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America - Where Are You Now?
July 4, 2011 2:11 PM   Subscribe

MONSTER is a 1969 song about America by Canadian band Steppenwolf.

The longer album version.

A few notable lyrics:

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching


Happy 4th of July.
posted by philip-random (109 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ho ho! How does it feel to be criticised in a 1969 song by Canadian band Steppenwolf, America? Feels pretty bad, huh? AND today is your fucking birthday! Man, you guys must be seething!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:18 PM on July 4, 2011 [48 favorites]


Canadian Gordon Lightfoot also chastised us. I'm sure many of us Americans are slinking away in shame....
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:23 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


American Woman's not exactly a love letter either
posted by philip-random at 2:26 PM on July 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pat Nixon wouldn't let them play it at the White House...
posted by unSane at 2:27 PM on July 4, 2011


We're just looking for adventure. And firing all of our guns.

Continue?
posted by hal9k at 2:27 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this is the thread were we post Canadian songs about the US? Because if so, here's War of 1812 by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.
posted by Kattullus at 2:29 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lord knows, Canada is so innocent. Bombing Libya (while the US sent the 7th Fleet to help out Japan after the earthquake and tsunami), making sure crude oil is our number 1 export (while President Obama invested billions of dollars in green technology and building retrofits)... I could create a list, but I will say this instead:

I had the great opportunity to work with many Americans during my ten years in Japan, and some of my closest friends come from the States. Since moving back to the frigid, sanctimonious, passive-aggressive cultural wasteland that is Canada, I miss my American friends, all of whom were warm, open-hearted and terribly argumentative, all the more.

Happy Independence Day!
posted by KokuRyu at 2:29 PM on July 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


it can't be nashville every night
posted by pyramid termite at 2:29 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


pyramid termite: it can't be nashville every night

"The uploader has not made this video available in your country."

Damned American isolationism!
posted by Kattullus at 2:32 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haters? Just say goodbye...
posted by chavenet at 2:35 PM on July 4, 2011


kattullus, they're canadian
posted by pyramid termite at 2:35 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm really not sure what to think about this being posted on the 4th of July. I think I'll just move on.
posted by tomswift at 2:36 PM on July 4, 2011


Loved it in '69, love it now. btw....American but most days not proud of the fact.
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 2:37 PM on July 4, 2011


And..."America" does not equal "united states"
posted by tomswift at 2:38 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, a lot of things were going on in the summer of '69.

I refuse to apologize.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:42 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.
posted by penduluum at 2:43 PM on July 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Acadian Driftwood, Robbie Robertson.

We had kin livin' south of the border
They're a little older and they've been around
They wrote in a letter life is a whole lot better
So pull up your stakes, children and come on down

posted by docgonzo at 2:48 PM on July 4, 2011


Knee jerk anti-Americanism is perhaps the most embarrassing thing about being Canadian.
posted by absentian at 2:48 PM on July 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Knee jerk anti-Americanism is perhaps the most embarrassing thing about being Canadian.

Really?

posted by docgonzo at 2:50 PM on July 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


>0Oo_oO0<
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 2:51 PM on July 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


::goes on a Magic Carpet Ride::
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:52 PM on July 4, 2011


Red, white and blue. None more red, white and blue.
posted by punkfloyd at 2:59 PM on July 4, 2011


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.

There are plenty, but they're all by twee outfits who wish they were Canadian.
posted by waterunderground at 3:01 PM on July 4, 2011


I bow to no MeFite in the fierceness of my criticism of the US. Seriously, Noam Chomsky has warmer feelings for America than I do.

But it seems to me that Canadian-born celebrities tend to leave Canada for permanent residence in the United States as soon as they can.
posted by Trurl at 3:05 PM on July 4, 2011


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.

Cindy Walker (from Waco Texas) wrote Blue Canadian Rockies.
posted by philip-random at 3:06 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


But it seems to me that Canadian-born celebrities tend to leave Canada for permanent residence in the United States as soon as they can.

