Looking Back on 100 Shows (part 3)

Here is my final instalment of "100 Things for 100 shows." I hope to share a little more in-depth stories about my life on the road this year, and hopes for next year. There are so many memories that I made, that couldn't possibly all fit into 100 little photographs and sentences, but I hope that in a small way I've been able to share the incredible impact that this year has had on my life and my career. I have been booking, writing, managing and creating as a DIY artist for a long time- and I thank my small team of friends and collaborators who have worked with me to make this year possible. I'd love to highlight a few of those people in this post as well. 

100 Things for 100 Shows 2017 - part 3



This is Rob. He plays drums. 
We took this photo in a hotel parking lot in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The now famous "Health Milk" hat was bought in a value village somewhere along the highway.



This is Collin. He shreds on guitar, has a beautiful singing voice, and apparently farms in his spare time. Believe it or not, this photo was taken on my first day of tour with the Vesta boys. See how clean the van is? 



This is Peter. He is a songwriter, band dad and he and I booked over 50 tour dates together for the Brooklyn Doran / Midnight Vesta double header tour. 



He is also a FROLF champion. (See my previous blog post to hear my feelings on FROLF)



This is Nick. It took me a while to find a photo of him from tour, because he was the one taking all of these amazing shots! Not only have we collaborated on songs and toured together for a few years now, he also pulls double duty playing bass in Midnight Vesta. 
Here he is pictured with a baby lamb for maximum cuteness.



This is Gillian. She is my homegirl forever and ever. 
She is a magnificent singer-songwriter and over this year of touring she's become one of my best friends in the world. Honestly, go to GillianNicola.com and download her music NOW.



Did I mention fucking Cassandra Rudolph and her incredible photography? This photo, along with my upcoming music video and most of my promo images are dreamed up and shot by her. 
This photo in particular is being sold as a print on her website:




This is Rory. Rory Taillon is a singer and songwriter and if I still had a Myspace he'd be in my Top 8. I took this photo of him at our show at The Moustache Club in Oshawa, Ontario. 
He has a new record out- and it's pretty boss: 




This is Sharon, but when she's in a band, she'd Caren. 
Caren and I teamed up for a mini-tour when her album was released in the fall. This is a photo I snapped of our show at Live on Elgin in Ottawa, Ontario. Girl can SING! 


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This is my partner Mitch. He is hands down the most supportive dude and I love him a TON! Here he is pictured in my hometown, next to Husky The Muskie, when we drove down to get our tour van and play a gig or two.



Tour life was pretty fun. In general my year was spaced out by months. One month on the road, one month off. During my "off" months I would try to perform once a week-ish. During my tour heavy times, I would perform pretty much once a day, sometimes twice. Here's a photo of an afternoon performance we did at the OFF Festival in Quebec.



Tour life is sometimes quite glamorous, and sometimes ... less so. 
This photo was taken in a Walmart Parking lot in Woodstock, NB. We slept there that night. 





This photo was taken that same night.
My dad gave us a "Cash Cab" light for the van and a hula girl for the dash. We leeched WiFi all night to watch hockey games & coach's corner spoofs and drank beer. It was my birthday that day so the boys bought me a pink doughnut with sprinkles.



On days when we were able to eat a home cooked meal, we were so happy and grateful. Here we are about to eat a DOZEN lobsters! 



As a gift, one of the families we were staying with offered us a crazy lobster feast. We got to cook them ourselves. Here is Collin, in his element as a chef.



When we drove through towns that didn't have cute families to host us, we ended up subsisting on gas station food. 

The boys became meat stick connoisseurs. 



I stuck to peanut butter cups and coffee.



Subsequently, due to meat stick consumption, we employed the "Fart Chart" on the west coast leg of the tour. Using the honour system, whoever dealt it the most during the day, had to sleep in the worst sleeping spot at night. 

It is important to air out the tour van often if travelling with 4 stinky boys.



This year I learned what a "long drive" means. 3-5 hours now feels short and 10-15 now feels a little more standard.



Things that helped on long drives:

awesome conversation
Spotify Premium (download those playlists so you don't waste data!)
Podcasts (I lived for Song Exploder)
Audio books (I listened to almost every Harry Potter book on audible)




Sometimes the most magical nights appear when you least expect it. This photo was taken in PEI in a park after one of our gigs. We met our friends Jake and Becky who offered their home to us, even though they hadn't ever met us. Much love to Eddie who made the connection!



I drove more than 7,000 kms this year- that's over 60 hours of road time!



