I had a blog once, it was started to post silly things and I had a partner in crime but it was one of those partners who simply serves to give some momentum at the beginning by offering excitement and a strew of ideas. Once of those who has only ideas that never come into fruition. I let it stop me.
Today, the sun is shining. There was a two way stop and a woman waited her turn once to many times, she honked her horn and threw up her hands. Coffee at the shop is better than my coffee at home. I think my coffee grind is too course. Maybe when the water runs through it, it flows too easily, it needs to be slowed down. The water needs to savor the moment and stop to smell the coffee. That is, if it is going to make a nice, full body roast.
What am I writing for? I’m here in the coffee shop with many aspiring strangers. It appears that the majority of them are on their computers, working. Some are in pairs but most are solo. It appears one is awaiting a friend and there are two gentlemen reading books, the other ten people are on laptops. Why are we here? I’d assume that most of us are here for the SIDE-HUSTLE.
Should I be at home, playing my guitar? Writing songs? It’s funny thinking about art and what proportion of art is the craft itself and what amount of sharing is required. The tree falls in the woods but how far will the sound carry? The woods is really what they call “the woodshed” -for those who are unfamiliar with this term, the woodshed is where musicians go to hone their craft in private. A woodshed is far enough removed from the house that a green musician can make noise without being overheard or bothering people. It’s the place where we practice up before we’re ready to expose our work to the world.
There was a while where I was learning the trumpet. It was an extremely humiliating and humbling process. The trumpet is loud and unforgiving, living in a house with 4 other people meant that it was fairly unlikely that I would have the house to myself. There are two reasons why I do not like to practice trumpet while someone can hear me.
a) I wouldn’t want to listen to it myself, I wouldn’t wish that racket on anyone
b) If I know someone can hear me, I have less patience to repeatedly go over the challenge areas
Why? because that’s just about as irritating as sound can get. This means that if I am to play trumpet while people are in the house, I will play the things I feel are least annoying and that means I am going over the things that are least in need of attention.
So, what are we doing at the coffee shop?
a) here to focus
b) the coffee is better
I have an addiction to self help talks. I’ve moved from beating myself into shape to instead looking at the bat and trying to decipher why it swings at me and why I don’t move out of it’s way. This year, I’ve been toying with the game of letting things go. I have high standards, high expectations and am emotionally attached to the outcomes that I feel I have control over. You’d think that this is a recipe for high achievement.. however, for me, high expectation tends to cause fear of failure which surfaces as procrastination.
OH LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT PROCRASTINATION
Here’s a concept, procrastination is an emotional attachment to outcome. Does that make sense? (The problem with writing is that I don’t get the facial cues that tell me whether or not to explain further.)
Do you beat yourself up about your procrastination habit? Why? Because you don’t get things done on time or you don’t get things done at all?
Imagine you are two people, one of whom is the person who wishes to get things done; the other is the one who constantly puts it off. Next, imagine one character is the adult, the other is a child (you can guess who’s who). Children need encouragement, patience, forgiveness and structure. There is a certain degree of discipline that can be useful but it is easy to discourage a child if you give them the impression that they’re not living up to your standards. So, as you would wish to do with a child, treat your procrastinating, high-standards self with love and encouragement and you might just get results. Stop beating yourself up and look at the bat you’re beating yourself up with. You’re beating yourself up because you care about the outcome. Have fun with it, present things that aren’t finished. Just create something anything and SHARE IT! If a project loses momentum, take it off the shelf and put it out into the world. Make way for the next creation. And fuck if you have to procrastinate, write a blog post.- Jun 2nd, 2018
Before I begin blabbering on about my life, I need to get out of the dark lest my perfectionist monster scares me off again! So click > here < for a song in as-is-condition. Please note that it is free to download, click the "...more" button.
Since I moved to Toronto August 2017, my world has changed immensely. I’ve made remarkable friends and learned how to retain a sense of connection that spans the distance between my British Columbian pals and I. I miss them. Maybe I speak for more than just the introverts of the world but I gather that we are especially reliant on the emotional safety and trust that is bolstered through long-time friendships. It’s a relief to be authentic and I do my very best to remain true to myself when I meet new people but I get exhausted fostering new relationships and investing time in getting to know one another. I like to get a sense of who people are on a deep level and although some people open up bold and generously, most people remain a little guarded.. so it takes some time. I enjoy being patient and am grateful for free long distance plans. Meeting so many artists and kind people in Toronto has been a relief and although I feel lost without the trees and the ocean of the west coast, I feel that being in a new environment has made me vulnerable in an uncomfortably awesome way. Torontonians have been surprisingly safe people to be around. I expected less of a city this big, a city who is known for being a hustle, bustle business town. No offense but I DID expect less and you gotta know that I have been astonished and am grateful for the remarkably welcoming community I’ve encountered.
