Toronto Lilith Fair 1999: My Report to the List
(posted to Fumbling-Towards-Ecstasy on August 23, 1999
You might also like to read the post from the Marche Movenpick from Sunday night.
[Attached File: two-gigabyte-lilith-fair-post.tar.gz]
:) No just kidding, it's not as bad as that. I know, I'm saying this NOW before I have a chance to ramble, but I will *try* and keep it short. (famous last words)
THE SHORT VERSION
[right: Fumblers at the CN Tower on August 14th. Counter-clockwise from me, in the bottom right corner, are: Mari Wilson, Michelle Turingan, Rannie Turingan, Gemma Price, and Tabassum Siddiqui. More photos to follow when I get my pictures developed!]
First, if you are not going to read any further, I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who was here this past weekend and/or the week preceding it. I had a really excellent time and didn't have nearly enough time to hang out with all of you, partially on account of my SUCKY JOB. (at which I'm stuck for the next year -- see you in therapy!) Naturally, with a large group of people, it's really difficult to meet everyone, so my sincere apologies go out to all those people I didn't get to meet.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK BEFORE LILITH
Brian Wilson arrived on Thursday the 12th and we took in a Sarah Slean CD release party (the first of three). If you haven't picked up her new album, "Blue Parade", shame on you and go order it right away! (www.sarahslean.com) It is awesome. I keep reiterating what Emm had to say - she can't believe someone can be THAT talented. (mind you, Emm is also extremely talented) Brian is always a great guy and totally chill ("chill" is now a sentence object, courtesy of Kevin Thompson :) )
Gemma got here the next day and although none of the "usual suspects" attended Friday's release party (except for meeeeeee), everyone was there on Saturday. Gemma is also SUCH a wonderful person! Hopefully y'all will get to meet her esp. since she's making her shortened North American Tour again :) That evening we also saw Emm Gryner at the CN Tower where we met up with the wonderful Andrea aka AndyC. Sunday, Rannie and Gemma went to Detroit Lilith so I cleaned the apartment and played tennis with one of my non-Internet friends (it's funny how you all outnumber my non-Net friends)
Gemma arrived back Monday, which was also the day Britta got into the country. I had to work all week, so I didn't really get to hang out with everyone until Wednesday night, which was Rannie's birthday bash at Zelda's. Andrea bet that she could outdrink me (which I think she did -- congrats :) ) and Gemma wanted in on it too. (In a repeat performance of Rannie's birthday party last year, I might add, where the both of us got really, REALLY plastered on martinis) I think Gemma did outdrink me too, but the next day she was not feeling so well (I suppose going to Canada's Wonderland had something to do with it?!) Lois and Greg also arrived that evening, along with Britta, who, ever the charming houseguest, brought me a present from her hometown. Woohoo!
I think Wednesday night was the last time I made dinner :)
Actually Tuesday night we went to see some movies; Gemma and Rannie went to see Blair Witch Project (at which HE got very nauseated at the unnecessary camera shaking) and Brian and I took in "Better Than Chocolate". Yes, it's a Sarah song reference. Yes, you should DEFINITELY go and see it. Very well made, the cinematography is excellent and the plot is funny but wistful, erotic but pragmatic. Go see it if you can (i.e. there's an age restriction -- even BRIAN got asked how old he was! :) )
Thursday night we all went to the Marche for dinner (the first of three times :) ) and talked until about midnight. All through this week Brian and I were working on a top-secret project on my computer :-) so we were up very late, and as such Britta and I decided to call it a night around midnight, just after Edward arrived at the restaurant.
Friday of course was the big pre-Lilith show; KT (Kevin Thompson) was supposed to meet me at my apartment but he got stuck in both bad traffic and bad weather and didn't make it to C'est What until late. Aside from a few irate members of the public who had been misinformed about the nature of the show, the show went off without a hitch! Actually, what the hell am I saying -- it KICKED SOME SERIOUS ASS. :-) Michelle was really good -- she's a natural performer. If I was opening for Tara I would be out of my skin :) Trish was also excellent; it's the first time seeing her with a band. And of course, Emm was amazing as usual, making an appearance as our Special Guest.
