OMG! Another new weekly feature on the GLG blog? Yep, and we love it. Each Wednesday (well, you know how musicians are, so hopefully every Wednesday....) we will treat you to a Guest Blogger from our lovely group of artists. Each Guest Blogger will have a different name for their column. We start off with Shawn Fogel of Golden Bloom/Neutral Uke Hotel and his "Golden Bloom's Golden Rules." He likes to write, a lot. I mean a lot. But he's pretty excited about playing in Toronto this weekend, so we let him go crazy.
This week’s Golden Rule: Always have something to look forward to!
Whether it’s the Monday morning of another work week from hell, the beginning of a 10-hour drive through a torrential downpour, or the first 10 minutes of Green Day’s horrendous Broadway show, you can get through anything as long as you have something to look forward to. I know that the faithful readers of this here blog are far too sharp to miss the fact that I just said I saw Green Day’s American Idiot on Broadway. It’s true, I did. I won’t go into detail about how I ended up seeing the show, but I will tell you that I would give it the same two word review famously attributed to Spinal Tap’s 1980 release Shark Sandwich.
The reason I share what would normally be a secret too dark even during the most epic slumber party “Truth or Dare" sessions is that it’s a perfect example of this week’s Golden Rule. I made it through all 90 minutes of dreadful plotless-ness because I had something to look forward to, and that something is this year’s North By Northeast (NXNE) music festival in Toronto.
The Great White North’s equivalent of SXSW is five days, 650 bands with simultaneous film and interactive festivals to boot. Golden Bloom had the privilege of playing NXNE last year and when I got the invite to return I couldn’t have been happier. I’ve never had a bad experience in Toronto (unlike my friend Tom who got food poisoning from a Korean BBQ and got really sick the following day at a gig in North Bay, ON). The city is cleaner than New York (sorry New York), the people are friendly (sorry New York), and well, I just plain like it better than New York (sorry New York, I think you and I should start seeing other cities).
This year we’ll be in Toronto for three nights, playing three shows (one Golden Bloom show and two Neutral Uke Hotel shows). Two of the bands I’m most excited about seeing are both bands that I’ve enjoyed sharing the stage with over the past year. Coincidentally, BOTH of these bands are from Cincinnati, OH (also coincidentally, both bands feature those boy/girl vocals that we all know Green Light Go goes gaga for)!
First is The Seedy Seeds, who play at Rancho Relaxo at 10 pm on Thursday, June 17th. I love the fact that they are playing a venue named after the spa Marge Simpson visits in “Homer Alone” (15th episode of the 3rd season)! Margaret (vocals, guitar, accordion, keyboard), Mike (vocals, banjo) and Brian (drums) combined the oft far removed organic elements of country/folk and the electronic elements of dance music like a Reese’s Cup of pure musical joy (You got banjo in my electronica! You got electronica in my banjo!). The Seedy Seeds are a ton of fun and I can’t wait for NXNE fun-seekers to see and hear them on stage for the first time.
The other band I’m really looking forward to seeing is Wussy, who play The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern at 11pm on Friday, June 18th. Chuck (vocals, guitar) and Lisa (vocals, guitar) write amazing songs that are equal parts pretty and noisy. Matter of fact, I love Wussy’s songs so much I recently recorded a Golden Bloom cover of “Magic Words” (my favorite song off their most recent self-titled full length album). It’s still in the super top-secret song vault right now, but hopefully we’ll share Golden Bloom’s Wussy cover with the world pretty soon.
If you are attending this year’s NXNE festival, you’ve got a lot to look forward to. Those of you who aren’t Toronto bound shouldn’t feel blue, and shouldn’t forget this week’s Golden Rule. If you can’t think of anything to look forward to at the moment (other than the next edition of Golden Bloom’s Golden Rules), I hope you find solace in the fact that the not-so-distant future where robots play improvisational jazz is finally here!