Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 35: Cranbrook, BC

Location: Cranbrook, BC

During the night's sleep in Cranbrook, Kira the cat kept company with lots of purrs, nose rubs and general friendliness. I also met Jasper & Keeko, who befriended me with lots of licks.

I spent my morning/lunch, catching up on tour business stuff in the sunshine on my cousin's front deck while enjoying a great view of the Rockies:

My big adventure for the day in Cranbrook was a visit to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. It's the largest museum of its kind, with several vintage restored trains and more in the works!

The first stop was fittingly a 1928 Caboose #43696 still in its original condition. I had to stifle a laugh when the tour guide rocked back and forth in the caboose to try and shake it. Yup, the tour started off with a shaking caboose!

The restoration process is quite expensive and pretty intense. Several layers of paint (often quite ugly colours at that) must be removed to reveal the original mahogany wood paneling.

Trains on the tour include:

(a) Seven cars from the 1929 "Trans-Canada Limited".

(b) Three cars from the 1907 "Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe". Both the tour guide, Rebecca, & I agreed that the "Omemee" with its emerald green upholstery was our favourite car of the tour.

(c) Three General 1920s & 30s Business and Royal Cars.

What I found most interesting was where they found items. Two of the "Soo-Spokane" cars were found in Wisconsin in use as summer cottages. One armoir was found in a chicken coup in Manitoba!

Big thanks to my personal tour guide, Rebecca for the great tour!

The evening was spent with family, some of whom I hadn't seen in 20+ years!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 34: Lethbridge to Waterton Lakes to Cranbrook

Location: Cranbrook, BC
Total kms driven: 9170 kms
Total $$ spent on gas: $1198
Total Number of deer/elk seen during day: 66

Shortly after leaving Lethbridge, I spotted the Rockies and pulled off to snap this picture. Can you see 'em?

I took a quick trip to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. Unfortunately my National Parks discovery pass didn't grant me access, so I walked the trail at the bottom of the Jump. For nearly 5700 years the Blackfoot tribes used this spot to kill Buffalo.

You really gotta pay attention on the roads in Alberta, or you might get eaten up by a beast like this.

I knew I was getting closer to the Rockies:

Finally I made it to Waterton Lakes National Park. The deer/elk were abundant there and pretty much had the run of the place!

While driving through the downtown, I slowed to take a picture of a deer. I guess it wanted me to know what it felt like to be stared at all the time :)

I like looking for neat rocks when I'm on a beach. I came out with my best find in recent years. This heart shaped rock:

Shortly after leaving Waterton Lake National Park, I stopped at an amazing overlook of the mountains, where Sandy from Winnipeg was kind enough to take my picture:

As I made my way through the village of Twin Butte, I started to see windmills like the ones I saw near Goderich, Ontario. Except these were all in a big long row... kind of eery in the sunset:

Finally, I arrived in Cranbrook, BC, with a welcoming Moosehead Beer curtesy of my cousin Dave. My gluten intolerance stopped me from drinking the beer, but not from posing for a picture :)

Day 34: Waterton Lake National Park Pics

Location: Waterton Lake National Park

Waterton Lake National Park was amazingly beautiful and the weather was perfect. I took pictures of Knight's Lake and walked some trails at Red Rock Canyon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 33: Ralson, AB to Lethbridge, AB

Location: Lethbridge, AB

While I was staying in Ralston, I got treated to some amazing meals curtesy of Chef Sheldon. Here's one.

Harley was diligent at clearing their front yard of dandelions. Well, okay so it was Sheldon, but still it's impressive.

The gophers popped their heads out across the street for a quick fight:

I've been noticing a lot of grain elevators and long wirey contraptions.

I made it to University of Lethbridge and from their parking lot, I could see lots of lumpy green hills, apparently called coolies.

I made it to CKXU for a couple radio shows. First up was DJ Booda's 'Droppin Science' show.

Second up was DJ Daemon's 'The Mix'.

Daemon let me crash at his place as we chatted about Computer Science stuff (he's doing his masters) and Ottawa (his hometown). I met his cat Skid who attempted to cook us up some dinner.

Day 32: Ralston, AB

Location: Ralston, AB

So the drive from Regina, SK to Ralston, AB pretty normal. Because it was freezing, windy and rainy and I was fighting a cold, so I skipped the side trips to Grasslands National Park and Fort Walsh National Historic Site.

As I approached the Alberta border, I started noticing the apparatus below a few times (for oil?). And then the land started to flaten out, no trees, and green mounds (coolies?).

