Lorrie's Blog

Me and Buddy

Was just looking thru the old Inbox and realized I’m a terrible emailer. About 100 need to be replied to, and I just keep putting it off. I suck. This blogging thing I’m not so hot at, either. Here’s a pic of me and my “brother” (so says the Japanese tourist to me a coupla weeks ago)taken by my pal Lawrence Chrismas when he wandered into the store, camera in tow last winter. Thanks, Lawrence.

Lots to talk about, but 6 Feet Under’s about to start, so I’ll hafta tellya another time, I guess.

Comin’ into the Station

Oh Hi…

Hope summer’s been treating you fine and the rock is still rolling… I’ve been super busy in the studio these past months and will continue to be at the mixing desk for the foreseeable future. Crazy what happens when you hang out your shingle, although I’m not complaining (much). Look for records in the near future from Jay Crocker, Randy Hutchings, Stagger Lee Shedden, Stepper (formerly the Livers), Lonnie James, Bil Heatherington, Joel Stewart and Shane Ghostkeeper, all of whom I’ve had (or will soon have) the pleasure of recording/producing. I’m also gonna try and get the Brass Tax back in to finish the album we accidentally started in May. Six of my tunes are close to being done for the next record and a 7th track, a cover of BTO’s “Let It Ride” is nearing completion as well. The BTO tune is for a very cool tribute album (w/ a twist) that will feature many fine acts from across Canada and is the brainchild of the kids @ Saved By Radio (of course…). Check their site early and often for updates

Speaking of tributes, our (the Brass Tax and I along w/ E-Town’s fabulous Maykings) lil’ 45 rpm trib to Grant Hart of Husker Du is selling like hotcakes, so if you don’t have one yet, you can order those from the SBR site, as well. Its the last 45 made in Canada, so get yer slice of history while you still can!

I’ve been asked by the folks at the Train Station (basement, 607 11 Ave SW, under Brew Bros.) to host and curate a weekly songwriter’s series, beginning August 4. I’ll open the show and someone cool will play a headline set every week. THIS IS NOT AN OPEN STAGE!!!! This is a chance for you the discerning music listener to come and check out great songwriters week after week after week in an environment that will be conducive to LISTENING!! The Train Records guys really wanna make this a music room, so please come out and support it. Their hearts (and heads) are in the right place- a rarity in this business, believe you me. Obviously, I have some selfish motives here… I get to BOOK THE TALENT, so I’m gonna have a great time every week. As you will soon see, I’ve been traveling in small circles this summer, and I’ve asked friends to help me get this thing off the ground, but I promise the lineup will NOT be some kinda boy’s club, be of top quality (like my pals that are aiding in getting it happening this month),and of a broad and eclectic scope (ditto last parentheses). Here’s the lineup for the next few weeks-

Aug. 4th- Joel Stewart

Aug. 11th- Shane Ghostkeeper

Aug. 18th- Jay Crocker

Once again, the Train Station is at 607 11 Ave SW, under the Brew Bros. I’ll open the show at 9 PM every week, headliners at around 9:40. 5 bucks at the door, and all door proceeds go to the performers. Hope to see you there!

Cookies for Clinton’s

Greetings All-

Just a reminder about a coupla shows coming up… this Thursday the 26th of May, myself and the Brass Tacks will be @ the Brew Bros. (607 11 Ave SW) with Leeroy Stagger and Bend Sinister.

On Wednesday, June 2nd, the Summerlad asked us to be on the bill for a fundraising rockshow/bakesale (yes, BAKESALE) @ the Bamboo Tiki Room (1201 1st ST SW). The ‘Lads and I are both heading east for the NXNE showcase/schmooze ‘n ‘ booze fest in Toronto, where we’ll be playing the Saved By Radio showcase @ Clinton’s (693 Bloor St. West) on Friday the 10th of June, and, well, it costs a lot of dough to head out there, so the Summerlad has this great idea of selling YOU some dough so we have the cake to get out and back. Pay what you can to get in, and fill up on my mother-in-law’s killer blonde brownies (that is, if she agrees to bake some for me… how ‘bout it, Judi?)

See you out there.


Big windows to let in the sun…

Oh Hi. First of all, let me say that Lake Superior is too frickin’ big. My friend Mike in T.O. said, “no wonder Terry Fox quit. I wanna quit when I’m DRIVING from the Soo to Thunder Bay.” Secondly, where would we be without Tom Atkinson? Dead, probably. Thanks, Tom, you rule. Thirdly, we (the Brass Tacks and I) are playing a couple shows this weekend with one of the greats. The Maykings from E-Town asked us to do up a Grant Hart cover and split a 7-inch single w/ them. So we did. And now Grant’s coming to Alberta for a couple shows to celebrate the release of the record. The LAST PIECE OF VINYL to be MADE IN CANADA. Weird, eh? Anyway, the shows are at the Sidetrack in Edmonton on Friday, the 20th, and in Calgary at the Hi-Fi Club on Saturday the 21st. I’ve got 2 tix for the Calgary show to give away to the first person who can email me and tell me the name of the last Grant Hart solo album. Dave Muir told me it had to be a contest. Sorry. Anyway, here’s what I wrote when Jen @ Saved By Radio asked for my thoughts about Grant, and the song we covered, entitled “2541”…

