One of the great things about the web is how music is evolving in a more organic fashion in the digital age. It’s also given new life to old fashioned ideas about community, music and culture. As it’s a foregone conclusion that virtual communities are starting to catch up to geographical, “real world” communities in terms of their social relevancy, sites like these are demonstrating what collaborative sites can actually accomplish in bringing people together.

LAST.FM: This is a social networking concept site that involves you creating your own music profile that you can fill up with music you like with MP3s, AAC, WMA, it’s up to you. You’re essentially creating an online radio station for yourself – which isn’t terribly new, I admit – but man is it cool. Take a gander, you’ll like this one. With absolutely no relation to the horrid Ashlee Simpson track (sorry, if that counts as “edgy” in modern music, we’re in more trouble musically than we thought), this is a really neat service that just debuted. Basically, you go online and sell and trade CDs you no longer want for $1 a CD. The service says they will offer new full length albums and will sell digital album downloads. This could just be the reinvention of the record store we’ve been looking for. After all, when companies like these only stock their stores with bands albums by Ashlee Simpson and Theory of a Deadman (is this what CanCon Rock has come to? Nickelback 2.0?), no wonder their bottom lines suck.

GAMECODE: One of my former professors at Queen’s is now at Concordia. He’s heading up a group called GameCode, which, as the web site says, We specifically encourage the analysis of digital games and gaming in relation to the social, cultural and political conditions of living, working and playing in contemporary information societies.”

Great idea and a very interesting area of study that will only grow in importance for years to come.

Incidently, a potentially amazing new title is coming called Too Human, which could be the game title to finally break new ground for Narrativist game theory: Narrativists argue that video games create what’s called “cyberdrama,” in that thay represent a kind of storytelling that immerses the “participant” in characters and story. Too Human is supposedly going to reach this plateau; it’s video game trilogy (!) and has been in production for – wait for it – more than 10 years. I can’t wait to try this one.

Here’s a screen shot.


The Godfather: The Game comes out very soon as well, which should be equally fascinating and fun to play.

CBC PODCASTING: It’s coming soon enough, but CBC Radio shows – a whole whack of them, potentially the entire CBC Radio One main network – are expected to be available as podcasts very soon.

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