My friends Nicole & Sheldon live in Ralston, which is just past Medicine Hat. Medicine Hat is home to the world's largest Tepee and farm vehicles on the highway:

The weather started looking a little crazy as I approached Ralston, but it never rained.

Ralston is a tiny military base, where marching soldiers have the right of way:

Sheldon jammed out on his electronic drum kit. I was tempted to lay down some rhymes, but I was too exhausted and falling to the cold.

Nicole has the cutest mini pincher named Harley. I caught him dead guilty in the act of eating Sheldon's shoelaces, a personal favourite of Harley's :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 31: Regina, SK to Ralston, AB

Location: Ralston, AB

I've come down with a cold... I"m resting and fighting it though :)

I've visiting my friends Nicole & Sheldon. You might remember Nicole from her vocals on my album on 'Canada Dry' and 'So Many Purposes'. Pics will come soon when I'm feeling better.

Good news though: I'm a featured artist on mySpace

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 30: Regina

Location: Regina, SK

I woke up tired & cranky, wishing that booking shows didn't take so much work. Any artists who've booked their own tours, know what I'm talking about. After catching up on some work, Mike took me to downtown Regina for a walk about.

Regina has found ways to keep old historic pieces alive. For example, when the Canadian Bank of Commerce closed, the city ensured its pillars stayed alive in the downtown mall, although they seem a bit out of place.

Secondly, much like in Fredericton, the train station closed several years ago. Fredericton let the main station die a slow death, whereas Regina converted their train station into a casino:

Also of interest downtown (mostly for my friend Lise), was this Bison piece titled "oskana ka-asasteki" - this is the Cree name for the site known as Regina.

Then Mike took me to the University of Regina to explore the Student Centre. Here I was intimidated by this all red water fountain (I figured it was for burn victims or something like that). And I discovered that their doors have Bawls:

As we walked back to his car, I crossed chipmunks retreating to hide in their holes and geese contemplating road crossings:

We watched a bit of the hockey game and then I headed out to CJTR Regina Community Radio to meet up with DJ Rob on his weekly Saturday night hip-hop show 'Queen City’s Urban Mentality'.

I also met Moose Jaw's DJ Quartz:

For the first two hours we played only saskatchewan hip-hop. Stuff from Def3 (Regina), Factor (Saskatoon), Eekwol (Saskatoon), Bridge N ET (Regina), D Mann (Avonlea), Cappo (Regina), Philly 5 (Moose Jaw), Muneshine, Merky Waters, Freeforms (White City), Prairies Own, Lazy Four, Wiz 1, XL Crew (Regina) = Ajeah, The Remedy, Pimpton, Macbert, Playboy; . We also discussed how DJ Cracka Jack is the man behind the saskatchewan hip-hop resource

From midnight to 1 am, we hijacked the 'Off Stream' show because host Ben was late due to the UFC fight. We spun lotsa canadian tracks, and chatted a bit.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 29: Regina

Location: Regina, SK

I had no obligations today, so I spent all day trying to catch up on work. People sometimes ask, "but you're on vacation, what do you have to do?". Well, lots of things.
- Blogging about the tour.
- Booking shows
- Publicity for shows
- Emails (I'm way behind!), facebook, myspace
- Coordinating with people about places to crash
- Logging and following up with new contacts
- Accounting
- Provide an update to sponsors
- 20 new CDs from artists to consider for compilation
- Uploading pictures
- Did I mention, booking shows... this is the most time consuming part because it's so hard to get ahold of people!!

Anyway, when Mike got home from his 9 to 5, I took a break. I had some coconut/pineapple curry for supper and headed to Wascana Lake to walk it off. It was a beautiful evening and the trail around the lake provided a great view of the distant downtown.

The geese and ducks were abundant, some with their new youngins:

Near the end of the lake trail, I caught some geese admiring the Regina Parliament buildings:

To end the night, I checked out the new Indiana Jones movie. I don't think I've seen any of the original Indiana Jones movies (yes, I know, I live under a rock). Anyway, the new movie was pretty great... at times unrealistic, but I think that's pretty much a given!

After all the driving and shows in the past few weeks, it was nice to have a low key night!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 28: Winnipeg to Brandon to Regina

Location: Regina, SK
Total kms driven: 7833
Total $$ spent on frikin gas: $996.20

It's a beautiful sunny day in Regina and I've got a solid 2 days worth of work built up, sitting in front of me! I'm realizing this isn't a vacation!! :)

I'm a bit tired. I drove 2538 kms in 3.5 days, and saw 13 deer. But I arrived in Regina a day early and don't leave until Sunday, so I've got a few days to recover and get an oil change!

