Thanks for posting this, I find this stuff incredibly interesting. I'm completely for using state funds to subsidize art in a country but even as an outsider it does seem to be the same 10 artists constantly being championed up there.
It is a pretty biased method. I mean Steven Page received $120,500. As if the former lead singer of the Barenaked ladies needs that money? What, for more Coke?
Hey Dude, good to hear from ya! Not much new, trying to keep up with new music, but really feel my interests on that front have waned a little bit. Although I do like the line up, looks like I'll be missing out on Sasquatch 2013. but I still have hope for 2014!
Your Facebook posts quite often make me laugh though, keep 'em coming Hope you and Stormy are doing well!
Post by bradberad12 on Apr 16, 2013 11:01:52 GMT -8
It's been awhile since I've posted on here, however I saw this the other day and felt it was good for discussion on this board.
The Globe and Mail, arguably Canada's most popular newspaper, recently had an article about Paul Lawton, an industry veteran who's got serious beef with the Canadian Music Industry. His argument mostly concerns that of the grant-bestowing organization called FACTOR, a company responsible for appropriately distributing public funding to Canadian artists that apply for said funding.
To my understanding, Paul's beef is that FACTOR is seriously misallocating funds, and overcompensating bands with industry ties to the detriment of other artists (i.e. the rich get richer). This results a whole lot of milquetoast, indie-centric music, as ambitious Canadian upstarts listen to the type of music heavily promoted through FACTOR and imitate it, and thus the cycle continues. This is better explained by Paul himself in the links below:
He has received a lot of critique for his stance, including a rebuttle from former Sasquatch invitee Dan Mangan, and I think for Canadian members on this board, it's a good discussion topic. What do you think of how the funding is doled out? I'm particularly astonished by the sheer amount of money there is available (there is an Excel file Paul has created in his tumblr feed to compile FACTOR's contributions). I also think it's hilarious that The Trews have gotten $620,000 in contributions. That a fucking shit load of money for a pretty crappy band.
Another interesting angle with this story is (I am speculating but the evidence is pretty telling) Paul used to be a member here on this board. Feel free to guess who it is!!! (it's certainly not me).
I've been thinking a lot about Barenaked Ladies this week as I listened to first the Lowest of the Low album and then as I listened to Rheostatic's Whale Music -- which by the way, B-rad, I fucking love. I listened to it two times in a row yesterday; I really do love that record.
Going back to my comments regarding Shakespeare, My Butt, and how it made me nostalgic for what are now seen as 'typical' indicators 90's music: Whale Music this week was a VERY interesting companion to Shakespeare My Butt. This isn't just 'typical' 90's music, it is typical CANADIAN 90's music. Listening to Whale Music felt almost exactly like listening to Gordon, right down to the silly-ish spoken word outro. They jump from soul-scouring, uber earnest ballads to little goofs and back; I can't tell if I'm picking up on similar vocal nuances or Canadian accents, but the effect is the same.
It's like how in U.S. America at the time everyone was trying reeeal hard to sound like R.E.M. and then a couple years later how everyone in England was trying reeeeal hard to sound like Blur. The thing is, I find it hard to believe that Gordon was that influential that quickly (Gordon and Whale Music were released in the same year) so now I'm looking for Gordon's antecedent. There was a very distinct, very particular thing going on with CanCon rock in the early 90's; I don't understand it yet because it only made its way down to U.S. America in small, infrequent doses. And I imagine you Canadians can't put your finger on it because it was just the music of the time. Many of the watermarks are the same, but Canadian music and U.S. American music evolved in very different ways, almost certainly because of CanCon laws.
I've got some research to do. Some of you Canoodlians might be able to help me by suggesting names of Canadian bands that might be a branch or two lower on the tree, geneologically speaking.
I really think the popularity most CanCon bands, was not because of a groundswell of underground canadian alternative acts, but more of a response to the Seattle grunge era. Thats why many of the Cancon bands of that time (Moist, I Mother Earth, Killjoys, Rhymes with Orange, etc ad ifinitum) are mostly forgettable. From what I gather, there was very little notable in Canadian college rock of the late 80's to 91, pre grunge. Shax brings up a pretty decent list, and doesn't go much beyond that. 54-40 went rather unnoticed in the late 80's in Canada until their album in '92 - mid-grunge. I hesitate a bit, because I am primarily making assumptions based on a lack of knowledge, but I cannot find any comparisons in Canada to the Husker Du's, Sonic Youths and Dinosaur Jr's of the States (i.e. pioneers of 90's rock). Once the Mid-90's came along, there were a plethora of them, with Blacksmile's list above being some great examples of the better ones.
I bring up Lowest of the Low and Rheostatics because I believe they set themselves apart from the typical CanCon band - these bands stick out and don't really represent what you would have heard on a typical radio station in Canada in 1994 - mainly because they were better. I unfortunately didn't find out about either band until much later, because I only listened to FM radio and MuchMusic back then (and I was 11 years old and had limited resources).
