An end… but also some beginnings!

Hey folks — yesterday marked our last regular weekly show on CHUO FM. It’s been an incredible three (!) years, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the University of Ottawa’s campus/community radio station, who are seriously some of the best people around. Thanks also to all of the bands who have taken part in our live and prerecorded shows and sets over the years, and most certainly to you, the listeners, who’ve shared in all of this with us!

But even though Now Playing will no longer be a weekly show on CHUO anymore, we’re not going away entirely! How could we possibly? We’ll still be contributing regularly to CHUO in the form of interviews from new and emerging artists from across the country who are touring through Toronto and Ottawa, and we’ll likely still be using this space (and our Twitter, and our Facebook page) to talk about new music we’re digging and shows we’re promoting (hint: we’re throwing one with Fevers, Adaline, and Techromancer in Toronto at the Garrison on May 3rd!) You can also hear me (Emma) on CBC Radio 3 occasionally, and you can also catch me on Twitter raving about plenty of music, too.

So while we’re figuring out these next steps (there are some more visual interview ideas up our sleeves, too… mmm), stay tuned to this page and our other social media outlets, too. And most importantly? Keep sending us your music! Bands, labels, kindly press folk: even if we’re not able to get back to you right away, we’re still paying attention to what’s comin’ our way. Especially if you’re planning to play Ottawa and/or Toronto soon, drop us a line at emma [at] nowplayingradio [dot] com — we’re looking to know who’s coming through these cities (or maybe you’re already based in these cities?) and who’s got new music up their sleeves. We look forward to still hearing from you guys.

And for readers and listeners: if you’ve got some ideas about what you’d like to see, get in touch too. We’re still working out our next steps, but we’re looking forward to ’em.

Catch you on the flip side.


We’re back in action! Jan. 23rd show rundown

Dearest listeners — it feels great to be back, fresh with a new episode for 2013. A new year heralds new singles, new releases, new tour dates… which, naturally, means plenty of fresh new music right here week after week from some of your favourite Canadian artists — and some soon-to-be-favourites. It also means presenting you a fresh new look here on the web, which we hope you keep checking back and checking out as we get back into the groove of posting interviews, playlists, and more.

Speaking of playlists, here’s what we spun on today’s show (links take you to the show listings we mentioned on air!):

Luke Lalonde – Red Wagon
The Acorn – Crossed Wires
Evening Hymns – Broken Rifle
Blue Hawaii – Try To Be
The Dirty Nil – Verona Lung
Michael Rault – Lay Right Down And Die
Camp Radio – Murder On My Skin
Holy Fuck – Lovely Allen
Young Rival – Don’t Make A Sound
Tegan & Sara – Now I’m All Messed Up
The Sadies – Another Year Again
Vampire Weekend – I Think Ur A Contra

Missed the show? No sweat! CHUO has set up on-demand episodes so you can catch up anytime! Check ’em out right here.

‘Til next week!


A fall of firsts! And our Sept. 5th show rundown

We’re back in our “second home” of Toronto, dear listeners — after an always-fun live show back in Ottawa at the end of August — and we’re thrilled to announce that the first of several NOW PLAYING RADIO Presents showcases kicks off next week! For our inaugural show, we’re featuring some terrific up-and-coming local talent, including Philip James, Carlo Meriano, Daniel Mager Band, and Michael Wexler (of great friends of the show Inlet Sound) playing a solo set. It all goes down at Rancho Relaxo next Wednesday, September 12th — doors are at 8:30pm and music starts at 9:20 — and only costs five bucks. Check out the Facebook event for more information, including links to tracks from each act (get a taste of what to expect, right?).

We also spun a couple of tracks from the above artists, plus new songs from some of our perennial faves:

Michael Rault – I Wanna Love You
Divine Fits – My Love Is Real
White Wires – Everywhere You Were
Jenn Grant – I Want You Back
John K. Samson – When I Write My Master’s Thesis
Hey Rosetta! – Yer Fall
Carlo Meriano – To Serve Man
Philip James – Mountain Limbs
Aidan Knight – A Mirror
Hooded Fang – Younger Days
Bahamas – Already Yours
Said the Whale – Curse of the Currents

Next week: more about our upcoming showcases and, as always, fresh tracks from some of your favourite Canadian artists. ‘Til then!

July 11th show rundown, featuring Library Voices!