Can’t remember his name, and barely what he looked like, but he was giving me a ride someplace when “Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely” came on the tape deck. “Who’s THIS?!?!” “Ummm.dunno,” he said. “Girlfriend’s mix tape. Fuckin’ hate this song, but there’s some rad Icicle Works and Kajagoogoo coming up.” I hope that moron didn’t get into too much trouble w/ his girl when her mix tape went missing, but I gotta thank her for introducing me to the Huskers. Months of wearing out that song passed
before I even found out who the band was, and even longer before I could find any of the records. Candy Apple Grey was first, then Warehouse: Songs and Stories, then back to Flip Your Wig and so on. I remember some god-awful punk band annoying the
shit outta me at the Republik one night, finishing their set w/ Merry Eiffel Tower High, and me suddenly changing my mind about how good/bad they were. Husker Du could do that to you. They would take everything you knew, everything you were, everything you thought you knew. everything!- and tear you up, knock you down, send you sideways, melt your brain and send your hips swinging across the floor at 100MPH, all
in the space of verse/chorus/verse/chorus/(sometimes)bridge/chorus out. Then there’d be 2 seconds before the next tune started, where you’d try to collect yourself, and they’d HIT YOU AGAINAGAINAGAINAGAIN. Flip record. Repeat. Flip record. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

There was the Mould camp and the Hart camp after HD broke up. I slept out under the stars in both of ’em, but Bob got the press, Bob got the record deals and the magazine covers, and slowly started going south. To bad electronica, no less. Grant just kept moving. Kept hanging on, like Husker did in the day. Went about his business writing songs that should have been on the ears of all of mankind, but instead, he moved just a few of us. Nova Mob was terrifyingly good. the solo records are broad in scope and pure of Hart. Grant makes me FEEL. GOOD. GOOD.

Used to have a house like the one he describes in “2541”. Ours was “1530”. When we went our separate ways, I listened to “2541” for a month. He knew. He still knows. Grant Hart is a master translator of the human condition. Big windows to let in the sun, indeed.

Girls and cupcakes! Huzzah!!

Cool story on SBR here. I love those girls. And their cupcakes.

Make the scene, wherever you are…

This spring is shaping up to be a busy one, starting w/ a solo show @ Karma Local Arts House on the 11th of March and ending on the 26th of May when the Brass Tacks (Brooker Buckingham on guitar, Chris Dadge on drums and Shawn Dicey on bass) and I plan on burning down (figuratively… ‘natch) the Brew Bros. Taproom.

In between, I’ll be heading to SXSW in Austin, TX where I hope to see some great shows and play one w/ my pals from E-Town: the Swiftys, Old Reliable, Shuyler Jansen and Whitey Houston. I’m also looking forward to hanging in Texas w/ my pal from Ottawa, Jim Bryson.

Speaking of Ottawa, I’m dragging the Brass Tacks out East for a few shows, including one at the National Arts Centre in the nation’s capital, as part of the “Alberta Scene”. The real Alberta scene’s gonna be at the “Alberta Sessions” (…confusing, I know…), mostly because it’s at the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts here in Calgary, and Kara Keith is guaranteed to make a scene.

I’m also really excited about a couple shows the B.T.’s and I are doing w/ Husker Du’s Grant Hart and E-Town’s The Maykings, who, coincidentally, are going splits w/ us on a 7–inch record we’re releasing in tribute to Mr. Hart. The ‘Kings are doing “Keep Hanging On” from Husker Du’s“Flip Your Wig” album,and we did “2541” from Grant’s first solo record, “Intolerance”. The folks at Saved By Radio have a bunch of cash they need to get rid of, and since Owen has ripped out his fireplace, they agreed to put out the 45, so please buy one or at least request it on your local campus/community radio station when we release it, so’s the time, love, effort, and monet involved won’t go completely for naught.

Check out the entire list of dates here.

I’ve also been really busy in the studio the last few months producing/engineering/mixing/playing on records by Stagger Lee Shedden, Jason Crocker, Randy Hutchings and Bil Heatherington, most or all of which should be done by the end of May (I hope). I have another solo project in the works, with the hope that it’ll be a split EP w/ a friend of mine who shall remain name/blameless until it’s a go for certain… it’ll be a 4-song solo EP if the plan falls through.

The Brass Tacks are whuppin my ass into some serious rock and roll shape, and we have a (VERY optimistic, I’ll admit… freely…) plan to make a live record of old stuff and a studio record of new stuff before this time next year. They are really great, and very inspiring- in fact, this band is so good, there’s no way it’ll last (quick… wood… I need to knock…), but thet are putting some serious cojones into the “Dime At A Time” tunes, as well as some of the tunes from “YSKBN” and the odd Nat’l Dust tune, not to mention the NEW stuff… yeah.

