Category Archives: Images

Heart. Lungs…. and all the other organs too

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FIRST…you may have noticed some changes… You may have noticed that the visual theme for this blog has been updated – I just felt that with the new songs, the site needed a sprucing up – SBS is also the only group that’s been posting here for the last 12 months so we’re cannibalizing TheWorkrooms.com –  if there is an interest in keeping TheWorkrooms.com going – let us know!

SECONDLY…for your listening pleasure –> NEW SBS SONGS!!! These are the tunes we’ve been working on in studio!

THRIDLY….. today is my Father’s and Kurt Cobain’s birthdays. Below are some videos of music that they’ve both inspired me to enjoy and consume as my own –people always ask us about our influences – these examples explain the influences in SBS quite clearly I think. (They are long videos, the first 2 mins of each gives a good taste of the rest of the song).

February is a super hectic month because the calendar days are truncated – I’m not sure if that means we actually have less time, but such is the way with our ability to perceive time.  I’m tired.  Not going to lie.  Actually the whole band is a wee bit tired – we’re taking a 2-3 week breather to write instead of rehearsing or doing shows. (So I guess we’re still working – but it’s not exactly the same).

Since the beginning of 2012 we’ve played 4 shows for some 500 people (playing with Arkells, The Elwins, Dead Shyre, CSI Annex,  Lickpenny Loafer + Cousin Rufu), engaged a publicist, have a team working on building the culture label, have a logo for the culture label, updated our EPK,  been in studio with Vikas Kohli at FatLabs and completed 6 new songs (in 51 days that’s not bad).  We’d like to do more – but we need to take a small step back, rest up and plan for the upcoming EP releases.

Originally we were going to release 1 full length album of 15 songs or so – that has changed.   We have decided to release three, 5-7 song EPs titled: Strength, Beauty & Shimmer. We will release one EP every 3-4 months (essentially every season, just like a fashion designer releases collections – thanks for the inspiration Jason Goldlist).  SBS is pretty lucky that even though we are only a 3 piece band, we’re all actual musicians who can play instruments and sing at the same time (no joke – that’s pretty rare) – so we have a lot of variety in the song types we can create. Breaking down the album into separate EP’s will allow for each distinctive sound live it’s full life – then we can also provide listeners with the ability to make their own albums – when our band and/or label site is up.

The videos above are all about deep seated drunk love – isn’t that what February is always associated with – the heart + love in North America.  But I’m just sayin’ that the heart’s got nothing without the lungs to feed it oxygen and a mind to put to use all that delusional emotion.  I’d love to see little lung + brain emoticons to share with loved ones – if anyone has some available send them our way… We speak a lot about heart in music – but man – it takes all kinds of muscles and organs to make something like music work and work beautifully: it takes heart + guts + balls + brains + any other number of muscles, tissues and organs I know not of.   (This is top of mind for me as my back’s been out of commission and I had never realized just how fully I took for granted how a whole body+mind is needed to make music – or love for that matter)…carrying on…..

This post really could have been 2 or even 3 posts – but I simply couldn’t stop working.  Now it is time for bed…..or maybe just a few more tweaks before I go to sleep….

To Begin Again – Marco was sweating, Rustom was smiling, and I was singing my little heart out

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WOW Simply WOW! I can’t wipe this smile off my face....(<—that’s literally what I looked like while writing this post!)

The past two weeks have been an absolutely ridiculously phenomenally challenging and yet a remarkably enjoyable start to the new year!

3 shows in 4 weeks! People reaching out to us for future shows! Last minute EVERYTHING – my little heart’s all worked up!

Our kickass end of 2011 show at the legendary Velvet Underground….AMAZING…..it even got us another gig! I needn’t say more.

First show of 2012 was Jan 7th with our dear friends Dead Shyre at The Central! They sounded amazing with a tight new lineup – this was one of my favourite shows they’ve done!  Maha Kamal, amazing lady who pushes for social justice through her profession as a lawyer, AND is a phenomenal photographer was at the show too! (She is also the wife of Dead Shyre’s rocking lead singer Ali Rizvi). You need to check out Maha’s photography – it’s amazing. I kinda wish she also had a blog, I’d follow that in an instant (just putting it out there Maha!).

And then Jeez louise!….

I’m still in awe of our show on Friday Jan 13th at Hart House for UofT’s Student Union’s Week of Welcome!

OMG SBS is on the marquee line!!

We opened for The Elwins + The Arkells. This was the biggest show we’ve done to date – about 250-300 super excited energetic university kids and the energy flowing through the room was IMMENSE!  Marco was sweating, Rustom was smiling, and I was singing my little heart out. The audience JUMPED, DANCED + MOSHED with our tunes! I mean they had never even heard of us before and to get that kind of response was

fucking gold.

