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December 6th – Kenora – Shooter’s

I was constantly paranoid while in Kenora, as my vehicle had a cardboard window. (For full details about my Winnipeg venture, check out this older blog entry). I also started a campaign as I was driving back home to Thunder Bay, and if more people had seen it, I’m sure they would’ve joined.

I was glad to be in Kenora, where life was at a slower pace. Fully embodied in this placque.

The show was a lot of fun, I opened for Mike Procyshyn and the Comfort of Ghosts, who delivered a set almost akin to Queen at times. We laughed throughout both sets, with all kinds of jokes about John Mayer and goats, and not always mutually exclusive. Both Mike and Guy were quite welcoming with their hospitality, and it was greatly appreciated after my Winnipeg adventures.

Instead of staying the night, I drove back right after the show, and ended up taking short naps every so often. It was a cold drive, but I managed to plug up the window quite well despite not having any tape. Here are some shots from that early morning, Northern Ontario drive.

Although I had a blast on this tour, I certainly was glad to be home.

December 5th – Winnipeg – FAIL

Winnipeg, you are a nightmare.

Here’s the story, from the beginning of the day:

I woke up late in Saskatoon since my alarm didn’t go off properly! Damn technology! I then got into my car as quickly as possible and took off for Winnipeg. I was going to stop in Regina, but due to time constraints, it just wasn’t feasible so I skipped it. I got a speeding ticket in Manitoba and found out that that province has the highest fines in Canada, and almost in North America.

I got to the show in time, and set up quickly, only to have several things fall apart, resulting in my first ever no-show. I took my gear down and paid the rental fee for the space, and went to hang out with Bucky from the Liptonians, as I hoped it could cheer me up a fair bit.

We dropped by The Cavern for a bit, then headed to the Royal Albert. As we left the Royal Albert (we parked a couple streets over – a few blocks from Bucky’s apartment) we noticed that the passenger window had been smashed and there was glass all over the seat. We got inside and I did a quick check to see what was missing. My laptop, one of Shannon’s cameras and my theremin were all missing. Conveniently they all had carrying bags, but they took the time to put the laptop into the bag, after finding it in the back seat. I guess Ontario plates were the give away, as I didn’t have anything lying out on the front seats at all.

Bucky was very helpful, watching the car as I filed a police report at 1:30 in the morning, and helping me to empty out my entire car into his apartment (on the 5th floor), so that I could park it in the Hospital parkade. I took a cab back to his place, and made some calls, barely sleeping. Of course it was a weekend, so no auto-glass shops would be open, so I covered it in cardboard (didn’t have tape), and made due with that.

Again, I want to thank Bucky for being so friendly and helpful with everything, he even had hiccups for about 2 hours throughout the ordeal. Bucky does not approve of theft or the fact that my thoughts of Winnipeg may be temporarily tarnished.

Alternatively, I’m super excited about my car’s new facelift, and the fact that Bucky found shopping carts to move all my gear with! I’m also thankful that I still have a car and gear, as the theft could have been much worse!

November 6th – Winnipeg – Music Trader / House Party

I awoke in Winnipeg at Bucky Driedger’s house (he’s house sitting), and ended up heading to visit the Edge gallery (where I’m playing on December 5th), as well as to check out the facility of Polar Bear Productions Ltd. It wasn’t as exciting as I imagined, but it was great to meet with people that have worked really hard on both my albums, and even took over an hour to show me around the place and just ‘talk shop’ about the printing industry.

After that, I played at Music Trader on Osborne at 5pm, which is always interesting. The deal there is that you get $20 worth of CD’s, so I found Rowan Atkinson live album and a live CD/DVD by Justice.

That night, I also played a house party at Liptonia, with the Liptonians and From The Moon. From the Moon are a really quirky group that have songs that feel like inside jokes. Thankfully, I’ve now been let in on the joke! Here are some photos from the evening.

Matt and Bucky of the Liptonians

Bucky of the Liptonians

November 5th – Winnipeg – The Academy

The Western portion of the tour has begun!

I left Thunder Bay a little late, and the Winnipeg drive was partially at night, but it definitely allowed me the opportunity to check out some sunsets.

Northern Ontario really is quite lovely, and has it’s own appeal as I travel across the country. Even to the point where I did see some other sunsets and did take some photos while driving. I know…I know.. but it’s pretty!

I did make another mistake though, and that was get out of the car to take some photos while wearing sandals in some higher snow. No…wearing socks and sandals isn’t a mistake!

I played at the Academy that night with several acoustic acts (Take Me To The Pilot and The Way We Talk), but unfortunately the turnout was a bit poor. Ah well, the staff really got into the music by the end of it, and I even had 2 people at the bar asking me to play ‘Fix’ a second time! They really liked it, and wanted one of their friends to hear it, as he runs a lounge and was looking for an act like me to perform there. We’ll see how that pans out. I also purchased a cd from a band called The Idgets. They literally received their cd’s that day, and were excited to share, so I grabbed a copy!