Thunder Bay and Winnipeg do something weird with their gas prices. Every station advertises the same price across the city, but each station has different discounts that apply at the pump. So until you pull into the station and look at the price on the pump, you don't really know what station has the cheapest price! Annoying!

So Day 28 started in Winnipeg. I ventured back to CJUM/UMFM to visit DJ Co-op on his 'Magical Crates of Co-op' show. I met Co-op back in 2005 at the National DMCs in Hamilton.

Unfortunately Co-op was MIA, so music/program director Michael Elves & I hijacked his show for an interview and to spin some hip-hop. Co-op, where are you? Are you okay? :)

I jetted out of University of Manitoba at 5 pm en route for a radio show in Brandon, MB at CJJJ at Assiniboine Community College.

There I met up with Kevin Wielenga, one of the folks behind the webpage and radio show. We chatted, played some tunes and exchanged t-shirts. Check out his band FUGR ('Fat Ugly Guys Rock' or something like that)

After the radio show, I was starving. I hadn't had a real meal since Dystrakted hooked me up with sushi 48 hours earlier. So I stopped at Cranberry's Family Restaurant. I was surprised and excited when they had a gluten-free bun option. I had the best burger in a long, long time!

I had a couple options to crash in Brandon, both of which involved early mornings and/or mother-in-laws and/or 4 kids. So instead I decided to keep driving to Regina, SK, where I met up with my friend Mike who I hadn't seen since 2002.

Somehow while watching for deer, I missed the sign that said "entering Saskatchewan". And I was also surprised to discover that Saskatchewan has their own time zone that's a hybrid of MST and CST. In summer, they adopt MST, and in winter they have CST. Crazy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 27: Thunder Bay to Winnipeg

Location: Winnipeg, MB

Up at 7 am in Thunder Bay, Dystrakted treated me to a great breakfast at Hoito before I hit the road. The terrain as I left was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Large mounds jutting out of the ground.

On the drive, I passed the Arctic Watershed, from there I learned that all water flows north into the Arctic Ocean. Neat! I stopped for gas in Dryden, and ended up getting briefly locked in the store as the power went out while I was in the bathroom!

The coolest for sale item I saw for sale was an army thing-a-ma-jig.

One thing I'd noticed ever since my drive from Sudbury was that nearly every large rock on the side of the road had rock formations built by a person on top. There are a lot of native areas along the way, so I'm assuming it's a cultural thing.

Finally I stepped foot into the prairies and Manitoba for the first time in my life!

My life is crazy at times and continously surprises me! While at the Manitoba border, I randomly ran into my Ottawa friend Lisa who I found out was moving to Banff. Such a small world!

Then the flatness of the prairies began.

My pal Dave Morgan put me up for the night.

I unfortunately couldn't join Dave for softball because I had an in-store performance at Music Trader. But I think things will work out for me to play some ball on my way back through in June.

The Music Trader show was fun. Small crowd... if you can call it a crowd, but I pulled people in off the street and rapped to the in store merchants. I had fun! I also met Jared McKetiak, station manager at UMFM!

Finally, my long 22 hour day ended as I joined Kinetik on his weekly The Joints show on CJUM/UMFM for some lively conversation!

Winnipeg is an odd city. Twice I've driven long distances in town on dirt roads, which is something I've never seen. And the same road changes names fairly often, which has thrown me off. Anyway, I'm running late...

Day 26: Thunder Bay

Location: Thunder Bay, ON

So I crashed with Dystrakted while in Thunder Bay.

We talked a lot of local hip-hop and he put me onto Sleep Clinic and Hit N Run. I'd met him at the national DMC competitions in Ottawa back in 2006 where he performed with Rogue & Ghost. He was taking care of his buddy's place, where I met his friend's fierce and intimidating dog named 'Homie' :)

He treated me an amazing supper at the Sushi Bowl and we cruised through Thunder Bay a bit. Every city has their ghetto area. In Thunder Bay, it's Simpson street. I can't remember the last time I saw so many boarded up stores. He also showed me their only legal graffiti wall.

The night ended with some new Grand theft Auto and this slingshot game called Pain. I'm not a gamer, but GTA is definitely my one vice. Overall, the city had a bit of a majestic feel and I hope I have more time to explore on my way back.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 26: Marathon to Thunder Bay

Location: Thunder Bay, ON

I awoke at 4:30 am in Marathon rather cold. When I planned this trip, I didn't expect below zero temperatures in May... I knew more sleep would be futile, so i got up and drove. The skies were clear and the moon was setting on Lake Superior. Beautiful.

