New Canadian music-- that's super good!
November 25, 2004 3:56 PM   Subscribe

New Canadian music is infiltrating your culture with its neo-retro ways, and you may not even know it! Hot Hot Heat is too dance-rocky for it's own good, Joy Division-loving the Stills are constantly mistaken for New Yorkers (thanks to touring with Interpol), and certainly Stirling are too epic to be anything but Cure-loving Brits! Watch out for the seditiously warm synth-pop of Stars and the society-destroying rock-folk of lesbian siblings Tegan and Sara. While you're at it, keep tabs on Toronto super-supergroup Broken Social Scene and the quirky, danceable girl-rawk of Metric. This is the cell of the retro rock revolution you really need to pay attention to. The Strokes and their ilk have nothing on the Canucks.
posted by Kleptophoria! (146 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

For my communication class, we were encouraged to bring a song by a Canadian musician/group, and have the rest of the students guess who the artist was (my professor believes that Canadian music isn't very recognizable). I brought in Broken Social Scene and only one student in a class of 200 knew it was them.
posted by Menomena at 4:05 PM on November 25, 2004

20hz, canadian indie music message board, New Music Canada, many samples.
posted by GleepGlop at 4:17 PM on November 25, 2004

Other up and coming great Canadian artists:

The Unicorns
The Dears
The Arcade Fire
The Constantines

There's plenty more but I have a movie to watch.
posted by Menomena at 4:18 PM on November 25, 2004

posted by neckro23 at 4:19 PM on November 25, 2004

^^ YES!

I'm mostly surprised that one of the bigger scenes in Canada right now is in... drumroll... Mississauga !?!
posted by mkn at 4:25 PM on November 25, 2004

may i say this: my alma mater the university of guelph, in a small city an hour outisde of toronto has produced such a disproportionately awesome amount of bands its silly. The Constantines, Royal City, Jim Guthrie, The Barmitzvah Brothers and the Cryin out Loud Choir to name my favorites.
posted by GleepGlop at 4:26 PM on November 25, 2004

ew, indie cred thread. it's like a pissing contest for hip kids.

and don't forget about post rock, like the variably named A Silver Mt. Zion, who are generally more listenable than their kissing cousin Godspeed You Black Emperor.
posted by scrim at 4:28 PM on November 25, 2004

...haters gonna hate...
posted by GleepGlop at 4:31 PM on November 25, 2004

Pah. The Band is where it's at.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:37 PM on November 25, 2004

It doesn't yet seem to be widely-spread knowledge that GYBE! has broken up - they haven't publicly stated it - but that's what I heard from a non-GYBE! member of A Silver Mount Zion. As scrim said, the group that carries their Emperor-Worshipping torch and symphonic sound forward is ASMZ, which is an awful acronym.

Also, nice first FPP, Klepto!
posted by louigi at 4:37 PM on November 25, 2004

Not that they're a new band by any means. But they are Canucks. Or were. Or mostly were. Something like that. Even despite driving ol' Dixie down.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:38 PM on November 25, 2004

And this seems like a good place to mention that The Tragically Hip just got inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The Hip are a vastly underrated band in the U.S.--when I was living in San Diego I was lucky enough to see them at a bar-sized venue at a time they were selling out stadiums in the G.W.N. Blew my ears out, but an experience I'll never forget (Trouble at the Henhouse tour).

p.s. Welcome, new guys!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:39 PM on November 25, 2004

five fresh fish: Dude, you're like, so old! But I agree. ;-)
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:41 PM on November 25, 2004

Other good Guelph music: Hip hop from Noah 23 and the whole Plague Language crew. There's a good rapper in that crew who used to go by Navel Gaziator - I don't know what he's calling himself now.
posted by louigi at 4:42 PM on November 25, 2004

Don't forget New Pornographers and Destroyer.
posted by btwillig at 4:45 PM on November 25, 2004

Not new, but have to shout out for my favourite band Great Big Sea and two bands from my home town, the Tragically Hip and the hilarious Arrogant Worms. Also from home town: Sarah Harmer, formerly of Weeping Tile. And can't forget Stephen Fearing (not from my home town, but brilliant). kd lang's amazing in general and on the topic of Canuck music, her latest album hymns of the 49th parallel is pretty sweet.

Dang that'll teach me to preview b4 posting, someone got to the Hip b4 me. ;)
posted by tb0n3 at 4:55 PM on November 25, 2004

(Thanks for posting in my thread, people! Yay!)

To let everyone know I'm totally in with the indie cred and so on, let it be known that I'm a big fan of a lot of the bands you guys have listed. I just didn't want my first FPP to be some sort of epic 1000-word affair. The Dears, by the way, are fantabulous, especially if you're into the Smiths.

I saw Death From Above 1979 in concert, and they were pretty good. It's amazing, because it's only vocals, bass, and drums. A bass guitar can do a lot more than you'd think.

I'd really recommend people check out Stirling (see FPP links), because they're really something else. They also have free MP3s on their site.

I've also seen Metric in concert, and they're a treat.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 4:55 PM on November 25, 2004

Representing the east coast:

Joel Plaskett
Heavy Blinkers
Matt Mays and El Torpedo

And, my personal fav's (not all from the East): Matthew Barber, The Remains of Brian Borchert, Wintersleep and the impossible not to fall in love with for an hour Jill Barber.

