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Tuesday, April 28

THE WEATHER STATION AT LA FRETTE


A year ago I visited La Frette recording studio, located just outside of Paris, to visit with Tamara Lindeman (The Weather Station) as she recorded her new album "Loyalty" with Afie Jurvanen and Robbie Lackritz.  After much anticipation, the fruits of their labour will be released this month on May 12 by Paradise of Bachelors.

La Frette is a wonderful combination of old world luxury and forgotten technology, layered with relics from the 1980's and yesterday's cigarettes.   Look to their website for a catalogue of the incredible gear available for artists to use while in residence - I was more interested in the sisal carpeting, bathroom tiles and majestic staircase. There certainly is a palpable magic to this place that translates into the music; listening to Tamara's etherial and haunting voice on Way it is, Way it could be, brings me back to the garden of La Frette and her transluscent beauty glowing in the cold afternoon light.

The Weather Station will be playing in Toronto at the Great Hall on May 14th.






















Tuesday, March 3

STEWART JONES AND REBECCA HUNT : WELLINGTON


I met the painter Stewart Jones a few years ago in Toronto; fancy finding him running an open mic night in Prince Edward County. Turns out he and his wife Rebecca Hunt sold their home on Greenlaw Ave in Toronto, decamping to Wellington's Main Street. They now run a guest house and are becoming entrenched in the growing pre-retirement community.

I dropped in one morning, finding Stew busy preparing canvases for new paintings, Rebecca enjoying a relaxing birthday coffee and the newest edition to their family -- Kenney (a kitten) -- immediately breaking my heart.  Kenney was found by the side of the road.  He became an overnight phenomenon when Scott McGillivray (of the TV program Income Property), who was hosting a show following Stew and Rebecca's renovation of their guest house, posted a video of the kitten.  You can watch it here.  

The lifestyle adopted by this couple serves as lure for county living.  Rebecca is able to continue her work in television documentary production from a home office, where she is currently production managing a project for CBC's Doc Zone.  Her office is central to their stunning Georgian-style house that backs onto a vast yard and pool.  You can see the proximity of the house to Lake Ontario in an old postcard below.  The community of Wellington is slowly changing as younger couples move in to live year 'round.  With Stew planning weekly events like his open mic night -- Memphis Tuesday -- and a Friday life drawing session at the Devonshire, he is energizing the long winter nights.

Stewart Jones will be exhibiting his paintings at LoveArt, Toronto this April 17-19 with Canadian Art Collective.  You can view some of his dramatic cityscapes here.  I'm excited to see the influence of the country landscape on his work.





























Monday, March 2

LATE WINTER AUCTION


There is cold and then there is the deep-freeze that sets into an unheated metal building as February rolls around.  The auction fever is perhaps the only heat that can spark a body to stand for hours on end in such a place with no paycheque in sight.  I didn't end up buying anything but the assembled company left memories enough and the french fries were hot and crisp.