Hey, no problem. I worked at my local college radio last year(before being let go for saying 'fuck' accidentally on air). The CanCon rules are sometimes extremely annoying to work around, especially at a radio station that tries to hold a +50% Canadian content threshold.
Post by The Horned Grandmother on Dec 15, 2010 14:42:30 GMT -5
This is nuts! I guess it goes hand in hand with the amount of funding for the arts you guys have, but that there was a point where not even 'Everything I Do' was Canadian enough for Canadian radio is just bizarre to hear about.
Post by Friendly Destroyer on Dec 15, 2010 14:53:13 GMT -5
I kinda like the Can-Con idea, as Gramma pointed out it allows for great funding and can offer really great bands an opportunity (I am also a Canadian Junkie).
But I kinda hate Can-Con when bands are porpoisely produced and selected to sound like already popular U.S bands. This has grown two fold since 2000. Billy Talent, Simple Plan, Nickleback, Theory of a Dead Man, Three Days Grace, Default, Hedley... yucky!
I like the radio, I really do , but I have recently sworn off my local rock station because every single hour I hear 1 nickleback song, 1 Theory of a Deadman song, 1 Billy Talent song, and 1 fucking 3 days grace/default/Hedly medley(even rhymes). How they can get away playing 10 bands that sound so similar, just because they are Canadian is ridiculous. This especially pisses me off when there are a ton of great Canadian bands that will never see the light of day because they don't fit this Nickleback mold.
Post by The Horned Grandmother on Dec 16, 2010 12:53:11 GMT -5
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday
If there isn't music that can make you cry then you need to listen to some different kinds of music. I'm not talking about sad country songs or a sense of loss when another one of Colin Meloy's disposable waifs dies tragically after an ill-advised tryst. I'm talking about that unexpected wave of emotion that suckerpunches you when a song strikes you in just such a way as to unlock your own feelings of loss or regret.
For a little while, 'Ash Wednesday' would seriously wreck me every time, to the point that it was no longer a sucker punch but a trigger that I could pull. There is an incredible amount of sadness involved with this record anyway, and it's a story that usually gets told up front like we do with that Girls album or Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'. Elvis Perkins is the son of actor Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in the original "Psycho"), who died tragically of AIDS on September 12th, 1992. His mother, Berry Berenson, was killed on September 11th, 2001 as a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11.
After my father's parents died (within a week of one another, the week before Christmas of 2005), he said to me, "You are never too old to become an orphan." It's kind of an obvious thing to observe, but it's kind of not: when we think of orphans, we think of Oliver Twist or other filthy street urchins cleverly surviving under fantastic circumstances. Children, who have their whole lives to attempt to sort out what that loss means. To be orphaned in the middle of your life, especially under such tragic circumstances as either Elvis Perkins or my father had, some pretty extesnive Working It Out is going to be required, and it has to happen in tandem with an adult life that is already in progress.
So 'Ash Wednesday' is Elvis Perkins workin' it out, but not in a self-pitying or even particularly direct way. Loss and death are major themes, but more in a universal sense. September 11th affected all of us, but it's hard to imagine having to deal with the horror and fear caused by the act itself at the same time as dealing with the loss of your mother. That kind of pain is almost too big to think about, and certainly almost too big to channel through an acoustic guitar.
Elvis Perkins made the decision to make his one grand statement in the first track of his first record. 'While You Were Sleeping' is the one song that seems to most specifically address the particularly large hole punched in Elvis' heart on 9/11. My interpretation of it is that it is a kind of lullaby sung to his mother in which he chronicles all of the strange, terrifying and exciting ways the world has changed and will continue to change since the moment of her death. It starts with just an acoustic guitar, and with each verse adds a drum beat or an accordion or a violin until just about every sound you can think of becomes a part of some joyous funeral march - a softly blown jug from a jug band, a singing saw, the voice of a small child singing the final chorus of 'Uh oh, uh oh...'. The lyrics are full of fantastical imagery and include references to probably every kind of human experience with the exception of the one that took his mother and our sense of security away.
