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Lorrie's Blog

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Weel, well, well. Looks like my computer’s gonna co-operate this time. I’ve tried to post about a billion times in the last few months, and the damn thing kept screwing me over. Been too busy to sit down and figger out what was wrong, as computer trauma of the recording variety has kept me occupied as of late. This Blogger stuff seems less than important when you’re trying to figure out sample rates, buffer sizes, sound card clocks, and the best way to mic an acoustic guitar under less-than-ideal conditions. Needless to say, its a good thing I don’t carry a gun, or I would’ve filled this thing fulla holes a hundred times over by now. Convienience? My ass.

>, definitely.

Quote on the Weakerthans’ tour page:

“Persons wanted: for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger,safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON, January 13, 1914; The Endurance Expedition

I’m having trouble convincing all of the Spokes to go to Regina and Saskatoon at the end of September for 2 days, and I’m trying to make it sound FUN…

Dunno for sure if John K. came up w/ the idea of putting that quote up there, but it sure sounds/feels like his sense of humour. I love that guy, and his songs. A Canadian treasure, for sure. Speaking of valuable Canadiana, get to the Weakerthans’ shows early this fall, as Ottawa’s Jim Bryson is opening, and he’s one of the best We’ve got by a country kilometer.

Can someone tell me why indie-kids think I’m a country singer, and why folk-nazis can’t get past even the SIGHT of an electric guitar in someone other than Richard Thompson’s hands?

And why is it so confusing to people when they find out I make records, and ask me what I do, and I say “I write songs and then I sing ’em”, they look at me like I got a zucchini growing outta my left ear?

Shit. I’m goin tabed.

Alejandro and the ‘Hawks

Been getting some flak about the Alejandro Escovedo benefit from some people, mostly trainspotters who like to revel in seeing someone eat their words. I ain’t eating anything, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then forget I even mentioned it.

Al Baekeland (who is a good man… one of the best, actually) asked me to take part, and I’m glad to do my part to help out. I hope EVERYONE INVOLVED feels the same way, and will contribute everything they can to defray some of Alejandro’s medical costs.

Goin’ up to E-town tomorrow to see the Jayhawks… I’ve only been waiting 12 YEARS to see ’em… to say the anticipation is killing me would be an understatement…

Rx for your heart – help the greats

With These Hands, Across the Border

Calgary performers will gather at the Ironwood Stage on Saturday, August 30 for a benefit evening to help Alejandro Escovedo pay for the costs associated with the treatment of complications related to hepatitis C.

The Austin, Texas based singer-songwriter is a favourite of Calgary audiences from his numerous appearances here over the past decade. These have included the 1998 Calgary Folk Festival, the Night Gallery’s Y2K New Years’ Eve party, a One Yellow Rabbit performance cabaret in October 2000 and the production of his play By the Hand of the Father at the OYR High Performance Rodeo in January 2002.

The lineup on August 30 includes One Yellow Rabbit , Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow , Dutchie and the Doughnuts (featuring Tim Leacock, Kit Johnson and Bill Cowsill),a specially re-formed National Dust (www.lorriematheson.com), the

Rembetika Hipsters , Jenny Allen, and Kris Demeanor with Los Infermos. Los Infermos are Peter Moller (drums), Jonathan Lewis (violin) and Vladimir Sobolewski (bass), three Calgary musicians who backed up Escovedo at his One Yellow Rabbit appearances.

The performers will cover their favourite Alejandro songs during their sets. The show begins at 9PM. Advance tickets will be available at Ironwood as of Monday, August 18 for $10.00. Escovedo’s CDs will also be on sale at the venue that evening.

Escovedo collapsed and was hospitalized in Phoenix on April 26 following a performance of his play, By The Hand Of The Father, due to complications related to Hepatitis C. He was diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis of the liver. Like so many before him, Escovedo is without insurance to cover the tremendous medical costs involved in treating this illness. Musicians, friends, fans and

associates across North America began organizing benefits, beginning with one in Alejandro¹s Austin home on June 25. Others have occurred or are in the planning stages in Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Seattle, Raleigh/Durham, Albany and Minneapolis. Calgary’s event is the first taking place north of the border.

Plans are also already underway for a benefit tribute album modeled on the Sweet Relief albums for Victoria Williams and Vic Chestnutt, with an all-star line-up to be announced in the near future. As well, Rykodisc is preparing to re-release Escovedo’s With These Hands CD in an expanded version similar to last year’s re-releases of Gravity and Thirteen Years by Texas Music Group.

Currently, Escovedo is at home in Canyon Lake, TX with his wife Kim and their baby Amala, the seventh of his children. He is resting and undergoing treatment to alleviate the effects of his condition. Prior to his illness, Alejandro¹s rigorous touring and recording had enabled him to take care of his family; his two eldest daughters, Marseilla and Shasha are 31 and 32; and then there are the rest of his girls: Maya, 21; Paloma, 12, Juanita, 4 and his son, Paris, 11. He has cancelled all engagements until at least spring, 2004 while he recovers. Escovedo said he wishes to thank his many supporters for their generosity and good wishes in his time of need.

Those who wish to make donations to help defray the cost of treatment can do so online at http://www.alejandrofund.com. This is a secure site, and all monies will go DIRECTLY to Alejandro. This site is also an excellent source for updated news on his condition.

This event is being planned by Allen Baekeland with assistance from Josh Marantz at Ironwood, Peter Moller at Egg Press, Martyn Hill of Martyn Hill Agencies, and with the cooperation of Alejandro Escovedo¹s management team, Heinz Geissler and John Porter.

