Oh Canada

7 February, 2013 

I remember about two years ago I stopped at a gas station in West Virginia and had the following convo with a sweet old man who was marveling at the amount of dirt on my car (i'd been driving for about 9 hours at that point).   It went like this:  

Sweet old man:  WHOA!  Looks like you're on quite a journey, where are you from? 

Me:  Toronto 

SOM:  Never heard of it! 

Me:  It's in Canada 

SOM: Hmm, Canada?  Nope, never heard of that either! 

Me: Oh.

 ----------------

Which reminds me a bit of this conversation I just had with a sweet British girl during sound check 15 minutes ago (in England): 

Sweet British Girl: Where are you from? 

Me: Canada

SBG (to her friends): See!  I told you they were American!

Me:  Well not exactly...we're Canadian

SBG *blank confused stare*: Right.

SBG *uncomfortable pause*: But Canada is in America, right?  

Me:  Yes, just like Wales is in England.  Right?   

SBG: Ohhh.....

 

 

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Lost In Translation (Jan 16, 2013)

January 16, 2013 

-LOST IN TRANSLATION- 

Ahh the British accent (which I adore).  

In studio today in Cambridge recording some backing vocals for Damian Cox (Canadian-turned-Brit).  

Producer Keith just gave me some feedback on one of my lines:  

Keith (Jordy -ie northeast Brit): "ok, bit shorter" 

Me (Canadian): 'Ummmmm...did you just call me a bitch?   A bitch otter??' 

Hmmmmmm.  

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UK Word Of The Day: Potato (Jan 9, 2013)

January 9, 2013.

UK Word Of The Day:  POTATO 

Today’s “how to read a menu” adventure in the Yellow Brick Music office, London.

(I say potayyyyyto. You say potahhhhhhto).

Me (Canadian): Jacket Potayyyyyto?? What is THAT?

Sammy (American): Baked Potayyyyyto

Meredith (Brit via Oz):Jacket Potahhhhhhto

James (Brit): Baked Spud.

Meredith: Do you want chips?

Me: No, but maybe fries

Sammy: Those are chips

Me: Then what do you call chips?

James: Crisps

Me: This is exhausting. I’ll have salad thanks.

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Charlotte: Furry Roomie (November 1, 2012)

I've gotten a few notes from people wondering how the Pants-less in London Episode turned out.  My sincere apologies, friends...shameful of me to leave you hanging like that, not knowing if I was still wandering around London half in the buff.  

You will be relieved i'm sure to know there was a successful rescue / recovery mission for said pants (including - but not limited to - notes on random neighbors' doors) and eventually we were reunited - much to the delight of my legs.  I hope we shall never part again in such, errm, dramatic fashion.  

Now that that's resolved, I can tell you about my furry roommate Charlotte.  There was no rescue/recovery mission for Charlotte.  That is, there was no one to rescue me and I am still in recovery.  

Rewind.  I've got 2 shows in Stoke-On-Trent the following day.  There is a soccer (read: football) match in town and all the hotels are sold out.  The show promoter finds me quite literally the only room left in the area which is at a cute (and by 'cute' I mean 'quaint bordering on dodgy') typically british pub-with-some-rooms-upstair kinda deal out in the country.  I get in around 11:30pm, exhausted.  Crawl into bed almost immediately.  Get up a few minutes later to use the loo, don't bother turning on the lights, and wander barefoot across the room to the bathroom.   Flip on bathroom light, sit on toilet, glance up to see what appears to be a large, furry, black...what the hell is that thing?   A blob?   A huge stain on the carpet?   A mouse?   A small squirrel?  No.  It's an eight-legged creature and it is FURRY as all hell and is the size of half my hand.  And I have big hands (for a girl). 

I know what you're thinking.  But you're wrong - I am not the most squeamish of girls.  I spent years working at an outdoor summer camp living in a cabin with tent-flap walls, multi-day day canoe trips, dock spiders, and all kinds of furry creatures.  But this...I simply was not prepared.  So I did what any reasonable human would do.  I texted my manager alerting her of my current predicament / life-threatening situation (like there's anything she can do about it from London at midnight), got dressed, packed my bag, killed the spider with my boot while trying to ignore the 'squish/pop', and evacuated the room.  Straight to the bar I went and marched up to the 'receptionist' (read: bartender). 

Her:  you alright?  (insert british accent) 

Me: yeah, not so much.  And i'm sorry if I sound like a crazy girl, but there is a monstrous furry spider the size of half my hand on my floor.   No exaggeration. 

Her: Uh-huh 

Me: *staring blankly at her* 

Her: Well this is England and you're out in the country.  They're everywhere. 

Me: What do you mean 'everywhere'? ...(*my voice getting progressively more high pitched with each syllable).  In my ROOM?!?   HOW?   WHY?   WHAT?!!?

Her: Sure, just everywhere.  There's nothing I can do about it, you just get used to it.  And we don't have any other rooms to move you to anyway, we're sold out.

Me: *still staring blankly & now also incredulously at her*

Her: Do you know how many spiders humans ingest in their sleep?   Lots.  Happens all the time.   You know when you wake up with a bit of a sore throat?  That's because you swallowed a spider in your sleep.  

Me: *staring at her incredulously with a (growing) hint of rage* 

Me: Yeah...NOT HELPING. 

Her: Well, you can do what you like, but i'm shutting down the bar and locking up now.   You can sit here in the dark or you can go back to your room or you can try to find another hotel, but everything's sold out.   I'll leave one light on for you, please shut it off when you've decided (as she walks out the front door and locks it behind her, so i'm now sitting in a mostly dark, deserted, apparently gigantor-spider-infested pub).    

So I sit there for a good 30 minutes calling every hotel in a 30 mile radius (keep in mind I have no car).   All sold out.   Defeated and still exhausted, back I go up to my room.  I leap over dead Charlotte.  I dump out the contents of my backpack and put on every piece of clothing I can find, including my tuc and boots.  I wrap my scarf around my entire face except my eyes.   I turn on every light in the room.   And I lay on (not in) the bed drifting between sleep and wakefulness for the next 7 hours.   

Rest in peace, Charlotte.   Thank you for a lovely evening. 

(Objects in photo may appear smaller than in real life.  Seriously.  I should've set something beside this beast for scale).   

Pants-Less in London (October 16, 2012)

 Pack light.   Any smart touring artist's mantra, an art i'm finally starting to master. 

I did not factor yogurt into my plan. 

Context: my slighty-larger-than-carry-on-sized suitcase (for two months on the road - that deserves a high five) is safely stowed at my manager's office on the other side of London.  I am carrying only a backpack with basic essentials.  

