Although the music had yet to begin while we were enjoying a nice hearty dinner, an instinctive conversation of music was delved into with no hesitation. (A tell-tale sign of real musicians.) A harmonica was the top of discussion that kicked it all off, which then seamlessly transitioned into Juan pulling out his new accordion and taking us through a little tour of it. Once that was busted out, you could tell that dinner was getting shoved to the back of the mind as music asserted itself to its rightful place that was front and centre.
Everyone started getting comfortable and began noodling around with their instruments while getting situated. An inevitable jam easily manifested quite seamlessly from there.
It was nice listening to everyone talking through the music with what they were doing in regards to chord keys, progressions, songs to play, etc. It's always such a different element to sit with a band when they are in practice rather than when performing a show. It gives a deeper look into their music the way each musician brings their individuality into a unity of cohesiveness within the collective in regard to how the music is navigated.
The Latin Lovers' music constitutes a good feeling within. Their interactions bring layers of harmony that is separate from the music itself, but then gives another sense of depth to what they are creating.
The third jam started with some heavy bass lines. Who doesn't love the thunder of a trembling bass as it rivets down inside. After a few notes, the rest of the band fell in behind the rumbles with the timing of unison. For an only 'months old band', they are noticeably tight. It was easy for me to drift away in that thought.
...and then out comes Oye Como Va by Santana!
Man, that was really smooth. They played for a bit, and then came to a short lull to talk it through, thinking they were playing it a little too slow. No sooner than that was vocalized, and unanimously agreed upon, did they get back into it with a bit faster of a pace. It was really well done...to the point where it brought me back to images of when I saw Santana down at the Gorge in Washington in September 1997. It made for some good feeling reminiscing.
When they got through Oye Como Va, it was 'on' from there! All the warming up was cast aside as they dove head on into the rest of the night. The shift in energy was palpable, quite noticeably so!
The intensity revved up!
At times I closed my eyes to see the music with more than my ears in the way I would at a live show. I do that to remove all visual distraction to be able to be closer to the music that I am hearing. As they dove deeper into things, I did the same.
The first thing I heard said by any of them once the tune was over was, "Drive it! Drive the shit out of it," which would give the indication that they must be feeling it too.
So, here we are with the, now all too familiar, rumbling bass kicking off once again. "Well, lookkit that shit!" was the thought rattling in my mind. Just like before, the rest of the band falls in behind as if the bass is a roller coaster and they all hopped on to take the trip to the promised land of thunderous bliss. Fantastic stuff!
Because of my deeply woven affinity for Bob Dylan, I will always have a soft spot for the harmonica in any capacity, so when that was brought into the mix, it was like a vessel that started to carry me home. A nice little security blanket of comfort!
The music never fully stopped during the break, even if only lingering notes were ringing out, there was always something there. So, even though there was an apparent break, where they were coming and going, the music carried on in a subtle context, and then, just like that, everyone settled into the music again without skipping a beat. I really enjoyed watching that play out.
Lots of smiles and giggling happiness permeated the room and filled it just fine. It was a good night!
When they said there was about 30 minutes left in the session, I got selfishly a tad bummed, because I was invested into the music and didn't want it to end. Having been seeing live music for close to 30 years I always take that as a sign of the performance: When you genuinely don't want it to end, and feel somewhat sad because it has, you know the goods were delivered!
It's almost unbelievable that The Latin Lovers have only been playing together for mere months now. Not only are they really tight within their music and cohesiveness, they also convey a feeling of kind wonderment that swirls within from hearing them play.
This jam session practice of theirs was a pleasure to witness and behold!
The Latin Lovers will be playing their next show tomorrow, March 7th, in Castlegar, BC. (Information below) They are also gearing up to be touring as much as they can throughout the summer. One can only hope that they might play a show somewhere near a beach because somehow it implies a sense of Latin romance on a sandy beach under a sea of stars on a warm summer night. How perfect is that?!
The Latin Lovers contact info...
Steve Marc Album Release for KBIA w. The Latin Lovers...
