Edmonton's Vohon Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is celebrating its 30h anniversary this Saturday 27h October. 30 years of providing Ukrainian dance as a company and to celebrate this, they are hosting an incredible gala for their community. While I, myself, am not Ukrainian, my dear friend Marissa K reached out in search of donations. I have donated an entire song - still to be written - to help them see another 30 years as a dance company. The whole night is set to be magical with 2 live Ukrainian bands: Euphoria and Sloohai, as well as live performances from currant and alumni dancers, a silent auction, dinner and a dance afterwards. This is going to be a massive night and I'm so excited for Marissa who has been slaving away putting prizes together throughout the weeks. They've never hosted anything quite this big before. If you have any Ukrainian in you or just really love dance, you should try and get a ticket to this show! I'm excited to write for whoever wins this prize!
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The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated this week that we only have 10 years left to avoid irreversible catastrophic affects of global warming. I don't know where to begin. Another article I shared suggested to start by going vegan. I went vegan 15 years ago in Dublin and was never so sick. I have since tried to move towards the vegan lifestyle again but held steady at vegetarian. Some days I'm a Paris vegan - vegan at home, but eat meat when I'm out. I, like so many people, want to feel like I'm getting value for money when I'm spending that much out on food. Yet if you were to compare the nutritional benefits of a slab of meat versus an assortment of vegetables, I'm sure we'd view the vegetables as better value for money. I'm torn. I've tried not to eat my favourite thing in the world for a while now - fish. Salmon, mackerel, scallops, trout.....all the good stuff. I can no longer even justify buying cod liver oils. The immense weight of the guilt I feel any time I lift one of those off the shelf crushes me. Yet I slyly and begrudgingly will accept gifts of supplements like that or other foods like blocks of fancy cheeses (especially the Irish cheddars!) from my husband. I feel like a fake vegetarian. A scab. A vegetarian scavenger - morally upright through how I choose to spend my money in the shops, but weak, pitiful and only too happy to accept animal products that come my way. Of course, it's better than wasting food, isn't it? I mean, my dollar didn't demand the production chain continue. And I kept it out of landfill. That's a good thing right? It doesn't matter how hard I find it or how I justify it to myself. The plants gives not a fuck. We are on a countdown to meeting a world we have no idea how to function in, as it stands today. Whether I feel like it or not, the fastest way for me to make a significant impact to Mother Earth and help her calm down, is to completely stop eating her creatures of products from them.
Having hear Blood Water by Grandson this summer and having the good fortune to meet him (AGH!), I am more motivated than ever to help inspire change through my art. And fast. I hope we can do it. I hope in 20 years we can all look back and marvel at how all the world leaders and industries pulled together for the sake of the planet. That would be something. That would be a legacy. Better than legend.
I have a number of exciting announcements coming up in the next few months. Not least of all is my show on 15th December at the Aviary. Keep your eyes peeled, as details of that will be coming soon. There are also lots of songs scheduled to be recorded in the new year. As such, I'm deep in the writing process now. If you want to be part of my story and maybe find one of the songs I've recorded could be the one you've inspired, drop me a donation above and be sure to include some words to help inspire me. All those songs will be featured in their own very special Christmas online show as well, so don't say out in the cold! Step in, offer some words and help me create something beautiful. It would be a super gift for someone, come 25th December. Jus putting that out there!
I'm SO excited to announce my date at The Fiddler's Elbow in Camden, London. 9th of July 7:50-8:20PM ! I can't wait to see all my London people I haven't seen in years! I'm also incredibly flattered that Immy from Sustainably_Vegan is going to take some time to show me around her favourite zero-waste shops in London while I'm there. I'm just a tad obsessed with her YouTube videos . I'll probably need to stop at a good market to refill on yummies by the time I get to London. If anyone in the U.K wants me to do a house concert while I'm there, drop me an email. I love playing house concerts.
I learnt today that walking 1hr15min home from an open mic, even if it's for Earth Day, isn't the smartest idea. A girl walking through dark lanes down by the river and through the bad corner of downtown at 10.30PM with a big guitar strapped to her back, isn't the safest idea. Even with lots of police cars patrolling the area and all my Krav Maga training from September furiously trying to refresh itself in my reflexes, I still wouldn't put money on me coming out unscathed. Now that the weather is better I'm going to cycle.
Next Sunday I have the privilege of opening Rhea March's Song Circle at The Mill Creek Cafe in Edmonton as her featured act. I'm playing 6:30-7PM Sunday 29th, so come down and grab some tasty dinner. I'm yet to find a better way to start my week. I can't believe how supportive Rhea has been of me. Only 3 months ago I made my debut at her open mic, a quivering wreck of a human, barely able to keep her shit together for 2 simple songs on a guitar that was badly in need of a setup. I mean it was in tune 20 seconds before I went on and by the time I was playing it, it sounded like ass. The calibre of musician there was so high! I was glad I elected to go first that day. Every one of those performers was beyond supportive and kind. They blew me away. Now I get to have a full set there. The hard work pays off. It'll be a nice test drive of the set for my show in Calgary on Saturday 5th of May with Whale And The Wolf. Those are some boys worth checking out, as they've been nominated for 3 awards at Edmonton Music Awards this year: Group Of The Year, Single Of The Year and Rock Recording Of The Year. Nuts!
See you all soon x
I had the loveliest post arrive at my house late this week - my cheque from the very kind people over at Edmonton Arts Council who want to help me get to Ireland and the U.K this summer. Thank you, EAC! What a relief...out of the envelope, straight onto the credit card for the flights! Easy (or not so easy) come, easy go.
I had the most inspiring week this week. During the day I helped kids learn new instruments and discover how to rock out as a band at a Spring Break camp, then I went to see the stunning Alvvays play their first Edmonton night (of two) at The Starlite. Such sublime melodies and soundscapes. I am in love. Their songwriting and arranging is gorgeous. One of the openers (sorry, Lab Coast, I couldn't hear much of you as I was standing outside, FREEZING, waiting to get in) was from Brooklyn called Frankie Rose. Fell in love with them and their lead singer. Her voice. Like satin rivers through your ears. Tingles. I also got some really sharp photos and logos from the wonderful David O'Sullivan ( www.davidos.me ) . They should be populating my site any day now.
As I sit on the bus from Calgary to Edmonton tonight, I am reading more of a wonderful book, Better Than Before, lent to me by my dear writer friend, Katie Bickell. The book is all about forming habits - good ones, for the better. It occurred to me that since starting the book, I have, ironically and much to my dismay, dropped a number of habits of late. Habits I used to do: meditate for 5 mins in the morning, automatic write upon waking, piano practice, regular reading and exercising. However, as I dropped these, I formed new ones - better, easier to sustain song-writing habits, more guitar playing and learning cover songs. Admittedly, these all have been driven by encroaching deadlines, and I met each one of them. My experiment this week will be to see if I can find a way for them all to co-exist happily and sustainably.
Speaking of sustainability - check out www.CoraBall.com on how to keep microplastics from entering our waterways every time you do your laundry - no, the answer is not to do less laundry, don't be gross! They even got a visit from the lovely Jack Johnson to support them! To my dismay I read this week that Estee Lauder and a number of other cosmetics lines have resumed animal testing to satisfy ludicrous safety standards in China's market. I used to work for Estee. I stood behind them for a number of reasons. Never again.
Big up to all the Calgary locals who got a massive shoutout from Matt Berry in the FrogEStyle podcast this week: NaPalmPom, All Hands On Jayne, Lab Coast and Fake James! And my friend got his name on the side of a jet plane....as you do.