TWIN
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TWIN

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Duo Folk Alternative

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After reading the Studio City Patch articles, Deputy City Attorney Pso recalled the warrants against the group Twin.

By Debra Graff
June 20, 2011

The bench warrants against a Canadian folk band involving their canoe trip down the Los Angeles River—and ending in Studio City—were revoked Friday, according to the city attorney's office.

Deputy City Attorney Kenneth Pso, assigned to prosecute the case of the six band members in Twin, said he read the articles by Studio City Patch and decided to take action on Friday. He said if the Twin group was having a hard time getting back in the United States to defend themselves, he’d “agree to recall the bench warrants.” He added that the band members must bring in their Certificates of Appearance by Aug. 1 and take care of the matter.

The band was cited when they were canoeing down the Los Angeles River in February.

Pso said he looked into the case and found that they had proof in the file of the defendant’s appearance on April 8. He said, “We went ahead and recalled all the warrants but they’re held because nobody’s appeared on them.” What that means, he continued, is that “the defendant’s don’t have a warrant out on them and can come in anytime until August 1 to take care of it.” He did say that the band members still could face fines for loitering and/or trespassing.

According to Sgt. Kent Pollard of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division, there has never been anyone cited for trespassing in the river. There are no trespassing signs along the stretch of river at Studio City, but there are signs restricting dogs to remain on leashes and people have been cited for that.

It is still unclear the public could or should access the Los Angeles River and what the Environmental Protection Agency's recent declaration of it being a "navigable river" really means. Jeremy Oberstein of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian's office said, “Councilmember Ed Reyes has introduced a motion in the City Council for a pilot program to allow kayaking and other non-motorized boating activities on the L.A. River.”

The original citation and the Certificate of Appearance for one of the band members is enclosed in the PDFs under the photo gallery above.
- Studio City Patch


After reading the Studio City Patch articles, Deputy City Attorney Pso recalled the warrants against the group Twin.

By Debra Graff
June 20, 2011

The bench warrants against a Canadian folk band involving their canoe trip down the Los Angeles River—and ending in Studio City—were revoked Friday, according to the city attorney's office.

Deputy City Attorney Kenneth Pso, assigned to prosecute the case of the six band members in Twin, said he read the articles by Studio City Patch and decided to take action on Friday. He said if the Twin group was having a hard time getting back in the United States to defend themselves, he’d “agree to recall the bench warrants.” He added that the band members must bring in their Certificates of Appearance by Aug. 1 and take care of the matter.

The band was cited when they were canoeing down the Los Angeles River in February.

Pso said he looked into the case and found that they had proof in the file of the defendant’s appearance on April 8. He said, “We went ahead and recalled all the warrants but they’re held because nobody’s appeared on them.” What that means, he continued, is that “the defendant’s don’t have a warrant out on them and can come in anytime until August 1 to take care of it.” He did say that the band members still could face fines for loitering and/or trespassing.

According to Sgt. Kent Pollard of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division, there has never been anyone cited for trespassing in the river. There are no trespassing signs along the stretch of river at Studio City, but there are signs restricting dogs to remain on leashes and people have been cited for that.

It is still unclear the public could or should access the Los Angeles River and what the Environmental Protection Agency's recent declaration of it being a "navigable river" really means. Jeremy Oberstein of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian's office said, “Councilmember Ed Reyes has introduced a motion in the City Council for a pilot program to allow kayaking and other non-motorized boating activities on the L.A. River.”

The original citation and the Certificate of Appearance for one of the band members is enclosed in the PDFs under the photo gallery above.
- Studio City Patch


There is absolutely no law that addresses the issue of boating, canoeing, or kayaking down the Los Angeles River.

By Debra Graff
June 17, 2011

The whole answer about whether you can go down the river is as murky as the waters that flow down it.

According to Deputy Julie Wong of Los Angeles City Council member Eric Garcetti’s office, in a declaration issued in February 2008, the public doesn’t have a right to go into the Los Angeles River for any reason.

The statement says: “The public has not been allowed to go into the channel for any reason (including fishing) for decades because of public safety concerns. For safety reasons, Council President Garcetti (along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, LAPD, the Los Angeles Fire Department, and others) does not support changes to this policy.”

Last July 7, Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency announced the designation of the L.A. River as “Traditional Navigable Water.”

"Right now EPA is developing a comprehensive and collaborative Urban Waters program to help urban communities reconnect with and revitalize the waters that are an important part of their health and prosperity,"the agency said. "The people of Compton, and those living throughout the L.A. region, turn to these waters, wetlands and creeks for activities like fishing or canoeing."

However, according to Jeremy Oberstein, communications director for Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian that “does not mean anyone can traverse the river.” It simply means that water flows there, it's connected to other tributaries, and is protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act. He emphasized, "It does not mean that anyone can go in the L.A. River to canoe, kayak, fish or swim.”

Oberstein further explained, “Councilmember Ed Reyes has introduced a motion in the City Council for a pilot program to allow kayaking and other non-motorized boating activities on the L.A. River.”

He continued, “Specifically, the motion asks that city staff, L.A. County and environmental groups work with the Army Corps of Engineers on establishing a pilot non-motorized boating program for the 32-mile stretch of the L.A. River that lies within the City’s boundaries. This covers legal, financial, public safety, education and access issues.”

Yet the real issue is whether the LAPD even has legal jurisdiction over the L.A. River, or whether any government body can. Under the California state constitution, you can’t limit access to water because it’s natural and a fundamental right of humans. The government can’t control the water.

That is what happened with the Canadian folk band, Twin. The police get people out of the water and issue citations for loitering under LAMC 41.22.

LAMC 41.22 says that you can’t loiter, camp make a fire, or wash your clothes in the River. It doesn’t mention anything at all about boating down the river.

There is no specific law concerning people being in and around the river, although it is noted that the river can be dangerous and has resulted in drowning deaths, especially when the water is fast during rainstorms.

There are more signs about having dogs on leashes in the Studio City leg of the river than "No Trespassing" signs. In fact, LAPD officer Mike Lewis knows of the only signs at the Whitsett Street Bridge, but the canoers never would have seen that sign because they were already in the river.

According to the LAPD's North Hollywood division Watch Commander Sgt. Kent Pollard, there has never been anyone cited for trespassing in the river.

Dr. Jeffrey Tipton, who in 2008, paddled 52 miles down the river in a kayak in two-and-a-half days said he believed that because there’s so much concrete, “the L.A. River flows faster than normal making it a hell ride.” It has taken 50 years to put all the concrete in, which starts in Box Canyon, Canoga Park and goes all the way to Long Beach.

“You used to be able to use the banks but now it’s a flood channel," Tipton said. "This allows developers to buy up all the land around the river and prevent flooding so they can build homes and make a lot of money.”

Tipton added, “If the concrete was dug up and the river went back to a natural state, allowing access and keeping it clean so people could use it as intended, then we wouldn’t have to get our water supply all the way from Mammoth.”

So, the bottom line is that although the river has been declared "navigable," if you try to navigate it, you could get fined. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council is working on defining legal and safe access to the river. - Studio City Patch


The legal trouble could possibly prevent band members from coming back into the U.S. to defend themselves.

By Debra Graff
June 17, 2011

Arrest warrants have been issued for members of a Canadian folk band who were stopped by police from canoeing down the Los Angeles River in Studio City during a storm in February.

The warrants could prevent the members of the band, called Twin, from coming back into the United States to defend themselves, according to Deputy City Attorney Kenneth Pso, who was assigned to prosecute the case.

The band members had entered the river near Sepulveda Boulevard. They were apprehended near where the Tujunga Wash meets the river at the Vineland Avenue bridge. (Click on the attached video to hear the Los Angeles Police Department radio communications during this incident.)

Attorney Steven White of Los Angeles, who represented three of the six band members, said he was surprised when Patch contacted him and said there were bench warrants for his clients.

Numerous police officers, firefighters and the LAPD helicopter responded to the report of the canoe in the river in February.

White said initially he couldn't believe the amount of manpower which was used to stop the band from canoeing down the river, and he estimated the cost to taxpayers at a minimum of $4,000. He also said the band was a group of experienced boaters who had taken precautions by previously scouting the river.

"No actual crime was committed," White said. "No one was in danger of any harm."

White argued that the six men were utilizing the river which had been deemed “navigable” by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the band's way to demonstrate the importance of Los Angeles citizens preserving and protecting their natural habitat for the benefit of all, while they also hoped to get promotional video or photographs out of the excursion down to Long Beach, White said.

While the river has been ruled "navigable," it has not yet been ruled open to the general public.

“It was a foolish waste of our police and fire resources," White said. "These people were idealistic. They didn’t do anything wrong. If you don’t break the law, you shouldn’t be interacting with the police. It was the government being abusive.”

The band members were cited for misdemeanor charges of loitering and trespassing.

They appeared at a hearing April 8 at the Van Nuys courthouse pursuant to the tickets that had been issued. Three of them appeared on their own behalf and the other three—who returned to Canada—were represented by White.

The clerk told the six that no charges had been filed in the matter, and gave them each certificates of appearance. White said he remembers the court clerk saying, “Nothing is going to come of this.”

A city attorney’s office spokesperson said it’s possible that the case was filed after the band members' initial court appearance.

Pso, the deputy city attorney, said there might be an issue with the group returning to the United States if there are criminal warrants out for their arrest. Pso agreed that the situation sounded like a “Catch 22” and said, “Yes. I’ve had cases where [foreigners] couldn’t come back" to defend themselves.

According to Pso, the clerk could have made a mistake and should have recommended that the defendants wait until the end of the day to see if the case would be filed. Pso said his office would most likely recall the warrants as soon as the defendants appeared and presented their appearance certificates. He said the defendants must show up in person with the actual certificates and couldn’t have an attorney appear for them.
- Studio City Patch


The legal trouble could possibly prevent band members from coming back into the U.S. to defend themselves.

By Debra Graff
June 17, 2011

Arrest warrants have been issued for members of a Canadian folk band who were stopped by police from canoeing down the Los Angeles River in Studio City during a storm in February.

The warrants could prevent the members of the band, called Twin, from coming back into the United States to defend themselves, according to Deputy City Attorney Kenneth Pso, who was assigned to prosecute the case.

The band members had entered the river near Sepulveda Boulevard. They were apprehended near where the Tujunga Wash meets the river at the Vineland Avenue bridge. (Click on the attached video to hear the Los Angeles Police Department radio communications during this incident.)

Attorney Steven White of Los Angeles, who represented three of the six band members, said he was surprised when Patch contacted him and said there were bench warrants for his clients.

Numerous police officers, firefighters and the LAPD helicopter responded to the report of the canoe in the river in February.

White said initially he couldn't believe the amount of manpower which was used to stop the band from canoeing down the river, and he estimated the cost to taxpayers at a minimum of $4,000. He also said the band was a group of experienced boaters who had taken precautions by previously scouting the river.

"No actual crime was committed," White said. "No one was in danger of any harm."

White argued that the six men were utilizing the river which had been deemed “navigable” by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the band's way to demonstrate the importance of Los Angeles citizens preserving and protecting their natural habitat for the benefit of all, while they also hoped to get promotional video or photographs out of the excursion down to Long Beach, White said.

While the river has been ruled "navigable," it has not yet been ruled open to the general public.

“It was a foolish waste of our police and fire resources," White said. "These people were idealistic. They didn’t do anything wrong. If you don’t break the law, you shouldn’t be interacting with the police. It was the government being abusive.”

The band members were cited for misdemeanor charges of loitering and trespassing.

They appeared at a hearing April 8 at the Van Nuys courthouse pursuant to the tickets that had been issued. Three of them appeared on their own behalf and the other three—who returned to Canada—were represented by White.

The clerk told the six that no charges had been filed in the matter, and gave them each certificates of appearance. White said he remembers the court clerk saying, “Nothing is going to come of this.”

A city attorney’s office spokesperson said it’s possible that the case was filed after the band members' initial court appearance.

Pso, the deputy city attorney, said there might be an issue with the group returning to the United States if there are criminal warrants out for their arrest. Pso agreed that the situation sounded like a “Catch 22” and said, “Yes. I’ve had cases where [foreigners] couldn’t come back" to defend themselves.

According to Pso, the clerk could have made a mistake and should have recommended that the defendants wait until the end of the day to see if the case would be filed. Pso said his office would most likely recall the warrants as soon as the defendants appeared and presented their appearance certificates. He said the defendants must show up in person with the actual certificates and couldn’t have an attorney appear for them.
- Studio City Patch


The principles behind Twin’s tour, canoeing down the L.A. River through Studio City, were confirmed Friday in a statement by President Obama.

By Debra Graff
June 27, 2011
The Canadian folk band Twin’s stated purpose in paddling down the Los Angeles River in February was to “open the eyes of Los Angeles residents to see that this is their public space, their river, to take care of it, and not let it go to waste.”

That is the intent expressed on Friday by the Office of Urban Affairs in Washington, D.C. stating that President Obama agrees that the public should have access to all rivers.

“President Obama believes that all Americans deserve access to clean rivers, streams and lakes, and that a community’s economy and health benefit from such access," the office released in a statement.

Twin's trip down the river was abruptly stopped by the Los Angeles Police Department for canoeing down the river—even though there are no statutes preventing this—and given citations for loitering.

In April, the City Attorney’s Office filed charges against them for loitering and trespassing.

In addition, bench warrants were issued for the six boaters possibly preventing them from returning to the United States to defend themselves against the charges.

Finally, the warrants were recalled when the City Attorney’s Office located proof of Twin’s appearance on the citations.

David Fort, founder of the group and lead guitarist, said Twin was looking for a way “to help people develop a relationship and reconnect to their environment, even after being consumed by the depths of pollution and overpopulation."

He said they wanted to unite the Los Angeles community with their river. “We felt like we were being called to the L.A. River to help celebrate the change not only in Los Angeles, but in the United States,” Fort said, “It’s a turning point in American geographic history, the way it viewed urban space.”

In his own words, Obama indicated, “I was so proud today to stand with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as well as other Administration colleagues, Senator Ben Cardin, and local city partners to announce a new federal partnership that will reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts."

The new partnership, comprised of 11 federal agencies, is called The Urban Waters Federal Partnership and Los Angeles is named as one of the seven pilot cities that UWFP will focus its efforts on.

