Originally published on atombash.com in 2009
That didn’t go so well. The acoustic duo who were to play in the Original Joe’s last Saturday night probably did, but an infected tooth performed an unexpected Olympic Biathlon preview in my upper jaw and knocked me flat on my back Saturday night. I could not fulfill my Live Music Examiner duties. In recognition of obstacles to lots of others who crave local live music, I’ll let you in on a not-very-well-kept secret for live music available on the web. Feed your need, even when the weather is inclement and the body is unwilling.
CBC Radio hosts more than one kind of live performance show on it’s many versions (CBC Radio One, Radio Two, and Radio Three).. Most of this programming is available through their Concerts on Demand service, which offers entire concerts they’ve broadcast. These are searchable by program, location, date, or genre, perfect for finding and listening to live music events of various levels of intimacy and familiarity, as long as you have decent speakers hooked up to your computer, and a reasonable internet connection, you can enjoy remarkably good recordings of similarly good live shows.
As a related issue, Radio 3 has a Calendar of Events for upcoming performances which can also be organized by location, date, genre, or artist. Of course, Radio 3’s mandate is somewhat narrower and new-music specific (“The Home of Independent Canadian Music”), aiming for a younger listening audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. In that case, however, you’d be stuck going to the venue itself. This can be accessed from their Gig Calendar link on the left side of the front page of their site, as can their live performances streams and downloads, under Concert & Sessions, which are available as full podcast downloads. Unfortunately, these can’t be organized specifically by location like the Radio Two version can, but it’s all in Canada.
In regards to the ‘Concerts On Demand’ or ‘Concerts & Sessions’ options, you’re limited to performers that the CBC has deemed worthy of recording and then sticking on their website. But make no mistake: we’re talking about the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. They have a particular sound, and it’s not necessarily mainstream. There’s no Bon Jovi. There’s no Celine Dion. There’s no Guess Who reunion tour. But you wouldn’t see those people in our local Calgary live music scene anyway, would you? But they do have on cbc.ca/radio2/cod/ Calgary performances of Brandi Disterheft (jazz), Iron & Wine (roots-rock), and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (classical). Or on radio3.cbc.ca Hannah Georgas, Sloan, and You Say Party! We Say Die!
These are exciting places to wander through.
CBC Radio Three
CBC Radio Two
CBC Radio One
It’s like live music Christmas every day. May you have a Merry Merry and a Happy New!