Archive for July, 2011

“Hey, They’re Canadian!” – A Playlist For Canada Day.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2011 by pulmyears

Happy Canada Day, also known as Dominion Day. Living away, as I do, gives me both a detached perspective on my home and native land and an ex-pat’s defensiveness when Canada is ridiculed as, say, “America’s hat.” We are the nice, clean, peaceful, social program loving, courteous country that ALSO produced teen murderers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, psychopath Col. Russell Williams and the Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots.  Although even in our riots, there’s a little time for making love…

As Bugs Bunny once said, “Harmless? Oh yeah? Well I’ll show you that a rabbit can be more obnoxious than anybody!”

Still, the horrors above are NOT the norm for Canadian life, which is why they generate shocking headlines. What IS a given is that, besides being kind of smug about our Canadian heritage, we Canucks are rightly proud of our MUSICAL heritage. Even when we ourselves are dubious about our Justin Biebers and Avril Lavingnes, there’s a rich history of Canadian grown music, the historical (The Guess Who, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Rush, Neil Young, The Band, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, et al) and the contemporary (Arcade Fire, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Feist, New Pornographers, Peaches, Ron Sexsmith, etc). One of our better known white rappers was actually named Snow! True, a lot of the better known acts had to leave at some point to get known internationally, but those days are largely over. A decentralized world music stage, and a changing paradigm in whatever is left of the music business means that Canadian talent can stay in Canada while pleasing ears all over the world. One cool phenomenon of today is that for many of the best Canuck acts, European and American audiences don’t even realize that the bands are Canadian at all. (I speak mainly, of course, about English Canada as my French is limited. The wonderful Francophone market in Quebec is a whole other conversation!)

The English speaking Canadian looks and sounds just like you, world citizen! Thankfully, another fine Canadian trait (in addition to calling our own traits “fine”) is the tendency to CLAIM these acts when they come up. “Neil Young? He’s Canadian, eh?” etc.

Anyway, on Canada Day, I’ve put together a plate of Canadian singles, a random and unsorted list of songs some of my American and European friends may or may not know. It’s stuff that, living here in California, I find I am always saying “Hey, they’re Canadian!”

Happy Canada Day from The Pulmyears Music Blog: A Partial List of Some Of My Home And Native Bands.

“Losing California”  Sloan

“Northern Wish” Rheostatics (string version from Music Inspired by The Group of Seven)

“Rebellion (Lies)” Arcade Fire

“Monster Hospital” Metric

“This Song” Ron Sexsmith

“Walking Through Your Head”  Zeus

“Save Me” Arlene Bishop

“I’m With You” The Stills

“Over Joy” Steven Page

“One Great City!” The Weakerthans

“She’s So Young” The Pursuit Of Happiness

“It Falls Apart” Odds

“Elevator Love Letter”  Stars

“Proof” Blair Packham

“Out Of Luck” Pointed Sticks

Finally, a vintage piece of Canadiana that combines a great unsung Canadian group and a legendary Canadian broadcaster, from 1976!

“Take Me” / “Birds Of A Feather” Rough Trade (from Gzowski Live with Peter Gzowski).

O Canada!

Our home and native land

True patriot love in all thy sons command.

Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,

Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée

Des plus brillants exploits.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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