Saturday, November 08, 2008

Canadian Music

Laying on the bed in my hotel room in Calgary I soon discovered Much Music on the TV. The first two Canadian acts that I saw and liked were Skyy (Push) and I Mother Earth (Summertime In The Void). The next band I recall in those early days was Our Lady Peace with Superman's Dead. From there the bands poured in.

The Tragically Hip (saw'em at the Jubilee Auditorium)
Matthew Good Band (first time at the Stampede)
Big Sugar (saw'em at the Stampede)
Big Wreck (saw'em in Edmonton)
Nickelback (Stampede)
Wide Mouth Mason (hockey playoffs in Vancouver)
Jann Arden
The Tea Party
Default (Stampede)
The Odds

Now of all those bands that I saw live, I would have to saw that Big Wreck was the best just for the charisma that oozes from Ian Thornley. What a performer. Of course Big Sugar was a great band to watch. The lead man of Wide Mouth Mason sure knows how to lean into his geetar.

Now I'll surprise a bunch of Canadians by saying that The Tragically Hip was one of the worst shows I've seen. For one, they're pretty boring, and two, the crowd was a bunch of idiots who would never shut up and listen to the show. It was like seeing NSYNC with a bunch of 13 year-old girls. That's why I tell everybody to see Canadian bands OUTSIDE of Canada if they can.

I saw Nickelback at the Coca Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede which should tell you that I saw them before the exploded into the stratosphere. I LOVE the OLD Nickelback. I met Chad Kroeger and he's a real nice guy.

Although I have never seen Jann Arden in concert I love her stuff and I have met her. She's a scream.

Now my favorite Canadian musician is Matthew Good and I don't say that because me and Matt have become friends. I think his stuff is amazing and like a few other acts I wonder why it didn't catch on in the States. Later I'll do a post just on Matt.

My son begged for a drum set one Christmas, got it, worked hard on it, and became part of the local Calgary scene with a band called The Falling Pianos. Dan, Chris, and Spencer filled our basement with punk music and would become among local favorites before breaking up. Before they did that, they played The Cobalt in Vancouver and a dive bar in Seattle which I did a post about. (click on June 2005 and it's the second post down. "I'm with the band") Dan would then go on to play drums with a band from Edmonton called The Johnsons and would cross Canada from West to East playing bars and nightclubs.

I love the Hip, but I don't think they always put on the best shows. Gord is fairly self-indulgent onstage and tends to go off on strange tangents in the middle of songs (sometimes amusing, sometimes not), and they end up jamming quite a bit, turning 4-minute songs into 10-minute affairs. I've seen them several times... sometimes I love 'em live, sometimes I just feel, "meh." Still, next time they roll through town, you know I'll be there.

I love OLP. Like, passionately. I firmly believe hearing Naveed live is one of the better experiences you can have in life.
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