June 1, 2014
I wanted to write this story up a couple of weeks ago, but I am glad I waited, as the media side of it just got better!
Last summer when I was in Halifax, something called Word On The Street was happening – an event for Canadian authors to share passages from their newly released books to the public. Among the authors was Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio, reading from his hilarious book, 1982 – a look back in time at life as a boy in Grade 9 in the early 80’s.
One of the stories he mentioned was how much the process of acquiring new music has changed. He spoke about the full day adventure it used to take to walk to the train, ride it for 40-45 minutes to downtown Toronto, finding Sam The Record Man, locating that new tape/CD, feeling the success of accomplishment, and then repeating that journey back home just to listen to it.
Today – we can tap a few images on any hand held device, and have a whole album in minutes…….I know this saves time and all….but think about what is lost…..
While in Victoria for my walking tour, my friend Lauren put on this album (Brother’s In Bamako by Eric Bibb and Habib Koite) while I was over for dinner :
I have been keenly searching out more world fusion music (Always open to more suggestions!), and I really liked the vibe of this album. Sooooo….the next day, inspired by Jian’s album trek story, I decided I would do the same. Lauren told me I might be able to find the album downtown Victoria at a place called Ditch Records, so the next day, I charted my course, and set sail :).
Along the way, I had a massive realization…..Victoria is where the very first Noodle Box restaurant started up!!! I came to know the Noodle Box in Vancouver, as I used to live around the corner from the one in Kitsilano, and it quickly became my favourite restaurant. It may be better to say that I lived at the Noodle Box….Highly highly highly recommend!
Anyhow, it just so happened that the first conceived Noodle Box was on my way to the record shop on a street called FISGARD….Just try saying that out loud and with attitude and conviction…FISGARD!!!!! Repeat if you’re ever feeling like you need a pick me up….haha. Love it.
I found it in China town, and had a great hang out with the employees there. Met a new songwriter there that worked there too.
Now full of delicious Kung Pao, I re-calibrated, and headed for Ditch. I couldn’t actually remember the last time I went into a music shop looking for a CD, and when I asked about the Bibb/Koite album, I was sent to the back.
Digging through the Eric Bibb section brought about a touch of excitement…similar to a treasure hunt in a way…..This album was more likely the type you would only get from a concert, so the chances of finding it were low.
I flipped through a variety of albums, slowly getting to the end of supply with no sign of it yet…..Eric Bibb has a bunch of albums, and it made me curious about his other works. After going through the whole section, I got to the last slot……WHAMMO! ONE LEFT!!! SCORE!!!! What a feeling of achievement I felt….at this point, the quest for this CD had given me a great walk in sunny Victoria, took me to the birth place of my favourite eat spot where I met cool people, and now rewarded me with an album was ultra pumped to take back and listen to……..however, the story doesn’t finish here.
I have only been to Victoria a few times in my life, and I have always had a special attraction to the wharf area near the Parliament buildings. A visit was a little out of the way for my journey that day, and I still had a 90 minute walk to pick up my gear for a gig I had that night…but I went anyways.
On the seawall was an amazing artist by the name of Marty Machacek plugging away on a really cool distorted image painting. I stopped to chat with him and his wife, and we exchanged stories of what we were both doing. I was surprised to find a variety of works he had painted from the Calgary region, particularly Bragg Creek, and this caught my attention. One of my cousins and his family have lived in Bragg Creek for a while, and another literally just moved there. We ended up exchanging our art, and I left with a print Marty had done of a home in Bragg Creek which I sent to my cousin as a house warming gift. I just got a call that my cousin received it, so I thought I better share this tale.
Last layer of awesomeness….I recently got tagged on facebook by a woman I met on a walk around Thetis Lake near Victoria…saying that she saw me in a Shaw TV piece……..As far as I knew, I had done nothing with Shaw on my walk, but when I watched the link…sure enough….they did a bit on Marty, and it happened to be the moment when I was talking to him and his wife! I had no idea. There was a guy there I thought was taking photos, but guess he was video recording. Haha. Anyways, I was going to share Marty’s website, but here is the clip that I video bombed instead :).
Check out more of Marty’s work – http://www.martycultural.com/. It rocks!
So, to recap……..I could have just downloaded Brothers in Bamako in 5 minutes to my iphone……………..enough said!
Thanks Jian and Lauren for sparking the idea for this 10km journey and blog!