Thursday, October 17, 2013

For Once Night Only...

(Yes, the title of this blog is a pun and not a typo)

From time to time, an idea can come to you under the influence that surprisingly does become something tangible and worthwhile.

During a particularly difficult time two or so years ago, I spent many a night at a particular watering hole in my neighbourhood in Toronto with Tamara Saringer, quite possibly the most classy lady I am lucky to know. We learned of our shared affinities for music and red wine, and she caught a few Paint shows. We found some enjoyment singing songs from the film Once by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová over a bottle or three of wine on summer nights on her balcony. It was never planned, but a few glasses in, Tamara, a fabulous trained pianist, would gravitate to the piano and we'd just start spontaneously singing these songs. The lyrics connected with a lot of what was going on for me, and our voices seemed to mesh. It was something completely unlike the music I play with Paint, but similar in its immediacy and directness. We'd often sit back after a tune, take another sip of red, look at each other and say, "One of these days, we should perform this stuff live."

So Paint went off and toured, and toured some more, and Tamara went and composed the music score for Kill, Sister, Kill, which received gracious critical acclaim at Toronto Fringe 2013. When some smoke cleared and I sat down to work on Paint's 2013 itinerary, Tamara and I decided it was time to get off our laurels (which were hardly resting!), book a date, and make it happen. Thankfully, the rest of Paint agreed to take part.

We wanted to do it in the fall, particularly in October. The colours of Glen and Markéta's songs were orange, maroon, burnt and rustic, it didn't feel right to do this any other month of the year. So that was settled. And the venue, well, we had a few options, and the back room and stage at The Rivoli just had the right amount of history, energy, and intimacy. Even more of a treat, to choose artists to join the bill who we wouldn't normally get the chance to share the stage with due to the more "acoustic" (though deceptively not-so-simple) approach we were taking to the songs. So it was the highly admirable Justine Dube, The Old Salts (featuring our old friend Darren Eedens), and my dear Piper Hayes (who also performed a few miracles at Fringe this year). And to invite the lovely Brenna-Hardy Kavanagh to play violin with us, any excuse to share the stage with someone I admire.

Amidst a very busy time for Paint (with being artists-in-residence at C'est What? every Tuesday this month, preparing a music videos compilation DVD for November release, more time on the road, an IndieGogo campaign to raise funds for our next EP, and shooting a film to go along with the EP), we may seem insane for then learning an entire collection of songs for a one-night-only production with a guest pianist and violinist.

But when has anything good ever come from playing it safe?

See you next Wednesday!
The Old Salts, Piper Hayes, Paint (performing songs from Once), and Justin Dube
The Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., Toronto
Wednesday, October 23
Doors 9pm, $10, 19+