I'm not going to even begin to think about how much time I spent at gas stations this year. Fun fact: this van takes only about $100 to fill, and a tank lasted about 5/6 hours on the highway.



Of all the nights I spent on the road this year, I only stayed in a hotel 3 times while on tour (otherwise we camped, crashed in the van or stayed with friends). 



We stayed at the fancy "Hotel Pur" in Quebec City, a motel in Sydney, Nova Scotia and a night at a hotel that Collin's family gifted us in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on one of my last nights on the west coast leg of tour year.



Surprisingly, I became a pool shark on tour.
I played pool at a pizza joint in Lethbridge, AB. 
I played pool at a sports bar in Charlottetown, PEI.
I played pool in a boathouse in Kenora, ON.
I played pool in Jasper, AB after playing at the legion.
I even played pool in Lake Louise after consuming the best plate of fries in the history of the universe.




I also played ping pong in Calgary, but that's a different sport.

Here's what Peter looked like after our night in Calgary.
He's napping because he stayed up all night "trying to win ping pong."



Some of my favourite gigs were all ages shows. Young people are some of the best audiences to play for.
This little dude was in awe of Collin.



I'd like to say that I had the same effect on this little girl...



This was show number 42. 
The bartender was the coolest. His real name was Canary and he introduced me to the world of putting donair sauce on pizza.



Before show #37 at Baba's Lounge in Charlottetown- Collin and I went for a stroll around downtown Charlottetown to drum up audience for the show. However, people just came up to us to ask if we could sell them weed. Maybe it was our hippy attire, maybe it was because we hadn't bathed in a while. Either way, those people ended up coming to our show.



Here is another photo from that show. This is Rob playing drums and wearing a sporting shirt.

My grade 7 teacher showed up to that gig, which was such a lovely surprise. At another gig, Rob's grade 7 teacher showed up. Small world!



Some of my favourite times were between load-in and show. 
Those few hours of waiting always made for the best conversations, meals and songwriting moments.



This year, Canada Parks issued free passes to explore any national park. 
We camped in one national park near Jasper, and explored another in Nova Scotia. Here I am, exploring a giant cave while impractically dressed in a festival outfit.







For my birthday, Nick bought me a disposable camera to take tour pics. 
Here is a photo we took at Collin's dad's house the morning after show #48 in Renfrew, ON. 



Here is a photo of Peter, the morning after show #38 in Charlottetown.



This year I was able to sample so many amazing craft beers from local breweries when I travelled. One of my favourites was the "Tom Waits for No One Stout" by Good Robot Brewing Company in Halifax, NS. 
I am playing there again in 2018 for the "In The Dead Of Winter Music Festival" in January.



Here is a list of all the breweries I played this year:

The Second Wedge Brewing Company (Uxbridge, ON)
Block Three Brewing Company (St Jacobs, ON)
Silversmith Brewing Company (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON)
Grimross Brewing Company (Fredericton, NB)
Good Robot Brewing Company (Halifax, NS)
Manantler Craft Brewing Company (Bowmanville, ON)
The Abbey (Fredericton, NB)
Lion D'Or (Lennoxville, QC)
Lake of the Woods Brewing Company (Kenora, ON)
ABE ERB (Kitchener, ON)
Burdock (Toronto, ON)




We also took an INTENSE ride in a vintage Cadillac. 



Here is the Cadillac at a different angle. 
It was super fun, but the roads were pretty windy and the air was pretty windy and we also were pretty nervous about crashing it into a tree (or a cow since we were in farm country)







Here is a photo from my second gig in 2017.

Fun fact - I came down with a HORRIBLE flu in the middle of my set, and as soon as I was done singing went backstage and barfed. Nobody ever knew, but I spent the next two days camped out on my bathroom floor.



Here is a photo from tour date #20. This was part of my Wings Unwired tour with Gillian Nicola from March 2017. Little did we know, that night my laptop would be stolen from my car in Ottawa while we were loading into the venue.  



We were driving to Montreal the next day and I was super sad to have lost my brand new laptop- so we got consolation sandwiches at Schwartz's (Celine Dion's famous smoked meat restaurant).
Later my credit card company reimbursed me for a new laptop so not all was lost.



In 2017 - Band on a Couch released a session video I filmed with Rory Taillon. We sang one of our favourite Damien Rice tunes together "Delicate"



I also went on tv and did a TON of press in 2017, which was pretty cool. 

Although we did have to wake up at like 5AM to get there on time. 
(shout out to morning show employees who wake up super early all the time!)