I pop into a supermarket and whilst standing examining the vegetable options a woman drops a huge tub of yogurt on the floor, which explodes all over my (only) pair of jeans...which are of course jet black.   Embarrassed, she looks me up and down and then kind of skulks off while I am left examining my now black+white spotted jeans.  Well shit.  But shit happens, no biggie. 

Fast forward to the next morning.  I'm in a flat on the top floor of a building, scrubbing said jeans in the sink while wearing my only other 'bottoms', teensy weensy (and definitely at the end of their life) sleep shorts.   It's a glorious sunny/windy day in London, and I mosey out onto the rooftoop to hang my now presentable pants in the sun to dry before I have to take off for a meeting.   I use clips to pin them nice and tightly to the railing, with the majority of them hanging on the inside of the patio.  

Fast forward two hours (an ambitious drying-time by london standards, I know) --> 

I am showered and ready to go to my meeting.  I pop out onto the roof for my pants.  No pants.   Huh?   NO PANTS!!   I frantically look around the roof.   Nada.  

With a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach I slowly lean over the railing.  

Hello pants.  

Hello only pair of pants.

Hello only pair of pants sprawled in the next door neighbour's garden 4 stories down.

Hello garden that is completely walled on all sides.

Hello garden with no entrance except through someone's house. Whose house? Hell, I don't know.  There are 5-6 flats in each building. 

Hmm.    

I am now pants-less in London.    Excellent. 

 

Tug of War: Notes & Lyrics

 May 22, 2012 

TITLE TRACK! 

Tug of War.   

All good things happen in the kitchen.  TUG OF WAR was the last song to pop out for the album,  I had written and re-written the album at least three times over, thrown out most songs, whittled down from about 50.   The day I was heading to meet with Vincent about the schedule I was sitting in my kitchen at 6:30 in the morning, skimming through pages and pages of lyrics and these ones jumped out.   I'd written them in the summer of 2011, but I guess they needed a gestation period.  I grabbed my guitar and it all fell out in one go (this rarely happens!).   I sat there at the kitchen table playing it over and over for about two hours.  I had more lyrics but it didn't seem like they were necessary, it was complete just the way it came out.  I played it for Vincent that afternoon and now it's not only our favourite but also the title track.   

Lyrically, it blossomed from a romance (surprise, surprise), and more specifically from that helpless feeling when you want to give and someone quite simply is not open to receiving, but neither party seems willing to walk - so there's this constant hope / disappointment thing being fed on both sides.  That space between giving up and holding on - so uncomfortable and sometimes so hard to extricate oneself from.  But it quickly turned into more of an anthem for the whole adventure of making the album and the literal tug of war it was to get it finished.   When I said to the guys that I think the album should be called Tug of War they both immediately said 'of course - what else would it be called?' 

In the studio we laid down a simple guide track - just me on guitar and vocals, and as I was doing that Vincent created a kind of Depeche Mode-ish loop; a pure, simple sparse combination of basically two sounds, which immediately gave the tune a vibe that we loved and that just worked.  And then it was Tim's genuis that stole the show, I sat in awe while he weaved these incredible guitar layers and took it to crazy heart-tugging heights.  He also played the drums, and Kitty came in with her magic on the cello.   The first time I listened to a rough mix in the car I had tears streaming down my face.  Tim says it's now ready for a stadium...so I guess all I need is a stadium.    Can't wait for you to hear.  


TUG OF WAR 
(Lesley Pike) 

Push me, pull me, forward and back 
This tug of war breeds heart attack 

Elevate me, sink me like a stone 
Love me big, then you leave me alone 

Why won't you let me love you?  

One step up and two steps back 
Trying to carve a future out of a past 

You could have me but you never asked 
Only want me when I turn my back 

Why won't you let me love you 
Why won't you let me love you 
Or let me go



White Lies: Song Notes + Lyrics

 May 15, 2012

White Lies.  

Or 'Speed Lying' as it was called at one point in the studio when we tried out a super-fast arrangement. 

I wanted to write a song about the myriad ways we lie...to ourselves.   We all do it.  Whether we do it thinking we are 'protecting' ourselves, protecting someone else, insulating, appeasing, avoiding, or we're not even aware anymore that we do it.    I wanted the song to sound happy-go-lucky oblivious, like this little kid skipping around a playground whistling.   Ignorance is bliss? 

Wrote this song with Emma-Lee and Karen Kosowski one afternoon in a Toronto studio - we came up with the little riff and a chorus and the whistling bit, and then I wrote the verses a few weeks later at the crack of dawn on a sunny Los Angeles morning. 

We tried out a few different studio treatments, including the aforementioned 'Speed Lying' version, but in the end landed on a super simple arrangement.  The entire song consists of 1 cello, 1 saxophone, vocals, and a whole lotta percussion.   In Tim's words: 'here's what happens when I listen to Graceland too many times - play it loud, and hold on to your African hats'.  

Director extraordinaire Gavin Michael Booth and I are getting set to shoot a video for this song -  coming soon :) 

Meantime, here's a clip of me singing it on a roof in London: 




WHITE LIES 
(Lesley Pike, Emma-Lee, Karen Kosowski)

Deny, deny... 

Tell you that it doesn't mean a thing to me 
Isn't that the way you wanted it to be 
I've got so many things to do and I know you're busy too 
I wouldn't miss you if you go 
You won't always be around, I know

These little white lies 
They're keeping me alive 
I don't even have to try 
To tell these little white lies 

Deny, deny...

Tell myself that I don't mind your eyes on her 
Never bothered when you're out with other girls 
I'm not the jealous type
Cause I know what guys are like, you know 
I'm not the kind to tie you down 
You won't always be around, I know 

These little white lies 
They're keeping me alive 
I don't even have to try 
To tell these little white lies 

Deny, deny....

Weapon Down: Notes + Lyrics

 May 8, 2012 

I've always maintained that songwriting is a way to process and make sense of my daily experiences, especially the ones that have moved or affected me the most.  And simple as that sounds, it's not always easy to do.  'Weapon Down' is probably one of the most difficult and yet most important songs that i've felt compelled to write / share.  

Late June 2011:  I had just gotten home from a trip out West and was craving Bikram yoga, so I hopped in my car and headed over to my usual studio.   Just so happened that on that particular Saturday the class I was going to had been canceled (those who do Bikram know that this NEVER happens...classes are like clockwork, pretty much 365 days a year).   And since i'd been out of town i'd missed seeing the notices in the studio announcing the change in schedule.   I was desperate for a class and started driving to another studio about 30 minutes away.   As I was sitting at a stop light of a huge intersection I heard what sounded like gunshots immediately to my left.   You never think it's acually gun shots.  I turned my head to see a man being shot repeatedly from a car window as he rolled across a lane in this busy intersection and onto the curb.   It was the middle of the day.  The light changed, and the cars kept driving, like nothing had happened.   I drove through the light, and for a moment wondered if i'd just imagined the whole thing.  Amazing how fast your mind goes into denial.   I started shaking uncontrollably and as I was pulling a u-turn to go back and help I called a close friend and could barely utter the words 'I think I just saw someone get shot'.   He very calmly said 'ok - we're going to talk about this in a few minutes but right now you need to hang up the phone and call the police'.   (Which I did).   