'While You Were Sleeping' is one of my actual favorite songs, one which on some days I would not hesitate to designate as My Favorite Song. It is on a list with the final moments of 'Dark Side of the Moon' and Brian Eno's "Golden Hours" as songs that affect me on a cellular level every single time I hear it.
It's hard to ignore that Perkins' lyrical bent and even his voice are strongly reminiscent of Jeff Mangum. I heartily recommended this record to a friend who came back with a negative reaction, claiming he felt that Elvis Perkins was trying to rip off 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea', to which my initial reaction was "Fuck you, dude" until I remembered that I write off musicians all the time for identical reasons. Then I decided that "Fuck you, dude" is STILL my reaction because it's such a great, great song, and if you can't see that and feel that then seriously dude, fuck you.
I've spent a lot of time talking about that one track, and there's a whole album worth of great material here. 'While You Were Sleeping' towers over every other song, but every song except for that one are equally good among themselves. 'May Day!' is the song I would sing if I were cheerfully skipping down the street to sign in for processing at the slaughterhouse. It seems to be playfully criminalizing George W. Bush for his valiant attempts to sink our country as deep as possible, but it never comes right out and says it. 'Without Love' is a wonderful little jazz trio number, and 'Emile's Vietnam in the Sky' is a smoothly cryptic reflection on the big question of death and what follows.
I used to work in a hospital coordinating pre-transplant testing for people in need of kidney and pancreas transplants. My responsibilities would frequently take me through the halls of the Doernbecher Children's Hospital, a fantastically sad place full of very sick children. I've dealt with terminal adults, and I've dealt with kids who literally never had a chance. Doernbecher is full of brightly colored murals and dim old televisions playing the same Disney DVDs on repeat for a very short eternity. The tiniest and most withered little girl I ever encountered in this building, she probably hadn't been outside its walls since before she could remember. But she was stilll a kid, a little smiling kid whose face registered frustration more than fear. I was listening to this record almost constantly at the time, and I came to recognize the attitude of a sick child in the chords and lyrics much more than I heard the fear and desperation of a grown man. We all have to deal with tragedies in our life that are seriously over our weight class, but we can't let it get us up against the ropes. To survive we have to run in its face, to flail our arms and throw elbows and scream and shout at it. I don't know how the story of 'Ash Wednesday' didn't crush Elvis Perkins into powder, but if you can hear the optimism in these songs then maybe you'll be as lucky when it's your turn.
Post by bradberad12 on Dec 16, 2010 15:22:18 GMT -5
I have always been on the fence with Cancon rules, and my negative views are as follows:
1) censorship. I just didn't like the government telling me (or more specifically radio stations)what I had to listen to.
2) This censorship led to limited music. Growing up I hated hearing the same old Rush song; or the Tea Party again. The radio stations I listened to (unfortunately I kept mainstream growing up), would never have played more underground music of the 90's, because of their limitations. So instead of Pavement and Jane's Addiction and Sonic Youth, we would hear equally abstract, but of lesser quality (IMO) Canadian bands like Bif Naked, Rainbow Butt Monkeys and the Killjoys. Now I lok back and wish I could have been introduced to these American bands at an earlier age.
However, that being said, I look at the vibrant Canadian Music scene and have to attribute it's international success to CANCon of the 90's (and Government's (GoC) influence in promoting Canadian art). Many current artists grew up knowing it was possible to make a career in music by seeing all these semi-successfiul bands from the 90's. The Global influence has furhter made it easier, and the GoC continues to provide positive influence for these acts. CBC radio 3 and it's website is a clear indication of this.
The Elvis Perkins in Dearland record had its moments, but it was a little too polite for me. I don't know, my CD got horribly fucked up just a couple months after I got it so I don't know if I really know how I feel about it.