Hart House a+ UTSU totally spoiled us with our own green room, with food, and booze! Gah! It was one of the most vindicating moments of our professional artistic lives – we were actually being treated like artists! 🙂 We would have been happy with some water and a push onto the stage!  Hart House, Vita Carlino, The Elwins  -these guys all gave us simply amazing love.  The Elwins even let us borrow their bass player + tuner for sound check – totally awesome guys.  Keep your eyes out for their upcoming CD (releasing in Feb!).   We didn’t have a chance to meet The Arkells in person – but god damn they rocked out that night!   SBS was also joined on stage that night by Karim Rizkallah and his gorgeous Halo (– it’s SUCH a COOL instrument – see video below).  He joined us with only 2 days notice – totally rock’n roll).  Karim & his halo will hopefully also be making an appearance on the album.

Oh yeah – that’s right – We are recording an album in February!  Gah! Crazy how quickly that came up!

This is a year of cutting out the bullshit – and it feels great!!  Cutting out crap (from a diet, relationships, work, etc), has really let the most important things take precedence and receive the attention they deserve.  It feels sooooo good to have put so much hard work into something and to see the energy reflected in your audience.  !!! I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN !!!

Let’s do it again!

 

(We’re going to do it again on Feb 17th at The Drake Hotel! You should come and do it with us 😉 – keep your eyes out for more deets!)

Prickly pear of the sea

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In preparation for my twilight years – when I will unceremoniously drop – and later, without rhyme or reason, unabashedly pick up the telling of a story again…I will now continue my tale about inspiration. (see last week’s post entitled The blue lizard…excellently crafted moment of self-promotion…check!).      

Picture it, Sicily 1931…OK…had a Golden Girls moment there for a sec. (twilight years and all, see)      

Inspiration, she’s a tricky bugger. The hunt, the capture, the grossly self-indulgent gloating afterwards is made effortless by the subject matter at times. When the world you inhabit is filled to the very brim with dazzling colours, shapes, jazz-hands! (hehe…figuratively speaking of course)…and yes critters…it is nigh on impossible to suffer a bout of photog-block (kinda like writer’s block…but it rhymes better).      

The first 18 + an additional 4 years later down the road of my life were spent in paradise. At my doorstep I had at my disposal, a veritable cornucopia of fauna and flora…jewel-hued sugar birds (humming birds) performed aerial stunts outside my diningroom window over breakfast, whales splashed and whooshed plumes of air and spray into the star-filled sky, lulling me to sleep at night. Following their own mysterious and at times inconvenient schedule, the baboons would descend upon our garden, leaping from the tall, peaked roof in reckless abandon into the fig tree’s laden branches…sending my dog into an indignantly undignified and futile frenzy.      

What's purple and yellow and potters around on millions of suckers for feet?

 

My playground was dotted with sea anemones, nodding in rockpools like agreeable crayola flowers, and spiny starfish and punk rock sea urchins decorated every nook and cranny of the fertile and salty seascape.  The sky was huge and deeply blue, the waves resounding and frothy white.      

Parading on a rock ledge, the urchins gleam like predatory brooches

 

Gosh – notice the past tense up there?? To reassure you…it is all still there…this rose-tinted Utopia of my youth…I am the one in past-tense (no…not dead and blogging from beyond the grave…just across an ocean).      

So…whenever I have the occasion to make my much-anticipated pilgrimage back to the homeland…I capture even the most pedestrian detail of life. I suspect my folks reckon my brain has been irredeemably addled by lack of clean sea air and an over abundance of snow and smelly city…as in years gone by, I would never have gone sprinting for my camera bag at a sighting of a green grasshopper on the patio. I would simply have greeted him politely and implored my late, great cat to kindly refrain from making a snack of the poor fellow.      

Gorgeously green grasshopper graces...patio? Crap...lost it at the end there

 

I see you!

 

Now, today I make my home in an equally majestic place…but decidedly more subdued in terms of its local critteridge (nice…rather proud of that mangled word-ly creation). Few things come spiny or bright purple (of their own volition) in the animal kingdom here. But, to my delight…the birds dress up like Michael Jackson – sporting red shoulder patches! The hornets resemble sharp corner chevrons on the road (am I speaking foreigner again?…many apologies), and the larger beasts sport comically bulbous noses and outsized furry tiaras on their proud heads.      

The fact is though – as in a family with two offspring – one being the loud-mouth clown who dances a lively jig on the furniture of an evening, and the other being the nice sprog who vacuums its own room and thanks you for the clean clothes – the clown gets the attention.      

