Various Third Floor Sessions: Volume 1

Third Floor Sessions: Volume 1 is a collection of highlights from a three-month cross-platform live-concert series executed by a group of fourth-year radio and television students at Ryerson University. What started as a school project quickly took on a life of its own, as the multi-track recordings and full-HD performance videos (streamed live during performance via the school's internet radio station) were made into free downloadable MP3s and videos, and indie heavy-hitters eagerly signed on to perform in the 20-person capacity classroom. Instead of taking what seems like the commonsense approach and doing stripped-down, acoustic sets, they've cleanly captured full-blown band recordings from DD/MM/YYYY, Ohbijou and the Wooden Sky, among others. The series and its first collection are less about the actual bands (although you would never know it, with the production team sitting quietly in the backseat, focusing on the performances) and more about the collaborative, DIY spirit that makes a music community. The professionalism with which these students have realized their vision is commendable, and music fans worldwide have access to a nicely packaged slice of meaningful, homemade goods because of it. (Living Ghost)