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2008-08-11 - 2:31

Idle in the east

I am alive and well, writing from beautiful Nova Scotia, which has been shrouded in cloud since I arrived last week. Since I have two more weeks here before I fly back, I'm hoping for at least a couple of days of continual sunshine, rather than the off-and-on bursts that I've been getting.

Even after I cut my posting rate here, I used to pick up for Bluesfest. This year, I didn't pop on even for that. However, I did attend the festival for ten days, missing only the last, having another excellent time; and I covered it on my other web site.

The most notable change this year is that I came in with a digital SLR camera, which I picked up a couple of weeks before the festival. I bought a Canon (one of the Digital Rebel series models) with a couple of entry-level lenses. A few thousand photos later, I'm already dreaming of nicer lenses but I was very happy with my results from Bluesfest, which I condensed to a meagre 468 pictures, posted in one giant gallery here.

I had a lot of fun hauling the camera around through all of the shows, although some sets definitely yielded better shots than others. A few of my favoutites include Liam O'Neil assisting TV on the Radio, Luke Doucet performing with his daughter, Chloë, and the crowd reflected in Warren Spicer's sunglasses.

Musically, the festival exceeded my expectations. It was a great mix of acts I hadn't seen before, such as TV on the Radio, Ladytron, Primus, and Plants and Animals, along with returning favourites, including Calexico, Hayden, and Jason Collett. As usual, I filled some open slots with bands I knew almost nothing about and came away pleased, as was the case for Dave Bidini Band, Rachid Taha, and Kid Beyond. From the raucous Six Shooter finale to the delightfully ridiculous Sauce Boss, every day that I attended offered something memorable. As usual, my reviews can all be found here.

While I intended to skip recapping the last few months with this post, I can't make mention of recent shows without highlighting the fact that Laurie and I saw Leonard Cohen in June! Over three hours in front of a hometown crowd in Montreal at one of the best concert venues I've ever been in: absolutely stellar. It was certainly among the best concerts that I've ever seen.

Returning to the present, I find myself back in the homeland for a three-week span, which is the longest break I have had since I was laid off from my first job in 2000. Luckily, I am still on the payroll this time, as the three-week stint was planned to enable Laurie and I to attend two weddings, the first of which was Liam and Véronique's, the day after we arrived.

That was a great time, with a nice, small ceremony on the water. The day was misty but the rain did not hit very hard while we were outside. Apart from sharing in the fun with the happy couple, it was cool to hang out with Stefan and Sara again, as they made the trip from Connecticut. Although I saw him at my own wedding last fall, you get a lot more downtime to chitchat when you're not the one in the tux.

Since then, we've had fun relaxing at home, seeing the family (the niece is getting big), and enjoying the lake. Chasing around the loons in a canoe beats working any day; and since we didn't tip it and soak that new camera I spent so much time writing about this entry, I remain content. Other than that, I am also in Olympics mode, making this another good time to be off work.

There is more on the go, as is often the case when one doesn't update for a few months, but that can stand as a summary for now.

J.

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