Thoughts and musings by members of the Arrogant Worms

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A film with Worm content (not starring Carrie Fisher or Meg Ryan) 

Escape to Canada (“Great fun” The Montreal Mirror) a new documentary is coming to a city near you.
The film features Arrogant Worms classic “We are the Beaver” in a scene that will make you “laugh, cry and love your country” all at the same time.
You can see Escape to Canada at the upcoming Calgary International Film Festival September 30th, Oct 1st and at the Edmonton International Film Festival Oct. 8th.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Princess Leia sings along 

Okay so this is very exciting. The article below appeared in the New York Times on Sunday and it was written by Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia. It would appear that Princess Leia sings along to our music in the car and embarasses her children. This is very cool. We don't know what to say. You can check out the entire article by Ms. Fisher at http://travel2.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/travel/tmagazine/25FISHER.html

Um, so yeah. We're pleased.

September 25, 2005

Screech and Tell


We went to Newfoundland for many reasons. For one thing, we had never heard anything much about it, and by "we," I mean me; my 13-year-old daughter, Billie; my stepson, Harper Simon; my friend Kim Painter; and my photographer and friend, Meg Ryan, who took along her assistant, Learka Bosnak, and her photo assistant, Dan Hallman.

We started our trip in St. John's, the provincial capital. Over the summer, St. John's stages several historic re-enactments, including one in which Napoleon surrenders to the English. Yes, I know that it's highly unlikely that Napoleon was even in Newfoundland, much less surrendered to the English there, but like the re-enactment itself, that is another story. In the final analysis, though, a huge part of what drew us there was another absurdity: we were going to Dildo, a two-hour drive away along the scenic route. Yes, I said Dildo, the name of a fishing village in Newfoundland. Unusual, you say? Well, yes, I would have to agree with you, but it is by no means the only village with a strange name. It's just across the bay from Spread Eagle.

We set off from St. John's mid-morning, laden with cameras and overnight bags in case we couldn't find a B & B inviting enough and, more to the point, large enough to accommodate all 6,000 of us. Somehow, we managed to fit into one vehicle, trailed by the owner of the hotel where we'd stayed, the Spa at the Monastery and Suites, in his soon-to-be-vintage BMW, carrying our stuff - at least, I think that's why he was with us. Though, I also think his sudden appearance had to do with Meg Ryan's being in the first car.

The ride from St. John's is a picturesque drive through long stretches of green trees sprinkled with small homes here and there. As the roads smoothed out from rolling to winding, we found ourselves driving along the coast, looking at islands in the flat, gray ocean. And in the van we listened to some trip-appropriate local music that I had discovered online. It was by a Canadian band called the Arrogant Worms. They have one song called "A Night in Dildo," to which we sang along: "From Woody's Point to Come by Chance, to good old Ferryland / Come take a look at Gander, Blackhead's mighty grand / Don't let their names deceive you. Newfoundland's mighty fine / so spend a night in Dildo, if you think you've got the time!"

I admit not all of us knew all the words, but when it came to "so spend the night in Dildo, if you think you've got the time!" we all sang out clear and loud. Well, most of us sang out pretty clear. O.K., mostly I sang out clear and loud, and everyone else laughed at me - everyone but my daughter. She didn't think I was funny that day. She would rather have been in Toronto or Vancouver. Could you please keep your voice down?" she admonished me, hunching down in her seat, gazing out the window away from me.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Maritimes Tour 

Early rise on Thursday for an early flight from Toronto to Halifax. Is sleep really even worth the bother when one has to get up so early? Um, yes. Yes it is.

We got to Halifax but Mike’s guitar decided to take a later flight. His suitcase made it fine but the guitar wanted to spend a little more time in Toronto. We waited for the next flight to come in and there it was. We were treated to $20 worth of airport food. Yummers.

Off to Yarmouth in the rental Malibu. Sweet ride. Yarmouth was a lot of fun. We had a great feed at Rudders Seafood and Brew Pub and then a really fun show at Th’Yarc. It’s a great little theatre and the crowd was really great. We had a big draw of younger people which hurts the take in the 50/50 draw. The winner only got $23 so we suggested that the winner purchase a CD. We hope it worked. It was a great night in a great town. Some late night snack shopping at Sobeys was in order and some Glossette Raisins were acquired for Daily Show viewing.

