Tag Archives: Canadian Culture

We’ll always have Melville “Shred Kelly” – Tracks 10 years, part 4

From the roadside to the box car in 36 hours (or so)

Dealio: (Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 10-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor.  And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts…, ergo:

Blurb:

In a rapid flash, Shred Kelly went from a broken-down van on the side of a mountain highway, to a tow truck then a rental racing the clock to Edmonton to hop aboard the train. Making it just in time to stumble into an epic dance party already in overdrive. Whew.

The jovial quintet then brought relentlessly positive vibes to the town of Melville, Saskatchewan with an early morning luggage car performance, serenading what-must’ve-been-90% of the prairie town’s denizens – complete with lawn chairs, big coffees, and/or tall cans – sliding open the box car to belt out a rousing tune about disaffection for crappy jobs. The beaming mayor expressed his sincere thanks as the train coterie danced alongside the locals.

Once the shock of their unlikely transport triathlon wore off, they settled into their groove of jamming with everyone, pulling out banjos, melodicas, mandolins and rocking with a rapt, packed train car with smiles as bright as an indie-rock Osmond family.

This episode features Tim Newton’s impressive assortment of toques and hats, Sage McBride leading sing-alongs like the grooviest community choir leader, plus Ian Page-Shiner on traps, Steve Polit on guitar, and Jordan Vlasschaert’s scene-stealing ‘stasche rounding out the roster as he shared the band’s ski-town friendliness by thanking the producers/directors/filmers/everyone involved on making this ridiculously awesome journey happen.

And so the VIA Rail Canadian train rolls on, backed by a free-wheeling soundtrack with community coalescing by the kilometre from Vancouver to Toronto – with an important lesson learned, “Whatever it takes, just make it to the station.”

by daveo for Green Couch

All the goodness at Green Couch Films Tracks on Tracks playlist atYT: https://www.youtube.com/greencouchfilms

Time-shifting Train for “The Belle Game” – Tracks 10 years, part 3

Behold: the enchanting “Belle Game

Dealio: (Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 10-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor.  And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts…, ergo:

Blurb:

An ensemble is solving puzzles: metaphorical about how to play in different circumstances, logistical about how to deal with power outages, and practical like this puzzle has 500 pieces and three waterfalls. Yet, The Belle Game solves all the problems with courage and grace while shifting styles and eras – is this 50 years ago or 50 in future?

Starting with trackside sparklers at a “water stop” at an undisclosed location then segueing into unabashed joy playing with balloons, streamers and shine in the packed “activity car”… as Canada rolls past in endless twilight, the band builds layers like an art school thesis submitted for professors Eno and Bowie.

The band candidly discusses their apprehensions and concerns yet all the trepidation evaporates once they pick up instruments and launch into song – you’ll feel the emotion of “yes i will wait up for you”. Later, they squeeze into the caboose car, along with oboe and bassoon from Sidney York, and a clapalong crowd for a intimate performance to bookend their transcendent offerings.

Together, vocalists Andrea Lo and Katrina Jones (also keys), guitarists Adam Nanji and Alex Andrew – plus Marcus Abramzik on bass and drummer Rob Chursinoff – find ways to solve the puzzles: sing differently, change instruments, and switch approaches to find the infinite possibilities in constraints.

So, c’mon and oll through the “S curves” on this train adventure from Vancouver to Toronto complete with a cadre of bands, fans, documenters, and other free radicals in part 3 of Tracks on Tracks, more to come, more is past.

by daveo for Green Couch

All the goodness at Green Couch Films Tracks on Tracks playlist atYT: https://www.youtube.com/greencouchfilms

Vancouver station to Winnipeg crossroad with “Portage and Main” – Tracks 10 years, part 2

The videos from that Vancouver to Toronto train trip with the rock ‘n’ roll bands 10 years ago started coming out in a series of 10 – here’s part 2 with “Portage and Main” / I think you will really enjoy.

