Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If You Don't Know Me By Now

The Polaris Music Prize has been running profiles of its jury members. Given the reaction to the Short List this year, it ought to help the general public realize that this prize is not the product of a shadowy cabal representing the hidden interests of dark forces in Canadian music. To prove the point, I'm in the cross hairs today, and I'm not part of the dark side (am I?)

I don't fancy setting myself apart from the crowd. I don't like what I like just to be different or more hip, which has traditionally been a motivation for music critics. It's a post-adolescent point of view that becomes less and less relevant as I get older. Anyone who follows this blog or the radio show - or has read many of the articles I've written - knows that I like to focus on community within music. Sometimes an artist is very popular, but the community in which they are best known doesn't have much traction in mainstream and 'alternative' media (like Samini, for instance). Other times, an artist is fairly obscure or grassroots, but happens to have gotten the funding together to put out a disc which gives them a little shine for as long as the money and novelty can drive the promotional effort.

My analysis of music isn't about getting hot and bothered about the next big thing, but looking at the culture, community and economics behind music I'm interested. Hence my characterization of Canadian music in five words: "Myriad entrepreneurs battle industry inertia".

When it comes to music, there is so much to write and talk about, and even more to play with when it comes to radio (which remains my favourite form of musical expression). CIUT has infected me with its values for life. If nothing else I hope this little profile turns people on to some different ish and underlines that contemporary musical analysis can be more than just breathless hype and blogospheric circle-jerkery.



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