Much love to all of the online publications who featured my music and words this year including (but not limited to): 

Live in Limbo
Canadian Beats
The Women's International Music Network
Toronto Blues Society
Music Musings & Such
Photog Music
The Jasper News
The Sarnia Journal
Ears to the Ground
RMG Blog



When I made this goal for myself in January 2017 - I really just wanted to give myself a goal that seemed a bit out of reach so that I could push myself and my career forward. I think this year was amazing in that regard. I met so many amazing people, made so many great friends and collected so many amazing memories that I will cherish forever. I don't know what 2018 will hold, but I do know that 2017 did give me a lot of songwriting material.

Thank you so much to everyone who shared my music, came to a show, bought merch, let me sleep at your house, or showed my songs to a friend. I don't want to be too cheeseball, but you are what makes this music life attainable and worthwhile. I have so many more stories to share, and I can't wait for all of the opportunities to share my travels with you in 2018, to sing new songs, and to be in good company. 

All my love to you forever. 

Brooklyn Doran
Looking Back on 100 Shows (part 2)

It is time for part 2 of my 100 things series. When I embarked on playing 100 shows, I hadn't expected that here I'd be in December, with a glass of homemade beer in my hand typing out my 100 favourite memories/facts. I hope in this instalment I can share a bit more about my challenges on the road, introduce you to some friends I've made and highlight some of the fun times I've had this year by taking you on a bit of a behind the scenes look at what my year of 100 shows was like. 

100 Things for 100 Shows - 2017 (part 2)




This is a photo of myself & Midnight Vesta on our first day with the Mort van.



Here is a picture of us on one of our last days on the road. 



Many of my best stories involve my over 48 shows touring with Midnight Vesta. We did an Ontario tour in February, an East Coast tour in May and a West Coast tour in August/ September.




This is a photo I took of them at a rest stop in Southern Ontario. 




Here are the boys (from left to right); Peter Jarvis, Robert Patterson, Collin Carnegie & Nick Posthumus.



Something I learned from playing 100 shows on a DIY, tight budget tour, was that the more drinks I've consumed- the better I become at concert photography. Enter "Drunk Brooklyn Photography" as seen here in this hunky photo of Midnight Vesta's Peter Jarvis.



One of my favourite memories this year was meeting a baby goat when we spent a few days on a farm outside of Truro, NS. This goat was only one day old, and they named her "Brooklyn."



My secret goal this year was to see a wild whale. On the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria I saw TWO whales! 



Of my 100 shows, 16 were at breweries. 



Living in a van 101 - creative thinking leads to tiny comforts, like my personal vanity pictured here.  



This year, physical copies of my LP were stocked at 5 stores in 4 cities including: 

Phonopolis (Montreal)

Vinyl Envy (Victoria)

Bluestreak Records (Peterborough)




Touring is rough. I mostly slept in a tent, in Walmart parking lots or in the van, while we were driving. Friends from all over the country pulled together and offered their homes and for that I am so appreciative for a nice warm bed to lay my head. Here is a selfie I took on the morning of the 2017 eclipse, waking up in my dear friend Emily's home in Vancouver, BC.



Sorry for the hipster plug here. But do you know that I have epic merch like these toques, designed by my friend Brad Pyne. This year, I updated my online store, so feel free to browse it. They're also available at my next 100 shows in person. 




I always love performing at PLAN B in Moncton, NB. 
When I was in the East Coast, I loved coming back to see my name on the wall alongside some of my best buds: Rory Taillon & Wild Rivers.



On our way to Nelson, BC we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up in Idaho. Border Patrol was not happy with us, but the story is hilarious. Ask me in person. It's better if I tell you in person.



I loved touring with Gillian Nicola in March. One weekend, we were lucky to be joined by Theo Posthumus on percussion. This gig was at Musiikki Cafe in Kingston, ON and we encouraged tips of any kind. The best tip came in the form of SEVEN coupons for free coffee. 



One of my favourite activities was visiting local diners of wherever we happened to be that morning. All day breakfast soothes the weary traveller's soul. This place was called Pizzaville, but everybody ordered breakfast anyways. Except for Collin. Collin always ate spaghetti for breakfast. 



This photo was taken in the same city as the diner pictured above - Sherbrooke, QC. We drank a literal case of beer that evening.



Shout out to Dan Hosh- who performed 14 shows with me this year, wrote songs with me, and produced my record (and upcoming single!)

Another shout out, to Aaron Corbett who slays on guitar and who is wearing the best shirt I have ever seen in my life! 



