There are thousands upon thousands of music blogs, and they differ enormously in terms of scope, amount of content, areas of focus, and overall quality. Here at the Vault, we have chosen to concentrate our efforts on two aspects of music: NEW and LOCAL. Both of these aspects are subjective, and we exercise flexibility. I would consider any album released in the last year to be relatively new, and often my definition of local extends across Canada (a country of which half I’ve never seen). But these aspects were chosen carefully, discussed thoroughly, and the rationale behind them is more than just my passion for truly independent music.

If you are not living in the Kingston area, it may be somewhat unapparent, but the true emphasis of The Vault is on live music. Concerts. Shows. We as a group have a great enthusiasm for live shows, and often go to shows solely on the recommendation of a friend. Kingston offers a surprising number of opportunities for live music, and where it lacks, we attempt to fill the void by putting on our own shows with musicians we feel deserve recognition. Live shows are not only where bands make the majority of their revenue, but they are unique experiences: Some bands suck live, while some can create soundscapes and transitions that put their recorded work to shame. Every venue has a vibe, every crowd has a feel, and the energy is totally different every single time. Our utter enjoyment has lead to us seeking to fill rooms, for a mutually beneficial arrangement in which a band finds new fans and a fan finds new bands.

These shows I’m talking about? You’ll only see them if the band plays LOCALLY, and if the band is current (i.e. NEW). Their older stuff, you know, the album you love from 2004? Face the facts: The band is probably way more enthused about playing the new stuff they just wrote, they will likely put more energy and passion into playing those songs, therefore you really oughta know them. And where better to find the new tunes than blogs that can be relied on to showcase new and contemporary music.

The internet has allowed for the possibility of the creation of entire scenes and subcultures of music without a single live performance. This is an amazing thing, an awesome opportunity for musicians to connect with other musicians and consumers alike, and is not to be undersold. But. BUT. This same phenomenon has led to the disintegration of countless local music scenes, where groups of musicians would previously evolve together and develop a genre or subgenre organically. Our emphasis on Canadian/Kingstonian music has nothing to do with patriotism, and everything to do with the country and city we just happen to find ourselves in. We want to do our utmost to encourage creativity and creation around us. We implore you to put your money where your mouth is, step up and go SEE that band, hang around after the show and tell them what their music means to you.

New music is important. Incredibly important. And because I truly believe that, we write about new music. Creating a desire for new, innovative music in the public sphere pushes artists creatively. Admittedly, some grasp haphazardly at perceived-to-be-innovative techniques in an attempt to stay relevant. But for every suddenly dubstep-inspired album is a piece of pure creation, an artist’s response to a growing call that says “we want MORE”. Yes Kid A was an unbelievable album, but if we all basked in its revelry unabated, and chose to ignore music growing around us, we would not have the excellent, claustrophobic Amnesiac.

So this is what The Vault offers: A tiny slice of the thousands of Canadian musicians that are currently writing, performing, and (we feel) deserving of recognition. If you find one or two songs that you like, which leads you to purchase a single album or see a single show, then I think we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.

-Graham

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