Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lack of Good Canadian Music Blogs = Music Mondays??

It's been one week since Folk Fest and I miss it. Consequently, I've been thinking a lot about music lately.
I am a bit of a music junkie - it has always been the sun that drives away the grey clouds of my life. Besides annual adventures at Folk Fest, I tend to go to at least a concert or gig a month. I still buy CDs (shocking, eh) and actually own a few music DVDs.
Plus, to keep on top of things, I subscribe to Penguin Eggs, a fantastic Canadian folk/roots/world magazine. It's a super awesome magazine that contains news, reviews, interviews, articles, and all the latest about what's going on and what's up and coming in the world of folk music. I also love the Canadian perspective (we Canucks are quite fortunate: our music rocks!). It makes me happy when I see it in the mailbox. The problem is it only comes out four times a year.
I'm a blog addict, so my goal for the weekend was to find good Canadian music blogs that would keep the news junkie part of me occupied until the next Penguin Eggs arrived.
Finding appropriate Canadian music blogs proved to be quite difficult. Eventually I did stumble upon a plethora of quality music blogs, but very few met my criteria. There is a lot of stuff coming out of the States, but I'm only interested in Canadian blogs as that tends to be what I listen to. There's also a lot of stuff coming out of Toronto in particular, most of which was too locally based for my liking.
And then there is the issue of what 'genres' of music I actually listen to, and thus want to read about.
In order to better understand what I listen to and what kind of blog I'm looking for, I present to you a 'short' summary of my musical journey. Read it, as it explains a lot about why I am the way I am, and why I have a 'twisted' taste in music.
I grew up on country music, and actually didn't realize there were other radio stations besides CISN Country, or other music video channels besides CMT Country Music Television until I was in high school. Riverdance came out around that time, so I made the natural progression into Celtic music and became a fiddle freak for awhile, devotedly listening to mostly East Coast or Irish music (ask me how many times I saw Leahy between 1997-2001, go on, I dare you...). Due to a constant stream of teasing from classmates, and two good friends who happened to be Metallica fans, I rebelled against my roots and started listening to The Bear and rock music, the harder the better. I also dabbled a bit in oldies after I got a job in a pharmacy who's radio could only pick up AM channels. Notice the complete absence of pop music from my radar.
Actually that's a lie. I did jump on the Backstreet Boys bandwagon at one point...
Anyways. I spent some time in Montreal and realized I loved traditional Quebecois music. This lead me to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival for the first time in 2003. The festival brought the world of folk music to my attention and I haven't looked back since. Then I moved to England. While there, I clung to anything Canadian, even if it meant becoming an Avril Lavigne fan. I also was introduced to really good Christian music. And I discovered English folk music.
One summer while I was back in Canada for a holiday, someone asked me if I had heard 'The Truck Song' by Corb Lund. This innocent question started my alt-country devotion. When you think about it, it's the perfect genre for me. It brings together the good parts of country music (the twang, not the slutty pop crap of new country), uses fiddles and other instruments popular in the celtic scene, and often contains rockin' guitars. Some of it is even a bit gospel-y, so I reckon God approves.
The other strange thing about me is I don't like female singers. Now, I am a fan of Jann Arden but the list of female singers I will willingly listen to is maybe only a dozen or so names long. I really only like male voices (and hot guys who played any sort of stringed instrument but that's a post for another day).
I also am not a fan of 'lyrics'. Admittedly, there are certain songs and songwriters I appreciate and love for their meaning and message, but on the whole, I'm in it for the musicality. This is probably why I'm also a big fan of 'music-sung-in-a-language-other-than-English'. It's not necessarily about what they are saying, but how they say it. Needless to say, I have little use for singer-songwriters or guy/girl-and-guitar-only acts, but like I said, do appreciate the odd lyrical gems.
So, there has always been this county-celtic-folk-rock struggle on my CD player. Currently I wake up to CISN country music radio as my alarm and listen to CMT country music videos while I get ready in the morning. I'm a big fan of specific radio shows as well (perhaps also a post for another day). I listen to The Bear rock radio or CDs in my car and I currently only buy alt-country CDs. I keep iTunes and my iPod on shuffle to get the best of all worlds.
Right. So find me a good Canadian blog for that, eh?!
I did find a few (more general ones) so you can check out my blogroll for the ones I've subscribed to. I'm sure as time goes on I will likely refine this list, so don't be surprised to see that music blogroll diminish (or possible disappear?). I was quite disappointed I couldn't find a Canadian music blog that matched well with my music tastes. As I talked to a few people about this, the consensus became "Stop whining and write a blog about the music you like!" I'm not going to lie, I did think about it, but I don't really have time to make a super stellar music blog (there's a lot of really well written music blogs out there). I also don't know enough about music or the scene to write quality reviews or articles. I know what I like though.
*insert blog crisis here*
If I start a music blog, do I also have to start a curling blog? And a librarian blog? Or an Edmonton blog? And give up this random-mash-of-rants-and-stuff personal blog?
That class I took recently about web 2.0 really got me thinking about niche blogging. My problem is I don't have a niche: my blog doesn't really have much of a theme (besides being really fun and cool and informative! Right? Now I sound like I'm in high school). Should I stick to blogging about one thing? Can I do it all at once and still be a credible blogger?
I am quite happy not having a niche or theme, as this blog serves my purposes quite nicely, although I am worried about what sort of audience my blog has. Do people like the randomness? Would more people follow if I had a theme? Do I care if more people follow or am I happy with my loyal reader base (I love you, dear readers!). Personally, I tend to follow niche blogs. Would I follow this blog if I wasn't writing it? Is it time to stop journaling and start writing more complex, thoughtful posts suitable for a grad student or a wider audience base?
*blog crisis temporarily dispelled*
Really, I am happy at the moment maintaining this random blog as is. If you're (still) reading this (this has turned into a long ramble), you must be happy with this random blog too (?). But I do think maybe I might start writing a 'Music Monday' post. Head Tale does it, and I respect him as a blogger and a librarian, so why shouldn't I do it?
Your turn. Would you appreciate a regular 'Music Monday' post? Keep in mind what 'genres' I would write about. I do realize not everyone appreciates fiddles, accordions and banjos quite as much as I do. You might learn something though, maybe even discover a new band you like?
And learning and discovery is what this blog is all about.
So prepare for a 'Music Monday' post next week. That is, if I remember that I'm supposed to write a 'Music Monday' post next Monday - I might forget and stick up a link to National Geographic instead...

