So many apologies for that extended absence. Life got in the way in a number of ways, both good and bad. I won’t bore you with the details. Rather, I’m going to announce the winner of the Community contest that closed waaay back in March. In celebration of the launch of CBC’s new music site, CBC Music, readers were asked to write in with their own stories of how the music community has affected them. The winner received a copy of Arkells‘ Michigan Left and their story would be published here.
So, without further ado, the belated tale of our globe-trotting winner.
Andy ‘canadajanes’ Janes is a Canadian expatriate now residing in Texas. Andy’s tale is the perfect example of how not just the music community but the global community as a whole works together to enhance our shared experiences.
Andy happily pins the blame for his CBC Radio3 obsession on an old friend from high school. She gave him several CDs by R3 acts and pointed him in the direction of the podcasts just as he was entering a period of upheaval. It was the summer of 2006 and Andy was leaving Texas for DC. He had earned himself a summer internship working for a senator, a position that afforded him plenty of free time for which the aforementioned podcasts provided the perfect soundtrack. Unfortunately, as with all things, the internship came to an end 4 months later and life got in the way. Andy had to leave Radio3 behind. The music however, like any of our passions, would eventually find a way of creeping back in to his life.
Much like the events that first brought Andy to the Canadian indie scene, the impetus for its return involved a change of scenery. Instead of urban Washington D.C., this time he found himself somewhere slightly more exotic. It was December 2008, shortly after Christmas, and our intrepid fan had taken a position at a high school in eastern Rwanda near the border with Tanzania. In order to maintain a connection with home Andy rediscovers the Radio3 podcasts, downloading the entire backlog and falling in love with several of the acts he found therein. Understandably, outside of the offerings of Radio3, Canadian music was very difficult to come by. That didn’t stop Andy from sharing the likes of Coeur de Pirate and Justin Rutledge with the friends he had made. And in exchange he was introduced to such emerging East African artists as Tom Close and The Ben.
Unlike in 2006, when Andy’s time in Africa came to an end and he returned to Texas his connection to Radio3 didn’t end. Rather, it continued to blossom into a full-blown obsession (in a good way). Nowadays he is a regular listener and finds time to contribute to the blog from his position with the Student Conservation Association where our ever-civic-minded friend runs a program engineered to engage high school students in the world of environmental conservation. And the blog community isn’t ungracious to his commentary, helping him by pointing in the direction of touring groups that are performing in the local area and finding ways to get him and his fiancée into exclusive events like the Canadian Blast BBQ at SXSW in nearby Austin.
‘This is what the CBC Radio3 community is all about, helping each other to better enjoy the music we all love!’ I couldn’t have said it better myself, Andy. Congratulations and I hope you’re enjoying your copy of Arkells’ Michigan Left.