Category Archives: Sober City

Joe MacLeod’s SOBER CITY 2011

Dear Friends, Family and Followers (The Twitter kind not the Manson kind),

I’m sending out this message to the entirety of my social circle (both inner and outer) as a declaration, affirmation, and proclamation. Sometimes in life we naturally encounter forks in the road that can change our path and sometimes I believe we must make our own “forks” and decide to change our own paths for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes our health is at risk so we take a hard look at our eating habits. Sometimes our jobs are not what they need to be so we think about looking for new employment. Sometimes our happiness is being compromised so we distance ourself from someone or something that’s bringing us down. Other times we just seek change for the sake of change.

I am very fortunate to be living a life I thoroughly enjoy and I have a plethora of invaluable friends and deeply important and loving family members who all mean the world to me. I love acting for a living even though I don’t always get to do it, and I love playing music as much as I can even if I don’t make a living at it. Losing Dad has made the past three years the toughest and most life changing times I have ever experienced, but it has also made me a much stronger and more fully defined person. I’ve had many lows but many highs as well and I’m thankful for both because of the lessons they’ve taught me and the places they’ve brought me.

Like many people at this time I was beginning to think about New Years resolutions and what I would decide to “give up” or “do more of” and I decided to go one step further. I decided to conduct an experiment of sorts. Do something that would seem almost completely impossible for me but would most definitely change me in some profound way if only for a short time. I’m going to the trouble of posting this ridiculously long and self indulgent statement only to bind myself to a public declaration and add a sense of exposed urgency in not wanting to fail everyone that knows me by going back on my word. For the record, the build up sounds way more impressive then the actual idea, but never-the-less if I have any chance of succeeding I need to go all the way and risk everyone holding my feet to the fire on a regular basis. I’m hoping “saving face” turns out to be my saving grace. Oh man that was pretty terrible. I’m “Oprah-ing” this thing way too much. Without further ado (to those still reading and mildly interested) Here is my pledge:

As of January 1st, 2011 for exactly one year,


Oh, yes. I can hear the laughs and “Bullshit!”s and “Nobody likes a quitter” already and I don’t blame you. There’s a part of me that’s saying the same thing. But the bigger part of me is asking, “But what if I did?”. Now I’m in no way an alcoholic and talking rehab here by any means, but being a Cape Bretoner and musician and very much my father’s son, I absolutely love to drink and we all know I do it quite frequently and in abundance. I’ve taken “breaks” for weeks even months at a time but never an entire year. While that may not seem like that a big deal to some, I know A LOT of you can agree that it is a very difficult and even down right crazy thing to try to attempt. I honestly just need to see if I can actually do it. Health plays a small role in this decision but really only for the weight loss benefits. The biggest reason I feel I need to do this now is to jump start a positive change in my life and challenge myself to be a better version of me. I’m not giving up drinking forever, I like beer too much and I love my red wine and Lemon Hart. I’m just conducting an experiment to test the limits of what I’m capable of and force that fork into the road that is my journey to see where else I can go.

To my close inner circle of friends, don’t stop asking me out to the pub for a pint. I’ll make an effort to go out more than ever and drink all night with you (only with something different in my glass). To my friends I don’t see all the time, we’ll damn well still catch up over drinks and party like we do (I’ll just be using caffeine only this time). To my family, keep that wine flowing at dinners this year, just don’t worry if I cheers you with a different beverage. I do this asking everyone for support and understanding in this endeavor because as head strong as I can be at times, I know I’ll have a lot of tough moments. I’ll never once treat you any different or preach sobriety to you because that’s not why I’m doing this. I STILL LOVE BOOZE and I love people who drink it. I just wanna see how the other side lives for a bit and find out what good can come from it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to hear me out and I apologize if any of this comes off as pretentious or self centered or any other negative adjective that may apply. I’m on a mission to do the impossible and I’m determined to make 2011 the year I reintroduce Joe MacLeod to the world as the person that I truly want to be. Happy New Year and cheers everybody! Here’s to good times and better things!




New Years always leaves me with the same profound life question year after year without fail that I’m sure we all can relate to…Is it spelled New “Years” or New “Year’s”? I never know. Year’s looks a little better. Damn you proper grammar! I’m sure that’ll be the first of many such grammatical and spelling situations I’ll find myself in over the course of this year as I try my best to document this crazy experiment of sobriety I’m conducting. I can’t guarantee I’ll post everyday (or even every week for that matter) but I do think a little blog of progress would be a beneficial thing, if not for the reader for the writer at least. I’ll even try to video blog along the way just so everyone can actually see me locking myself into a padded cell on St Patrick’s Day or opening fire from a bell tower during Oktoberfest. You know the little things. So Happy New Year’s everyone! Only 363 days left in 2011. Make em count!


SOBER CITY – Day 6/Top 10 Albums Of 2010

Day 6? Really? I could’ve sworn it was more like 42. Anyway, I’ve been sick for all of 2011 so far so an update on how I’m doing with the no booze thing is pretty pointlesss given the steady flow of antibiotics and cough syrup in my system. So instead, here’s my picks for the top ten albums of 2010. I someday might regret some of the album placements but I stand by all albums included in this list for the impact they had on me personally and the greatness I believe they convey each in their own way. Also it’s just a list of albums I thought kicked ass last year. Enjoy!


1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
2. Mumford And Sons – Sigh No More
3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4. Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards
5. The Black Keys – Brothers
6. Delta Spirit – History From Below
7. Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
8. Ray LaMontagne – God Willing And The Creek Don’t Rise
9. Florence + The Machine – Lungs
10. Sweet Thing – Sweet Thing


Eminem – Recovery
Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
Broken Bells – Broken Bells
Afraid Of Humans – Forward, the Light Brigade!


Yeah that last one’s mine, but it IS awesome! I kept it out of the top ten for obvious reasons but I couldn’t ignore it completely! $9.99 on iTunes! Buy one for everyone you know! Happy 2011 y’all!



Here we go with another update on my year long sober experiment. So far so good. I’ve been sick for most of 2011 so not drinking has been a piece of cake. I’ve also realized that it’s not necessarily always going to be that hard and it may be too soon to keep a regular blog about my experience. That being said, I’m sure there will be interesting moments and good stuff to talk about soon enough. Until then, here’s another list! I’ve been making a lot of lists. Might be a side effect of sobriety. I’ll do some research. Anyway, I posted my top ten albums of 2010 and realized there was a shit ton of awesome music in 2009 that I felt the need to share with someone. I couldn’t bring myself to put them all in order or limit them to 10 albums so I settled on 15 randomly ordered amazing releases that still frequent my iPhone on a pretty regular basis. Enjoy!

JOE’S 15 MUST-HAVE ALBUMS OF 2009 (In random order)

1. Tegan & Sara – Sainthood
2. Mute Math – Armistice
3. Pearl Jam – Backspacer
4. Hey Rosetta – Into Your Lungs
5. Metric – Fantasies
6. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
7. John Mayer – Battle Studies
8. Band Of Skulls – Baby Darling Dollface Honey
9. Dead Weather – Horehound
10. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
11. The Temper Trap – Conditions
12. Nico Vega – Nico Vega
13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
14. Paramour – Brand New Eyes
15. Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg