Welcome to the Buymusic.ca Blog

Greetings fellow music consumers and welcome to the buymusic.ca blog.

Here you will find various information relating to the purchase of music online and by mail, as well as sheet music, music instruments and memorabilia.

I will also be posting various commentaries and reviews in regards to these services and various related issues.

To begin either click on an option in the menu to your left, which features various source listings, or scroll down for my blog entries.

Enjoy.

Where is it?

Remember back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when the media and content providers claimed we would be accessing content from the four corners of the earth?

Well, it’s nearly 2020 and we’re still having serious distribution issues when it comes to music and film from Europe.

This may not be a problem for most english speakers in this country, who primarily look at Hollywood blockbusters and the odd independent film from the states, Canada, Britain, Ireland or Australia. But when you wander on the Internet Movie Database and encounter films that feature actors and actresses you know from some of those films, you may notice that these have not been made available to North Americans, regardless of the major award nominations or wins these have accumulated.

In my case I have been encountering dead ends trying to rent or purchase recent music and films from Denmark and Finland, that i’ve been searching for since the release of the Academy Award winning film “In A Better World” in 2011.

This excellent Danish drama is available on blu-ray in North America and can be downloaded via Google Play and iTunes in Canada and the United States. But Canadians will not be able to find “Someone You Love“, another Scandinavian drama featuring Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt, or Danish teen horror flick “Danny’s Doomsday“, which features William Jøhnk Nielsen (one of the young, lead actors in “In A Better World“).

Those films were made available on DVD and blu-ray for a short time after their original 2014 theatrical release and are still available for rental and purchase in Europe via several services, including iTunes and Google Play. But only “Danny’s Doomsday” has made it “across the pond”, exclusively to Prime Video in the states.

I’ve contacted iTunes, Google Play and Amazon/Prime Video repetitively in regards to several other European films and the response is pretty much “we’re slowly adding to our catalog so it might appear online soon”, the response i’ve received for over a decade in response to my requests for several classic french films i’ve wanted.

The delays in regards to the french films i’ve asked for are understandable because they’re rather obscure outside of Quebec and the other parts of North America where french isn’t common. But I won’t lie and say I don’t find it rather irritating to see soundtracks from the more recent films being featured on those services instead.

Seriously, I had purchased some of the music off the “Urban Family” soundtrack from iTunes four years before randomly encountering the Finnish musical on some obscure channel on my Roku a few weeks back. And to make matters worse I have also yet to be able to purchase “Uusi Ullottovuus“, a catchy tune by the Brotherus Brothers, the young sibling trio that features Johannes Brotherus, one of the lead actors of that film!

There are also no guaranties that a foreign film will remain available for a long time in North America, which is made apparent by the disappearance of the multiple award winning films like “Good Bye Lenin!” and “I’m Not Scared” from our store shelves and content providers. And all we can do is add titles to our wish lists on the latter, occasionally checking with JustWatch to see if a film pops up somewhere online.

Yes, you could try to find these films on DVD or Blu-ray on eBay or Amazon and use an all region DVD or blu-ray player if these discs aren’t coded for our region but this can get quite costly because of the shipping and handling costs per disc, although the later is more bearable if the DVD or Blu-ray you’re purchasing is compatible with your current player ; Consult your DVD or blu-ray player’s manual for details.

Personally, i’d prefer paying the foreign film producers directly to rent or download their films, when no distributor is available. But there are usually contract issues lingering in the background that keeps that from happening, unfortunately.

I have managed to secure some foreign films on DVD and blu-ray, that were produced in North America. But i’m guessing these are going to get rarer as more and more people just stream or download films legally.

I guess we all need to be patient about these things. But sometimes…

Argh!


World Book Day 2019

It’s World Book Day so I thought i’d write about what books I read the most. And of course these are usually music biographies and books on Canadian music history and the music industry itself.

When it comes to music biographies, my favourites are usually autobiographies or semi-autobiographies like “Freddie Mercury: His Life in His Own Words” by Greg Brooks and Simon Lupton, “My Story, My Dream” by Celine Dion, “U2 by U2” by U2, “Somebody To Love?: A Rock & Roll Memoir” by Grace Slick, “Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll” by Ann & Nancy Wilson, “Lips Unsealed: A Memoir” by Belinda Carlisle, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir” by Pat Benatar and “I am Ozzy” by Ozzy Osbourne.

The first music biography I had purchased was David Frike’s “Animal Instincts”, the official but unfortunately now out of print Def Leppard biography I had ordered using a coupon from my “Hysteria” cassette in the late 80’s. And although I have bought the odd unofficial Abba, Alanis Morissette and Freddy Mercury biographies, I prefer official releases from the artists themselves.

My very favourite Canadian music related books are usually about its history, like “The History of Canadian Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Bob Mercereau, “Is This Live?: Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic: The Nation’s Music Station” by former Much Music VJ and “Black Velvet” composer Christopher Ward, “Music from Far and Wide: Celebrating 40 Years of the JUNO Awards” by various authors and “Oh Canada What a Feeling: A Musical Odyssey” by Martin Meluish. But unfortunately my favourite Canadian charting reference material from Nanda Lwin, namely “Top 40 hits: The essential chart guide” and “Top Albums: The Essential Chart Guide” can now only be found at certain public libraries, along with Rick Jackson’s “Encyclopedia of Canadian, Rock, Pop and Folk Music”.

Those are great resources if you’re looking for information on the Canadian music scene from the 1960’s to 2000’s and i’m happy to have secured copies of these books before they went out of print.

Another one of my out of print faves is the second edition, second printing of “Some Straight Talk About The Music Business” by Mona Coxson, one of the few books that explained the Canadian music industry’s inner workings before the release of “The Indie Band Bible: The Ultimate Guide to Breaking a Band” by Moist guitarist Mark Makoway in 2001.

“Music, Money, and Success: The Insider’s Guide to the Music Industry” by Jeffrey and Todd Brabec had covered the Canadian industry, in general. But this was a book that concentrated on the American and international music businesses.

I highly recommend the newly released 8th Edition of that book to anyone who wants to know how the industry now works, along with Steve Knopper’s “Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age” to know what went wrong in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

Those are pretty much my very favourite music related books in my personal library.

I hope that you will find these recommendations interesting.

Ontario Event Ticket Update

The provincial government of Ontario has removed the price cap on resold tickets in that province and increased fines for violators of the Ticket Sales Act, from $10,000 to $25,000.

The prohibitions related to scalper bots remain but the requirement for sellers to disclose the number of tickets they have available has also been removed.

The newly elected government had paused the implementation of the act in July 2018 and had promised consultations.

Click here for the Consumer Protection Ontario site on “Buying tickets to events in Ontario”.

Record Store Day 2019

It’s International Record Store Day! Click here for a list of participating retailers in your community or click here for a list of releases for Canada.

Disney+ Canada – Early 2020

Mobile Syrup has confirmed that the Disney+ streaming service will be made available to Canadians in the first quarter of 2020.

This service will feature content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.

Ticket Sales Act in BC

The Ticket Sales Act was introduced into the British Columbia provincial legislature today, in the to curb abuses in the ticket resale market in that province.

Proposed is a ban on bots that automatically purchase mass amount of tickets to live events and additional transparencies for consumers.

Additional information on Bill 27 – 2019 can be found by clicking here.