I mustn't forget to give Jessica Weiser her own paragraph. Okay, okay, take
this with a grain of salt because 1) I think she is awesome -- even as good as
Tara! and 2) I happen to do her website, but this was one of the first times I
have seen her perform in a [much too] long time and she is only about a
thousand times better. If you haven't picked up her new EP, "Transition", yet,
you can order it from
Then Tara just blew me away. I have not seen her very much since seeing her at the same venue about two and a half years ago, but she has gotten SO much better and her songs are much more varied and listenable. I mean, "Silence" is a really good record, but I find it really depressing and hence I don't listen to it a lot.
But more importantly than seeing the artists was meeting new fumblers and seeing old ones! Until Friday, many of you were just "another name/email address on the list" but it was really great to finally put a name to some of your faces. I'm sorry once again that I didn't get to meet all of you, but anytime you want to come back to Toronto we'll hang out. I mean that. I'm not just saying it because it's a polite thing to do -- you know how most people say stuff like "oh yeah, we should do [lunch|coffee|whatever]" and don't really mean it? I really mean it. For all my faults, saying bullshit things is not one of them. E-mail me if you're coming to Toronto and we'll definitely get together :)
In part it's kind of a blessing and a curse to have everyone in town to see *Lilith Fair*. I mean, it's good that this event draws everyone to the city and to a collective gathering, but it doesn't leave a hell of a lot of time to hang out and chat, or to get to know each other. I am even more guilty of it (spending too little time with everyone) than most of you -- I was going to come down to the Marche last night but I was just too damn tired. One of these days we are just going to have to have a "Fumbler convention" for no other purpose than to meet and get to know each other, and maybe do some "light-duty" event like another pre-Lilith type concert. In any case I am pretty disappointed with myself that I couldn't drag my punk ass to a few more events :-( [and also that my crummy job is out in the middle of suburbia]
LILITH FAIR ITSELF
Saturday morning KT and I made it down to Roberto's for a "Living Room Show" by Trish, Rayanne, Chelle and Jessica. Shame on you, all those who didn't get out of bed and make it down. Getting only an hour sleep is NOT an excuse :-) The acoustics in Roberto's [old] house were amazing -- high ceilings, you know, are great for that sort of thing (and also for accommodating KT :-P )
We made it to Lilith just after they opened the gates, and so although we missed Renann, we did catch ZoeBliss (damn keyboard doesn't do the umlaut or whatever it's called :) ) They were not bad! Since they are from Toronto I will have to go see one of their shows sometime.
I was really into a lot of the Lilith artists this year, even if I don't like their genre of music. I even enjoyed Melky Sedeck's set even though I am totally not into hip-hop/R&B. The big second-stage show-stopper was definitely K's Choice, though. I was standing about five feet away from them and they just totally blew me away. Do you know those rare moments when someone is SO talented that it just wants to make you cry, you are so happy that they sound so good? That's what I felt, watching them. Sarah Bettens is such an emotional singer, and their music is somewhat odd for me to describe -- they totally rock, but yet their songs have a certain melancholy, and the way Sarah sings, it's like she has so much emotion pent up in the song that she has trouble getting out the words. It's quite phenomenal to listen to. Needless to say, the album that I wanted of theirs was sold out at the HMV booth -- but I did get a photo with Sarah, thanks to Lois's sharp eye. (seeing her emerge from the VIP area and alerting me quite subtly, before the big crowd onrush realized that she was standing there) :)) It's yet ANOTHER thing I have to thank Lois for :)
Then, both Sheryl and the Indigos just totally rocked the house. I'm not a big Sheryl Crow fan, but she just rocked out. I am told that yesterday, none other than Symbol-Boy himself (The Artist, aka Prince) came out for a few verses of "Every Day Is A Winding Road". Pretty cool huh? Also the Indigos rocked the house as usual -- but I still wanted to cry, they were so good :-(
Now, I've said a few things about Sarah's sets being predictable and such, but I was more into her set this time - especially with all the glowsticks! We were so awesome! Admittedly it was a bit disorganized at first (during Hold On) but during I Will Remember You, everyone was totally on cue. It looked really good.