And Steppenwolf are a case in point -- a Canadian band called The Sparrow relocates to the Los Angeles area to make it big (and be warm) and eventually does make it big after a name change. So MONSTER (written three very eventful years after their arrival) is very much written "from the inside", and is likely no angrier or spitefully anti-American than any number of other current songs written by United States born types. Canadians are, of course, Americans too ... as are Mexicans, Brazilians, Chileans etc.

All apologies to any who have taken this is a slight against their nation. That wasn't my intention in posting it. I just happened to hear the song the other day and was amazed at how relevant much of it still sounded. The more things change ... and all that.

keep on rockin in the free world
posted by philip-random at 3:18 PM on July 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hippo Stomp (with cool expository comments by John Kay, prior to performance) talks about living together, with difference. This is a salient message - especially for today, in America. Also, one hell of a great, rockin' tune - one of my Steppenwolf favs. Get down!
posted by Vibrissae at 3:30 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a rule that on holidays and birthdays you say positive things about whatever it's about. So on my Mom's birthday I tell her how awesome she is, and on Australia day I listen to the Saints and You Am I and on July 4th I praise baseball and bagels, hot dogs and rock and roll. I sing along to American Slang and American Hearts. I celebrate free speech, great TV, unfettered optimism, and some awesome videogames.
For Springsteen and Miles Davis, Valve and Gears of War, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin - I'm proud to be an American.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:30 PM on July 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Happy birthday America, from this happy and friendly Canadian. And while I enjoy a little national policy critique from time to time, mostly I just like hanging out with folks that bear a remarkable resemblance to me. I was just in Ohio, Virginia and Illinois this past month and was grateful as usual for the hospitality, inspiration and downright fun.

Mostly I think what we Canadians hate about Americans is the part of ourselves that we aren't okay with. So, while I could flag this post and move on, let me just gently nod at how it so accurately reflects our own shadow. The USA is mostly just a great big movie screen where we Canadians play these films of our own dark side. Anyone who has any prolonged contact with Americans and American culture knows that the story is a lot more complex and a lot more friendly than our fist pumping, hockey lovin', nationalist compadres would have us believe.

Good bad and ugly, we share the top half of the hemisphere. Happy birthday, and don't overdo it on the Budweiser and burgers!
posted by salishsea at 3:32 PM on July 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Politics aside, the quoted lyrics are just clumsy. Dylan's Masters Of War said it better, and from the inside.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:33 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, thank you USA, for Metafilter.
posted by salishsea at 3:33 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.
posted by penduluum at 2:43 PM on July 4 [+] [!]

There's one by Shellac called "Canada."
posted by relooreloo at 3:34 PM on July 4, 2011


I'm half Canadian, so I was with you right up til the Noam Chomsky crap. Howsa bout you eggheads let me celebrate the birthday of the country I served while you were living in a frat house?
posted by timsteil at 3:39 PM on July 4, 2011


This looks fun! I wanna join in.

Songs:
Propagandhi - Name and Address Withheld
Choking Victim - Fuck America
Public Enemy - Louder Than a Bomb

Embarrassing facts about Canada:
Canadian Indian residential school system
Grande Noirceur
Trial of Louis Riel
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 3:51 PM on July 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Dylan's Masters Of War said it better, and from the inside.

From the inside of what? A bar in Greenwich Village?

To quote the man himself, "I tried to explain later that I wsn't a protest singer, that there'd been a screwup. I didn't think I was protesting anything any more than I thought that Woody Guthrie songs were protesting anything. I didn't think of Woody as a protest singer. If he is one, so is Sleepy John Estes and Jelly Roll Morton. What I was hearing pretty regularly, though, were rebellion songs and those really moved me."
posted by blucevalo at 3:59 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the soundtrack with the song about motorcycles and the song about drug dealers better.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:03 PM on July 4, 2011


Rivendell is a 1975 song by the Canadian band Rush.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:06 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I forgot to mention it's about Rivendell.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:07 PM on July 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is one of those things, it's like family, you know? I can criticize my brother, but if Steppenwolf writes a song about my brother, that would be pretty weird, especially since he wasn't even born until 1972.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:09 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just now catching up, are we?
posted by Pressed Rat at 4:10 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


MONSTER is a song by Fred Schneider. It is about the nasty dance performed by the monster in his pants.

