So I’m at the Guru Digital Arts College gala on Friday and I meet this fellow, Kees Den Hartigh, and we’re talking about the Social Media phenomenon (speaking of guru’s – he’s somewhat of a guru on this subject), and he tells me about this Empire Avenue thing that’s taking off. It’s really very interesting. People buy and sell shares in you and cause your stock price to go up and down. You accrue virtual wealth for your own portfolio and subsequently draw attention to your various endeavours (real and virtual) on blogs and other social media sites. It seems to be quite a fun way of getting your work out into this geeky digital world. You should try it out.

Empire Avenue

Oh yeah, and you’d better buy my stock quickly. The price just jumped 20 cents per share since I started writing this blog. Hot!


I’m sorry to have to report that Red Lips, the Musical will not be happening this June in our neighbour city to the south. The four hander musical based on James Shirley’s The Lady of Pleasure, that I wrote ten years ago with Tim Ryan and Jeff Smook, has been cancelled by Liquid Meld Theatre, along with the rest of their season running at the Vertigo Theatre space in downtown Calgary. I have to say I’m very disappointed about not getting a chance to see this work again. (Actually, I never saw it last time as I was on stage performing in the show as well). I feel sorry for all of the Liquid Meld folks for having to pull the plug, and extremely sorry to all of the people that were hoping to be working on these shows. There really isn’t anything to say about it except that it sucks.

It would have been nice not to have had to find out about the cancellation from a mass email inviting me to a premature season rap party for the company which had me thinking, “Hmm, I wonder why they’re having a wrap party in April when Red Lips is in June?” But what the hey, I’m sure they had stuff on their minds. No hard feelings. I suppose I’m thankful that this near-production has become the catalyst for me completing the score for the show which had never been written out…even if it did take up the entire month of November and half of December.

So if anyone is looking for a great small cast musical set in a coffee shop…get in touch. We’ll do lunch.

February 21, 2011. Holiday Monday. 7:15 AM. Temperature: -21 Celsius. Soundtrack: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures.

I’d much bouncing around in my brain this morning on my 9K loop: Lyric fixes for Red Lips need to get underway, new songs and scenes for Saint Aggie’s need to be written, plans need to be made for the release of the new CT album in May…and for some reason I seem to be starting to formulate ideas for a new musical, though I’m sure it’s a bad idea to be doing that right now.

Must prioritize.

Yesterday I started reformatting the Red Lips script in order to make some improvements to the lyrics. I needed to do this as the only copy I have of the script in digital form is a PDF file, so in order to make any changes to anything I would have to copy the text from the PDF into a Word or Final Draft document. You can just cut and paste from such a file (thanks for reminding me Maria), but when you’ve done it, all the formatting is gone. Mr. Timothy F. Ryan always did such a great job with the presentation of his scripts – and Red Lips was no exception. I still have a photocopy of the original draft 1 of Frankenstein (circa 1991) in Tim’s handwritten block lettering. It’s really beautiful.

So anyway, I’m working away, hoping that I’m doing it justice. I’d given the whole thing a good strong font with a decent sarif (Tim always liked sarif for some reason) and I’m finally thinking he would like this font I’d chosen. I’m about halfway through act 1 in about an hour and a half. Making good time. Everything was going great!

Then I dumped a cup of tea into the keyboard.

Amazingly, everything is going to be fine. I managed to keep the liquid to the right side of the computer by tipping it up on it’s side almost immediately (it was a split second reflex, actually – scarily fast), saving the hard drive and other important hardware from being drowned. Long story short, I’m just going to need a new keyboard. That is all. Whew!

And a couple more days.

This morning I went out for my run at about 7:15. Frightened Rabbit’s, Midnight Organ Fight was the soundtrack for a mildly harrowing slip fest through the streets of the Hood. When I reached the edge of Kinnaird Park, above a frozen North Saskatchewan River, it suddenly became worth it, as the sun rose during my morning ritual for the first time in months.

