Ideas. Cities. Social Innovation.

My latest is a follow-up to the look at Canada’s metros with vibrant indie music scenes:

Atlantic and Pacific metros stood out in the previous rankings, and it’s no surprise that Charlottetown and Fredericton rank high here. The two Atlantic CAs rank higher in concentration than all but four CMAs (Halifax, Victoria, Vancouver, Guelph).

My latest post:

A vibrant cultural scene is a key part of this, and the local music scene is a good bellwether for it. It’s more universal than theatre, more social than reading, and more local than television/film, which tends to be highly clustered. I believe it gives a good read of a city’s cultural scene more often than not. 


Vancouver and Victoria rank high both overall and per capita, and 3 of the 4 CMAs in the Atlantic provinces finish in the top 10 per capita. Given the prominence of live music in the latter’s culture, this shouldn’t be a big surprise, but it does confirm that local artists are generating original content, not just playing cover songs in pubs.

My latest, on the value folk festivals in Western Canada bring to their communities:

The key is to find ways to leverage these events and create additional value to the host city. Vancouver and Winnipeg’s festivals are tourist draws, but if they do not lead to return (non-folk fest) visits or additional days spent elsewhere in the city, it’s a missed opportunity. Edmonton and Calgary’s festivals now promote shows year-round, and Calgary has secured a concert hall that also hosts its offices and provides community space. I see opportunities for both to cultivate greater exposure for the local music scene in their respective cities.

I grew up on folk songs like “This Land is Your Land”. Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine, and Arcade Fire are three of my all-time favourite artists. Seeing this all come together is amazing.

Bruce Springsteen’s keynote at SXSW.

The E Street Shuffle on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Springsteen, the band, The Roots, and Tom Morello.

I posted “Wrecking Ball" last night, now here’s Springsteen on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last performing “We Take Care of Our Own”.

The Roots get their own mural as part of Philly’s Mural Arts program. As a fan, I love seeing them recognized.

Related - my photos from Philly include a number of mural shots.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band perform “Wrecking Ball”, the title track from their upcoming album, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. So good. I cannot wait for the new album

The Magnificent Map of Rap Names, via Fast Company Design.