Since the demise of The Rheostatics, the door has been open for the title of most quintessentially Canadian band. I was tempted to say The Constantines but they don’t have the same quirk to their lyrics that made the Rheos part of Canadian culture, and which once made The Tragically Hip interesting. So here’s my vote for the new flagbearer.
I’ve been listening to The Rural Alberta Advantage for a while now, and the more I listen to their finally-released-this-year full-length Hometowns, and the more I really absorb the lyrics, the more they sound like Canada. They sing about perfectly Canadian things, like leaving their homes to drive to Ontario for their careers, or getting out of towns like Lethbridge, or the Frank Slide. And, most importantly, their music is awesome. Super, super awesome and catchy as balls.
Check out their site or their MySpace. If you’re in Toronto they’re playing Lee’s Palace on Nov 20; check out their site for other tour dates.
Ooh, fun. The CBC has given us a task:
Starting next week, Canadians will collect some choice homegrown songs for the new president to groove to as he takes office Jan. 20.
CBC Radio 2 is calling on the public to take care of business, tune-wise – to help select 49 songs from north of the 49th parallel that best represent the northern nation.
I didn’t bother reading all the comments. I’m sure the songs widely believed to define Canada were mentioned…”Helpless” by Neil Young, “The Canadian Railroad Trilogy” by Gordon Lightfoot and (Lord help us) “The Hockey Song” by Stompin’ Tom Connors, to name a few.
I’d suggest something less obvious but spectacularly Canadian: “Queer” by The Rheostatics. It mentions hockey and Kodiaks and family strife and gayness and a prototypically Canadian town (Salmon Arm)…how much more Canadian can you get?
Anyone else have any suggestions?