This morning I did some co-writing with my good friend Mr. Nick Perreault. We pieced together some chords that Nick was playing around with into something that I think sounds quite tuneful. Needs some lyrics. If you don’t know Nick, he is an ex-pat Newfoundlander turned ex-pat Edmontonian who now resides in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released several CDs including THE GOOD INTENTIONS, which was the first record we recorded at the Norwood Studio. He’s also a very talented graphic designer who has designed many fine looking record covers (among other things), including NORTH OF THE YELLOWHEAD by Captain Tractor and both of my solo records. He won WCMA for the artwork of James Murdoch’s IN TRANSIT album in which he mapped out all of the tracks and players on the recording into a brilliant subway map style design.

The Captain Tractor Power Trio (Chris Wynters, Scott Peters, Jason Kodie and Shannon Johnson – YES, THERE ARE FOUR OF US!!!) will begin performing every second Thursday at OVERTIME in Sherwood Park starting on February 10, 2011. There will be no cover and we welcome requests via the Captain Tractor Facebook group. Hope to see you out very soon.

Today I am trying to get back to work at everything after a low key, family focused, Christmas vacation. It’s been a great break, but it feels good to get back at it.

I’m really concentrating on getting the score finished for RED LIPS, THE MUSICAL, which goes up in Calgary in June. (Produced by Liquid Meld Theatre at the Vertigo Space). It’s a bit behind – to be honest it’s a lot behind –  but I’m confident I’ll have the piano/vocal done within about 10 days or so. Jeff Smook is working on the bass and drum parts and he is making progress as well.

Once RED LIPS is done I will be back at SAINT AGGIE’S ’84, writing a couple of new songs and scenes for the two act version of the show. Still trying to find somewhere to workshop the new version in around April. (Any suggestions are appreciated).

The Captain Tractor record is now in the design stage and some shows are being booked for March. The actual release of the record will be in May or June and there will be some more live dates at that time. Hopefully we’ll being playing festivals all over the place this summer.

Captain Tractor’s new record, out in the spring (2011), has just been sent to us from mastering. Right now we are listening to the masters and making sure everything is sounding right. A few notes from me, and probably a few from the others, but it’s all pretty close.

Captain Tractor is finally on Facebook, Twitter and Reverbnation. When I remember the login and password I’ll even update our Myspace page. Our new record, FAMOUS LAST WORDS, which is in the final stages of mixing, will be released in the spring of 2011.

RSS My Saint Aggie’s Blog

  • Saint Aggie’s ’84: GCS Newsbreak April 17, 2012
    Here’s a story on the show that aired in Greensboro today. Advertisements
  • Saint Aggie’s on WFMY News March 31, 2012
    Here’s an interview on KFMY television in North Carolina with Keith Taylor, Saint Aggie’s ’84’s director, and Katie Sessoms who plays Hattie in the show.
  • Adventures in North Carolina March 29, 2012
    Last week I ventured to the state of North Carolina to witness the opening of the premiere of the two-act version of SAINT AGGIE’S ’84 at the Weaver Academy in Greensboro. I flew in on Tuesday night (it was supposed to be Tuesday afternoon – thanks United Airlines) caught the dress rehearsal and watched the […]
  • A photo from another world… February 15, 2012
    Here it is. The first glimpse of the next cast of Saint Aggie’s ’84. Yes, the photo is bit grainy and slightly unclear, reminding me a little of a photo from early space exploration, an early moon probe, transmitted back to earth slowly via radio waves and taking hours to receive, decipher and print. Of […]
  • On Our Way January 25, 2012
    My new EP has on it (among other things) my version of ON OUR WAY from Saint Aggie’s ’84. You can check the song out or download it alone or with the whole EP at bandcamp. ***ALSO*** Watch for progress reports from Greensboro NC, where rehearsals are underway at the Weaver Academy for the debut […]
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