A few weeks later I went up to a friends cottage for a few days to write, and this is the song that came out while I was up there.   Quite simply, it was necessary for me to find a way to process what i'd witnessed and not feel so helpless.    After quite a few writes and re-writes it eventually morphed from pure anger into more of a plea and my genuine desire to understand.  

The demos for this song were piano-driven, percussive and aggressive, with intensely angry vocals.  But when I got in studio with Tim & Vincent, Tim suggested we take a different approach to give it an intimate and vulnerable vibe instead of an angry one.   I switched to Wurlitzer instead of piano and it was a whole new song.   Tim did an amazing job creating this progressive tension throughout which builds and builds and pushes right to the edge but never quite resolves.    


WEAPON DOWN 
(Lesley Pike) 

I saw you look a man in the eye 
In a trigger happy moment try to take his life 
That's somebody's lover 
And someone else's child 

So your mother didn't love you, now you're justified 
And your father ran away and never looked behind 
And no one ever noticed, no one realized 

That you tried and you tried... 

But what will it take to turn it all around? 
What will it take to put your weapon down? 

So tell me how you figure where to draw the line 
How many shots until you set this right 
Won't you tell me the story 
The story of your life 

And if there's one more dead here in Toronto 
Will it put an end to the pain you know 
Will it end the suffering 
Will it settle the score 

And you tried, and you tried....

But what will it take to turn it all around?
What will it take to put your weapon down? 

If it's an eye for an eye then we're blind 
If it's pain for pain we'll never get out alive 



The Great Unknown: Notes + Lyrics

 May 1, 2012 

Slot #2 on the album goes to The Great Unknown.  

Names like Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave came up as references when we were working on the final version of this song and that made me immediately excited.  It's a sparse, lilting, haunting arrangement that I quite simply fell in love with in the studio.  Vincent sings on it.  Plus, we got to use this little mandolin that our friends at Gibson Guitars so kindly loaned us.   In fact, I believe Tim taught himself to play mandolin in about 4 minutes flat to be able to play the parts in the chorus.   



I think one of the hardest things about walking away from something or someone is the letting go of the possibilities, the potential, the expectations & hope.  And then of course, the unknown.   You leap and you never really know where (or how) you're going to land.   

PS - this song is streaming in the site-wide music player ;) 

THE GREAT UNKNOWN 
(Lesley Pike) 

We got our pleasure mixed with pain 
A little more than what we had bargained for 
And I can't help myself but love you all the same 

So when there's nothing left 
But loneliness from time well spent 
Is this the part where we're supposed to turn away? 

Just turn away... 
Just turn away....
To the great unknown 

You brought your swagger boy, and your charm 
And it's enough to turn this young blood on 
We played it out just like a TV show 

Of course I understand
You came to me with heart in hand 
Doesn't make it any easier to go 

And just ride off into the great unknown 
Ride off into the great unknown 

The last goodbye, the last hello 
The best of me i've yet to show 
The last goodbye, the last hello 
I don't want to go 

And just ride off into the great unknown 
Ride off into.... 





We Build Towers: Song & Studio Notes + Lyrics

April 24, 2012

The album closes out with 'We Build Towers' - a collaborative creative experiment between myself, Vincent and Tim.  On the final night in the studio the three of us sat down in a circle (well, more of a triangle, really), Vince had his programming gear ready, Tim picked up Dusty, and I had a few lyrics that I wanted to include on the album but that were not yet in any actual song.  I read them out loud, Vince added a few lines and then played us a groove he'd been working on.   We hit record and improvised for one 21-minute stretch, the result of which is We Build Towers; entirely raw, entirely written & recorded live, in real time.  A spontaneous Saggitarian's dream!  (ha!).   Tim edited it down to 8 minutes and that was that.   I love the moodiness & groove of this tune and Tim's improvisational guitar work is simply brilliant (if I do say so myself).  

There are only a few lines in the song, simple imagery reflecting the myriad ways we try to hide what we are feeling for fear of the consequences / fallout should the truth become known.      

Now, could someone please pass it on to the frickin Cirque du Soleil, I think it's the soundtrack for their latest show... ;) 


WE BUILD TOWERS 
(L.Pike, T. Glasgow, V. Marcone) 

We build towers 
To keep it out of sight 
Brick by brick 

We plant flowers 
To cover up the fight
Bit by bit 
Inch by inch 




I Go Wild: Song & Studio Notes + Lyrics

April 17, 2012

Slot #1 on the album goes to a kinda sexy, kinda gritty and very raw song about lust & infatuation.   You know what I'm talking about, you see 'that person' and you almost can't stand it.  You want to scream.  That whole experience deserves at least one song, and this is it. 

This was one of the earlier songs I wrote for the album and there are about 10 versions of it (no exaggeration). I first recorded it as a demo in Toronto with Steve Wingfield producing and he did some amazing stuff with it that many of you have likely heard along the way.  But this acoustic version didn’t come into the world until the very very end of the recording process.  It was the first song that Tim worked on when we were still exploring working together (he did a DISCO version!), and the final album version ended up being the last one he worked on, which is a sweet blend of acoustic + electronic sounds courtesy of both Tim and Steve.   

This one is for the lovers...  can't wait for you to hear.   

I GO WILD
(Lesley Pike) 

I go wild when I see you in the night
I get high, I no longer try to hide it
Can’t deny you’re the only one who makes my heart go wild

I go wild when I see you in the day
I fall apart and I wonder if it fades
But in my heart you have always sparked a fire that I can’t tame

So if I scream it from the top of my lungs will you come running 
Cuz all this whispering that i’ve done seems to tell you nothing
When will you give me some of your love

I go wild when you look me in the eye
I come alive, I no longer try to fight it
Can’t deny you’re the only who makes my heart go wild

I go wild when I hear you say my name
I fall apart and I wonder will it change
But in my heart you have always sparked a fire that I can’t tame

So if I scream it from the top of my lungs will you come running
Cuz all this whispering that i’ve done seems to tell you nothing
When will you give me some of your love?

