Friday, December 11, 2009

Body Below

There's a story I could tell
When the cold wind starts to blow
Like a whisper in the night
From a friend that you know

It says "keep holding on
To my body below
Forsake me not,
Don't ever leave me alone"

There was a time when the sun
Gave it's life to the trees
And the air it smelled sweeter
For the honey & the bees

The ocean rolled salty
& wild & free
The fruit swelled & ripened
& burst with their seeds

But what starts with desire
Can turn into need
The chest gets all tight
Like it's got some disease

What burns in the fire
Just ends up as coals
What floats on the water
Can sink like a stone

Now i want to believe
Every word that you say
I want you to need me
To not go away

Have trust in the nighttime
& faith in the day
To walk on the water
Be never afraid

Can you bear it upon you?
My love has gone under
Above all the stars
Have forgotten to glow

But if you keep holding on to
My body below you
I'll warm you & keep you
From feeling alone

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Leif Vollebekk

If Jeff Buckley were not dead and grew up in Ottawa, he would be Leif Vollebekk. I attended an intimate show last night at Raw Sugar Cafe and Leif did not disappoint: his vocal range gives me goosebumps and his lyrics are comfortable and familiar. Since the release of his first album, Inland, is songs have evolved beautifully. He has even created a rock (guitar) version of his song 1921 since have has discovered that he cannot produce a piano wherever he tours. It was quite fantastic. He hopes to record another album this Fall and tell me he has plans to press vinyl, resources willing. I'm all over that! Check him out. Sponsor him even. He's ever-so-talented and needs support!

Photo credit to J B Hildebrand, misappropriated from Myspace.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nan Goldin

The photography of Nan Goldin explores love, gender, domesticity, sexuality, obsession, and dependency. Her shots are so candid. When I look at them, it's almost as though I have permission to look into these intimate moments in the lives of the people captured.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh No! Oh My!

I discovered these guys on my SXSW 2008 mixtape of awesomeness. The booty just don't stop with that playlist! All the way from Austin, Texas, meet Greg, Joel, Daniel & Tim the self-released wonders of Oh No Oh My. Their song Walk in the Park is reminisent of the Beatles, featuring the flute (what an under-represented instrument in the world of indie-rock!), and ironic lyrics, such as "it's a nice day for a walk in the dark/it's nice day for a drive-by shooting." Give 'em a listen on Luxury Wafers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Umi Café

Found at 610 Somerset St. W, in Chinatown, Umi serves delicious fairly traded organic coffees and gastronomical delights to please the most discerning palettes. The front stoop is often crouded with all manner of fixie riding hipsters. This quaint coffee shop also boasts exciting events, such as vegan bake sales, live music, tarot card readings and seed exchanges. The atmosphere is young, energetic and hip. Local artists are often featured on the brightly coloured interior walls. Last time I visited, I chatted up the co-owners, who were getting dirty out back in their beautiful community garden. All in all, Umi Café is a most fantastic place to kick back and relax with a steaming cup of joe.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Manic & I

He wants to die in a lake in Geneva,
the mountains can cover the shape of his nose.
He wants to die where nobody can see him,
but the beauty of his death
will carry on so I don't believe

He greets me with kisses
when good days deceive him
& sometimes with scorn
& sometimes I believe him.
& sometimes I'm convinced
my friends think I am crazy,
get scared & call him,
but he's usually hazy.

By 1 in the morning day is not ended,
by 2 he is scared & sleep is no friend,
& by 4 he will drink but cannot feel it,
sleep will not come
because sleep does not will it
& I don't believe

Morning is mocking me.

I'll wander the streets
avoiding them eats
'til the ring on my finger slips to the ground.
A gift to the gutter, a gift to the city
the veins of which have broken me down.
& I don't believe

Morning is mocking me.

Oh the gods that he believes
never fail to amaze me.
He believes in the love of his god of all things,
but I find him wrapped up in all manner of sins.
The drugs that deceive him
& the girls that believe him.
I can't control you
I don't know you well,
these are the reasons I think that you're ill.
I can't control you
I don't know you well,
these are the reasons I think that you're ill.

& since last that I saw him
last that we parted
down by a river silent & hardened,
morning was mocking us.
Blood hit the sky.
I was just happy, my manic & I
He couldn't see me
the sun was in his eyes
& birds were singing to calm us down.
& birds were singing to calm us down.
& I'm sorry young man,
I cannot be your friend.
I don't believe in a fairytale end.
I don't keep my head up all of the time.
I find it dull when my heart meets my mind
I hardly know you
I think I can tell,
these are the reasons I think that we're ill.
I hardly know you
I think I can tell,
these are the reasons I think that I'm ill.
& the gods that he believes
never fail to disappoint me.
& the gods that he believes
never fail to disappoint me.
My happy man
my manic & I
have no plans to move on.
The birds are singing to calm us down
& birds are singing to calm us down.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We rose early every morning (to avoid baking in the tent under the hot Tennessee sun) to be greeted by friends, old and new. Music drifted through the air like wisps of smoke (of course, there was smoke in the air too). The acts did not disappoint! Jimmy Fallon pleasantly surprised me with his humour, the Decemberists wooed me with their melodies, and the Silent Disco moved me.

