Friday 31 January 2014

2013 in Belated Review

We're a month into 2014 now, but I've just realized that after such an incredible year of music it might be worth recapping the whole thing as I did with this post at the start of 2013.

So, here are some items that made my 2013 highlight reel:

  • Two new brothers joined No Island, Jay Esplana on bass and Max Ley on drums. Their influence has redefined the sound of the band in the most exciting ways possible.
  • Los Furios released a new single "Bad Waters"
  • In April, No Island recorded, filmed, and released a snazzy little two-song mini-EP featuring our new sound.
  • I found the perfect alto sax for me, a Yamaha Custon-Z in silver. Such a joy to play.
  • In May, I traveled to Mexico for the first time in my life to play a tour with Los Furios. I was immediately enamored by the experience, especially the culture and the people I encountered there.
  • After recording (but not yet releasing) their swan song EP, The Ivy League Brawlers played their final show ever in June before amicably disbanding. I learned a lot from playing with that band, and I'm glad we got to go out with a band.
  • July and August featured what is without a doubt my most ambitious undertaking to date: a 40-date (38 after cancellations), 7-week tour across Canada, all the way to Halifax and back again. Entirely booked by myself and band mate Andy Rice, the tour tested all five members in many ways. The endeavour was unarguably a success and a transformative process for the band.
  • I finally acquired a bass clarinet. With any luck, it will start finding its way into more of my work soon.
  • And last but very far from least, something of an entirely personal nature: 2013 is the year I met Maureen, the amazing lady in my life. I couldn't be happier.

So far, 2014 has been very good. Can't wait to see what the rest of it brings!

Monday 20 January 2014


Catching up on some posts that should have been made sooner.

Los Furios has a couple of cool Vancouver shows coming up:

  • Jan 29 at Vancouver FanClub with The Toasters
  • Feb 12 at Venue with The Mad Caddies

No Island is competing in an acoustic battle-of-the-bands. It's a fun opportunity for us to re-imagine our songs in a new context, and it's also a chance for us to potentially win one of two prizes that would make our next album possible. If you want to hear a different side of No Island and support us in the competition (audience voting is factored into the decision), the semi-final round will be taking place sometime in the first or second week of February (date TBA soon) at The Sin Bin in Vancouver (two blocks east of the Olympic Village Skytrain station).

Also in No Island news, the band will be doing a winter mini-tour in February. We'll be hitting Kelowna, Banff, Stavely, and Golden. I took another crack at poster design for this one, with fellow band mate Andy Rice taking care of the text and logos for this one.

*UPDATE Jan 23* : Revelstoke show cancelled, replaced with new show in Banff.