Also, city officials are planning to offer canoe and kayak trips down the Los Angeles River for a three mile stretch through the San Fernando Valley, pending approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Los An­ge­les City Councilman Ed P. Reyes was quoted last week by the Los Angeles Times saying, “this is going to be a historic moment,” and that the pilot program is “needed to enjoy the riv­er's nat­ural beauty and recre­ational opportunities."

Environmentalist and organizer, George Wolfe, expressed that the Valley portion of the L.A. River is a perfect test place as he imagined what it used to be like before all the trash and cement, when there was vegetation, trees, fish, birds and the water flowed slowly and easily.

This reflects the objective of the Twin band for hosting a Los Angeles River cleanup at their Sepulveda Park entry point because they felt incomplete about not having been able to paddle the entire way.

The group of three men and three women had noticed the huge amount of garbage, dead birds in plastic bags, and an awful smell and wanted the public to know about the deterioration of their once spectacular natural resource.
- Studio City Patch


The principles behind Twin’s tour, canoeing down the L.A. River through Studio City, were confirmed Friday in a statement by President Obama.

By Debra Graff
June 27, 2011
The Canadian folk band Twin’s stated purpose in paddling down the Los Angeles River in February was to “open the eyes of Los Angeles residents to see that this is their public space, their river, to take care of it, and not let it go to waste.”

That is the intent expressed on Friday by the Office of Urban Affairs in Washington, D.C. stating that President Obama agrees that the public should have access to all rivers.

“President Obama believes that all Americans deserve access to clean rivers, streams and lakes, and that a community’s economy and health benefit from such access," the office released in a statement.

Twin's trip down the river was abruptly stopped by the Los Angeles Police Department for canoeing down the river—even though there are no statutes preventing this—and given citations for loitering.

In April, the City Attorney’s Office filed charges against them for loitering and trespassing.

In addition, bench warrants were issued for the six boaters possibly preventing them from returning to the United States to defend themselves against the charges.

Finally, the warrants were recalled when the City Attorney’s Office located proof of Twin’s appearance on the citations.

David Fort, founder of the group and lead guitarist, said Twin was looking for a way “to help people develop a relationship and reconnect to their environment, even after being consumed by the depths of pollution and overpopulation."

He said they wanted to unite the Los Angeles community with their river. “We felt like we were being called to the L.A. River to help celebrate the change not only in Los Angeles, but in the United States,” Fort said, “It’s a turning point in American geographic history, the way it viewed urban space.”

In his own words, Obama indicated, “I was so proud today to stand with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as well as other Administration colleagues, Senator Ben Cardin, and local city partners to announce a new federal partnership that will reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts."

The new partnership, comprised of 11 federal agencies, is called The Urban Waters Federal Partnership and Los Angeles is named as one of the seven pilot cities that UWFP will focus its efforts on.

Also, city officials are planning to offer canoe and kayak trips down the Los Angeles River for a three mile stretch through the San Fernando Valley, pending approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Los An­ge­les City Councilman Ed P. Reyes was quoted last week by the Los Angeles Times saying, “this is going to be a historic moment,” and that the pilot program is “needed to enjoy the riv­er's nat­ural beauty and recre­ational opportunities."

Environmentalist and organizer, George Wolfe, expressed that the Valley portion of the L.A. River is a perfect test place as he imagined what it used to be like before all the trash and cement, when there was vegetation, trees, fish, birds and the water flowed slowly and easily.

This reflects the objective of the Twin band for hosting a Los Angeles River cleanup at their Sepulveda Park entry point because they felt incomplete about not having been able to paddle the entire way.

The group of three men and three women had noticed the huge amount of garbage, dead birds in plastic bags, and an awful smell and wanted the public to know about the deterioration of their once spectacular natural resource.
- Studio City Patch


Band's Wild Ride Down the L.A. River and Through the Legal System

When the Canadian band Twin tried to navigate the ‘navigable river,’ they ended up with helicopters and uniformed officers stopping them.

By Debra Graff
June 18, 2011

While researching rivers to paddle down during the cold Canadian winter months, David Fort, founder/guitarist for the folk band, Twin, came across the declaration that the Los Angeles River was deemed “traditional navigable water” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

But while the river had been deemd "navigable," it has not yet been declared open to the general public.

Fort said he was excited to come to Los Angeles for this journey with band members Lesley Brown, the violinist, vocalist and saw player; Ally Leenhouts, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist; David Enns, lead guitarist, Luthier player; Eva Klassen, performer/writer; and videographer and local resident, Danny Louangxay.

Their purpose was to explore the obvious-places that had been left for dead.

“Humans travel the globe, climb every mountain, go to the bottom of the sea, and yet they don’t realize there’s adventure right where they live,” Fort said.

Fort and friends were looking for a way to help people develop a relationship and reconnect to their environment, even after being consumed by the depths of pollution and overpopulation. They wanted to unite the Los Angeles community with their river.

“We felt like we were being called to the L.A. River to help celebrate the change not only in Los Angeles, but in the United States,” Fort said, “It’s a turning point in American geographic history, the way it viewed urban space.”

Fort confirmed, “It was not a publicity stunt, but a public event as we invite people to come on these journeys if they are able.”

During the month prior to their tour, they scouted the river for any dangerous sections. Coming out of the mountains, the Los Angeles River has some white water elements to it, as well as a lot of hard surface, metals and sharp garbage in and out of the area.

“Many parts of the L.A. River should be paddled only by knowledgeable boaters since there’s fast water comparable to light mountain river flow, and being in concrete, if you crash you crash hard,” explained Fort. “Other parts are slow and manageable by novice paddlers.”

Being experienced boaters and having paddled dozens of rivers before, they knew they could paddle safely down the river.

This was Twin’s second river armada, the first being the “Assiniboine River Music Armada” in Canada, which they will be doing again the fall. Enns and a crew completed the entire Mississippi a year and a half ago.

Nevertheless, the Los Angeles River was a challenge because of all the cement and trash, especially in the San Fernando Valley area.

Upon arrival, two canoes were purchased and at 5 a.m. on Thursday Feb. 17 at the Sepulveda Park underneath the Balboa Bridge. They then embarked on their trip down the Los Angeles River.

At that location, there were lots of trees and reasonably flowing water. From the dam, however, it was pure concrete and the water too shallow to paddle, requiring them to walk most of the way.

It took several hours to get from the dam to Studio City. As the group approached Studio City, the water became quite deep, moving so quickly they only had to paddle for steering purposes.

After going under a couple of bridges, spectators started gathering, giving the participants funny looks as if to say they shouldn’t be doing this. They assumed one of the onlookers called the police.

Earlier in the trip, everyone along the way had been walking, jogging, and smiling alongside.

“The mood had changed indeed [when they hit Studio City],” Fort observed. “We know it got called in because the fire department told us.”

About 300 yards before the Vineland/Ventura overpass, a helicopter circling above transmitted a loud screeching siren. The canoers were told they were being arrested and they would be taken downtown. There was a lot of laughing and picture taking from the sidelines.

Several Los Angeles Police and firefighters drove in from a southeast vehicle access point facing downstream, forcing the boaters to stop at an awkward point in fast water, “just when the river was getting fun,” Fort said.

Even though it was hard to stop, because the water was moving really fast, they immediately ended their trip because they were scared by the deafening shrill whistle. Fort said they didn’t know the intent of the police. They got completely wet and so did their equipment, but everything was salvaged by throwing it all onto the embankment.

The firefighters were very helpful, taking the passengers and their belongings out of the riverbed. They put the heavy canoes (which took at least three strong men to carry) on top of their truck and later drove everyone home.

The police seemed to have to deliberate about what to charge them, and no one - Studio City Patch


"We’re working on our album. I was just mixing it at Home Street Recording Studios," says tireless performer Dave Fort (Absent Sound) about his current exciting project Twin, which has grown from two to five members since forming in 2008.

Three of them are named Dave.

"Yes there’s three Daves: Dave Dobbs and David Enns both play guitar and mandolin, and I play guitar, but there’s also Leslie Brown on violin and saw, and vocalist Ally Leenhouts — plus we all sing," Fort says while providing info on Twin’s latest show — a gig with headliner Rae Spoon, a performer who has been a solid influence on some of the members of Twin.

"Yes we’re playing, but the bigger story here is Rae Spoon. He has a brand new album (Love is a Hunter). He’s been an inspiration in a truly innovative way," Fort says.

"Rae has always been an innovative artist, soft yet edgy," says Dave Dobbs (Vampires).

The Spoon/Twin gig on Oct. 1 at The Rudolf Rocker is the kickoff show for the second POP! ETC festival that runs from Oct. 1 to 10.

Concert presenter Tyson Cormack says about the Spoon show, via email: "It is a cabaret, and the beautiful Andrew Harwood will be hostessing. There will also be a Drag and Prom Queen theme, so dress up for a very, very good time."

As for newcomers/previous listeners to Twin, Fort says the new lineup will be touring to Los Angeles soon sporting a sound that is: "Intense. I call it what Rob Menard (Absent Sound) has termed hypno alt-folk or country. The music we play is closer to folk than country. For acoustic guitars and no bass, it is all over the place. The violin and vocals, and fully integrated chord progressions fill out the low end."

The Spoon/Twin gig is presented by Music First and tix R available now at Urban Bakery & Kustom Kulture, or online at www.ticketweb.ca.
- Uptown Magazine


"We’re working on our album. I was just mixing it at Home Street Recording Studios," says tireless performer Dave Fort (Absent Sound) about his current exciting project Twin, which has grown from two to five members since forming in 2008.

Three of them are named Dave.

"Yes there’s three Daves: Dave Dobbs and David Enns both play guitar and mandolin, and I play guitar, but there’s also Leslie Brown on violin and saw, and vocalist Ally Leenhouts — plus we all sing," Fort says while providing info on Twin’s latest show — a gig with headliner Rae Spoon, a performer who has been a solid influence on some of the members of Twin.

"Yes we’re playing, but the bigger story here is Rae Spoon. He has a brand new album (Love is a Hunter). He’s been an inspiration in a truly innovative way," Fort says.

"Rae has always been an innovative artist, soft yet edgy," says Dave Dobbs (Vampires).

The Spoon/Twin gig on Oct. 1 at The Rudolf Rocker is the kickoff show for the second POP! ETC festival that runs from Oct. 1 to 10.

Concert presenter Tyson Cormack says about the Spoon show, via email: "It is a cabaret, and the beautiful Andrew Harwood will be hostessing. There will also be a Drag and Prom Queen theme, so dress up for a very, very good time."

As for newcomers/previous listeners to Twin, Fort says the new lineup will be touring to Los Angeles soon sporting a sound that is: "Intense. I call it what Rob Menard (Absent Sound) has termed hypno alt-folk or country. The music we play is closer to folk than country. For acoustic guitars and no bass, it is all over the place. The violin and vocals, and fully integrated chord progressions fill out the low end."

The Spoon/Twin gig is presented by Music First and tix R available now at Urban Bakery & Kustom Kulture, or online at www.ticketweb.ca.
- Uptown Magazine


music preview
THE ASSINIBOINE RIVER MUSIC
ARMADA
Aug. 7 - 18,
Various Manitoba venues
Jen Zoratti
If you’re familiar with either the experimental
alt-folk of TWIN or the ambient,
atmospheric electronica of Absent Sound,
you know that local singer/songwriter Dave
Fort is a forward-thinking guy.
He’s also the brains behind The Assiniboine
River Music Armada — a trailblazing
collective of Manitoba musicians that will be
touring the province this month by canoe.
Yes, that’s right — canoe. The Armada will
kick off the first-of-its-kind jaunt with a performance
in Brandon on Aug. 7 before making
its way down the Assiniboine River to
perform in Spruce Woods Provincial Park,
Long Plains Reserve and Portage La Prairie.
The journey wraps up in Winnipeg on Aug.
18 with an afternoon gig at The Forks and an
evening show at the Lo Pub.
“More or less, in a fundamental essence,
it’s combining my two favourite things —
canoeing and music,” explains Fort, 32, of the
Armada’s genesis. “On a spiritual and political
level, it’s a call back to the water. People
who live in urban areas often have a different
relationship with the water than those
who don’t — it’s either, ‘Oh, that dirty river’
or there’s a fear there. Winnipeg seemed like
an obvious place to start in terms of changing
that mindset.”
A canoe tour also seemed like an obvious
way to illustrate the economical and environmental
benefits of using our waterways
for transportation. It’s an idea that’s been
percolating in Fort’s brain for a long time.
“I’ve been trying to get this off the ground
for three years,” he says. “It was originally
just going to be called the TWIN Canoe Tour,
but Mitch Podolak and Home Routes ( a local
organization dedicated to promoting and
setting up house concerts) really helped me
shape this into a larger-picture idea.”
TWIN — which is rounded out by acoustic
guitar player/maker David Enns and
saw/violin player Lesley Brownfolk — will
be joined by Matlock, Man.-based folk act
Zoppa for the entire tour. Folk
musician/organic farmer Martin Finnie and
friends will help get the party started in
Brandon, and songstress Ingrid Gatin will
join the Armada in Portage La Prairie.
But this tour isn’t just for musicians. Anyone
with a canoe can join the Armada for all
or part of the trip, and those interested are
welcome to contact Fort at twintwa@hotmail.
com or at 475-2876. (Hurry, though —
the tour starts on Saturday.)
The journey will indeed be physically
demanding — expect a few 10-hour days —
but Fort stresses it will also be safe.
“There’s no safety risk in my mind,” he
says. “The Assiniboine River is a safe, slowflowing
river. I’m only nervous about physical
logistics — such as keeping equipment
dry — but once I’m on the river, I’m at home.
I’ve been canoeing all my life. That’s a big
thing I want to stress with this project, that
the river isn’t something to be feared.”
And if all goes as planned, The Assiniboine
River Music Armada canoe tour won’t
a one-off event. Rather, Fort hopes it’ll be the
start of a movement.
“I’d love to make this my career,” he says.
“I’d love to set up networks for tours: the
Mississippi down south, the Hudson into
New York City — those are just two examples
of what you could do with this. If there’s
an energy and an excitement behind it and
people want to create a network for this, I’m
in. I’m just putting out the call.” - Uptown Magazine


In the summer of 2010, local singer/songwriter Dave Fort finally realized an ambitious dream he’d had for a long time: a full-scale musical tour with his psychedelic folk act TWIN by canoe via the Assiniboine River. Along with a few other adventurous and musical pals, the band played five shows in 10 days and paddled over 400 kilometres — and the Assiniboine River Music Armada was born.

