Quote of the day:
“Dan, the only battle-axe you will ever wield is a malformed sentence.”
– Tyson, on the subject of Dan’s fighting skills
Saturday, November 19th, 7:00 am, Yorkton
I wake up with frost in my moustache, if I can call it that for a moment (It’s MOvember, right?) The heater went out in the over-priced shack we rented for a night to sleep in, so I spend 15 minutes in the dark hitting it with my shoe until it kicks back in. I shower but it doesn’t take, unfortunately, and I change my strings as the rest of the boys get ready to go. It’s cold one out today, for sure. When we get on the road we get texts from the boys in TSE saying that the moment they leave the bar in Yorkton last night, it erupts into free-for-all frenzy of Tap-Out shirts and frosted tips. The texts have melancholic connotations, and I wonder if the TSE boys are bummed they missed out on an old-fashioned, wholesome bar-brawl? We discuss the manly art of beating each other senseless and listen to Billy Joel’s entire greatest hits collection on the frigid drive to Winnipeg and we are able to sing along to most of it. This comes as a surprise as minutes before we find it (in Dave Ball’s tape collection, or “Cas-singles”) we claim not to know anything about Billy Joel, his career, his songs, his collaborations. It is an odd moment. Regardless, we sing and hum “We didn’t start the fire” all day long,” incorrectly, of course, but y’know.
4:00 pm, Winnipeg
At the last minute we are able to book an acoustic studio session at the University of Manitoba’s radio station, UMFM 101.5. We are greeted by the director, Andru Valpy, a cheerful and ambitious gentleman who is super excited for us to use his studio. We lug our gear up the elevator to the studio, surely bothering everyone trying to study, and even though I say that is not my favourite thing to do, I just can’t help smirking in delight. Yep, I’m a dick. We set up quickly and spend some time dialling in the levels for the session and we record live, acoustic, piano, bass and drum versions of our songs “Kids,” “Reaction” and “Best Day Ever.” We have such a great time that we don’t even realize we are an hour late for load-in and sound-check for tonight’s show at the WECC. We do a quick and icy interview with Andru outside while we are loading, explaining our new album, Lewis’ eating habits and that one, or two, or three times in Canmore, Alberta, where it got weird…
The show tonight is quite excellent. The sound is great and we even get to share an underground green-room with TSE (OMAGAWD FINALLY) There is a giant hallway leading to the stairs up to the stage covered in some of the best graffiti I’ve seen in awhile, great renditions of Ninja Turtles, pirates and even a giant, 20 foot long penis stretching the length of the hallway. The first band “A Waste Odyssey” is awesome, kind of this old-style emo/vagrant records punk rock band, I am tickled. They’re really nice guys, too. Our set goes well, the same 6 songs we’ve been playing every night, and I am pleased to see that at least a few people have actually gotten up out of their chairs and approached the stage. It’s a big room, with bright stage lights, one of those gigs where all you see are silhouettes and shadows, like playing to a wall, which can be a little deceiving when you yell out something like “Winnipeg, how’s she goin’ tonight!?” or “What did you think of the first bands up!?” or putting every ounce of yourself into trying to get people to move along to your music but you can’t tell if anyone is the least bit happy, or annoyed with this, your silly stage antics. You do it anyways, though. It’s not like you can just stand there and just play your songs perfectly still anyways, right? That would be no fun at all, for anyone. You need to sweat profusely and maybe even slightly injure yourself while climbing on a speaker stack or getting a guitar in the forehead. Whatever works for you.
Ten Second Epic perform a solid set and I start to notice all the subtleties, this little charming moments which tell me that they’ve been doing this for awhile and that they enjoy it. I find their set to be a perfect blend of newer and older songs, the ballads and old school mosh-inducers in the right spots, the interludes well-timed, nothing awry, or askew, or afoul. They play their parts well and Andrew is a phenomenal front-man, even with the “ego-box” he stands on every night; a 2×2 box I’m assuming he built, big enough to house his small amount of singing tools and sturdy enough to elevate him at least a foot. I was thinking I would get something to that effect, maybe a small table that sits beside me, where I can rest my many beverages at once and have them within reach, so I can pick and choose, or, as the band and I have discussed, where I can put my food when I start eating on stage. Everyone needs a gimmick or whatever, right? Mine will be pizza and eating it while singing. People will remember that, I think. After the show, the TSE boys and us part ways; us driving on through to Thunder Bay and them heading through the US to make it to Toronto in 24 hours, those crazy bastards. Winnipeg at night in November is absolutely chilling, and winter hasn’t even come yet. We drive across town to Lewis’ Aunt and Uncle’s place to finally crash and abuse our passion for wireless, once again. Go on tour one day, you’ll see.
A big thank you to Andru Valpy for giving us the opportunity to hang out and be creative in his studio! Listen to and watch an acoustic version of “Reaction” HERE at the UMFM 101.5 studio, do you like our Wayne’s World cues?