Winnipeg musicians are deep thinkers. You only have to read a few liner notes for proof of that. And the cerebral undercurrent in Winnipeg’s music has a long history: the city’s been producing music with substance since the early days of its indie scene. In the mid-80s Winnipeg had an unusual number of politically–minded bands, one of which attracted the interest of a highly-regarded American punk label.

Julie Penner, violinist for Do Make Say Think, grew up in Winnipeg. She thinks Winnipeg’s isolation and its status as a “have not” province left a mark on its music scene.

“There’s a slight edge and maybe that edge is good for art,” she says. “Sometimes there’s a bit of bitterness, but it can also be a bitter creativity.”

In this episode of The Birth of Canadian Indie, we’ll hear about Winnipeg’s most political – and longest-lived – indie band. And we’ll hear from some of the many musicians they inspired.

CBC Radio 3

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