Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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In a Jam on Friday Night, and On the Radio in Ottawa on Saturday/Sunday Night

February 18, 2012

CKCU Radio Ottawa

CKCU Radio Ottawa

Here’s the deal: If you are an early riser and you can get to an open mic on Friday evenings at 7:30 and you have something else to do when it ends early at 10 PM; if you like to jam with several other musicians simultaneously (sax, bongos, guitars, vocals, etc); if you have nothing against a little bit of chaos in the organization; then you should check out the “open mic” at the neat little bar in Montparnasse called “Ton Air de Brest.”

I went last night for the first time and got there what I thought was reasonably early, at 9:45, and the place was just booming with reggae-like jamming music with a sea of musicians. I ordered a beer and the MC approached me and asked if I wanted to play next. He said, “It ends in 15 minutes.” I couldn’t believe it, an open mic at a cool bar that calls itself a music bar and has all sorts of musical acts throughout the week, and it ends its live music on a Friday night at 10 pm.

I at first answered that I could not see what kind of music I could possible play in that situation, and then two minutes later I said that in fact I could do “Mad World.” I thought the repetition of the chords would allow all the others to play along, as would the fixed booming rhythm. So the MC said ok, there would be one other person and then me and we would be the last to play.

The other person was actually already up there and singing from the previous “song.” So I went and got my guitar and stood near the playing area and tuned it and waited for the song to end. When the song ended, the MC went up to the mic and thanked everyone for coming and said the open mic and jam session was now finished. He did not come to apologize to me or explain. So I left my partly drunk beer on the bar and left myself, returning home to do better things.

Brad on the Radio in Ottawa

Meanwhile, overnight in Ottawa tonight – Saturday to Sunday – my songs will be featured on the CKCU radio station, 93.1 on the dial, or via the CKCU Internet link to the show. The music will be played on the show called Major Tom Hagen and the Space Party, and I will be speaking with Major Tom during a live phone interview. It will be at 3 AM Ottawa time, or 9 AM Sunday morning my time in Paris.

This is a great thrill for me as I consider Ottawa one of my home towns. As far as I understand it, the four songs of mine that I recorded in what I call the Ephemere Recordings, in the Point Ephemere studios in Paris with a four piece band, will be played. I was born and spent my childhood in Toronto, but I moved to Ottawa and spent my turbulent high school years there. So that is why I consider it a home town too – that period from 14 to 18 years old is so important and I having most of my lifelong friendships from that period.

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