10 years distant, songs were sung – for children & mothers – beards were combed, tracks were rolled. You wanna come along?

Blurb: “we’ll find him in the park with a kite.. . blowing bubbles” 

As the Canadian scenery flashes by in impressionistic hues for greens, box cars and rain, the affable fellas of twin acoustic guitar folk rockers ”Portage and Main” talk about their wonder, disbelief and excitement about being on this “Festival Express-esque” journey while sharing their heart felt Canadiana songs.

So continues the Tracks on Tracks journey, a 2012 Vancouver to Toronto train adventure with 10 bands and dozens of music enthusiasts exploring the Canadian landscape aboard the classic VIA Rail Canadian. Fortified with a spirit of camaraderie and pure creative expression, the bands head towards NxNE festival with the mantra of “Every night! Every night!”

Named for the fabled Winnipeg intersection, their songs evoke themes of searching, growing up, being away and coming home. John, Harold, and George move from upper deck dome car with spontaneous collaboration with chartreuse Adaline, to activity car with wide-eyed audience noting the serendipity of the experience paired with the song, to a jam packed sleeping berth with late-night improvs including a sizzling fiddle solo.

Yup, it’s all happening, all at once. Produced by Green Couch Films and now available to spark your dreams of adventure. Get aboard, there’s more to come.

daveo for Green Couch
take a break Driver 8, on the way to Winnipeg (PS evidence i was there :) dvo)

Epilogue: I mostly really glad that George gets a lot of screen time, he’s a really top-notch dude (check out his digital recording demonstration videos, often out in nature in his VW bus) … In other news, John as “Johnny 99” has a new album out shipping *today* on vinyl, and Harold has done some wonderful online sing-along/a cappella/piano lessons on IG.

“Topless” Dance party on the train – Tracks 10 years, part 1

The videos from that Vancouver to Toronto train trip with the rock ‘n’ roll bands 10 years ago started coming out today in a series of 10 – here’s part with “Topless Gay Love Tekno Party” (AKA Topless AKA TGLTP) / I think you will really enjoy.

Splash! It’s all happening (as the train risks going off the tracks like a glitter piñata into InterGalactic space)

Blurb: “I like the place the music creates” 

A train car packed with sweaty shirtless dancers, streamers and balloons, and a dance groove sextet called “Topless Gaylove Tekno Party” bursting like a glitter explosion compelling the effervescent passengers dance so hard there was *a legitimate concern* the mighty VIA train could launch into an intergalactic stratosphere as they sing full-throated along with the band – all of them in utility-grey onesies, “I’m not a diamond, I am not cold to the touch” dancing to the sway of the rails. 

So begins Part 1 of 10 of the long-awaited Tracks on Tracks video series, a 2012 Vancouver to Toronto VIA Rail journey with 10 bands onboard, exploring the Canadian landscape and creating culture through performances and collaborations from dome cars to sleeping berths to whistle-stop shows. 

Along the way, the “Topless” members discuss their song-making process, the importance of naps, the logistics of wearing onesie uniforms, sleep-over steam-rollers, Ulysses as a bedtime story, and the joy they find when making something magic together.

Produced/directed by Green Couch Films, you’ll see unique points of view including verdant greens in the ever-changing scenery, freight trains whisking by, and views of the spectacular art-deco rolling stock and so many amazed and enthusiastic faces chanting  “everynight! Everynight!” in joyous disbelief this is actually happening. Get on board, quickly, there’s more to come.

daveo for Green Couch

(Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

Such goodness coming

10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 11-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor. It was our own 90 person indie rock Festival Express co-mingled with the usual passengers and doing ridiculous / ill-fated whistle stop shows along the way and ended up at NxNE festival for showcase and I presented a keynote talk about social media disasters… And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts starting June 8th iirc. Consider yourself warned, amused and excited.

All the goodness at Green Couch Films Tracks on Tracks playlist atYT: https://www.youtube.com/greencouchfilms

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