Nine Questions with Jane Gowan

photo: belinda bruce

Name: Jane Gowan

Birthplace: Vancouver, BC

Currently residing: Toronto, ON

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence:

I was lucky to be born into a house with 2 pianos, so I learned piano before dropping it as a teen, then taking it up again and going to music school where I met many marvelous people and learned about jazz, world music, new music, improvisation and got my mind blown at the Glass Slipper, took up the trumpet, then got sidetracked by folk, and took up the accordion and joined a band called Fear of Drinking and had some great times but eventually got fired (oops), but by this time had met the lovely and talented Koralee Tonack at school who loved the same songs as me, and we formed Time Waits which became Spygirl which is a wonderful warm messed-up musical family of the dearest friends and most talented souls, but everyone’s having beautiful babies and doing their lives and I’m in Toronto now and I’m a happily married stepmom of 4, and I miss my Spygirls and also my bandmates from other Vancouver bands I inhabited (such as Belinda Bruce and the Tawny Stars, and The Neins Circa) and good people from places I’ve worked along the way (Coastal Jazz & Blues, The Vancouver Int’l Film Festival for example), but luckily out here in the humid summers and frigid winters the songs keep knocking on my door and wanting in, so to humour them I took up electric guitar and formed Shade (a pop/rock quartet); we recorded an album in 2010 called Highway, and then I made a new Shade EP (One Last Show of Hearts) with just me and my friend Tim Vesely, which will be released with minimal fanfare on Nov 22, and in the meantime I’ve formed a duo with my pal Llynn Kellman who is awesomely creative and gifted, and we’re called The Llynn and Jane Show and I consider myself very fortunate indeed to be able to do what I love.

Website: shademusic.com

1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, Tom Waits, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Calexico, Los Lobos, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, The Pretenders, The Kinks, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Beethoven, Schubert, Glenn Gould, Nick Drake, Lyle Lovett, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Karen Dalton, Johnny Cash, Paul Weller, Billy Bragg, Flight of the Conchords, Elvis Costello, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Amy Winehouse, Otis Redding, Beck, Marc Ribot, Francoise Hardy, The Lonely Island.

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

“Holy Man and Holy Priest, 

this love of life makes me weak in my knees, 

so when we get there make your play, 

’cause soon I fear it’s gonna carry us away 

to a promised lie you made us believe, 

for so many men there is so much grief, 

and my mind is proud but it aches with rage, 

and if I live too long I’m afraid I’ll die. 

Strangers on this road we are on, we are not two, we are one”

from the song  “Strangers”, by Ray Davies and The Kinks

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

It would start with strong coffee and acoustic guitar in the kitchen; it would contain no deadlines, and would involve a lot of aimless puttering and abstract musing. A friend would drop by late morning and we’d laugh a lot. Then just as the friend departs, there would be a knock at the front door, and a man dressed smartly in a 3-piece suit with a wool cap tucked under his arm would hand me a letter, which would turn out to be an invitation from Tom Waits to open for him on his next tour. I’d hug the man, tip him $100, then watch him ride away on his bicycle. I’d go back into the house and resume puttering, but now with intent.

 4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

my baking

 5. What is your most valued material possession?

A piece of jewellery that my Dad made for me.

 6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

The Dalai Lama

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

On a bike, in the sun, on a flat dry road.

8.  Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

sing

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

Writing songs for the next Clint Eastwood or Wes Anderson film.

Nine Questions with Christina Maria

Name: Christina Maria

Birthplace: Vancouver

Currently residing: Zurich/Vancouver

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Acoustic guitar songwriter turned electric guitar, keyboard beat face.

Website

1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

Three from before and three from now. Steve Miller, Indigo Girls, CSN&Y, St.Vincent, The Dirty Projectors, Tune-Yards.

2.  Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

A good example would be a whole album. The Cinematic Movie Orchestra album, “Ma Fleur,” while I’m driving, always moves and relaxes me.  

3.  How would you describe your perfect day?

 A day spent in nature, with good food and wine. I like to climb mountains, looking for crystals.

4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

 Themselves. I love my friends 🙂 Though I travel a lot and leave them constantly… I meet the most wonderful people everywhere I go and I’m very thankful for them. Also maybe my friends would say that they appreciate that they could probably always beat me in an arm wrestle.