9 comments:

  1. Have you checked out Enter The Haggis? They are from Toronto and are considered a Celtic FUSION rock band. They meld celtic rock, folk, blues, jazz, county, bluegrass, Caribbean, african and several more genre into a smooth blend uniquely their own. Although they started with celtic traditional music, they write their own and have been evolving slowly more and more rock. They tour extensively up and down the east coast, but have started to venture west and overseas. Their website is:

    www.enterthehaggis.com Check them out and enjoy!!!! Kathy

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  2. You have quite the range of musical tastes, Lisa. If you want to install a Music Monday, by all means, it's your blog after all.

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  3. Hey Check out
    www.Ocanadamusic.weebly.com. It's a work in progress but it sounds like it's just what you are looking for.

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  4. Have you had chance to check out http://www.vanmusic.ca
    We are always profiling the latest and greatest talent from Vancouver and across Canada.
    Always looking for positive feedback! Perhaps you would like to join in with some guest blog posts!
    Cheers,
    D.
    www.vanmusic.ca

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  5. Wednesday, November 18, 2009
    "Movin' On" by Papasean Johnson (Blues/Rock Artist from British Columbia, Canada)


    "Movin' On" is the latest album from Papasean Johnson. It is an album recorded in the Blues/Rock style of a generation past, with catchy guitar riffs over driving beats coupled with energetic and loud vocals. "Ain't No Friend of Mine" combines elements from 50's rock with a contemporary edge in a rock song that really swings. "Young And Restless" is a grittier song that reminisces about the good old times of youth. For "Still Love That Girl" we find a more traditional blues song that is adapted into the groovy and loud style of Papasean Johnson. Overall, "Movin' On" is filled with a plethora of cool riffs over rhythmic beats that lie somewhere in-between straight-rock and dance-rock. This album is a good find for people who enjoy the likes of ZZ Top or other high tempo Blues/Rock acts.
    -Sean B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
    http://papaseanjohnson.com

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  6. Not sure if you read herohill very often, but we cover coast to coast and I love roots music.

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  7. This appears to be an old post, but if you're still out there, there's a radio show out of Albany, NY you'd probably like. It's called North of the Border and it's hosted by a Canadian. The music is consistently great with lots of alt-country. The host is a bit of a nerdy light weight, but he knows his stuff and at the worst of times I don't hate him. Here's a link to the show's Wordpress site, which doesn't feature many blog entries but does have all of the play lists for the show:

    http://www.northoftheborderradio.wordpress.com

    The show airs Saturday night's at 7 on Albany radio station EXIT 977. Check it out!

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  8. Aha, excellent recommendation! Looks like the music is kinda my style!

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  9. you should check out stephanie bosch. she originally hails from the small town of devon alberta and has recently moved to Toronto.

    www.stephaniecbosch.com

    www.myspace.com/stephaniecbosch

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