- Vancouver, British Columbia - With the music industry in a state of flux, it can sometimes be a bit challenging to find new music that is engaging, innovative, creative, and fully developed. While by no means do I praise the old ways that music was produced and marketed, I can still appreciate how the old record labels made it easy for music fans to be, dare I say, lazy with simply allowing labels to tell fans what was good music. Today, things are a little different. Many honest music fans can recognize that what they hear on the radio simply is not good music, but instead music that will sell. The music that is the most profitable today is hip-hop and pop music, neither of which are showing many reasons to have hope for the future. Since mainstream record labels are cautious and are dropping the ball, it has resulted in new avenues to develop to fill the gap for distributing good music. Among them Bandcamp and Noisetrade stand out as the most promising in my opinion, but even still, that doesn't mean that everything that is on these free music sites is good, in fact, some of them make it quite clear as to why the music is free: because no one in their right mind would pay for such garbage. Nevertheless, there are many wonderful gems to be found on both of these sites. A music colleague of mine recommended that I check out Josh Garrels, so I did, leading me to feel that I must review this album to get the word out about this fantastic album. There, I spoiled the surprise. You already know what I think about this album.
Music Reviews and Commentary
Entries in independent (5)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - It was a hot June evening in Vancouver when I saw Handsome and Gretyl live, playing to an intimately small crowd in a quaint vegetarian cafe. Yeah, I felt like a scene kid. The show was populated mostly by their friends. That's why I was there. My fiancée had gone to school with Gretyl and had much respect for her and her singing abilities. I was exhausted and sick, wishing I was in bed with a cup of NeoCitran. I passed out and slept in an upright position through the opening act, which felt a little disrespectful, but couldn't be helped. But when Handsome and Gretyl began to play, I felt more awake and maintained some enthusiasm through their set. Granted, the power nap before hand is likely what energized me for that duration of time, but it always helps when the show is actually captivating.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - 2011 started off very well for me when on New Years Day, I opened my email and found an update from Dep saying that he just completed his new album, which he made self-titled. It supplied a free download of the entire album. Dep is of the opinion that the music he makes should be given away without charge, which is becoming a common trend among artists these days. After all, it seems that getting the public to buy music is near impossible.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - I believe some people have a stigma in their heads about independent music. They love their comfortable pop music because it's easy to listen to and can be danced to. And there is this idea that obviously this means that indie music in their heads is challenging or unpleasant. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, there are those who think that radio music is awful, repetitive nonsense and and only bands that no one else has heard of deserve respect. I find myself in the middle of all of this wondering why we can't have the best of both worlds. Truth is, sometimes we need something a little bit light.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Songs For Christmas is more than just any Christmas album. It's more than an album actually. What we have here is a collection of EPs which have Christmas songs that Sufjan Stevens put together from the last few years. There are five discs in total, one for each year from 2001 to 2006 minus a contribution from 2004. (Likely because he was working on Come On Feel the Illinoise) On top of that there are stickers, a comic, short stories by Sufjan, and even the song sheets for the music so you can learn his music too. Can you say good times? It instantly makes it one of the most worthwhile Christmas music purchases. It's more than music, it's an experience.