A few notable lyrics:

Take that monster! take that monster!
Take it! take it! take that you awful thing!
Take that aaah! take that aaah!
Take it! take it! take that you naughty thing!


Happy 4th of July.
posted by mintcake! at 4:19 PM on July 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


In order to make up for philip-random's post, I hereby present my American MeFite friends with...

"Hero" by Canada's own Nickelback, a tribute to the US military
posted by KokuRyu at 4:25 PM on July 4, 2011


In my neighborhood the biggest 4th of July party is being thrown by a Nigerian guy. There are 60-80 people at his house, standing around cooking, drinking, having a great time. The food is unbelievably delicious, his friends are incredibly warm and friendly, and his daughter loves to chase my dog around her yard. They're blasting some great music, which is probably Nigerian too but which sounds kind of a lot like Mexican cumbia.

"Elbows" O'Donoghue linked a Propagandhi song earlier. My favorite Propagandhi song was always Resisting Tyrannical Government. That bit at the end where they say that they recognize the irony in being able to criticize the system of Western luxury exactly because they are supported by the same system.

It's not just that it's okay to talk shit about your brother because he's your brother, but if somebody else talks shit about him you start a fight; it's that you have a responsibility to criticize your brother if he does something shitty, because you're his brother and maybe he'll listen to you. I still love the United States. I don't feel proud, necessarily, to be American, because it seems silly to be proud of accidents. But I love it here, and I love my Nigerian neighbor throwing the best party because it reminds me of all the ways it can be wonderful here. And because I love it here so much I'm so fucking sick of what we've done to the place. And what we will continue to do.

So not only do I have the right to criticize as a privileged American, I have the responsibility to do so. No, nobody knows the right actions to take. You always run the risk of accidentally scoring on your own net; the system's set up to make that likely. But it doesn't mean you can just stop playing. You keep trying, keep working. Until everyone has everything they need.

It should be better. We should all be better. All my American heroes recognized that they were fighting and dying trying to make something better than it was. Happy 4th.
posted by penduluum at 4:37 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this is the thread were we post Canadian songs about the US?

If we are collecting these here... Leonard Cohen - Democracy.
posted by oulipian at 4:38 PM on July 4, 2011


I have Steppenwolf Live, the intro to Monster..."What it's all about, really, is despite the things that are wrong with our country

There are far too many good things worth saving, to let it go down the drain.

So, I think we should get together, as much as we can and bring about change."

As a Canadian, I agree wholeheartedly. Canadians head to the US for more freedom, less nanny state And more importantly, less taxes, so, if you're doing well, why the fuck stay in Canada?

As a reall treat for Canada Day, we had the monarchy visiting... fucking hell! WTF?
posted by alicesshoe at 4:45 PM on July 4, 2011


Note Nickelback aren't from Canada, they're Albertans.*

(* Ok, ok, it's Canada's Alabama.)
posted by docgonzo at 5:02 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


MONSTER MASH is a 1969 song about monsters by Bobby "Boris" Pickett.

A few notable lyrics:

Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?" </i?

Happy Halloween.

posted by Legomancer at 5:23 PM on July 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Phillip-Random -- You make me sorry this isn't a whole post about "Blue Canadian Rockies" -- good wherever it turns up, and my second favorite song on "Sweetheart of the Rodeo".
posted by Faze at 5:27 PM on July 4, 2011


America: Where spelling doesn't count--peoples' pets do
posted by TrialByMedia at 5:38 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canada's own Nickelback



*low whistle* phew. OK, that's a harsh one. I was gonna post some Loverboy, but I think I'm just... man, I'm sorry, you guys.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:38 PM on July 4, 2011


In order to make up for philip-random's post, I hereby present my American MeFite friends with...
"Hero" by Canada's own Nickelback, a tribute to the US military


Trying to start a war with our southern neighbours I see. Seconding louche mustachio on that one.

And, may I present Dark Ages by ferocious noise punk jazzbo's Nomeansno who get my vote as best Canadian band of all time. Personally this song reminds me of the odiousness currently emanating from Ottawa under all that shellacked hair which is why I posted it.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 5:48 PM on July 4, 2011


Nomeansno who get my vote as best Canadian band of all time.

