July 16, 2012

270: Artsy-Farts Europe

While in Europe this spring, I could not help but look at things in black and white. I loved our vacation for many reasons, but one was definitely exploring new environments – particularly urban environments – and being absolutely flabbergasted by camera-worthy scene after camera-worthy scene of potential greyscale goodness. When we arrived back home, I slowly got to work sifting through my stockpile of images and scoping out ideal candidates for conversion to black-and-white. There were so many. And these are them.

So if'n you have a couple of minutes/dos minuts/due minuti/dvije minute… take a gander at some of the output.

July 09, 2012

269: Festival Express

Top row (left to right): Beth Orton, Bahamas, Royal Wood. Middle row (left to right): Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso. Bottom row: Melissa Mulholland and Justin Rutledge.

This year's Winnipeg Folk Festival was only the second one in which I ponied up for the entire weekend pass (the other, 2009's all-star edition with Neko Case, Josh Ritter, Iron & Wine, Patrick Watson, etc.). I've attended 20 versions of the festival – Kerry notes that there's been more summers in our lives with time spent at the Winnipeg Folk Festival than without – and even if the dynamics have changed over time, it's always a good, good time. And it's always searing, searing hot. God must like the Winnipeg Folk Festival – not like the seedy, soggy Red River Ex, or the bedeviled Teddy Bears' Picnic.

I enjoyed catching up with a lot of our favourites like Justin Rutledge, Bahamas and Elliott Brood (who earned hardest-working-band title for soldiering on despite blowing the circuits twice). Reacquainting with big-shots who cut their teeth here, like Feist and Iron & Wine. Getting a taste for new-to-me stuff in Royal Wood, James Vincent McMorrow and The Head & The Heart. Finding out Beth Orton has recovered enough from motherhood to rediscover her performing chops.

But the place just makes us happy. And exhausted. After so many years it's developed into a kind of old comfy shoe sorta thing. And when it's finished, like last night when the sun finally let up and Bahamas just would not quit with the encores, it's sad. The next day is always a working Monday, but it's only 364 days until next time.

July 03, 2012

268: Here's The Deal

We spent the Canada Day long weekend at the lake. It was our first chance to get up to Kerry's parents' cottage this summer, on the west side of Lake Winnipeg.

Kerry spent entire summers of her childhood at this place. She swam in the water and played here as a kid, while I spent summer Saturdays at the beach with my family on the other side of the lake.

She wrote a poem about this not so long ago. It's beautiful. It makes me think there was invariably a moment when as a gangly little boy I stood on the beach scanning the horizon. On calm days you could squint and see the other side.

And on the other side, she stood on the steps of the gangly, gaunt pier at the end of her place's gravel road and squinted to see my side of the lake.

Now we sit together on a still and humid night in the verandah. Store-bought firecrackers are going off. She's playing solitaire and I watch through my camera.