Great post!
posted by dflemingdotorg at 4:57 PM on November 25, 2004

so goddam glad for people to be talking about canadian music right now. shameless plug for my hometown of victoria b.c., which like a lot of gorgeous / wretched isolated rainy places produces more than its share of beautiful losers. Hot Hot Heat, Frog Eyes, Chet and a band called Daddy's Hands are all from Victoria and anyone in the Vancouver area should see both Chet and Frog Eyes as soon as possible. They don't have websites because they are the genuine sad drunks people talk about but never quite find. Ryan Beattie of Chet sings like a young Roy Orbison. If that doesnt stop your heart nothing can. Wolf Parade (currently out of Montreal and opening for Modest Mouse) is also from Victoria. And the Unicorns are from even farther up island, but we still call em hometown kids. Thanks for listening to this shameless advertisement for my hellish wonderful boring mesmerising surf town on the pacific.
and please vancouverians check out daddys hands as they start playing shows this month. to this date, post radiohead, interpol you name it, they are still one of the best bands i have ever seen.
posted by cascando at 4:59 PM on November 25, 2004

the Stills are Canadian? cool.
good post and great everybody, thanks
posted by matteo at 5:04 PM on November 25, 2004

"and great thread, everybody, thanks"

my bad
posted by matteo at 5:05 PM on November 25, 2004

Speaking of Canadian Hip hop, I can't believe I forgot to mention Buck 65, who is perhaps the only hip hop artist my generally folk-and-rock-inclined wife has ever enjoyed. From the same group: Josh Martinez.
posted by louigi at 5:05 PM on November 25, 2004

I agree: there's a real sense that something's happening.

& also:

Tim Hecker
Frog Eyes

I believe Canadian music owes a lot to Brave New Waves, the late-night show on CBC radio and its wonderful host Patti Schmidt.

Zed, "Open Source Television", which lets people upload their own content for broadcasting and create discussion groups, etc. has also done very well.
posted by ori at 5:06 PM on November 25, 2004

The New Pornographers was an excellent choice, btwillig. Another great Canadian artist is Hawksley Workman.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 5:06 PM on November 25, 2004

Ah, jeez. This thread is going to piss off Sidhedevil all over again. ;-)
posted by at 5:07 PM on November 25, 2004

All the good music is from Canada.

But if you really want to be Ahead of the Curveā„¢, and impress all of your friends with thy-indieness, start name-dropping Wolf Parade now.

Thats the Hot Shit, I promise you.
posted by TTIKTDA at 5:08 PM on November 25, 2004

Great Post. Vancouver has a great hip hop scene. Montreal also.

ew, indie cred thread. it's like a pissing contest for hip kids.
posted by scrim at 4:28 PM PST on November 25

...haters gonna hate...
posted by GleepGlop at 4:31 PM PST on November 25

You gotta let a playa play.
posted by orange clock at 5:08 PM on November 25, 2004

I would get the link wrong in my first comment. Here's the correct link: Hawksley Workman.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 5:11 PM on November 25, 2004

Wax Mannequin... he's an odd fellow but he puts on an awesome rock show.
posted by BlzOfGlry at 5:13 PM on November 25, 2004

I forgot Vancouver. Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops. And their first record when they recorded as Jerk with a Bomb will keep you warm on long late nites walking home in the rain. LadyHawke is amazing as well. And yes, the kids in Wolf Parade are amazing. Glad to see that seconded.
posted by cascando at 5:15 PM on November 25, 2004

Blue Rodeo rules my world.
posted by rexruff at 5:25 PM on November 25, 2004

AHEM* Rheostatics?
posted by joelf at 5:25 PM on November 25, 2004

As a Calgarian, I gotta say... "I saw Teegan and Sara when they were Sara and Teegan." Quick pointer to CBC's Radio 3 and local Calgarian labels Catch and Release and Saved by Radio, the latter of whom put out a Stompin' Tom tribute CD last year.
posted by hamfisted at 5:25 PM on November 25, 2004

Yeah, I live in Kingston, which is half-way between Montreal and Toronto and a university town to boot, and I think we've had just about every band mentioned on this thread come through here at one time or another. I'm not a hipster, thank god, but Canuck independent music has been coming up with some really good stuff lately.

This is a pet theory of mine, but does anyone else remember the big Radiohead Kid A / Amnesiac concert that happened in Montreal back in 2001? For some reason everyone I've talked to "in the scene", including members of a couple of these bands, was either at that concert, or wanted to go to it. I think something about that performance, and the two albums, caused a shockwave in Canadian indie music consciousness. And I think it shows, in a good way. A lot of the stuff coming out right now has that same ambient electric-post-rock quality to it, but without the more pretentious twiddly bits.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 5:28 PM on November 25, 2004

Anyone me/fites who want to talk about music in vancouver or go see shows let me know. we should organise something.
posted by cascando at 5:31 PM on November 25, 2004

I can't stop listening to the Arcade Fire album. By far my favorite album this year.

Check out Calgary band Mico
And my all time favorite Canadian band from Winnipeg - The Weakerthans.

From my little town (Lethbridge, AB), I really like Favour (sound kind of east coast indy) and its offshoot The Square Waves (IDM).

Right now, my Saturday nights are booked with CBC Radio 3, which play lots of great stuff.
posted by Quartermass at 5:36 PM on November 25, 2004

Venetian Snares !! !!!!!
posted by stokast at 5:37 PM on November 25, 2004

Some of the bands mentioned in the posts above have mp3s on this self link and photos of a bunch of 'em on this self link.
posted by dobbs at 5:38 PM on November 25, 2004

the following are all really astounding. mostly electronic/hip hop as the indiecrebiles have been mentioned already.

dj a-trak, abdominal & dj fase, akufen, the beans, eloi brunelle, buck 65, chet, crackhaus (deadbeat with stephen beaupre), gonzales (aka chilly gonzales), ilkae, junior boys, paul keeley, mcenroe, mitchell akiyama, montag, ac newman, pink mountaintops, ghislain poirier, setzer, sixtoo, temper, venetian snares, vitaminsforyou, wolf parade

on preview: um. i got beaten to a lot of them. they're still good.
posted by too many notes at 5:43 PM on November 25, 2004

I'd like to add The Be Good Tanyas of Vancouver, BC.
posted by tommasz at 5:44 PM on November 25, 2004

Sara and Tegan came to my birthday party one year in Kingston. That's my street cred. And I'm glad nobody's said anything about Moist, OLP or the Tea Party. Or maybe they're not indie. Or cool. I don't know.
posted by loquax at 5:50 PM on November 25, 2004

loquax, my girlfriend is quite obsessed with Tegan and Sara. She'd be jealous of you, if she knew you. And as for Moist, the Tea Party, and Our Lady Peace... well... they're not exactly "new" anymore. And Moist feels to me, in retrospect, like throwaway alt-rock. Back in the day I was into them, though.

The Tea Party used to put out fantastic records, though. Their latest disc was a bit ho-hum, maybe. Our Lady Peace never really did it for me, either.

Pseudoe might be on to something. I've noticed a lot of that as well, although never really thought to link it to that particular concert.

I know some people who went there and were blown away, though.

Honestly, thanks for all the great links, my fellow Mefites. I wish I could reach out across the internet and draw you all into a big group hug.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 5:55 PM on November 25, 2004

The reference to Tegan and Sara and jealousy was entirely unintentional. I swear to God.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 5:57 PM on November 25, 2004

I have to say the Tangiers are fucking wicked, there was an article written about them on CBC Radio 3 last month. They are like the Strokes but better. Femme Generation are playing at Sneaky Dee's this sunday, and they are also amazing.
posted by chunking express at 5:58 PM on November 25, 2004

I had my arms around each of tegan and sara for a picture after talking to them after a show, for that brief moment I was king of the world :)

They also sound good.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:03 PM on November 25, 2004

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posted by TTIKTDA at 6:06 PM on November 25, 2004

Um, TTIKTDA, you are aware that self-linking within threads to on-topic sites is acceptable, right?
posted by dobbs at 6:08 PM on November 25, 2004

oh please, the strokes are so overrated, so contrived. canadian music rocks! there's the guelph explosion of the last several years with the awesome lineup at three gut records including jim guthrie, the constantines, royal city, and cuff the duke (from oshawa, i believe). hawksley workman is from huntsville and is massively talented. don't forget ron sexsmith, sarah harmer, sarah slean. the weakerthans from winnipeg are just amazing. john k. samson is probably the best songwriter i've heard so far of our generation (gen x, that is) from anywhere. the new pornographers out on the west coast in b.c. do some kick-ass harmonious power pop. i don't even know what else they got out there, i'm sure tons. not so crazy about what i've heard so far from montreal, though their scene is always buzzing. another funky toronto label is blocks blocks blocks. a guy i know fronts one of their frenetic slavic disco punk bands lenin i shumov. and never, ever forget joni mitchell, leonard cohen, neil young. their influence continues to this day. god bless canadian music.
posted by yedgar at 6:17 PM on November 25, 2004

Second the Be Good Tanyas. Really sweet neo-bluegrass.

Sarah Harmer puts me off with your plaintive whiney voice. Ron Sexsmith writes great songs but doesn't sing them too well imho.

Does all this great new Canadian music somehow make a karmic atonement for Nickleback?
posted by Rumple at 6:18 PM on November 25, 2004

i heard kinnie starr (vancouver) for the first time at a concert in winnipeg. she was pretty good. but i really enjoyed veda hille.
posted by yedgar at 6:22 PM on November 25, 2004

Not sure if anyone's into Hardcore here, but Vancouver's Hong Kong Blonde kicks ass in my opinion (self-link)
posted by imaswinger at 6:23 PM on November 25, 2004

nickelback is SO wrong. *shudders*
posted by yedgar at 6:29 PM on November 25, 2004

Rumple: It'll take a lot of Do Make Say Think and skinny white boy hip hop from Peanuts and Corn Records to do that. Then we have to work on "My heart will go on" Dion.
posted by anthill at 6:31 PM on November 25, 2004

Yeah, we're really sorry about Nickleback. I hope this FPP makes up for that.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 6:33 PM on November 25, 2004

I saw Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Omaha back in 2002/3 (can't remember) and got the first 1 1/2 hours of the 2 1/2 hour show on MiniDV. Anyone want a copy, get ahold of me.*

*not for sale, but for trade, B&P, etc.
posted by pabanks46 at 6:33 PM on November 25, 2004

Just curious. Are any of the people commenting not living in Canada/Canadian? I think all of these bands are amazing too, but I always end up wondering who the hell cares except us

Oh, and Feist.
posted by UncleDave at 6:40 PM on November 25, 2004


I live in St. Louis while going to school, but I lived in Omaha the first 24 years of my life. We got so many good shows besides the Saddle Creek bands, including GYBE and others mentioned. Since the internet exploded, anyone, anywhere, can really get into good music, and Omaha is just one example.
posted by pabanks46 at 6:43 PM on November 25, 2004

I am not Canadian.

In fact, I cannot go to Canada. If I do, I face fines, or jail, or Deportation apparantly. Or at least, this is what US Customs told me on my way back in to the States a few months back.

However I love Canadian bands., as some folks in my blogs comments have recently figured out.
posted by TTIKTDA at 6:45 PM on November 25, 2004

uncledave, it don't matter who else cares, as long as canadians care. the rest of the world can have avril, nickelback, sum41, etc. they're marketed for mass consumption. indie stuff is getting the recognition it deserves by the people it's meant for.
posted by yedgar at 6:50 PM on November 25, 2004

Hey that's cool. Just wondering is all. I remember back in high school, we'd inevitably be asked to define what it means to be Canadian. For any Americans who might be reading, you have to understand, this was a hard question. There would usually be silence for the first five minutes, until someone would put up their hand and say, 'because we're modest?' And the teacher would be like, 'that's right. Canadian's are great because we're modest.'

I totally don't think we're modest. But then, I totally think Canadians have a lot to proud of too.
posted by UncleDave at 6:55 PM on November 25, 2004

I'm not Canadian, but then I don't like/dislike a band based on their hometown.
posted by tommasz at 7:12 PM on November 25, 2004

Danny Michel is another great Guelphite. His site streams several tracks from his most recent album (click the controls on the tapedeck). He also has mp3 samplers of earlier releases, but you'll have to scrounge around elsewhere to find a full download of "Hartley", the sing that first grabbed me.