They're from my hometown of Victoria - used to go to their gigs when I was in high school back in the late 80s. One of them worked as a dishwasher at my university to pay the bills.

I like The Tower
posted by KokuRyu at 5:58 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


My band (The Captain Canadas) played a bunch of Canadian rock on Canada Day. We almost played American Woman, but the vocalist decided against it. We did however play Loverboy, Bryan Adams, the Guess Who, Crowbar, Sloan, and many others. On a hay wagon. In a parade. It was great.
posted by unSane at 6:11 PM on July 4, 2011


oh yeah? Well ... Canada's got better whaling songs!

born on the border, split allegiances
posted by Twang at 6:12 PM on July 4, 2011


Proof.
posted by unSane at 6:14 PM on July 4, 2011


American Idiot is a song by Californian pop punk band Green Day. Some of the lyrics are

Don't want to be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new media
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along to the age of paranoia.


It really makes you think, you know? I'm an American, but I'm not like those crazy rednecks. Maybe the government really is controlling you, and you could never know. Don't listen to Faux News. Listen to your heart, Chompsy, and Alex Jones. Happy 4th of July!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:44 PM on July 4, 2011


"Canadians head to the US for more freedom"

Freedom from or freedom to?
posted by sneebler at 6:57 PM on July 4, 2011


The album cover featured awesome art by the late great Rick Griffin.
posted by bonefish at 7:11 PM on July 4, 2011


"Canadians head to the US for more freedom"

Freedom from or freedom to?


freedom from taxes and excessive prices on shit beer ... but not Nickelback. They'll find you anywhere, even on Metafilter.
posted by philip-random at 7:13 PM on July 4, 2011


I'm thinking of moving back to America for free speech. Doesn't Canada have extreme anti-discrimination and libel laws? American free speech is a precious, wonderful thing.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:25 PM on July 4, 2011


But it seems to me that Canadian-born celebrities tend to leave Canada for permanent residence in the United States as soon as they can.

Basically all that says is that the US is more attractive for people who are already wealthy and/or powerful.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 7:29 PM on July 4, 2011


Doesn't Canada have extreme anti-discrimination and libel laws

I don't know if many Canadians would call these laws extreme. Generally speaking, it's perfectly fine to talk about politicians or other people in the public eye. Our anti-hate laws have also made it possible to get rid of creeps like Ernst Zundel. The Holocaust as well as the Rwandan Genocide were both started with words, after all.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:30 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


docgonzo: Alabama's reputation is that it's backwards, poor, religious and racist. Alberta is none of these things.
(I've never been to Alabama but I'm sure it's a fine place).
If you want to criticize Alberta, mention the environmental destruction, the lack of culture or the former reform/alliance party. Mention the sprawling cities. Or just come out and say you hate it.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 7:40 PM on July 4, 2011


Wait.

Steppenwolf is Canadian???

Rush, I can believe... but Steppenwolf?
posted by mmrtnt at 7:54 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really really right-wing local radio guy Jim Quinn uses a snippet of this song on his show sometimes; I get the impression he thinks it's about getting America back to the way it used to be, or something. When the clip he uses is only:

"America, where have you gone?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?"


I think there's a little context lost.

(I'm glad I don't have to hear his show any more. I've talked about that work situation before, so I won't reiterate here.)
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:04 PM on July 4, 2011


Rush, I can believe... but Steppenwolf?

Fuck, yeah. See my link above. We played Born to be Wild on my neighbour's hay wagon as the Canada Day parade rolled into town, and everyone knew why.
posted by unSane at 8:04 PM on July 4, 2011


Or whatever the lyrics are. I'm so glad I remember to preview everything.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:06 PM on July 4, 2011


What's that Sam Roberts song about people going to Canada to escape the draft?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:11 PM on July 4, 2011


> let me celebrate the birthday of the country I served

That is absolutely my favorite 4th of July song.