March 7, 2020
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
2320 Columbia Ave #2
Castlegar, British Columbia
I had never heard these guys until a few days ago, at least not that I knew of. For me, if it isn't the Grateful Dead, I just don't really care. Outside of my guys, new music only comes to me somehow, whenever, but is not something I actively pursue. The music of Jerry Garcia has always been enough for me.
A couple nights ago, some video of a top 10 list of rock anthems came on because of autoplay on Youtube. This song, "Wake Up" was one of the honourable mentions in that video. The name, Arcade Fire, sounded kinda familiar, but nothing that my brain registered.
The most I could make of it was that I think I saw my friend, Chad, post something about seeing them once. (Knowing him he's seen them more than that. Chad's a smart boy. He likes his shows!) He posted that, who knows when, however long ago.
As the top ten list was playing I checked out this song because it was the one on the list that I didn't know. It turns out that it was in the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which is an incredible film. When I read that, the familiarity of the tune rumbled into my head in an unsure way. It made me want to watch the movie again though, as I had not seen it in a long time, and it is a flick that evokes a sense of goodness within from having watched it.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie0EJPcaeSQScreenshots from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by 20th Century Fox
This tune was used in the perfect place in the film...when Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) beckons Walter (Ben Stiller) to take a chance to bust loose and go after it in life...where the journey Walter is about to unexpectedly embark upon becomes evident and takes hold.
So, after being invigorated from the movie, I did a little digging and found this apartment version of "Wake Up" on Youtube. The immediate thought in my head was about seeing all these people of all different kinds (Guys, girls, black, white, Asian, long hairs, short hairs...) coming together to create something that's beautifully harmonious. The video, the vibe and the music embody and convey an exuding sense of a wholesome feeling, that something genuinely good is happening that is rooted in layered optimism.
Watch the video here:
While I watched and listened, it started feeling like it's this kind of thing that is desperately needed right now. People just seem to be so angry at so many things in so many ways these days. Too many people are all too busy picking sides for one thing or another, and going after the side that isn't theirs. It's almost as if we're forgetting how to just be a human free of labels we put on ourselves or others. All you have to do is turn on Facebook to see anger spewed all over the place. Yeah, there's a lotta messed up shit happening in the world, but even within all of that, I feel that we can't forget what genuine goodness is either, because if we lose that, what's the point?!
Sometimes it is good to have a solid reminder of the simplicity of beautiful humanity, that of which can pull us through a spiral of chaos to give us a glimpse into the depths of hope and what that all means.
Screenshots from the video
I'm glad I found this song. It really holds something of a timeless message of unity that is rooted in the truth of real harmony. I don't know any of the words, but for some reason, I don't even find that necessary. I definitely don't have a clue as to which of these people are actually in Arcade Fire. I couldn't pick them out if my life depended on it, but the band almost becomes irrelevant here though because it's the symmetry of togetherness that is the real star of the video. It's just fantastic! Something special for sure!
Arcade Fire, whoever they are, knocked this one out to say the least! This is like the video we didn't know we needed until they dropped it on us. I know that in the years ahead, I will always look at this with a kind reverence found within the truth of goodness.
(This was actually Day 10, but for some reason I cannot change the title.)
I put in another long night at work, and instead of leaving at 7:00am, I walked out of there something like 1pm. When I got home I knocked off my push-ups straight away. I was tired, but it was pretty warm out and mid-afternoon, so I finished blowing up the recliner water float-y that I had started blowing up a couple weeks ago and never really got around to finishing as I'd use my Stand Up Paddler instead of lounging.
Now, with this challenge of mine I haven't had any time to do anything else. Today I said, "Fuck it!", and finished blowing the thing up. (Yes, I know it is plastic, but it falls in the loophole of no new plastic...I bought it last summer, and have had it sitting on the floor half blown up for awhile.)
I took it down to the water to lounge around floating for a bit. La la laaaa..