Little Spark: Song & Studio Notes + Lyrics

April 11, 2012

Little Spark was originally written as a ballad with completely different lyrics & melody (which some of you may have heard at various shows last year)...so in a way I guess this is Little Spark version 2.0.  This particular arrangement started out as a possible groove we were experimenting with for ‘White Lies’.  I had just purchased Dusty (my 1957 Gibson es125 pictured here):




and Tim was jamming on the drums while I was messing around with Dusty.  We were both loving what we were cooking up, but when I tried to sing the White Lies lyrics & melody overtop it was just too much to fit in - so much so we started calling it 'Speed Lying' instead of 'White Lies'  (yes, it was pretty hilarious).   But I loved the vibe and wanted to do something with it, so I got in my car and played it on repeat about 40 times on the way home, singing random melodies overtop.  That night I laid down a rough vocal in my living room with this ‘ambient’ effect applied in garage band, which threw the vocals all over the place and turned it into a total shoegazer tune.  Took it to Tim and Vince and we decided to tackle it even though time was running out to get the album done and it was NOT on our list of things to do.  Tim suggested we experiement with the structure and veer away from the traditional ‘verse / chorus / verse / chorus’ pop song structure, so we stacked the verses, then stacked the choruses, and he inserted a friggin brilliant electric-guitar-heavy bridge to break up what is otherwise pretty much a 2-note '80's infused tune.    

LYRICALLY, the song was inspired by one brief and incredibly random moment.  I was walking through a restaurant and felt someone take my hand. Entirely confused and caught off guard I snapped my head up to find myself looking directly into the face of someone I love deeply but who, for various reasons, I simply cannot be with. Knowing this feeling is mutual makes it all the more intense, and this simplest of gestures...him seeing me, reaching for me, silently holding my gaze & hand for those few moments before he walked out the door left me completely torn up.  Not a word was spoken and yet so much was communicated with that one touch...which naturally has now found its way into a song.

This is one of my favorites on the album - and it's a FAST(ish) song!!  Can't wait for you to hear.  xx    


Little Spark
(Lesley Pike)

With one touch, electrify
Little spark, it never dies
Uh oh uh oh uh oh....

I know you’ve got me
In the corner of your eye
I know you’re watching
And it tears me up inside
When you reach for me
Keep me in your sight
Keep me in your light

You know you’re always
In the corner of my mind
You know it’s not easy
And it tears me up inside
When you reach for me
Keep me in your sight
Keep me in your light

With one touch, electrify
Little spark, it never dies
Uh oh uh oh uh oh...
Leave your mark, fuel my desire
Little spark, now a blazing fire
Uh oh uh oh uh oh...





The Longest Goodbye: Album Notes & Video

March 11, 2012. 

I wrote The Longest Goodbye in one sitting at a studio in Los Angeles where i’d gone to practice for a few hours. I am generally not good at goodbyes (why the word ‘good’ is part of the word ‘bye’ is beyond me!) I’m good at see you soon, see you later, etc. I like to keep things open.

At this point in time I was truly trying - harder than ever - to let this particular flame burn out, but we both got stuck in a holding pattern of never really being able to follow through with the goodbye. This song is about that in between time, trying to reconcile what you want with the reality of what is and what needs to be. Trying to reconcile head and heart, fantasy and reality.

We recorded this on the very last day in the studio, and we literally did it in one take. Vincent came up with a haunting ambient groove, I joined in on electric piano (and sang), Tim worked his textural magic on Dusty (my new/old '57 electric Gibson) and we just let the tape roll. The full take is close to 10 minutes and includes another verse (which i’m including in the lyrics here), but in an attempt to not make ‘the longest goodybe’ also ‘the longest song’ we cut out the last verse and chorus for the album.    

Can't wait for you to hear.  xx

THE LONGEST GOODBYE 
(Lesley Pike)

Run, see me running for higher ground
Fight, see me fight my urge to turn around
You’ve got your thorn in me now, just like you did then
You’ve got your thorn in me now, and I see no end

Sail, see me sailing from stormy seas
Far from the wake of possibilities
What part of ‘no‘ don’t I understand?
What kind of messed up hope feeds this reckless plan?

This is the hardest i’ve tried to pull the anchor up
Still i’m searching to find the sense to give you up
But in the meantime you will find me
Stuck in the longest goodybe

Words, all these words oh they fail me now
So much to say, will you hear me out
I wear your love like a thorn in my side
I hide you in every song, every song that I write

This is the hardest i’ve tried to pull the anchor up
Still i’m searching to find the sense to give you up
But in the meantime you will find me
Stuck in the longest goodbye

Where Do I Begin (March 3, 2012)

In my last journal entry, dated October 1st, I said my album was DONE!  Exclamation point!   And in the process of being mixed. 

There is no speedy or happy way to tell you what happened for the 4 months following that - i'll save that for another day.  For now, I am very very very excited to tell you my album is - TRULY - finished.   Mixed, mastered, the whole bit.   And I now have a true understanding of the terms 'labour of love' and 'blood, sweat and tears'.   Literally.   Thanks to a small army of incredible people who rallied behind and around me, we were able to pull off what I truly believe is a small miracle in getting this album done.  And in the end, I am so happy with how it turned out and can't wait to share it with you.

I am starting to preview the songs here on my site, and will be posting notes about each one over the next few weeks as we gear up for release date.  I will also be offering an official presale soon.  (If you're one of the awesome people who pre-ordered in the hush hush presale last winter don't worry, I have all your info and you're top of the list to receive the album!)   

I am overwhelmed with love & gratitude for the people who helped me pull this off.   There were many tears throughout this process, and when we were nearing the end I told my little team that I think we've survived something significant together and are forever bonded because of it.  And we did, and we are.  And i'm excited to share what we created with you, and i'm thankful to you for your patience and love.    Now - full speed ahead! 

xx
pike

Across The Pond (October 1, 2011)

I am excited to say the album is DONE!  (well, the recording bit is done....the mixing is now in progress).   All the parts are played and I sang my little heart out.  It's got horns, banjo, hand claps, whistling, a toy accordian, drums, bass, organs, piano, heaps of guitars and lots of other fun stuff.  I can't wait for you to hear!

I went in with about 25 songs that I sang for my producer, and within the first couple of days we narrowed it down to 10.  Then of course the day after that I sat down at the piano and wrote a brand new song that we coudln't leave out, nor were we willng to cut anything else, so, eleven songs it is.   I will post a list of the titles in the next blog.

Meantime, I am on my first ever tour in the UK and having a blast, everyone here is absolutely lovely.   I'm opening for a hypnotist (so cool!) and truly had no idea what to expect when I got on board, and I am loving every minute of it.  The venues have been packed and every show has been so much fun.  THANK YOU to everyone here for being so warm, gracious and welcoming.  Looking forward to another 10 days of this!   A few pics from the adventure thus far: 

Train to Birmingham:


About 900 new Welsh friends.


I think MYFYRWRY is Welsh for 'I'd like to buy a vowel' (it's not):


Our hotel last night was built in the 1700's!   My room key.


Big thanks to GIBSON London for giving me this amazing guitar for the tour!



