From the WTF files, I.S. allegedly sits down with STW

Ben Worcester of Said the Whale
talks with Island SoapBox
Well due to some circumstances that we really don't need to get into, I was a little slow on setting up the details of an interview with Said the Whale, while they were in town this past week touring with Dinosaur Bones and Tokyo Police Club.  Now just because I didn't get this thing set up in time doesn't mean that you, the reader, should suffer.  So I've decided to do the next best thing, and that is just make shit up for them! So here it is folks, the interview with Said the Whale's Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft, that never happened, but might as well have ;) (Please note NONE of this is real)

It's great to finally meet you guys! When I started setting this thing up (the interview), you guys were Juno nominees, and now a few months later, Juno Champs!  Has there been enough time for that to really sink in?  You guys have had some major accomplishments over the past 6 months.

Worcester and Bancroft sit in ridiculous lazy boy recliners (they added 5 Burgundy suede recliners to their Rider after notching the Juno), Worcester plays with his phone through my questions, cheering and cursing the Canucks every move (when women come near, he mumbles non-sense about overseas stock markets), he's not heard one word of mine.  Bancroft, unbelievably, is eating grapes from the vine as his new assistant feeds him.  Through Gold plated aviators, and after staring at me just long enough to make me think he wasn't going to answer, Tyler offers up his thoughts.

"Let's face it, waiting for the weekend of the Juno's was just a formality.  Who the hell else would have won that Juno?  Hollerado?  What, cause they made a music video in 5 and a half minutes?  No it was gonna be Tyler Bancroft and Said the Whale the whole time, we knew this."

Not even Bancroft's complete exclusion of Worcester from the Juno talk can get Ben's attention.  At this point he's busy working the venue manager, apparently the wrong sparkling water has been supplied for his tooth brush.

A little taken back from their demeanour, I decide to ask them about the upcoming election. How they feel about the whole process, and this election in particular.  I look over at Ben, hoping this will get him going.

He whispers something into Tyler's assistant ear.  The assistant hurriedly runs off to get his own personal assistant.  This assistant quickly informs me that Ben wants Tyler to answer this question.  Tyler spits grape seeds into his assistants open hand, and begins to answer.

"We think the election is garbage.  There is no doubt this country needs a new leader, and there is no doubt Ben Worcester is that leader.  When the election was announced, Ben was ready to take the "Independent Music Party of Canada" straight to the top.  He had people ready to run in 400 ridings.  That's more than even exist.  But then the big Media Consortium decided that Ben could only be involved in the CBC Radio 3 debate, mediated by Grant Lawrence.  When it was found that only Elizabeth May would meet at the R3 event, we said screw it.  We're god damned Juno winners, and they want Ben to play second fiddle to the Green Party and Elizabeth May?  Forget it.  So now we're more interested in the American Story, and possibly helping Donald Trump with his campaign down there."

With one more answer looming before I can get to my seat to enjoy the show, I decide to take the easy way out, serve them up a real beach ball that they can knock out of the park.  I ask them, "What's next for Said the Whale?"

Worcester has the correct water for his toothpaste now, and is brushing his teeth, complete with spitting onto the Sugar Nightclub floor.  His assistant wipes his chin.  Tyler thinks about his response as his assistant tries to shine his sneakers.  Finally he starts.

"This is probably it for Said the Whale.  I mean you can only be on top, and stay on top for so long.  So this is as good as time as any to shut it down.  I don't think there's any question now about who the greatest independent band with the word "whale" in their name is, or ever was.  So what's left?  No one can afford us, the stuff we write now is so astoundingly good, that no one can even "get" it.  It's a shame to let someone listen to the best music they've ever heard, and have them not have a clue.  The ignorance is mind numbing.  It's time to get out before we just go mad."

Worcester has bailed on the interview long before this point.  He's actually stopped Dinosaur Bones in the middle of their set to let everyone in the audience know they won't be getting any leadership worth while May 2, and they should "mass exodus" to the U.S. to support his upcoming campaign with Trump.  Bancroft's assistant wipes my outstretched hand with disinfectant before Tyler shakes it.  The end of my strangest interview that never was had come.

*****Please remember that none of this happened, or was even somewhat close to happening.  I have nothing but respect for Said the Whale, and so does the rest of Canada!  If there is one thing you should take out of this ridiculous post, it's that you should CHECK OUT SAID THE WHALE!


A Small Town Eulogy that will bring a tear to your eye

Well thanks again to Meg from Rock Me Joe, we've got some more amazing Canadian music to spark your interest.  Perhaps not surprisingly, I'm taking us to Toronto yet again, where we can feast our ears (does that even make sense?) on Graydon James & The Young Novelists.  The group has released a four song E.P., there first collaborative works, entitled A Small Town Eulogy

Graydon has done plenty of writing and recording in the past, but these 4 songs mark the beginning of a total group collaboration.  They have certainly picked great tracks, showcasing a great ability to change speeds and feel.  The album really gets the imagination going as to how good their live show must be.  Plenty of members with an abundance of talent makes for a great act, and I suspect these guys don't disappoint. 

