Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blog Review: Ottawa Showbox

Photo of Souljazz Orchestra by Alexandre Mattar
courtesy of

One of the great things about the Internet is that it allows regular citizens to become journalists.  In fact, I would argue that the blogosphere often contains better information and analysis than many mainstream news sites.  As a case in point, 15 years ago if I wanted to know what was going on in Ottawa I would read a daily newspaper or one of the then existing alternative weeklies.  Today, if I want to be informed about a new condo project, hear about the latest art exhibit, read a review with a local band,  or get a restaurant recommendation, I usually turn to the blogosphere first and the news media afterwards.

The above thoughts often come to mind whenever I read Ottawa Showbox, one of the city's top blogs for local music-related news.  Many moons ago, I used to work for an arts and entertainment weekly called Capital City that was based in Ottawa. At this newspaper, which has long been defunct, we extensively covered local music.  Fast forward more than a decade later, and Ottawa Showbox is doing work that is comparable to what me and my Capital City colleagues were doing years ago, or what the Ottawa (x)press wrote until it folded last year.

Founded in 2012 by Matías Muñoz, Ottawa Showbox focuses on the local music indie scene.  Eric Scharf  subsequently joined the blog to help with its coverage. Together, they produce a pretty impressive amount of work.  The site includes numerous concert reviews (see hereherehere and here for recent examples), as well as stories on new releases (see example posts here and here).  They also publish interviews with people in the music industry, such as this conversation with Benji Rogers, founder and CEO of PledgeMusic, as well as other articles, such as this review of local bands playing at this year's Ottawa Bluesfest.

In short, Ottawa Showbox is a great reminder of the power of blogging, and how people with good ideas and talent can harness the Internet to share their work.  If you are interested in knowing about indie musicians from the National Capital Region, then this is a site that you do not want to miss.

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