Canadian content.

With the return of bike-riding weather comes the everlasting quest to make my iPod workout mix peppy and interesting. The thing about iPods is, everybody’s is different. Mine motivates me to never, ever get hit by a car, and leave the police to treat it as a piece of evidence. I don’t want my loved ones to have to claim it among my blood-spattered personal effects, and have everyone in the property room nudge one another and whisper, “Look! That’s the one that has ‘How Much is That Doggy in the Window’ and the Guess Who medley!”

Yes, the Guess Who medley. At the library today I picked up “The Ultimate Collection,” three whole discs of Canada’s finest ’70s pop band, if you rank Bachman Turner Overdrive in the rock category. Three whole discs? Yes. Once you get past “American Woman,” “Undun” and “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature,” what is there? Plenty, it seems. “Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon,” for instance.

Yeah, that one never cracked the charts stateside. The bridge goes, This tune is home grown/Don’t come from Hong Kong Like he needed to tell us.

In the radio biz, you hear different stories about Canadian content — the famous…is it a law? Or a guideline? Or does it only pertain to CBC stations? Help me out here, Canadians. Anyway, the Canadian-content maybe-law dictates that a certain percentage of the stuff on Canadian radio and TV come from Canada. Some people say it killed CKLW’s pop-monolith radio presence; there’s only so much Gordon Lightfoot to go around. Others say AM was doomed as soon as FM radio became standard in new cars. Whatever. All I know is, if you want fast info on Canadian music, you can’t beat

Personally, I enjoy our sleeping giant to the, um, south. (Yes, south, to a Detroiter. You could look it up.) They make a nice beer there.

Another scorcher today. Why bother showering? I get up, exercise, shower, take the time to put on makeup and dress myself in clean clothing, step outside and undo the whole last hour. I think tomorrow I’m going to embrace my funk. What’s so bad about an earthy smell, anyway? The other night I surfed past “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” and fell in love with Ike Turner briefly — he’s hectoring Tina to do a better job with her “Nutbush City Limits” vocal, and tells her, “Better put some stank on it!”

No one ever asks you to take the stink away.

So don’t stop by tomorrow. I’ll be putting some stank on it.

Posted at 9:52 pm in Uncategorized |

14 responses to “Canadian content.”

  1. brian stouder said on June 30, 2005 at 12:37 am

    OK – so is American Woman a screed aimed at the Statue of Liberty?

    Always kind of funny, hearing that song and assuming that (despite their denials) indeed it is a ringing rejection of all things American (is America really a suffocatingly insufferable neighbor, or are some Canadian leftists really that insufferably smug?)

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  2. harry near indy said on June 30, 2005 at 5:08 am

    remember the mckenzie brothers? if you don’t, then take off, hoser!

    on sctv, dave thomas and rick moranis played these two knucklehead brothers, bob and doug mckenzie, as a comment on the requirements for canadian content on electronic media — radio and tv.

    the segments were some of my favorite bits on the show. they wore parkas and stocking caps and sounded like hicks from north ontario.

    good day.

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  3. ashley said on June 30, 2005 at 8:57 am

    Hear me out on this. When you are thinking of the great voices in rock music, you should add Burton Cummings to the list. Seriously. Listen to “Stand Tall”, and tell me no.

    Although, I can picture him going up to some stalked woman’s door, and in the voice he used at the end of “American Woman”, saying “bye bye”.

    Rush (great until you finally get laid), Saga (if you aren’t cool enough for Rush), the Odds (who backed up Warren Zevon on one tour), Byran Adams (ok, he’s just here for filler), Neil Young (former bandmate of Rick James), Triumph (Rik Emmett is vastly underrated), Bruce Cockburn (think if Bono had a clue), April Wine (brilliant cover of 21st century schizoid man), The Band (Robbie’s a Canuck), Chilliwack (win trivia contests with this one!), and The Pursuit of Happiness (I’m an adult!) are all fine, fine examples of Canuck Rock.

    Then of course, there is the pox that is Celine Dion, tempered by the beauty of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics, tempered by the mediocrity of Lenny’s kid.

    And for years, Bachman-Turner Overweight was one of my favorites. If you want to read about a real soap opera, read about the changing cast of BTO, and why Randy Bachman won’t appear for their induction into the Canadian music hall of fame.

    Take off, eh!

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  4. Nance said on June 30, 2005 at 9:11 am

    Hey hoser,

    Who is Lenny’s kid?

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  5. wade said on June 30, 2005 at 9:55 am

    Re: Canuck rockers — don’t forget the Tragically Hip…

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  6. ashley said on June 30, 2005 at 10:21 am

    Adam Cohen.

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  7. Randy said on June 30, 2005 at 10:41 am

    Canadian content rules are actually enforced. My friends in the radio business who have been program directors have had to ensure that the daily playlist includes 30% Canadian music, I think.

    This caused a lot of awful music to be inflicted on us in the 70s and 80s, but it bore fruit from the late 80s onward. While I dislike intrusive government regs as much as anyone, the “CanCon” rules forced record companies to find and develop Canadian acts.

    Other Canadian recommendations:

    *Matthew Good (with and without his band), *Sloan,

    *The New P**nographers (had to clip the ‘o’ and the ‘r’ to make it thru the filter?),

    *The Northern Pikes (everything from 87 to 93),

    *Tom Cochrane, solo and with Red Rider

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  8. mary said on June 30, 2005 at 12:42 pm

    How about Feist (she’s very new and very good) and Avril Lavigne and Hot Hot Heat? All Canadians. Then there’s Paul Anka who actually has a new album that is selling very well.

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  9. tom said on June 30, 2005 at 12:54 pm

    Mordecai Richler, the late, great Canadian novelist once said of those who wished to establish canadian content rules in bookshops:

    “They would have by decree what their talent has denied them.”

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  10. harry near indy said on June 30, 2005 at 3:54 pm

    ashley, iirc, all of the members of the band were canadian, except for levon helm, who was from arkansas.

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  11. ashley said on June 30, 2005 at 4:54 pm

    Well Harry, just put the load right on me!

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  12. Mark T-K said on July 1, 2005 at 9:31 am

    ‘Til Tuesday/Aimee Mann

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  13. basset said on July 1, 2005 at 11:45 pm

    the Guess Who, “Live at the Paramount”… the definitive bar-band-that-made-it record, and I say that as a compliment.

    saw the Guess Who a few years later in Terre Haute, and Burton Cummings was one of the most intoxicated people I have ever seen in public, on or off stage. put on a truly outstanding show, too.

    Aimee Mann’s Canadian? I used to work with her brother, thought he was from Virginia or someplace in that general direction. could be wrong, though.

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  14. Mark T-K said on July 2, 2005 at 2:07 am


    You’re right. I always thought ‘Til Tuesday was a Canadian group, cemented by Mann’s performance with Rush on a song. Oops. Internet Bio tells me Mann and T.T. are domestic.

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