I haven't heard his CD of Bowie covers yet, but word of mouth has been great.
posted by maudlin at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2004

The Hidden Cameras had been my favourite new band for over a year now. Up until when I discovered The Unicorns and The Arcade Fire a few weeks ago. Thanks, Canada!
posted by flashboy at 7:32 PM on November 25, 2004

Michel has a Bowie cover CD out? Thanks for the info, maudlin.

If you've got a chance, do check out Venetian Snares -- the music was great a couple of years ago, but has only gotten better over the last few months. The live show is infinitely better than most 'laptop' artists.
posted by sleslie at 7:38 PM on November 25, 2004

I love The Be Good Tanyas. Saw them here in Victoria last year (and their sophomore album is better than their first). Sarah Harmer used to play Thursday's, a local sports bar, a couple of times a year.

The annual ska festival in town is usually pretty good. Last year we had Chris Murray (Venice Shoreline Chris) formerly of King Apparatus, who I saw three times when they were together. The Hoochie Girls are good local ska, too.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2004

yeah, music is music no matter who you are, where you're from. but canada is always defining itself by how american or un-american it's being. canadian music is distinct. i find it's usually quite intellectualized, earnest, tends to be more introspective and self-conscious, and, yes, modest. canadians are still relatively modest people. we aren't comfortable being brash and any attempts at brashness are carried off very self-consciously and apologetically, i find. canadians are almost paralyzingly self-conscious. we remain quite provincial and it's great. but my point is that canada is full of very talented and creative people. goooooo, canada (!).
posted by yedgar at 7:58 PM on November 25, 2004

Let's not forget the Paperboys, a diverse band w/ Irish roots, but branches out into Rock and Roll, Country, and folk.
posted by barrista at 8:04 PM on November 25, 2004

Funny you should mention Patty Schmidt and Brave New Waves. For me it was Brent Bambury and Augusta La Paix who really made the show. I used to stay up and listen to them every night and record the profiles on to cassette (still have some) ... heh

Another radio station that deserves credit is CiTR.

Other Canadian alternative/punk bands (yes I'm dating myself) Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, DOA, Death Sentence, Moev, Grapes of Wrath, 54-40, Sons of Freedom, Pig Face, GWAR, Art Bergman, Enigmas, Replacements, Young Canadians, DayGlo Abortions, No Means No, SubHumans ... too many to mention.

Now I feel old - time to check out some of these new bands and dye my hair pink again ;)
posted by squeak at 8:18 PM on November 25, 2004

squeak, do check out some of these new acts. Canada can still be hip.

Ah yes, Skinny Puppy. We youngsters still listen to them, especially if we're into the darker stuff that life has to offer. And I recall GWAR and DOA having been recently through Ottawa of late... along with the likes of Metric and Death From Above.

(Thank God we have the Capital Music Hall now. We actually get bands!)

And I don't know if Canada is especially ... special, musically... but I find it really interesting that there is a certain scene going on right now.

Like, members of Metric, Broken Social Scene, Stars, and other such bands all sort of move around and help each other out. Members of Metric are touring right now as a part of Broken Social Scene, and so on. I'd really like to see some of these groups get international acceptance. Sum 41, Nickleback, and Avril just don't make me especially proud.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 8:37 PM on November 25, 2004

Squeak, the Replacements are from Minneapolis. And while it may be mighty cold in Minnesota, it's still part of the USA. And GWAR are from Richmond Virginia.
posted by TTIKTDA at 8:41 PM on November 25, 2004

I guess I should have known GWAR were American. No "u" in there.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 8:44 PM on November 25, 2004

William Shatner -- Has Been.
posted by dhartung at 8:45 PM on November 25, 2004

nooo there was a band called GWAR that was from Vancouver same with the Replacements. Both were flash in the pan types from the mid to late 80's
posted by squeak at 8:53 PM on November 25, 2004

Great post.

There goes another paycheck.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 8:55 PM on November 25, 2004

iamswinger - I'm into hardcore (or was), and when it comes to Canadian hardcore, it don't get much better than Shotmaker.
posted by saladin at 9:18 PM on November 25, 2004

I can't believe you people! Almost 80 commments and...

You forgot about Sloan!

Ya gotta love the Sloan... and they put on a fantastic live show. I saw them when I was living in Washington, DC this past year. Nice small club show... full of Canadian expats, I'm sure.
posted by The Thnikkaman at 9:30 PM on November 25, 2004

Brilliant. And don't forget The Organ. I'm going to go pretend I'm a hipster for a while...
posted by DrKatz at 9:31 PM on November 25, 2004

Also worth noting is Toronto based Paper Bag Records. Most notably Controller.Controller.
posted by TTIKTDA at 9:31 PM on November 25, 2004

Saladin is right. Shotmaker's the shit. My favorite Canadian band, ever.
posted by dobbs at 9:43 PM on November 25, 2004

What it means to be Canadian?

It means there is always great music available. Someone in Canada is always doing honest music -- that kind that are musicians, not trying out for a popularity contest. There's always great comedy available. Someone in Canada is always doing honest comedy -- that kind that's made by comedians who write their own stuff, not trying to look glitzy, just being funny. There's always great writing available -- someone who has made a career of writing challenging novels is releasing something new, and you know it's going to be literate and interesting and compelling.