Fort, a forward-thinking kind of guy, had a larger vision for the ARMA. He didn’t want it to be a one-off event — he wanted it to be the start of a movement. "I’d love to make this my career," he told Uptown at the time. "I’d love to set up networks for tours: the Mississippi down south, the Hudson into New York City — those are just two examples of what you could do with this. If there’s an energy and an excitement behind it and people want to create a network for this, I’m in. I’m just putting out the call."

And people are answering Fort’s call. After that successful inaugural run in 2010, a winter edition on the Los Angeles River followed in 2011 and the Armada returned to the Assiniboine that summer.

Now, the ARMA is in its third year.

"It feels good — it’s starting to feel like a more permanent fixture in my life," says Fort, 34. "On a street level, I can see it’s growing in the public consciousness. Even if someone hasn’t gone (to the shows), they’ve heard of it."

This year’s tour kicked off yesterday in Minnedosa, and includes stops in Brandon (tonight), Spruce Woods Provincial Park (Aug. 4), Fairholme Colony (Aug. 6), Long Plains (Aug. 7) and Portage La Prairie (Aug. 8). The journey wraps up Aug. 11 with a Winnipeg show at Le Garage Café. A host of up-and-coming Manitoba acts — WIND, Young Pixels, Vampires, Monsieur Coccinel, Field////, Logan Mckillop, Martin Finnie, Little Hawk and Rob Crooks — will also join TWIN (which is rounded out by Lesley Brown, Ally Leenhouts and David Enns) for stops on the tour. (As in previous years, there’s an emphasis on sustainable food; each stop is an open venue for heritage/heirloom seed sharing.)

Of course, touring via river poses logistical and physical challenges, but this isn’t Fort’s first Armada.

"Now we know the river so much better," he says. "Last year was different because the river was flooding and the terrain had changed so much. The river is in constant flux. I think this year, a low river could literally add three to four more hours of paddling a day. The Assiniboine’s very safe, but you can get caught up on sandbars. This heat could also pose obvious challenges."

From an event standpoint, Fort says the ARMA is in "that place where it’s getting bigger and costing more." Still, the model is proving viable, and an inaugural Mississippi River Music Armada — another dream of Minnesota-born Fort’s — is slated for September. "(TWIN is) a new band as far as they’re concerned, but people are getting behind it," he says.

It’s not hard to see why. In addition to illustrating the economic and environmental benefits of using our waterways for transportation and breaking down the stigma attached to rivers, the ARMA, at its most basic level, offers music fans the chance to watch cool bands play in Mother Nature’s prettiest venues — or, if they’re more dedicated, the opportunity to go on a canoe trip.

"My first inspiration was just to get people by the water," Fort says. "That connection with the water is huge. In urban areas, there’s a lot of disregard for rivers — they’re regarded as dirty or dangerous. But once you get close to it, even in its sickest areas, you realize how much life there is. Connecting with your water source is big. It heals souls and it feels good. Of course, you want to be safe, but personally, I think it’s about being aware of your environment.

"There’s a quote I wrote that I’ve been testing out that I think sums it up," he adds. "‘To know the water is to love the water, to love the water is to heal the water, to heal the water is to heal ourselves.’" - Uptown Magazine


The 3rd annual River Music Armada will be invading the Central Plains in August for a night full of folk music.

The concert in Portage la Prairie will be taking place on the Omichinski farm on Aug. 8 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission is $20 per person or $15 for teens with all proceeds going to the musicians.

Three bands will be playing 45 minutes sets with local accordion player Chris Meseyton starting at 7:00 p.m. followed by Winnipeg songwriters Wind at 8:00 p.m. and wrapping up with Twin at 9:00 p.m.

Linda Omichinski, who will be hosting the Portage concert on her yard, said her family has been hosting concerts on the yard and in her home for some time.

“We’ve mainly been doing it by invitation only for family, friends, and friends of friends, so we’re expanding out a bit more and opening it to the public but asking them to call us for directions and to be put on the guest list,” said Omichinski.

She says so far the response from the public has been very good.

“It provides a very intimate, informal setting. It gives an opportunity for you to connect with the musician, which is not possible at these big folk festivals and big concerts,” said Omichinski. “You’re just there and you’re not able to talk to the musician or the artist or get that more intimate feel.”

The Portage concert is part of a larger series that will be starting in Brandon over the long weekend. The musicians will be starting their journey in Brandon taking themselves, others and all their gear and instruments canoeing down the Assiniboine River to Winnipeg for the armada’s final concert. In all they will be playing eight shows with various bands playing in different locations. - Portage Daily Graphic


The traditional band tour will undergo a transformation as TWIN takes its shows literally down the river.

Brandon native David Fort's hypno/alt/folk trio and a few friends will be giving concerts along the Assiniboine River, using canoes to transport themselves and their instruments from venue to venue. - Brandon Sun


The traditional band tour will undergo a transformation as TWIN takes its shows literally down the river.

Brandon native David Fort's hypno/alt/folk trio and a few friends will be giving concerts along the Assiniboine River, using canoes to transport themselves and their instruments from venue to venue. - Brandon Sun


While most bands hit the road to tour, Twin is heading out on the river. The alt.folk trio, featuring singer/songwriter Dave Fort, guitarist/luthier David Enns, and saw/violin player Lesley Brown, will take to the water by canoe on this month for the first tour of its kind: the Assiniboine River Music Armada.

Fort, who also plays in experimental electro outfit Absent Sound, will launch the Armada from the Brandon Folk Music & Arts Society and August 7 and head out for a series of shows in Manitoba. The ambitious Armada will be carrying all instruments and gear from venue to venue by canoe.

He'll will pick up a few others along the way, including Matlock folkie Zoppa, Brandon-based folk musician and organic farmer Martin Finnie, and accordion-wielding songstress Ingrid Gatin. Gatin joins the canoe in Portage La Prairie and will help take the tour back to Winnipeg.

Audiences can catch concerns in Brandon, Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Long Plains Reserve, Portage La Prairie, and finally, at Winnipeg's Lo Pub on August 18. But beyond the shows, the public is invited to hop in their canoes and join in the 10-day adventure. People can be a part of the inaugural Armada for the whole expedition or smaller segments along the way. Join the Armada. Bring gorp. - Manitoba Music


While most bands hit the road to tour, Twin is heading out on the river. The alt.folk trio, featuring singer/songwriter Dave Fort, guitarist/luthier David Enns, and saw/violin player Lesley Brown, will take to the water by canoe on this month for the first tour of its kind: the Assiniboine River Music Armada.

Fort, who also plays in experimental electro outfit Absent Sound, will launch the Armada from the Brandon Folk Music & Arts Society and August 7 and head out for a series of shows in Manitoba. The ambitious Armada will be carrying all instruments and gear from venue to venue by canoe.

He'll will pick up a few others along the way, including Matlock folkie Zoppa, Brandon-based folk musician and organic farmer Martin Finnie, and accordion-wielding songstress Ingrid Gatin. Gatin joins the canoe in Portage La Prairie and will help take the tour back to Winnipeg.

Audiences can catch concerns in Brandon, Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Long Plains Reserve, Portage La Prairie, and finally, at Winnipeg's Lo Pub on August 18. But beyond the shows, the public is invited to hop in their canoes and join in the 10-day adventure. People can be a part of the inaugural Armada for the whole expedition or smaller segments along the way. Join the Armada. Bring gorp. - Manitoba Music


There won’t be any snoring in the van on this low-budget band tour.

And if you're tagging along as a groupie, you'll need a life jacket.

In what's billed as a music-community first, the local trio TWIN and the Matlock-based duo Zoppa have embarked on a paddle-powered concert tour from Brandon to Winnipeg.

The excursion has been dubbed the first annual Assiniboine River Music Armada.

With all their instruments, camping gear and food in their canoes, the two acoustic alt-folk acts are giving five performances during the 12-day adventure.

They gave a launch concert with Martin Finnie in Brandon on Aug. 7 and were to play Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Aug. 10.

The next stop is a free show this Friday at the Long Plain First Nation's Spirit Lodge, at roughly 7:30 p.m.

The folk voyageurs are slated to play a free show at the Island Park Bandstand in Portage la Prairie at 6 p.m. this Saturday, where songstress Ingrid Gatin will join the performance and then paddle the final leg.

The tour wraps up with a show at Winnipeg's Lo Pub next Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (cover charge $10).

Anybody with a canoe who wants to join the armada is welcome at any point.

It's an idea that's been percolating for about four years in the mind of TWIN singer-songwriter Dave Fort, a lifelong canoeist who lives on the bank of the Assiniboine in the heart of Winnipeg.

Though he says there is an environmental message in using the natural river current and human muscle for the journey, Fort, 32, says the armada is more about a spiritual call to the river. He'd like to inspire people to go "back to the water."

"Once you spend time around (the water), it's nurturing you, so you want to nurture it," he says.

He says the bands will likely sing as they paddle, but also says paddling in silence can be conducive for songwriting. "Once you get your strokes in unison, it's a state of meditation."

Fort, who is also a member of the experimental ambient band the Absent Sound, originally planned the tour for just himself and TWIN mates David Enns (a veteran canoeist who has paddled from Winnipeg to the Gulf of Mexico) and violinist Lesley Brown. He intended to call it the TWIN Canoe Tour.

But Mitch Podolak, co-founder of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, now producing the Home Routes series of house concerts, convinced Fort to give the tour a more ambitious name and dream bigger.

"I think it's a brilliant idea," says Podolak. "I loved it right off the bat."

The tour-by-canoe concept is reminiscent of the old-time Chautauqua circuit of the early 20th century, or of paddlewheel showboats, says Podolak.

"If Dave can get this going and turn it into an annual event, more people will want to join him, and more people will come to see the shows...

"This would work on the Mississippi River. You could start (in Minnesota) and work your way to New Orleans. I bet this idea will pick up some steam. Then the armada becomes a fleet."

Fort calculates it will take roughly 90 to 120 hours of paddling to complete the trip on the very bendy Assiniboine. You'd think the musicians might be worried about their arms being too worn out for playing, but Fort thinks the voyage will be empowering.

"Being in a road band with Absent Sound, (I know) the exhaustion that comes from just sitting there staring out the window, and stopping at gas stations over and over.

"Based on my extensive experience canoeing, when we get to places I have a feeling we're going to have extra energy. I'm anticipating an energy beyond anything I've ever known."

Although the Assiniboine is running higher than normal, Fort says it's a "pretty standard canoe trip" with very little chance of capsizing. Though some of the players are using heavy-duty drybags -- waterproof packs -- to protect their instruments, Fort went more old-school.

"I've got the garbage-bag system for my guitar," he says. "I couldn't find a drybag big enough."



alison.mayes@freepress.mb.ca - Winnipeg Free Press


There won’t be any snoring in the van on this low-budget band tour.

And if you're tagging along as a groupie, you'll need a life jacket.

In what's billed as a music-community first, the local trio TWIN and the Matlock-based duo Zoppa have embarked on a paddle-powered concert tour from Brandon to Winnipeg.

The excursion has been dubbed the first annual Assiniboine River Music Armada.

With all their instruments, camping gear and food in their canoes, the two acoustic alt-folk acts are giving five performances during the 12-day adventure.

They gave a launch concert with Martin Finnie in Brandon on Aug. 7 and were to play Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Aug. 10.

The next stop is a free show this Friday at the Long Plain First Nation's Spirit Lodge, at roughly 7:30 p.m.

The folk voyageurs are slated to play a free show at the Island Park Bandstand in Portage la Prairie at 6 p.m. this Saturday, where songstress Ingrid Gatin will join the performance and then paddle the final leg.

The tour wraps up with a show at Winnipeg's Lo Pub next Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (cover charge $10).

Anybody with a canoe who wants to join the armada is welcome at any point.

It's an idea that's been percolating for about four years in the mind of TWIN singer-songwriter Dave Fort, a lifelong canoeist who lives on the bank of the Assiniboine in the heart of Winnipeg.

Though he says there is an environmental message in using the natural river current and human muscle for the journey, Fort, 32, says the armada is more about a spiritual call to the river. He'd like to inspire people to go "back to the water."

"Once you spend time around (the water), it's nurturing you, so you want to nurture it," he says.

He says the bands will likely sing as they paddle, but also says paddling in silence can be conducive for songwriting. "Once you get your strokes in unison, it's a state of meditation."

Fort, who is also a member of the experimental ambient band the Absent Sound, originally planned the tour for just himself and TWIN mates David Enns (a veteran canoeist who has paddled from Winnipeg to the Gulf of Mexico) and violinist Lesley Brown. He intended to call it the TWIN Canoe Tour.

But Mitch Podolak, co-founder of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, now producing the Home Routes series of house concerts, convinced Fort to give the tour a more ambitious name and dream bigger.

"I think it's a brilliant idea," says Podolak. "I loved it right off the bat."

The tour-by-canoe concept is reminiscent of the old-time Chautauqua circuit of the early 20th century, or of paddlewheel showboats, says Podolak.

"If Dave can get this going and turn it into an annual event, more people will want to join him, and more people will come to see the shows...

"This would work on the Mississippi River. You could start (in Minnesota) and work your way to New Orleans. I bet this idea will pick up some steam. Then the armada becomes a fleet."

Fort calculates it will take roughly 90 to 120 hours of paddling to complete the trip on the very bendy Assiniboine. You'd think the musicians might be worried about their arms being too worn out for playing, but Fort thinks the voyage will be empowering.

"Being in a road band with Absent Sound, (I know) the exhaustion that comes from just sitting there staring out the window, and stopping at gas stations over and over.

"Based on my extensive experience canoeing, when we get to places I have a feeling we're going to have extra energy. I'm anticipating an energy beyond anything I've ever known."

Although the Assiniboine is running higher than normal, Fort says it's a "pretty standard canoe trip" with very little chance of capsizing. Though some of the players are using heavy-duty drybags -- waterproof packs -- to protect their instruments, Fort went more old-school.

"I've got the garbage-bag system for my guitar," he says. "I couldn't find a drybag big enough."



alison.mayes@freepress.mb.ca - Winnipeg Free Press


STUDIO CITY (KTLA) -- Members of the Canadian folk band "Twin" were cited Friday for canoeing down the Los Angeles River, police said.

Police said a member of the band called for assistance when one of their canoes started leaking.

The six band members, in town from Manitoba, were cited for trespassing after firefighters and police had to rescue their canoe near Studio City.


The 3-foot-deep river is known for experiencing violent swells during storms.

