11 Questions With...Patrick Brealey

>> Thursday, 17 September 2009

For a good time call: folk singer-songwriter Patrick Brealey. Or better yet, head down to the Albert on September 23rd to see/hear the engaging performer live and in the flesh. Be sure to sample some of his homemade pickles while you’re there – reports say the vinegary snacks really add to the overall charm of his show (and that the pickles are very tasty).

I’ve got two copies of his well-received, folk/country/blues/cabaret-pureeing cd, Mercury In Songbirds, for give away. Simply flip me an email by 4 p.m. Tuesday with “Patrick Brealey: Giveaway” in the subject line, your name in the body, and I’ll draw winners randomly.

Plus, the charismatic Mr. Brealey answered 11 Qs for yours truly.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have an all-time favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but makes up for this serious transgression by giving a shout out to Virginia Woolf and linking a pretty great Family Guy clip for your viewing pleasure.

1.Where are you right now?

I'm in my little rundown shack on stilts in the Little Portugal neighbourhood of Toronto.

2. Who is the best Toronto-based band (other than your own, of course)?

There are too many incredible bands in Toronto to pick just one. So it's a four-way tie for me.
a) The Beauties -- I feel as though these guys are like The Band. They've honed their chops as an awesome bar band that can back up any singer on the spot, they can get a whole room up and dancing, they're tighter than a hipster's custom, screen-printed t-shirt, yet they haven't even started recording their first album yet. The whole is a sum of the parts -- every member is awesome.
b) The Good Lovelies -- The Andrews Sisters meets AbFab with this giggle-fueled trio who can charm the socks off any disgruntled Bay Street lawyer.
c) The Foggy Hogtown Boys -- Best bluegrass band in Canada, no contest.
d) Christine Bougie and Dafydd Hughes -- Who can make ambient, soundtracky, instrumental jazz cool? These guys can. I believe Christine is one of the best and most sensitive musicians I have ever heard -- and she played on my new album!

3. What are your top three, all-time, desert-island records?

a) Stardust by Willie Nelson
b) Blue Train by John Coltrane
c) Sun, Sand & Surf -- Desert Island Classics Vol. 3 (various artists)

4.What’s one song you love, but regularly dismiss as a “guilty pleasure”?

Other than Locomotion, I like pretty much every single Kylie Minogue puts out, namely Can't Get You Out of My Head, Come into My World, and Slow. In theory, these should be guilty pleasures but the fact remains that I don't actually feel guilty liking these songs, I simply like them. So I think I'll go for Boot Scootin' Boogie by Brooks & Dunn. Time to linedance!

5. What was the last great concert you saw?

Seeing Tom Waits at the Commodore in Vancouver in 2004 may remain the greatest concert I have ever seen or will ever see. But as for a more recent nod, I saw Joel Plaskett for the first time in February, playing solo to about 15 people in a hotel room in Memphis and he absolutely blew me away. His song "Beyond, Beyond, Beyond" made me cry a little.

6. Who is one producer, alive or dead, that you’d just love to work with?

I'd love to work with Daniel Lanois. He brings such a unique, signature sound to the table while getting the best from the artists he works with. His work with Bob Dylan (Oh Mercy, Time Out of Mind), Willie Nelson (Teatro) and Emmylou Harris (Wrecking Ball) shone new light on those already established artists and allowed them to cast new shadows with it. Same kind of reverence goes to T-Bone Burnett -- brilliance wrapped in a tall-framed weirdo.

7. Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

Jon Colbert.

8. Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy?

Family Guy. It's all about Stewie and Brian. Oh, and this:

9. Would you rather have invisibility or flight?

Flight, hands down. Invisibility is for creeps and kleptomaniacs.

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

I'm in over my head in books right now. First is the Neil Young autobiography by Jimmy McDonough -- I'd been told by many people that I needed to read this one and so far it's proving to be an enlightening look into Young's world, his personality, his stubbornness and ultimately the fact that he was just a guy who wanted to play music for a living. I'm also reading Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe, a non-fictional look at the state of the world's fisheries and how we can continue to eat seafood in an ethical way -- it's educational without being preachy. Last but not least, I've delved back into the classics with Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I was skeptical about picking it up again (I was supposed to read it in university, yet only mimed my way through it) but I'm glad I was talked into reading it as Woolf wrote herself an incredibly interesting and evocative novel. A more enjoyable and far less nerdy version of James Joyce's Ulysses. Kudos, Ms, Woolf!

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

I don't have a particular affinity to one Turtle. In fact, they all look the same to me. But when it comes to talking animals I like this guy:


(UPDATE: This ticket is now sold). I’ve got an extra ticket for The Hold Steady’s sold-out show for sale, so shoot me an email if you're interested in this smokin' hot ticket. My cost was $27 and that’s what I want for it.

Speaking of sold-out gigs, Final Fantasy's October 2nd show at the WECC is now sold out. Tickets for his October 3rd performance are still available.

Oh, and Alana Levandoski's October 24th show at the WECC has been canceled.

Infinite Playlist: The xx - xx


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