All in all, we have a helluva great arts community. Can't say I like all the artists -- Atwood usually makes me roll my eyes -- I am proud and damn glad we have them. I hope most of them end up making a living wage at it, and if they need government assistance to get the breaks they need, I'm happy to support that. It's great to see that entertaining me can be a profitable venture.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:44 PM on November 25, 2004

It has been mentioned twice before in this thread, but give "The Arcade Fire - Funeral" a listen.
posted by sety at 10:13 PM on November 25, 2004

A little late to the party, but, I have to third the Weakerthans. I'm going to see them for the first time live tomorrow night!
posted by genevieve at 10:32 PM on November 25, 2004

The mighty Max. Ah, sweet memories.
posted by davebush at 10:35 PM on November 25, 2004

It took 80-plus posts, but davebush you beat me to it! I saw them in Ottawa about 10 years ago when they attempted a reunion tour. Damn they were still smokingly good...but still they cut the tour short.

Okay, some more nuggets from the past:
Courage of Lassie
Rough Trade
The Bureaucrats
No means no
The Gruesomes
Deja Voodoo
Doug and the Slugs
Martha & the Muffins (aka M+M)
Eric's Trip
Blue Peter
Tear Garden
The Boomers
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Handsome Ned (damn I miss him!)
The Nils
The Box (they're in the commercial jingle business now)
Chalk Circle
Rational Youth
Pukka Orchestra
The Watermark
Pretty Green
Nash the Slash
The Drivers
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 11:01 PM on November 25, 2004

And for you Brave New Waves fans of yesteryear, you might be pleased to know that Brent Bambury is alive and well in Ottawa, where he chairs CBC Radio One's afternoon show as well as an odd little national show on Saturday mornings. His playlist still shows signs of his BNW days. All that's missing is his signature latenight signoff, spoken in a whisper: "Goodbye........."

When CBC's Ottawa studio recently moved to its sparkly new headquarters on Sparks St., it was Brent who got to do the final signoff from old Studio H at the Chateau Laurier, bringing to a close over 68 years of broadcasting history.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 11:12 PM on November 25, 2004

Pah. The Band is where it's at. I'll second that - and here's a shout-out to Ronnie Hawkins, too.

AHEM* Rheostatics? Bless their li'l green sprout hearts.

Nobody's mentioned Garnet Rogers yet, so I will! Don't be put off by the "sensitive singer-songwriter" feel of the site - the man plays a wicked slide guitar and guitar-synth.
posted by e-man at 11:21 PM on November 25, 2004

Members of Metric are touring right now as a part of Broken Social Scene, and so on.

It's not so much that they help each other out as they all sort of have several things going at once. I know Emily Haines was in Broken Social Scene (and Stars, if I'm not mistaken) pre-Metric ever releasing anything. Broken Social Scene's sort of a giant supergroup thing. Apostle of Hustle is another Broken Social Scene side project, which rocks. Another of them is touring on his own, but I can't remember his name. It's this whole weird Toronto scene and I'm not hip enough to keep it straight.

The New Pornographers are kind of like that too have come up; all of them do a lot of work outside the band. Dan Bejar is behind Destroyer (love) and A.C. Newman released a very enjoyable solo album. And there's Neko Case, of course, who's fabulous (and my current favourite thing ever) and I think at least as well-known for her own work.

Dhartung - I'd totally forgotten Shatner was Canadian! (Soo unpatriotic of me).

Also, really nice thread. It does my young ex-Calgarian heart proud to see Tegan and Sara on the front page of mefi. I met them after a show a few years back just before they started to take off (it was a couple months before they were on Letterman in 2001) and they were so nice. (They didn't come to my party or anything.)
posted by SoftRain at 11:52 PM on November 25, 2004

For those of you into country/folk/bluegrass, check out Corin Raymond. His first solo album "Record Lonesome Night" is out now. Follow the link above and listen to the mp3 of "Three Thousand Miles." You'll be glad you did.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:20 AM on November 26, 2004

I'm not Canadian, but I got exposed to some great Canadian music over the years, namely from listening to the CBC late at night from my old apartment in Wisconsin. I loved Max Webster and The Rheostatics for a few years now.

Anybody remember Kashtin? I adored their first album. I lost it during a move; I should really track down another copy.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:42 AM on November 26, 2004

Another of them is touring on his own, but I can't remember his name.

Nathan Lawr? Just a guess. I'm not a BSS fan.
posted by dobbs at 12:46 AM on November 26, 2004

There's a vibrant and growing Canadian jam-band scene as well with lots of quality up-and-coming bands, like Stephen Franke, Grand Theft Bus and The Jimmy Swift Band.
among many others...
posted by weezy at 1:03 AM on November 26, 2004

All I know about the High Dials is that they are from Montreal and that I first heard 'em with an unqualified rave of an intro from Little Steven on his Underground Garage radio show and that their "Fields in Glass" is one of the most addictive pscyhedelic-pop singles I've heard in years, and the EP of the same name is just awesome. Some of the best use of reverb this side of "Crimson & Clover." Which is plenty enough to recommend them, I think.

And I'll second Fuzzy Monster's recommendation of Corin Raymond.

Also, if you find yourself in the Calgary area, the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir are a hoot to see live. Best punk-bluegrass fusion band spawned by an avant-garde puppet troupe and fronted by a Governor-General's-Award-nominated children's-fantasy-book writer you're likely to see. If you're into that sort of thing.
posted by gompa at 1:36 AM on November 26, 2004

What a fantastic link bounty! And just when I was looking for some new tunes, too. Should keep me busy into next week picking from the pile. Thanks, all. And welcome, welcome, welcome, newbies. There's oxygen here again.
posted by yoga at 4:59 AM on November 26, 2004

Hey, if the Arcade Fire need a new name ever they can call themselves Garbage Fire. Or Arcade Crap. Or Garbage Crap.
posted by jon_kill at 5:22 AM on November 26, 2004

If you like the Cardigans, you'll like Reverie Sound Revue.
Unfortunately, they broke up, but damn they are upbeat.
posted by dum2007 at 5:23 AM on November 26, 2004

On a Venetian Snares tip check out Mochipet (he even has a VS versus Nelly boot on his site). Also Knifehandchop, another member of the Toronto breakcore mafia.