According to an interview with the Long Beach Post, the band was in town for their three-show "L.A. River Music Armada Tour," in which they planned to travel for three days on the concrete-lined channel from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. When firefighters arrived, they found them traveling with their instruments and a camcorder.

The band has performed a similar stunt in the past. In 2010 they traveled down a Canadian river for 10 days making concert stops at small venues.
- KTLA Television Los Angeles


STUDIO CITY (KTLA) -- Members of the Canadian folk band "Twin" were cited Friday for canoeing down the Los Angeles River, police said.

Police said a member of the band called for assistance when one of their canoes started leaking.

The six band members, in town from Manitoba, were cited for trespassing after firefighters and police had to rescue their canoe near Studio City.


The 3-foot-deep river is known for experiencing violent swells during storms.

According to an interview with the Long Beach Post, the band was in town for their three-show "L.A. River Music Armada Tour," in which they planned to travel for three days on the concrete-lined channel from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. When firefighters arrived, they found them traveling with their instruments and a camcorder.

The band has performed a similar stunt in the past. In 2010 they traveled down a Canadian river for 10 days making concert stops at small venues.
- KTLA Television Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Members of a Canadian folk-rock band have been cited for canoeing down the Los Angeles River before an approaching storm.

Police Lt. Brian Wendling says six people in two canoes were cited for trespassing Friday after they left the concrete-lined channel in Studio City.

He says the Manitoba band took to the water in nearby Van Nuys with their instruments and a camcorder, apparently to make a music video.

Wendling says they left the 3-foot-deep river after one rickety canoe began leaking, and firefighters and police helped them out.

They were cited for trespassing and could be charged for the emergency response.

A website for a Manitoba band called Twin says the group planned a journey down the river.

The river can become a death trap when it swells with runoff. - CBS NEWS


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Members of a Canadian folk-rock band have been cited for canoeing down the Los Angeles River before an approaching storm.

Police Lt. Brian Wendling says six people in two canoes were cited for trespassing Friday after they left the concrete-lined channel in Studio City.

He says the Manitoba band took to the water in nearby Van Nuys with their instruments and a camcorder, apparently to make a music video.

Wendling says they left the 3-foot-deep river after one rickety canoe began leaking, and firefighters and police helped them out.

They were cited for trespassing and could be charged for the emergency response.

A website for a Manitoba band called Twin says the group planned a journey down the river.

The river can become a death trap when it swells with runoff. - CBS NEWS


With their backs toward Pine Avenue (visible through the glass front of The Infinite), the four members of Twin played and sang into the echoey concrete space that perfectly showcased the two acoustic guitars/mandolins, violin/saw and haunting, down-home, four-part vocal harmonizing that make up their hypno-alt-folk sound.

The night of Feb. 20 saw the end of an adventure that lived up to its billing as an adventure, just not in exactly the manner Twin had planned. Instead of arriving in Long Beach via the
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Los Angeles River downstream from shows in the San Fernando Valley and then downtown Los Angeles, they came by automobile, having been forced to abort their canoe trek only 15 miles after having begun. At noon on Feb. 18, a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter made it clear they had better get out of their canoes and step away from the river.

Despite expressions of support by Long Beach City Councilmembers Robert Garcia and Suja Lowenthal and L.A. City Councilmember Ed P. Reyes (who went out of his way to take a meeting with the band), Twin's efforts to promote L.A. River awareness — and yes, awareness of their band — resulted in citations for "loitering in a riverbed," which the band said were written by reluctant police officers at the behest of a higher-up on the other end of a two-way radio. That, of course, was the end of the canoe trip.

It would have ended prematurely, anyway, because of the rains that came, but when the band was stopped Feb. 18, it hadn't rained in almost two full days, and the waters were flowing quite placidly.1

The fact that it had rained that Tuesday, though, may have changed the lay of the land as far as city response went. Reyes' press deputy, Monica Valencia (who was instrumental in arranging the band's meeting with her boss), told the band as much in a Wednesday afternoon e-mail. And the band says a representative of the L.A. Department of Parks and Recreation mentioned at one point that the band couldn't be on the water for five days after it rains — a statement it perceives as perhaps meaning the city tacitly allows people on the water in non-rainy conditions.2

The band maintains that the water was perfectly safe when they were on it.

"Had we felt a raindrop, we would have stopped," says Ally Leenhouts. "We started so early [viz., at dawn] so that if it started raining later in the day, we would have already gotten a chunk of the journey done."

"We're not going to die for this thing," chimes in David Enns, the band's most reticent member.

And Lesley Brown points at that, while no one they met with gave them the official green light, "No one ever told us 'no.'"

Nonetheless, the band was cited with a violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 41.22, "Loitering — River Bed," which reads:

No person shall camp, lodge, make or kindle a fire, wash any clothes or bedding, bathe, sleep, lay any bed or any blanket, quilt, straw or branches for the purpose of resting or sleeping thereon, or remain or loiter in the official bed of the Los Angeles River.

Whether this is an obviously bogus charge hinges upon the definition of "remain or loiter." According to my non-paralegalistic research, the legal definition of "loiter" seems to come from California Penal Code 647(h) — "… to delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property and for the purpose of committing a crime as opportunity may be discovered," (although contextually this definition is for that particular subdivision of the penal code). "Remain," however, is not expressly defined legally, so I suppose the argument might run that canoeing down the river is "remain[ing]" in the riverbed.

Whatever the case, reports by The Associated Press, et al., that the band was cited with trespassing are apparently mistaken (since many trespassing offenses are explicitly enumerated in the penal code as such), though the LAPD did not respond to multiple calls for elucidation on this point.

Nor did the LAPD confirm or deny whether Lt. Brian Wendling did indeed provide The AP (as their story reports) with the inaccurate claim that "firefighters and police helped them out [of the river]." What I have been able to obtain is the police report on the incident, which corroborates the band's assertion that they were not helped out of the river: "[The band] beached their canoes in the area of Vineland Avenue north of Ventura Boulevard where LAPD officers and LAFD Swift-water Rescue personnel found them."3

Despite canoeing down only 15 of the river's 51 miles, that was enough to appall the band.

"This is a horrendous engineering and building project," says Twin’s David Fort. "And it's pretty evident to me that when the rain comes, that's when the city and/or industry is dumping things that I think don't normally get dumped. Or they at least dump it in higher increments to flush away with the rain. There's no doubt that there is a difference of smell in that river than [ - Long Beach Post, Los Angeles


With their backs toward Pine Avenue (visible through the glass front of The Infinite), the four members of Twin played and sang into the echoey concrete space that perfectly showcased the two acoustic guitars/mandolins, violin/saw and haunting, down-home, four-part vocal harmonizing that make up their hypno-alt-folk sound.

The night of Feb. 20 saw the end of an adventure that lived up to its billing as an adventure, just not in exactly the manner Twin had planned. Instead of arriving in Long Beach via the
ADVERTISEMENT
Los Angeles River downstream from shows in the San Fernando Valley and then downtown Los Angeles, they came by automobile, having been forced to abort their canoe trek only 15 miles after having begun. At noon on Feb. 18, a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter made it clear they had better get out of their canoes and step away from the river.

Despite expressions of support by Long Beach City Councilmembers Robert Garcia and Suja Lowenthal and L.A. City Councilmember Ed P. Reyes (who went out of his way to take a meeting with the band), Twin's efforts to promote L.A. River awareness — and yes, awareness of their band — resulted in citations for "loitering in a riverbed," which the band said were written by reluctant police officers at the behest of a higher-up on the other end of a two-way radio. That, of course, was the end of the canoe trip.

It would have ended prematurely, anyway, because of the rains that came, but when the band was stopped Feb. 18, it hadn't rained in almost two full days, and the waters were flowing quite placidly.1

The fact that it had rained that Tuesday, though, may have changed the lay of the land as far as city response went. Reyes' press deputy, Monica Valencia (who was instrumental in arranging the band's meeting with her boss), told the band as much in a Wednesday afternoon e-mail. And the band says a representative of the L.A. Department of Parks and Recreation mentioned at one point that the band couldn't be on the water for five days after it rains — a statement it perceives as perhaps meaning the city tacitly allows people on the water in non-rainy conditions.2

The band maintains that the water was perfectly safe when they were on it.

"Had we felt a raindrop, we would have stopped," says Ally Leenhouts. "We started so early [viz., at dawn] so that if it started raining later in the day, we would have already gotten a chunk of the journey done."

"We're not going to die for this thing," chimes in David Enns, the band's most reticent member.

And Lesley Brown points at that, while no one they met with gave them the official green light, "No one ever told us 'no.'"

Nonetheless, the band was cited with a violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 41.22, "Loitering — River Bed," which reads:

No person shall camp, lodge, make or kindle a fire, wash any clothes or bedding, bathe, sleep, lay any bed or any blanket, quilt, straw or branches for the purpose of resting or sleeping thereon, or remain or loiter in the official bed of the Los Angeles River.

Whether this is an obviously bogus charge hinges upon the definition of "remain or loiter." According to my non-paralegalistic research, the legal definition of "loiter" seems to come from California Penal Code 647(h) — "… to delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property and for the purpose of committing a crime as opportunity may be discovered," (although contextually this definition is for that particular subdivision of the penal code). "Remain," however, is not expressly defined legally, so I suppose the argument might run that canoeing down the river is "remain[ing]" in the riverbed.

Whatever the case, reports by The Associated Press, et al., that the band was cited with trespassing are apparently mistaken (since many trespassing offenses are explicitly enumerated in the penal code as such), though the LAPD did not respond to multiple calls for elucidation on this point.

Nor did the LAPD confirm or deny whether Lt. Brian Wendling did indeed provide The AP (as their story reports) with the inaccurate claim that "firefighters and police helped them out [of the river]." What I have been able to obtain is the police report on the incident, which corroborates the band's assertion that they were not helped out of the river: "[The band] beached their canoes in the area of Vineland Avenue north of Ventura Boulevard where LAPD officers and LAFD Swift-water Rescue personnel found them."3

Despite canoeing down only 15 of the river's 51 miles, that was enough to appall the band.

"This is a horrendous engineering and building project," says Twin’s David Fort. "And it's pretty evident to me that when the rain comes, that's when the city and/or industry is dumping things that I think don't normally get dumped. Or they at least dump it in higher increments to flush away with the rain. There's no doubt that there is a difference of smell in that river than [ - Long Beach Post, Los Angeles


This is not Twin's first time around the aquatic block. Last fall this Canadian hypno-alt-folk quartet from Winnipeg, Manitoba realized lead vocalist David Fort's idea to do a concert tour down the Assiniboine River.

That 10-day adventure went so swimmingly (except, you know, in a boat) that the band almost immediately began to consider where to do the next one.

"We started reading up, and all of a sudden there was all this political energy around the L.A. River," says Fort, referring in part to last summer's recategorization of the Los Angeles River by the Environmental Protection Agency to traditional navigable river. "And it just seemed to make sense."

Four months of planning later, the band is here in Long Beach making preparations to undertake their three-show L.A. River Music Armada Tour, which begins February 17 in the San Fernando Valley, winds into downtown L.A. the following day, and concludes here in Long Beach on February 20.

"It was just a light bulb that went off in my head: 'This could be done, and it should be done,'" recalls Fort, who, aside from wanting to draw people down to the water (he's a professional canoe instructor with eco-conservationist passions), thinks of the whole deal as a kind of "multitasking, [since] it combines my two favorite things: music and being on the water."

"We're calling it the L.A. River Music Armada," says Fort of the tour. "[Because] it's intended to have more and more people join. It's a call, I hope, to a bigger community. […] With the right response, we could be doing this annually. We could be creating a network."

Lesley Brown (vocals and violin) reports that the original Assiniboine tour was intended as a one-time-only event, "but after doing it we realized that after doing all that groundwork, it's laid out and ready to be an annual thing. So we're going to be doing that one again this coming summer. That could happen with this one as well. We're doing three shows this time, but if people here want to get involved, that would make it easier for us to come back and do it again, with some network already in place."

Like any band, Twin want their music to be heard, and maybe even to make a little scratch. But that isn't so much what the L.A. River Music Armada is about. "We're not going to make money on this tour; we're going to lose money," admits Fort. "But for us, [there's a] long-term vision."

That vision has to do with helping we urbanites understand this ribbon of nature running right through our backyard. "We're definitely promoting the fact that there is a river here," Fort says, "And that it could be the source of a lot of life. One of the biggest industrial cities in the word is starting to shift in how it treats its water. That's a really inspiring thing—and a good thing to bring attention to. […] We want to make the canoe-tour concept international—and it doesn't get much more international than Los Angeles."

"I really appreciate the creative way they're trying to bring attention to the river," says Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, who in her five years in office has made environmental issues one of her main priorities. She says that while "for decades the City of Long Beach has been using traditional means to try to draw attention to the river," she realizes that there are demographics which city government does not effectively reach. And so she praises Twin for "trying to reach folks through a mechanism that's relevant to them. [It's] a non-traditional way of communicating the same message."

Naturally, Councilmember Robert Garcia, in whose First District Twin will be playing on February 20, concurs: "I think it's great that these musicians are making a statement by arriving in Long Beach via the L.A. River. The river is such an important part of our city and its history, and we need to focus our efforts towards its restoration and rebirth."

"A lot of people don't realize we have a river," says Los Angeles Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who spearheaded the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, a 25-50 year blueprint to transform the river into a continuous, community-linking greenbelt. Reyes has made significant headway with the plan (adopted in 2007), with major parks, bikeways, and a motion introduced last year to allow non-motorized boating on the river—all of which he hopes will change not only the riparian reality but also perceptions. "Many people see the L.A. River as a glorified sewer carrying urban slobber through L.A. that ends up polluting the Long Beach shores. A boating program would bring people closer to experiencing the living, breathing ecosystem of that is L.A. River, all while helping to achieve one of the major goals of the Master Plan: to create public access to the L.A. River and bring communities together through recreational activities such as boating."

To give you an idea of both how serious Reyes is about the issue and what he thinks of Twin's ve - Long Beach Post, Los Angeles


This is not Twin's first time around the aquatic block. Last fall this Canadian hypno-alt-folk quartet from Winnipeg, Manitoba realized lead vocalist David Fort's idea to do a concert tour down the Assiniboine River.

That 10-day adventure went so swimmingly (except, you know, in a boat) that the band almost immediately began to consider where to do the next one.

