Friday, March 20, 2009

North by East West is Go

The new Canadian music blog NxEW is up and running. That means, to an extent, I'll be dividing my time and yes I'll still be posting music stuff here, but not as much as there.

NxEW is an attempt to bring together music lovers from all over Canada on a single blog. As I wrote in the 'About' section:
Canada has been called unworkable as a country, it has been said that a geographically impossible country. With a population roughly the size of California and a land mass larger than the U.S. or China Canada is divided by vast empty spaces, by immense mountain ranges, by harsh winters and of course by language. Add to all of that the fact that most major Canadian population centers are closer to the US than they are to the next major Canadian population center and there are very few things that unite Canada.

Much to the chagrin of Stephen Harper much of what ties Canada together is cultural. The CBC, certain Canadian authors and most especially music. CBC Radio 3's New Music Canada site houses profiles of thousands of Canadian recording artists from every part of the country. Cities like St. John's, Moncton, Charlottetown, Guelph and Sudbury (all of which are smaller than Springfield, Missouri) have thriving, vibrant music scenes. The large cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are essentially perpetual music festivals - a recent count in Toronto showed 326 musical acts playing 37 venues and that was just a normal week (the week before Canadian Music Week).

Thousands of Canadian artists criss cross the country, despite the geography, all year round serving as kind of cultural ambassadors between the maritimes and the oil patch, between the prairies and Ontario, between Ontario and the west coast and form a sort of disbursed community among Canadian music lovers.

NxEW, takes it's name from the NxNE and SxSW festivals but demonstrates both the geographical issues of Canada as well as the relative unimportance of Geography in the internet age.

The hope is to bring together music lovers from across Canada, from the east and the west, the prairies and the north, from small towns and big cities to talk about music - what's going on nationally and what's going on locally. In other words to create a Canadian music blog with "boots (or sneakers) on the ground" in every part of the country.
So, if you get a chance check it out. Also still looking for writers and the Facebook group is over here.


Downes said...

What, you couldn't give it a name that is not derivative from some music festival in Texas?

Justin Beach said...

It's also derivative of a music festival in Toronto (NxNE) and pretty much accurately describes the geography of Canada. I'm not sure what your panties are in a bind about.

simon said...

SxSW is huge for people in the Toronto music scene, at least. Toronto and Canada in general are profoundly over-represented there every year. I'm fine with claiming it as our own.