Best gig I've ever been to was Godspeed at the Scala in London.
posted by ninebelow at 5:52 AM on November 26, 2004

Damn, I've only been away from home for a week, and now you're all making me remember all the good shit I'm missing.

A lot of stuff has been mentioned, but someone's missed The Deadly Snakes, they've been playing some great tours as of late (I think they're doing the US with The Hives.)

softrain: Neko Case isn't Canadian, but I would like to make her one. Her new live album is great, I was lucky enough to be at one of the recorded shows at the Matador in TO.
posted by helvetica at 6:09 AM on November 26, 2004

They're not together anymore but The Watchmen are one of my favorite Canadian bands. The lead singer, Danny Greaves, is part of a new band now called Doctor.
posted by kelrae3 at 7:10 AM on November 26, 2004

To add to gompa's comment about the Agnostic Gospel Mountain Choir, one of the related side-projects is the damnsmartdumnfunny Bob Anonymous' Spam Avenger. I'm an eel! Canadian music has a good sense of humour.
posted by hamfisted at 7:13 AM on November 26, 2004

Oooh, Neko Case is awesome! She may not be full out Canadian, but we're really glad she decided to come up here. Get anything and everything you can by Neko solo and with the New Pornographers -- she never disappoints.

Another Can-American with roots in classic country but who can go beyond it is Suzie Ungerleider (aka Oh Susanna). I walked into an HMV several years ago and heard "Johnstown" just before I was about to walk out, and ended up staying to hear the rest before I bought the CD.

And while we're talking classic country, God bless and keep Handsome Ned. He died too damn young, but before motherfucking heroin got him, not only did he put on some great ass-kicking shows in places like The Cabana Room on Queen Street, he hosted The Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor Show on CKLN out of Ryerson, where this young punk found out that real country music didn't suck at all. I taped a few songs here and there from his shows, but never taped a whole one. I'm really hoping someone out there has an archive of his radio show to go with the great collection of Ned's own work available on CD.

Has anyone mentioned Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet? There's more to them than just the Kids in the Hall theme. I still play "Faster Santa -- Ho Ho Ho" every Christmas. It's an inspired medley of Christmas rock and a certain rock opera theme. Epitonic has some other stuff by them here.
posted by maudlin at 7:18 AM on November 26, 2004

Mayor McCA - One-man Band Singing Sensation, Cartoonist, Tapdancer, almost-Mayor of Hamilton. Worth hearing any day of the week.
posted by scruss at 7:48 AM on November 26, 2004

Well, I'm awfully late to this thread, but no-one has mentioned the always underrated Cowboy Junkies, or Big Sugar, who, admittedly, suck these days, but their first two albums (Big Sugar and 500 Pounds) are great, and back, back, back in the day they put on one hell of a live show.

An indie hipster friend of mine has maintained for a couple of years now that Toronto currently has the best live music scene on the planet...I don't go out to see enough gigs to have an opinion, but the 104 posts (and counting) this thread has inspired seem to be evidence in his corner...
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:59 AM on November 26, 2004

I'm from Winnipeg, so I'll start off with my favorite Winnipeg bands / artists:

The Weakerthans - my favorite Winnipeg band. John K Sampson is a poet, I love everything this band has produced.

Nathan - Winnipeg alt-country. Yeah, I know, I hate country, but I love Nathan. They're the best reason for not dismissing entire genres I know of

Neil Young (do I really need to provide a link?) - Started his first bands in Winnipeg, went to high school with my father and uncle.

Greg MacPherson - Winnipeg folky rocker. Blue collar, great guy, huge voice. Look him up!

Propagandhi - Winnipeg's definitive punk band, in my opinion. Good politics. Started The G7 Welcoming Committee label... now is that a good name for a label or what?

Winnipeg's music scene is really exciting, I think. There's a huge artistic community here, which I figure is because it is such a cheap city to live in, and I think being confined to the inside during the -40 degree winters (Celcius!) fosters a lot of good work

Now for the rest of Canada:

Choke (fantastic Edmonton punk band - fast, complicated, awesome)

Hayden - How can NOBODY have mentioned Hayden yet! One of the greatest Canadian acts running right now, IMHO

The New Pornographers (mostly Canadian)

Mudgirl (Kim Bingham) - Now releasing things under her real name, I think. I loved to death her Mudgirl "First Book" EP, but haven't heard anything since.

Sarah Harmer - formerly of Weeping Tile

Tangiers - I saw them opening for Frank Black when he came through Winnipeg a year before the Pixies reunion (saw them in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, their 2nd and 4th shows I think)

The Constantines - these guys blow me away.

posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:16 AM on November 26, 2004

My heart lept when I saw this thread. There are just so many great bands coming out of Canada these days. And whereas most of them in the early 90's seemed to be Canadianized American bands, the ones coming out today have a sound of their own. Hot Hot Heat, the Constantines, Brokes Social Scene and GSYBE! and it's offshoots are all regulars in my rotation.

Count me in as an oldie who saw every crap to good band that passed through Kingston in the early 90's. Sons of Freedom put on one of the best shows I've ever seen. Moist one of the worst. I also had the good fortune to be Sarah Harmer's next door neighbour, and can say that not only does she make good music, but that she's a good person.

Being in Calgary now, I have to give a plug to my buddy Dave McCann. Also, I didn't see Rufus Wainright mentioned, even though he's based out of New York now, he's still a Montrealais.
posted by sauril at 8:18 AM on November 26, 2004

Ah, Kingston...legend has it the Hip used to show up unannounced, or under the moniker "The Rodents", to play tiny bars like the Toucan or Wellington.