BNL was a melodic response to the uber-emotional and seriousness of Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. I guess many Canadians gravitated to something more happy-go-lucky like BNL, as they had in the past with bands like The Northern Pikes. Gordon is a fantastic album, and I think Whale Music has a completely different flavour musically. However, they do share the breezy and cheerful attitude not really present in early 90's grunge and alternative.
This sort of plucked alot of ideas from my mind for theis post, sorry if it lacks focus.
Pretty obscure selection Brad. My provider doesn't have it. Since 99% of the music I listen to is on my device, mostly at work and away from home, I'm going to have to try to find time to grooveshark this. It will be a couple weeks.
Funny thing so far:
Canadians: FUCK YES! Americans: Chirp Chirp
And it may obscure to you....but it did sell over 50,000 copies in Canada (certified Gold), and a bunch more in northern New York, where they also have some popularity.
Compare that conveniently to Slint's "Spiderland" (which came out in the same year as Shakespeare my Butt...), who also have sales just over 50K. (Wiki is my reference there)
I am not going to debate which album is more influencial or acclaimed, I am just saying they are pretty comparable obscurity-wise for this message board. Shakespreare My Butt... simply lacks the Pitchfork push Spiderland has received.
P.S. Perhaps I have some Eastern Canadian bias - where they have there base of fans. I did see them live at a ~400 capacity bar in Kingston Ontario back in 2004. They were a blast - throwing all their energy out on the floor. 2 full sets, and I believe three encores.
I'm having the same troubles as Gunther. I bet I can find a cheap used copy on CD somewhere around town, I'm gonna give that a try.
I apologize for those that respectfully choose to avoid Grooveshark; it may be difficult to find this album otherwise.
HG, if you are interested in looking at another Canadian independent band that slipped through the cracks, I would recommend the album "Whale Music" by The Rheostatics. I think it might suit your musical preferences moreso than the current album of the week.
Post by bradberad12 on Jul 19, 2011 9:33:35 GMT -8
I don't own a cat, so as an excuse for being late, I can't complain that my cat puked all over my Macbook. Plus I also don't own a Macbook. I believe mostly I am hesitant to post an album, as I do not have the breadth of musical knowledge as many of you, however here goes...
A couple of Canadians and HG awhile back had a conversation about the advantages/disadvantages of Can Con; a requirement for all Canadian radio stations to play at least 35% music from Canadian artists. A product of this (you can decide whether it was good or bad) is that it brought to the forefront many hard working alternative rock bands of the 90's that were accessible to people in places like Winnepeg, Moose Jaw, etc..
However, some of the best of these bands simply slipped through the cracks, missed out on any significant radioplay and never gained widespread (Canadian) popularity. Whatever it was for bands like the Rheostatics, Punchbuggy (my favorite pop-punk band growing up), and the band yet-to-be-mentioned, I guess the stars just did not align. Yet, 20 years later, their music still resonates with many Canadians and, hopefully, a few more Americans that hang out on Sasquatch Message Boards.
The Lowest of the Low really only has one album of worth, and this is it. They recently had the 20th anniversary of the album's release, and sold out Massey Hall - arguably Canada'a most coveted venue to play. Evidently it has some staying power. Although it never got any significant radioplay, it does have some accolades; #84 on the Canadian Top 100 albums of all time, and before the Barenaked Ladies came around, Shakespeare my Butt... was the top selling indie rock album ever in Canada.
Pretty cool billing, huh?
So onto the substance of this album. The album as a whole is a sincere, catchy rock album with some celtic and folk influences. Ron Hawkins comes across as an excellent storyteller and wordsmith as he crafts tales of binge drinking, lost loves and jailed killers over drums, a trio of guitars and a harmonica. There is nothing monumental, avant-garde or particularly unique about the album, yet all together makes for a great listen. I might compare it to The Hold Steady, with a little less grit and a bit more compassion.
For a highlight of the clever songwriting, check out The Eternal Fatalist. A great allegory about people that don't take responsibility for their lives. So Long Bernie (I am still not sure whether it is about the Scarborough Rapist, Paul Bernardo) is another great tale. The album, at 17 songs long, may be a bit overdone, as there is some redundancy in their musicianship. However, there are also a number of great rock compositions; "Salesmen, Cheats and Liars" "Bleed a Little While" are a couple of the highlights.
If I were to tell you to listen to an album that represents the pinnacle of Can/Con Rock, I would tell you to go listen to "Fully Completely" by the Tragically Hip. It's a better album. However, if you are going to listen to some of the best Indie Rock from Canada; Shakespeare My Butt... is a good lauching pad.
Post by bradberad12 on Jul 17, 2011 19:10:05 GMT -8
Hey Y'all, I am going to be a day late on the album of the week. I am gonna have a lot more time tomorrow evening to do a thorough review of my album. So sorry about my delay, I know you are all devastated.