If you’re at all interested, there’s a couple OK reviews for “A Dime At A Time” here.
and an interview w/ yours truly here.

Thanks to Gabino for that. Y’know, you’d think I woulda put on a shirt or combed my hair or something… I even KNEW he was bringing a video camera… sorry ma, forgot to take out the trash… oh… right. Dawn sent me to see PW a coupla weeks ago… I can truly die happy. What an amazing show. Highlights? Lots. The best had to be “Alex Chilton” into “Left of the Dial”, though. Well, as TomPetty said on my tape deck this aft (She’s the One Sdtrk… brilliant), “I’m starting to ramble on and on…”


Just came back from seeing a film about Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. Man, do Sting and Bono and all the rest of those ponces who owe their villas and Bentleys and servant’s quarters and bank accounts to the Clash look like assholes now (if they didn’t already). I don’t know what to say about it, except this: I thought I missed Joe before I saw the film.

I don’t know if I should go to bed or put “Coma Girl” on repeat for another hour.

THE Snide, and how to lose money the easy way…

From the liner notes to the new Todd Snider record, “East Nashville Skyline”:

“…all the songs on this record are true songs about true people I know and the opinions they have, the ones I have, the shit we go through and just some of my own personal stories and feelings… I have never once tried to figure out what people wanted to hear so that I could make music like that and then make a fortune in show business… that’s not why I work on these songs. Songwriting helps me through my life, shows me how to feel things closer, know people better, heal faster, improve myself, notice more and laugh harder… so I do it. That’s why.”

I hope I’m not infringing some copyright laws by putting that on my site w/out permission, but I hope someone who may not otherwise know of Todd Snider will go and buy his record(s) based on that lil’ blurb. It goes on much longer and in way more detail and is reason enough to buy the CD. Jen thinks I’m crazy for buying CDs for the liner notes, but hey- the Buffalo Tom b-sides comp’s notes were awesome… even though I already had ‘em all on other CDs… I digress… Snider has an acute understanding of the human condition, I think (MY condition, anyway) and even though he’s a hippie and LOVES Widespread Panic (shudder), he writes great songs. GREAT songs.

If this touring idea pans out, I’m a little scared of how much money I’m gonna lose. Thing is, I don’t have any, so going into debt is the only option. Most of my record collection is gone (I sell ‘em once I read the liner notes), and I patently REFUSE to sell any more instruments. I just have to patently refuse to buy any more… I guess…maybe.

Release parties are booked for here and E-town, so I guess the promotional machine will be cranking up again. If it’s half as good as last time, first-month sales will be in the tens.

Whatever. Joe Chan offered to let me review my own record for the October issue, which I might just do, but depending on how I’m feeling about it, it’ll either sabotage sales, or load up my AND izzum’s answering machine/email box w/ hate. I’ll lose, either way, but it might be good for a coupla laughs. Ummm… the Vail Halen record is awesome. Buy it right after you buy mine. Actually, since it’s coming out before mine, buy mine after you buy his…

Gone are the days

Had an awesome time last night @ the Barfly… 2 of my favorite pals from the “great Calgary alt-rock scare” of the mid-’90’s, Barb and Brooker, came out to the gig. Weird they’s show, esp. on a night when nostalgia was on my mind. I’m generally not one for looking back (unles it’s for some stupid story over a pint @ the Coil), but the old Fire Engine Red masters were unearthed up at Sundae yesterday, and that sent me on the “do you remember” path. (see, Jimmy and I were Husker Du fans, hence the obscure reference…). Ahhh the good old days…. are gone. Gotta go to work. Crap.

Mr. October

I was just looking at my pal Jim Bryson’s website, and realized that if I have a blog, I should really write something now and again. I’m tired and should be in bed, but here goes…

I’m officially sick of my new record. After starting it twice, almost finishing it once, and spending 2 and a half months on the 3rd version, it’s now mixed and mastered and I can STOP LISTENING TO IT!! I was really proud of it yesterday, but this evening driving around w/ Mel and Kyle for the photoshoot, it sounded bad. Full of mistakes and bad judgement. Kinda like life, I guess. Thing is, I learned a LOT of stuff doing it, so I know the experience will bear fruit. I’m just never gonna play bass again, that’s all. It sucks trying to play bass when you suck at playing bass. Then hit “record” on top of that, and see how you feel. The most important lesson I learned in all of this was, “Hire a bass player, dummy! Quit being so vain and control-freakish, and hire a bass player!”

Started on putting a tour together today… oof. The music business is brutal. I’m so glad that Dawn, Jen, Ken, Slayer and DB are on my side, ‘cuz I’d be drooling in a straitjacket in no time w/out them.

The record’s gonna be called “A Dime At A Time” and it’ll be out in October. I think I’ll probably like it again by then, but the next one’s already coming together in my head, and the head version walks all over this one.

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that the people who gave me hell for not writing have probably given up, but hopefully we’ll spruce up the site a bit when the record comes out, and someone will read this drivel.