Sunday, January 07, 2007

Podcast Review: Great Free Indie Rock from North of the Border

When people think of indie rock they probably think of the many innovative bands that have come out of the U.S. and England. But I've found that some of the best indie rock of recent years has come from just north of the American border. While Canada may only have one-tenth the population of the U.S., it's more than holding its own in producing great indie rock musicians.

A fantastic place to discover these bands, and get full-length songs by them for free, is the CBC Radio 3 podcast, which has become one of my favorite music podcasts. I've seen a lot of good Canadian acts in concert in the last two years--Broken Social Scene, the New Pornographers, Stars, the Dears, Metric, Sarah Harmer, and Feist, to name a few. All of these have been played on the Radio 3 podcast, and there are many artists that I've heard of through the show.

You'll also find tunes from indie rock artists including Destroyer, the Be-Good Tanyas, Great Lake Swimmers, Amy Millan, Emily Haines, Wolf Parade, the Arcade Fire, Jason Collett, the Joel Plaskett Emergency, and Pony Up. (It was a surprise to me, but maybe it shouldn't have been, that many of these artists can be found on the same indie record label, Arts and Crafts.)

Not to say that this show from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation
only covers rock. The show plays independent Canadian music of all stripes, including hip-hop (such as Manitoba rapper Mcenroe) and electronica.

Host Grant Lawrence knows his Canadian music and brings a dry humor to the proceedings and tells listeners about the artists, but he never dominates the show with his banter or makes himself the center of attention. Which is good, because the music is excellent and Lawrence probably has a tough enough job trying to fit 12 or so songs into the approximately one-hour show. For my taste, there are just enough details about the artists and brief interview segments to introduce the musicians and give some insight on their songs, how long they've been together, and where they'll be touring.

You can find even more music at the CBC Radio 3 Web site, which gives news on the bands and lets you stream songs from dozens of artists. There's a lot of great music coming out of Canada, and CBC Radio 3 lets you hear it for yourself.

1 comment :

Mike said...

Well, you've mentioned Joel Plskett Emergency in there so you must know what you're talking about...