Tin Grin

February 17th, 2011

I’m off to see Dr. G to get the dreaded braces on – 110 min of torture. And to think I actually paid for this!


February 14th, 2011

After coming home tired and spent I realized how easily my confidence can be shaken just from one person’s opinion. I’d like to think that after years of working on building myself back up from my broken youth that I would not be so vulnerable to bend at the slightest remark. Granted this stuff of progress is just that – A constant struggle towards your end goal that doesn’t follow in a neat linear direction.

In the case of making music, I would always be the first to question my abilities thinking “Oh, what I’m doing is too simple” or “I’m not a musician”. In reality, sure what I’m doing on the guitar is simple but it’s still music. Most of my favourite songs that I listen to over and over again are based around simplicity. Those are the most memorable. Perhaps, that’s what I have to remember, and not get caught up with the fact that I’m not creating crazy musical arrangements but rather a simple pop song.

Sometimes the most difficult thing in music or any art for that matter is accepting what you do to be that very thing that sets you apart and defines your own style.


February 11th, 2011

I surprised myself last week by getting almost all of my recording done for rhythm guitar. I finished five out of seven tracks. The neighbours were out for most of the morning and from what I could tell their tiny terror spent the rest of the afternoon at someone else’s house – Ahh, peace and quiet! Soon I won’t have to worry about scheduling my recording around the activity of my rowdy neighbours because I’ll have my own house – Yay! Good riddance apartment living I say!

As I sat down to listen to one of the songs once it was lined up with all the other tracks, a smile crept across my face… What a good feeling it is to at last feel comfortable in one’s skin. Even if these recordings don’t come out perfectly, they will at the very least provide an accurate representation of my songwriting ability.

Finally, this is my sound.

Return from the Dead

February 6th, 2011

My week-long hibernation has finally come to a halt. Although, the word “hibernation” makes the flu sound more like I underwent a peaceful and cozy sojourn when it was really more like being dragged up from the dead!

My slow recovery seems to be setting the overall pace of my music schedule these days too. However, I have to admit that so far, I’ve been pretty fortunate in that respect. All of the musicians who agreed to contribute to this project have done so with efficiency, great heart and formidable talent to match. Right now I’m pretty excited as I wait for an old Refrain Side Project alumnus, Dumb Blonde, Dead. to record the lead guitar for four of the songs on my album. I’m usually the first to complain about technology but in this situation I’m actually quite revered by it – Thanks to the internet Dumb Blonde, Dead. and I are able to collaborate regardless of the fact that I’m in Montreal and he’s in Mississippi! Ah the magic of the world wide web!

Tomorrow, I’m set to record my guitar tracks – hopefully I’ll be able to get it done without any disturbance from my noisy neighbours! So far Sundays have proven to be my best bet to get my recordings done because the people with their roadrunner kid downstairs are usually out for the morning. This should afford me just enough time to get my recordings down. Tricky business recording at home! Can’t wait to leave this apartment and move into my house when noise will no longer be a hindrance.

Forced Vacation, Down w/ the Flu

January 23rd, 2011

This weekend the plan was to record my guitar tracks. Everything was set up in the office, which doubles as the recording studio for now, ready to go. Thursday however was all eaten up by house hunting – yes there is finally light on the horizon and we will be escaping this hell hole we’ve called home for 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent apartment, the rent is good and there’s hot water and heating included but you get to a point in life, like me at the age of 31, where you just want a place all your own.

Something my lovely husband said to me when I was whining about getting out of here struck me as the sweetest thing – He said home is wherever we are together. He’s absolutely right.

Today I’m recovering from the flu. I spent the entire day in bed yesterday sleeping. This morning I woke up feeling a little bored so I checked my email of course – I am so obsessed with mail! By the way all you people on facebook please write! I will respond, promise!

Although I didn’t get to record my guitar tracks this weekend I did buy a house. Ha! Not too shabby.

Violin Done!

January 18th, 2011

I just finished a day, well, more like a few hours to be exact of recording with Aliza – That’s how efficient it is to work with that little wonder lady! I first met Aliza at a show that I did last winter on her first gig playing with a band called The Belle Game. At the time the idea of having violin on any of my songs never crossed my mind simply due to the fact that it’s nearly impossible to find a good violinist who isn’t already involved in a band or two.

However, now that I’ve moved on from the idea of a band and have decided to tackle my music on more of a project to project basis, I’m able to collaborate with talented artists who I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with.

Last week Aliza came over and we finalized the arrangements on violin for all the songs. I hummed out the tunes for her that I’d hear in my head and like magic she’d reproduce it to a tee! If I knew it was going to be that easy I would have had all the equipment set up so that we could record her tracks that same day. Regardless, there was no time lost.

It was an absolute pleasure to record with Aliza, everything went so smoothly and with breathtaking efficiency. After having the privilege of working with such a skilled musician I now have a new saying:
When preparation meets professionalism you’re that much closer to perfection.

Recording – Different Strokes for Different Folk

January 2nd, 2011

So far December has been pretty hectic but I guess that goes without saying given that the holidays play a big part in that. However, this year, aside from the usual Christmas preparations I was busy getting the guide tracks down for all the songs on the album and having the musicians come in to record.

Once the scheduling was out of the way and it came time to the actual recording work I realized how no matter how much you prepare there’s no preparing for how musicians will perform in the end. Each individual is different with their own style of working and their set of limits or strengths. The challenging part is to know how to customize each session so that you get the best take out of each musician and do your best to keep them comfortable and happy while they’re at it!

In my case especially, I found this to be an important factor to note since the musicians I was working with were volunteering their time so the same incentive may not be there as there is for paid musicians.

Next up is the violinist and I’m very excited about working with her. This will be my first time including violin on my arrangements and I think it will be a great addition.