Cheerio! 

x
Lesley 



Full Swing (July 29, 2011)

New Album in full swing. 

The past three years, promoting Blink, traveling & touring etc was a time of major transformation.  I have been soaking it in, processing, learning, living, loving...opening my heart and feeding my soul.   Learning to live in the present and enjoy it.   To let things flow in and flow out and take their own course.  I feel like an entirely different person than I was when I made 'Blink'.   

I have been grateful to be able to take my time writing this one.  All of this 'living' -  the highs, the lows, the letting in and letting go's - has found its way into these new songs. A few of them fell out in one go (those are rare gems and i've learned to drop everything to make myself available to receive them when they come!), and others took significant time and effort.  I've had periods of great inspiration and periods of serious drought when I wondered if i'd ever write again.  I've wondered if I'm straight up crazy for pursuing a career in this business and if perhaps I should just move to the beach and teach yoga (the truth is i'll probably wind up doing that either way ;)).   I've gone for weeks without playing, and periods of blissed-out non-stop love affair with my piano.  Ebb & flow.  Balancing creativity and discipline is not always an easy feat, but I am learning.  

At this point I feel like the writing is nearly done.  Lots of demos have been recorded, and more are on the way.  The song list keeps changing, growing, shrinking, evolving.  I want to love playing these songs for the rest of my life - not to mention that I hope you will want to listen to them for years to come - so I am being choosy!    

This week Monkey and I were able to escape up north for a few days to finish up some songs, write a few new ones, and dream about the sound of this album.  It was just what I needed to get my head and heart in the right place before we get into the studio with the band.   I was reminded to keep it simple.   Reminded that the point of music is to create & nurture a sense of community and connectedness, to move and be moved, to know that we are not alone in our experiences.   The way I see it,  the best thing we can do is simply keep it real and authentic, and then create a space of complete freedom for everyone around us to be real and authentic too.   We all have something to share.  I am blessed & stoked to share and experience music with you.   THANK YOU for your patience, inspiration & encouragement. 

Big Love, 

xx LP




I left my heart in LA LA Land (July 17, 2011)

I left my heart in.... LA LA Land. 
Some of my favourite people in the world are there.
Highlights - in point form + pictures - of my recent adventure are below.

I found a turquoise car parked in front of my digs in Silverlake (You know me + turquoise...FATE!):
(I also found a coyote - not turquoise - parked in front of my door, but was too paralyzed by fear to take a picture)


I fell in love with a vintage turquoise stove at our friend's place: 


I hiked Griffith Park:


And rocked an old school bandana for Hall & Oates at the Hollywood Bowl with my BBF Justin:


Reunited with Mraz & the rest of the gratitude crew:  





...and wished my Dad had been along for this part - Leno is his fave!



What else.... 
I ate a lot.  Until I got food poisoning for 5 days, during which time I ate considerably less.  I'm sure you get the picture, sans picture.
I sang at the Hotel Cafe with two badass females, Jessie Payo and Alysse Fischer. 
I wrote / jammed / sang with Colin Devlin, one of my all time favorite artists (and a gem of an Irish Man). 

A piece of my heart is always in this town....don't be surprised if the rest of my body ends up there more permanently in the not-too-distant future.

Big Love from the city of Angels....

xx  LP


Pike on a bike (June 29, 2011)

Yep, this happened!    

This brings a whole new meaning to my old Pike on A Bike shirts.   (Which reminds me, I still have a few of those for sale right HERE ....;)  






Mountain Goat's Gruff (June 22, 2011)

If you've not been to Vancouver, you must put it on your list.   I am always excited to get back there.   

We headed west for some singing, showcasing, connecting - with old friends & new.   

There's a reason they say west is best....










Follow your bliss.  This is a good, good life. 

Big Love, 

x  LP





Billie Goats Gruff + Me (June 18, 2011)

 Well, I joined a band...for the love of music oh yes, I did!!  

My friend Billie's band, to be exact.    And we just played NXNE!






I have a feeling there are many more adventures to be had with Billie + Yours Truly.   Check out his tunes...here's a link to my favourite:  INTO THE DISTANCE (We Fell).    (you have to imagine my vocals & piano in there now.... or come to a show!) 

Big Love, 

x  LP

CMW / Junos / Album Update (April 17, 2011)

April 17, 2011 

Well, things got totally crazy the past few weeks.  Like...bananas crazy.  

Canadian Music Week followed by the JUNOs, it was a non-stop party for about 3 weeks.  I am still recovering... ;)

Everything is coming together for this new album and I am SO EXCITED!!   There has been plenty going on on my end, most of it is 'behind-the-scenes', so it seems a bit quiet here on my page.  But trust me, we are hard at work and there is lots of stuff coming up very soon, so please keep checking back (and be sure to sign up for the mailing list if you're not already on there, i'll be sending out lots of pre-album goodies over the next little while, including an exciting Toronto show announcement!)

In the meantime, here are a few pics from the festivities. 

JUNO party 2011: (photo by Barry Roden)



Singing with Andrew Cole at Canadian Music Week:



And at the Junos with Designer Paul Hardy and my amazing World Vision rep Cathy:



More coming soon! 

Big Love,

x  LP

Words

June 16, 2010

Words.

Over the past couple of years I have started to better understand and appreciate the power of words. Yes, it has taken awhile...I used to kind of just throw things out there as they came through my mind, and my songs - especially the really early ones - reflect that. Which I suppose is not altogether a bad thing, there is an element of raw emotion that I love and goes along with that kind of writing. But at this point, I feel more of a responsibility to the weight of words, and I find myself writing with a bit more intention.

I have always felt my mandate was to move people with my music, and I always come back to that. I am not a bubble gum pop kind of girl, and while I occasionally love a fluffy tune I know that my contribution does not land there. The kind of singing voice I have, the way my hands are drawn to certain sounds on the piano, it all lends itself to emotion. That’s not to say it can’t be fun - there just has to be some depth there. The music I am most attracted to, in all genres, has the same thread running through it - music with a powerful delivery which demands some kind of emotional response, whether that be a smile, an ache, inspiration, tears, desire, longing, delight. It’s not even always about the words...a friend of mine recently introduced me to jazz piano legend Bill Evans, and it’s in there, too. When I was studying classical music at University I always gravitated to the Romantics...Rachmanninoff, Brahms. Big sounds, huge emotion. Bach was technical; a training tool to enable me to master the Romantics.

In my time in the music business, first working at a label, then being on the road & in various studios & settings, i’ve met countless musicians who are trying desperately to imitate what someone else has already done or is currently (successfully) doing, and while I think there is much to be learned from contemporaries, friends and predecessors, the beauty of a true artist, in any medium, is that they are unique in their own 'voice'. Sure, everyone looks for comparisons for a point of reference, and all artists draw influence and inspiration from others. But the artists I love timelessly, the ones I stand in awe of, are the ones who are unapologetically themselves and who inspire me to be myself.