I love learning and school is a beautiful thing. Having structure, encouragement and deadlines is a blessing and the Independent Songwriting and Performance program at Seneca College provided all that and more. The teachers were heroic role models who showed a vested interest in providing useful information and hearing the voice of each and every student. Graduating was slightly triumphant but also sad and scary. Luckily, I got to visit my sisters, dad and niece in BC between school and the big Canadian Music Week event. We managed to make time for baby burping, sun bathing, ocean air breathing and forest roaming.
Next thing I knew I was back in Toronto to work as Gary Taylor’s personal assistant for CMW. I spent half of my time in the office, doing graphic design and sending emails to mentors in the Mentors Cafe and the other half I spent listening to panels, taking notes, drinking free coffee, water and talking to industry people… generally stepping outside my comfort zone. In the evenings, I was reminded of the reason for all of this hullabaloo. The live music performances were amazing. I am aware that most of the artists do not get payed to be there and a lot of them travel from far away. I mostly went to see friends of mine perform. Carmanah, Foxglove and Fortune Killers. Fortune Killers stayed at my house which was fantastic because I've been feeling like I don't have enough close friends here yet. CMW was full of fantastic music and the whole event washed by! The memory of CMW in my brain appears a Ben Van Netten painting who’s blur of colours give me vertigo. For me, music conferences are an abstract mass of faces, information and emotions that are vibrant and unsettling with a beauty who’s meaning is unique to the individual.
One of the most resounding messages I heard from CMW came from a producer’s panel hosted by Lisa Patterson of Imaginit Music. The panelists invited a group of aspiring female producers to come up and answer questions as the voice of the new generation. One girl talked about creation and how her own perfectionism and self-criticism could keep her from releasing any music. I realized that I’ve let this happen and that this girl had pointed out the solution to the shame I’d been feeling throughout the music conference. Most of the content on my website is at least 2 years old so I’ve felt really embarrassed about my lack of dedication to being an artist who is faithful to creation and offering people access to those creations. It’s as if I haven’t called my mom since 2015 and I’m dying to show her my newest drawing so she can put it on the fridge. Maybe it’s a selfish desire but fuck self-criticism, I need my mom’s love. I need to share who I am and I feel out of sorts if I’m still only presenting my music and myself as who I was in 2015. It’s time for new music. Nothing is up to my standards but fuck it, it’s gotta come out whether I feel ready or not.
I feel like a scared child who needs constant encouragement. I think that chasing a lofty goal is both exhilarating and exhausting for the soul. I’m having trouble seeing the big picture and sometimes pursuing art as a career can feel like a sea of disappointment until finally there are remarkable discoveries and the occasional white-sand-beach basking session. I realize that one of the heaviest fears I have is that when I arrive on the next island I will be drinking my champaign alone and I’ll have to consume an entire papaya with two spoons and only one stomach. I want to thank the internet for being a place I can quickly reach friends. Sometimes I fear that I am boasting and it is not publicly acceptable. Sometimes I have fears of judgement but most of the time feel better after I go ahead and wear muddy boots on the subway or sing out of tune while I bike through my neighborhood. I’m not bothering anyone for that long!
What better day to feel a need for love and encouragement than Mother’s Day. I have one who has shared her heart in the most open and loving ways. She has ALWAYS encouraged me to keep creating and keep dreaming the seemingly impossible dreams of continuing to be artist. Today, she is on Hornby Island gardening in the same earth that she taught me how to plant carrots, water plants and eat strawberries. Today, I have two older sisters who can be counted on for sharing anything they can offer and who help me out by reminding me to call my mom on mother’s day. Today, I am not only scared of life but I am excited to face my fears because I know that family and friends always have my back. Momma was the first one.
Happy mother’s day mom and everyone after that. Go see your moms or anyone who you know that has provided love and support when you've needed it.- May 14th, 2018
Wow! That was a whirlwind! I thought I was going to be stuck in the office for most of CMW but my dear Gary Taylor let me roam around the conference most of the time. In the daytime, the love of music helped me bridge my introversion, having something in common with every one in attendance and having an opportunity to sit, listening to panelists speak.