I stopped at Aguasabon River Gorge for a refreshing 6 am view!

I reached Nipigon and slept for an hour outside Gus' restaurant. I awoke to flurries landing on my car. At breakfast I learned school was closed there because a bear was roaming the school yards.

Then I headed off to Thunder Bay arriving around 10 am at the Terry Fox Memorial where I continued my search for the Sleeping Giant.

I had an amazing nap before plugging in my portable internet from Rogers to catch up on emails and update you all. Time to go... I'm late meeting up with my place to crash tonight DJ Dystrakted

Day 25: Sudbury to Marathon

Location: Marathon, ON

Sunday I left the comfy confines of Sudbury headed for somewhere between there and Thunder Bay. I finally settled on Marathon, just minutes from Pukaskwa National Park.

The drive was long, with no cellphone reception from Rogers after Sault Ste Marie. So I found a few ways to keep my mind occupied. The town with the smallest population was Desbarats. Population 400.

My favourite for sale item was the car below. Well, actually my favourite was an olive green old Ford truck, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera.

It was a sunny day and the coastline along Lake Superior was beautiful all the way to Marathon.

I learned about the Michipicoten Canoe Route, which formed an important link between Lake Superior and James Bay back in the first trade days of the late 1700's.

On the drive between Wawa and White River, I got stuck behind a police car for the hour long drive, but finally I made it to White River... the birthplace of Winnie The Pooh (Aug 24th, 1914)!

The sunset was a colourful display as I finally settled on Marathon as the sleeping grounds. I pulled up next to a restaurant and was in asleep on the bed in my van by 11 pm!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 24: Sudbury

Location: Sudbury, ON

For the first time on this tour, I didn't drive anywhere. It was nice. I enjoyed the company of the kitties and indulged in some wine, while enjoying the lighting of some fireworks by Jennie's neighbour:

Now I need to get energized to drive 20+ hours in the next 2.5 days to arrive in Winnipeg on Wednesday for an 8 pm show. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 23: Tobermory to Sudbury

Location: Sudbury, ON
Total Kms driven to date: 5295
Gas $$ to date: $644 (ugghhh)

An early night on Friday, meant an early morning, giving us time to explore Tobermory a bit before catching the 1:30 pm MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry. Tobermory provides a pretty little bay where boats make their home.

In the bay, you might see boats with parents teaching one kid how to fish while the other lures them in with his electric guitar and amp.

And where birds like to chill on the dock, air out their wings and wait for the fishing boats to come into port:

It's where Brock & Way streets come so close to intersecting:

And home to a lighthouse in Big Tub (as seen from the ferry):

And where the locals come out to watch vehicles be swallowed once again by the MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry:

The ferry ride offers passengers with many different hair styling options ranging from the pouffy middle part; to the extreme right side part; the wizadry look; to the extreme left side part; and finally the "poof" style.

Finally we arrived in Sudbury, which is home to the huge smoke stack and the big nickel:

Finally we arrived at the house of Jennie, a friend of my friend Lise. Jennie made us great steaks and her cats Scout, Weezer and Beebop entertained us for the night!

Day 22: London to Bruce Peninsula N.P

On Friday, I drove from London to Bruce Peninsula, which winds through many small towns, eventually following the Bluewater Highway. I remembered this Canada Dry sign from my trip to Goderich in 2006:

We came across Clinton, which apparently decreased in population by 10 people last year and is also home to the original school on wheels. The School on wheels was started in 1926 by J.B. MacDougall and serviced many northern Ontario communities until its end in 1967:

Wind Power near Goderich, ON:

I drove right by the Bruce Peninsula National Park, to visit the Five Fathom National Marine Park and Tobermory:

Did you know there is a hiking trail that runs from Tobermory to Niagara? It's called the Bruce Trail:

The lookout at Five Fathom provide an amazing view of the surrounding park & islands:

The Harborside Motel provided the roof for the night in Tobermory. It's been a long while since I last stayed in a hotel or motel. Don't they usually have a phone and/or alarm clock? This one didn't :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 21: London Weekly Open Mic at The Wick

Location: London, ON

First off, tonight was THE most fun show of the tour so far. London folks showed a ton of love... just a great vibe at The Wick!!