We made our way over to the Marche AGAIN :) albeit with KT violating a few traffic laws (we won't say exactly WHAT) but he's got the Canadian art of apologizing down pat. "Sorry about that, I'm visiting... whoops, sorry, SORRY! Hi, sorry :)"
Already it seems so long ago that I was at the Marche; I guess once you start describing things that happened in the past, they seem to have happened much longer ago than they really did. I really enjoyed being at the Marche, because I finally got to talk to a few Fumblers instead of just DOING stuff. And the food was good too. :)
Neither of KT or Andrea was tired even after we got kicked out of the restaurant when they closed, so the three of us went to Fran's (an all-night diner) and didn't get home until about 6 a.m. KT was too tired to drive at this point so I drove Andrea home using KT's car. He's got this wicked heads-up display which superimposes the speed of the car on what you see out the windshield. I was thinking, why stop there? To cure road rage, you could make the heads-up display into an entire video game, complete with computer-generated missiles you can fire at idiotic drivers in front of you, and simulated explosions!
Unfortunately I did not have a ticket for yesterday's Lilith, so Sunday I hung out with Jenn and John Stewart. Did I mention enough times that John is perhaps the NICEST guy I have ever met, online or offline? He's such an authentically great guy, and laughs at all the jokes I make even when I don't think they're THAT funny. :) Jenn is also a riot, as I discovered last year when she was here and had quite a large quantity of Sambuca. :) Naturally, she is also very cool when she isn't intoxicated.
KT and I had lunch today before I saw him off. Here's another classy guy who is a perfect gentleman, with a great sense of humour to top it off.
SOME COMMENTS / REFLECTIONS
I hate to belabour the point, but Fumblers KICK ASS. I mean, I would say that 98% of the Fumblers I've met have turned out to be wonderful, generous, friendly and sensitive people. Who said that Internet people were freaks? You know, it takes a lot more than just being a Sarah fan to be a "Fumbler", in my interpretation of the word. Being a Fumbler means also being an awesome human being.
Firstly I'd like to properly thank Rannie for organizing the pre-Lilith show. Rannie, I am so glad that we met by accident at Vancouver 1997, and that you live in Toronto. You are a wonderful human being and I hope you never lose your "reckless ambition" :) and sense of humour.
Thanks to my three wonderful "rotating houseguests" this week -- Gemma, Britta
and KT. You were all great people and you are welcome to stay here again for
as long as you like, whenever you are back in the country. I hope you did not
find my futon to be too lumpy, or that the botched paint job didn't piss you
off too much
Thanks to everyone who came, and I am really sorry I didn't get to meet all of
you (although I did meet MOST of you, to be fair). KT said to me how it's
really funny how we are all crying as we leave and promising to keep in touch,
etc. when that is exactly what we do all the time, on FTE! :) But seriously,
everyone -- write each other personal e-mails, and hang out with people in
your area if you get along with them well enough! I know that Mari, Rannie,
Tab, Michelle, Andrea, etc. and me are good friends not just because of Sarah's
music -- now we're just good friends, regardless of how we met. I hope that the
friendships you have all started this weekend become stronger in the months
and years to come :)
I guess the only depressing thing is that next year we won't be able to do this all again, because there won't be a Lilith Fair. Maybe in a few months someone would like to open the can of worms labelled "What Shall We Do for FTE in 2000?" (call it F2K for short or something :-P )
Anyway, take care everyone. I had a blast, and I think I'll go to bed now and cry :-( 'cause I'm sad that everyone is gone, and I won't see many of you -- even my closest friends on the list -- for at least another six months. :-(
Hope you all had a great time here!
[ Julian C. Dunn - [email protected] WWW: http://www.aquezada.com/ ]