So, here I sit on the beach in California, mulling over exactly what I want for my new album and piecing it together bit by bit. I am excited because I now know that my voice is my voice, and I have grown into it. And as long as I am true to that, as long as I am honest in what I’m saying and give respect to the power of words & music and the great opportunity I have to communicate and connect with you, I can make any kind of album I want.  Talk about freedom!  I have a feeling it is going to be an eclectic mix. I have not yet made a record I feel captures ‘me’...and I don’t begrudge any part of my journey in getting me to here, a place where I can truly embrace my own voice; it has all been necessary. But now I am ready to step it up. Full expression is the goal and intention, and I am now in the thick of it, the real work, my first ever self-imposed 'writing retreat'...digging for these songs that have been growing and peeking their little heads out - giving them the time and attention they deserve so that they can be shared.  

In Love,
xo
Pike at the beach.



Time Flies

Sunday, June 6, 2010.

I haven't posted a journal entry in nearly a year...a YEAR!?!?  How can that be??  I never used to understand when people would say 'where does the time go' but lately, I get it.  Moments, hours, days and months, they seem to quite literally fly, and I suppose instead of writing about them I chose to just be in them.  This is not to say I haven't been writing - i've been collecting thoughts, memories, lyrics and songs along the way, just haven't been too keen to share my musings and my little 'works in progress', at least not quite yet.  This has been a major period of transformation, and I have felt the need to keep quiet while observing, interacting and processing. 

This morning I had the privilege of singing my song 'I Believe' for the wonderful folks who commissioned it along with a group of 700 or so in Niagara Falls at a conference which brought together leaders in Post-Secondary Education from across Canada and abroad.  They kicked off the conference with a group of First Nations Aboriginals speaking, singing and opening with a 'prayer'.  I was deeply affected by this ritual, which honoured the earth, the sun, the elements, the animals, and of course, each other.  They talked about the tradition of 'smudging', the bringing together of four tangible elements from the earth into one, to heal the body from the inside out and serve to remind us that we are united with each other and with our earth.   The prayer was a fluid movement for which we stood, facing east to begin, then south, west and north, thanking each force for the various symbols they represent in our lives.  What moved me most was a comment the leader made apologizing to 'God' for the fact that our feet were on concrete at the time of our prayer and not touching the actual earth...something so simple, yet it speaks volumes.  These people are so in touch, so connected.  They exist with such respect and reverence for nature, for our earth, for our human spirit, and mostly for our connectedness both with the earth and with each other.  In a time when I have been moved to tears by the effects of this oil spill in the gulf, horrified and ashamed of our apparent irreverence for our planet and the creatures we claim to 'lord over', not to mention the consequences of our actions...this reminder was refreshing to say the least.  I couldn't help wondering what changes we'd see in ourselves and our world if we all started each day with the kind of reverence, perspective and appreciation our First Nations friends have. 

So, what a perfect tone to have established for this day, as 12 hours later I find myself on a plane, following my heart to sand and sea with the sole intention of getting even more connected and bringing the songs in my head and heart to life.  This is my writing retreat.  I am inspired, I am excited, and I am full of gratitude. 

This is an adventure I am ready to share through journaling and video blogs...thank you for your patience - it's good to be back :) 

In Joy.

xo LP

In Joy

It's summer.   It's SUMMER!!!

I have not been diligent with my blogging.  Why?  In short...because it's SUMMER!!

I find blogging to be a bit easier when i'm on the road when, believe it or not, there are less distractions.  I've been at home for a few weeks and my days are full with yoga classes, catching up with friends & family, hibernating in my pottery studio, puttering around the house, setting up my rain barrel, growing my ever expanding vegetable garden, reading, and endless raw food experiments in my kitchen.  Check out this amazing raw 'cheesecake' I made - sooo delicious!   [sidenote: Getting rid of cable TV was one of the best decisions of the year, I would highly recommend it].


Basically I have been 'busy' with the business of living and loving life, moment by moment.   This is the way of life I find to be the most fulfilling.  I have tried the 'plan everything' method (and things never go to plan), the 'worry' method (where what you worry about always ends up happening, likey because you worried it into existence), the 'if this then that' method (if I can get this, I will feel this), and now i've learned, quite simply, to wake up grateful every day, without putting conditions on that gratitude.  Sending out positive vibes, even when the only immediate recipient is my little puppy.  Curling up the corners of my mouth during a grueling and yet insanely satisfying yoga class.  Keeping my eyes on the big picture while keeping my mind in the moment and being grateful for our only guarantee in life: this moment.  There is no longer such a thing as 'I will be happy if...', there is simply 'I am happy'.   Small words.   Big impact.  I'd highly recommend it.  

In the midst of all my summer activities I am still very busy with behind-the-scenes music stuff.  Meeting with radio directors, brainstorming for an upcoming photoshoot, writing, rehearsing, more brainstorming, playing a few shows and mapping out the coming 8 months in a way that will, hopefully, keep me from having to drive through any snow this winter.  =)   

I am also excited to duet with Jason Mraz at a few of his shows this summer.   On top of his immense talent, I'm consistently inspired and impressed by how Jason preaches what he practices (which is how it should be).  His gratitude attitude is resonating worldwide, and I am honored to be a teensy part of his large traveling circus.

Should you wish to be more in touch than my somewhat sporradic blogs, I do check in via twitter on a mostly daily basis, so that's one way to get a short form version (140 characters or less...) of what's up in my day to day life.   (click here to check it out).

Someone signed off an email to me with the words 'in joy' -- I love the play on words and have now adopted this 'slogan'...so, should you ever purchase a piece of my pottery made in summer 2009, you will find those words on the bottom of each piece.  =)

In Joy.

Lesley...x




Inspiration in Sin City

Just got to LA after a crazy weekend in Vegas with a great group of people. Sometimes I find, as a musician, I lose that 'magic' of seeing a band or a show simply as a fan. I used to LOVE going to concerts - before I knew anything about managers, agents, labels, promoters, ticket splits and guarantees, all the business stuff.  There was a mystery surrounding the whole thing, you kind of elevated these people onto a different plane.  At some point concerts transitioned into industry functions...schmoozefests about the who's who and the afterparty.  Sometimes you just want to enjoy the music and go home.

This weekend I fell in love with music all over again. To sum it up: hello Dave Matthews. I had never really gotten into DMB, although my university roomies were all about it so I do know a few of his songs. To enjoy a show when you don't know most of the songs, now that is something. He was incredible. The MGM Grand was packed - he owned that room full of 16,000 people, and we were grinning ear to ear the whole time. If you could bottle that feeling and sell it there would seldom be need for medicine ever again.