I've started noticing that my swim shorts are startin' to smell like old stank-ass hockey gear that hasn't been cleaned for a season. it is nasty, but warmly embracing. I really do love the gnarly athlete within me where things like this hold a beautific essence in my mind. Blood, sweat and beat up injury is the place I feel most at home...that and Grateful Dead shows!
(Speaking of Grateful Dead shows... A real close bro of mine from Dead Tour days, who I haven't seen since then, just had a baby. I'm so happy about it that I kinda can't believe it. There has always been something different about people I did Grateful Dead Tour with. I was living in Toronto, Derek was from outside of Detroit, and we met in Ohio. We clicked right from the moment we met, and have been lifelong bros ever since. Shortly after Tour ended when Jerry Garcia died, Derek moved west to just outside of Vail, and within weeks, I headed west to British Columbia. When he had his baby the other day I had a rush come over me. I'm just so happy about it. I fuckin' love that guy! Grateful Dead...bringing worlds together!)
It was nice to float for a bit, but I was exhausted and needed real siesta time, so I packed 'er in and went up to my place and crawled into bed despite it being mid-afternoon of a beauty day.
LaRae is pretty amazing! She's always living life right to the max.
I had some thick cobwebs when I woke up, so I spontaneously took my doggie for a hike to the waterfall nearby. I've had it in my head for a few days since I messaged LaRae about it when she was looking for local hike recommendations.
It was a nice walk. The water isn't rushing as hard now, so i could walk out onto a nice slab rock right at the base of it. There was a stiff wet breeze blowing off from the spray. It was super refreshing. I enjoyed that for sure.
I stood there thinkin' about and sendin' out some huggy-smiles across the air to another friend who has been feelin' down lately. I didn't stay too long though 'cause dusk was waking up for another night and I wanted to get home and do my hills.
when i got back to the bottom after my second hill i noticed my heart and chest doesn't feel the same pain doing the hills, so instead of just walking quickly...my version of quickly...I ran the third and fourth ones tonight. I felt good, and more reveled in doing it barefoot in the dark...although I always do it barefoot.
It's nice to feel progressions, even just small victories. You know how it is when you string together and add up a bunch of small victories, you end up with something special.
The one thing I am looking at in my mind though is that it is 10:00pm as I write this and I have only completed my push-ups and hills so far. The big hurdle in this moment is the chunk of time on my bike, especially with my legs all chewed up from hike and hills. Once I get through that the rest is smooth sailing. I just know it is gonna be a long night though 'cause I need to sit down for awhile though before I crack into any more of this.
(I wrote all of this on August 9th, but never fine-tuned it til now)
I had about ¼ tank of gas when I left town on my way home from work. I was flying along the highway, gruuuvin’ to a Morning Dew blaring outta my stereo. I saw Taghum Shell approaching in the distance. It was the same as every other day…even the music.
Rollin' along n' gruuuuuvin'!
I keep the same tape in my van for at least a month at a time...usually much longer though. I love that I have a tape deck in my van. I went through a couple thousand Grateful Dead live show tapes from back in the day. I still have a few hundred that I refuse to get rid of. I love playing every one of them…even the dusty, shitty sounding old-school ones. From dusty soundboard to crunchy cracklin' soundboard, or even a good audience recording, they’re nostalgia in the literal definition of of the term!
Recently I gave Natalie a ride home from work. She picked off my tape deck right pronto and started making fun of me. “Who still has tapes?” (Daniella has since done the same.) I was quick to start making fun of her for Ipods, phones, n' shit. We made fun of each other and it was excellent...but I still stood my ground with tapes. Tapes kick ass!
Lately I have had the second tape of the New Year’s ’76 show at The Cow Palace in San Jose, California goin’. Every-so-often I think about changing it, but I don't. It’s just so freakin’ awesome! The transition from Good Lovin’ into Samson & Delilah is crazy. Scarlet Begonias is…well…Scarlet Begonias. The Help on the Way jam has something special about it; and of course, Not Fade Away > Morning Dew to close the show before encores = Daaaaamn!! Changin' it would just be stupid...no need to do that!