The day started off in Toronto, where I checked out a seminar put on by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). I ran into Andrew Vincent for the 2nd day in a row... I just can't escape Kelp Records!! Anyway, I don't quite qualify for funding cause my sales aren't at $50,000 yet.. haha.

From there, I endured rush hour traffic in Toronto to finally put a face to the name of B Mellow of the "Wax Jungle" show on CKMS in Waterloo. Over the years we bonded over hip-hop music, but also on fact we were both working on masters in Computer Science. Oh yeah, can you believe Waterloo students voted to cancel funding for their campus station!? Boo to those nerds!!

While I was putting up a sticker in the station, I realized there is just no escaping Kelp Records.

From there I drove to London, Ontario where I met up again with long-time friend Lise. She had so much fun at the show at The Wick, that she stayed right until the end, and she's usually in bed by 11 pm - that's how fun the show was! There were tons of emcees in the house.

Mat Labatt:

Chief Chills:



Dy Allo:

Moore, DJ Over and crew:



Dr. Frank Cameron:

Finally, here's me kicking up a storm standing on the bar for 'Super Dude' and rocking the Shake Ya Caboose glasses!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 20: Handsolo Mixtape Release Party

Location: Toronto, ON

Tonight was the most fun show yet. If you don't know Hand'Solo Records by now, you should. They put out the infamous 'Basements of Badman' and 'Cock Dynamics' compilations back in the 90s which featured current superstars in their early days. Thomas Quinlan runs the label, but you might know him as the infamous reviewer of CanCon for Exclaim, Peace Mag, and on & on. His wife, Yoko, also runs Momiji Clothing. Here they are manning the merch table:

There were lots of celebrities in the house. Some that I didn't get pics with include Darryl R and Kyle L of Urbnet Records - the biggest indie hip-hop label in Canada. Paul Gagnon of Yo Jamz and VideoFACT - I accidentally poked his contact lens out of his eye with my hat - sorry again Paul! And D.O. was kicking around too!

My cousin Susan Pape and her boyfriend Eric Warner of MySpace Canada, the Over The Top Festival and the best band ever: Dollarama

Comedian Tanya Wilson, who you might remember from her act with Wordburglar called I hope it's potatoes. She was sporting the 'Pimp Juice' ladies tee I gave away.

Ottawa Kelp Records fam were in the house with Andrew Vincent and Andy Swan (fresh off his Atlantic Canada tour)

I finally met Ewan Mill aka JE of the Maple Mothership / Ghettoblaster / Fameless! We've known each other via email for a long long minute!

Then there were the performers, all of whom were top notch and appear on the Handsolo mixtape!
There was Royce Birth:

There was Noah23:

There was Modulok of Red Ants:

There was Fresh Kils of Mr Quibble and The Extremities backing up More or Les:

And of course, Mr. Wordburglar dazzled us with his wordplay:

Finally the night ended with Yoko lookin' superb rocking her Super Dude shirt:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 19: CHRW, CKLN & gluten free brownies!

Location: Toronto, ON

So I started my day in London:

I hit up CHRW again for a sit down with Dy Allo aka John Blaze on his Backpack Chronicles show:

I also found out that you can download DJ Chedo's radio show from Monday with my interview here:

Then I headed back to Toronto. I took a pit stop in Brampton on the Wayne Gretzky Parkway.

When I hit downtown Toronto, I got stuck behind the "Happy Hippo" bus.

Finally I made it to CKLN, where hung out on the "Statik" radio show and met Niles, DJ Channel 9 (Tona's brother) and Shimmie N Shyne.

Theo3 and Jody Laraya from Universal were in the house. Jody laced me with the new Roots album, which is bonkers! Also, I met Mic Boogie for the first time. You might have seen one of his videos on MuchMusic recently. Anyway, his new album just dropped, so keep an eye out!

Afterwards I headed back to my brother's where he treated me to a birthday steak supper and surprised me with amazingly delicious gluten free brownies. Soooo good!

I had planned to go out to DJ Fase's weekly "Footwork Tuesdays" at Andy Poolhall, but instead I decided to make a light evening hanging out with close friends. I'll make up for it next year :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 18: London, ON

Location: London, ON

When I wake up in the morning, I'm not always sure where I am! :)

Today I visited University of Western where they advertise "Slush Puppie Mustang Alley" on their billboards... I didn't have time to investigate.

I dropped by CHRW where I met up with DJ Chedo of the Come Up Show. We had some pretty detailed discussions about the business side of hip-hop. It was fun, cause I don't get that many chances to go into details about that stuff.

