It’s time to play catch-up. I’ve been writing this blog on and off for the past 13 years and started writing a year-in-review 5 or 6 years ago. You can check out 2010’s year in pictures here, and 2011’s year in review here. I didn’t write a 2012 recap until now, but I can sum it up really quickly: January through June 2012 were working on the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Show 10 hours a day 5 days a week, Choir! Choir! Choir! on Tuesday nights, and doing sound at Parts & Labour 4 to 6 nights the rest of the week.
I was go-go-going literally ALL the fucking time from January until early June, capped off by my annual 159 Manning BBQ a few days after my CBC contract ended.
Below is playlist from the BBQ put together by Joe Strutt from Mechanical Forest Sound.
From July onward, the next 6 months still involved Tuesday nights with C!C!C! on Tuesdays, and many evenings spent in the Shop beneath Parts & Labour, but my days were free and for the first time ever since I moved here in January 2005, I lived alone at 159 Manning. I chain-smoked joints all day everyday in an attempt to decompress and taught myself to play piano. The first song I learned was Chelsea Hotel No 2.
I ended the year with my annual NYE party.
2013’s been a mixed bag. I somehow ended up with ANOTHER worthless piece of coked-out human garbage (whose addiction issues I was previously unaware of because I only knew him professionally, issues which would have been no concern of mine if he hadn’t literally made it MY PROBLEM TO DEAL WITH) living here in 159 Manning from mid-January until the end of July. What a piece of shit, it was a disaster and severely disrupted my ability to concentrate or even function on a day-to-day level being surrounded by such toxic parasitic vibes. Feeling powerless, unsure of how to deal with the situation, embarrassed and defeated to again find myself in circumstances so similar as to what I’d lived through 2 years earlier; I dealt with it by continually voicing my concerns to this piece-of-shit and his friends in a kind and calm manner “I like it quiet here/I had a nervous breakdown 2 years ago living with a dealer bringing 30 people through the house a day/your bedroom was empty for 7 months before you moved in because I was worried that whoever moved in here would want to party all the time and bring people here”, chain-smoking joints in my office all day everyday, and transferring aggression by writing nonsense rants on my blog, none of which really helped things. It was resolved in late June when I wrote the problem-roommate a long clearly-worded email ccing his business partners and my father, calling him out on everything he’d been doing since moving in and threatening to write a giant rant on the internet about him if he didn’t clean up his act immediately and stop bringing people back to my house to “party”. Wellllll, that’s what did the trick! WOO-HOO!! It’s been 5 months since he left, and I would really prefer to put all this behind me, but considering how much of my consciousness and brain power in 2013 were sapped and overwhelmed by the situation, this would be an incredibly inaccurate year-in-review without mentioning it. Dealing with that guy’s bullshit; the Grand Complimenter, Master of Constant Apologies and Insincere Promises, and trying to rise against the unholy trinity of anger, depression and anxiety was unfortunately the focus of my year, and pretending it wasn’t won’t do anyone any good. That’s how it was. I also believe writing about it (even without mentioning names) will ensure that scumbag-ex-roommate and his vapid loser friends will know to steer clear of me in the future, to turn their heads when I’m around. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all these years of blogging, it’s that when you write something about someone on the internet, they will read it. Especially if it’s bad. Really, I’ve got no use for any of them in my life, and I don’t care what any of them think or say about me. May the bridges I burn light the way.
I started running 5k/day in late September, and stopped smoking weed 2 months ago, and I finally feel like I’m on the right track again, and it’s sustainable. Fingers crossed.
Ok, enough about the bad shit. As for good shit this year, I’ve been playing more music than I’ve ever played before. I started playing bass in Fill Spectre in January.
We played a lot of great shows like Tess Parks’ photo opening, and some well received NXNE slots at the Silver Dollar and Crawford.
I played piano at Fucked Up’s Long Winter Vol 5 in March.
I hosted an afternoon show at 159 Manning during CMW with performances by the Darcy’s, Michael Rault, Reuben and the Dark, New Hands, and Language Arts.
I hosted, provided the PA and did sound, but the event was wholly organized and curated by Kate Snack, Musi Artist Development and Last Frame Pictures. Credit where credit is due!
In May I acquired a Presonus console for Parts & Labour which has allowed me to start recording of all the bands that have played in the Shop since then.
Here’s a recording a did of Tess Parks & Good People playing their hit single Someday.
In June I threw the 5th Annual 159 Manning BBQ, which was a huge success.
For the most part I kept up with Shape Note Singing at Bloor Street United on a monthly basis…
…and I sang and shot video for Choir!Choir!Choir! nearly every Tuesday of the entire year.
We sang at the Polaris Music Awards, filling in for Tegan and Sara, and then topped off the year singing for Jian Ghomeshi on Q.
I’ve kept up with my piano playing and keep getting better and better. I’ve been continuing with covers all year, but I’ll start writing my own songs soon.
In July I started playing drums with Soft Hell, and we’ve consistently practiced twice a week since then. It’s the first band I played drums in since Moral Outrage back in 1997, and I feel like our regular practices were key in helping me get my chops back so quickly. I’m playing better than I’ve ever played before!
I started playing drums with Jenna Rogers AKA Only Child in November, and it’s been posi vibes even though the songs are sad.
This past month I started a 5-piece karaoke band called Good Enough with Jesse, Samson, Craig and Fraser that I play keys/synth in. We had our debut at the Hoxton a couple of weeks ago, and we’re starting a monthly Thursday in February.
Lots of other good things happened this year, and now that I’ve gone through my blog it doesn’t seem like it was all that bad. It’s been an incredibly tough year in my head and there’s still some missed/fucked-up opportunities that I hope I can fix or make up for, but despite all that my life is definitely turning more and more into what I’ve always wanted it to be. Despite the struggles I’ve been going through, good people who I hold in high regard who are really nice to me and treat me with a mutual respect have been slowly infiltrating my life the past few years. As for this next week, I’m focusing on my NYE party. I’m looking forward to 2014!!