Oh, Canada!

A Guide To Canadian Radio

I listen to a Canadian radio station*, but I have discovered something, the radio station I listen to is like Radio America. It broadcasts into my country to make me believe that Canada is a wonderland of musical taste and hipness, it isn’t. This radio station is the Siren Song leading travelers to believe that wherever they go, good music will follow. Don’t believe it.

Facts About Canadian Radio

1. There is a law in Canada that says there can only be one rock station in each listening radius. This rock station must play one song from Rush (usually Tom Sawyer for some reason) every hour. They must also fit in a Loverboy song during each four-hour cycle, and four Brian Adams songs must be played each day.

2. Gordon Lightfoot is still played regularly on the radio and not in an ironic, jokey way either.

3. Hockey games are broadcast on the radio. I have no idea how anyone can listen to hockey on the radio and understand what is happening, but this explains how a country could fall in love with the music of Celine Dion.

4. When you go to Canada, make sure your radio looks like this:

Don't keep looking for a radio station playing something other than Rush.

Don’t keep looking for a radio station playing something other than Rush, plug in your iPod.

How Dare You Insult Gordon Lightfoot

I will admit, I liked The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald the first twelve times I heard it, but we all make mistakes in judgement. I lived for two years with permed hair.  (No, I will not be providing a picture. No, I was not trying to look like Gordon Lightfoot. I was trying to look like Rick James…I did look more like Gordon than Rick, but my soul looked more like Rick.)

Canada Has Enriched Music. You, sir, are an idiot

Sure, Canada has given us Neil Young, but for every Neil Young there have been ten Justin Biebers. Maybe all of your taste is in your mouth, Canada. The mouth is a good place for taste, but when it comes to music, Canada, you should use your ears. Don’t get all bent out of shape, a good friend tells you the truth, and the truth is that The Barenaked Ladies always sucked. Sarah McLachlan is only played in America during commercials for PETA. Michael Bublé is the male version of Celine Dion. When Nickelback is played in America we have to drop ten bombs on a foreign country just to get that  sound out of our ears. (Yes, I am blaming Nickelback for America’s overseas aggression.)

Well, American Music Is Terrible Too

Okay, that has an element of truth to it. It saddens me to say this, but one evening while discussing string theory with some colleagues (okay, we were playing poker) I was asked to name the greatest American rock band. I was flummoxed. The group decided that it was Aerosmith…Aerosmith, are you kidding me? That is the best we can produce? Van Halen is better than Aerosmith. Nirvana was better than Aerosmith. Jimi Hendrix was better than Aerosmith. Nope, my colleagues all agreed it was Aerosmith. (Yes, I have considered moving to another country, but Canada will probably not accept me any longer.) The real answer to the question is Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam is the greatest American band end of discussion.  Shhh…no…quiet…take a deep breath…shhhh…stop…this is not an argument…shhh…easy there…okay. Okay?

What Is The Purpose Of This Post?

Oh, yes, the purpose. Canada is a big country and if you are going to drive across Canada bring your own music. Won’t you miss out on the local flavor? No, if you want to sample the local musical flavor just bring one Rush CD and listen to that during you journey. In fact, you can probably just bring one Rush song: Tom Sawyer. Oh, you don’t own Tom Sawyer, that’s okay it’s on Canadian radio every ten minutes.

*91.3 The Zone. Yes, this is an excellent radio station, so I know that you are up to something, Canada.

12 replies »

  1. Every Sarah McLachlan song I know ends with the sound of my wife saying, “Change the channel until this commercial is over.” I think mostly she doesn’t like seeing all of the abused dogs. Mostly.

  2. Poor Sarah. But you are correct on Barenaked Ladies. However, I’ll see your Nickelback and raise you New Pornographers, Arcade Fire, Metric, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, Broken Social Scene, Ron Sexsmith, Stars, Austra, Rhye, Kathleen Edwards, and, yes, even Leonard Cohen because the dude is like 80 and still cool.
    My advice is to avoid commercial radio in any country. I drove across Canada two years ago and if you wanted to, you could find classic rock and listen to all the bands you mentioned en route all the time. However, the Billy Idol quotient was at least equal to the Bryan Adams quotient. (No more “Mony Mony”!) CBC Radio 2 offers good variety in their late afternoon slot (though even they can be repetitive) but it’s definitely geared for the 30-50 range.
    I realize at this point that this entire comment is very Canadian: defensiveness disguised as helpful advice.

  3. All credibility of Canadian music flew out the window with the introduction of Justin Bieber.

    But I dare you to watch the scene in Toy Story 2 where Jessie tells her story of being dumped by a heartless bitch whilst Sarah is crooning “When she loved me” without sobbing. Or so I’ve heard…(gulp)

    And you guys must be really old. Don’t know half the bands you’re talking about. Besides the best bands come from those two little Islands of the coast of Europe. Just saying.

    • Do you guys have the Sarah Mc commercials down under? (I know that is an Aussie reference, but one you might embrace being at the bottom of the world according to the white guys who make maps.) Her entire career is now associated with dogs in cages instead of a about longing to be remembered. So when the song came on in Toy Story 2, I started to feel guilty about leaving the dog in the house while we were out having a good time.

      I am in agreement with you about Britain having the greatest bands: Led Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who, The Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd, and Queen are all better bands than any American band which just seems wrong. Maybe it is those restrictive school uniforms and constant breaking for tea.

      As for my age, I will just say that a lady (who was given the gift of prophesy according to her) told me that I was going to live a very long life and be an important person…so I got that going for me.

  4. After 6 years in SE Asia listening to gymnastic dancers sing for Bollywood, I’ll take Bryan Adams AND Celine Dion any day of the week. Deprivation really cleanses a music palette 🙂

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