You know how they say downloading music doesn’t hurt the artists because they make all their money off of touring and merchandise anyway? Well, they do say that, and while I’m not qualified to speak as to whether or not it’s true, I know that it’s not always possible to support your fave artists, especially if they aren’t touring. That being said, many artists – including your favourite Canadian up & comers – do have online merch stores where you can surprise a friend with a unique piece to wear ahead of the crowd, next time their fave act is in town.

I did a bit of surfing of some of my fave Canadian artists and I fell in love with City & Colour‘s artfully designed tees and accessories, all priced incredibly reasonably compared to the $40-$60 your typical popster will request at a concert. It sort of makes sense – C&C is very much an “artist” first and foremost, with plenty of attention paid to the elegantly designed CD jackets he’s released to date (with a new one due in June 2011). If you haven’t heard of him – Dallas Green of Alexisonfire – I suggest starting in the music department and making your way to the merch next.

There are a dozen or so tee and sweatshirt designs for men and women priced at $20 a pop, featuring really neat artsy interpretations of the band’s name, cover art, and overall feel that channel line drawings, oil paintings, and tattoos for a kitschy, folksy appeal.

They’ve also got two impressively adorable tote bags, including this one above for $15 – perfect for bringing your lunch to work, throwing your gym gear in the car, or stocking up supplies for the next outdoor festival you attend. Me likey. Almost as much as the band’s awesome, inspiring sound. Go listen. Go shop. Thank me later.

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