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The Garden Statement is a re-imagining of Keep Calm and Carry On, a specialty radio show that focuses on playing the best in emo, pop-punk, metalcore, etc. on 91.3FM WTSR. The show features playlists created by its host to highlight current trends in the scene, covering all the latest news and developments that come up in this constantly-changing landscape. This blog is meant to accompany the show, and will feature formal album reviews, transcriptions of our interviews with bands, Local Spotlight features on up-and-coming artists in the New Jersey area, round table discussions held by the hosts, and anything else we can come up with. If you have any questions, concerns, inquiries, etc., feel free to contact us at! Below, you’ll be able to get to know the hosts (Donald, Craig, and Madison) a little better!

Donald Wagenblast
(follow me on Twitter!)

Hey there! As the name below my picture suggests, my name is Donald Wagenblast. Some of you may recall that I was the original creator of the show, back when we called it Keep Calm and Carry On. Since it started, I’ve been able to accomplish so many things, from interviewing my favorite bands to meeting some of my best buds in Craig and Madison, and having the three of us take this show and blog to heights I never would have imagined. Now, as The Garden Statement, we’ve continued our efforts, and accomplished even more. This show has brought me some of the greatest moments of my life, and I’m constantly inspired to keep it going and improving it as much as I can. The Garden Statement is one of the most compelling chapters of my life, and it’s been an absolute joy to be able to write about the bands and music that I love. I hope I’m able to help you enjoy it as well, in any way I can.

 Here are some basic facts you may want to know about me, considering they may give away any biases I have towards certain bands. You’ve been warned.

Favorite Bands: Circa Survive, Brand New, The Gaslight Anthem, The 1975, Fall Out Boy, Bayside, Transit, The Wonder Years, Jimmy Eat World, Coheed & Cambria.

Favorite Albums: Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me; Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise; The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten; Transit – Listen and Forgive; The Dangerous Summer – Reach for the Sun; Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This to Memory; Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.


Craig Ismaili

(follow me on twitter!)

Hey all, If you’re reading this, that means you have ventured to the secluded areas of our new website, and you are interested in getting to know more about the authors of this fine blog. My name is Craig Ismaili, and I’m 1/3 of the Fluffy (three-headed-dog, Harry Potter- never mind) that is The Garden Statement. My interests include terrible references (as the sentence above would indicate), complex sentence structure-with plenty of breaks from the original point- and long walks on the beach. This show and this blog have provided me with some of my favorite memories, and I hope to pass on some of those memories to you, dear reader. When I’m not annoying people with my proclivity to be snobbish about my music, I often play hockey and- until a recent unfortunate ankle injury- recreational football. Though my real football career is probably over, I still luckily have fantasy football, a hobby that is fast turning into an addiction.

Favorite Bands: Anberlin, Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy, The Wonder Years, Transit, The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, The Gaslight Anthem, Jimmy Eat World, Charlie Simpson, did I mention Anberlin?

Favorite Albums: Here are my top 10 of all-time as of the end of 2013!


session Madison Ouellette

(follow me on Twitter!)

Hey! My name is Madison and I am the female component of The Garden Statement.  I am unbelievably excited about launching this website and going over WTSR’s airwaves with a fresh perspective on emo.  I seem to always have my hands on a bunch of projects related to the overarching punk scene and I’ve seem to have traded lazy nights watching Netflix to running to shows all over the Tri-State area and talking out ideas on how to give attention to deserving budding bands.  Through all this, I found that my passions in life are sad songs and caffeine.  That really shouldn’t surprise anyone.  In addition to hosting The Garden Statement, I am the music director and sound engineer for WTSR and a junior Communication Studies major at The College of New Jersey.

Favorite Bands: Balance and Composure, La Dispute, Circa Survive, Brand New, Touche Amore, Title Fight, The Dangerous Summer, The Story So Far, The Front Bottoms, Senses Fail, Defeater, Listener, Have Mercy

Favorite Albums: Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise, Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, Listener – Wooden Heart, The Dangerous Summer – Reach for the Sun, Citizen – Youth, Balance and Composure – Separation, Senses Fail  – Let it Enfold You, Title Fight – Floral Green