Seeing Jale in 1994 at the Toucan was a treat...I've seen plenty of better bands, but they were on their first-ever tour, and I've never seen anyone have more fun on stage. And, while I'm in the middle of this nostalgia trip, has anyone mentioned the late, great Inbreds?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:29 AM on November 26, 2004

All these posts and no Billy Talent? Perhaps not the best band ever but they definately put on a great live show and seem to be touring nonstop, practising their onstage antics. I saw them about a year ago at a club show in Calgary and was very impressed, then again recently at an all-ages show with Metric.

Their between song banter about how evil and bad George Bush is really put me off though - even though the 16 year old girls in the front seemed to agree with them.

posted by jeffmik at 8:40 AM on November 26, 2004

Thus proving my theory that 16 year old female Billy Talent fans hate George Bush.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:51 AM on November 26, 2004

Ron Sexsmith not a good singer? Wow, I was him in Hamilton last month and his singing is wonderful. I second Sarah Harmer, I've listened to 'You Were Here' about a thousand times.

If you like The Be Good Tanyas check out Po Girl

I have to mention a guy some friends and I were fortunate enough to hang out with in Victoria in the 90s, Jeremy Walsh

Nobody's mentioned The Skydiggers yet...

Not new, but I enjoy Matthew Good from time to time...
posted by jimmythefish at 9:04 AM on November 26, 2004

Great thread. Thought I'd belatedly add a one more. I saw Eric's Trip up there, which is awesome, but no one has mentioned Julie Doiron. She's a fabulous singer/songwriter from New Brunswick, does French and English. We met her last month too, and she was so, so nice.

I am sure there are others I mean to be mentioning, but my brain is fried. Apologies.
posted by livii at 9:26 AM on November 26, 2004

Thus proving my theory that 16 year old female Billy Talent fans hate George Bush.

It was just a little too predictable.
"OK, we wrote this song about drinking beer... I mean... GEORGE BUSH IS SO BAD GRRRR"
posted by jeffmik at 9:52 AM on November 26, 2004

Harpdog Brown kicks ass on the blues harmonica. Great, great performer.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 AM on November 26, 2004

AMEN, Menomena. Arcade Fire and Unicorns are two of the best bands I've heard in the past few years.
Incidentally, when I first saw Arcade Fire take the stage as a pre-opening act act, I bet a friend ten dollars they were Canadian. "Look at them. There are like eight of them, and they have a horn and an accordian. That's the spirit of Canadian rock: they don't know when to stop."
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 10:19 AM on November 26, 2004

one more: K-OS - fresh, anti-blingbling hip hop, he is amazing.
posted by weezy at 10:32 AM on November 26, 2004

Great thread. Reminds me how out of the loop I've been over the last few years. I am definately going to check out some of the recommendations.

I saw Ron Sexsmith and Sarah Slean last night. It was a pretty good show.
posted by purephase at 10:53 AM on November 26, 2004

Yes thanks to whoever linked to Matthew Good, especially his weblog which is amazing.

Now, I come from France and live in Vancouver for a year...

and I have YET to find good hip hop emcees/clubs/bars/whatever...
posted by Sijeka at 10:57 AM on November 26, 2004

posted by danwalker at 11:04 AM on November 26, 2004

Fall Down Go Boom.

The best band I ever walked five miles in a foreign land to see.

Everybody else has already mentioned my other favorites.
posted by Floydd at 11:06 AM on November 26, 2004


My friends could use the exposure... a few years back, they played for the OAS in Washington. The nations rotate responsibility for bringing in a musical act, and the Canadian ambassador chose them. Two years before, it was Placido Domingo. The year before, the US picked the Beach Boys. Check 'em out if you get a chance... they've been cross country a few times.

posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:43 AM on November 26, 2004

(Oh, and check out their video in my link above... my first music video, made with about 35 total seconds of band footage - for another song - some Prelinger clips (discovered via MeFi) and a one-camera shoot.)

posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:49 AM on November 26, 2004

One of the best bands from Edmonton, who are bound to break out any time now... the wolfnote
posted by philscience at 11:52 AM on November 26, 2004

The Vestibules (formerly Radio Free Vestibule)
Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie

For those who like FUNNY Canadianity.
posted by u.n. owen at 12:41 PM on November 26, 2004

dougunderscorenelso: In that spirit, have you heard of the Silver Hearts? SoftRain talked me into seeing them at the 360 in Toronto, where they were playing every thursday in October.

Anyways, they were missing their washboard, saw, and tuba players, but they did have their keyboard/trumpet player (sometimes at the same time.) And they also had a guy who played the train whistle.
posted by maledictory at 12:50 PM on November 26, 2004

hamfisted: Am I off-base here, or did you once play guitar for a band called the Parkades in the mid-'90s? I saw you guys with Forbidden Dimension and Pussy Monster at the Carpenters Union Hall back in the day... good show. And I had no idea we had so many Calgarians here--thought I was the only one!

Speaking of Calgary, you guys need to check out Chad Van Gaalen's luscious homebrew psych.

On the alt-country/roots tip, Edmonton's Cam Penner & the Gravel Road and the Corb Lund Band are definitely worth checking out, too.
posted by arto at 1:11 PM on November 26, 2004

i may be a bit late to join the party, but i'd like to share the band North of America (who are so obviously canadian that i thought they were entitled to be mentioned). also, check out any of the other releases on their label, level-plane records if you like that hard-edged post-hardcore sound.
posted by radiosig at 1:30 PM on November 26, 2004

crap, I been outed already. yep, that was me in the Parkades (and the CEOs with the ever-talented Ian Doig, a couple of years ago). a long time ago, oh, and as part of CJSW's 25th anniversary, there are going to be a series of reunion shows in the new year. Parkades will be one, as will Pussy Monster. if Color Me Psycho do a show, i'll wet myself.

Since no one's mentioned a literary resource yet, I'll point to Have Not Been the Same, an only slightly flawed overview of Canadian music from the late 80s to early 2000s. Oh, and where would I be without Exclaim magazine?
posted by hamfisted at 1:42 PM on November 26, 2004

North of America
posted by radiosig at 1:54 PM on November 26, 2004

Oh - and Kim Mitchell now has a daily radio show on Q107, "Toronto's Classic Rock".

