Canadian Indie Music
May 14, 2011 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Canadian Independent Radio. CBC Radio 3 has over 25,000 uploaded artists, broadcasting on satellite and streaming on the web. The programming mix is "100 per cent Canadian music on both platforms" with exceptions for collaborations. Previously here and here.
posted by Brian B. (12 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
All love to the CBC, and I download Radio 3 podcasts on a weekly basis (after awhile, listening to the regular rotation can be as soul-destroyingly bland as listening to commercial radio), but if this is our definition of independent radio these days it confirms all the other radio-related hand wringing that periodically emerges as FPPs.
posted by waterunderground at 12:28 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

To expand, if you read through the whole wikipedia history of Radio 3, the station's rise is far more reflective of a decade-long retrenchment towards adult contemporary irrelevance (*) of CBC Radio 2 (an actual, mostly-Canada-wide broadcast station) than any kind of net triumph.

What we gained in Radio 3 (a coherent web-based platform featuring a certain kind of Canadian indie/alternative music and musicians, built through a decade of not-always-successful, trial-and-error new media experimentation) we more than lost in the marginalization and ultimate removal of much of this kind of content from the actual dial (with the transcendence of the Radio 2 program RadioSonic to become a kind of production foundation for Radio 3, and the cancellation of fellow Saturday night Radio 2 staple Brave New Waves).

(*) I'm probably being a bit harsh here. No doubt Radio 2 remains a pretty important platform for Canadian jazz, R&B, classical, etc., and quite possibly a stronger servant of these genres than it was twenty years ago. I'm not in a position to evaluate that. But compared to the 1990s and early 00s, when young indie music and audiences held down much of its Friday and Saturday night programming, it feels like a loss to me. The only time I tune in to Radio 2 now is when I'm cooking on the wrong weekend evening, and Vinyl Tap isn't on the main network (it, along with a few other programs from Radio One, reair on Radio 2 in different time slots). I feel like I should give The Signal more love, but given what it replaced it feels a bit like an airline music channel by comparison.
posted by waterunderground at 12:59 PM on May 14, 2011

A couple of playlists to start with:
Beaver Hour, the slightly-revised (based on availability) playlist I used for the 2011 February MeFi Mix CD Swap.
Welcome MeFites, a bigger mix of more things I like; I'll be sorting it into a better flow as you read this.

The current R3-30, the countdown of the top "hits". I'm not entirely sure what qualifies these as hits, but it's usually a good mix of good stuff.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:04 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Okay, so here's why I'm in love with R3.

The fascinating thing about R3 to me is their approach to digital rights. My understanding, and it's based on a couple of older articles from the Straight and Nerve, is that the artists who upload music to Radio 3 have agreed to let Radio 3 use it for their publicity without paying them royalties. This costs the artists literally pennies (a quarter of a million YouTube hits is worth eight bucks) but opens them up to exposure in a number of ways. The radio station (both internet and satellite) does a lineup of programming, but then there's also:
- Podcasts, in particular the CBC Radio 3 Podcast, the great weekly hour-long flagship.
- Nonhosted streams; if you go to Radio 3's main site, it starts with the main radio stream, but under the current track, there's a "View Radio Streams" button that gets you four streams playing genre-specific mixes of Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop and Electronica.
- Playlists, which can be created by any user (see my earlier post), and can be skipped through, jumped around, etc.
- Artist pages, where you can listen to any artists' music on a random-access basis, on demand. Replay, skip around, whatever. It's the opposite of something like And it's something where popular bands like Arcade Fire, New Pornographers and Feist have the same status as a band who put out their first EP last week.

Sure, it doesn't send electromagnetic waves through my body like terrestrial radio stations do, and it would be great if there was more of the spectrum devoted to Canadian indie music, but it is a truly amazing resource that gives you an amazing level of access to listen to anything you want, anytime you want, as long as it's Canadian.

Truly, a Worthwhile Canadian Initiative.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:44 PM on May 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

/silent tear for Brave New Waves
posted by HLD at 2:33 PM on May 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'm in love with R3 for all the reasons mentioned by m'Homeboy above.

I also agree with waterunderground's soul-destroyingly bland caricature above to some extent.

Because of point #1 I seriously wish there was a solution to point #2, and think often about how R3 can be fixed so that no one would ever feel that way about it again. I think introducing some non-CanCon to the R3 playlists would probably go a long way towards that.

I love the R3 website, though. Love love love. I love how open and cooperative and social it feels. I love how it seems like a modern version of back when mattered to little people like me. I may register on R3 right now, actually, and upload some new tunes. :o
posted by tapesonthefloor at 4:40 PM on May 14, 2011

I spend a good portion of every day on the R3-30 webpage, listening to the main stream, and podcasting the R3-30. I love CBC R3 -and I'm glad to see it getting some lovin.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:59 PM on May 14, 2011

I've been subscribing to the R3-30 and the R3 SuperFeed for a couple of years now. There's some really excellent music and podcasts on it.

Good work CBC!
posted by arcticseal at 6:24 PM on May 14, 2011

Holy shit, they have Slow (even if only one song)! I am pre-emptively giving my seal of approval to this on that alone, and wondering why I didn't know about it before.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:54 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

As long as we're on the subject of the CBC I just want to state that I really, really miss Disc Drive and wish there was some way to access all the episodes in a podcast or collection or anything. Anything!
posted by jnrussell at 8:53 PM on May 14, 2011

I heart CBC R3. I have my own music project up there, and despite how little I sound like most R3 artists, I still occasionally get fan mail through the site.
posted by Jairus at 9:05 PM on May 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

Radio 3 is awesome. That's all.

(Although the cancellation of Brave New Waves is indeed a travesty)
posted by GuyZero at 2:11 PM on May 15, 2011

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