On my first day, Gary signed me up to be a mentor at the Mentor's Cafe that he manages. I was really nervous and sat at my table, organizing papers and business cards I'd collected. Right away, Civil Wray came up and spoke with me. She was kind and talkative, filling up most of the conversational space (which I felt grateful I didn't have to do). I quickly learned that she's made more headway with her craft than I have so I chuckled at how I was given the "mentor" role while feel like it was more of a two way street. She mentored me just as much or more than I did her! Listening to her music for the first time now, I am thrilled! See her video
Bad Animal came to speak to me next. They were so kind! Came to Toronto from Calgary and told me if I came to Calgary, they'd book me a show. It's really inspiring to meet so many people that share similar aspirations. I have rarely felt any mean competitive vibes from other musicians and have repeatedly noticed a eagerness to share resources, offer help or encouragement. This is why I believe that I am a happy person today. Beyond what my family and friends have done for me, beyond the love that my parents showed me I was worthy of, I feel that sharing in a love for making music is the community that has supported me since I left my mom's house in 2010.
I've wanted to befriend Fortune Killers since I started taking voice lessons with Felicia. They slept on my couch and left my roommates and I with merch, wine and eggs. Organic eggs!
Helena Deland and Anemone put on excellent shows!! I spoke to each of them afterward. Helena Deland's band mates were very encouraging and patient with my attemps at speaking french. Anemone made me want to keep dancing and really commit to my dreams of making disco.
I went to a party at Kensington Sound last night and ended up staying there for 7 hours. It was full of future friends including Abraham, Lambsbreath, Ben Palchet some humble folks from Urban Music Canada and many more! Today I went to meet Gary for a wrap up chat. His friend Franz (President of Indica Records who manage Half Moon Run) who was the kindest sufer-rocker dude. Him and I went to the pool and lounged in the sun for a bit. He offered his house if I ever want to visit Montreal.. He said he's usually gone to Australia in the winter. WHA! So I think life is about taking those opportunities that make your jaw drop and mumble "oh, I couldn't do thaat, he's just trying to be nice." No, I COULD do that and he IS being nice and once more, I COULD do that. Should.. Will? I will. Ok, it's settled.
Thank you Gary Taylor, thank you Canadian Music week, thank you to all of the music creators, music appreciators for being so welcoming and making networking not so horrible.
Next I need to find a place to stay in Nashville, anyone got a couch there?
- May 13th, 2018
Today, I hung out with Owen Davies, singing backup on some of his new recordings. He's a kind soul and a talented songwriter. I'm looking forward to hearing the final product and a single release in late March! And our show at C'est What? Cafe Sunday April 29th.- Feb 11th, 2018
On Saturday, I went ice fishing with the First Peoples @Seneca community. It was a warm and welcoming group who I met during the International Development Day performance the week before. Wow how opportunities lead to more opportunities! I made friends, caught eleven fish and received a new nickname, "Zibi" (Zeebee) which translates from Ojibwe to "little stream."
Peggy brought home made lunch and snacks, all of which were delicious and healthy. We drilled holes in four feet of ice and caught fish that were six inches long. I laughed more than I've laughed in a long time and felt accepted without a moments hesitation. I never once felt like an introvert or like I needed a break from interactions.
What a fun time!
- Feb 11th, 2018
Performing for International Development Week was a pleasure. Adriano and I performed instrumental music during the Opening Ceremony as well as a performance of "Stars" which the Director, Monica Kronfli said "not only set the tone, but really captured the spirit."
The week held a variety of workshops which brought awareness to current issues and solutions regarding Nature and immigration.
Toronto has been a whirlwind of adjusting to the big and inspiring city and a lot of saying "yes" to many amazing opportunities! The Independent Songwriting and Performance program at Seneca is fantastic. I am playing bass in another person's project for the first time ever! Check out Owen Davies by clicking HERE- Nov 12th, 2017
Zoubi and The Sea is working on a track with Victoria's own Sam Weber, producer and musician extraordinaire. We are so excited to share it with you in the new year!- Dec 31st, 2016
Saturday, September 17th
11:30pm at the Mint
Zoubi and the Sea open for the Wild Romantics!
The Rock of the Woods music festival was announced and we're on it!
We have to sell tickets to this event so please email email@example.com for details!
Prince George, what a beautiful place! My time staying with Norm, Carolyn, Gabrielle, Emma, Noah and Noah was very inspiring. What a kind and welcoming family. Thank you for feeding us and for taking me mountain biking! Nancy O's is a fun venue, the owner, Owen, was very helpful and accommodating. I recommend it to any musician looking for a place to perform. It was packed on a Wednesday! What a wonderful way to kick off our tour. Off to Jasper at 5am tomorrow wooo woooo! Vroom vrooooooom can't wait to see what that big green spot on the map looks like from the earth.- Aug 12th, 2015