Add to that Jason Mraz opening the show, and then Jason's own show at the Palms with James Morrison opening, it was a glorious weekend with great friends, great music, and a reminder of what our goal as troubadours should always be...to share & communicate passion, emotion, love and truth.   Whether in Sin City or India, it's all the same. 

Love is something if you give it away...

xo LP

Home for a (short) rest

It has been a lot of go go go lately.  A crazy amount of driving, flying, driving, flying, and more driving.  Most of the time I love being on the road.  I think you have to have that road bug in you, that insatiable curiosity alongside a sincere passion for what you do, otherwise it just wouldn't work.   It's hard being away from friends and family, but I love exploring, checking out new places, meeting new people, and most of all playing music, so for me, it works.  This run was a big lesson in US geography as I navigated through a bunch of different states.  New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Massachusets...there may have been more, that's the list off the top of my head.  Highlights for me were exploring Savannah, GA, a few days off at the beach on Hilton Head Island, and a glorious day off in Boston.  Although I had played in and around the Boston area before i'd never actually spent time in the city, and I loved it.  Crazy expensive, but fabulous nonetheless.  As I go, I make a mental list of places I'd like to return to and spend more time in.  I think the Boston marathon is calling my name...

I played a Canadian Music Week showcase as soon as I got home and was fortunate to have Kevin join me on cello and guitar...it is always a thrill to have him involved, I am ever amazed at how much one guy can add to the show.  We played a great set to a room full of noisy indsutry folks as was to be expected, it was canadian music week afterall and this is what industry people generally do.  But behind the dull roar of industry talkers there are always a few genuine music lovers who just want to listen and take it in, and I love those people.  Thank God for those people, they are the ones I play for....the people with whom you make eye contact during the show and you know that you've connected and you can both feel it.  For me, that is the measure of success for a show.  After my set a lovely gentleman came over and said 'you are so, so fantastic at what you do'.  I thanked him and we continued to chat, and he once again said 'you must love what you do, you are just incredible at it', I thanked him again.  I asked him what he did for a living and told him i'm sure he was good at it as well, and this was his response:  "I am very, very good at what I do.  Just like you.  The difference is that when i'm done work, no one applauds for me.  No one comes up to tell me what a great job I did.  No one buys me a drink."  And I thought, how funny is that, and how true and kind of sad.   So for those of you sitting at your desks day in and day out in what seems to be a thankless job but you're giving it your all and being the best at it that you can be...you deserve some applause.  Your boss should buy you a drink.     

I have so many stories from the road that it's hard to know where to start.  I have begun chronicling my life and my adventures in a book...yes, i'm writing my first book.  I have had many people tell me they think I should write one, and now i've finally caught the bug.  I have no idea if it will ever see the inside of a bookstore or your coffee table / nightstand, but for me, for now, it's been incredibly helpful and eye-opening.  I've realized that there are so many important and significant things in my past that have shaped me, affected me, and influenced my music and my songwriting, my choices and my character, and I want to get as many of those things on paper as I can.  If for no other reason than eventually i'd like my kids to have those stories.  It's been interesting, it's like being in therapy without paying the fee.  I have been an on-and-off journaler for most of my life, but writing this way, with a purpose and an end-goal, seems to be unlocking a well of memories and experiences and shedding some light on why I am who I am and how I'm navigating my way through this crazy industry known as the 'music & entertainment business'.

I have some exciting things to tell you about in the next couple of weeks....a new digital release, some exciting shows, the debut of my song 'I Believe' which I wrote for a charity in Niagara Falls.  Lots going on.  2009 is shaping up to be a fabulous and exciting year and I'm glad you're along for the ride.  THANK YOU for being a part of my journey and allowing me to be a part of yours...

x,
Lesley


Magic!

I feel like a collection of contradictions lately. Restless and still. Focused and scattered. Fierce and gentle. Open and guarded. Wanting to share and wanting to hibernate all at the same time.

What it comes down to is that i'm digging. Really deep this time. There have been things in my past that I'm only now starting to let come out, learning to embrace and grow from. Mostly i've just been learning to watch myself. Almost removing myself from myself, to examine and attempt to understand my own behaviour, my choices, my patterns, where they come from and how they've shaped my life. Kind of heavy stuff, but it feels very positive and very right. I feel a shift...in my communication, in my relationships, in the way I write and my musical process, and i'm sure that where i'm headed is a deeper and more satisfying place than where i've been. Although without being where i've been, I wouldn't be able to go deeper, so it all builds and it all matters. I think the important part is to be aware.

In other news, my favourite magician justin kredible is up for entertainer of the year for the THIRD year in a row and he needs your vote. You can vote for him (in the best male perfomer, best novelty act and entertainer of the year categories) here - - trust me, he's worthy of another win:

he's justinKREDIBLE!

xo Les

Salem's Lot

January 23, 2009

Touring around the East Coast USA.  New England.  Brings back memories of family ski trips to Vermont each March break and lots of snow.  Traditional New England Architecture.  Old buildings, cool colours.  Very picturesque.

I love seeing new places.  I just played a show in Salem, MA - just outside of Boston.   My first time to this history-rich quaint neighbourhood, complete with witch museums and a genuine school of wizadry and magic!   We stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel.  Bill Clinton has stayed there, along with many other 'dignitaries' and 'persons of interest'.  The promoter for my show filled me in on the witch trials of the late 1600s and how three girls in the community who didn't like another girl decided to call her a witch, charged her, put her on trial, faked 'episodes' during her trial claiming she had cursed them, and they ended up executing her.  She was the first of many.  Only later was it revealed that the girls had been lying...however the town is now full of witchraft and wizardry, I browsed shops where I could purchase all the necessary accessories: broomsticks, crystal balls, roots and herbs of all kinds, magic wands, it was like a town right out of harry potter.   I have been told that over halloween witches and wizards from all over the world flock to Salem.  Must be quite a sight.



This town is also right on the ocean, so let's not forget about the pirate presence there as well, ahoy!


Witches love their pooches as well!


Thank you Massachusets for a couple of great shows!

Boo!

x,
Lesley

California, Christmas, Cold...

November 19, 2008
California, Christmas, Cold...

I am home from a 6-day much too short trip to California.  I was supposed to be on tour on the west coast of Canada right now, but had to cancel and reschedule a few shows to accommodate all of the 'botched'-ness of my album release and subsequent rearranging of publicity, promotion, funding, etc etc.  It has been frustrating, but i've been trying to find a silver lining and I am confident that there is always at least one to be found that will become apparent in good time.   I read recently that the definition of patience is 'to endure without complaint'.  This is something I am working on....