Afterwards I met up with my longtime friend Lise, who treated me to a pre-birthday dinner. Unfortunately the spot she had planned for wasn't open on Mondays, so we asked around and ended up at "Wonder Sushi", conveniently located next to a Dental Office.

I'm always skeptical of anything with "Wonder" in the name... Anyway, the food was really good, but the service was subpar. In total they forgot to bring us 9 items, and we had to re-order:
- Miso Soup (never received)
- Chicken Teryaki (twice)
- Salmon and Avocado rolls
- Rainbow Rolls
- BBQ Eel Rolls
- Deep Fried Shrimp
- Shrimp & Veg Tempura
- Chicken Skewers. (they brought us extra beef skewers and tried to convince us they were chicken. They were not chicken!)

So I figured the "Wonder" is because when you order you "wonder what you'll get". :)

This year's birthday is low key due to the tour. Usually I throw a big party with all my close friends. Last year I was getting birthday spanks, wearin' the pimp cup and throwing my 20 dollar bills in the air yall.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Toronto to Waterloo to Guelph to London

Location: London, ON

I picked up some gluten free bread this afternoon, and I was excited until I just tried it... it's not very good. I've added honey in the hopes it will help..

So I swear I'm eating better on this tour than I normally do at home. Thanks to everyone who's hooked me up with a proper meal in exchange for a CD! My brother's roommate feasted me with BBQ'd steak, chicken and salad.

Today I visited some friends I hadn't seen in a year & a half who live in Waterloo. David & Lacey are credited on the traycard of my album on track #9 "So Many Purposes". Here's what I wrote "My friends David & Lacey invited me into their home for an alpha course. Their patience & understanding opened my heart to God." They fed me an amazing ham dinner and introduced me to the card game Guillotine.

Then after they headed to church, I scooted over to see my friends Jay & Kristina. We talked shop about Jay's business and source repositories. Then I got a couple bottles of wine for the road in exchange for a CD.

Then I scooted over to University of Guelph to do a little radio interview on the Vokal Kenetiks show on CFRU from 8-10 pm. I had some great discussions with host Patman.

And then after spending some time on the phone with Rogers to get my cellphone working again, I made it to London, ON. Tomorrow (Monday) I'm dropping by DJ Chedo's show on CHRW and getting treated to a birthday dinner curtesy of my friend Lise.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No DJ Flash, a quiet night in Toronto

Location: Toronto

My radio show appearence on DJ Flash's show on CJIQ was cancelled tonight due to some problems on their end of things. And I re-scheduled my interview with Daddy J of DopeFM on CFMU to be a phone interview so that I could spend the evening with my brother and his girlfriend in Toronto.

We watched the Johnny Cash movie, Walk The Line, which none of us had seen. Since I've been on the road for 2 weeks now, I could definitely relate to different aspects - like missing your close friends/family in your hometown...

Tomorrow I head to Kitchener/Waterloo to catch up with some friends, and then an 8 pm radio show on Guelph's CHRW.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Real Frequency Super Dude

Location: Toronto, ON

Muziklee Inzane of Monday night's The Real Frequency just hit me up with some pics of their "Professionals" night this past Thursday. He had his Super Dude shirt in full effect and says folks were lovin it :) I kinda wish I hadn't been performing the same night so I could have been there!

Day 14: Hamilton - Spring Music Festival

Location: Hamilton, ON

So I'm two weeks in and feeling a bit lonely. Yes, I'm crashing with my brother, which is great, but most all the free time is spent coordinating upcoming shows and/or publicity... This is the groundwork. The next one will be easier, shorter and with other people! :)

So tonight I played the Urban Hamilton showcase as part of the Spring Music Festival. On the way there, I stopped in Burlington to visit with James Orr, who produced a track on my first album. He hooked me up with a travel pillow! yay!

I played right after an amazing 9-piece gospel band, Retali8... They truly were a hard act to follow. Watch out for them.

The crowd was diverse... Some were on the more harder side of rap (thug/gangsta) like fans of Menace, others were more on the gospel side, but overall it was a pretty good vibe. I was blinded by the lights, and had fun!

I finally met DeShaun Jones of Bandwagon Marketing who's going to be releasing a 12" vinyl single from DJ/Rapper/Graffitier, Relic. Daddy J of CFMU's DOPE FM was in the house.

I also got a chance to see performance and chat with real good folks like Jamila B, Chris Jackson and Christopher Charles, who's "Smile" song had me texting smiles to some good friends.

