In tumultuous and confusing times, optimism and activism are the powerful antidotes for cynicism and fear. Two Bills share songs to assist in making this point.
First B/William Lenker plays a spontaneous Squatters in Zion from his Steamboat Island woodshop, then Dave spiels about courageous – and sadly deceased Olympian – Rachel Corrie, followed by Billy Bragg vehemently spieling on stage before a rollicking snippet of his Great Leap Forward from Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.
My pal Wm. Lenker wrote this song but hadn’t recorded for this album – i liked it so much that one cold January evening, I showed up at his house on Steamboat Island Road at the end of the Puget Sound and *demanded* that we go into the woodshop and record for my entertainment.
He kindly obliged and laid down various tracks, with guitar, vocals and banjo. I recorded and mixed down the rapidly recorded takes to suit my own old-timey taste, complete with heartfeltness, loquaciousness and longing – background noise of fire and beers included.
Billiam does all the instruments and most of the singing (little bit of my ghost vocals) and i’m on the hook for the recording, producing and mixing.
After more banter about lobsters, reggae and food, Uncle Weed offers observations about music industry, taxi drivers, civic pride, pothole filling, corrupt government and cynicism, devalued currency, human potential, news of the day, Patois remix, ninja squirrel mongoose, Rasta culture, fireflies, coconuts, kids doing homework, bats catching mosquitos, meaning of goats, donkeys strolling, swimming (or lack thereof), varieties of crabs, Prime Minsterial hijinks, calling elections, cruise ships, markets, churches, and Jamaica-Canada connections.
I was a guest on the Renman Live show (@RenmanMB), a show about music and business, to discuss social media for bands and labels. It’s a brief segment but one i hope to do more of with them. The Host (Steve Rennie @Renman1) is very LA and i am very Canadian :) I appeared on video via phone with my pith-helmet-attired pic representing in absentia. Click to watch the video and have some laughs.
Jason Lloyd came by the Hootsuite office to interview me for CiTR’s Tweets and Tunes, his show that examines the relationship between independent musicians and social media.
Being an active participant and enthusiast of music scenes, i had many topics to riff on, including DIY promo work at HootSuite, the Tracks on Tracks project, and the impact social media has on independent music.
Social media is creating an opportunity for musicians to connect with their audience like never before, allowing everyone to be part of a conversation. The changing dynamics between artist and fan are explored, along with lots of advice and tips for musicians and their social media endeavours.
The show ends with a discussion of the Vancouver music scene, including, bands, venues, and how things have changed and evolved over the years.
“One of the early presidents of the Berdoo Hell’s Angels was Bobby Zimmerman. On our way home from the 1964 Bass Lake Run, Bobby was riding in his customary spot – front left – when his muffler fell off his bike. Thinking he could go back and retrieve it, Bobby whipped a quick U-turn from the front of the pack. At that same moment, a Richmond Hell’s Angel named Jack Egan was hauling ass from the back of the pack toward the front. Egan was on the wrong side of the road, passing a long line of speeding bikes, just as Bobby whipped his U-turn. Jack broadsided poor Bobby and instantly killed him. We dragged Bobby’s lifeless body to the side of the road. There was nothing we could do but to send somebody on to town for help.” Poor Bobby.