The album had to be re-manufactured with the proper barcode, which took several weeks, and then logged into the system and shipped out to stores.  I have been told that it has now been shipped, which means it will be available in stores next Tuesday, Nov 25...just in time for my birthday and one month after the scheduled release date.   And so I say 'woohooo', very hestitantly and yet hopefully.   I will breathe a bit easier when I see it sitting on the shelf in a store.  And i'll breathe even more easily when it's no longer sitting on the shelf but rather in your hot little hands or in your loved ones' Christmas stocking!! :)

We had an amazing time in California.   This was a mostly promotional visit, I was showcasing for a bunch of college and university bookers on the west coast.  I was fortunate to be able to bring my personal trainer / nutritionist with me this time around, and now i'm not sure i'll be able to tour ever again without him.   Aside from being one of the loveliest people i've had the privilege to meet and work with, he is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what he does, and has a positive attitude that is impossible to be unaffected by.  He also possesses in abudance a quality that I look for but rarely find in people anymore - - a childlike sense of wonder and appreciation.  I love that.  He also makes a mean smoothie and kicks my ass in a way I didn't even know was possible.   We had a grueling workout in the hollywood hills when we arrived in LA (seriously....toughest workout of my life), and then some incredible beach workouts in San Diego, including lots of barefoot jogging (my calves are still sore) and a crazy amount of strengthening excercises in and beside the ocean.   We were both soaked and covered in sand by the end of those ones and rewarded ourselves with some body surfing and playing in the waves.  Who would have thought that in mid-november you could be bikini clad in the ocean.   Each day we did some yoga and stretching before bed...I have never enjoyed stretching until now - - having someone help you stretch is absolutely awesome!  

Over the past year or so I have been paying extra special attention to my body and trying to listen to what it needs to run as efficiently and effectively as possible.  I am still (and always will be) learning, but one thing I know is that our bodies really are amazing machines and we don't give them enough attention, respect or credit.  I want to be in tip top shape, inside and out, and I have begun to recognize and appreciate a holistic approach to achieving that....focussing on mental, physical, and emotional health as equal pieces to make a healthy whole.  Giving my body what it needs to do it's job.   Over the past 6 months or so i've transitioned to a largely raw food diet, which we were able to maintain at about 70% even on the road, thanks in part to my vitamix blender which accompanied us everywhere and also to Scott's ingenious combinations of various foods.  He has an acute understanding of what the body needs and the importance of listening to ourselves to achieve balance, and is gradually imparting some of that information to me, in a way that challenges and inspires me. 

San Diego is still one of my favourite places in the world.  The climate, the beauty, the ocean, the culture....the SUSHI!!   (not to mention the home of ron burgundy and the channel 4 news team hehehe).    We stayed in the most adorable little boutique hotel called the hotel des artistes, each suite was uniquely designed and themed, ours was a little japanese villa and was walking distance to not only the beach but also the best sushi and seaweed salad ever!  We popped by to visit my rep at Taylor Guitars who is one of the coolest people i've met, and I am now the proud owner of a new super sexy Taylor T5 acoustic electric guitar, which I can hardly wait to incorporate into the show.  

Now, I am sitting at home in the COLD looking at my calendar for the next 12 months and trying to figure out how I can spend a few of the winter months based out of san diego.  I think it's do-able.  Life is too short to not follow your desires and go after the things that you want!

I've posted my new Christmas song, called 'It's Christmas Time (What More Can We Give) here on this page.   My goal with this song was to write something themed around the holidays but to remind myself and my audience about the real meanings in Christmas.   Less talk, more action.  Our good intentions don't get us very far if they are never followed up with actions.  If there's one thing we should have learned from watching the incredible Barack Obama win the election, it's that every little thing makes a difference and everything counts in a way we don't always appreciate or understand....but the important thing is to try, to do what we can, to make a difference no matter how small it seems, to believe that 'yes, we can'.  Ghandi said it best, we must be the change we want to see in the world. 


x,
Lesley

Kids Rock Kelowna

September 1, 2008
Kids Rock Kelowna


I am currently sitting in beautiful sunny Vancouver, enjoying a much needed quiet day off before I play UBC tomorrow and then head to my first show in the USA!

I was on Vancouver Island wrapping up my west coast tour when my publicist called me mid-week last week and asked if i'd be able to perform at a Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna, BC this weekend.   Of course when you're offered something like this you say yes, so after four hours of sitting around waiting due to fog delays I was finally able to hop on a sea plane, get back to vancouver, hop in a rental car and Monkey and I were off for a beautiful drive through the rocky mountains to Kelowna.  If you have never driven through the rockies before, I can assure you it is breathtaking and beautiful, and a bit nervewracking at times. The highway ended up being closed due to flooding, so we had to drive one car at a time very slowly through the flooded area with the assistance of emergency reponse teams. This added about an hour and a half to the drive, and I was sad to realize that the four hour fog delay combined with the flooding was enough to delay me to the point that I would miss the boat cruise I was supposed to be on.   I resigned myself to that fact and took it easy (you can't speed in the rockies anyways), and enjoyed the view, including a stunning rainbow over the mountains, and finally arrived in the Okanagan Valley.

 

I arrived at the resort at about 7:30 to find that the boat was just leaving, as they too were experiencing delays and were having problems with the dock. My publicist had them hold the boat for me as I threw my things in our room and did the olympic 200 meter dash to the boat, where everyone was waiting for me.  They hauled me over the broken dock and threw me on board, and we were off.  Having not showered in 2 days I actually woudn't have minded falling into lake okanagan, but instead I settled for some champagne. My publicist Paula had them set everything up and next thing I knew I heard a voice booming over the loudspeaker letting everyone know that I would be performing in a minute and they should all come to the front of the boat.   Well, nothing like getting right down to business!  I sat down and starting playing, and looked up to find not one but TWO presidents from the show '24' standing directly in front of me.  Well that just made my day (I will admit to spending literally 24 hours straight in bed over the christmas holiays watching non-stop episodes of 24.  I will also admit to owning several seasons myself). I have to say that that Greg Itzin is one super fun guy. 

Next day we were off to the golf course in Vernon, BC with Paula and Suzie McNeil to shoot for eTalk Daily on the 17th hole.   I think Monkey stole the show, everyone wanted to play with her as they came through, we apparently even have some video footage of Dennis Haysbert (the first president on 24, who is extremely tall and has a very commanding presence) playing with her on the course, I can't wait to see it!  Then it was time for the wrap party, Suzie and I both sang a few songs with the mountains and lake okanagan behind us, it was fantastic.

We checked out a few wineries the next morning, and then it was back in the car for another beautiful drive through the rockies.   Monkey was pretty tuckered out by that point (it's exhausting being so cute I guess):


 All in all not a bad way to spend a long weekend, helping to raise money for three great charities:  The Children's Wish Foundation, Kelowna General Hospital and The cancer society's Camp Goodtimes.  

x,
Lesley