Where do you hear live music in town? Toronto, despite its boasts about being a centre for art and culture in Canada and its expanding population, doesn’t have much of a live music scene outside of being the default Canadian stop on arena-filling mega tours. Craig Robertson, a local musical artist and radio DJ confronts this fact almost daily. Meanwhile, Michael is in the midst of rediscovering a love for music and it frustrated with how the art form is presented in the mainstream.
Over the course of this episode the two bond over reminiscences over Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana as well as lamentations of the problem of “Recording Artist as Brand” that seems to plague the pop scene. Craig explains his attempts to be honest and genuine with his own music and trying to get an old-school album feel on his current work; not just in having moods and themes that progress between songs, but a definite break in those between an “A” and “B” side of the disc. As a touring performing that plays a lot of bars and as an attendee of a few bars, they share their feelings about song covers and the role they play in the business of being an independent musician.
Via a tangent about Canada’s Group of Seven artists, the conversation drifts into the topics of generational voices and the duty of a culture to foster and promote art that is genuinely reflective and emblematic of its values.
Fame, wealth, and fulfillment are the ideas that close the episode as Michael and Craig bring the conversation full circle to the idea of “Music as Consumable Brand” returns.