October 30, 2008
C'est What Inc
67 Front Street East
RvZ with support Rhonda Stakich!
C'est What Inc
67 Front Street East
RvZ with support Rhonda Stakich!
2960 Kingsway Drive
It is windy and blustery her in BIG TO but I am sheltered and am grooving out to Marie's new tunes. I awoke to Polish accordion and am now writing to young folk rock. We are tired little bunnies after one heck of a week in New York City. I feel like it was a job well done though. We came and did what we needed to do which was ROCK for the masses. Today is organization day and rehearsals. Graham is back in Los Angeles and Hamish is vacationing with Sweet Stan in the north of England so that means connecting with a temporary rhythm section and delivering a killer show for Saturday at the Dakota Lounge. I have chosen members from Flash Lightnin' after seeing them groove hard in Regina. For the other shows Marie and I will be putting together a duo show that has a modest low end to it but a hard hitting punch. Once in Ottawa, we will rock with Lyndell Montgomery and Adam Lalonde. Off to the races...
My New York shows are done. I sit and eat a piece of bread with butter and avocado, something I have never done before. It was hectic, I am not going to lie. I am tapped emotionally. The last and final performance was at The Listen Space in Brooklyn. The owners, Katie and Devon, have converted a space into a studio/live venue. The vibe is great and the colors are white. Marie and I went for it and gave the kids what they needed. We were fortunate enough to be joined by Daniel Lapp on "Changing in Time". I was happy. There really is nothing better than playing a good show where the music comes from somewhere else and is then transported into the venue through expression with words and fingers. I have learned over the years how to find these places and stay just long enough to define that show. Tomorrow is summary day and then we fly to Toronto. Once in TO, I imagine we will do it all again.
CMJ Music Marathon
New York City, NY
Oct. 19 - New York Open Center - 8 pm to 10 pm - 83 Spring Street- "Acoustic Performance" - www.opencenter.org
Oct. 21- Relix Magazine- Staff Performance - 1 pm
Oct. 21- Rodeo Bar- 9 to Midnight- 375 3rd Ave- www.rodeobar.com
Oct. 22- Kenny's Castaways- 11 pm- 157 Bleecker St- www.kennyscastaways.net
Oct. 23- RvZ on CMJ Panel-12:30 pm "What's it Like Over There"- Kimmel Center, Room 406
Oct. 26- Listen Space- 7 pm-10 pm-195 Skillman Avenue, Brooklyn - www.listenspacenyc.com
It has been a trip, literally. I am so happy the guys made it to New York City to share this opportunity with me. Marie has been amazing as well. We played the Rodeo Bar on tuesday night and from the moment I stepped in the door, I knew this was the place for me- mostly because of the Corb Lund sticker stuck to the back of the stage. Getting gear around Manhattan can be stressful but thanks to the cooperative effort from my band, we were able to take cabs here and there and pull in an entire backline in order to rock out the masses of NYC. Thank you to Lulu, Sally, all the cute firemen, Jan, Craig my manager, Eric the soundman, and all of the other "bright lights" out in the crowd. You made the show fun! Earlier that day I performed for the staff at the Relix Magazine office. This experience was positive as well, although it was hard to hit the high notes in "Halo" at 1 pm. I then had my first hotdog fiasco. The sign said HOTDOGS $2. I jumped at the sale but was then charged $3.50. I asked why. He said my "dog" was bigger than the other ones in the pot. I argued. Another man, obviously local, came up and bought a hotdog the same size and paid $2. The vendor insisted that mine was still larger enough to pay more. Frustrated I threw down $3 and got the rock out. It scarred me for the the rest of the afternoon.
The next night was an official showcase at Kenny's Castaways, Bruce Springsteen's first NYC venue. There were 6 bands on the bill with Ha Ha Tonka playing right before us. They wowed me. I was with them for every note. We then plugged in and went for it. I was on a mission and I knew the guys would come with me. It was a one of our best played shows yet and to top it all off, I had a new dress:) Thank you Freddy for the luscious sound.
Last night I met Charlie Louvin which was also a dream come true. He played in 97 Tribeca with his band and did all my favorite songs. He is 81 years old and singing strong. I used to cover "I'm Gonna Sleep with One Eye Open" so it was a highlight to hear it from the source.