"We started reading up, and all of a sudden there was all this political energy around the L.A. River," says Fort, referring in part to last summer's recategorization of the Los Angeles River by the Environmental Protection Agency to traditional navigable river. "And it just seemed to make sense."

Four months of planning later, the band is here in Long Beach making preparations to undertake their three-show L.A. River Music Armada Tour, which begins February 17 in the San Fernando Valley, winds into downtown L.A. the following day, and concludes here in Long Beach on February 20.

"It was just a light bulb that went off in my head: 'This could be done, and it should be done,'" recalls Fort, who, aside from wanting to draw people down to the water (he's a professional canoe instructor with eco-conservationist passions), thinks of the whole deal as a kind of "multitasking, [since] it combines my two favorite things: music and being on the water."

"We're calling it the L.A. River Music Armada," says Fort of the tour. "[Because] it's intended to have more and more people join. It's a call, I hope, to a bigger community. […] With the right response, we could be doing this annually. We could be creating a network."

Lesley Brown (vocals and violin) reports that the original Assiniboine tour was intended as a one-time-only event, "but after doing it we realized that after doing all that groundwork, it's laid out and ready to be an annual thing. So we're going to be doing that one again this coming summer. That could happen with this one as well. We're doing three shows this time, but if people here want to get involved, that would make it easier for us to come back and do it again, with some network already in place."

Like any band, Twin want their music to be heard, and maybe even to make a little scratch. But that isn't so much what the L.A. River Music Armada is about. "We're not going to make money on this tour; we're going to lose money," admits Fort. "But for us, [there's a] long-term vision."

That vision has to do with helping we urbanites understand this ribbon of nature running right through our backyard. "We're definitely promoting the fact that there is a river here," Fort says, "And that it could be the source of a lot of life. One of the biggest industrial cities in the word is starting to shift in how it treats its water. That's a really inspiring thing—and a good thing to bring attention to. […] We want to make the canoe-tour concept international—and it doesn't get much more international than Los Angeles."

"I really appreciate the creative way they're trying to bring attention to the river," says Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, who in her five years in office has made environmental issues one of her main priorities. She says that while "for decades the City of Long Beach has been using traditional means to try to draw attention to the river," she realizes that there are demographics which city government does not effectively reach. And so she praises Twin for "trying to reach folks through a mechanism that's relevant to them. [It's] a non-traditional way of communicating the same message."

Naturally, Councilmember Robert Garcia, in whose First District Twin will be playing on February 20, concurs: "I think it's great that these musicians are making a statement by arriving in Long Beach via the L.A. River. The river is such an important part of our city and its history, and we need to focus our efforts towards its restoration and rebirth."

"A lot of people don't realize we have a river," says Los Angeles Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who spearheaded the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, a 25-50 year blueprint to transform the river into a continuous, community-linking greenbelt. Reyes has made significant headway with the plan (adopted in 2007), with major parks, bikeways, and a motion introduced last year to allow non-motorized boating on the river—all of which he hopes will change not only the riparian reality but also perceptions. "Many people see the L.A. River as a glorified sewer carrying urban slobber through L.A. that ends up polluting the Long Beach shores. A boating program would bring people closer to experiencing the living, breathing ecosystem of that is L.A. River, all while helping to achieve one of the major goals of the Master Plan: to create public access to the L.A. River and bring communities together through recreational activities such as boating."

To give you an idea of both how serious Reyes is about the issue and what he thinks of Twin's ve - Long Beach Post, Los Angeles


6 Articles from Studio City Patch following the Los Angeles River Music Armada Saga. - Studio City Patch, Los Angeles


6 Articles from Studio City Patch following the Los Angeles River Music Armada Saga. - Studio City Patch, Los Angeles


?Among the sounds the musicians of the Canadian band Twin heard while canoeing the Los Angeles River were chirping birds, lapping waves, rustling trees and the screeching of a police department helicopter siren. Musically speaking, the LAPD's Loud Hailer airborne siren leaves something to be desired. As it was blaring, scaring the bejesus out of everyone in earshot, you had to wonder: What's a nice folk band like Twin doing on a river like this?

The band had what seemed like a good plan: Come to Los Angeles. Buy canoes. Use them as a tour van. Paddle from gig to gig with their instruments onboard.

It's not like these guys were river newbies. They had recently canoed 248 miles of Western Canada's Assiniboine over the course of 10 days. On that trip, fans joined them in other canoes, singing and fiddling and paddling along, forming a sort of musical armada. They slept at farms. They ate corn straight from the field. A golden experience.

The band assumed L.A. would be another great water trip. All 52 miles of the L.A. River had just last summer been declared navigable by the Environmental Protection Agency. In the spots where it narrows, the band members planned to hop into the water, pick up and carry -- or "portage" -- the canoes. They scouted the terrain for weeks beforehand.

At night they hid the canoes at a sweet launching-off spot in San Fernando Valley's Sepulveda Park. By dawn, they were in the water, six people in two canoes: lead singer David Fort, his girlfriend, violinist Lesley Brown, and videographer Danny Louangxay in one canoe. Vocalist Ally Leenhouts, keyboardist Eva Klasser and guitarist David Enns in the other.

The voyage did not go as they'd imagined. Probably because the L.A. River is not the river they had imagined. For one, it's not all concrete. It starts out that way, but there are green parts with fish flopping around. They are sturdy, ugly fish built for survival.

Nature and civilization are constantly at war with each other on the L.A. River. In Van Nuys, for instance, the musicians saw an entire tree sprouting through a crack in the concrete. They saw garbage -- used condoms, Styrofoam cups and plastic, plastic, plastic. But intermingling with the garbage were hummingbirds, ducks, owls, cranes, coyotes and "really intense spiders."

In some places, civilization had sprung up. The musicians floated by small tent cities of people who drink and bathe in and fish the waters.

They steered past old grates and shopping carts as if they were boulders, some rusting, some bright and gleaming, freshly shoved into the water. They passed a Dumpster sunk halfway in, still full with stuff. They passed computers people had tossed in. It was bizarre.

Fort and the band usually sing while in the canoe. But they were quiet this time, alternately taking in the surreal scenery and worrying about unexpected elevation drops. (In Long Beach, where the concrete gives way to a soft, mucky bottom, the river burbles along at 7 feet deep, with the potential to reach 16 feet, if you believe the number painted on the retaining walls. Over by the dam, it can get as high as 50.)

They paddled for six hours, letting the current take them. Then the brief but horrible antimusical interlude with the LAPD helicopter.

Fort was pensive the next day. "I feel its history. I feel its strength," he said of the river. Also, he felt ill. The previous day was worse. He felt headachy, nauseated and fluish. At times, they were chest-deep in the river. He might have swallowed some of it.

"There's funny stuff going into that water," he said, rubbing his stomach. Drainages pipe in from the city at various points. The concrete bed is designed to fast-track water out of the city into the ocean. A real, soft-bottom river would naturally filter the water slowly with vegetation and soil.

The L.A. River looked, tasted, sounded and even smelled funny. It smelled, improbably, like ... laundry detergent. "Like fake nature," Brown concluded.

It changes temperature, too. Sometimes, it's warm. "Why is it warm? We started early. The water should have been cold," she said."It's a strange river," said Enns.

Brown nodded. "We kept saying that yesterday. 'This is so weird.'"

"It's a really sick system," Fort said. "The mentality is, we'll fence it off and leave it alone. People say you can't tear the cement down. It would flood the city. True. But you can incrementally retract it. Good soil can hold back floodwater. You can do flood control cleanly."

He picked up his guitar and began to strum. "I don't want to paint this completely black, postapocalyptic picture. It's just polluted and weird right now."

He and the rest of the band were standing on a concrete embankment in Elysian Valley, where the river runs through the Glendale Narrows. The sky was fixing to rain, and the wind was picking up. Every now and then, bits of trash drifted by in the water.

There are dangers, he added. Beautiful danger - L.A Weekly


?Among the sounds the musicians of the Canadian band Twin heard while canoeing the Los Angeles River were chirping birds, lapping waves, rustling trees and the screeching of a police department helicopter siren. Musically speaking, the LAPD's Loud Hailer airborne siren leaves something to be desired. As it was blaring, scaring the bejesus out of everyone in earshot, you had to wonder: What's a nice folk band like Twin doing on a river like this?

The band had what seemed like a good plan: Come to Los Angeles. Buy canoes. Use them as a tour van. Paddle from gig to gig with their instruments onboard.

It's not like these guys were river newbies. They had recently canoed 248 miles of Western Canada's Assiniboine over the course of 10 days. On that trip, fans joined them in other canoes, singing and fiddling and paddling along, forming a sort of musical armada. They slept at farms. They ate corn straight from the field. A golden experience.

The band assumed L.A. would be another great water trip. All 52 miles of the L.A. River had just last summer been declared navigable by the Environmental Protection Agency. In the spots where it narrows, the band members planned to hop into the water, pick up and carry -- or "portage" -- the canoes. They scouted the terrain for weeks beforehand.

At night they hid the canoes at a sweet launching-off spot in San Fernando Valley's Sepulveda Park. By dawn, they were in the water, six people in two canoes: lead singer David Fort, his girlfriend, violinist Lesley Brown, and videographer Danny Louangxay in one canoe. Vocalist Ally Leenhouts, keyboardist Eva Klasser and guitarist David Enns in the other.

The voyage did not go as they'd imagined. Probably because the L.A. River is not the river they had imagined. For one, it's not all concrete. It starts out that way, but there are green parts with fish flopping around. They are sturdy, ugly fish built for survival.

Nature and civilization are constantly at war with each other on the L.A. River. In Van Nuys, for instance, the musicians saw an entire tree sprouting through a crack in the concrete. They saw garbage -- used condoms, Styrofoam cups and plastic, plastic, plastic. But intermingling with the garbage were hummingbirds, ducks, owls, cranes, coyotes and "really intense spiders."

In some places, civilization had sprung up. The musicians floated by small tent cities of people who drink and bathe in and fish the waters.

They steered past old grates and shopping carts as if they were boulders, some rusting, some bright and gleaming, freshly shoved into the water. They passed a Dumpster sunk halfway in, still full with stuff. They passed computers people had tossed in. It was bizarre.

Fort and the band usually sing while in the canoe. But they were quiet this time, alternately taking in the surreal scenery and worrying about unexpected elevation drops. (In Long Beach, where the concrete gives way to a soft, mucky bottom, the river burbles along at 7 feet deep, with the potential to reach 16 feet, if you believe the number painted on the retaining walls. Over by the dam, it can get as high as 50.)

They paddled for six hours, letting the current take them. Then the brief but horrible antimusical interlude with the LAPD helicopter.

Fort was pensive the next day. "I feel its history. I feel its strength," he said of the river. Also, he felt ill. The previous day was worse. He felt headachy, nauseated and fluish. At times, they were chest-deep in the river. He might have swallowed some of it.

"There's funny stuff going into that water," he said, rubbing his stomach. Drainages pipe in from the city at various points. The concrete bed is designed to fast-track water out of the city into the ocean. A real, soft-bottom river would naturally filter the water slowly with vegetation and soil.

The L.A. River looked, tasted, sounded and even smelled funny. It smelled, improbably, like ... laundry detergent. "Like fake nature," Brown concluded.

It changes temperature, too. Sometimes, it's warm. "Why is it warm? We started early. The water should have been cold," she said."It's a strange river," said Enns.

Brown nodded. "We kept saying that yesterday. 'This is so weird.'"

"It's a really sick system," Fort said. "The mentality is, we'll fence it off and leave it alone. People say you can't tear the cement down. It would flood the city. True. But you can incrementally retract it. Good soil can hold back floodwater. You can do flood control cleanly."

He picked up his guitar and began to strum. "I don't want to paint this completely black, postapocalyptic picture. It's just polluted and weird right now."

He and the rest of the band were standing on a concrete embankment in Elysian Valley, where the river runs through the Glendale Narrows. The sky was fixing to rain, and the wind was picking up. Every now and then, bits of trash drifted by in the water.

There are dangers, he added. Beautiful danger - L.A Weekly


"I’d look at a river longingly whenever we drove over one," says Twin frontman David Fort. "It’s been an idea of mine to do a tour by canoe for years. "

And that’s one of the main reasons for celebration at Twin’s show on Jan. 22. The gig is the kickoff celebration for the band’s journey to the Los Angeles River Music Armada, as Fort and his bandmates are set to head south on Jan. 25 and will do three shows in five days — between Feb. 17 and 21 — using a canoe for transportation.

The Los Angeles River itself has been designated as navigable for the first time in 60 years and that’s part of the reason it was chosen.

Sure, Fort and bandmates Ley Brown (violin/saw), David Enns (guitar) and Ally Leenhouts (percussion) will have to worry about keeping their instruments dry, but this tour will be far more interesting than sitting in a white passenger van. It’s great exercise, lots of fun and way better for the environment. It’s also a chance for them to network at the river’s edge too, as the singer/guitarist and his cohorts want to bring some awareness to gardening and seed sharing while on their journey.

"Basically from watching industries take away our ability to produce food, we really want to inspire people that they can get food on our own," Fort says.

The L.A. trip marks the second time Twin has embarked on a journey such as this. Back in August, the band essentially created went on the Assiniboine River Music Armada, travelling from Brandon to Winnipeg and playing riverbank shows along the way.

"We were stranded for a few days and we found a kind of sanctuary on the river," says Fort, sharing his favourite memory of the trip.

"The Hutterites had a bit of a campsite there and they came down and fed us. In a way, we ended up putting on a show for them, too."

The Assiniboine armada crew took 10 days to reach Winnipeg and did indeed play its final show at The Forks.

"Dave is a hardcore man and he said we’re going to portage down Portage Avenue to the venue with all our stuff, so that’s what we did. It was fun," says Ingrid Gatin, who joined Twin for a portion of the tour and will be playing this tour kick-off show. Gatin won’t be joining the group this time but says she is about to make a new record that should be released in May.

Twin has more than just the next chapter of its canoe tour initiative to celebrate. The alt-country folk band recorded Sharing Secrets With Strangers here in Winnipeg at Home Street Recording Studios and and will be celebrating its release at the same time as it gets ready for its river tour.

"We’re really just getting the band started with this EP," says Fort.

In addition to sets by Gatin, Dust=Adam=Dust and Eva Klassen, three short films about the Los Angeles River by Thea Lucia Mercouffer will also be screened. Delf Gravert will be showing photos from the Assiniboine River tour as the bands take the stage.

"It’s going to be really cool," says Gatin. "Definitely a multi-arts show."


