comes easy’ part existing in the form of obstacles like a door-slam to the face, criticisms or the many hoops we often have to jump through in order to succeed in our goals. There’s always an opportunity to give up. Rationally, I understand that ‘nothing comes easy’; stumbling blocks are a given; and it’s with this I contemplate how to acquire a hardened sense of logic.

I recall how scary it was in my youth when I was just forging out on my own and having to establish security; similarly, going to University in my 20’s and facing all sorts of intellectual pressures. Being an independent artist without management or a band to my credit also beholds tests of my inner strength. Given this and more I can acknowledge the ‘thick skin’ I had to personally attain in the face of these things yet, on my walk home, I still couldn’t help but feel briefly overwhelmed at the realization that ‘thick skin’ is not only a goal in itself; it’s an on-going process.  There is no end.   I may have some of it, and I’ve strengthened over the years but I could use some toughening up even still.

It can be discouraging; I certainly began that walk feeling daunted about some of my musical pursuits in particular. In fact I felt downright deflated; but it only took some time and reflection on route home to consider that like anything else worth having, I was, and I am going to have to remain patient; I’m going to have to keep my head up and trust in the process of my future pursuits. Regardless of weather things in our lives turn out exactly as we want them to or not, I’d really rather keep trying, keep getting back up on the horse and giving it another go – than opting to fall to my knees in defeat. With that in mind I found a way to turn around my inner doubts and see them all as part of this process. It didn’t necessarily take away all my discouragement however it did just enough to have me feeling less defeated.

What do you guys think about the thickness of your own skin?

______________________________________

11822730_1023837764302815_3843682251113431964_n

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Man’s Best Friend circa 1991

Published by cctadmin on July 30th, 2015

________________________________________

Once upon a time CC Trubiak had a dog named Karma.  They say ‘man’s best friend is his dog’ and I can attest to that most definitely.  As a family growing up, and as an adult I’ve always loved animals and had nice history of great pets over the years.  See there was Maggie (the cat), Felix, Seymour, Saishia, Carl, Sheba… today there’s Doobie, Poppy and Smokie the dog…. but at one time there was just Karma.

In the early 90′s our family was on route back from Winnipeg.  We stopped at a farm just outside of the city and picked her up to bring her all the way out to our Schist Lake home.  Schist Lake was the perfect place to raise a dog because we never had to keep Karma on a leash; nor did we fear she’d run away.  She was a naturally wild one yet she was loyal, loving and about as intelligent as a dog can be.

I was a fairly solitary kid in those days; I loved living out a Schist because it was a golden nature and by golly, nature is like being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory to me – eye and ear candy all over the place with the sights and sounds of the lakes and the trees and all the paths on which I could walk on with my dog Karma by my side.

And Karma was indeed often by my side…. for 18 years our family included Karma; and how beloved she was by all of us.  She was an incredibly loving dog, smart as they come.  Any time I’d prepare to go for a walk along the dirt roads to clear my head, Karma would be there right by my side.  I could talk to her.  I could bounce my troubles off of her and she’d connect with my eyes and it always felt like in some way she could understand the dilemmas, or at least, how they might be affecting me.  She knew when I was my usual contented self or in a state of distress.  There were even times I’d stop and cry, down on my knees, troubled by things that felt very overwhelming – and Karma would trot back to me if she had been up ahead, and she would gently lick my tears and sit right there by my side… until I felt the strength to stand up again and continue on that dirt road.  She really was a best friend.  And I could always get back up again; we could always continue on and she’d have lifted my spirits.

Pictured below are two shots: one of Karma right around the time we would have picked her up as a puppy.  Look at how small she was!  The other is random shot taken of her and I when she was much older, I was on a visit in 1991 from Ottawa and she was begging me to put down my book and take her for one of those walks.

Once all of us left home Karma remained living at Schist with Mamma; like I said she lived for 18 years with us so you can imagine my mom’s pain when Karma did pass.  Mom also describes Karma as her best friend – and I doubt that Karma could ever be replaced.  Not entirely.  There was a specialness to her; a gentle and wise knowing-ness that I miss to this day.

Here’s to all the dogs in the world who give us that gentle companionship and who even lick away our tears from time to time; waiting for us to pick ourselves up and continue our journey.

