It’s Been A Thousand Dollars Since We Last Talked

Last time I posted something here was July 7th, 2012 (I’m bad, and not like Michael Jackson). The total that day was $4,356.15. Just over three months later the newest tally is $5,311.20!  I would’ve written sooner but I’ve been all over the place. There’s a song at the end of this to explain my absence.

If you’d like to hear where all this Canadian Tire Money’s going, there are three unmastered mixes you can hear online. ‘Unmastered mixes’ means they’re not ready to vacuum-seal in cellophane, or hand over to the deejays. Not quite yet. They’re just ready for you to enjoy ’em:

But back to the Caper. This photo was sent to me last week:

That’s twenty-five dollars in Canadian Tire silver– 25 1$ coins wrapped in a company-issue roll, and they’re on their way right now to 39 Oxford, care of Amy Quarry, who only last month sent me this:

You got it, friends: that’s a sho’nuff Pilsner wallet, and that’s the $31.45 that’d been living inside it, which Amy’s husband had been adding to for eight years. He loved the Caper and told Amy to send me the wallet too. Amy told her friend Darcy (who happens to own a Canadian Tire) what I was doing, and he pitched in $25 in CT coinage. Look at that stuff. Pieces of eight!!

Okay, this photo of me feeling giddy was taken by Kelly White at the Trout Forest Music Festival (one of the best festivals ever, up in Ear Falls, Ont.) minutes after breaking five grand. Word of the Caper spread through the grounds (largely thanks to Ross, our awesome cook in hospitality) and by the end of the weekend, I’d collected $132.40, putting the total, when the weekend ended, at $5,052.30. That was August 11th.

We crossed the fifty-three hundred dollar line today, with $15.90 from Lauren Graham, which her grandfather in New Brunswick, Grant Watson, had put aside for years. Lauren told me he would’ve been thrilled to know that it became part of this project.

Back in January, when the Caper went super nova, Andrew Neville, of Winnipeg, MB (one of the songwriters being covered on the album) sent me $52.10, along with a beautiful and hilarious letter which I posted (you’ll find it back in the misty annals of this site). What I didn’t know at the time was that that particular stash had been collected by his father and left to to Andrew when his dad passed away. Andrew sent me his Canadian Tire inheritance!! When I was in Winnipeg this summer, I stayed at Andrew’s mother’s place, and the more I heard from her and Andrew about his father, the clearer it became how much he would have loved the Caper. Andrew wasn’t ever gonna spend those bills in any store, but when he heard what I was doing, the money found its home.

That’s the kind of energy that’s swirling around this beautiful feat of community, and which will live through this album every time someone puts it on. Speaking of which, here are the Toronto release dates:

We’ll be playing the first side of the double album the first night, and the second side the second. We’ve got inspiring guests, surprises, and all of the money collected throughout the entire caper will be there on display. Advance tickets went on sale yesterday at Paradise Bound (270 Augusta Ave. in the Kensington Market), and they’ll be at The Cameron House starting tomorrow.

And hey, if you’ve been meaning to send me your Tyre Money, do it! When 2012 ends, so does the Caper, and I guarantee that everyone who contributes a thin paper dime is gonna experience a sweet and unique species of happiness whenever you put that record on.

To finish.

I had a crazy summer. I performed my one-man show Bookworm at 5 Fringe Festivals, I played two music fests, and music gigs in every town I hit. I spent two days on trains, twenty hours on buses, flew six times, took five ferries, saw a lot of road. I slept on air mattresses, living-room foamies, fold-outs, and in guest beds. The four-month tour ended in Vancouver, where I received Pick Of The Fringe and was held over for an extra show. Just before that, I participated in the Vancouver Fringe Cabaret, which was a beautiful thing. An evening of performers doing stuff that wasn’t in their shows, and the only illumination in the sold-out room was from the flashlights in the hands of the audience, who swung those beams around the room to spotlight the next act, wherever they might pop up out of the darkness. It was an amazing night. I kicked the proceedings off with a song called ‘Trains and Boats and Buses’.

And a week later, just before doing my last performance of Bookworm, I sang it again, outside this very theatre (Performance Works in Granville Island) leaning against a vintage tour bus that was parked there:

This was shot by Rod Matheson, who– check this out– is shooting, and posting 1000 music videos in 1000 days.  If you’re a music fan, you’ll love what Rod’s doing. Find out about his joyful mission:

Alright. I won’t let another thousand dollars go by before I say hello again. Until then: this past weekend I attended OCFF (stands for the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals), which is a annual music conference which sees hundreds of musicians and folk-industry type folks getting together, getting business done, and doing stuff like this:

That’s Adam Iredale-Gray (of Fish & Bird), me, Emma Jane, and Gaby Harvey poking our heads into Jadea Kelly’s genius addition to the conference. I thought you should see it.

Writing to you from The Rogue Studios, where I’m listening to the final edit of Paper Nickels, which comes out January, 2013. The Rogue is without a doubt The Millennium Falcon of music studios. It’s all coming together. May the Folk Be With You. Talk soon, CR.