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Thoughts and musings by members of the Arrogant Worms

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Toronto, London and the last campfire 

Hugh’s Room is a great place. It’s great to see a show there and it’s even better to do a show there. The staff is awesome and the tech crew is topnotch every time. And the food is yummy too. We had a humdinger of a show on Monday night. It was a sold out house with standing room at the back. We were revved up after a fun day at the Ottawa Folk Festival and it was all guns blazing. Lots of friends in the crowd including former Worm John and our old manager Jean. Sometimes they laugh the hardest at the dumbest jokes. And there were plenty of dumb jokes. I can’t even remember what we talked about during the show but surely to goodness, it was funny stuff.

And then the summer really ended on Tuesday in London with a gig for a conference of firefighters. It was a great night and listening to firefighters tell stories makes for a lot of laughs. We were treated very well and had a really good time as we wrapped the summer on a high note.

And now we have a wee break until we hit the road again for a couple of gigs in September. We’re also recording the new album and we’re really excited about that. The new songs have been going over really well on tour this summer so we hope you like them when they are recorded too.

Thanks to everyone who saw us this summer. It was great to see familiar faces and we think we even made some new fans too. It’s kinda like camp. We see our favourite friends for only a little while at festivals and then it’s back to school and regular touring. Not as much arts and crafts though but that’s okay. I have a lot of popsicle stick pencil holders already.

So we’ll see you out there somewhere. Thanks for a fun summer!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ottawa Folk Festival 

Talk about antici…….pation. We’ve been looking forward to this one for quite a while. With a line-up as varied as folk legend Joan Armatrading to The Weakerthans to Canadian Idol Kalan Porter, this one has to be good.

We flew into Ottawa with a forecast of rain but the day could not have been more perfect. It was nice and warm for our two workshops – the first one being “A Funny Thing Happenened.” It was hosted by our good friend Carolyn who runs the wicked fun Stewart Park Festival in Perth, ON. We were joined by the fantastic Chuck Brodsky and the thrillingly hilarious Pardon My French. As funny as the workshop was, the audience made us giggle a bit too. The front section in front of the mainstage was full of Kalan Porter fans who had claimed their spots in the early morning when the park opened. And they weren’t moving for anything or anyone. We don’t have screaming girls very often at our shows but it’s a nice treat every once in a while. There were a few of our own screamers too who seemed to get along very well with the Kalan screamers. Our other workshop featured Lee Hayes, Terry Joe Banjo and Alex Sinclair. Another fun one.


Our mainstage show was ridiculous. The Kalan fans were getting primed for their hero and they were loud. So we turned it into a rock show. Lots of posing, dancing, gymnastics and screaming. We had a ball and I think the crowd did too. Thanks to the screamers and the non-screamers for a fun show.


After our set was a very long break while the stage was set for the big Idol show. Jeremy Fisher did a fine but very short set just before everyone’s fuzzy-headed boyfriend took the stage. Of the five songs I heard, three were covers. I think Kalan’s a good singer and he’s probably perfectly nice but I was freezing cold so I split. I didn’t make it to the party because it was at the Travelodge where my computer was stolen. I didn’t feel like staying there, just on principle. Trevor went and represented the corporation nicely.


And now the summer is coming to a close. Toronto show tonight and then a private thing in London and then let the napping commence.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bouctouche, New Brunswick 

This one wasn't on the schedule because it was a private show for folks in the plumbing supply business. Our host John throws a big three day party at his New Brunswick cottage for all of his customers. He had a huge tent in the yard and there were bars and beer stands dotting the property. Best cottage ever. We feasted on seafood platters - lobster, crab, mussels, coconut shrimp and clams. Love the maritimes. Yummy bottom-feeding seafood feast. Our set was a lot of fun and the stage was surrounded by bales of hay and an unused dance floor. Odd things were said during the show and some of them may have even been funny. We talked about KAM luncheon meat. It is so exclusive that you needed a key to get into the tin. High brow comedy for sure.

Off to Ottawa for the Folk Fest/Canadian Idol experience. Can't wait. Should be a fun night.

Okay, bye.

Monday, August 15, 2005

More Ohio, more gigs, more naps 

Springfield

These outdoor shows have been a lot of fun this year. It’s great playing a new market where the people can see you for free. No obligation, no money down. We still get paid so everyone goes away happy or at least goes away. The amphitheatre at Springfield is brand new and still has that new amphitheatre smell. The arts council in Springfield has been doing a summer festival for 39 years and they really know what they are doing. The crew was awesome and all logistics ran really smoothly. They even had a guy in the woods securing the perimeter. And after we sang the Hot Dog Song, a guy gave us hotdogs. Right on the stage! Delicious. We hope to return to this fine town someday soon. The hotdogs were that good.

Cleveland Heights

The last show of the OH/PA extravaganza was good fun too. Cleveland Heights is a beautiful community just outside Cleveland (really). The amphitheatre there is a grand beast in the middle of a park. The crew there was just outstanding and we had a fun show with a fun crowd. What the crowd lacked in numbers, they more than made up for in enthusiasm and rockingness. Thanks to all.


