We’ve moved!

Northwest CanCon has moved to a new home on the web, www.TrilliumMediaServices.com/nwCanCon.

The new address is just one of a number of changes to the site. Some of them are obvious, others less so.

What won’t change is the content: we will continue to bring the latest news from the Canadian music scene to Oregon and Washington, as well as original content that you won’t find anywhere else, including interviews and photographs of the many talented musicians that perform here in the Northwest.

The most significant change should be hardly visible at all: we have switched the engine that drives the site from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. The subtle distinction between the two means much more flexibility for us in terms of the look of the site, and allows us to add certain features that we couldn’t include on the old site.

Chief among those is advertising. You will notice that the site now includes advertisements from Google’s AdSense program. While we do not wish to clutter up the site with obnoxious commercials, this is the first, necessary step in making the site self-supporting.

Another noticeable change is the opening page: instead of starting on the news page, the new site opens with the concert calendar. We are still evaluating whether this is the best landing page for the site, but the thinking is that the concert calendar is the heart of Northwest CanCon: the site is all about finding acts that are playing in our region, which is the point of the calendar. If you move to a different page on the site, you can always click “Concert Listings” to get back there.

Our news stories have moved to their own page: click on “Canadian Music News” or bookmark this page.

If you subscribe to our RSS feed, you will have to change your subscription. Click the link near the upper right of the page, or here.

The other major opportunity that the new site affords is better stats tracking. While the old site offered some measure of our readership, it couldn’t (or wouldn’t) tell us anything about the geographical distribution of our visitors. By moving over to the .org system, we can now use the statistics tracker of our choosing, which will ultimately help us to serve you better.

At some point in the future, Northwest CanCon is likely to have its own domain. Until then, you can find us at http://www.TrilliumMediaServices.com/nwCanCon. Be sure to look for exclusive interviews with The Pack A.D., Thee Manipulators, and Dan Mangan over the next three weeks.

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Free music from the Polaris short list

The Polaris Music Prize honours the best in Canadian music, and now you can have a piece of it for your very own!

There are several ways to pick up free tracks from each of the short-listed artists, but the easiest way is via MySpace.

Here’s the deal: head to the Polaris MySpace page and check their blog. Each week it will point you to one of the nominated artists’ MySpace pages, where one of the tracks from their nominated album will be free to download. It’s as simple as that. This week, the free track is from Shadrach Kabango (aka Shad).

The grand jury for the Polaris prize was announced today. Eleven music broadcasters, journalists, and bloggers will duke it out Sept. 29 in Toronto to determine the winner of the $20,000 prize.

The panel includes:

  • Mike Bell – Calgary Herald (Calgary)
  • Denise Benson – Eye Weekly (Toronto)
  • Evelyn Cote – Ici (Montréal)
  • Lana Gay – CBC Radio 3 (Vancouver)
  • Kevin Kelley – Newfoundland Herald (St. John’s)
  • Joshua Ostroff – AOL Canada (Toronto)
  • James Stewart Reaney – London Free Press (London)
  • Li Robbins – CBC Radio/Globe And Mail (Toronto)
  • Hannah Simone – MuchMusic (Toronto)
  • Darryl Sterdan – Winnipeg Sun (Winnipeg)
  • Frank Yang – Chromewaves (Toronto)

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WCMA Nominees, more MTV voting

The awards season keeps rolling on. Today we bring you the nominees for the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Corb Lund and The Weakerthans each received four nominations. Carolyn Mark, who will be playing in Seattle Sept. 20, was nominated for Outstanding Roots Recording, and Spirit of the West will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The WCMAs will be presented Oct. 19 in Edmonton. The full list of nominees is here.

Meanwhile, the marathon nomination process for the MTV Video Awards continues. This week you can vote to select nominees for Best Dancing in a Video and Best New Artist.

Canadian contenders in the Best Dancing category include Avril Lavigne (for the Girlfriend remix), Chromeo (Fancy Footwork), Nelly Furtado (Do It), and Kardinal Offishall (Dangerous).

Chromeo and Holy Fuck each have two videos on the long list for Best New Artist. Caribou, The Most Serene Republic, and You Say Party! We Say Die! are also in the running.

Voting in these categories continues through Friday.

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Anatomy of a one-hit wonder: The Kings

Back in 1980, a confidently-named Canadian quartet had a North American hit with “This beat goes on/Switchin’ to glide.” On the strength of that single, The Kings toured with major acts like The Beach Boys, Bob Seger, and Eric Clapton. But although they continue to record and tour, they haven’t been able to reproduce that level of commercial success.

Now, you can get the whole story straight from the band on their new DVD Anatomy of a one-hit wonder: The Kings’ “This beat goes on/Switchin’ to glide.”

Check out their website for all the details.

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Awards season continues: TC08, Kerrang!

The nominations and voting never seem to stop these days. This is a little late coming (especially for those of us who haven’t been teenagers for some time), but you still have two days left to vote for the 2008 Teen Choice Awards.

Simple Plan are the only Canadian musicians on the list of nominees this year. They are up against Boys Like Girls, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, and Paramore in the Best Rock Group category. If you are between 13 and 19, and live in the United States, cast your vote by midnight tonight (Aug. 1) by clicking here.

The show airs Aug. 4 on FOX. Click here for a complete list of nominees.

Simple Plan are also in the running for Best Single in the Kerrang! Awards, with “Your love is a lie.” Hail Destroyer by fellow Canadians Cancer Bats also made the Kerrang short list, in the Best Album category.

The Kerrang! Awards will be presented Aug. 21 “at a top secret location in London.” Click here to vote.

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Canadians gross big in tours; gas prices to show in tickets

Michael Buble was the topped the list of Canadians with the highest grossing tours in North America in the first half of 2008. His revenue of $32.5 million put him fifth overall, well behind Bon Jovi ($56.3 million).

Other Canadians in the top 100 tours so far this year include Rush (no. 12), Three Days Grace (no. 58), Anne Murray (no. 73), and Blue Rodeo (no. 84). Leonard Cohen, who is touring for the first time in 15 years, made the list at no. 93.

Meanwhile, music fans are likely to see ticket prices go up to cover the cost of fueling tour vehicles, whether it’s a small band with a van, or a major act with several truckloads of gear.

Read more about this story here.

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CCMA nominees announced

Nominees for the 2008 Canadian Country Music Association awards were announced today.

The list includes many of the usual suspects, including Paul Brandt, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and Terri Clark. Leading the pack, though, is newcomer Jessie Farrell who was nominated in seven categories, including Single of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Female Artist.

Another newcomer, Gord Bamford, was shortlisted for four awards. Paul Brandt was the top male nominee, getting the nod in five categories including Single of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Male Artist.

Terri Clark will host the CCMA awards show Sept. 8 in Winnipeg.

A complete list of CCMA nominees is online here. You can vote for the Fans’ Choice Award here. (Non-residents of Canada aren’t eligible for the contest, but it doesn’t say you can’t vote.)

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