Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend Getaway Treasures Are the Best

(Oh, and I found my camera!)

This fall, BF and I took a weekend trip to Liverpool, NS to get away from the city for a couple days.  We'd been through the pretty little town before on our way home from another trip and it had captured our interest, so when we were deciding where to go this time around, Liverpool made the short list.  We stayed at the beautiful Lane's Privateer Inn:

Here's the view from our room:

And the view from the backyard:


So pretty and quiet and peaceful. Downstairs is a culinary shop, bookstore, cafe, pub and restaurant.  The food and service is really nice - for breakfast we had the most delicious maple sausage, made locally.  The book selection, though small and primarily cooking or food related is great; in fact, I got one of my favorite cookbooks of life there:

The rest of the town itself is lovely as well, though not much was going on, at least the weekend we were there.  

While we wandered around we wondered if there might be any live music in town that night, and so when we happened past a shop in which a guy was sitting playing the ukulele, in we went.  The shop turned out to be ADJA Studio and Gallery, owned by husband and wife artists and NSCAD graduates, Julie Anne and Andrew Danylewich.  The gallery itself was lovely, full of local art as well as some from away; paintings, photography, jewelry, woodwork and so on.   

As we chatted with the uke player, owner and artist Andrew, I spotted a ring that I immediately fell in love with and had to take home.  

It was made by his wife, Julie Anne.  It's sterling silver and the coloured bits are enamel.  Andrew does some amazing work also, including the use of a technique called Mokume Gane ( that looks really beautiful:

Check out their site, and browse the other unique and interesting pieces they create and sell.  (

Don't you love when you're exploring a new town or city and you come across a little treasure?  A dusty old second hand bookstore filled with piles of rare art books, a wonderful cafe with the best made-from-scratch soup, a shop full of handmade trinkets and frocks, or, in this case, a lovely little gallery/studio.  It's my favorite thing about traveling around and the tiny town of Liverpool was no exception.  I can't wait for the next adventure!

What's your favorite random treasure discovery?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Losing It

Boo to losing it.  

And by "It," I mean my camera.  I don't think it's lost forever, I think it'll turn up, it's just that our apartment, and we, are currently experiencing an upheaval that causes messes beyond the norm, even for me, an accomplished messer-upper.  (More about the upheaval at a later date).  Anyway, the point of this fit of pique is that I have three almost finished blog posts that I am dying to post but I have no photos to go with them!  Not the end of the world, I know, but a disappointment nonetheless, a hopefully temporary set back.  

Anyway, I had to think of something I could do, without my camera, to prevent another five month slip in my posts, so here it goes.  

Over the last couple of months I've been working on a LOT of projects.  It's Christmas soon, you see, and this year I decided, perhaps quite fallaciously, to make almost all my presents.  I know, I know, a handmade gift is so lovely and thoughtful, it's true, but any of you out there who are crafty and do the same thing will support this statement - it's like a full time job.  And if you already have a full time job, that means it's like you have TWO FULL TIME JOBS.  Plus, you know, life.  But I digress.

I'm a bit of a procrastinator and have been known to flake out at times when I should be focussing (oh, haven't been on Pinterest in a while...).  One of the ways I get myself to focus is with small, time oriented goals.  For example, I'll start a project and set the goal that I will work on that project for the length of time it takes one whole album to play and then I'll reward myself with something - a snack break or, yes, a ten minute Pinterest hunt.  This post is about the few blessed albums that have been carrying me through the last while.  

Didn't think I was going to let y'all know what you were getting for Christmas, did you?

Please keep in mind I am, by no means, a music writer, I'm just sharing what's been doing it for me lately.  In no particular order:

The White Buffalo - Once Upon A Time In The West
You know when you hear a song for the first time and it makes you stop doing whatever it was that you were doing and just listen?  Well the first time I heard this album and the first track, Ballad Of Dead Man, came on, that's what happened.  And then it happened for the rest of the album too.  Amazing.  Jake Smith, the singer and guitarist, sounds a bit like Cat Stevens and maybe a bit like Stan Rogers, and perhaps some other people too, I don't know.  A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, a little bit folky, his songs are new but old, and there's just something there that makes me feel happy.   Here's the video for BB Guns and Dirt Bikes, one of my fave tracks:

Reminds me of getting up to no good with my own brothers when I was a kid.  Good stuff.  

The Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
These guys, wow.  Their website slogan says it all - A Modern Take on a Traditional Sound.  If you
like string-band roots-based music (no drums or horns here), and appreciate being able to relate to the song subjects, this band is for you.  Some songs are their versions of traditional songs, but some, like Country Girl for example, 

is about having had the opportunity to tour the world with a band (the rock 'n' roll lifestyle you might say), and realizing that where you really belong is the very place you came from in the first place.  I love their sound - the simplicity of a just few voices and really nimble fingers can be the most intricate music you'll hear.  

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
I LOVE the Rolling Stones.  I have for a long time and I always, always will.  I find it hilarious when people discuss their supposed irrelevance in the world these days and implore them to retire.  My brother, D, and I saw them here in Halifax a few years back, in the cold, pouring rain, in an aggressive crowd of about 50,000,  and after many hours of waiting, despite being willing to throw in the towel and go home at several points, as soon as they came out, that was it.  I was there.  And it's all because of them and their music, the amazing, timeless songs, like Wild Horses.  Here is a clip of the band listening to the song after recording it, from the amazing Maysles documentary, Gimme Shelter.  Look how stylish they all are, just look!  

(Check out the film, and all the Maysles others for that matter, they have spent time with some amazing people.

Matt Mays - Coyote
Matt Mays is from here, where I live.  I've seen him play live more times than I can count and have loved it every time.  I am pretty sure I remember him hosting open mic nights at Hell many years ago, before anyone but the local music lovers knew how awesome he was, in a cowboy hat and head-to-toe denim.  Well now he's pretty well known, deservedly, and I couldn't be gladder.  It's amazing to see a musician/band you've loved from the beginning get to the point where music is their day job.  Well, Coyote is a great album, full of epic style rock songs that you can imagine listening to while driving fast across some beautiful landscape, windows down, wind in your hair, somewhere important to get to...or not....

Take It On Faith:


The Heavy - The Glorious Dead

Ohhh, The Heavy.  Oh.  This is a band that you pray, on bended knee, will grace your presence at some point in your life.  You can imagine being at their show, dancing, laughing, crying (joyous tears, of course), clapping, shouting, jiving, just frigging LOVING it.  They have the kind of vibe and sound that makes you feel like you can do things you probably couldn't actually do.  They are Big and Amazing and Extraordinary.  You can tell they love every second of what they do and that makes it easy to love them.  What Makes A Good Man:

and for good measure, their performance of How You Like Me Now
on Letterman:

AAAHHHHH!  Music!  Makes everything ok and better, right?  

Well I hope you like these bits of what I'm into right now.  When I find the camera and am able to finish up older posts we'll catch up again.  

Enjoy the meantime!