This week’s show was direct from Regina, Saskatchewan, where we got to meet up with Mike and Carl of Library Voices to chat about their prairie home base, how they think the world is going to end in 2012, and the place of politics in music. (Also be sure to listen for the multiple times we order more rounds of drinks and our extra-special spontaneous chat with Marshall of Rah Rah – it really is a small world.) And hey, don’t forget to catch Library Voices at the Black Sheep Inn on July 18th.

Mike (LV), Marshall (Rah Rah), and Carl (LV) at the Slow Food Pub in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Stream our chat below and check out the songs we spun, handpicked by the musicians themselves:

Part one of the show:

Part two of the show:

Library Voices – Regina, I Don’t Want To Fight
Rah Rah – Little Poems
Wintersleep – In Came The Flood
Apollo Ghosts – I’m In Love With The USA
JEFF The Brotherhood – Sixpack
Hooded Fang – Vacationation

We’ll be delivering you episodes from elsewhere on the prairies over the next few weeks, as we travel to Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton – stay tuned!

June 27th show rundown

We’re back in the blog-updating saddle again, lovely listeners. Today’s show featured a slew of terrific new tracks from some of our favourite artists here on Now Playing:

Bravestation – Tides of the Summit
Silkken Laumann – House of Common Problems
The Elwins – Time to Kill Time
Stars – The Theory of Relativity
Diamond Rings – I’m Just Me
Rah Rah – I Could Tell You I’m Sorry
Dream Jefferson – Hannah
Teenage Kicks – Jemima Surrender
Evening Hymns – Arrows
ev ree wuhn – Control

We’ve also updated our local show listings – and don’t forget to check out our last post, where you’ve got the opportunity to get your hands on a mixtape we just can’t wait to share with you. ‘Til next week!

Summer catch-ups! And a summer mixtape for you.

You can tell when it’s summer here at Now Playing Radio, because that’s apparently when we fall behind on web updates. It always seems like there’s just so much amazing happening that one can hardly keep up. But keep up we shall – or we’ll at least strive to do.

Right off the bat: make sure you check out Feverfest this weekend, featuring some of Ottawa’s best, brightest, and most buzzed-about bands hitting the stage at both the Clocktower Pub and Irene’s on Bank Street in the Glebe. More information about Feverfest can be found here – and don’t forget about some of the sweet acts hitting the Jazz Festival this weekend, including Destroyer, the Barr Brothers, and Adam and the Amethysts. More info about the downtown Ottawa festival right here.

We’re still hoping to post the audio from our last few months of sessions and interviews soon, but in the meantime, we’ve assembled a small-but-mighty mixtape of some of our favourite 2012 summer jams by some killer Canadian artists, all centered on a healthy blend of synth-pop and garage-rock. (From PS I Love You and Stars to Dream Jefferson and Silkken Laumann and plenty more…) All you need to do is one of two things:

1) Head on over to our Facebook page, give us a “Like,” and shoot us a message saying you’d like to get your paws on the playlist. We’ll send you a download link and you’ll be set!

2) Follow us on Twitter, and shoot us a message or tweet at us saying you’d like to snag the mixtape, and we’ll DM you the link!

We’ll be spinning some of these sweet tunes live in studio on next week’s show, too so be sure to catch that – Wednesday, 1pm, ‘Til then!

Post #100! We’ve got a sun-drenched summer playlist for you.

To celebrate our 100th post and the absolutely killer weather this weekend, we’ve got a sweet, sun-drenched summer playlist just for you. Crafted through CBC Music — seriously, you can go make a billion playlists there for yourself — we present to you a sweet mix featuring The Elwins, Hooded Fang, The White Wires, Library Voices, Japandroids, Topanga and Reversing Falls — check it out right here.

More goodies to come, including our live session with Faraway Neighbours that aired this past week! And be sure to tune in this week when we chat with one half of Toronto indie pop-punk rockers Topanga!

April 18th show rundown, plus our chat with Darrelle London!

Continuing in our quest to catch up with interviews and playlists, here’s what we spun on last week’s show:

The Apache Relay – Home Is Not Places
Hooded Fang – Wanning
Tokyo Police Club – Strictly Game
Destroyer – Chinatown
The Barr Brothers – Beggar in the Morning
Cold Specks – Winter Solstice
Darrelle London – First Date
Darrelle London – RV Song
Amos the Transparent – Says the Spark
Silkken Laumann – On The Mend
Grey Kingdom – When The Seasons Drown

And of course, we had the pleasure of chatting with Toronto native Darrelle London about her new album “Eat a Peach” – you can stream the interview (and the song “First Date”) below: (or right-click here to download)

Be sure to catch tomorrow’s show as we gush about tonight’s Bluesfest lineup announcements! (Handsome Furs! Grimes! Hey Rosetta! The Arkells! The Weeknd! And many more!)

