Category Archives: Songs

Beauty &Taxes

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These are two things I have been working on this month and BOTH are surprisingly foreign to me.

The band spent all of the Winter months writing, rehearsing, performing and recording the Strength EP, which is due out May 2012.  The songs are hard, aggressive, thick, dynamic and lyrically pretty clearly about strength – my interpretation of strength – there were some ups+downs writing the material but no un-scalable brick walls.

Now Spring has come and I’m in the midst of writing some new material for the second EP titled Beauty.  I have come to realize, that I have NEVER written from a conceptual space like Beauty before.

It’s disorienting. Most of the material I have written is heavy and generally deals with issues we don’t wish to speak about (living beyond trauma, anger, depression, etc…).  But Beauty – well that’s something we seemingly engage with every day, and can’t stop talking about, particularly in a time of heavy media saturation – billboards, tv ads, magazine pull outs, facebook, etc…

The facebook element really intrigues me – in past we would look to magazines and other external media to draw comparisons and build our sense of Beauty worthiness and attractiveness – I feel that now we do this more so by stalking our friend’s pages and the pages of totally random seemingly happy + seemingly beautiful strangers.  We are very willing to take on the role of the advertiser by posting what we believe to be beautiful photos of ourselves to broadcast a particular notion we’d like to persuade an audience to believe. Simultaneously, we play role of  an audience who is willing to accept the potential deception of the seemingly wonderful scenarios portrayed in the photographs/posts of others.  We should recognize that with any medium there will be an inherent bias in the message – facebook photos are self-selected for us to look our best and to meet some standard (a standard that is quantified by the number of Likes). It’s an instantaneous model for the pursuit of crowd-sourcing a standard of our own Beauty.

But we all know that Beauty is far more than aesthetic. Many times when I think of Beauty I immediately think of love, or truth or justice or good or some other highly conceptual positive element. But I’m not entirely comfortable with that – again that’s too self-selecting, and things like being good or engaging with truth can be painful and difficult actions, but entirely necessary – can’t a painful truth be Beauty?

Can broken hearts be beautiful?

I’m trying to work from neither the aesthetic nor the emotional elements of Beauty. The definition that has really made the largest impact has been the phrase being in one’s hour.”  It’s the only one that’s really rung true in my mind as a place to start writing new material.  It I have LITTLE IDEA what this EP is going to sound like in the end….it’s a grand experiment this Beauty.

And as for Taxes.….well you see I was supposed to be doing that this afternoon – but decided to write to you instead…..if ever you feel really down and out about your Beauty (whatever that means to you), know that you are always and forever more beautiful than taxes will ever be.

CMW + SBS = Hot Friday Night

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Hiya Gang!

So – check it out – we are playing Canadian Music Fest (a part of Canadian Music Week) as part of woah! Music’s showcase!

Fri Mar 23rd @ Duffy’s Tavern @ 9pm!!! (We love to play – but even more excited to play for our first festival this year!). $10 at the door (CMW wristband peeps – you get in free of course). 

This means 2 things:

1. See you Friday night! 

2. We will be at the daytime conference at the Royal York on Thur, Fri + Sat.

Conferencing for some people can be intimidating- but hey – you  know at least 1 band there & you can totally fake like we’re doing hardcore business deals over Twitter 🙂  People can seem a little cold, but usually a nice hello, a firm handshake and a warm smile and people will open right up!  You can reach me + Marco directly via twitter — @bandbandana or @marcoadamovic — If you’re there too and want to chat about art and music and labels and love, let’s meet up!

I’ll be headed out to see DangerBand on Thursday night + Saul Williams on Fri night (After our show of course!);  I’m going to do my darndest to see Lickpenny Loafer + Cousin Rufu on Sat night (we’ve played with these guys – amazing vocals on both bands).

 

Don’t forget — NEW MUSIC IS HERE!! 

There are clips up of the pre-mixed tracks! If you would like a preview of the new Strength EP before it is released in May, send us a Tweet!

Ok – CMW is going to be hectic – so everyone, eat well, take care of yourself and each other and we’ll see you out there at the shows!

 

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!)

The El Mocambo and Me

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What a lovely break I had over the holidays – a whole week off from the 9-5pm.  It was simply fantastic!In that time I ate, drank, danced and booked a show!

Thursday Jan 13th at the El Mocambo in Toronto – It seems to be a very enigmatic place.

I always like doing shows/events in unusual places – now El Mo (as it is lovingly called in Toronto) is not an unusual place per say – it is a licensed bar that hosts live music.  BUT – it’s been around FOREVER! It was the first bar to get a liquor license in Toronto!

The history of the building goes back to 1850!  This is crazy for a city that is infamous for having very few historic buildings. Oh – and you know a little band called The Rolling Stones played and recorded Love You Live at the El Mocambo back in 1977.  No biggie. 🙂

But what I find most intriguing is the current owner.

Now – I’m getting all of this information from the El Mocambo website, Wikipedia and newspaper articles – so take it as you will.  Abbas Jahangiri, the owner of the El Mo is a serial entrepreneur who has taken a vow of poverty.   His previous professional history includes leading an engineering team, CEO of a real estate development company as well as being a principal for a national dance company  (when you are on the El Mo site – click on History and Owner).  In 2003 he took a vow of poverty and has dedicated his life to helping the most vulnerable in society.  Including daily 2am-6am service and distribution of food and survival needs for hundreds of Toronto’s homeless. Very intriguing no?

I’m most intrigued by his conviction in his change of lifestyle.

Rock n’Roll isn’t a selfless industry – it is fueled by narcissism and vanity……..

Shameless Self Promotion

 

…..so it’s super interesting to come across people who try to find balance with the rock n’roll attitude and the gravest societal needs around them.  These are two extremes and Mr. Jahangiri seems to live at both ends.

I wonder if he will be at the show?  It would be awesome to grab a conversation with him – what couldn’t you talk about?!

Music is about great stories – I have a feeling that the El Mo has more than a few good tales to tell.

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Sing Bandana Singh performs Thursday January 13th at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave. Toronto).  Performance at 7:30pm  $10.  19+.
Music: http://myspace.com/singbandanasingh
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bandbandana
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