Although Dave wrote it, allow me to suggest Robert Earl Keen's version - he really nails it.
posted by mmrtnt at 8:27 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure is a lot of angst in this thread.
posted by unknownmosquito at 8:32 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"A Lot To Drink About" is a high-speed drinking song by the American artist Jimmy Buffett. Some lyrics:

Now, Madoff made off with all the money.
And his clients are down to skunk weed.
Repeat after me, it’s so easy to see
We’re only talking simple greed.
And those Somalian pirates are counting all their gold.
While Bush and Cheney ain’t around
and all the good lookers seem to be Russian hookers
from Key West to London town.

It’s the price of oil,
war of the spoils.
Here’s your bucket for the big bailout?
Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan,
We’ve got a lot to drink about.


Four your health.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:15 PM on July 4, 2011


"I didn't think of Woody as a protest singer."
posted by hank at 9:20 PM on July 4, 2011


Sure is a lot of angst in this thread.

Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:21 PM on July 4, 2011


Obligatory Neil Young vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd comment
posted by TedW at 9:28 PM on July 4, 2011


Obligatory Neil Young yt vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd yt comment

Thesis. Antihesis.

Synthesis.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:33 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.

So I'm up here in the north woods
Just staring at a lake
Wondering just exactly how much
They think a man can take
I eat fish to pass the time away
'Neath this blue Canadian moon
This old world has made me crazy
Crazy as a loon
Lord, this world will make you crazy
Crazy as a loon

posted by kneecapped at 9:37 PM on July 4, 2011


Yup, they were Canadian... though the song was originally 'Born To Be Mild'.
posted by Cosine at 9:37 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.

Leonard Cohen has you covered

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:46 PM on July 4, 2011


damn got that backwards. ah well... the other great Cohen song about America, though it's unspeakably disturbing now, is First We Take Manhattan
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:48 PM on July 4, 2011


No one's done this one yet?
posted by Decani at 10:38 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.

I wrote one once, but it was so boring, I tore it up and wrote a song about Luxembourg instead. That one made it to number 74 in the Croatian charts, and the hefty royalties I received from it enabled me to take a nice vacation in Montreal.

I like Montreal.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:55 PM on July 4, 2011


That's weird, I'm having trouble thinking of songs by Americans about Canada.

Blame Canada
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:02 PM on July 4, 2011


Leonard Cohen long ago transcended being a Canadian (although he is still from Montreal).
posted by KokuRyu at 11:38 PM on July 4, 2011


Hey Hey, no one has posted the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Canada song yet!
So I will.

I am a Canuck and I love Canada.
I am not a chauvinist about it though.
We now have a Harper majority government and Fox News north Sun News Network.
The times they are a changing.
posted by dougzilla at 11:59 PM on July 4, 2011


So if Alberta is Canada's Alabama, I guess that'd make British Columbia our Florida, Ontario our Indiana, and Quebec our fucking Guam or something. New Brunswick could be the Amish parts of Pennsylvania, and Newfoundland is maybe the Michigan panhandle. It's a lovely metaphor, in that it only grows more incoherent the longer you think about it.

What I'm saying is that Alberta is not some stand-in for some random US state you also don't know anything about. What Alberta is, is the new default spite target for self-satisfied Canadian liberals no longer able to bag on the US now that Harper's Conservatives have more seats in southern Ontario than in Alberta.

Anyway, Calgary's city council stayed late tonight trying to squeeze in a vote on a comprehensive cycling plan and Yo La Tengo's playing an intimate side stage at Folk Fest in a couple weeks, and that legendary rural Albertan redneck k.d. lang (Consort, AB, born and raised) is playing the main stage.

Haters gotta hate, and I've got a lovely summer planned here in the Birmingham of the Canadian prairie or whatever the fuck.
posted by gompa at 12:20 AM on July 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Canada's own Nickelback

Oi FFS this is sad news for me. Apologies, I never realized...

Celine Dion, Loverboy, Anne Murray... and now this?!
posted by Meatbomb at 12:50 AM on July 5, 2011


You've got Barenaked Ladies, L.Cohen, Sam Roberts, and Corb Lund so don't feel too bad.