All four songs are certainly worth checking out, and like many bands these days, they are using a "name your price" campaign on bandcamp.  Whether you pay a dollar or a hundred dollars, you'll never think twice.  Graydon James & The Young Novelists are worth every penny.


Fables for Fighters, the next album in your collection

Well you should all send Meg a thank you email for this latest recommended music.  Meg has us headed to "La Belle Province", Montreal specifically, where Chris Velan calls home.  There is still more to thank Meg for (I think she has what I listen to figured out), but for now let's talk about how awesome Fables for Fighters is.

I couldn't believe I hadn't heard anything from Velan before.  That was my first thought when I hit play.  The music couldn't have sucked me in any faster.  This is the fourth full length for the Montreal based artist, and listening to this album has sparked my interest in the rest of his catalogue.  The eleven songs sound magnificent, it's a tight album that passes time incredibly fast.  The man has a great voice, and the music behind him is diverse and engaging. 

It's actually a tough album to pull favourites off of.  As lame as it is to say, it's all good.  Seriously.  Each time the track clicks over, you are equally excited about what your ears are hearing, you forget all about the last one and fully dive into the present.  Did I mention I can't believe I haven't listened to this guy before?

Another thing I'm digging about Chris Velan right now is his approach to the upcoming tour in support of the new album (available April 19).  Looking for pledges from fans to help finance the tour, it's a great opportunity for fans to really help out.  On top of feeling good about helping, you get the album digitally, and it looks like some other pretty awesome stuff as well.  Check it out for sure.

Velan definitely has at least one new fan on the West Coast. I'm really hoping all these pledges will get the tour van all the way out to Vancouver Island, as Fables for Fighters is one of this early year's best.

Content from the Castle Grounds

Well I was just wandering around this here interweb and noticed that the Ellisa Hartman pictures and video's are up!  Thought I would give a little sample of the work here on Island SoapBox. Make sure you check Cyler Parent's website for more of his amazing photography, and Magmazing for Adam Lee's endless live videos.


Don't we all need Shelter?

Shelter, This Is Franco

I know I said this was going up yesterday, but did anyone else catch that Jays game last night? 5 plus hours and 15 innings later, they lost (and probably deserved that fate), but my oh my what an exciting game.  I didn't think anyone would be offended with a little Sunday reading anyhow.

And what are we reading about on this fine Sunday?  An album that was a long time coming, and worth every second of the wait.  This is Franco has released thier first full length, titled ShelterWith 11 polished tracks, this band's mature sound continues to surprise me, and I mean that in the best way possible.  I know the album took a little longer than the band had hoped, but I am sure they are pleased with the result.

"Crowded House" is still one of my favourites from this group.  The vocals are as good as they always are, and I really like the keys, they pull me in, in a big way.  "Love just leads you" would be another favourite.  Some great harmonies really have the vocals stick out for me, it's a fun one to sing along with (whether you can sing or not :).  I've also got to mention "Stuck Between".  I remember reading a review of the song when it was first released a while back, and the person was less than impressed.  I found it funny cause I thought this song was great.  It's my kind of tune, a short, happy little diddy, and I don't know how anyone could not enjoy it.

Enjoying it is what these guys are about, on top of that, they're driven, and continue to push themselves in a positive manner.  I think Shelter is a great step for the group, and they are poised to make 2011 the year you fell in love with This is Franco.

AND... It's time for another GIVEAWAY! The band was kind enough to send me a couple copies of Shelter, so leave a way to reach you in the comments section below for your chance to win! (I'm not on facebook, but a twitter handle or email would be best). Good Luck!


Jessica Stuart and Elizabeth Shepherd (and an apology :)

I gotta start this one off by apologizing to Nathan Ambrose from Musicofmymind productions.  He sent me some great stuff from Elizabeth Shepherd, as she had a show in town he was promoting.  I totally dug it, but I just didn't get around to it in time, and totally dogged it.  We owe you one sir.  Oh, but if you have any interest in jazz at all, please do check out Elizabeth, you will certainly enjoy it.

I also wanted to mention that The Jessica Stuart Few recently released their finished version of "Kid Dream".  What a neat concept, and it really does look cool.  Check it out for sure.

Peacock Calls, Goose Poop & Castle Grounds... Just another day

Cyler got some action shots on his cell.
Well it's about time I write something on here.  Sorry for the laziness folks, I'd love to have some sort of great excuse, but I don't.  So let's move on here people :)

I spent the morning at Royal Roads University, the lovely Ellisa Hartman was in town (her boyfriend Pete playing the roll of Trooper, and driving Ellisa into town at 4 a.m.), Magmazing's Adam Lee, and my good friend/kick ass photographer Cyler Parent were there to collaboratively produce some gold.  Using Hatley Castle and the surrounding grounds as their back drop, they had a great photo session, and shot a couple of videos (including some brand new material).

The location was amazing, and the talent equalled her surroundings easily.  There will be some great sessions coming online shortly, I can't wait to see the results myself!  Even with the cooler temperatures, everyone was excited to be working, and it was a great way to spend the morning.  Look for Ellisa's new album to be available in hard copy soon, as well as photo and video from today!