Love you Karma!! xoxoxox

11061329_1023686784317913_6620192870389880275_n

 

________________________________________


CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Weekends with Dad circa 1991

Published by cctadmin on July 23rd, 2015

_______________________________________

Once upon a time CC Trubiak spent every weekend with his dad. My parents were divorced by the time I was approaching Kindergarten and it became regular routine to have dad pick us kids up after school on Fridays. We’d usually spend both Friday and Saturday nights with him before heading on back home to mom’s house where we’d live and go to school throughout the week.

There’s nothing quite like the memories I have of those weekends; they were some of the best days of my youth and I don’t believe that’s nostalgia talking. Very fond recollections of grocery shopping after school at Eddie’s IGA and getting all the goods for the weekend ahead; dad would make a pit-stop at Candy Bar so he could pick up a pack of cigarettes and the Reminder (which back then came with the television schedule in every Friday issue) and allow me to select an Archie comic or two.  Maybe up to Rex Video where we could rent a Betamax tape too.  Up at dad’s place itself I was usually busy drawing pictures and writing stories inside or climbing rocks and making forts, skipping stones down by the water and generally killing hours upon hours at play. Dad could be found inside the garage tinkering on an art project (usually involving a buzz saw) with CFAR radio full blast, a cracked-open beer and a half-finished cigarette sitting on the ashtray. It’s easy to remember the sun shining and the feeling of dirt on my skin after a full day, and the comfort of knowing this was my weekend home.

Pictured here I stand with dad, circa 1991. I would have been around 12 years old, right about to embark on those God-awful pubescent years. Oh the emotional turmoil and insecurities that were about to transition youthful days into adulthood as I would come to know it. I remember standing there by dad’s car for this photo, the wind blowing. Dad’s gone now but I need look at the picture for only a moment to recollect many life details of those days gone by. The dreamer in me sometimes imagines what it would be like if we could time-travel; oh the options of where we could go again… I know that I would certainly want the chance to be in that moment again just to take comfort. Here’s to our youthful pasts.

_______________________________________

11226198_1019560728063852_5401996996811011780_o


CC CHRONICLES: The Mix playing @ The Hooter THIS FRIDAY & SATURDAY

Published by cctadmin on July 20th, 2015

_________________________________________

The Mix plays two nights at the Hooter this weekend.

Come out ya’ll!

DoobieAnimal2


CC CHRONICLES: Roots on rock / Camping @ Wekusko Falls

Published by cctadmin on July 19th, 2015

________________________________________

We came.  We set up.  It rained.  It rained some more.  It rained even more.  We went home.

However in a short space when the rain lightened to a mist I did get a few pics of the impressive greenery all around me.  The sights and sounds were beautiful, and I was especially drawn to the roots on rock all along the pathways.

_______________________________________

 


CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / ‘Prairie Boy’ & the Victims Voices Matter Conference 2010

Published by cctadmin on July 15th, 2015

________________________________________

Once upon a time, CC Trubiak wrote a song called ‘Prairie Boy’.  The year was actually 2010.  The setting, Ottawa, Ontario.  At the time I was a full-time social work student at Carleton University, working my way through the program in hopes to one day become a qualified counsellor.   However, as a singer/songwriter I was just getting my feet wet in terms of working on the independently recorded They Say I’m Different (Torrid Productions).

While I was studying at Carleton I got word that a two-day conference called Victims Voices Matter was being put on by the Ottawa Police Service queer liaison committee and Ottawa’s queer community centre project.  The conference itself would cover a wide range of topics from reporting homophobic violence to letters from victims of hate crimes and workshops on queer terminology.

I thought the conference idea itself was a great one; not only did it seem progressive but somehow I thought anything that encourages the breakdown of gay stereotypes and the building of bridges between the ‘gay community’ and the larger society was good in my books.  You could imagine my surprise when one of the organizers contacted me directly to invite me, as an openly gay singer/songwriter/social worker to write a song in honour of this two-day conference.

I took the opportunity seriously – and thus went home and worked on a song that I felt would hopefully encapsulate my story in a snap-shot.  After experiencing bullying in my own youth growing up in Flin Flon, I could appreciate how the conference was about building support and understanding between the queer community and police officers.

Out of it came ‘Prairie Boy’; a song that draws a lot of visual images of feeling like a loner in an unwelcoming world.  A young ‘fairy’ boy who’s a vulnerable, yet resilient dreamer.  Not only did I get the chance to perform it at Victims Voices Matter, but I was able record it as well – produced by The PepTides band leader Claude Marquis.