I loved and was loved at Bonnaroo 2009.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Music for Tourists

Chris Garneau is exquisite. He's certainly not "grindcore" as a first glance at the top of his myspace page might have you believe. Listen to Castle Time. Mr. Garneau has such a wonderful delicate voice. His songs are simply, starkly, beautifully arranged with piano, cello, light percussion (& sometimes accordion). I'm inspired by his cellist, Eleanor Norton. I've been meaning to pick the instrument up for years.

I discovered him in 2007 (Monday, July 25th) when he played with Xiu Xiu and Fucked Corpse at Babylon in Ottawa. I have a pretty sweet "Music for Tourists" tote bag from that show, which proudly carries my groceries from time to time.

He's from Brooklyn (so is Xiu Xiu... I assume that's why they played together). Apparently there's much wonderful music in Brooklyn! Also home to another of my favourite groups, As Tall As Lions (who I saw perform in Sydney, Australia, of all places).

I'll leave you with one of my favourite Chris Garneau lyrics from his song, Relief:
Nose to nose, eyes all closed

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I rented a fisheye lens (Canon FD 15mm/f2.8) from the lovely folks at Headshots for the week. Here's a photos that I took of some gelato (it had a tragic death, to my gastric delight, shortly after this capture).

I'm having so much fun with this lens! I wish I could afford my own, but alas, I cannot. Someday. Did I mention I have a Flickr account? Well, I do. There will be many more photos from my fisheye adventures posted there.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I am in love.

I've just returned home after a glorious weekend in magnificent Montreal, where I saw easily one of the best live shows I've even seen. Andrew Bird performed at Le National this past Saturday night. A Hawk & a Hacksaw (also I surprisingly amazing group that consisted of an accordion, a violin, a trumpet, a tuba, and some percussion) opened. The crowd was very mild mannered, but after my fourth Boreal, I stopped caring whether or not my friends & I were annoying those around us with our jovial jigs. We danced the set away to backdrop of plucked violin strings skillfully layered over & over with a loop pedal, bird-like whistling, fantastic fiddling, & Buckley-esce vocals, accented by spinning gramophones that created a Doppler-like effect.

I'm really into alliterations today.

& I never said who I was in love with, & I bet you can't guess.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Book Like This

Close to 20 years ago now, my Godmother asked my parents to hold onto some things of hers, temporarily of course, while she traveled & taught English in Japan. The story goes she fell in love with a European man & never came back. Safe to say, she's not coming back for her things, so I took a look through a box of her old books.

& behold: TREASURES! I've got the whole summer to brush up on some classic literature. Saves me a few trips to Chapters ^_^

Sunday, March 29, 2009

So Good


After an eight month stint in Australia in 2008, I came back with in injured line of credit and an intense love for frankie, a by-monthly dose of ric-rac splashed pages of magazine bliss. Every two months, I anxiously make my trek to Mags & Fags to pay an exorbitant amount of money for this publication (two months in arrears) & it's worth every penny.

Nestled in it's glossy pages are elloquently written articles of substance (scattered with cusses), definitely Australian vintage-inspired fashion, exceptional photography, DIY crafts, home decor, & music; all arranged around the scribblings of the issue's featured artist.



I'm a long-time listener, first time caller to the blog-o-sphere. I've been thinking a lot about starting a blog over the years, but could never think of a theme to write about frequently & worried that no one would read my blog. I've realized that it doesn't matter. Most of the blogs I appreciate are totally random & I see this as an outlet for ideas & creativity. If no one else reads it, at least I wasn't wasting my time on facebook!

A little about me:
My name is Genevieve (anglicized nickname: Genna), a young woman at the ripe age of 22. I've lived in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada my whole life. I have a love/hate relationship with this city. The more I travel, the more I experience, the more I realize how lucky I am to have grown up in a community that breeds such diversity & acceptance. The city is nearly a million, but feels like a village. I never pay for Bridgehead coffee. I see someone I know around every corner. It's bitterly cold in the winter, & swelteringly humid & hot in the summer. I can see the stars clearly from my back yard on a clear night & white-tailed dear have eaten every tulip bulb I've planted in the fall. The government offices block out the sun on the sidewalks downtown, but their employment keeps the city's economy from crashing during times of recession.
I live in a happy little bubble where everything bad in the world seems detached & far away, yet protests & politicians are at my doorstep.
& I love it.
I also love contrast filters (for developing black & white photos in a dark room); unnecessary scarves; vocal harmonies; vegan baking; big socks; hot yoga; sleeping in (although I'm finding it difficult to sleep past 9:00 these days); bamboo knitting needles; & being in love. I could go on, but many more things about me will become evident through my posts (I don't want to give away all my secrets in the first post)!

How I See This Blog:
As you may (or may not) have suspected, the title of my blog "Land of Gawk" is a tribute to a Montreal band that I'm really into right now: Land of Talk. Ah, Montreal... what a great city to have as your neighbour. I chose the word "gawk" as it means "to stare stupidly" which is what I image most people will do should they happen to stumble across my internet ramblings. "Gawk" can also mean "to rubberneck" which is apt, given the traffic situation in this lovely, urban-planning nightmare of a city I live in. It can also mean "an awkard or foolish person" as I can be. I'm probably going to use this blog as a place to collect ideas & creativity. I see myself posting photo projects, shows from around town, interesting links, home decor, recipes... just anything I gawk at really.
& most of my entries will be much, much shorter than this one. Promise.

I'd like to find other Ottawa bloggers to swap ideas with. So if you like my blog, & you live or blog about Ottawa, contact me.

Thanks for reading.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...