Oh, speaking of great viewing…. Finally saw the full version of The Quest for Worms. It was mentioned in this blog a few months ago that some trailers were viewed and enjoyed. We were given the full film at the Ottawa Folk Festival last month and it has finally been enjoyed. And fully enjoyed. Congrats to the film makers on a job well done. We are humbled.

Okay back to the tour…

The second show of the tour was in Annapolis Royal. It’s where Champlain landed in 1605. It was named the most livable community by the United Nations. This place rules. It was our second time here in a year because of the storm last November. We made it to town but most of the audience didn’t. The weather was insane but not this time. It was great and the theatre was full of fun people with no rhythm. They tried to clap along a few times and all we could do is laugh because the clappers were nowhere near any beat at all. We’ve never heard anything like it. It was hilarious. Well done, Annapolis. The crowd was loose and fun for the whole show. We stayed at the amazing Hillsdale House and once again were treated like kings. Many thanks to our fine hosts – both human and canine. We loved it yet again.

Our drive on Saturday was a scenic and winding 2 hours long. We arrived in Sackville and checked in to the hotel. These are often the longest hours on the tour – between arrival and show. It’s pretty much just a guy in a hotel room, unless that guy ventures outside and wanders aimlessly for a while. I tried that and bought some red Smarties at the grocery store. They can be bought separately now. I spent most of my downtime just thinking about red Smarties. And then it was time for the sound check. The venue at Mt. Allison University was Convocation Hall. It’s a grand beautiful room with many seats. The sound was very good which is testament to the great crew there to mix sound in a giant room with massive ceilings. After sound check was a fine meal at Joey’s. After a trip to the dollar store, it was time for the show. We were up against the fair but had an awesome crowd both in number and enthusiasm. I seem to remember Groin going over very well. They were Mike’s people.

And now we’re back at home, looking ahead to some more work in the studio. Vocals this week. We think we’ve decided on a title for the album and we’ll announce it when it’s too late to change our minds. Anyhoo, next up is Owen Sound followed by Guelph, Oswego, Janesville and Minneapolis. Check out www.arrogant–worms.com for info on those shows and more.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Michigan, Ohio, Studio 

Sorry for the delay. I'm sure you were all waiting with breathless anticipation for the blog reports on our most recent shows. "When will the Worms fire off more banal missives about their touring?" Um, well now.

Last Friday was a return to Lansing, MI. It's the capital of Michigan. We like it there. We had a good drive with Mike picking a great lane for border inspection. Pretty much waved through. We like that. Not that we have anything to hide - it's just that having nothing to hide sometimes takes longer. We did two shows in Lansing at the Creole Gallery to two fantastic crowds. I tried to re-enact some scenes from Flashdance. It was dumb but it gives Trevor and Mike something to mock.

On Saturday after a great lunch with an old friend in Ann Arbor, we went to Perrysburg, OH, just outside of Toledo. The show was at a community college and we've noticed that most community colleges are nowhere near an actual community. It was plunked into the middle of nowhere. And surrounded by Canada Geese. Oh we love geese! The show was really fun though and we were presented with a fine piece of art that was made by Ohio artist Kim Thanasiu. He had an exhibit in the same building and made a piece for us. It represents a gold record plaque and will likely be our only one. It's great and we were certainly humbled by the gesture.

The drive back was good and easy on Sunday which was good because we'd need our energy for Monday and Tuesday at the studio. It was time for pre-production. We think that our ducks are now mostly in a row. We pretty much know how we want to record our songs. A few changes will likely get made with lyrics and harmonies but we are ready to push on. We are back in there on Monday and Tuesday of this week with the studio musicians to lay down the rhythm tracks for the album. Exciting. It means that other musicians hear the songs now and that can be a little daunting but we're confident that we wrote some good ones. And we always work with guys who are just as goofy as us so they, you know, get it.

With that in mind, I should go and get some work done.

Peace out and word up.

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