Call & Response: The Phonogarde

Call & Response: The Phonogarde


Not into the commercialism of Valentine's Day but love to hit the town for a good cause? Online fundraising group GiveMeaning presents MusicGivesMeaning tomorrow night at The Cameron House.

This innovative benefit concert is like no other I've participated in. Your admission will be given back to you as you enter the Cameron House in the form of a GiveMeaning "giftcard" with a unique pin number. Each performer has selected a specific charity they're playing for and they will talk about it during their set. After the show, you choose which charity you donate to over at the GiveMeaning website.

There are two shows scheduled, both starring Craig Cardiff. Opening the late show are mysterious rootsy folksters The Phonogarde. I spoke with Christian from the band about alternate band names, a place called Sleepover, and bad burritos.

Keep reading for the complete interview.

blogTO: How did you get to be called The Phonogarde?

Christian: Thought it should be the Urban Folk Guardophona but that was too long...

Are you a band or a solo artist posing as a band?

Neither...I just handle the interviews.

On your Myspace page you say that you sound like "the radio of an eclectic public". Care to elaborate?

Uh, something like with hope of finding and fostering a public willing to adopt a healthy balance of perspectives and value towards sounds and societies...or the Suzuk's idea of strength in diversity...or just really wanna impress people by flaunting a false mastery of all the world's aesthetics.

What inspires your songs and lyrics?

Wish I knew...can't seem to make sense out of either of 'em. Everything is everything I guess...so people, places, and things that move people, places and things.

Where in Canada do you live and why? What do you like best and least about it?

Sleepover, Ontario. Thought it might be a good idea for now. Don't really know it...just wander around when the barnyard starts to wear on me...but the guitar shops are pretty neat.

How often do you visit Toronto? What do you like best and least about our city?

Often...I like the potential community for seemingly minority (interest) groups...not so much the deceptive proximity to popular culture and corresponding values.

Who are your favourite Toronto-based bands/artists?

The Foggy Hogtown Boys.

You're playing a Valentine's Day fundraiser here. What charity are you playing for?

Growing Up Organic Canada.

Great causes aside - what do you think about the commercial traditions associated with Valentine's Day?

Again, the idea of commerce is one bad burrito...however, I am willing to accept all gifts from interested parties in the house that night...as I will try to exercise the workings of my naked and very hot soul on stage this coming Valentine's Day.

What do you think of more pop "folk" artists like Jack Johnson and Bright Eyes?

Commerce is an oily bun drippin' white on black to keep me comin' back. If everything is political...probably most things go commercial...so maybe ya just have to discern whether the classification is defined more in the interest of culture or commerce and what signifiers are being considered during its development.

That being said...I would gladly accept any opportunity that they would give me...thanks for the hook-up in advance.

Do you have a new record coming out soon? How does it differ from your previous records?

Yes, new record...should be soon...differs in that it feels alright performance-wise and production-wise. Seems it's settin' up for something serious...it feels good to assert that.


MusicGivesMeaning
Featuring Craig Cardiff, The Phonogarde, Graydon James with Laura Spink
Thursday, February 14
The Cameron House
408 Queen Street West
Tickets $10 at TicketWeb
Doors at 11:30pm

Call & Response is a series of Q&A's with artists from or playing in Toronto. Drawing taken from The Phonogarde Myspace page.


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