So now it is onwards and upwards. I am taking it easy today and then going to see Mother Mother as well as 10 other bands. Should be fun.
It has been rather nutty whilst getting this project rolling in Manhattan. I have learned how to do things the expensive way and then later on, the more expensive way. Marie and I had a good warm up gig in Soho on Sunday. She has a great voice and yet to be heard guitar chops. Tonight those shall be unveiled. Hamish and Graham arrived last night and strangely enough, are a block away, sleeping peacefully in some bunk beds we found. They both looked sun kissed from their time in L.A. So today is all about hunting down gear and getting to a place where it will be safe. I am lucky to have CRATE Amps behind us...Hamish and I will be sporting a new 2008 model of some sort. I am excited. Alright, off to the races.
As I walk along Broadway I listen and look and wonder what makes a New Yorker a New Yorker. I pass a Starbucks every ten or so paces and notice that each one is filled to capacity with locals outfitted in the latest fall fashion. Even the smallest tot looks really good. Curiosity over comes me and I venture in. I purchase a medium soy latte for $4.25 which is a good portion of my modest rock star per diem. I then jump, crawl, and pardon my way through a maze of lap top cables, grocery bags, and baby carriages to find myself a seat. I want to open my very own lap top and surf the net with my Starbucks Points card (sold to me cuz it's the way forward) however my battery has died in my Macbook and all the AC outlets in the entire place are taken. So I sit and people watch. Only 24 hours ago, I was waiting for a Greyhound bus in the middle of a Super Store parking lot in northern British Columbia wondering whether I should dare pee behind the bus station. It was 5 am and animals were lurking. I chose not to in the end due to high cougar alert. After a long hop, skip, and jump, I made it into New York City to sell my wares and play rock n' roll. It is lovely here and for some reason, every turn I take seems to evoke a new song. The scenery is dynamic and the people are enthralling. Each phrase I hear coming from the street and its venues takes me to an entirely different country. Tomorrow is my first show so I must go string my guitar and get ready for an evening at the New York Open Center. Until tomorrow...
So it is orange and brown all around and billions of turkeys have given their lives unwillingly so that we may eat and be thankful. I personally gave thanks to the little turkey who made my modest thanksgiving vacation that much better. It is only a week until the RvZ Band hits the airways en route to New York City in hopes of playing in front of excited and attentive audiences. Much has to be done prior to our departure but I am making a list. We are leaking a new song on the MySpace this week too so look out!
Be thankful everyone.
So Robes got married on the beach in Malibu and everyone was there including all members of the RvZ Band, well minus Joby. And so yesterday Hamish and I went to Santa Monica to go swimming at the pier and we made high end sandwiches. And while we were swimming a sea gull broke into our bag, pulled out the high end sandwich and flew away. It was sad but Hamish took it very well. Had a wickedly wonderful jam in Silverlake last night. Hamish and Goldrush and many other musicians are now headed to the desert for a Clean Water festival while I fly north to Canada to try and pay off copius amounts of recording debt. Shitty biscuits. Over and out. I think I left my sun glasses somewhere. Drag!
"RVZ is on fire with this her second solo release Where Your Garden Grows. From the moment the needle hits the record and a crunchy guitar wraps around you like a corset, it's obvious that this record is a winner.
One might think that there are several musical personalities living inside this Rachelle Van Zanten girl, yet all of them share a penchant for songwriting. Her ability to pen lyrics both personal and political in nature . . .("and now there's trouble here, in a land so far away. Where all the dark suits make the rules from a thousand miles away. I've seen your future here, I've read the history. You make your money grow while killing my country . . .",) is as on point as her guitar tone(s) and hooky riffs.
Where Your Garden Grows slides the listener deftly up and down the guitar neck while also rooting you in place with the deep pulsing kick. The solid and melodic bass lines create a bedrock foundation strong enough to support the ridiculously heavy guitar riffs she delivers. Rachelle Van Zanten should be awarded a degree in musical architecture.
The combination of well-crafted songs with the bang up mixing skills of Tchad Blake (Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Tom Waits, Pearl Jam) and production talents of Joby Baker, is sure to secure Rachelle Van Zanten the well deserved title of rock star and a seat at the head table."