Friday, March 27, 2009

Non-Episode Five

To listen to Non-Episode Five, click here.

Aaron is back from Kansas, but his computer broke and he's swamped and sick so that means he won't be able to work on P3 stuff for a little while longer. (Get better soon Aaron!) I missed putting out a podcast so I decided to go ahead and give it a go on my own. Please note that I totally massacre the intro and ending sorry in advance! I'm still figuring this stuff out.

It also means there's no amazing soundtrack, which is a bummer. But since this podcast is about storytelling I decided to try to flex my storytelling muscles. So I recount a recent night out where I went to see Will Oldham concert in Vancouver. I haven't really left the house much in the last few months, so going out was a bit of an adventure. Plus, it was the first time I got to see Oldham in concert. He's one of my favourites. It was a great night out, filled with magic and mystery and fun, which you will hear all about in the podcast. Oh and if you were at the Will Oldham show in Vancouver, please tell me what you thought. Drop me an email at

I posted my favourite song of the evening above, though it was from another show, not the Vancouver one. Still, you'll get the picture.

Oh, and I got my first bit of press! Click here to read. It also interviews Sarah Buchanan, who started something similar to P3 called Life After Radio. Have a listen 'cause it's really great.

Stay tuned for next week, when the music will be back on track and everything will be right in the world.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In the meantime

I miss Aaron and his wife Ang. They're in Kansas this week doing important things. Which is why episode five (!) of the People's Program Project will be another little while but hopefully not too long. The upcoming episode will feature a story about what happens when you build up the courage to do something you never thought you'd be able to do, only to be thrown completely off guard and knocked down again. Also, it should have some really good stories about getting scammed. So, in the meantime, here's a new video from my favourite lady singer, Neko Case.

Her new album is a wee bit adult comtemporary for my taste but still pretty decent. It's a grower. The strongest song is called Prison Girls and there's this one line that goes "I love your long shadows and your gun powder eyes" that reminds me of someone I think of often and fondly. Anyhow, the video was illustrated by Vancouver-based artist Julie Morstad and her brother Paul. I find her art simply delightful. Check out her childrens books if you can. They're published by Simply Read.

I like the bit with the tiger getting a combing.

Oh, and one more thing. I did two interviews this week. It was an interesting experience being on the other end of things. But a good experience. The ladies asking the questions were both really sweet and I'm excited to see how well they edit out all the times I say "um" and "like."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Episode Four - The Ashley Webber Experience

To listen to episode four, click here.

Oh, well hello there. I'm really excited about this episode because I get to play some original music by an artist who I've admired for a long time. Her name is Ashley Webber.

I've known Ashley since her days as the bass player of the Organ. Since leaving the band, she's gone on to do some really amazing work with Pink Mountaintops, her twin sister's band Lightning Dust (whose song I use for the opening and closing theme to the podcast) and one of my musical obsessions, Will Oldham. (She's the lady singing on his album Lie Down in the Light.)

Ashely was sweet enough to lend me her time and let me interrogate her about her musical career, including her connection to the one and only goeteed king of under-bite rock, Chad Kroeger.

Also on this episode, we have part two to Life Left on the Road, the story we played last week about people who recycle roadkill. On this segment, the Roadkill Warrior describes an integral moment he had with a dying bear.

Oh and check out what this guy does. He writes a new short story twice a week. I certainly don't have that much drive but I sure wish I did.

is gone for a little while so the next episode likely won't be up for a few weeks. But keep listening and spread the word if you like what we're doing. And get in touch at to tell me your stories. I want to hear them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Episode Three

To listen to episode three, click here.

Third time's a charm? Three times a lady? What other cliches with the word "three" can I think of? Here's the breakdown for episode three of P3.

Dancing on the Ceiling - In the mid-90s, my friend was a teenager who lived near Manchester. Like most of her peers, she was obsessed with the Brit Pop movement. This tells the story of her innocent and chance encounter with a musician who happened to be the king of the genre at the time, and how it changed her life.