While I was blaring it, and gruuuuvin’ right along, whenever I glanced in my rearview mirror I would catch the odd glance of my doggie in her seat in the back. (By the way…Rearview Mirror is a great Pearl Jam song...just sayin'!)
Fennario always has such a big smile on her face when we’re cruisin' down the highway. That makes me thoroughly happy, as it wasn’t always the case when she was a little pup. She used to be absolutely terrified of vehicles to the point where she’d run and hide in the house if I even walked near my van parked outside. Inside the van she would slobber and foam at the mouth from anxiety or something. Now she’s totally stylin’ and I love it ‘cause I don’t like leaving her at home. I want her everywhere I am. I looove my doggie so much.
So, as I was sailing along the highway, gruuuvin’ full blast, I saw Taghum Shell approaching quickly. I didn’t need gas right away, but I was feeling ultra lazy, so, knowing they are full service, I said, “Fuck it!” and did a last second quick swerve off the road. I pulled up to the tanks like I was in a race car chargin' into the pit-stop scenario. I definitely rolled up to the pumps with some heat, that's for sure.
I’ve always felt kinda strange about a full service gas station where you don’t do shit. They just come and ask you what you want and take care of everything as you sit there doin’ nothin’ like a lazy-ass. Even when my body is completely broken down, I still feel like I can pump my own gas. It sure ain’t that hard of a thing to do after all. Sitting there though, as buddy was gasin’ me up, my lazy-ass did take time to appreciate the service.
Scott, Cam and Shawn Robertson…
(Photo by Matt Bolt for Kootenay Business Magazine)
The brothers who own Taghum Shell are awesome guys. For years I had no freakin’ idea that Scott and Shawn were two different people – twins! I remember finding that out and thinkin’ it was awesome, and of course laughed at my idiot-self once again.
For a long time they had talked about expanding their store and stylin’ out the whole place. After many, many years, they finally were able to get at it in 2016. I lived in Nelson during most of the renovation.
Every Friday I check out what movies’r playing at the theatre in Castlegar. I’ve been going to the movies since I saw the original Star Wars at the drive-in with my parents when I was a three year old kid.
(I miss the drive-in as a way to see movies…seeing classics like, Smokey and the Bandit, the original Superman, Cannonball Run, and many more!)
As I like to drive to Castlegar consistently on weekends to catch a matinee movie I got to see the progression of the remodel take place. I rarely ever see newspapers or anything, so I had no idea it was happening until I drove by for the first time after it had started. I remember yelling out loud, “Nice one boyyys!” As simple as that!
I lived up the lake for years, and after a 10 month stretch right in Nelson, I ended up moving on the other side of town again. Now I pass the Taghum Shell twice a day, 6 days a week. I always enjoy seeing it, because I know how long they had wanted to do that, and I’ve been happy for them to finally manifest it all. I love seeing people pull their dreams together. It's such a great thing.
Even back in the day, the boys always had the full service touch. It has always been easy to tell that they’re genuinely good guys. All you have to do is talk to them and you find it out right away.
(The way it was...)
As far as being a customer goes, they make you feel very welcomed and appreciated. It’s not a false front pitch to get your buck either. It’s as if they come from a lost time. Nowadays, in the service station industry, there is virtually no service whatsoever. It has all but disappeared. Everything is self serve "get it yourself, you pricks" gas stations everywhere you go. Not the brothers though. They still deliver the special touch from a seemingly forgotten era.
I’ve been going there for over 15 years, and I can say their level of service is not limited to them either. Their staff always shows that same standard too! That is simply because of who Cam, Scott & Sean are as people though. It brings to mind that old overused saying,
“Great leaders lead by example!”
All this rolled through my mind while I was sitting there getting gassed up today. It was more than confirmed when their employee walked up to my window after he was done gassing me up and asked if I needed my oil or windshield fluid checked.
"Freakin' right boys! Taghum Shell doin’ it right!