5.  What is your most valued material possession?

 Slippers that my gramma made, I bring them everywhere.

6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

Myself in 20 years. Holy caca, I would be nervous. But I’m sure everything would be fine, I should have my own waterslides/theme parks by then so it would probably be a lot of fun. 

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be? 

Flying in the sky. I dream about it all the time. I can go anywhere and see everything. I love it. I also must say that where I am is pretty great too (living in an old farmhouse near Zurich in Switzerland). Zurich, Vancouver and Bali are the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in real life.

8.  Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

 Always more art. Maybe high-fiving, because I always miss and its so awkward when I do.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

Self sufficient on an island off British Columbia. I think its important to know how to do- be self sufficient.

Nine Questions with Britt Arnesen

Name: Britt Kristine Arnesen aka 907Britt

Birthplace: Anchorage, Alaska

Currently residing: Missoula, Montana

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: I like to write music, be a good mom, play guitar and piano, pick berries, play shows and make records with Richie Reinholdt, make YouTube videos, and share original songs, though I didn’t always understand that was my calling, so before I released my first album Continental Divide in 2010 I had spent six years in a natural resource management career in Alaska where I walked away from a great job and financial security to write, record, and perform music for an (ever-frugal) living, which means we eat a lot of lentils, and although being a (too) young single mom poses huge challenges for me as a musician, having all the free time to spend with Canyon has been absolutely worth it, because I took that boy to Yellowstone, even if Mama never took ME to Yellowstone.

Website: 907Britt.com and facebook

1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

Richie Reinholdt, the Acousticals, Gordon Bok, Patty Griffin, David Gray, James McMurtry, Simon & Garfunkel, Tom Waits, Gillian Welch, Neil Young, Eva Cassidy, Jackson Browne, Yukon Ryder, Ben Harper…now you said “favorite” so I am only going by emotional preference here. Of course I respect, learn from, and revere many others. But each of these artists has many songs I can put on repeat endlessly. And then there’s Sarah C. Hanson, local hero to a young teenager in Juneau and Fairbanks.

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

“Song for Adam” from Jackson Browne’s first record.

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

Run-on sentence #2. I would wake up early on the wings of an exhilarating dream feeling well-rested, drink coffee, do dishes from last night’s dinner while I cook hot breakfast, wake up my son Canyon to great smells, get him to the bus stop on time, play morning music at the Wheat Montana with my favorite banjo player, go out berry picking, cut a couple tracks in the studio, chat with my mom on the phone, kiddo arrives at bus stop on time, build Legos, cook dinner, pet Panther the kitty cat, play guitar while Canyon builds Lego, receive good news on email, work on a purdy fingerpickin’ love song while he reads until lights out, then snuggle up while he falls asleep, then… well, uh…I guess I would go to sleep too, unless there was a moonlight beach nearby. Hey, that sounds a lot like many of my days.

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

I would hope it’s my heart.

5. What is your most valued material possession?

My 1957 Gibson J-50 guitar. We met at Greg Boyd’s House of Fine Instruments when I traveled through Missoula last January and it was love at first note (low G). I’ve never been the same since.

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

The principal?

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

Midnight sun berry picking tundra on Murphy Dome west of Fairbanks, Alaska with my favorite people.

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

Play original music and make records with Richie Reinholdt!

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

More of the best, less of the worst, and me wiser and better at managing all of it. I hope to have a few more (and ever awesomer) records, and deepening musical and personal relationships. In ten years my son Canyon will be ready to move out of the house. That will be a huge change. We’ll just have to see how the gypsy in me handles it. Ten years ago I never would have guessed I would end up in Missoula, Montana playing music full time. Prediction fails. Hopes and dreams are cool. I keep re-reading The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (no relation to the recent movie of the same name).

Nine Questions with Tim Easton

Name: Tim Easton

Birthplace: Lewiston, NY

Currently residing: Joshua Tree, CA

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence:  My brothers taught me to play guitar and when I started writing poetry they said I could write songs so next thing you know I’m a street musician in Europe for around 7 years just to live life and experience things and read and learn to write and then I came back to America to start making records.

