Sunday 25 November 2012

+ November Update

I never had a chance to post about the ILB/CrimCat collaboration at the Railway Club earlier this month. The Brawlers horn section got together for a final rehearsal earlier on the day of the show to essentially decide if we would be able to pull it off. This was a pretty big decision, as we absolutely wanted to make it happen, but music that Eric writes and arranges for Criminal Caterpillar is quite complex, and we didn't want to be taking up time and space during their set unless we knew we were going to pull it off perfectly.

Fortunately, the rehearsal went super well, and we went ahead with the collab. It was super fun to share the stage with CrimCat once more, and I would be glad to relive that experience again any time int he future.

The Brawlers' set went super well. It was a high-energy party with a crazy fun atmosphere, and elicited one of the best responses I've ever seen during my time with this band. There were many who said it was the best ILB show they had ever seen. The only thing that detracted from the evening for me is that I somehow managed to damage the neck of my saxophone late in the set. I have no recollection of what happened, all I knew was that during the last song before the encore, my horn stopped working. Fortunately it was extremely minor damage that was easily fixed the following monday when I took it in to Massullo Music, but it had me rather worried because any damage to the neck of a saxophone can easily irreversibly alter how it plays, or even render the instrument entirely unplayable.

Fortunately, all is well now and I was able to use my horn for a house party No Island played on Friday night for the birthday party of a very good friend of the band. Unfortunately we were down a member because our bass player Sara had been injured during a workout session just a couple days before, but the 4 of us played a rockin' set and had the whole house dancing until the night grew late. It didn't hurt that our go-to bass sub Malcolm Wanless (of Criminal Caterpillar) was also in attendance, and he was happy to fill in on a few tunes that he'd played with us in the past.

No Island's Movember fundraising efforts have been going well. To date, we've raised over $300, and we'll continue collecting and growing until the end of the month. To donate:

Wednesday 21 November 2012

+ Movember

This November, I have been participating in Movember with the rest of No Island. It is an awareness and fundraising campaign for men's health, particularly Prostate Cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men. One in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.

The awareness part of this campaign comes by growing a moustache (which provides a good way to start the conversation, such as "Why are you attempting to grow that hideous moustache?"), and the fundraising part comes by encouraging everyone to make a donation to the official Movember charity page. You can contribute to Mo Island's team fundraising effort here: Even a small donation is greatly appreciated for this worthy cause. Why not chip in $5 and think of it as buying a fancy Starbucks drink for a good friend? Except instead of a friend, it's a Cancer-fighting moustache. And instead of coffee, it's research.

If you want to check out our mo-farming progress, hit up

Wednesday 7 November 2012

+ Next Weekend

click here for Facebook event page
Very excited about a show I'll be playing at The Railway Club next Saturday November 17th. The Ivy League Brawlers will be playing at 11pm, and if it's anything like the insanity of our performance last Friday then it'll definitely be a show worth catching. Opening up the night at 10pm is the super talented art-rock/prog-rock group Criminal Caterpillar. I had the privilege of performing with them once before on a special arrangement of one of their songs featuring a horn section. I'll add a video of that performance to the bottom of this post. I won't make any promises, but the ILB horn section does happen to be the right configuration for this arrangement, and half of us have already played it before... so special things might happen at this show. Also on the bill is the always thought-provoking Redrick Sultan, who will be altering thought patterns at the stoke of midnight. I've also had the pleasure of playing with them in the past, jamming with them some years ago and then subbing in for a weekend mini-tour once when their former sax player became unavailable. I had hopes of perhaps sitting in with them on a tune or two at this show as has sometimes happened before, but they've got a newly revamped line-up now so I'm just excited to watch them do their thing and not get in the way of them taking things in new directions. Wrapping up the bill at 1am is a group called Random Dander. I have heard the name before, but know nothing about them. We'll see if I can make it until 1am to catch their set.

Also of note, Los Furios is playing a fundraiser the night before at the Croatian Cultural Centre. Click here for details.

Criminal Caterpillar + horns: Before The Wind Swept You Away