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This Week in Blogs for March 21 - Brave New Waves

Posted by Scott / March 21, 2007

filter-two-blog.jpgBefore the internet was so widely available, insomniacs and music snobs had few resources at their disposal. There were a few solid record stores in big cities (for some of us, a day’s drive away), there were zines and magazines, gigs we went to, there was mail-order shopping…

…and there was Brave New Waves. Every week-night. For over 2 decades. Out of Montreal.

Well, as Hannah noted, CBC recently announced the end of BNW, citing some larger shifts in broadcasting policy. The show is meant to end quietly, without fanfare or final concerts. However, many local fans of the show have chosen a different end – they have begun talking about the show’s lasting impact.

And you can too...

As Justin at Metroblogging Montreal points out Brave New Waves became an institution that inspired many young musicians to develop their chops and head out on the road. It inspired others to work in College Radio and, later, develop Podcasts.

Adie at the Hyperbolic Tangent blog points out that this is BNW’s final week, and cites its influence on early classes, shopping habits and their musical tastes.

For my own part, I’ve been writing about Brave New Waves and collecting stories from people on my own blog, Urban Camouflage. Responses have come in from musicians, listeners, and even some American fans of the show. As this is the final week of BNW and local blogs are celebrating the show, I thought I’d request your stories.

How did you discover BNW? What do you remember most about the show? Did you discover any bands through the show that you would not have otherwise? Finally, what influence has the show had on your tastes and musical choices over the years?

I know a lot of us haven’t listened to BNW in awhile – but its influence lives on. What do you think? Leave a comment here, or on Urban Camouflage and let me know what you think. It seems crazy to let a show like this just fade out, without at least saying good-bye.

Discussion

26 Comments

matthew / March 21, 2007 at 04:31 pm
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It truly was a special show. I've always been amazed at how something on national radio could consistently cover such a wide spectrum of cutting edge non-mainstream music. Sad to see it go...
scott / March 21, 2007 at 07:22 pm
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I think that's it. So many people have mentioned falling asleep to the sonorous voice of patti or brent only to be wakened with a start to screaming feedback or walls of fuzz. I would wake up in the morning and find countless notes of band names strewn around me.
Robin / March 21, 2007 at 07:59 pm
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It's how I discovered the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, as it should be, on radio :) I remember tuning in at 2 or 3 in the morning, those were the days. Wait, I still do that...
J Mac / March 21, 2007 at 08:51 pm
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Steve Kado of Blocks Recording and Barcelona Pavillion made the same point about BNW's influence on the current generation of bands in an interview I did a few years ago. Totally makes sense.

Whenever my family drove from my hick town to Ottawa to visit grandparents, my dad's rule was CBC only. This normally meant, if we were driving on a Saturday afternoon, the opera or -- slightly better -- DNTO, or else Disc Drive or something else that I was obliged to hate in my role as difficult teen. On rare occasions we'd stay in Ottawa pretty late, and be on the road until after midnight, at which point this magical event would occur. Jazz would give way to crazy music. Crazy music, on the CBC! It was like a loophole in the rule.
Jer / March 21, 2007 at 09:26 pm
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I came to BNW late in the game, partly because Fredericton's radio situation while I was growing up wasn't something that inspired me to look to radio for musical guidance.

Living in Toronto, with some musical friends, I got exposed to a whole whack of tunes I hadn't heard before. I remember driving around with them late at night looking for something to do and listening to BNW. I rarely knew any of the tunes but they were all killer. But nothing topped Patti's voice.
scott / March 22, 2007 at 10:55 am
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ha ha - crazy music on cbc seeming like a loophole is exactly right. i remember hearing bnw for the first time and staring at the speaker, like it would suddenly explain this strange show to me.
Stefan Christoff / March 24, 2007 at 06:31 am
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Brave New Waves was an excellent program & provided inspiration for many artists across the country. Thanks for writing this piece Scott, it's really sad that the program will be ending...
scott / March 24, 2007 at 01:07 pm
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thanks stefan. this was the last week for the show. there are a few bloggers who are doing a great job of writing about the conflicting emotions around bnw's end. i'll be making some links on my own blog (urban camouflage) to these. they are worth checking out.
jonathon j / March 25, 2007 at 07:34 pm
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The show was absolutely unique. I used to listen especially when I was younger and didn't have internet access. I taped it every night for YEARS. It was an amazing voyage of discovery every day that has had a lasting impact on the horizons of my experience in ways that have stemmed far beyond music.
scott / March 26, 2007 at 02:23 pm
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its funny. since the end of BNW was announced, i've found a few people who have taped shows for years. some of them are available online, if you are diligent in yr searches. i used to tape them as well, and listen to them the next day. always amazed by what i half-remembered from hearing sounds in my dreams.
anthony / April 5, 2007 at 11:22 am
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after having just received the bad news, I am incredibly saddened. living in the states since last year, I decided to record BNW last night only to find it wasn't being aired. brave new waves was a cultural institution for myself and so many others as youth. it's cancellation is a great loss to us all as canadians and music lovers.
DonMac / April 14, 2007 at 09:16 pm
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Interesting how I happened upon this news. The Cure's "A Strange Day" is playing on my XM boombox while doing dishes (stateside). Flashback to Augusta Lapaix on BNW during formative college years on that remote island Nova Scotia. Much google searching to even remember her and the show's damned names. Happen upon the news about the show lasting until 2007 (!). Saddened that the next generation of kids looking for alternative enlightenment will be left a little emptier for this loss.
dertyhiyu / May 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm
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very smart =)
Joel / December 5, 2007 at 07:16 pm
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Late post, sorry, feeling very very nostalgically militant about the passing of this show. Luckily I have about 20 hours of BNW mp3s if anyone wants to swap/share joel2joel@gmail.com

I first heard it while trying to get acquainted with that crappy Kenny G jazz they'd play on Thursdays? Anyway, before I knew it, I was mezmorized by the tunage until around 3am, when it'd click: "what the hell am I listening to?" when they'd cover a part of the spectrum that was bordering on noise-art. Since then in 1995 I've been a big fan. That was it though, it was art...for all that that word means, BNW played art. I thought it'd be around forever, so I took her for granted.
Bruce Fyfe / January 28, 2008 at 02:09 am
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I stopped following BNW in '95 when I went to full time days but when I was 32 in 1984 and working my first night shift alone I found BNW and it was exactly the company I needed. Then, the show ran 6 hours and one very long item starting around 4 seemed to be part of the format. I still remember Augusta and her wine. (and when Brent goaded his producer out of the booth)
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