But America's musical contributions dwarf everybody's.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:56 AM on July 5, 2011


No one's done this one yet?

or this one

to be taken as seriously as the singer's mohawk
posted by philip-random at 12:59 AM on July 5, 2011


I was taking the piss before, but American Idiot got me through the night of the 2nd Bush election, when I was stuck on an overnight shift in a TV station and had pretty much that song for company.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:00 AM on July 5, 2011


fuck it if this is an anti-American song thread let's drop some Against Me!

Miami and From Her Lips To God's Ears (The Energizer)

Regime change under a Bush doctrine.
Democratic installations.
Constant war for constant soldiers. What are we gonna do now?
De-escalation through military force.
Increase the pressure.
Oh Condoleezza what should we do about the situation in Iran and North Korea? Condoleezza?
Democratic election under martial law.
An Iraqi president out of control of our choices.
After all this death and destruction do you really think your actions advocate freedom?
The President's giving a speech in Georgia to remember the voice of a slain civil rights leader.
Do you understand what the Martyr stood for?
Oh Condoleezza, do you get the fucking joke? [No!]
Condoleezza?

posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:06 AM on July 5, 2011


Leonard Cohen long ago transcended being a Canadian (although he is still from Montreal).

KokuRyu: I can ignore you denigrating Canada (a "frigid, sanctimonious, passive-aggressive cultural wasteland"?) and even kissing U.S. ass ("I miss my American friends, all of whom were warm, open-hearted and terribly argumentative"), but when you say Leonard Cohen has "transcended being a Canadian", like he survived cancer or moved up to the Winner's Club or something, well...

I feel embarrassed for you, frankly. That's as nice a way as I can put it.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:35 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno I hear the same argument here about Nick Cave. The idea is they're so popular/beloved they don't count as a representative of the culture, I guess?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:33 AM on July 5, 2011


Some years ago, must have been around 2002, I saw Steppenwolf at a classic rock type festival. The type of show where everyone was there for a specific band or for classic rock in general. But no one was there for Steppenwolf and people only really wanted to hear Born to be Wild and Magic Carpet Ride.

Before the music starts we tailgated (the high point was this ghastly everclear-infused watermelon) and the it's the afternoon and really hot and we're drunk before anything even happens but we didn't really feel like paying for $9 Bud Lite in plastic cups inside. Get inside, and it was a long walk from where we parked, find spots to sit. I end up next to this old hippie who offered me a joint (no thanks man) and told me about his old lady, his long-time girlfriend who'd just died of cancer (damn, that's rough man).

There were probably a couple opening bands you don't remember and then Steppenwolf comes out. They launch into a song–it wasn't BtbW or MCR–but it was a Steppenwolf song that people recognized so that was okay. I think another one followed.

Then John Kay speaks: "This is a song off of my new album". A small wave of disappointment flows from the stage back over the crowd because John Kay hasn't written a song anyone wanted to hear in thirty years.

Whatever the song was it was forgettable but not overtly offensive, simply unwanted and undesired. And John Kay's vocals and guitar are just way too loud and you can't even hear the rest of the band and no one cares anyway. Probably another song like that followed, then a Steppenwolf song. Hey Lawdy Mama or something you'd heard at least.

The pattern continues and every time John Kay says "This is a song off my new album" the disappointment gets a little more palpable. My brother is bummed because it appears increasingly unlikely that they'll play Snowblind Friend and the old hippie is bummed because his girlfriend had just died and they were supposed to go to the show together.

And John Kay is bummed because he hasn't written a song anyone wanted to hear in thirty years. But they play Magic Carpet Ride and people are at least excited for a bit.

The nadir was when John Kay said "I wrote this next song before 9/11 but it has even more meaning now". He goes off for awhile. I don't remember the specifics but I think it was that the government was bad or something. But firemen were heroes. Long after the crowd gets restless they play whatever song had more meaning since 9/11 and no one wants to care.

They close with Born to be Wild but by this point everyone is just waiting for things to move along so they can hear whatever band they really came for because what was maybe laughable at first has just become depressing.