Shout out to Nick Posthumus who played the MOST amount of shows this year, with me, with Midnight Vesta and with former post-rock band LUMA. He performed 37 shows with me.  
This is a photo of our performance at Baba's Lounge in PEI.



This was my first year performing as part of the Folk Music Ontario Conference. I participated in 4 showcases, and took part in the Art Beat program that brought music to unconventional spaces in need. Here I am photobombing musicians Gillian Nicola, and Piper Hayes in the lobby.



Fernie was one of my favourite places to visit. 
Our friend Courtney took us on a hike to a secret waterfall. 



Here I am on said hike, communing with nature and stuff.



We also spent an afternoon playing Frolf (frisbee-golf) before our gig. 
Here is a picture of me pretending not to hate playing Frolf.



When we hit the west coast, wild fire warnings were in full effect. On the night of our gig in Fernie, it started to rain for the first time in weeks. We were pumped, and told everyone that we had brought the rain- but then a lightning hit and three fires started in a forest nearby and we stopped telling people that story.  



On tour, I also learned a magical life-hack from a stressed out mom in line at a McDonald's we stopped for lunch at. If you order anything over $5, they have to give you teeny tiny vanilla ice cream cones for 1 cent each if you ask them to.



This year I dipped my toes in both oceans. 
And visited both the West coast and East Coast of Canada. 
I was joined by such hilarious and amazing folks on my journey that made even the hard times feel light.
(ps. this is me on the beach in PEI)



Here is Nick and Peter on the East Coast.



This is Nick and Peter on the West Coast.



Here we are at 3AM after a show in Cape Breton, NS. 
We signed the house guitar, which also bore Ron MacLean's signature. 
Hence why our tour poster had a cartoon version of Ron driving our tour van. Despite everyone looking very 90's in this photo, I look like I've watched "The Ring" and am about to die in seven days. 



Midway through the year, we for some 'unknown' reason came to the conclusion that "Django" from the major motion picture "Django Unchained" was our van theme song. After our gig in Lethbridge, AB we opened up all the doors to our van and danced to it in the middle of the street. 



September also marked the one year anniversary of my album "These Paper Wings"



I performed at two festivals this year - The Fire & Water Music Festival in Manitoba and The Living Roots Music Festival in New Brunswick. 
Here is a photo of us sound-checking at Fire & Water.



Fun fact: I actually will end this year having played 102 shows. 
This year has been so amazing. I feel so happy to have been able to make this creative passion of mine a sustainable career, and to meet everyone that I have this year. All of you continue in your own ways to allow me to grow as an artist, to reach new goals and to become a better person. So much love to you. 

Brooklyn Doran
Looking Back on 100 Shows (part 1)

It has been a crazy year!
From Toronto, to Charlottetown, to Vancouver and back again, I have traversed across turtle island, playing more than 100 shows- making new friends, seeing so much of this land I call home and sharing my music with all of you! 

Honestly, this is the scariest project I've ever undertaken. I left my day-job, and dove headfirst into music. I made a simple goal, play 100 shows across Canada and I documented my process.
I booked and performed 100 shows as an independent artist, charted on college radio throughout Canada and even got a significant chunk of airplay on CBC Radio 1. What I didn't expect, was all of the warmth and amazingness offered to me by my hosts, supporters and friends. What I didn't expect was to fall in love with touring, completely.  

This is 100% because of you and your support, and I don't say that lightly. Each person who has shared my music to a friend, come to a show, covered one of my songs or sent me a letter has contributed to this successful year. 

I played 100 shows in 9 provinces and 48 cities. 

In celebration of achieving my goal I want to share with you 100 things; about my year, my ups and downs, and all of my crazy adventures. Let me share my year with you. 

100 Things for 100 Shows - 2017 (part 1)


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In 2017 I filmed a music video for "I Found A Home" with director Cassandra Rudolph. The video is going to premiere in January 2018.



My 100th show was a secret show. It was the premiere of "Easy V" a web series that featured my music.



I also make a cameo in the yet-to-be-released series, making my appearance my very first IMDB acting credit. Yay! 



My 50th show was a SOLD OUT show at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto, Ontario. 






This was also my only full band show of 2017.



Out of my 100 shows in 2017, I played 23 of them in Toronto, ON.






4 of my shows were in my hometown of Kenora, ON.