I recall about 150 people attended the conference, with RCMP officers joining police from Hamilton, Cornwall, Peterborough and Waterloo.  It seemed to me that the conference generated discussions and broke down some barriers.  I for one, was honored to be a part of it and looking back on it today after some time – I can’t help but be proud of how this little song was born.

IMG_3047

________________________________________


CC CHRONICLES: Family Matters

Published by cctadmin on July 13th, 2015

IMG_7114


CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Elmdale House Tavern 2011

Published by cctadmin on July 9th, 2015

________________________________________

Once upon a time Ottawa’s Elmdale House Tavern hosted a launch party for They Say I’m Different. The launch itself took place on July 26th, 2011 and it marked one of my first ‘real’ live performances as a singer/songwriter.

As someone who grew up paralyzed whenever faced with singing in front of people, everything leading up to this milestone was pretty scary; and in a city like Ottawa, which is just bursting with professional musicians, it was even more so. The seeker of growth and change within myself however, compelled me to face my fears. What better occasion to start doing that than having your first independently recorded project to promote?

They Say I’m Different is a little folky album that was recorded over 2010 and I had assembled back up support from friends and fellow artists Danniel Oickle (piano, backup) and Olexandra Pruchnicky who were there with me that night at Elmdale House Tavern. I frequented the tavern myself for years and watched a lot of great performers do their thing there – so I was pretty excited at the thought of launching the album there. To this day I still get nervous standing in front of a crowd, and on this occasion I was especially anxious – all the generated interest in the album and the launch had me fearful I wouldn’t live up to the hype. Yet, there I stood, arms open.

A couple of things stand out in my memory; one being that my sister Ebony and her partner James actually came to Ottawa and saw the show. That brought a comfort to me, an element of home – and I still remember her crying from her table, embracing me afterwards. It affirmed for me that I was facing my fears with good reason; because behind my fears was the real me, and that’s what people were gonna get from my shows. From that day forward.

The other standout about this memory was feeling a great sense of love from the crowd; comprised of familiar Ottawa faces and a lot of strangers. To this day I’m thankful for the opportunity, to the Elmdale House Tavern, Danniel and Olex for being a part of something very special to me. THANK YOU! Here’s to conquoring fears!

Photograph courtesy of Bonnie Findley.

________________________________________

e4


CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Anne Murray circa 1999

Published by cctadmin on July 2nd, 2015

________________________________________

Once upon a time a young man made his dream come true when he saw Anne Murray sing live. That young man was me of course, and to this day I still remember that performance well. Growing up I already had a thing for a lot of 1970′s folk and country, so discovering Anne Murray came naturally. I find her voice unique and heartwarming, and her personality down to earth. Songs like Snowbird, What About Me?, Danny’s Song, Love Song and You Needed Me – all showcase her warm alto and rich tones. You can imagine my surprise when I found out she was playing live with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra circa 1999; though I could not find anyone who would go with me at the time. I made it my mission to buy a ticket and see her in person even if I had to enjoy the experience solo. In 1999 I would have been 20 years old – working in Osbourne Village’s Blockbuster video; I didn’t have a lot of money but I made it work.

That actual night I remember sitting centre stage in the 8th row, thinking to myself that I had to be the youngest person in that entire packed audience, which was strange I thought because to me it made sense that you should want to see Anne Murray perform, regardless of your age. It was an eye opener though to find myself alone in a sea of elderly people – yet here’s the thing – I had the greatest time all by myself. I chatted with the people on either side of me and I could sense we were all in agreement about one thing: Anne Murray was a class act and we were excited to be there. When Anne entered the stage, she was nothing short of professional and on point. Every song I wanted to hear – including some of her Christmas hits, I got to hear – and impressively enough she never faltered and every word was crystal clear and delivered with grace and gratitude. That’s what I love about Anne Murray: she doesn’t demand attention nor is she a high-profile celebrity – yet she is a consummate vocalist.

The other memory I have of that night was that she only changed outfits once: she went from a white pant suit to a black pant suit. No muss, no fuss. I even snapped a few photos from my seat which I share here today!  THANK YOU Anne Murray for your musical gifts as well for the opportunity to see you live!!!

________________________________________

10649519_1010062319013693_453897808928068097_n


Happy Canada Day!

Published by cctadmin on July 1st, 2015

506674985_tp