Website: timeaston.com

1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?
With composers I guess I’m a traditional Mozart kind of guy. I do like some of the modern stuff like Phillip Glass, but mostly I’m a folk musician and I love Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt and Sonny Terry/Brownie Maghee and folks like that. I will put them on the record player around the house most of the time. The Kinks have been getting some airplay around here as well lately. Same with Lightning Hopkins, songwriters like M. Ward and Connor Oberst move me, and I’m always blown away with the amount of work that Jack White kicks out every year.

2.  Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?
The first song on Joni Mitchell’s BLUE album when she sings “I am on the road and I am traveling traveling traveling….” and then basically that whole album from there on out.  A lot of times, when I get misty during a tune, I’ll find it’s a woman singing.

3.  How would you describe your perfect day?
It definitely starts with a hassle free morning where I can lay in bed a while and read something.  Poetry, fiction, The New Yorker or The Week…and then I’d get up, have some coffee and toast and juice and get right to work on writing or making music.  I’m not a morning person, per se, but I like to do creative stuff right after getting up, before the news of the day or whatever distraction happens.  Now that I have a daughter, all of this has changed, and I’m learning that a perfect day involves playing with her and teaching.  A good meal with family and maybe friends, lots of laughter,  a nice walk… these all factor in there somewhere.

4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?
Sense of humour, energy, and that they cannot predict what I am going to do or say.

5.  What is your most valued material possession?
Probably my Gibson J-45 that I used as a street musician all those years ago.

6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?
I was appropriately nervous to meet Paul McCartney, and I managed to tell him that I had a four track. I guess being around Bob Dylan might throw you off your game a bit, but really, he’s just another dude who writes, paints, and plays.

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?
Alaska comes to mind first.  Some amazing hangs there….but, it’s getting kind of cold at this moment, so I’d have to say on the beach in the tropics in one of those Gauguin paintings.

8.  Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?
Write write write. Take the Trans-Siberian Express across Russia through Mongolia.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?
Happy with family and friends and animals living in the country, but that’s where I am today.  So maybe it will be the city for a spell.

Nine Questions with Marvin Lee Reininger

Name:  Marvin Lee Reininger

Birthplace:  Clarkston, Wa.

Currently residing: Lewiston, Id.

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: I have been a part of or played in 7 bands.  MASTER PO, THE RUMMIES, THE ELECTRO-MAGNETS, THE BAD BATS, thE burpieS, bum notes, and HEARTS FALL LIKE LEAVES.

Website: Marvin Lee Reininger

1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present? 

The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Billy Childish, Jarvis Cocker, Black Flag, Ian MacKaye, MF DOOM aka DOOM, and Mike Patton. 

2.  Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally? 

The tail-end of CAN’T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKIN’ by The rolling Stones. 

3.  How would you describe your perfect day? 

Coffee, tunes (whether playing music or listening to music), good food, a couple beers in the evening, and a full nights rest.  Yep, I’m a simple man. 

4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you? 

I have no idea.  Ask them! 

5.  What is your most valued material possession? 

Fender Mustang 

6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet? 

I was super nervous when I met Mike Patton and Sherman Alexie. 

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be? 

I’m already there. 

8.  Is there something you would like to do more of in the future? 

Play more music, write more, read more, more more more more. 

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years? 

In the same position I am in now.  Happy to be back home!

Nine Questions with Larry Hirshberg

Name: Larry Hirshberg

Birthplace:  Boston, Massachusetts

Currently residing: Missoula, Montana

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and didn’t care. Was petrified by Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused coming from my tiny transistor radio. Loved Cecilia. Loved Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Loved Southern Man. Loved Roundabout. Loved Killer Queen. Loved The Piano Has Been Drinking. Loved Mud Shark. Loved The Grand Illusion. Went to college. Was turned on to The Grateful Dead. (Thanks Chris C.) Saw some shows in ’77-’78. Started playing guitar and writing songs in late 1978, after seeing a Jerry Garcia Band show in Cheney, WA. Saw some more Dead shows. Saw John Fahey. Saw Bob Marley. Saw Joni Mitchell. Got first electric guitar and Ibanez TS-808. Still have the 808. Formed The Porcupines in Santa Fe in late 1981. Saw some more Dead shows. Porcupines broke up in Eugene in 1984. Wrote a lot of songs. Played in Boston a lot between ’86 and ’94. Saw some more Dead shows, as well as some Sun Ra, some Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits and The Church. Wrote a lot of songs. Played in Strunk and White. Played in The Bagboys. Formed Th’ Spectacles in 1994. Returned to Missoula. Wrote a lot of songs. Played bass with Tom Catmull 1999-2003. Played some blues bass after that. Got paid. Wrote a lot of songs. Fronted The Trillionaires 2004-2006. Did not get paid. Now – Solo artist who wishes he had time to be in a band phase. I know there are a lot of periods in this “sentence,” but it sure runs on and rambles, doesn’t it?