A few days off…

Vacation is nice. It was all I could do to drag myself to the computer to blog. Luckily I’m getting time and a half for this! I did a fun interview late last week that is being used for a podcast. I’m not totally sure what a podcast is just yet but the concept sounds great. I think you download the interview in an MP3 form to your computer or iPod or something. Anyway, have a listen at www.electicsky.net/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=57


One more weekend of fun…

Saturday we’re doing a private show in New Brunswick. On Sunday we’re playing at the Ottawa Folk Festival. This will be our fifth or so time there and the big headliner on Sunday night is none other than Kalan Porter. Your Canadian Idol. Giddy up to that.


After Ottawa, we have a show in Toronto at Hugh’s Room on Monday night (Aug 22) and then a private show in London to finish off the summer of 2005. Then it’s seriously nap time. Like seriously.

There a few more shows up on www.arrogant-worms.com for the fall and early 2006. The big tour in February for the new album will be posted once everything is confirmed. We are excited to be recording again in September when we wake up from nap time.

Later.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Troy and Musikfest 

We had a bit of a drive to get to Troy. The border at Detroit was way too easy. The name of the band was our ticket in this time. When we said the name, the guard just laughed and figured we couldn’t make that stuff up. Thank you, sir.

We got to Troy and went to the really charming downtown for the soundcheck. There are a bunch of bronze statues downtown that are dressed and painted so they look really lifelike. It’s a bit creepy. They look very real. I think the statues and the real humans enjoyed the show. It was fun. We were facing a traffic circle so there were plenty of things to distract us. We’re like dogs that way.

My alarm didn’t go off the next morning so there was a mad rush to pack up and get in the car. We had a long drive ahead of us to Bethlehem, PA. It was worth the trip though because we love Bethlehem and Musikfest. It was our fifth time at Musikfest and about our eighth time in Bethlehem. We had two really fun shows on Saturday and Sunday at one of the best stages at the festival. We played in the toaster oven again and the roof seemed even lower than usual. We baked in there but it was fun. The crowds were awesome and the jokes about scrapple-platz were flying. Good times.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Canmore Folk Festival 

Ah... Canmore, sweet Canmore. Our favourite festival in all the world didn't disappoint. It was our fifth time here and as always was heaps of fun. We arrived on Saturday in time for the pre-festival kids concert at the senior's centre. Juxtaposition is fun.

The opening night show was a great one with the amazing and legendary Oysterband closing the night with a bang. They don't tour in Canada very often but see them if you can. The last time we saw them was at Canmore a few years ago and we ended a workshop together with everyone singing I Fought the Law. Their punk roots are obvious and awesome.

Sunday was a beautiful day in the mountains and the workshop sessions were a lot of fun. Our humour workshop with the delightful Connie Kaldor and Paul Compagne was great. We've been lucky enough to become friends with Connie and her family over the years so the good times were flowing on that stage.

A quick note on a few of the many perks of the Canmore Folk Festival. The food is awesome. The volunteers are awesome. Everything you could want to be comfortable is available and cheerfully provided. Clean porta-potties too. We also met some fantastic artisans at the festival who sell their wares in the craft area. Many thanks to Deb Bridge and her husband Rick for giving us really cool cow necklaces made of glass. She does great stuff. Thank you.

Okay where was I? Oh yeah. Sunday night was another great show with our buds The Bills closing the night and rocking the crowd nicely.

Our first workshop on Monday was hardly work at all. The theme was Venus and Mars with Bill Bourne and Eivor Palsdottir and The Wailin Jennys. The Jennys surprised everyone by opening the session with a stirring version of We Are The Beaver. We were ready to surrender right then and there.

The rest of the day was spend getting psyched up for our mainstage set. We were very honoured to get the 4pm timeslot and 50 minute set. In previous years, this slot had gone to Arlo Guthrie, Jesse Winchester and The Limelighters so we were feeling the pressure. And we were doing 75% new material because we were recording the show. Joining us for a few tunes were Adrian Dolan from The Bills and JP Cormier. It's nice to work with musicians from time to time. Thanks, dudes!

The final night concert was excellent and ended in the grand finale with everyone singing The Mary Ellen Carter and Four Strong Winds. This festival never seems long enough and the finale always makes people a little wistful. No time for that though because there is a party to go to. Had a great chat with a few Oysterband guys about topics as varied as The Ramones and the history of oil profits in Norway. The fatigue set in at a decent hour and it was back to the hotel for some sleep, putting a button on the Canmore Folk Festival for another year.

Our flight back to Toronto became a very long affair with a diversion to Thunder Bay because of the Toronto airport closure. We were first told it was due to weather and then we were told about the Air France accident. Our crew was great and kept everyone fed and watered. Phone calls home kept everyone up to date on the scary scene in Toronto and then the relief that there were only a few minor injuries. We eventually took off again and landed in Toronto only to sit on the tarmac for another three hours before a gate became available. Home sweet home about eight hours after I thought I'd be there but in the grand scheme of things, we were only a little put out. We had a much better day than 309 other people and their families.

So now it's on to Ohio and Pennsylvania. We'll have a few more tour dates to add to the site soon so check in from time to time at www.arrogant-worms.com

Peace out!

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