Their finished product is great. The building is gorgeous...the nicest gas station I have been in. There is a snack-y area that is on the side of the main store that has a variety of goods to grab and go, or chill out to sit and stare out the window if you desire.
The building is spacious, and stocked nicely. There's travel food, all the gas station-y things for your vehicle, fireworks, ATM, and a tad bit of party-time beverages.
Outside, they went from a simple two stall/two pump gas station set-up to a four stall/six pump system. Even with tripling their pump capacity they're still super busy. It's great. It shows how necessary their expansion was and that their longtime vision for their expansion was the right thing to do.
Scott, Shawn and Cam…I’m glad to support you guys all these years, and I'm really happy for you that you were finally able to pull off the massive site rebuild you have been dreaming about for so many years. The place looks freakin’ great! Nice one boys!!
I cruised outta there, back lost in my tunes with these thoughts rollin’ through my mind and a happy doggie in my back seat. Gruuuvin' down the road a little bit further thanks to the fellas.
5644 Highway 3A West
I've been in my new place for 6 months now, and tonight was the first time I shot baskets under moonlight. I forgot how majestic it is, and especially how much I missed it.
The odd time, when I am in town in the middle of the night, I'll go to the Hume School to toss up some hoops under faint shadows from the distant streetlights on Nelson Ave. I love doing that...a lot! I do the same thing, shooting under distant light, at Mt. Sentinel High school and Lion's Park too. There really is something special about it. When the cresting moon starts appearing over the mountain ridge and lights up the ball hoop in the pitch dark sky it is a different kind of special though.
When there's nobody out but the crisp air, the shadows of my wandering doggie, the silhouette of the ball hoop, and me with a ball I can barely see...siiiigh...is a piece of heaven on earth for me. It's just so serene in a really beautiful way. I was happy to get reminded of that tonight.
July 22, 2017
It was a casual Saturday morning. I was in town the previous night to house sit for a friend. I had just finished taking the doggies for a walk and then left to make my way back home out of town.
I stopped in at Maglio's to get a piece of rebar, and to see if they had any pruning shears. I saw Gord out in the parking lot. He’s been working there for a long time. Many years ago, he recognized me from all the triathlon stuff I was doing that had landed me in the local media a bunch. We seemed to hit it off right away back then, and have had many kind friendly smiles and hello's ever since.
It was still relatively early in the morning, so it was nice and casual in the store. Perfect! I hate busy! The aisle for the pruning shears was right near the front counter and easy to find. I rolled in straight away and found the last pair they had. Sweeeet! I grabbed them and went to the check out counter.
As soon as I put the shears down on the counter I looked to my right and there was a man on the floor. He was an older gentleman. I heard his wife say he was having a seizure. (Me...in my mind: "Whoa!") I was kinda blown away by how calm and mellow she was. She definitely had it together, that’s for sure.
Right away, one of the Maglio's staff called for first aid, and to phone 911. Someone else on the staff appeared instantly from outta nowhere. I can’t remember that staff member's name, but I had spoken to him a few times before. Totally nice guy! I wanna say his name is Randy, but really I have no clue at all, so I'll just stick with not pretending to know. I think he worked in the office behind the front desk. (I remember talking to him about ordering some Dremel bits for some carving I was doing before.)
Anyway, he was there in a flash. He knelt down and was cradling the gentleman’s head in his hands, and talking to him in a warm and caring voice that was full of reassurance in that everything was going to be OK. It was quite fascinating to watch the care he was giving.
One of the guys behind the counter was on the phone with the 911 operator. The gentleman’s wife said that he also has dementia. She was talking to the staff who were helping, and said that, from the look in his eyes, he was at least aware and that was a good thing. She was pretty amazing how she was handling it all too.
The guy behind the counter who was helping me...he and I kinda stole a couple glimpses, but just kept doing our thing all casual-like so as not to just be gawking at this man having a seizure. I didn’t really feel the need to watch and stare ‘cause I kinda thought it to be rude. I was more fascinated with how the Maglio's staff were handling everything.