Therefore, the task at hand is: Look harder, be open to the possibilities, and sprint like the blazes for the camera bag when the MJ birdies parade across the lawn! And the dastardly snow and frost…is made beautifully ethereal and oh so photogenic by the rays of the rising sun.      

The autumn sun burns the frost away, leaving bedazzled blades in its warming wake

 

Project of the week pour moi…with a spot of luck I will furnish you with delightful captures of aforementioned feathered pop-star impersonators and any manner of lovely things.

Innocuous beach chair

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Aaah, now…already a promise broken (one I made to myself). Thought was…this blogging endeavour being so pleasurably diverting – surely nothing would impede me from polluting this space with excessive amounts of thoughts and ideas – ramblings so numerous that they’d barely be worthy of sharing. Alas, last week happened…with nary a word contributed by yours truly.

Now that I am back in the proverbial saddle – what to share? My first entry spoke of my artistic passions, and the longing I feel to spend my days positively reveling in my art – making figurative snow angels and sand castles with it – all the while earning some decent cash for my troubles!

This week, how about I try to unpack a related topic: Topics…subject matter…things if you will! If you do perchance recall my first entry, you’d know that I am a photog. What we essentially do – after stripping out the artistry of controlling aperture, shutterspeed, ISO, composition and timing – is record things in a moment in time. What to shoot seldom seems a problem (on that later)…what to share is the tougher nut to crack at present.

You see, the most readily available subject matter remains my extended family with our rampaging horde of sproglets. The wee ones know…when FStop10 visits…you either make tracks, or you relent to the incessant snapping and blithely proceed with the serious business of eating cake, swimming or standing on your head. Some of my best work features a certain 4-year old.

The dilemma – do I share those images here? I have encountered a few exceptionally fascinating bloggers that use the space to not only discuss their families, but to showcase their very lives in prose and images on the internet. Is that for me…mmm, yet to decide.

So…while I wrestle that thought into submission…here is a perfectly innocuous chair!

Perhaps it would be prudent to continue to share images that I made, that do not include people. A challenge, you say?!  I heartily accept. For my next trick…

Thoughts?

A baboon on the roof

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It would be a crying shame to veer completely off the engaging and relevant train of thought sparked by my illustrious fellow floggers (first time bloggers…just trying the word…I know, I am ignoring the “t”…but it just doesn’t fit!…now I am wondering if it sounds rude, mmm).

So I won’t…veer off that is. I like ellipses…you will get to know that about me…

Anyhoo…career choices and all the various considerations that go along with that topic occupy my addled mind daily. Like John Malkovich, my brain has a 9th and a half floor (in my case this is where the slightly off thoughts go to procreate). And though my anxiety does not take the form of a walrus (fabulous imagery inkling7)…it does do an admirable job of turning my plump and shiny creative drive into a raucously deflating whoopee cushion, taunting me with self-doubt and derision! Is my art good enough? Can I monetize my passion? Which one of my lovingly fostered obsessions is most marketable. (the one I can charge the most for, of course!) Oy!

Luckily for me, the clear winner in that dubious contest is an abiding, lifelong preoccupation of mine. (I will expand on my beginnings in a later post) I am almost afraid of admitting what it is…as every man and his dog claims the same pastime as their own. Somehow the proliferation of this art form makes it difficult to admit to doing it – for fear of being lumped into some mediocre, pedestrian, meh group of blahness. I make images…with an SLR…I am a photographer.  (and yep…my name, if you know about aperture, is kind of messed up…there is no fstop 10 – it just sort of happened, OK!)

It isn’t my day job…yet? (I am so excited…I have successfully pulled Sachin and inkling7’s musings into my first contribution. Holy, preamble!

So, to clearly state my humble intentions – due to my walrus (© inkling7)/whoopee cushion conundrum – I would love to use this space to share my art…with you. Instinct kicks in and I feel compelled to blurt out an excuse about not being a pro, or utter “I know I am probably not worthy, but!” That would do a disservice not only to me, but to the bravery of my co-conspirators (gave up on the word floggers…it definitely sounds dirty!).

In our midst here we have the brave and inspiring muso (who puts the B in our blog at the very least!), an undercover creative writer (who I am yet to meet, but am confident is a genuine mensch) and our courageously thoughtful (yes I know it is another word for brave…but inkling7 is that too!) writer and philosopher and all round tremendous individual. And photog (me) makes 4.

My first share: An image I am rather pleased with. I took this with my 70-300mm lens, from across the road. He was sitting on my neighbour’s roof…surrounded by his marauding troop. These guys raid the gardens and kitchens of any house in their path. Their only there for the snacks though…no one usually gets hurt. (unless an idiotic human makes the wrong move)

Guarding the troop is tiring work – and my choppers can be pretty threatening!

My thanks…