A Sordid Love Affair – Notes from Neener
July is just beginning and as I look back at 2011 I wonder how it has moved along so quickly. At a warped speed. The days grow short when you’re climbing metaphorical mountains.
I’ve been diligent today in my goal to get this new DoneFors’ website up and running. Get things done on time so that time is not gone and opportunities, lost. We’re always so busy. In life and in the goals that we set out for ourselves. Sometimes I wonder what we’re after. What’s the end game? Where’s this all heading? I’m always left with the same feeling. It all doesn’t really matter as long as you remember to take time to enjoy it. Mantra.
This year so far, we’ve produced, recorded, mixed, mastered and manufactured a new album; top to bottom. Award Winning Album was a dream we had two years ago after we’d finished our first album; How to have sex with Canadians. With some luck and skill we were awarded the grace of some funding from FACTOR and The Ontario Arts Council to make our ‘dream’ possible. It never could’ve been possible without these folks helping. Or, it would have played out a lot differently. We got to work with some incredible folks. Jeremy Darby and Andrew Heppner at Canterbury toiled away to capture our sounds, taking care to edit and choose the best parts. Bryan Lowe (Bryan Lowe!) was our secret weapon. With his patience and prowess, we put in countless hours at Joao Carvalho’s Mastering B Room. Not to mention our own Brian Lahaie offering up his mad skills in the editing chair… Like family, Bryan and JCM are now like a second home. Joao’s incredible generosity with his space and time and mastering skill was without borders. The ‘cherry’ on top was to have Michael Phillip Wojewoda mixed the album, which was a bit of a dream come true for many of us who have long been in sonic-worship of his audio resume. I can’t say enough about my band, too. Paul, Liam, Brian and our session players Rob Sills, Pat Blanchard and Phil Skladowski were pleasures to work with. So how did it all turn out? I can say without hesitation that this album is the best thing that we’ve ever been a part of. I am so proud of our little “Award Winning Album”. It’s perfect. And I’m not like one of those parents who thinks my obviously ugly baby is the cutest thing you’ll ever see. I’m pretty hard on myself when it comes to these things, and I can say without hesitation that this album is very special.
So, what better way to celebrate the making of a new album than to jump on a plane and hit up Germany and The Netherlands for 2 weeks? That’s what we did in May! Playing our first shows abroad was the ultimate lesson in the Yin and Yang of touring. 9 dates in 10 days. One miss-flown bass guitar, lots of wrong turns, slow nights, rude fans, fevers and parking tickets were always balanced by grateful fans, fantastic meals, the generosity of strangers and old friends, and beautiful new (old) surroundings. On tour with us was our dear friend Chad Nunn who captured 20 hours of video footage – to be released soon. We fell hard for Europe, and we think that many of those Europeans started to fall hard for The DoneFors. We can’t wait to return again.
Now I’m back in my basement apartment in Parkdale, fashioning traps for fruit flies, figuring out how to save cats and dogs, cooking meals, snuggling my cats, watching mini series after mini series, having regrets about it, monitoring baby raccoons scavenging outside my window, designing things for fellow musicians, hemming and hawing, and recovering from a summer cold. Trying to not lose sight of the victories. Trying to not feel overwhelmed by the pace of things. Breathe, Neener. Everything will be ok.
If you want to have some good music in your life, please pick up a copy of Award Winning Album. You’ll like this one.
Janine (a DoneFor)