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Posts Tagged ‘afghanistan’

How do I dig thee, Kathleen Edwards?

January 13th, 2009

Let me count the ways.

In December, I wrote about Lucas, a buddy of mine who’s been in Afghanistan since last summer and about his facebook post “All I want for Christmas is a mixed tape” — and encouraged folks to send songs his way. Well, on Christmas Day, he got his wish and it was hand-delivered by the lurvely and talented Kathleen Edwards:

(Lucas kindly pointed out that he happened to be wearing one of my wears on the day of :))

As it happened, Kathleen was in Afghanistan to perform for the troops, and she’d very thoughtfully brought along dozens of cds to hand out along the way.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Kathleen’s sis-in-law / my dear friend / cbc3 radio host Amanda Putz took my blog post and exponentially dialed it up by linking to it from the cbc3 site, inviting feedback from listeners, and then putting together a playlist which she then burned and mailed to Lucas. She also mentioned the story to Kathleen — and from there, the Christmas Day meet-n-greet came to be. When Lucas sent me the pics, my heart swelled.

For there are already many reasons I get a big grin on my head when Kathleen comes to mind; below are but a few…

Reason #93: One of the greatest videos. Those with crushes on hockey, Jim Cuddy, Colin Cripps and/or Dave Hodge, dig in. Ottawa’s other sweetheart, Jim Bryson, is in it too; in fact, the whole dang song is about him!

Reason #104: She does a mean karaoke version of Like a Virgin. It involves throwing off her shoes.

Reason #36: She gave me my first break at designing merch: I did the artwork for her tees & hoodies last year — vacuum tubes and album-inspired flowers (woot woot, Daniel Lohnes for a beauteous cover design!).

Reason #29: Have you HEARD her? If not, visit her site and you can hear some of her latest songs (streaming) from her “Asking for Flowers” album. Then go get the cd… which, by the way, was one of the shortlist finalists for last year’s Polaris Award.

Reason #277: Her sweet hubby Colin was the one who kindly offered to get one of my tees to Bryan Adams, then Kathleen caught the moment on megapixels.

Reason #184: She plays a mean fiddle, and looks great playing it on a jumbo screen (this is last summer at Bluesfest):

Reason #71: She likes pomelo hats too.

Reason #240: She gives good hugs.

Ok, I’ll stop gushing now.

good peeps, horn tootin', m chen wears, music , , , ,

An invitation to do a good (musical) deed

December 17th, 2008

Last year, I met a fellow named Lucas.

Lucas has been in Afghanistan since the summer, with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team — working on public affairs on the civilian side. His jovial mug:

Lucas posted the following note on facebook yesterday:
Camp Nathan Smith is, in many ways, similar to a medium security prison.

We leave when permitted by the front gate. We have tall walls that prevent us from seeing the outside world. We get one TV channel, chosen by someone else, 10 000 kilometres away. The food’s good — great even — but it’s more cafeteria than restaurant.

But more than turkey or wine, what I really want for Christmas is a new mix tape.

See, it doesn’t matter how big your iPod or hard drive is, after 7 months in Kandahar, you’ve heard every playlist that you can dream up at least 49 times. Over and over, and over again.

If I hear my “favourite song” from 2003 one more time, I’m going to launch my iPod Touch out the window. My office mates may send me in the same direction.

A few nights ago, we resorted to singing Queensryche’s “Silent Lucidity” because no one could find a copy on their computer. We proudly jammed along with our air guitars. (YouTube is hit and miss out here because bandwidth is such a high priced commodity.)

So, here’s our public call for direct ways that Canadians can support Canada’s mission to Afghanistan: send us your best mix CDs. Winners will be chosen by a panel of highly biased members of Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team – including members of Canada’s Military, development officers, diplomats, civilian police officers, and corrections officials. Original scores are strongly encouraged.

Entries can be sent to:
Public Affairs, KPRT
CFPO 5005 Stn Force
Belleville, ON
K8N 5W6

And, because Canada Post is so wonderful, it will actually cost nothing to send this – just drop by a Canada Post office and tell them the package is going to Afghanistan.


This struck me pretty hard, as I read this from the comfort of my cushy chair in my home office…

So I plan on whacking together a couple of cd’s full of foot-tappin’ MP3’s (SO many more songs that way!) to send over to Lucas and his buddies. It’s only a small gesture, but if some of those tunes can be uplifting or funny or even just a break from the same-old-same-old for someone over there, why not?

And I invite you to do the same, if you’re so inclined — put together some tunes for someone who’s in a much tougher place than we all are, and who’ll be spending holidays there instead of with their families.

And/or feel free to suggest any rockin’ songs here that Lucas and his buddies could do a singalong / play air guitar to — I’ll send Lucas this post so he can see your suggestions and notes.

Thanks for taking the time to read my spiel. I actually don’t really know Lucas all that well — having met him only once when he came with a mutual friend to one of my t-shirt drop-ins. But what I know, I’m pretty impressed by. And ‘tis the season, after all!

p.s. cool site too: www.lucasrobinson.ca

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