My initial thought was that, “not only is the poor guy having a seizure, but it is in a public place, and despite his dementia, and the nature of what was going on, a bigger audience wouldn’t be what he wanted, nor the best thing for the situation.” At least, that’s what I felt he would answer if he was lucid, without dementia, and you were to ask him as a hypothetical; so I felt it would be better to simply move along.
His wife took over the phone call with 911 to talk them through the situation and everything they needed to know about her husband and his basic history. She was a total bad-ass the way she went about it. Just so ridiculously calm, and together!
As he was lying there on the floor, the staff member who was holding his head in his hands was still talking to him and looking in his eyes. It seemed as though he was listening to the man’s wife talk to the 911 operator, and using that information to know how to speak to the man...trying to comfort him, and letting him know that everything was gonna be OK, and that the man was being taken care of and he was in a safe place. Everything was so casual, but so together.
When I had finished my transaction, I caught another glimpse, and then started to head out of the store. I stopped though because I heard someone say the ambulance was there already. When I heard that, I kinda did a double take in my mind ‘cause I couldn’t believe they were there that fast. “Shit maaaaan…totally crushing it on this fine Saturday morning!!”
The way one would pull over on the side of the road when a lit-up emergency vehicle is charging down the street, I stood off to the side of the entrance area so the ambulance crew could come in with the stretcher and their gear. That’s when I casually watched for a little bit.
I sorta glanced back and forth between catching glimpses of him on the floor with the staff, and waiting for the ambulance people to come in. When I saw them walk in, I kinda smiled and mini-nodded with, “so bad-ass” in my mind. I also said to myself, “Hey…it’s that one ambulance girl that I have seen several times. Sweet! Of course it’s her! Yaaay for her!”
(I have seen her several times on the job. The last time being last summer when I walked into emergency to get my stupid brain checked out because of all the numbness in my skull that had been going on for months. <Still numb…just like all my other shit…I'm like that for life, so suck it up and move on.> She always has such a warm demeanor about her, and it always kinda strikes me that if shit goes down, she’s the type I’d want helping me. I’ve been around a freakin’ lotta doctors/healers in my 24 years of being super messed up, and I can say this…a lot of them can take lessons from her about how to carry themselves when dealing with people.)
The ambulance girls got in there and continued with the theme of the moment, “Casual freakin’ awesomeness!”
The tone in everyone’s voices, as well as body movements, and everything was so embracing and reassuring…beyond professional!
So, once the ambulance ladies were past me and had started talking to him I casually started walking outta the store again.
I was so blown away by it all. It wasn’t as much that the man was having a seizure, I had seen that in public before (the first time was a girl on the hallway floor in high school), but it was how everything went down. I mean, this all happened in the time it took for me to pay for a pair of pruning shears, and order a piece of rebar! That's it! It was crazy, but more so, it was handled so well.
As I was walking outta the store, the jack-ass part of me was thinkin’, “Shit maaaan…if I ever have a seizure, I sure hope to hell it’s at Maglio's in Nelson. Daaaamn…that was so bad-ass!”
Not only was I so impressed with the way it all was handled by everyone, I was completely fascinated by it too.
The Maglio's staff, the man’s wife, the patrons in the store who didn’t make a scene out of it, and the ambulance girls! Bad-freakin’-ass! I felt everyone deserved some kinda somethin' for being so awesome...you know, some drinks or some shit bought for them…
As soon as I got home I put up a quick little post about it. It got a buncha likes and loves, so I felt like writing a better version of it now.
(I just found out through my other post that one of the ambulance girls was Sharon Pol. Because of all the times I have seen her around, I was glad to be able to put a name to her face, although next time I see her, I’ll have no idea what it is ‘cause names aren’t my thing. Anyone who reads this who knows her, please tell her lots that she's awesome!)
Stuff Writin' About Kinda Guy
I am a simple guy who likes to dream of the impossible and go after it. I have found fun in writing about my journey as well as other things that inspire me too.