April 11 show rundown

Almost a month has passed and yet it only just feels as if we’re getting out of our CMW coma. That’s what plenty of live music does to you. Have no fear, listeners: we’re still in action as always, and we’ll be posting some of our most recent interviews — including those with Toronto acts Paint and Adaline, plus our CMW chats with Kalle Mattson, Samantha Savage Smith, and Poor Young Things — as the week goes on, and we’ll be getting back into that lovely Song of the Week groove (pun intended!) too.

For now, a recap of what we spun last week:

Said the Whale – Loveless
J.J. Ipsen and the Paper Crown – DaDaDa
Eight and a Half – Scissors
Octoberman – Dressed Up
Library Voices – Regina I Don’t Want To Fight
Gold and Youth – Time To Kill
Great Bloomers – Something More
The Wooden Sky – Take Me Out
Kalle Mattson – The Shore
Wintersleep – Resuscitate
Sarah Hallman – Electricity
GSJF – Messages
Bahamas – Lost in the Light

And be sure to tune into tomorrow’s show — 1pm on or 89.1 on the FM dial for those listening in Ottawa — for our chat with Toronto songstress Darrelle London, who will be hitting up the Centrepointe Theatre in the nation’s capital this Friday, April 20!

‘Til then!

March 21st show rundown with Papermaps, JUNOfest weekend and new SONG OF THE WEEK!

CMW may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the action has stopped — no, siree. This weekend is JUNOfest in Ottawa, which means terrific acts from Ottawa and everywhere else in this fine country will be packing the city’s venues tonight and tomorrow night, in advance of the actual JUNO awards on Sunday night. We weren’t able to set up our own show rundown, HOWEVER if you head over here, you’ll see info for every show, complete with times, venues and lineups — and you’ll likely recognize many artists from right here on Now Playing Radio. We encourage you to head out and soak up as much incredible music action as you can!

We’ll post the rundown from this week’s LIVE show a little later on, but for now, feel free to check out more info about our funding drive right over here. We’re just about at our halfway mark and still have PLENTY of terrific prizes left! Get in touch if you’d like to get your hands on some goodies — we’d love your support!

So back to the March 21st show! Here’s what we spun:
Rich Aucoin – P:U:S:H
Doldrums – Parrot Talk
Wildlife – Matches
Dream Jefferson – Vampyroteuthis
The Darcys – Peg
Brett Caswell & The Marquee Rose – L.O.V.E.
Papermaps – Reunion
The Elwins – Larry Pastorus
Adam & the Amethysts – Prophecy

Of course, we also got to talk to the wonderful Dean Marino of Toronto band Papermaps, who are actually playing in Ottawa TONIGHT at Zaphod’s with Fire + Neon and Aardwulf — tickets are $6 and doors are at 8pm! Check out our chat below (right-click to download):

And funny that Dean had mentioned working with Tokyo Police Club and The Elwins previously, as a rad new little project between some of their members + pals cropped up earlier this week, a song from which just had to be our SONG OF THE WEEK this last week of March. GSJF effectively stands for Graham (Wright, of TPC and solo endeavours), Spencer (MacEachern, of The Fabulous Yawn), Joe (Manzione, who, among other projects, has played in Wright’s Good Times Band), and Feurd (of The Elwins) and the group quietly released a free, six-song digital EP that they recorded themselves over the course of a day — just this past Monday, in fact.

I spun a track on the show this week and haven’t been able to stop listening to the jangly, acoustic goodness ever since. “Messages” in particular, a tune by MacEachern, is infectious with its honesty, lyrical simplicity, and adorable vocal-backed and jingle-bell laden percussion. I can’t help but think it could be featured on the indie-fanatic soundtrack of a Diablo Cody lovelorn-romantic-comedy flick.

GSJF – “Messages”

Listen if you like: stripped-down, simple and honest indie tuneage; percussion punctuated by jingle bells and “ba-ba-ba”s; any of those acts mentioned above, seeing at folks from them are part of this.

Be sure to download the entire EP — it’s free and absolutely worth it. Until next week — enjoy JUNOfest if you’re in Ottawa!