Edmonton’s got a thriving music scene. It’s probably always had a good scene, but you don’t see too many stories about this band or that musician leaving town to make it big these days.
Maybe that means the days of huge rock stars are dwindling, but ironically the Internet probably helps people find an audience to at least sustain some of their music (ironic because of downloading and all the terrible stealing it brings).
And you won’t just find Edmonton bands and artists by hitting up sites that are popping up and flourishing to fill the void of MySpace, the Internet also provides a home for mixes, compilations, promotion, distribution, and discussion of music – from Edmonton and afar.
Let’s jump into some places we think you’re going to find plenty of music you’ll like.
One Time, At Bandcamp…
When we posted a thanks to the 57 Edmonton bands and musicians that formed the soundtrack to our TV show we mentioned that we discovered many though Bandcamp. It’s probably our favourite of the music sites you’ll find on the Internet. (What’s yours?)
By searching the Edmonton tag you’re going to find new songs, EPs, and albums from anybody from Edmonton (and sometimes music produced in Edmonton).
It’s a fairly simple site to navigate, with pretty good search capabilities. You can listen to anything a musician has posted for playing, often download it in multiple formats, and pay for anything that’s for sale.
Keep your eyes on those prices, a lot of musicians will put up albums and songs with a “pay what you can” label, allowing you to show your support. And once you get a chance to listen to an entire album from some of Edmonton’s great artists, you’ll probably feel pretty good about investing a few dollars in them.
And when you’re zooming around Bandcamp you’re going to come across compilations. One such mix you should check out is “Edmontonia.”
It’s “…mainly curated from the perspective of introducing the world outside Edmonton to the exhaustive wealth hiding within it.” And, baby, do we have some talent here.
Edmontonia’s got three volumes at this point: Vol. 1, Vol 2. Vol. 3 and all feature a variety of 10 Edmonton bands or musicians, across all genres. (We’re big fans of breaking through the genre wall. Expand those musical horizons!)
Bandcamp would also be a great way to explore sounds from other cities. Instead of searching the Edmonton tag, you could try Saskatoon, or Winnipeg. You could discover the next best thing(s). With the Internet, you don’t have to wait for a radio station to tell you what the next great band is. You can have 20 of your own.
Home of the Best Music Website
Weird Canada has been around for just over two years, filling the Internet with the small, independent, unheard, weirdest music you can find. It’s also helping to bring notice to Edmonton’s music scene through both the website and Wyrd Fest, its summer caravan of music.
We’ll let Weird Canada explain what it is they do:
It’s worth noting Weird Canada’s competition in the Best Music Website contest is home to more new music and discussion. You might even see an Edmonton band or two pop up. (We know you will at Hamilton’s Southern Souls. It was runner-up to Weird Canada. The MusicNerdChronicles rounded out the top 3.)
I hinted that the Internet was great for not just finding Edmonton music, but promoting and distributing music from Edmonton. So howsabout an example of that?
Hi54LOFI Records runs out of an apartment near Whyte Avenue. Jeremy Sroka says it’s something that “…grew out of the musical camaraderie and opportunity/excitement that once existed on Myspace. The death of Myspace sort of went hand in hand with the discovery of all these other amazing sites and happenings on the web (Bandcamp, Twitter, Tumblr, Soundcloud, Tunecore, and an almost endless amount of others that exist already or will come out tomorrow) that started making it more possible than ever for somebody in their bedroom to get their music out of their bedroom.”
Jeremy thinks most people should be able to find something they like on the site.
“There is also a lot of free music to be had on the site and everybody likes that.”
He’s right. The Internet loves free!
Essentially, HI54LOFI acts as a hub for musicians. Jeremy helps promote music, and also helps with releases any way he can.
And, like a lot of things that start on the Internet, things jump off the computer screen and into the real world. When he moves to the UK next month, Jeremy is going to go on a small tour with some of the musicians he’s met, worked with, collaborated with, and helped through HI54LOFI.
It’s always important to listen to someone’s music. Letting them know you like it, it inspired you, it found a place in your life, and buying their music is also great.
Buying their swag and seeing them live is another way to support Edmonton music, keep it thriving and growing, enjoy new bars and venues, and meet other local music fans. (Both local fans, and fans of local.) And it means you can put your money right into the hands of the band members or musicians (who you will sometimes find working the door at small shows).
Edmonton’s got a great way to see what’s going on in live music. Neat how that works out.
YEG Live(.ca) is a local online ticket and concert listings site. Run by a couple of guys who knew each smaller venue in Edmonton had a different way of ticketing, it’s starting to make things a little simpler for the venues, bands, and you and me.
It’s also a great way to check what’s up at clubs and bars this week and in the near future. I use it as a resource when talking about weekend events, and you’ll often find it linked to Edmonton’s online events site ShareEdmonton.
Plus, Chris and Cameron, the guys behind YEG Live, are really smart.
Last But Not Least
Don’t forget about CJSR and CKUA. Edmonton’s got two great options for new, local, eclectic, and independent music in those stations. And search #yegmusic on Twitter to find out who’s talking about music in Edmonton.