Me and music

Extremely broad subject, I know, but I want to get this post out of the way early in the year because music comprises a huge part of my life, but at the same time I don’t want to focus solely on music on this blog- I write about it enough over at Grayowl Point.

I would say the first time I really started to even begin to notice the music I now like started on August 1, 2005 (my 14th birthday) when I received Arcade Fire’s Funeral. I hadn’t asked for the album, but my mom thought it would be an interesting idea after I told her how amazed I was by Arcade Fire’s “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)” along with its pretty cool video.

I remember when I was in grade 10 I went on a trip to New York City as part of a drama trip. I saw two shows on Broadway among other things, but I also remember going to the Virgin megastore- it was four floors– and buying Arcade Fire’s followup album, Neon Bible.

I think the next breakthrough must have come in about 2008. I was at that point heavily invested in iTunes and one day stumbled across a single of the week by a band from Montreal called Winter Gloves. I was immediately enthralled by the song, “Let Me Drive.”

I can’t remember the year in this case, but another big breakthrough happened either in 2007 or 2008 with the Basement, a series of shows that just so happened to take place a two-minute walk from my house. At first, the only reason I went was because a girl I had a crush on at the time also attended, but eventually she stopped being the sole reason I went- the music was great! For the first time I was becoming familiar with local musicians, most (if not all) of whom were unsigned.

At the end of one basement show I overheard a conversation involving CBC Radio 3. In February of 2009, while working on a French project, I turned on Radio 3 for the first time. I wasn’t immediately drawn into it, but it wasn’t long before a few songs began to grow on me. The first song that drew me in was Elliott BROOD’s “The Valley Town” and shortly thereafter, Hot Panda’s “Cold Hands/Chapped Lips.”

I would for quite some time become a loyal CBC Radio 3 listener, learning about dozens and dozens of new bands in the process. I would especially like interacting with the R3 community and hosts like Lana Gay always made my day.

Later in 2009, in June, I created a blog because I was bored during exam period and had nothing to do. At first it was just a blog where I put down my thoughts on a whole bunch of random crap, and a month or two later I was talking with a good friend about what I might be able to do with it. I wanted to focus it, and start running a “professional” blog. My friend noticed I was posting a lot about Canadian music, and so my blog became one about Canadian indie music.

Since then the blog has grown in a lot of ways, and thanks to it I’ve never really been lacking new music to listen to. I’ve since stopped regularly listening to Radio 3—I don’t hate it by any means, but it’s no longer a place where I go to find new bands. While I disagree with quite a bit of what this article by Josiah Hughes and Mark Teo says, they do bring up a critical point about Radio 3- what they play often is proportional to what listeners demand. An example of a joke that once circulated the R3 office was apparently this: a Dan Mangan song will appear on every playlist challenge even if the playlist is supposed to be all hip-hop.

But I’m getting off-topic. I just wanted to illustrate what got me into music in the first place. It’s not like I just got into the scene overnight.

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