Thursday, March 01, 2007

Seattle and Vancouver

I spent a few days in Seattle last week, and then a couple more in Vancouver.

On Thursday afternoon, I arrived in Seattle. Tim Carstons picked me up at the airport, and got me to a friend's place that I was staying at. Unfortunately, that friend (Robert Walker) was in New Zealand at the time, so I didn't get to see him.

On Thursday evening, I played a full show (three hours) at En, a nice Japanese bar & restaurant that has an outlet in Seattle and another location in Tokyo. I usually play in clubs that don't serve food, so it was an interesting change get a good meal while I was playing. On Friday night, Tim took me sight-seeing for a bit and I got a chance to go to the top of the Seattle Needle, which had a spectacular view. After that, we went back to En, and I played again. However, Friday night was just a short set, and two other DJ's played too, so I actually got to sit down and enjoy someone else playing for a change.

On Saturday, I flew to Vancouver, where I spent the weekend with Shawn Cole. Shawn now owns the Lab Monkey recording studio, and he also teaches a few courses at one of the sound engineering schools in the city. Shawn used to be my roommate quite a few years ago, and was a DJ at the MTA Pub and my Assistant Manager for a while. On Saturday evening, we hit the studio and had a little bit of a party. On Sunday, Shawn had to record a group (Bend Sinister) at the Mushroom Studio, so I spent the afternoon and evening at the studio with him.

I had a flight back to Toronto late Sunday night, but unfortunately, that plane got delayed coming from Mexico, so I missed my connection in Toronto. There was chaos at the Toronto airport. Air Canada had overbooked several flights, and people were getting bumped everywhere. Now I can't fault Air Canada for overbooking a flight slightly, because that's a reasonable business decision since there are usually a couple of no-shows on each flight. However, some of these flights had apparently been over-booked by several dozen people, and a lot of the people in the airport were extremely pissed. Add to that the fact that it was snowing, and the airport was also having problems de-icing enough planes, and it turned into a generally bad day for air travel. Luckily, I am the most patient traveller in the world, so I just bought a couple books and hung out in the corner.

Throughout the day, I managed to get bumped off seven different flights. The last one was a bit of a disappointment - I was actually given the very last seat on the plane, on standby, and I was a couple feet through the gate when the passenger who owned my seat showed up at the last second and I got called back. I was a little annoyed at that, since there were no flights open on Tuesday, which meant that my choices were either to spend another day and a half in the airport, or to take a flight to Saint John and hitch-hike home in the middle of the night (since the bus station would be closed by the time I arrived). I had asked for a seat on the Saint John flight earlier in the afternoon, just to be safe, and my luggage was checked for that flight. However, after I got pulled away from the seventh Moncton flight, the agent said to hold on, because there was one more flight to Moncton that I hadn't known about. When that flight finally got ready to go, once again a bunch of standby people got the first half-dozen empty seats, then my name was once again called for the very last seat. How's that for luck?

Now I just have to wait for my luggage to arrive from Saint John, although I always take my records as a carry-on so I don't have to worry about losing my music or headphones.