The 10 cities I performed in the most (in order of most to least) are: 
- Toronto, ON
- Ottawa, ON
- Montreal, QB
- Kenora, ON
- Fredericton, NB
- St Jacobs, ON
- Uxbridge, ON
- Halifax, NS
- Moncton, NB
- Thunder Bay, ON









Here are my 100 shows ranked by province:

Ontario: 69 shows

Quebec: 8 shows

Alberta: 7 shows

British Columbia: 5 shows

New Brunswick: 5 shows

Nova Scotia: 3 shows

Manitoba: 1 show

PEI: 1 show

Saskatchewan: 1 show



I played 100 shows in 9 provinces and 48 cities. 




This amazing photograph was taken by Cassandra Rudolph as part of her 10 Minute Session Series that I took part in this autumn.



I performed 44 shows with Midnight Vesta. 
This photo was taken on my birthday at our show in Quebec City at Le Cercle. They even put us up in a fancy hotel called Hotel Pur. When we pulled our dirty tour van up to the valet, his face was priceless. 







Speaking of,
this is our tour van. 
We named it Mort.



I spent 1/3 of my year living in this van, with these boys.
This photo was taken on our first day in B.C. We hadn't seen a shower for over a week at this point. 



I also played 10 shows with Rory Taillon across Ontario. 
This photo is of the concert we played together at Batstone's Northern Ramble- a converted church in Renfrew, ON. 



Rory and I toured for a month together in 2016 when my album These Paper Wings was first released. His newest album Only Whispers was released Oct 15th 2017.



I also spent over a month with Gillian Nicola on the road. Together we played 19 shows together across Southern Ontario. 



In 2017 my album has been played on over 17 radio programs:

- CBC Radio 1 (Toronto, ON)
- CBC Fresh Air (Toronto, ON)
- CBC Big City Small World (Toronto, ON)
-The Cornice Crow - CJLO (Montreal, QC)
- Trent Radio (Peterborough, ON)
- CKCU Thursday Special Blend (Ottawa, ON)
-CKCU Canadian Spaces (Ottawa, ON)
- Just Us Folk (Brantford, ON)
- CHSM (Steinbach, MB)
- University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)
- CFMU (Hamilton, ON)
- Lakehead University Radio (Thunder Bay, ON)
- CFAM (Altona, MB)
- CJRB (Boissevain, MB)
- CHUO (Ottawa, ON)
- HNA Music (Hopewell, NS)
-CFRU (Guelph, ON)



One of my favourite shows was opening for Will Varley in Toronto. I got to wear this boss outfit from 1 800 HELL NO.
(Thanks for the photo Conor McSweeny!)



This photo was taken in PEI. We arrived there with no place to stay and met our gracious hosts and new friends, Jake and Becky. One of my favourite things from this year, was all of the amazing people who let us stay in their homes, fed us and befriended us. I love knowing that I have people in every city to lean on, and to call up to hang out! 

Brooklyn Doran
Autumn Playlist

It's autumn, and I'm falling in love with new music all of the time and I want to share with you some of the artists and songs that are inspiring me this season. I love making Spotify playlists and using this platform to discover new artists and to listen to the work of friends. ps. total album plug here- but all of my music is also available on Spotify and you can follow me HERE.

Without further ado- here is a playlist of songs that I've been digging this Autumn 2017; featuring tracks by some artists who I just discovered like Matthew and the Atlas and Courtney Marie Andrews and some of my absolute favourite people who just released albums like Rory Taillon and Caren.

Brooklyn Doran

Fall has officially begun, and something about the leaves changing colour, the school supplies and halloween candy popping up at my grocery store or a mixture of the two has left me feeling inspired to start a new chapter. 

Thus - The blog. 

In the past I've had iterations of different blogs that I've begun and then left to die somewhere in cyberspace. The first was a Bebo account (which totally ages me to mention) that I used as a blog to keep in the loop with my friends in a time that was precursory to the Facebook era. In university, I started a group blog with my closest friends called "It's Nacho Blog" (hilarious pun, I know) where we rated all of the nachos we'd had together in the city. Then I started a daily music blog called Tunes for Tea where I drank a bunch of tea and wrote one new music article every day, where I grew a bit of a following and then lost interest. I even became a vlogger for a little over a year, and then got tired of lugging my camera around everywhere (and also having a kind of shitty camera). Since then, I've lent myself out as a freelance blogger, writing and photographing for Live in Limbo among others. However, all of these blogs were never really connected to myself and my music- and so I thought now that I've had a lovely website redesign (Thanks Cass Rudolph!) I would start a semi-regular blog where I can combine all of my interests and flex my writing muscles all in one place. I hope it isn't boring. I hope you like it! 

Here's a photo of me looking like a complete badass warrior woman taken by my friend Cass Rudolph. She's absolutely incredible and amazing to work with. 

Brooklyn Doran