NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

The alarm went off at 6:30 AM this morning. Was the first time in a while that I went to bed early and got up early. It’s the time in the morning, when your completely alone, that I love. I’m rarely alone in my life, not that I’m complaining, but I do enjoy those moments alone.

 

Since we arrived here at the Super 8 in Milton, where all but two of us have a room with two double beds (stop by if you’re in the area), I have been having some alone time. However, I have to admit when the lady at the desk told me I had my own room I felt instantly lonely. I guess that’s what happens when you spend two months in a van, with 6 to 8 other people. Eating, sleeping, complaining, enjoying, doing everything as a group is at times frustrating but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t secretly love it. So I wasn’t totally surprised that we all went to the common room as soon as we checked into our rooms.

 

The Super 8 in Milton is a great place to take some reprieve from the road. Especially after driving 4 days through the states and playing 3 wicked crazy shows. Brantford, Toronto and London, all amazing. Thanks all for coming out and showing us that Ontario can rock it like the West Coast, any day. The London crowd were da bomb! You guys danced for almost 3 straight hours. Yep, that’s right, we played for almost 3 hours. The APK Live was the venue. It is run by a great friend of mine, Marc Gammal. You should definitely check it out if you’re ever in London.

 

So yeah, the Super 8. We’ve been here since Monday night and will be here ’til we head to Peterborough on Friday. Stellula Music (www.stellulamusic.com) “bringing music to the children and youth of Simcoe County” and filling the hearts of the Idlers with love and joy. Every province, every county, every town in Canada should take a page out of their book. We are lucky enough to be a part of Stellula and love every minute of it. Every day this week, we get to play for children and youth, at least twice, at different schools. So far we have been to three schools and one youth centre. Kids have an energy that is unmatched by adults. We have played for grades kindergarden to 12 and they all responded positively. I know that when I was in school there was never a 7 piece band at my school, ever. We basically go into these schools, play a couple tunes and open the floor up for questions. The kids jump up the moment Mark asks if they want to dance and go nuts for about an hour.

 

Playing for kids is so rewarding, they’ll dance, they’ll smile, they’ll sing along, they’ll ask you if you can play Kiss, ACDC, Lincoln Park, Lady Gaga but they don’t seem to like Justin Beiber. Really, most of the kids seem to dislike him. Just saying.

 

There was this one little blond headed kid who just kept running around the whole time. He would run up to the stage turn around and run to the back of the room. At one point he was wearing blue headphones to block out the music, which was super loud. I saw a couple of kids in the front row cover their ears with their hands.

 

Blue skies and sunshine. Heading down the 93 towards Orillia for the second last workshop of this visit with Stellula Music. Yesterday was, like every day so far, amazing. Two schools, 3 performances finishing with a concert in Pentang. Dancing high school students, sitting senors, curious kids, and a home schooled 17 year old sound guy. I hope they all realize that they changed our lives. We’ll see ya all in May.

 

We have another workshop around 2:00 then off to P-Town we go. Peterborough is always a blast. We are lucky enough to know Carl and Erin who put us up, big time, when ever we are through. Unfortunately Carl is not gonna be there this time around. They have a cozy spot just outside of P-Town, well actually just around the corner from Trent University. They give us beds, showers, food and their love. We are super grateful for you guys. I swear that some time in my live I will repay all of you who have put us up while on the road. The Judy and Rons, the Don and Gails, the Erin and Carls, the Greg and Anna’s, Scotty Drummond, Jeff David, Anu, Mark Colbert, Julie in Fernie, Laurie Andrews, and especially Jenny and Ted. Thank you all soo much, it would be next to impossible without all of you. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.

 

It gets easier. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been on the road for 6 weeks. The gigs have been getting better, the accommodations have been getting better, we have all been getting along… well… about the same, but same is better with us. Things are looking good in the morning sun. The snow, what little is up here, is melting, and you can almost feel the energy of the buds waking up in the morning sun. Hope is all around us every day. Welcome to Spring. The poplars are preparing for the future.The seedlings are diggin’ in, the sun will soon start to pull them up against the downward force of gravity.

 

So much space up here in the near-northern part of Ontario. So many small schools in this area.

 

On to the next thought, which is 2 days and 600 km in the future. Both Peterborough and Ottawa have come and gone, Montreal tonight. Curtis, Chris and myself shared a bed last night. King size. Man, kings are giants. The three of us sleep without ever touching each other and it was totally comfortable. My good friend Tanya left us the keys to her place, thank you so much.

 

Listening to Salif Keita, amazing artist from Mali, while Aneirin starts breakfast. It’s 1:08 PM and we are just starting to stir. Computers are out and communication has begun. Montreal is in the near future.

 

We shall see what kind of night we will have. It is a Sunday night after all. Excited to see Beaver.

 

I feel inclined to apologize to Peterborough. You guys deserved a better show than what you got. I was super tired. Ever been so tired that you don’t know you’re tired and you become terribly grumpy? Well I do, and it happened to me Friday night at the Red Dog. I guess working with kids all week, going to bed early, getting up early, setting up and tearing down at least twice a day can effect your ability to play for 2.5 hours just before midnight. To make things worst, I was completely sober and tired and once I consumed a couple of beer I became even more tired and grumpy. I think I had a permanent frown. I just couldn’t shack it. I tried, but I just got more and more pissed off.

 

This is the first time this has every happened to me. I’ve been annoyed on stage before, but I can usually suck it up and continue to giver. You find that spot inside and you go there. But not Friday night. So moral of the story… Nap before you play a 2 hour show, it helps. So people of Peterborough, I apologize for being a half asleep pissed off zombie Pahl. You deserve better.

 

Last night, I was not zombie Pahl. We rocked it to a near sold out crowd. The biggest crowd we have ever had in Ottawa. Thanks Greg Frankson for promoting and also to the Pelts for bringing out their awesome crowd. It was a great show, all around.

 

The end of the tour is approaching. Only five more shows, then a day of traveling and we are home to our snowed in port town. Remember to water your plants, walk on the sunny side of the street, look at the moon like it’s your first time, and walk on the land. Happy Sunday y’all.

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