I think I went home and threw away Steppenwolf's "Greatest" Hits. I never want to hear Steppenwolf again.
posted by 6550 at 3:02 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I dunno I hear the same argument here about Nick Cave. The idea is they're so popular/beloved they don't count as a representative of the culture, I guess?

I can buy that for some Canadian artists. Neil Young comes to mind as someone who still definitely seems Canadian in a lot of ways, but calling him a Canadian artist seems kind of misplaced. But Leonard Cohen represents so much of what is good about Canada, and there's an irony and distance in his music that still bears a distinctly Canadian streak. He's a Canadian Musician.

That's at least how I feel.
posted by Alex404 at 3:24 AM on July 5, 2011


Canadian Idiot, speaking both of Green Day and songs about Canada by Americans.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:59 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kattullus: "Is this is the thread were we post Canadian songs about the US? Because if so, here's War of 1812 by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie."

Yeah - here's my anti-American song by a Canadian band: Speculative Fiction - by Propagandhi.
posted by symbioid at 6:42 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that Stan Rogers trumps everything here just because it's Stan.
posted by Ber at 7:40 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


As the third and southernmost member of North America, México sends a belated, big-warm hug to both our neighbours on their respective anniversaries. Please stop bickering!
posted by elmono at 8:51 AM on July 5, 2011


I'd say about 1/3 of Dan Bejar's songs take a line or two to insult 'America.' He seems to have a real problem with that place . . .
posted by barrett caulk at 9:10 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neil Young comes to mind as someone who still definitely seems Canadian in a lot of ways, but calling him a Canadian artist seems kind of misplaced.

The man who wrote these three songs is fundamentally Canadian and that won't change. You just can't lose blood that thick.

But if y'all want the likes of Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Nickelback, Loverboy, please take them. Take them and never return them. And keep Conrad Black while you're at it.
posted by philip-random at 9:58 AM on July 5, 2011


KD Lang sings "Hallelujah" LIVE at the Winter Olympics 2010
posted by mikelieman at 10:06 AM on July 5, 2011


I'm half Canadian, so I was with you right up til the Noam Chomsky crap. Howsa bout you eggheads let me celebrate the birthday of the country I served while you were living in a frat house?

Hey! Youtube hipped me to the fact that Alvin's playin' the Palms next month! Hot damn! This thread and geolocation ARE worth something! And dang, so young!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:18 PM on July 5, 2011



But if y'all want the likes of Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Nickelback, Loverboy, please take them. Take them and never return them.


I want Bryan Adams chained up and singing Summer of 69 whenever I need to hear it. Which is daily.

I'm tempted to pay $100 to see him just for that one song.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:21 PM on July 5, 2011


Whatever you think of Bryan Adams, Summer of '69 is an awesome song.

Whatever you think of Loverboy, Working for the Weekend is an awesome song.

Whatever you think of Steppenwolf, Born to be Wild is an awesome song.
posted by unSane at 5:31 PM on July 5, 2011


Whatever you think of Steppenwolf...

I'll tell you what I think of Steppenwolf: they were some of the funkiest white guys of their day. I mean, Magic Carpet Ride? Shit, that stuff's funky, no two ways about.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:21 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whatever you think of Steppenwolf, Born to be Wild is an awesome song.
posted by unSane


Well, that's easy to agree with.
posted by philip-random at 10:47 PM on July 5, 2011


Hey Lawdy Mama was pretty funky, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:59 AM on July 6, 2011


and sookie sookie
posted by philip-random at 3:04 PM on July 8, 2011


It Can't Be Nashville Every Night.

He said, 'fuck this' and 'fuck that'
and this guy's the diplomat
stares into the blur of the tuner lights
It can't be Nashville every night

He said, 'we are what we lack'
and this guy's the autodidact
stares into the glare of them TV lights
It can't be Nashville every night

with it's la la oh oh ohs,
whoa-ohs and yeahs.
la las,
whoa-ohs and
yeahs

He sang, I'll die before I quit'
and this guy's the limit
stares into the queer of the firefight
It can't be Nashville every night

with it's la la oh oh ohs
whoa-ohs and yeahs
la las,
whoa-ohs and
yeahs.
posted by bwg at 8:00 PM on July 11, 2011


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