Acts Bandcouver Played First: For Better Or Worse & Other Such Issues

I recently took some time to look over some of the acts that have recently either: (A) Gone to the next level or (B) Become famous ,for better or worse, who have been featured on Radio Bandcouver, ( Weds. 3:30-5pm on Co-op Radio 102.7 FM / online coopradio.org ), in past 15 years.

Three acts come to mind: Dan Mangan, Mother Mother and Carly Rae Jepsen.

I remember Dan Mangan’s first EP In 2003 called All at Once. I don’t remember liking it too much. I thought he had potential ,but, it wasn’t until his second release “Postcards & Daydreaming“, originally in the summer of 2005, that I thought something was happening here.  Songs like “Not What You Think It Is”, “Journal Of A Narcoleptic”,  and “Fabulous” really stuck out.

But, I had no idea he was going to make as big a noise as he has in recent years. There was no early indication in 2003. I believe constant touring and the fact that certain commercial radio stations picked up on what he was doing, helped tremendously.

Unfortunately, being the first to play him and have him play live on Co-op radio’s “Radio Bandcouver” years ago, doesn’t account for much.

There’s a habit of dwelling on how good Co-op had it with live music “back in the day”, and giving very little credit to what the current live indie music shows have done for live music in Vancouver. 

Maybe the fact that the presentation of live music ,( either on location and in the Co-op studios), on the air has shrunk continually over the years, is the reason for the fall in financial support for the local music shows.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of concern that: since the Glass Slipper burnt down, and programmers who presented live music have left over the years, that there is a considerable void that hasn’t been filled for live music since at Co-op radio. 

Maybe if you brought some of it back, our listenership would increase. Not everybody wants to hear nothing but public affairs all the time.

((((  Remember, Co-op Radio is trading places with a MUSIC station on September 10th.  ))))

Also not having live music very often on the air, can make Co-op radio a dull place.

Shows like: “She-Boom!”, “No Apologies Necessary”, “Front Row Center” , “Into The Pit”. and ,of course, “Radio Bandcouver”, deserve some credit for sticking it out for as long, as they have with no budget and shrinking financial support.

These shows are putting in an honest effort, informing people about current and eclectic acts which fall outside the ‘traditional’ realm, and don’t receive support from the big stations.

I know the acts I play on Radio Bandcouver aren’t getting airplay on the big stations. I check their play-lists at least once a week. So don’t try to tell me otherwise. hahaha

Even when they do play the odd act, they only play the most commercially viable of their songs, and in most cases, only 1 or 2 of them.

I respect what’s been done in the past at Co-op ,but, let’s get with the now, please. Just because we’re not ‘hardcore traditionalists’, doesn’t mean we’re idiots.


Many of  the local/ indie music shows have been around for 15 years or more.  I know you have to “check your ego at the door” ,but, let’s give credit where credit is due for local music, and give shows like this more support: morally and financially. We’re not asking a lot of money here.

Back with the tour:

Dan Mangan’s completely deserving of his success. I obviously don’t play him as often as I used to. Not to spite him. It’s the fact there’s other acts to discover that the big stations will never give the time of day to.

But, that doesn’t mean I won’t have him in to play live on the air again. Dan’s welcome to do so anytime.

The big stations are too hung up on demographics, familiarity, Billboard and YouTube hits to make any decisions on their own.

That is one advantage of producing Radio Bandcouver every Wednesday afternoon ( 3:30-5pm 102.7 FM/ online @  http://www.coopradio.org ) Although not many take advantage of it.

Back with the tour:

Mother Mother have taken the next big step after 7 years of slogging away.  I’ve been playing them since they were just called Mother.

I even had them in to perform live, and announce their name change when their debut was re-released with added electric instruments and drums, and renamed “Touch Up”.

The re-release also saw several new songs replacing several songs that were on the original 2005 release, which is worth searching out by the way.

I have to admit I didn’t like their follow up “Eureka” as much. I also miss Debra Jean Creelman on vocals.

She left the band to seek her own creative endeavors like Debra Jean & the Means. I like her material a lot. It’s edgy and very musically satisfying.

I did get the feeling she was aching to strike out on her own musical journey when she was in Mother Mother. The parting was amicable and all is well. 

One of their earlier songs which goes back to their original 2005 album called “Mother”. This is the closest I got. hee hee.

And now: The most bizarre change of fate that was revealed on Radio Bandcouver years ago: Carly Rae Jepson!

I’m not a fan of ‘Call Me Maybe” ,but, I wish her the best anyway. When I had her on the show, this was when she first had shows at The Media Club. One such show was opening for Lilyfrost and Kinnie Starr. I still have the poster and the flyer for the show.

She had a star quality to her that was evident even back then. IMU Productions, a music promotion and booking company with whom I’ve been postering for and helping promote gigs for the better part of 10 years, were probably the first to book her shows ( and most likely Dan Mangan’s ).

It’s mind-blowing seeing what happened with her over the last few years. She was a Top 3 finalist on “Canadian Idol” and then was signed to a major and is now getting the hell played out of her. 


I can also include others that have, more or less, made the next level whom I’ve played over the years: Geoff Berner ,( back to his Terror Of Tiny town days ), Rich Hope, Be Good Tanyas, Bocephus King, Hey Ocean!, Bend Sinister, Headwater and Adeline to name a scent few. 

Now, I think an independent music show that has been there for 3 of the most popular indie acts in the country, deserves a little more respect and a little more financial support.

Radio Bandcouver is on Co-op Radio. It is a stand-alone community radio station. It doesn’t get government funding like CBC does. It is not part of a university or campus. So it doesn’t receive money from a student union.

It gets its money from listeners like yourself.

Programmers ,like myself, volunteer our time there. We aren’t paid the big bucks to do what we do. Though we should be, as we play a wider variety of talent and put a lot of work into our shows.

It absolutely floors me how so little of the money that comes into Co-op goes to any particular radio show.

Being specific as to which show your money’s going to helps tremendously. The money coming in to Co-op radio isn’t evenly distributed. That’s not the way it works.

Money is put towards the show that people mention as their favourite show.

The programmers, like myself, don’t get the money. The station does.

The station has had a zero budget for live music for a long time. Thankfully that’s ,( hopefully ), changing somewhat now with our new engineer, Anju, and her crew.

Everything I’ve done, live in the studio, is the result of equipment I’ve either acquired from sound engineer Martin Jordanov at Pro-Spec Production, ( formerly JMS ) ,later on in about 2001, or equipment I’ve had to pony up the money for myself since 1997.

Martin’s crew did sound for the Crab Park July 1st Festival every year by the way. A free, all ages event, 1-4pm at the North foot of Main Street.

I think a radio show that goes to those lengths to present live music since 1997, deserves a little boost.

People have asked me why I haven’t moved to CBC, or commercial stations like The Peak, ( whom we’re changing FM frequencies with Sept 10.), or The Shore with my radio show. It’s for the simple reason that they would not allow me to do or play what I want.

Back to the financial reality of the program:

A minimum $20 every 6 months from the thousands (?) of listeners towards Radio Bandcouver staying on the air, is not a lot to ask for a better local music support system.

604-684-8494 is the number. You can also pick up a Co-op Radio Listener’s Guide at most public libraries in Vancouver, or you can do it online at coopradio.org.

Don’t forget Radio Bandcouver sent you. Cheers and thanks for your support.


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~ by bandcouver on June 16, 2012.

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