But the night didn't end there... I scooted over to Corktown Pub to catch the end of Grady's set. I caught up with Mr. Gordie Johnson who was sporting his Super Dude shirt. Chatted with their drummer, Nina, for awhile. I met the infamous Cameron Carpenter of Cool Planet in flesh for the first time. And I chatted with Jay from Murder City Sparrows about how amazing Arlo Maverick is (of Politic Live and of CJSR's Urban Hang Suite

K, need sleep yet again. Kitchener tomorrow...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Total kms & gas $$

Day 14
here's an update on kms & gas $$$

Total Kms driven: 3755
Total $$ on gas: $431

And no, I'm not proud of spending that much on gas... I take the bus in Ottawa. My dog bowl accepts change... :)

Thursday night in Toronto - Mitzi's Sister

Location: Toronto, ON

This isn't a vacation... it's a 100-day grind. no breaks for me:

The show tonight was amped at Mitzi's Sister. Macro Fiesta opened up with a great, fun jam-band type of vibe. With Charles on the saxophone and/or harmonica, I was lovin tracks like "High, Healthy and Happy" and when they dispersed shakers to the whole crowd! I used my shaker during my set! :)

I pumped out a live show (or so I think). It was fun! My DJ (doPi) messed up once, but there were lots of thumbs up for 'Super Dude'. At the end of my set, there was silence, no background music... I was put on the spot and had to freestyle... I was mediocre at best. Some night's I'm on, others I'm off.

A midnight performance on a Thursday meant most of my friends/fans couldn't make it out, but I was glad to see a handful of familiar faces. I chatted with Thomas Quinlan of Handsolo Records and his wife Yoko of Momiji Clothing. And I finally met Warren Campbell of Rubber Road Records in the flesh. We'd been in touch ever since 2004 via Fatkat Animations owner Gene Fowler. Fatkat worked on some rejected FACTOR/VideoFACT video proposals with me.

So I'm pretty exhausted to the point that I forgot my tour banner & jacket at the venue tonight. No worries, I'll pick it up tomorrow on my way to Hamilton... Anyone have a neck or back cushion they want to donate? The van seat support isn't cutting it! To sleepy bed time!

Point Pelee National Park Pics

Point Pelee National Park is the southern most point of Canada. It's right next to Leamington, the tomato capital of canada!

Pics - Windsor, CJAM & Scores Bar/Grill

Chillin at CJAM with host DJ Needle and Kayyce of Academy & TRP.

Pics - Chatham

Mom, this ones for you... I'm eating healthy! Only had fast food twice and it'll be two weeks as of tomorrow!

Pics from my stay with my cousin's family in Chatham... I've converted his kids into super dudes! And Max the cat highly suggested I check out Niagara Falls. I'm still hoping I fit a side trip in to check 'em out!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Windsor, Point Pelee & Chatham

DISCLAIMER: Sorry no pics yet. Sooon!

Location: Chatham, ON
Pet Count: #6 - Max

It's been a crazy few days... I'm completely exhausted.

Tuesday I drove to Chatham to BBQ with my cousin and his family. His 11-year old twins are newfound Super Dudes! I had a great catch with Scotty... and 5-month old Max the cat & I have become best friends.

Tuesday night I drove to Windsor to meet up with DJ Needle on his radio show on CJAM. Kayyce of Academy was in the house and I met TRP too. We laughed a lot and played a ton of CANCON. The show ran late and it was a tiring drive back to Chatham, but there was lightning to keep me awake. Oh, and I ate 7 hamburgers during the day (without buns due to my gluten problems). In bed at 5 am.

Wednesday up at noon. BBQ'd chickent curtesy of my cousin... mmm. I drove to Point Pelee National Park where it poured rain, but it looks absolutely beautiful! To get there I had to travel through Leamington, the tomato capital of canada! I eat a lot of tomatoes so I was lovin it!

I met up with my other Detroit cousin in Windsor and we went to Detroit to see my beloved Red Sox play the Tigers. It was an amazing game of ups & downs, rowdy hecklers and beach balls. Unfortunately Papelbon the invincible actually blew a save... but I'm blaming Lugo's crappy fielding!!

On the drive back we got pulled over at customs. They threated criminal charges after they dug through my backpack and found an old baggie with a immodium in it. I haven't used them in years... they'll be thrown out soon. Take that ex-diarrhea!

So, yeah, I finally made it to the weekly open mic night in Windsor at Scores Bar & Grill for a little performance. DJ Needle and Kayyce had me cracking up... real fun night! I met Trilla and Chad Martin of Academy. Saw open mic stylings from Mason (ex-Embassy fam) and a dude from First Class (or Class First?).