- Uptown Magazine


"I’d look at a river longingly whenever we drove over one," says Twin frontman David Fort. "It’s been an idea of mine to do a tour by canoe for years. "

And that’s one of the main reasons for celebration at Twin’s show on Jan. 22. The gig is the kickoff celebration for the band’s journey to the Los Angeles River Music Armada, as Fort and his bandmates are set to head south on Jan. 25 and will do three shows in five days — between Feb. 17 and 21 — using a canoe for transportation.

The Los Angeles River itself has been designated as navigable for the first time in 60 years and that’s part of the reason it was chosen.

Sure, Fort and bandmates Ley Brown (violin/saw), David Enns (guitar) and Ally Leenhouts (percussion) will have to worry about keeping their instruments dry, but this tour will be far more interesting than sitting in a white passenger van. It’s great exercise, lots of fun and way better for the environment. It’s also a chance for them to network at the river’s edge too, as the singer/guitarist and his cohorts want to bring some awareness to gardening and seed sharing while on their journey.

"Basically from watching industries take away our ability to produce food, we really want to inspire people that they can get food on our own," Fort says.

The L.A. trip marks the second time Twin has embarked on a journey such as this. Back in August, the band essentially created went on the Assiniboine River Music Armada, travelling from Brandon to Winnipeg and playing riverbank shows along the way.

"We were stranded for a few days and we found a kind of sanctuary on the river," says Fort, sharing his favourite memory of the trip.

"The Hutterites had a bit of a campsite there and they came down and fed us. In a way, we ended up putting on a show for them, too."

The Assiniboine armada crew took 10 days to reach Winnipeg and did indeed play its final show at The Forks.

"Dave is a hardcore man and he said we’re going to portage down Portage Avenue to the venue with all our stuff, so that’s what we did. It was fun," says Ingrid Gatin, who joined Twin for a portion of the tour and will be playing this tour kick-off show. Gatin won’t be joining the group this time but says she is about to make a new record that should be released in May.

Twin has more than just the next chapter of its canoe tour initiative to celebrate. The alt-country folk band recorded Sharing Secrets With Strangers here in Winnipeg at Home Street Recording Studios and and will be celebrating its release at the same time as it gets ready for its river tour.

"We’re really just getting the band started with this EP," says Fort.

In addition to sets by Gatin, Dust=Adam=Dust and Eva Klassen, three short films about the Los Angeles River by Thea Lucia Mercouffer will also be screened. Delf Gravert will be showing photos from the Assiniboine River tour as the bands take the stage.

"It’s going to be really cool," says Gatin. "Definitely a multi-arts show."


- Uptown Magazine


Readers will recall that, in the most recent issue of Geez, we ran a story in the Experiments section on Winnipeg band, Twin, who embarked on a music canoe tour down a well-known Canadian river this past summer. Now, they are taking on a bigger challenge: a canoe tour of the Los Angeles River. Experiments section editor Eva Klassen decided to tag along, acting as a Geez correspondent. This is her first dispatch. If you have a front-line experience that you’d like to share, send it to Experiment at experiments@geezmagazine.org .

Well, Twin is back. This time, they’re taking on the waters of the Los Angeles River. Not wanting to miss out on the action, I decided to join them. I’ll be documenting the journey as well as playing my own music for the opening act of their shows.

What makes this tour especially unique is that the Los Angeles River hasn’t always been acknowledged as such. When explaining the canoe tour, many people respond by asking, “What river? L.A. has a river?”

Most people recognize the waterway as a canal – an enclosed, cemented portion of the city that moves water quickly from a large watershed covering 843 square miles down into the Pacific Ocean.

In July of 2010 the federal designation of the river was changed to navigable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Even with this change of designation, the numerous municipal jurisdictions through which the river passes have not come to an agreement on how people are allowed to use the river.

If authorities see anyone in the river, they have strict orders from the Parks and Recreation leg of the municipal government to pull them out.

David Fort, front-man of Twin, and the rest of the band met with Los Angeles city councillor Ed P. Reyes, who is a strong supporter of cleaning up the L.A. river with long term goals of making it safe and accessible to residents. David hoped to gain political support in order to create an avenue to deal with police, if any problems occur.

The city of L.A. does allow people to be on the river if they have a film permit, allowing them access to the river while filming is taking place. Following this avenue may be the only way we can legally get on the river and complete the tour.

David Fort and band mate, Lesley Brown, have worked tirelessly for the past four months organizing the tour. They have planned exit and entry points, scouted the river and researched the history of the river and the regulations surrounding it. Their hope is that, in the future, the river will become accessible to everyone in the city. The Los Angeles River should be a clean, healthy gathering place for people to enjoy nature and get away from block after block of concrete and cars.

Stay tuned – the tour officially kicks off Friday, February 18th and I’ll fill you in on Twin’s Urban Seed Bank Initiative and the Elder’s Project.

Eva Klassen is the Experiments section editor for Geez. - Geez Magazine


Readers will recall that, in the most recent issue of Geez, we ran a story in the Experiments section on Winnipeg band, Twin, who embarked on a music canoe tour down a well-known Canadian river this past summer. Now, they are taking on a bigger challenge: a canoe tour of the Los Angeles River. Experiments section editor Eva Klassen decided to tag along, acting as a Geez correspondent. This is her first dispatch. If you have a front-line experience that you’d like to share, send it to Experiment at experiments@geezmagazine.org .

Well, Twin is back. This time, they’re taking on the waters of the Los Angeles River. Not wanting to miss out on the action, I decided to join them. I’ll be documenting the journey as well as playing my own music for the opening act of their shows.

What makes this tour especially unique is that the Los Angeles River hasn’t always been acknowledged as such. When explaining the canoe tour, many people respond by asking, “What river? L.A. has a river?”

Most people recognize the waterway as a canal – an enclosed, cemented portion of the city that moves water quickly from a large watershed covering 843 square miles down into the Pacific Ocean.

In July of 2010 the federal designation of the river was changed to navigable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Even with this change of designation, the numerous municipal jurisdictions through which the river passes have not come to an agreement on how people are allowed to use the river.

If authorities see anyone in the river, they have strict orders from the Parks and Recreation leg of the municipal government to pull them out.

David Fort, front-man of Twin, and the rest of the band met with Los Angeles city councillor Ed P. Reyes, who is a strong supporter of cleaning up the L.A. river with long term goals of making it safe and accessible to residents. David hoped to gain political support in order to create an avenue to deal with police, if any problems occur.

The city of L.A. does allow people to be on the river if they have a film permit, allowing them access to the river while filming is taking place. Following this avenue may be the only way we can legally get on the river and complete the tour.

David Fort and band mate, Lesley Brown, have worked tirelessly for the past four months organizing the tour. They have planned exit and entry points, scouted the river and researched the history of the river and the regulations surrounding it. Their hope is that, in the future, the river will become accessible to everyone in the city. The Los Angeles River should be a clean, healthy gathering place for people to enjoy nature and get away from block after block of concrete and cars.

Stay tuned – the tour officially kicks off Friday, February 18th and I’ll fill you in on Twin’s Urban Seed Bank Initiative and the Elder’s Project.

Eva Klassen is the Experiments section editor for Geez. - Geez Magazine


TWIN is focused around Dave Fort (Absent Sound) and he’s really prepared to give you the best and worst news as if you’ve never heard it before. He’s spouting off hard truths like on the back half of “Prairie Loon”—like, “Well some friends are gonna die / Some are gonna take their own life / There’ll be no reasons why / And, boy, you’re gonna cry.” The first two songs and the last song, strongly focused on death, are fleshed out with strings and back-up vocals and it makes for a pretty emotional listen—although they’re words of comfort rather than naysaying. Meanwhile, on the other end of the life spectrum, “Fine Clothing” is definitely the album’s cheeriest, urging you to “Sing all of those old songs / Those one your granddaddy used to love.” Given Fort’s electric background, these songs aren’t ripping off traditional folk ballads but instead are thoughtful, spacey progressions backed by all the usual folk instruments which are played by musicians from the community (David Dobbs of Vampires and Ingrid Gatin to name a couple) and other friends who have since become the rest of TWIN. For the moment, the five-song EP stands alone in Winnipeg—Sharing Secrets with Strangers is much more sinister than any other folk being made, and it’s much more heartfelt than any indie rock. (Independent, www.myspace.com/twintwa) Taylor Burgess - Stylus Magazine


TWIN is focused around Dave Fort (Absent Sound) and he’s really prepared to give you the best and worst news as if you’ve never heard it before. He’s spouting off hard truths like on the back half of “Prairie Loon”—like, “Well some friends are gonna die / Some are gonna take their own life / There’ll be no reasons why / And, boy, you’re gonna cry.” The first two songs and the last song, strongly focused on death, are fleshed out with strings and back-up vocals and it makes for a pretty emotional listen—although they’re words of comfort rather than naysaying. Meanwhile, on the other end of the life spectrum, “Fine Clothing” is definitely the album’s cheeriest, urging you to “Sing all of those old songs / Those one your granddaddy used to love.” Given Fort’s electric background, these songs aren’t ripping off traditional folk ballads but instead are thoughtful, spacey progressions backed by all the usual folk instruments which are played by musicians from the community (David Dobbs of Vampires and Ingrid Gatin to name a couple) and other friends who have since become the rest of TWIN. For the moment, the five-song EP stands alone in Winnipeg—Sharing Secrets with Strangers is much more sinister than any other folk being made, and it’s much more heartfelt than any indie rock. (Independent, www.myspace.com/twintwa) Taylor Burgess - Stylus Magazine


WINNIPEG - Once again, a group of Manitoba musicians find themselves up the creek — with a paddle, plus all their instruments and enough food and gear for a 14-day concert tour from Brandon to Winnipeg.

The second annual Assiniboine River Music Armada, featuring local hypno-alt-folk quartet TWIN, shoves off Sunday.

The paddle-powered tour will begin with a 6 p.m. launch concert at Trees Blood Farm in Brandon and end in Winnipeg at the River Barge Festival at The Forks at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Along the way, TWIN will give five free performances: Spruce Woods Provincial Park (Aug. 7); Fairholme Colony (Aug. 9); Long Plains Fire Hall (Aug. 10); Portage La Prairie Island Park bandstand (Aug. 11); and a wrap-up show at Winnipeg’s Graffiti Gallery at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14 ($8 cover charge).

TWIN (David Fort, David Enns, Lesley Brown and Ally Leenhouts) will be joined on stage during those musical pit stops by other Manitoban acts, including post-garage rock duo Vampires, singer-songwriter Logan McKillop, avant-garde experimentalists Philia, songstress Eva Klassen and Brandon folk act Sebastian Owl.

Anybody with a canoe — and enough experience to navigate Manitoba’s rivers — is welcome to join the armada at any point.

Canoe enthusiast and TWIN singer-songwriter David Fort called last year’s event a huge success, if not in the financial sense.

"Quite honestly, the tour didn’t bring in a lot of money," says the 33-year-old Winnipegger, "but it did bring in a lot of food and laughter and sharing. And bottom line, you’re getting a real canoe trip."

- Brandon Sun


WINNIPEG - Once again, a group of Manitoba musicians find themselves up the creek — with a paddle, plus all their instruments and enough food and gear for a 14-day concert tour from Brandon to Winnipeg.

The second annual Assiniboine River Music Armada, featuring local hypno-alt-folk quartet TWIN, shoves off Sunday.

The paddle-powered tour will begin with a 6 p.m. launch concert at Trees Blood Farm in Brandon and end in Winnipeg at the River Barge Festival at The Forks at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Along the way, TWIN will give five free performances: Spruce Woods Provincial Park (Aug. 7); Fairholme Colony (Aug. 9); Long Plains Fire Hall (Aug. 10); Portage La Prairie Island Park bandstand (Aug. 11); and a wrap-up show at Winnipeg’s Graffiti Gallery at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14 ($8 cover charge).

TWIN (David Fort, David Enns, Lesley Brown and Ally Leenhouts) will be joined on stage during those musical pit stops by other Manitoban acts, including post-garage rock duo Vampires, singer-songwriter Logan McKillop, avant-garde experimentalists Philia, songstress Eva Klassen and Brandon folk act Sebastian Owl.

Anybody with a canoe — and enough experience to navigate Manitoba’s rivers — is welcome to join the armada at any point.

Canoe enthusiast and TWIN singer-songwriter David Fort called last year’s event a huge success, if not in the financial sense.

"Quite honestly, the tour didn’t bring in a lot of money," says the 33-year-old Winnipegger, "but it did bring in a lot of food and laughter and sharing. And bottom line, you’re getting a real canoe trip."

- Brandon Sun


ONCE again, a group of Manitoba musicians find themselves up the creek -- with a paddle, plus all their instruments and enough food and gear for a 14-day concert tour from Brandon to Winnipeg.
The second annual Assiniboine River Music Armada, featuring local hypno-alt-folk quartet TWIN, shoves off Sunday.
The paddle-powered tour will begin with a 6 p.m. launch concert at Trees Blood Farm in Brandon and end in Winnipeg at the River Barge Festival at The Forks at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 19.
Along the way, TWIN will give five free performances: Spruce Woods Provincial Park (Aug. 7); Fairholme Colony (Aug. 9); Long Plains Fire Hall (Aug. 10); Portage La Prairie Island Park bandstand (Aug. 11); and a wrap-up show at Winnipeg's Graffiti Gallery at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14 ($8 cover charge).
TWIN (David Fort, David Enns, Lesley Brown and Ally Leenhouts) will be joined on stage during those musical pit stops by other Manitoban acts, including post-garage rock duo Vampires, singer-songwriter Logan McKillop, avant-garde experimentalists Philia, songstress Eva Klassen and Brandon folk act Sebastian Owl.
Canoe enthusiast and TWIN singer-songwriter David Fort called last year's event a huge success, if not in the financial sense.
"Quite honestly, the tour didn't bring in a lot of money," says the 33-year-old Winnipegger, "but it did bring in a lot of food and laughter and sharing. And bottom line, you're getting a real canoe trip."


