Re: This is not a goodbye thread
On the other hand, it can be hard for bands to break into any kind of public airplay without a little extra push from the commercial sector. CanCon could provide that opportunity - but like you say, if it's used in the 'wrong' way then it provides no service whatsoever.
How many of you have heard of Merzbow? There might be one, or maybe two hands go up. Believe me when I say he is one of the most influential and important musicians of the last fifty years - but does he get airplay? No. Why? Because he's a noise musician. Check out the album Frog+ for some of his slightly more recent output, or the piece 'Birds and Warhorse'. In the academic field, however, he is referenced as entire chapters of books ('Noise/Music: A History' by Paul Hegarty has a whole chapter on him). Either way, the fact that he doesn't get any kind of airplay honestly doesn't matter. Why? Because his music is good enough anyway to make the kind of statement he wants to make.
Should he have airplay, however? Well, yes. In part of an environment with a public remit, challenging artists really should have airtime. Why is it that outlets constantly pander to the lowest common denominator, forced pop acts? I can't tell the difference between some of the music ten years ago and some of the music now - and I was brought up in the 1990's, so I should be able to! CanCon serves only the backward-looking market and in no way (that I can see) serves to progress music, or even to serve music; just the owners of commercial stations who have people listen in because they 'feel they should listen to Canadian music' - even if it's total rubbish.
So, why not challenge? Because they're concerned about losing advertising revenue. It doesn't serve music at all. The solution? Ignore the radio and TV completely and go and find other methods to listen. I go into Oxfam on a weekly basis and buy Vinyl because it gives me something to listen to and to branch out into (as well as great material for acousmatic experiments), I check out free downloads on bleep.com and I go trawling through Amazon for interesting-sounding acts.
Oh, and I take up new instruments. That gives me a totally different perspective on listening. I suggest many of you stop being so drummer-centric.