Now I'm back in Chatham and ready for sleep!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Toronto Radio 3 - FLOW

Current Location: Toronto.

So my 3rd radio stop in one day was at FLOW 93.5 FM ... It's the only major market dedicated urban station in Canada that seems to be showing a lot of love to local artists! The show is called Real Frequency and has found a home in nearly every campus radio station over the years. Co-host Muziklee Inzane has been a long time contact, so it was great to meet in person... he was rockin' the Super Dude shirt and lovin the marshmellow squares from rapid snack. Shouts to co-hosts Arcee and Alex, along with DJ P Plus

Toronto Radio II - CKLN

I've been in touch with Mel Boogie for a long long while... back when she compiled the national urban charts. So it was great to finally meet her and JJ Rock at her weekly Droppin Dimez show at CKLN on Ryerson campus. It's the only all female hosted rap show in Canada!

Mr. Knia of CMP Studios dropped by with some compilation cds for me to distribute during my trek.

Also, I finally met the infamous Theo 3 and DJ Manifest of CHRY's "Toronto Morning Live" on Monday mornings...

Toronto Radio - CHRY!!

Current Location: Toronto

I made my way for my first radio show appearance of the tour. I'd previously visited a friend on campus at York University, but never been to the main student center area. They have a nice park in the middle with geese!

The CHRY station itself had an over population of empty jewel cases. It was great to finally meet Bozack Morris, host of Backroad Radio every Monday from 6-8 pm. DJ Big Jacks was in NY unfortunately... And co-host Melizia had me cracking up. I also picked up some new slang: "tatas" = breasts and "fronts" = grills.

Super Dude Gordie Johnson!!

So last week Gordie Johnson was in town with his band Grady . You might remember him from his Big Sugar days: Anyway, he's a big fan of mine (i'm flattered), so I made sure he got hooked up with a Super Dude shirt. I was busy with tour stuff, so my delivery person passed on his awe of the shirt, and he wore it live at the show... crazy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thousand Islands National Park

Current Location: Toronto
Gas $$: $112 highest at 1.219 in Oshawa

I'm sitting on a back deck in the beautiful weather as I type this... a
great start to my south western part of my 100-day tour.

The drive to Toronto was pretty uneventful. I took a detour along the 1000 island parkway... beautiful... but watch out for turtle crossings!

Other than an exploded package of facial lotion, a lost pen and a shredded sneaker shoelace, all is great! Thanks to Rapid Snack I've been restocked with my beloved Apple & Cranberry Flakes N Fruit Bars... mmm... so good.

My first night in Toronto, I caught up with my brother and finally met his girlfriend Michelle. She cooked an amazing roast... I'm actually eating leftovers right now :) And my brother's resident dog, Joey, shows off his ability to lick his nose :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Street Team day...

Today was the day to start packing & get caught up on emails... Neither of which got finished. I got through 75 of the 150 emails... My street team showed up and helped with a bunch of boring tasks. Big thanks to Steph A, Laura B, Carly D and Mike P for the help!

I'm a bit scared because the promotional materials for the tour take up half my living room. See below... and that's not all of it!

So a big highlight for today was a call from my old friend Gordie Johnson of Grady. He was in town playing with Nashville P***y and Reverand Horton Heat.

My roommate, Manic Mike, was helping with load in for the gig, so I sent a Super Dude t-shirt with him for Gordie. According to my roommate, he had the t-shirt on within 5 seconds and wore it for the gig. Then Nashville P***y saw the shirt and insisted they get ones too. If you were at the gig, no doubt you saw Super Dude shirts displayed proper! I wish I could have been there,.. but the grind, the grind.

Fredericton to Ottawa

Current Location: Ottawa
Gas Dollars: $122 highest in St. Helene at 1.312

Today I drove back to Ottawa after my retreat to New Brunswick. Within 15 minutes the tour vehicle decided to show she still had some tricks and wanted to show off some lights. It stayed on for the whole drive. Nothing to worry about though :)

So the big story back home is the flooding. It's the worst I've ever seen... actually I heard the highway had to close not long after I drove through St. Leonard. Here's some water pics:
Near the NB-QC border:

Apparently, Moose eat Cars in Quebec.. for real:

When water levels rise, they encourage people to roll their cars into the water:

This poor house was already partially submerged:

Some day I'm going to take time to visit "Mon Copaine" bar and St Louis Du Ha Ha... not on this trek though:

Moulin Rouge has lots of crazy things like Dinosaurs:

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