- Winnipeg Free Press


ONCE again, a group of Manitoba musicians find themselves up the creek -- with a paddle, plus all their instruments and enough food and gear for a 14-day concert tour from Brandon to Winnipeg.
The second annual Assiniboine River Music Armada, featuring local hypno-alt-folk quartet TWIN, shoves off Sunday.
The paddle-powered tour will begin with a 6 p.m. launch concert at Trees Blood Farm in Brandon and end in Winnipeg at the River Barge Festival at The Forks at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 19.
Along the way, TWIN will give five free performances: Spruce Woods Provincial Park (Aug. 7); Fairholme Colony (Aug. 9); Long Plains Fire Hall (Aug. 10); Portage La Prairie Island Park bandstand (Aug. 11); and a wrap-up show at Winnipeg's Graffiti Gallery at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14 ($8 cover charge).
TWIN (David Fort, David Enns, Lesley Brown and Ally Leenhouts) will be joined on stage during those musical pit stops by other Manitoban acts, including post-garage rock duo Vampires, singer-songwriter Logan McKillop, avant-garde experimentalists Philia, songstress Eva Klassen and Brandon folk act Sebastian Owl.
Canoe enthusiast and TWIN singer-songwriter David Fort called last year's event a huge success, if not in the financial sense.
"Quite honestly, the tour didn't bring in a lot of money," says the 33-year-old Winnipegger, "but it did bring in a lot of food and laughter and sharing. And bottom line, you're getting a real canoe trip."


- Winnipeg Free Press


FREE CONCERT AT ISLAND PARK

A group of Manitoba musicians known as TWIN is performing at a free concert here in Portage la Prairie at the Old Band Shell on Island Park, next Thursday, August 11, starting at 7:00 pm. You are welcome to attend. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy their relaxing concert in the park.

David Fort, a 33 year old Winnipeger is the driving force behind this two week concert tour by TWIN that was first launched last year. David and a trio of other musicians make up the group. There may be other guest entertainers too.

Before TWIN arrives here, this adventuresome group known as Assiniboine River Music Armada is paddling down the Assiniboine river by canoe starting with a concert in Brandon August 5, arriving in Portage la Prairie August 11 and ending in Winnipeg August 19.

There will be five free concert stops as follows.

• Spruce Woods Provincial Park, August 7,

• Fairholme Colony, RM of Portage la Prairie, August 9,

• Long Plain Fire Hall, August 10,

• Island Park, at the Old Band Shell, Portage la Prairie, August 11,

• River Barge Festival, The Forks, Winnipeg, August 19.

On Sunday, August 14, Twin appears at Winnipeg's Graffiti Gallery at 8pm. A cover charge applies for this performance only.

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie. Did you know that a mosquito can detect a moving target at 20 feet (6 metres) away. Humans are more likely to be a target in the good old summertime after consuming bananas. Is that why bananas are such a good price this time of year? My e-mail address is singinggardener@mts.net - Portage Daily Graphic


FREE CONCERT AT ISLAND PARK

A group of Manitoba musicians known as TWIN is performing at a free concert here in Portage la Prairie at the Old Band Shell on Island Park, next Thursday, August 11, starting at 7:00 pm. You are welcome to attend. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy their relaxing concert in the park.

David Fort, a 33 year old Winnipeger is the driving force behind this two week concert tour by TWIN that was first launched last year. David and a trio of other musicians make up the group. There may be other guest entertainers too.

Before TWIN arrives here, this adventuresome group known as Assiniboine River Music Armada is paddling down the Assiniboine river by canoe starting with a concert in Brandon August 5, arriving in Portage la Prairie August 11 and ending in Winnipeg August 19.

There will be five free concert stops as follows.

• Spruce Woods Provincial Park, August 7,

• Fairholme Colony, RM of Portage la Prairie, August 9,

• Long Plain Fire Hall, August 10,

• Island Park, at the Old Band Shell, Portage la Prairie, August 11,

• River Barge Festival, The Forks, Winnipeg, August 19.

On Sunday, August 14, Twin appears at Winnipeg's Graffiti Gallery at 8pm. A cover charge applies for this performance only.

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie. Did you know that a mosquito can detect a moving target at 20 feet (6 metres) away. Humans are more likely to be a target in the good old summertime after consuming bananas. Is that why bananas are such a good price this time of year? My e-mail address is singinggardener@mts.net - Portage Daily Graphic


Have you ever wished to be serenaded along the banks of a river?

To get back to nature, talk about sustainable farming practices, exchange some heritage seeds and simply listen to some luxuriant folk music in a picturesque setting?

Well Manitoba, for the next two weeks you have the chance.

The 2nd Annual Assiniboine River Music Armada promises to be one of the most unique concert series you've ever seen and heard as a host of bands traverse the Assiniboine River from Minnedosa to Winnipeg bringing their eclectic sounds.

(And hey, if you have your own canoe, and are down for some adventure, you can actually paddle along with the bands at any time during the armada.)

SCENE went for a virtual paddle with organizer David Fort, the singer-songwriter of the "hypno-alt country folk" group TWIN (who actually just finished a paddling tour of Los Angeles this winter), to let us in on the logistics and message behind the tour.

How do you do this tour logistically speaking... transporting gear, setting up, staging? Basically you're doing two things, planning a canoe trip and your band's tour at the same time. Think of the canoe as the tour van.
Aside from the instruments and getting to the venues on time it is as simple as going for a paddle. Planning the tour, i.e dates, media, other bands is the harder part and has to start many months in advance.

What is the connection between folk music and farming that thematically plays into the tour?
Good question, still working on that. Essentially Folk music - all music for that matter - has the ability to absorb current emotions, politics, landscapes etc... and express them back to ourselves and in other places. We are trying to call on and celebrate a non G.M.O. seed share at our venues and beyond so that we may become independent of the current industrial food model. As well, just simply, we will be playing folk music throughout a vast farming area.

Tell us why you picked the canoe as your mode of transportation?
I've been canoeing all my life; it's a very safe vessel that can carry a lot of gear allowing you to be out in the woods for an extended period of time. Rivers really appreciate the Canoe as a mode of travel since it takes it easy on them, they get a better chance to know you and vice versa.

What's the one thing you learned on your recent musical canoe tour in Los Angeles that will make the second Manitoba version even better?
The natural world is bursting at the cement seams. Coming back home to share that with people in a place where the natural is still strong at the banks of the River is very exciting!

How did you decide what bands would join you on this trip? (Or did they ask you?)
A bit of both. We try to get local people in each place we play to take part. The musicians playing at the different shows on this tour are all friends we have made over the years.

- CBC Canada


Have you ever wished to be serenaded along the banks of a river?

To get back to nature, talk about sustainable farming practices, exchange some heritage seeds and simply listen to some luxuriant folk music in a picturesque setting?

Well Manitoba, for the next two weeks you have the chance.

The 2nd Annual Assiniboine River Music Armada promises to be one of the most unique concert series you've ever seen and heard as a host of bands traverse the Assiniboine River from Minnedosa to Winnipeg bringing their eclectic sounds.

(And hey, if you have your own canoe, and are down for some adventure, you can actually paddle along with the bands at any time during the armada.)

SCENE went for a virtual paddle with organizer David Fort, the singer-songwriter of the "hypno-alt country folk" group TWIN (who actually just finished a paddling tour of Los Angeles this winter), to let us in on the logistics and message behind the tour.

How do you do this tour logistically speaking... transporting gear, setting up, staging? Basically you're doing two things, planning a canoe trip and your band's tour at the same time. Think of the canoe as the tour van.
Aside from the instruments and getting to the venues on time it is as simple as going for a paddle. Planning the tour, i.e dates, media, other bands is the harder part and has to start many months in advance.

What is the connection between folk music and farming that thematically plays into the tour?
Good question, still working on that. Essentially Folk music - all music for that matter - has the ability to absorb current emotions, politics, landscapes etc... and express them back to ourselves and in other places. We are trying to call on and celebrate a non G.M.O. seed share at our venues and beyond so that we may become independent of the current industrial food model. As well, just simply, we will be playing folk music throughout a vast farming area.

Tell us why you picked the canoe as your mode of transportation?
I've been canoeing all my life; it's a very safe vessel that can carry a lot of gear allowing you to be out in the woods for an extended period of time. Rivers really appreciate the Canoe as a mode of travel since it takes it easy on them, they get a better chance to know you and vice versa.

What's the one thing you learned on your recent musical canoe tour in Los Angeles that will make the second Manitoba version even better?
The natural world is bursting at the cement seams. Coming back home to share that with people in a place where the natural is still strong at the banks of the River is very exciting!

How did you decide what bands would join you on this trip? (Or did they ask you?)
A bit of both. We try to get local people in each place we play to take part. The musicians playing at the different shows on this tour are all friends we have made over the years.

- CBC Canada


????
TWIN
Sharing Secrets With Strangers EP
(2-ply collective)

This five-song EP from TWIN — the river-rambling alt-folk project of Dave Fort (Absent Sound) — is stripped-down but it’s anything but slight. The first two tracks — The Inevitable and Prairie Loon — are folk-noir tunes with a preoccupation with death (sample lyric: "Well, we’re all gonna die/I’m gonna die/your gonna die"), but TWIN delivers this heavy material with incredible buoyancy; Fort’s spirited refrain "I’m gonna live till I die" is nothing short of anthemic. This is one of those uncluttered, quietly affecting albums that delivers a serious emotional wallop — the haunting Unspoken with its propulsive build is a definite highlight — and deserves your undivided attention.
— Jen Zoratti

- Uptown Magazine


????
TWIN
Sharing Secrets With Strangers EP
(2-ply collective)

This five-song EP from TWIN — the river-rambling alt-folk project of Dave Fort (Absent Sound) — is stripped-down but it’s anything but slight. The first two tracks — The Inevitable and Prairie Loon — are folk-noir tunes with a preoccupation with death (sample lyric: "Well, we’re all gonna die/I’m gonna die/your gonna die"), but TWIN delivers this heavy material with incredible buoyancy; Fort’s spirited refrain "I’m gonna live till I die" is nothing short of anthemic. This is one of those uncluttered, quietly affecting albums that delivers a serious emotional wallop — the haunting Unspoken with its propulsive build is a definite highlight — and deserves your undivided attention.
— Jen Zoratti

- Uptown Magazine


Dave Fort’s a musician and an avid canoeist.

Last summer he decided to combine his two passions and launched the inaugural Assiniboine River Music Armada (ARMA), which featured his hypnotic acoustic/psychedelic folk act, Twin, traversing the Assiniboine River by canoe, making musical stops along the way.

"It’s basically like taking your band on tour on the river — the canoe is the tour van," he says.

The first ARMA began in Brandon and featured gigs at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Long Plains First Nation reserve and Portage la Prairie before wrapping up in Winnipeg. It proved such an enjoyable, grassroots musical experience that Fort and his cohorts in Twin (Lesley Brown, David Enns and Ally Leenhouts) tried a winter version of the journey in the Los Angeles River, a cement-lined waterway that has been completely overlooked and nearly forgotten by most people living in L.A.’s Southern California sprawl.

That trip ended with Fort and others being charged with illegally accessing the water (which they’re now fighting) but it also spurred them — and especially him — to continue arranging musical river tours.

Which is how the second annual ARMA has come to be. Fort says the tour — which began in Brandon on Aug. 5 and wraps in Winnipeg on Aug. 18th at Barge Fest — has become much more than simply a cool thing to do.

"Once you hit the water, everything seems to make sense again," he says. "We’re still learning as we go what it is that we’re actually doing with this, but at the very least, we’re travelling the waterways and celebrating a simpler way of living."

There have been four gigs on this year’s journey so far — in Brandon on Aug. 5, Spruce Woods Aug. 7, Fairholme Farms Aug. 9 and Long Plains Aug. 10. Twin members Enns, Fort and Brown have been travelling the whole way by canoe, camping along the way, and several fans, friends and supporters have joined them. (Leenhouts injured herself prior to the journey’s beginning, so she’s been travelling by car to the shows.)

Other touches include seed swaps at each tour stop, and a group called Tipis Without Borders has been setting up ‘rawhide-and-pole protection’ (to quote the press release) along the way.

Twin is an acoustic act, so the band’s guitars and violins have also been travelling by canoe — no heavy amplifiers or electronic circuitry needs to be protected.

"We just make sure they’re well wrapped," Fort says.

"And then we hit the river."

Twin wraps up this year’s ARMA with two shows in Winnipeg, at Graffiti Gallery on Sunday, Aug. 14, and at Barge Fest — a little taste of the Red River — on Aug. 18.


Assiniboine River Music Armada
Aug 14, 8 p.m.
Graffiti Gallery
Feat. Twin, Vampires, Philia, Eva Klassen;
Aug. 18, 4:30 p.m.
Barge Fest @ The Forks,
Feat. Twin - Uptown Magazine


Dave Fort’s a musician and an avid canoeist.

Last summer he decided to combine his two passions and launched the inaugural Assiniboine River Music Armada (ARMA), which featured his hypnotic acoustic/psychedelic folk act, Twin, traversing the Assiniboine River by canoe, making musical stops along the way.

"It’s basically like taking your band on tour on the river — the canoe is the tour van," he says.

The first ARMA began in Brandon and featured gigs at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Long Plains First Nation reserve and Portage la Prairie before wrapping up in Winnipeg. It proved such an enjoyable, grassroots musical experience that Fort and his cohorts in Twin (Lesley Brown, David Enns and Ally Leenhouts) tried a winter version of the journey in the Los Angeles River, a cement-lined waterway that has been completely overlooked and nearly forgotten by most people living in L.A.’s Southern California sprawl.

That trip ended with Fort and others being charged with illegally accessing the water (which they’re now fighting) but it also spurred them — and especially him — to continue arranging musical river tours.

Which is how the second annual ARMA has come to be. Fort says the tour — which began in Brandon on Aug. 5 and wraps in Winnipeg on Aug. 18th at Barge Fest — has become much more than simply a cool thing to do.

"Once you hit the water, everything seems to make sense again," he says. "We’re still learning as we go what it is that we’re actually doing with this, but at the very least, we’re travelling the waterways and celebrating a simpler way of living."

There have been four gigs on this year’s journey so far — in Brandon on Aug. 5, Spruce Woods Aug. 7, Fairholme Farms Aug. 9 and Long Plains Aug. 10. Twin members Enns, Fort and Brown have been travelling the whole way by canoe, camping along the way, and several fans, friends and supporters have joined them. (Leenhouts injured herself prior to the journey’s beginning, so she’s been travelling by car to the shows.)

Other touches include seed swaps at each tour stop, and a group called Tipis Without Borders has been setting up ‘rawhide-and-pole protection’ (to quote the press release) along the way.

Twin is an acoustic act, so the band’s guitars and violins have also been travelling by canoe — no heavy amplifiers or electronic circuitry needs to be protected.