Website: larry hirshberg 

1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, Peter Case, Terje Rypdal, Sun Ra, James McMurtry, Steve Kilbey, Tom Waits, John Fahey, Aimee Mann, Son Seals, etc. 

2.  Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

“Polegnala e Todora,” by The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir. No shit! 

3.  How would you describe your perfect day?

It has a bird in it that I’ve never seen before. 

4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

A.)When I’m quiet. B.) My wife. 

5.  What is your most valued material possession?

2004 ALCS game 4 ticket stub….* 

6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet? The dentist. 

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be? 

The place the words come from.

8.  Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

Dream. Breathe. See Iceland. Eat lobster in Maine. My wife. Walk. Canoe. Play chess with my daughter. Model railroading. Listen to Dark Star. Good gigs.

 9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

Having lunch in Rarotonga with my wife, daughter AND the person who discovered the cure for Type 1 diabetes, whom we invited on our vacation because we love that person and because we just won the lottery.

*(and regarding that 2004 ALCS game 4 ticket stub, that is total bullshit. Of course I didn’t go to that game.)

Nine Questions with Rich Hope

Name: Rich Hope     

Birthplace: Edmonton, AB

Currently residing: Vancouver, BC

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Made first record in 1998 called “Good To Go” followed by 5 yrs in John Ford, who were a band ahead of it’s time or behind it’s time depending on how you look at it we made a self-titled album in 1999 and got signed to EMI and wasted their money while they wasted our time and we put out 2003’s Bullets For Dreamers and then i went back to my own thing and put out Rich Hope and His Evil Doers (Maximum Music) in 2005 and lots of people liked it and then i put out Rich Hope is Gonna Whip It on Ya (Sandbag Records, 2009) as a two-piece trashy boogie blues machine and played the Olympics and did some big shows with some big acts and even more people dug us and then we put out a single last year called I See Trouble (Sandbag, 2010) and made a great video with the Zenga Brothers and even more people dug that and I’m working on a new album that’ll probably be country like they used to make when country didn’t suck.

Website: richhope.com

1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

The Clash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, The ROlling Stones, Jr. Kimbrough, Son House, RL Burnside, The Dirtbombs, Doug Sahm/Sir Douglas Quintet

 2.  Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

2nd verse of The Clash’s “Tommy Gun” Love Mick Jones guitar part.

 3.  How would you describe your perfect day?

I would describe it as a “perfect day”

 4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

Ask them.   

5.  What is your most valued material possession?

Don’t have one.  Stuff is just stuff. But I do love my guitars and bicycles.    

6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

Bruce Springsteen.  

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

On my bicycle.

8.  Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

Make more music 

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

Hanging out with my kids

Nine Questions with Dustin Bentall

Name: Dustin Bentall

Birthplace: Vancouver, BC

Currently residing: North Vancouver, BC

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Dad was a rock star so I’m just taking over the family business, same old story.

Website: dustinbentall.com

1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

The Band

The Beatles

Neil Young

Tom Petty

Bruce Springsteen

Eliott Smith

Wilco

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

The piano outro of Layla after the guitar wankfest  ends. I was quite young when I watched Goodfellas for the first time and that music played when all the bodies of the dead gangsters started showing up after a night of some serious mob killings. Epic scene. Loved it.

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

waking up to breakfast in bed and then coming downstairs to find an endless supply of cocaine.

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

The fact that my dad was famous

5. What is your most valued material possession?

my guitars, ’73 Martin D-18 and ’90 Gibson ES335. actually, probably my iPhone.

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

Wayne Gretzky. Great guy

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be? 

On stage. anywhere.

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

riding horses and shootin’ guns on my ranch. when i get my ranch.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

my own island in the caribbean.