Editor’s Rant: Music Issue

As the music issue is slated to his shelves any day now around campus, we thought we would give you a teaser from the new issue.

The Music Issue featuring the Arkells hits stands this week. Feverishly exciting.

Music. It affects me everyday. I don’t stray from it. I embrace it, gaily. Hell, I just tossed on a record (Bon Iver) to help pound this out. My alarm clock plays my iPod to wake me from my dreamy stupor, although this typically throws me into a deeper reverie. It’s effective in a different way. My cellphone blurts out Modest Mouse’s “Dashboard” when someone calls. I listen to my iPod, blasting Beirut on my way to work every morning, riding the stuffed streetcar. I listen to a collection of Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós while writing at work. When I get home, I will typically toss on another record—my mom just gave me her original Beatles’ records, Abbey Road and The White Album. Pretentious, yet excited? Uh huh. And then I repeat.

It’s inescapable, this love of noise in my ears.

It started when I was a wee ankle-biter. After hearing the ridiculously ironic hit “Black or White” for the first time in my Grade 5 class, I needed more Michael Jackson. For my next birthday, I asked my dad to get me a Michael Jackson cassette tape. So were the times before the CD. When I received the present, I devilishly unwrapped it until Prince’s Purple Rain rested in my talons. The poor man’s Michael Jackson. I was deterred from music for a short while. Thereafter, my real entrance—or infatuation—with music was when I started university.

There’s a simple equation in Canada’s music industry: Break the college market. It serves the alternative, indie, hip-hop, rock, DJ and folk, etc. genres. The examples are myriad, just nod your head as you read the following examples: Billy Talent, Bedouin Soundclash, Treble Charger, Sam Roberts Band, The Stills, Metric, Our Lady Peace, K’naan, The Trews, Matthew Good Band, The Arkells, Protest the Hero, Tokyo Police Club, Bif Naked and Finger Eleven. It’s a small catalogue of Canada’s top bands that broke the college scene. Not surprisingly, all these artists have once graced Connexion’s stage. It’s also why we talked to the two latter artists about their experiences, cutting their teeth on the college market. And why we threw the Arkells on the glossy cover that just caught your eye.

There’s a simple equation in Canada’s music industry: Break the college market.

As these bands explain—alongside the industry insiders interviewed for the cover story, which starts on page 16—the college demographic is much coveted. You, the college crowd, are the testers for up-and-coming artists. The college kids love to be ahead of the curve; to see the big acts before they are big deals. Like a dog, you sniff out the mind-blowing talent and shit on the poseurs. It’s when you flock to see a new band, such as the Arkells, that you give them the College Stamp of Approval. And trust us, a lot of bands want that.

Hell, we want that stamp, too.

–RYAN BOLTON

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