Check out this web site for more info on Hepatitis C: http://www.battlinghepc.com

The definition of a gentleman

I’ve been getting a few emails saying that the “rant” isn’t really a rant at all- that it’s not angry enough. Well folks, when there’s something for me to be mad about, you’ll be the first to know. Got one from MiniDisc telling me to “kick some ass” like Mike McDonald used to do… well, only Mike could do that, and besides- I found out today that even fellow grumps can sometimes be kind and gracious. Thanks, Mike.

Chicken Little

Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, the whole frickin’ sky comes crashing down. I realize that this is not news to most of you, and it sure ain’t news to me either, but every time it happens, I still get tied up in knots. A coupla weeks ago, I had some major shit go down w/ the recording gear and spent a sleepless week trying to get my record done in time for the folk fest. While i didn’t get it all sussed ‘fore the festival, I made do, and then immediately after the weekend, everything was working perfect. Weight off the shoulders. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Fat chance, pal!”, sez the Gear Gods. “We’re gonna screw up the mixing desk so’s you can’t get nothin’ but distotion on EVERY channel.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!”

See, I went over there to try and rectify another piece of trauma I’ve got going w/ this record I made for the Bent Spoon Ensemble (should come out in the fall, I hope. HA!), and after I’d just about given up completely, the German comes over w/ 6 and an idea about a song we started about 2 months ago called “Last Call Lights”. Well, I’m schtupped if we didn’t finish it, and its good. I then get the idea of laying it down demo-style, so we work out the arrangement and throw up some mics, and then, POW! no more mixing desk. Toast. What the hell?!?!?!

Who knows. Anyway, I’m gonna have a hellish week trying to figure out what’s wrong, and not only that, I gotta record my track for the Stompin’ Tom tribute AND have it together to lay down beds for Stagger Lee’s album, all in the next 18 days.

Shite. I’m goin’ tabed.

There’s always a Big Inning

Well, here goes nothin’. I got a few pals that do this on a semi-regular basis, and I always get a kick out of their ravings, so, “what the hell,” I sez to myself, I sez. I guess the main idea behind this thing is to keep people kinda semi-informed about what’s goin’ on in my corner of the music biz (which is pretty small, considering my theory on the music biz is that there’s way too much “biz” and not enough “music”… except for the sound of cash registers, which is music to a lot of the weasels’ ears, but maybe not so much lately, if the papers are to believed… but when can you ever believe the papers?? I digress, esp.considering this is a parenthetical offshoot-type deal… how Lester Bangs/ Mr. Smutty of me, dontcha think?… and I’ve never been much of a businessman, which will explain my politics, which we’ll inevitably get into at some point in the next 10 years or so), but more than likely if you care about that sort of thing (what’s happening in my lil’ corner of the biz, I mean), you’ll sign up for the newsletter which comes out sporadically at best, but will give all the pertinent info about the wheres and wherefores pertaining to the ado about yours true- ly.

Some of you will also be dimayed at my complete disregard for grammar and sentence structure, but considering that a stoned chimp could type better than I, I figure I deserve the Order of Canada for even attempting this… speaking of the Order of Canada, our man Holger Peterson of Stony Plain Records is getting one this year… Huzzah!!! Anyone who has the foresight to put out records by Jr. Gone Wild, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch and Corb Lund should be the G.D. P.M., in my humble opinion. Any way, the point I was trying to make was that the sheer force of will it takes me to actually type something longer than 20-30 words should grant me a little leeway in the judges’ eyes when it comes to grammar an’ stuff like that. Oof.

If there’s something in this thing that don’t make sense, or if I’ve offended you, chances are I meant it that wa… I mean, lemme know and I’ll try an clarify. Who’m I kidding? I’ve never seen a clear day (in my head, anyways) in my life. Clear days. We’ve had a lot of ’em lately (and hot, too), so the thunder shower this aft. was a welcome respite. Cooled everything down just enough so’s a Stella could be enjoyed out in the backyard tonight. Was surprised to learn from my friend Slayer #1 this eve. that a lotta people (inc. some farmer-types he’s spoken to) don’t know how big a quarter section of land is. That’s weird to me, but maybe I’M the one who knows a bit too much about the Imperial system of land-measurement. Who knows.

Got a new guitar yesterday, an’ I hope I can figure out how to pay for it. Coop from Huevos used to always strum a G chord on any guit I was lusting after in L&M; (back in the days when he still worked there- God, we missya, Coop!) and say, “Ah yup… there’s a few good songs in this one…”, and it always made me chuckle, even after the 500th time hearing it. However, if there’s any truth to that old adage, then I think there was at least one in the Larrivee D-03 I put on credit. Will know later on in the month whether its a keeper, but today its sounding mighty fine. Its either gonna be called “I Ain’t Buying” or possibly “You’ll Never Buy True Love From the Kissing Booth”, not sure which, but am leaning toward the former, even though it sounds like an old Westerberg title off one of the first few ‘Mats records… which would explain why I’m likin’ it, I guess. I used to fight it, the Westerberg thing, I mean, but really… everyone says/thinks it, and I do have some kinda weird fixation, so I might as well go with it. Better P.W. than Paul Davis (“…on a cool night/just let me hold you by the firelight/if it don’t feel right/you can go…”). Jeezus. I guess the hit parade has sucked for a lot longer than you might initially suspect.

Congrats to Tom and Caroline , who had a baby boy the other day (Mon. Aug. 4, for those of you keeping score). His name is Luke, and unfortunately, he’s looking a lot like his Dad. (KIDDING!! I’m just kidding, Tom…). He’s got a shock of black, black hair, and 10 fingers, 10 toes. That’s all I could tell, as he was sleeping when I caught my first look at him today. Tom’s already trying to figure out if Luke’s gonna be a drummer or a guitar player. With that kinda speculation this early in the game, the kid’s bound to end up an accountant.

That’s all I got fer now,

Later.