March 30, 2009

Canadian Music

The Juno Awards went down last night. I didn't watch. I rarely watch awards shows anyway.

I'm just very jaded when it comes to thinking about the state of music nowadays. I'm a passive fan of music—I don't hunt down the music, I wait for it to come to me. And for the past ten years, the music coming through the radio has been ... well, terrible.

It's not all bad, I must admit. I'm happy to hear bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Elbow, the White Stripes, and Foo Fighters. What irritates the hell out of me, however, is the onslaught of music that all sounds the same. I honestly can't tell one song from the next if it's a collaboration with L'il Wayne or T-Pain. Just give me Jay-Z. Jay-Z doesn't need a remix, he's good enough the first time out.

Canadian music is a different stripe from American music. In the States, it seems like an "artist" is built up through the hype machine for the sole purpose of being torn down a year later. Aside from a select and small number of singers and bands, American music is disposable. In Canada, we nurture and develop life-long appreciation of our musicians, even if they don't show longevity.

That being said, I was disappointed to here Vancouverite singer, Lights, won a Juno last night for Best New Artist. Why? I must be old and out of touch, because all I hear and see when one of her songs play is an artist with all the creativity and panache or a Styrofoam cup. Lights does not make good music. She makes background music for episodes of The Hills and Gossip Girl—two shows as devoid of artistic merit as the music they extol.

For good Canadian music, please check out: Sarah McLaughlin, the Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts, David Usher, Kardinal Offishall, Feist, and Matthew Good.

If you prefer bad music, feel free to listen to the likes of: Lights, Simple Plan, Hedley, Bedowin Soundclash (sp), Avril Lavigne, Raine Maida, and Nickelback.

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