Life Left on the Road - The story of two people who devote a good part of their lives to recycling roadkill. I originally wrote this story for the Canadian Press. Click here to read it.

The Course is Crystal Clear - My friend Dan has a strong connection to crystals - but not by choice.

Second order of business: The song on the first piece is called Alcohol & Tylenol and it was written by Aaron Beckum, the show's ridiculously talented musical director.

Also, I mentioned in episode two that I'd read out some more most absurd moments. I tried doing that but I kept messing up and it was too much of a process so I'm just going to post two of my favourites on here. The first one is from Sonja Ahlers, who's one of my favourite artists. She's published two beautiful books and makes adorable angora bunnies. Look her up. Here's her story of her most absurd moment ever:


using the first royalty cheque from my first book temper,temper to buy a plane ticket to go see my longterm penpal friend who was in my favourite band at the time to go see them play for real and meet up in SF to drive to LA. i was 'in love'. i thought he was my 'soul mate' because we made the same 'art'. he resembled vincent gallo. buffalo 66 had come out earlier that year.
it was a total disaster. the most absurd moment of it all was being backstage at a fugazi show with him and seeing vincent gallo in a pimped out 7-piece suit with hat and lady accessory. being there in this surreal experience holding together a broken heart and hating every second of being backstage like cattle was the most absurd moment of my life.

it was truly absurd.

unfortunately my friend was a totally self-involved asshole musician. the upside is that we worked it out and are still friends. he is definitely one of my friend soulmates. it is easy to be friends with someone who lives in a remote part of france and who i never see.

Second comes from Sheila Campbell. If you're a fan of Stop Podcasting Yourself, then you'll know she's Abby's aunt. She's also very funny.

Pedantic Hypocrasy
We had rented a banquet room in a downtown hotel in Switzerland's capital city of Berne and were in search of a convenient unloading spot in the underground carpark. All of the nearest spots were occupied and as we had some heavy items to move we opted to park directly outside the entrance with the hazard lights on. This unfortunately meant that we were blocking one of the two lanes in which to drive but there was little traffic and we guessed it would take only a few minutes. One or two cars passed without too much ado but it was clear to us that the next car approaching contained an old man in the process of blowing a gasket. His car swiftly pulled up alongside our parked car thus blocking the only thoroughfare remaining. He applied his full body weight to the driver's side automatic window button and had begun foaming and spitting on the glass well before it lowered entirely. He seethed as he berated us in his thick and phlegmy Swiss German for our confounded stupidity, inconsideration and basic disregard for the rules of the carpark. Couldn't we see that we were blocking a lane of traffic for God's sake!? When we made an attempt to point out the irony of the situation as he too was blocking a lane of traffic and had cars queuing behind him his anger turned to blind rage and our focus quickly switched to his writhing and pulsing jugular vein. Our lack of effort to speak to him in a polished form of the local dialect and blatant insubordinance when addressing an elder were nearly enough for cause to send this man into cardiac arrest. Our reprieve came in the form of a quickly growing stream of honking horns behind his car. Our giggling and pointing were about all this man could take but before he drove off he was clear to let us know that not only were we devoid of sense or respect but we had just wasted five minutes of his time while he explained what should have been obvious. At that point we pretended to cry and then resumed our fits of laughter while pointing out that there were still no cars behind our vehicle and that we were finished our unloading but we were soon interrupted by the waiting cars honking horns and the sound of his car peeling off into the carpark.
I wonder how many days it was before one of his neighbours called police to report a funny smell coming from his apartment.
Thanks to everyone who submitted. I really appreciate it.

Finally, I'd like to give a big congratulations to Dave Shumka and Graham Clark of Stop Podcasting Yourself for their one year anniversary. Their podcast is enjoyable (that's an understatement) and you should really listen. Here's something they did together a while back that I quite enjoyed (I'll admit. I'm a HUGE Queen Latifah fan.) Hope you do too.

Oh yeah. I started a Facebook group. If you like what we do, join. Tell all your friends so I don't have to bug people to listen. And get in touch at