I'm curious to see what that's like. Someday, I'll remember to tune in and listen online.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:00 PM on November 26, 2004

I used to work at the library with Arif, many many years ago.
posted by jeffmik at 2:17 PM on November 26, 2004

I have to give a shout-out to Hardship Post: one of the best bands to come out of Halifax* during the early 90's. Dropped one great album, fired the drummer, and fell out of sight. Where are they now?

* I know they were from Newfoundland. So am I!
posted by monkeymike at 2:18 PM on November 26, 2004

The Trews rock out, too.
posted by gsh at 2:23 PM on November 26, 2004

jeffmik: you'll have to flesh out your profile so i can put a face to a (nick)name...
posted by hamfisted at 2:27 PM on November 26, 2004


Next chance you get, check out Sweatshop Union - they are top-notch Canadian hip hop (I think they're from Vancouver...). As far as Vancouver hip-hop clubs go, check out Voda 783 Homer St. (Thursdays), Tokyo Lounge 1050 Alberni St. (Fridays), Atlantis 1320 Richards (Friday's), Bar None 1222 Hamilton St. (Saturdays) - there's lots more... I'm big on the local live acts myself, like Stephen Franke tonight Nov. 26 (Backstage Lounge) and Themasses tomorrow Nov. 27 (Fairview) Vancouver is oozing with great live music!
posted by weezy at 2:30 PM on November 26, 2004

Hey! Its you! The Color Me Psycho reference should have tipped me off right away - you hammered them into my head and I think I still have one of their records around somewhere. I added my email because I couldn't find one for you on your homepage.
posted by jeffmik at 3:02 PM on November 26, 2004

many of the bands listed in this thread are available for free in the archive's live music archive. including 32 godspeed you black emperor! shows.
posted by mawlymawnster at 5:49 PM on November 26, 2004

I had no idea we had so many Calgarians here

So, uh, arto, you think there's enough of us for a Calgary meetup? Sounds like a great idea for someone more organized than me (and less currently overseas for work) to ponder.

Oh, and I second weezy's K-Os mention. That "Crabbuckit" tune is the most addictive hip-hop stew since, well, "Hey Ya," anyway.
posted by gompa at 6:37 PM on November 26, 2004

yeah, i saw the constantines (third time now) last night in barrie. oh god you have to see these guys live, they never disappoint. they f**kin' rock! i always get hot and bothered. holy sh*t do they rock.
posted by yedgar at 5:26 AM on November 27, 2004

Dark Blue World.
posted by jokeefe at 8:17 AM on November 27, 2004

Billy Talent was specifically not mentioned by me, despite their popularity and newness, because nobody old enough to drink in Quebec likes them. It's just sort of a consensus.

I saw Metric open up for Billy Talent, and the Billy Talent fans kept on throwing shit and being real fucks. It looked like members of Metric were going to jump into the crowd and beat the shit out of people, at one point. Ugh, Billy Talent.

And holy shit, I don't log into the intarwebs for one day, and my first and only thread has got a gazillion posts. My sophomore thread won't be able to live up to the hype.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 10:57 AM on November 27, 2004

My favourite Canadian recent discovery would be Girlsareshort. Two guys making Japanese-influenced IDM-pop with decent songwriting and melodies.

Their official page is a bit sparse, but their label's page has info, including info about a remix they did for current coolsie favourites DFA1979.
posted by acb at 5:41 PM on November 27, 2004

Anyone here remember Cartoon Girls I Wanna Nail?
posted by acb at 6:04 PM on November 27, 2004

The last comment should have ended up on the furries thread, in case you haven't guessed.
posted by acb at 6:09 PM on November 27, 2004

Damn. I thought it was a great band name.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:01 PM on November 27, 2004

Hey, that means it's still available...

crap, I been outed already. yep, that was me in the Parkades (and the CEOs with the ever-talented Ian Doig, a couple of years ago).

You say that like it's *my* fault I'm nerdy enough to have memorized the liner notes from decade-old seven-inches... Come to think of it, I suppose it is.

oh, and as part of CJSW's 25th anniversary, there are going to be a series of reunion shows in the new year. Parkades will be one, as will Pussy Monster. if Color Me Psycho do a show, i'll wet myself.

I don't suppose a certain instrumental trio named after a Mexican egg dish is gonna put in an appearance? Because that would rock.

So, uh, arto, you think there's enough of us for a Calgary meetup? Sounds like a great idea for someone more organized than me (and less currently overseas for work) to ponder.

I was wondering that myself. I don't suppose there's all that much actual organization involved, is there? Pick a time & place, bring a camera and hope people show...
posted by arto at 9:17 PM on November 27, 2004

All's I can say is Rheostatics, Rheostatics, Rheostatics.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:55 PM on November 29, 2004

Hi, newbie here. I'm American, but I've been exposed to quite a bit of Canadian music myself over time (thanks to the streams on the CBC website!). I really like this Stars song I heard on GO, last week, I think, it's just so catchy, and not the annoying kind of catchy you'd hear on the dial in this country most of the time. Ironically, I actually used to hear Brave New Waves a while back when Brent was hosting.

I recall that it was aired for a short time on a public radio station here in Philly just to fill the 12AM-6AM overnight slot (that was the explanation I got). I caught a bit of it during a bout of insomnia in 1990, and been glued to it for much of the brief time it was on. I have never heard anything like it before, and since. It was (is) genius!

I still hear it occasionally what with work and sleep getting in the way. Can't complain about what Patti's doing. I get some good stuff out of it still. I recently heard some of Brent's stuff too. His taste in music is just so awesome. The shows he does now may be a bit cornball for me at times (depends on my mood), but they're fun.
posted by oldskool at 1:15 PM on December 3, 2004

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