"We just make sure they’re well wrapped," Fort says.

"And then we hit the river."

Twin wraps up this year’s ARMA with two shows in Winnipeg, at Graffiti Gallery on Sunday, Aug. 14, and at Barge Fest — a little taste of the Red River — on Aug. 18.


Assiniboine River Music Armada
Aug 14, 8 p.m.
Graffiti Gallery
Feat. Twin, Vampires, Philia, Eva Klassen;
Aug. 18, 4:30 p.m.
Barge Fest @ The Forks,
Feat. Twin - Uptown Magazine


By Taylor Burgess
“Their life was so rooted and so land-based,” said David Fort about some Hutterite farmers who they had come across during last year’s Assiniboine River Music Armada. This is the second year that Twin will be embarking on the tour, departing down the Assiniboine from Brandon, canoeing with their instruments and playing everyone along the river, regardless of who’s living or staying there.
“Remember that one gal,” Fort said. “After we asked they had said, ‘Oh, we have so much food.’”
Leslie Brown, Fort’s partner and fiddle player, chimed in, “We were talking about how we had taken some corn from the field, and she said, ‘Oh, did you see our garden? We wouldn’t have even noticed if you took it.’”
David Enns, who also plays guitar in Twin, said, “She just started listing all the things that were in season that would have been good to take.”
And on cue, singer and percussionist Ally Leenhouts erupted into her jubilant laugh which regularly echoed in the plant room of the Oikos Co-Op while I spent time with the full band and, from the sounds of it, is a regular occurrence with her roommates and bandmates, members of the latest band to uphold the lineage of reputable bands that have come from the so-called “Mansion.”
These four individuals make up the newest and most solidified line-up of Twin, which began as the solo acoustic project for David Fort, who’s better known as a writing force behind Absent Sound. He has played under his acoustic pseudonym for five years, but the line-up only solidified last year. “Really, I had an acoustic guitar long before an electric one. You could say it’s about time.”
Together they recorded a number of tracks of Sharing Secrets with Strangers, an EP which strikes at the core of human experiences and eschews timely references to string together proverbial tunes about life, death and love. Outwardly, the EP is a departure from Absent Sound’s recordings with its traditional folk instrumentations, yet it’s still totally enlightened by untraditional chord voicings and progressions. “In terms of the guitar-work goes, I’ll spend a lot of time on the mood,” says Fort. “I like to create a visual landscape— I’m getting pretty obsessed with things that don’t need to be there.” Lyrically, he says that his inspiration comes from internalizing characters, and take bits and pieces from his life and rearrange them. “To create a dreamscape that is a lot closer to reality than the dream realm, if that makes any sense.”
Before Dave Fort and Rob Menard played together in the Absent Sound, they kept crossing paths in Flin Flon and Saskatchewan. In Flin Flon, Fort says that he grabbed inspiration from whatever music was around, like music videos and TV documentaries about musicians, as well as taking trips to Winnipeg and Saskatchewan and blowing 200 bucks at record stores.
“Flin Flon was interesting enough that we would all appear at shows in community centres, little outdoor festivals, you know, shows at your high school. Flin Flon is a funny town. It wasn’t overly restrictive, not like when I hear about other some other small towns.”
Dave Fort had been canoeing since he was a kid, “fortunate to go to a camp with canoe trips.” But Fort probably wouldn’t have guessed that canoeing (alongside his music) would lead him to the L.A. River, and land him in a heap of trouble. But despite giving me the basic details of what happened to Twin on the L.A. River, Fort wanted to steer away from that in our interviews—there was much written about the event in California already and, as he pointed out, some reports had reduced the event so much that Twin wasn’t mentioned as a musical group so much as they were bulleted as a group of Canadian rabble-rousers.
What did happen was that Twin, with an L.A. filmmaker and his band, embarked on the recently declared “navigable” L.A. River, much in the same fashion as the Assiniboine River Music Armada, playing shows as they canoed down the river. “I was overwhelmed how beautiful the
river was,” says Fort. “You would see these high cliffs that are falling into the river, or a tree growing with its roots sticking out. Then you’d turn a corner and run into 50 cows in the water. It was a really lazy river.”
The filmmaker, Danny Louangxay, had creative control to capture the trip as he saw fit, and Fort plans to soon screen the documentary here in Winnipeg. “He got great super 8 of the L.A. River, I’d say of about eight different micro-climates.” Without hesitation, Fort invited Louangxay to bring his band, Tiny Little, and they too joined Twin on the Armada. However, the documentary isn’t all nature-and-harmony, as their trip was stopped short by officials.
The group had canoed 15 of the river’s 51 miles and then were singled out by a police helicopter, which told the bands to get out of the river. They were given citations for loitering on the riverbed, which were written by two seemingly reluctant police officers, according to the band. All - Stylus Magazine


Among the sounds the musicians of the Canadian band Twin heard while canoeing the Los Angeles River were chirping birds, lapping waves, rustling trees and the screeching of a police department helicopter siren. Musically speaking, the LAPD's Loud Hailer airborne siren leaves something to be desired. As it was blaring, scaring the bejesus out of everyone in earshot, you had to wonder: What's a nice folk band like Twin doing on a river like this?
The band had what seemed like a good plan: Come to Los Angeles. Buy canoes. Use them as a tour van. Paddle from gig to gig with their instruments onboard.

It's not like these guys were river newbies. They had recently canoed 248 miles of Western Canada's Assiniboine over the course of 10 days. On that trip, fans joined them in other canoes, singing and fiddling and paddling along, forming a sort of musical armada. They slept at farms. They ate corn straight from the field. A golden experience.

The band assumed L.A. would be another great water trip. All 52 miles of the L.A. River had just last summer been declared navigable by the Environmental Protection Agency. In the spots where it narrows, the band members planned to hop into the water, pick up and carry -- or "portage" -- the canoes. They scouted the terrain for weeks beforehand.

At night they hid the canoes at a sweet launching-off spot in San Fernando Valley's Sepulveda Park. By dawn, they were in the water, six people in two canoes: lead singer David Fort, his girlfriend, violinist Lesley Brown, and videographer Danny Louangxay in one canoe. Vocalist Ally Leenhouts, keyboardist Eva Klasser and guitarist David Enns in the other.

The voyage did not go as they'd imagined.
Probably because the L.A. River is not the river they had imagined. For one, it's not all concrete. It starts out that way, but there are green parts with fish flopping around. They are sturdy, ugly fish built for survival.
Nature and civilization are constantly at war with each other on the L.A. River. In Van Nuys, for instance, the musicians saw an entire tree sprouting through a crack in the concrete. They saw garbage -- used condoms, Styrofoam cups and plastic, plastic, plastic. But intermingling with the garbage were hummingbirds, ducks, owls, cranes, coyotes and "really intense spiders."

In some places, civilization had sprung up. The musicians floated by small tent cities of people who drink and bathe in and fish the waters.

They steered past old grates and shopping carts as if they were boulders, some rusting, some bright and gleaming, freshly shoved into the water. They passed a Dumpster sunk halfway in, still full with stuff. They passed computers people had tossed in. It was bizarre.

Fort and the band usually sing while in the canoe. But they were quiet this time, alternately taking in the surreal scenery and worrying about unexpected elevation drops. (In Long Beach, where the concrete gives way to a soft, mucky bottom, the river burbles along at 7 feet deep, with the potential to reach 16 feet, if you believe the number painted on the retaining walls. Over by the dam, it can get as high as 50.)

They paddled for six hours, letting the current take them. Then the brief but horrible antimusical interlude with the LAPD helicopter.

Fort was pensive the next day. "I feel its history. I feel its strength," he said of the river. Also, he felt ill. The previous day was worse. He felt headachy, nauseated and fluish. At times, they were chest-deep in the river. He might have swallowed some of it.

"There's funny stuff going into that water," he said, rubbing his stomach. Drainages pipe in from the city at various points. The concrete bed is designed to fast-track water out of the city into the ocean. A real, soft-bottom river would naturally filter the water slowly with vegetation and soil.

The L.A. River looked, tasted, sounded and even smelled funny. It smelled, improbably, like ... laundry detergent. "Like fake nature," Brown concluded.

It changes temperature, too. Sometimes, it's warm. "Why is it warm? We started early. The water should have been cold," she said. "It's a strange river," said Enns.
Brown nodded. "We kept saying that yesterday. 'This is so weird.'"

"It's a really sick system," Fort said. "The mentality is, we'll fence it off and leave it alone. People say you can't tear the cement down. It would flood the city. True. But you can incrementally retract it. Good soil can hold back floodwater. You can do flood control cleanly."

He picked up his guitar and began to strum. "I don't want to paint this completely black, postapocalyptic picture. It's just polluted and weird right now."

He and the rest of the band were standing on a concrete embankment in Elysian Valley, where the river runs through the Glendale Narrows. The sky was fixing to rain, and the wind was picking up. Every now and then, bits of trash drifted by in the water.

There are dangers, he added. Beautiful dangers.
- LA Weekly


Among the sounds the musicians of the Canadian band Twin heard while canoeing the Los Angeles River were chirping birds, lapping waves, rustling trees and the screeching of a police department helicopter siren. Musically speaking, the LAPD's Loud Hailer airborne siren leaves something to be desired. As it was blaring, scaring the bejesus out of everyone in earshot, you had to wonder: What's a nice folk band like Twin doing on a river like this?
The band had what seemed like a good plan: Come to Los Angeles. Buy canoes. Use them as a tour van. Paddle from gig to gig with their instruments onboard.

It's not like these guys were river newbies. They had recently canoed 248 miles of Western Canada's Assiniboine over the course of 10 days. On that trip, fans joined them in other canoes, singing and fiddling and paddling along, forming a sort of musical armada. They slept at farms. They ate corn straight from the field. A golden experience.

The band assumed L.A. would be another great water trip. All 52 miles of the L.A. River had just last summer been declared navigable by the Environmental Protection Agency. In the spots where it narrows, the band members planned to hop into the water, pick up and carry -- or "portage" -- the canoes. They scouted the terrain for weeks beforehand.

At night they hid the canoes at a sweet launching-off spot in San Fernando Valley's Sepulveda Park. By dawn, they were in the water, six people in two canoes: lead singer David Fort, his girlfriend, violinist Lesley Brown, and videographer Danny Louangxay in one canoe. Vocalist Ally Leenhouts, keyboardist Eva Klasser and guitarist David Enns in the other.

The voyage did not go as they'd imagined.
Probably because the L.A. River is not the river they had imagined. For one, it's not all concrete. It starts out that way, but there are green parts with fish flopping around. They are sturdy, ugly fish built for survival.
Nature and civilization are constantly at war with each other on the L.A. River. In Van Nuys, for instance, the musicians saw an entire tree sprouting through a crack in the concrete. They saw garbage -- used condoms, Styrofoam cups and plastic, plastic, plastic. But intermingling with the garbage were hummingbirds, ducks, owls, cranes, coyotes and "really intense spiders."

In some places, civilization had sprung up. The musicians floated by small tent cities of people who drink and bathe in and fish the waters.

They steered past old grates and shopping carts as if they were boulders, some rusting, some bright and gleaming, freshly shoved into the water. They passed a Dumpster sunk halfway in, still full with stuff. They passed computers people had tossed in. It was bizarre.

Fort and the band usually sing while in the canoe. But they were quiet this time, alternately taking in the surreal scenery and worrying about unexpected elevation drops. (In Long Beach, where the concrete gives way to a soft, mucky bottom, the river burbles along at 7 feet deep, with the potential to reach 16 feet, if you believe the number painted on the retaining walls. Over by the dam, it can get as high as 50.)

They paddled for six hours, letting the current take them. Then the brief but horrible antimusical interlude with the LAPD helicopter.

Fort was pensive the next day. "I feel its history. I feel its strength," he said of the river. Also, he felt ill. The previous day was worse. He felt headachy, nauseated and fluish. At times, they were chest-deep in the river. He might have swallowed some of it.

"There's funny stuff going into that water," he said, rubbing his stomach. Drainages pipe in from the city at various points. The concrete bed is designed to fast-track water out of the city into the ocean. A real, soft-bottom river would naturally filter the water slowly with vegetation and soil.

The L.A. River looked, tasted, sounded and even smelled funny. It smelled, improbably, like ... laundry detergent. "Like fake nature," Brown concluded.

It changes temperature, too. Sometimes, it's warm. "Why is it warm? We started early. The water should have been cold," she said. "It's a strange river," said Enns.
Brown nodded. "We kept saying that yesterday. 'This is so weird.'"

"It's a really sick system," Fort said. "The mentality is, we'll fence it off and leave it alone. People say you can't tear the cement down. It would flood the city. True. But you can incrementally retract it. Good soil can hold back floodwater. You can do flood control cleanly."

He picked up his guitar and began to strum. "I don't want to paint this completely black, postapocalyptic picture. It's just polluted and weird right now."

He and the rest of the band were standing on a concrete embankment in Elysian Valley, where the river runs through the Glendale Narrows. The sky was fixing to rain, and the wind was picking up. Every now and then, bits of trash drifted by in the water.

There are dangers, he added. Beautiful dangers.
- LA Weekly


Discography

sharing secrets with strangers - 5 song EP released January 2011
”This is one of those uncluttered, quietly affecting albums that deliver a serious emotional wallop." Jen Zoratti, Uptown Magazine, 4 star review

TWIN Live at the Graffiti Gallery 2010-Live DVD in reel film

Photos

Bio

For the Past 5 years TWIN has been revealing their Hypno-Folk across North America all the while land-marking an international canoe tour concert series. David Fort(Guitar, Vocals) Brooklyn Mooneyesun(Violin, Vocals) are the foundations of TWIN. Together they create deeply integrated harmonies, melodies and song-craft, performing everywhere from riverside docks and basements to festival stages and large venues.  With two full length albums (Mooneyesun, North Americana), a strong back catalog of river docs, ep's, live videos TWIN is always growing, sharing the songs and stories of the places they've been to the places they go.   
"The traditional band tour will undergo a transformation" Joanne Villeneuve, Brandon Sun

"Twin perfectly showcases guitars, mandolins, violin, saw and haunting down home four part vocal harmonies that make up their hypnotic-folk sound." Greggory Moore, Long Beach Post

TWIN has played with high level acts such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Timber Timbre, Keri Latimer, Bob Wiseman, Big Black Delta, Rae Spoon, Charlie Parr, Days N Dayz.