Monday, April 18, 2005

 

The OTHER 50 Turns 19

Wondering what all this is about? Before you begin, you might want to read days one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen. The List so Far: Round 1: Hockey: Jane Siberry (Mike) Helpless: Neil Young (Keith) I Go Blind: 54-40 (Peter) Nothing at All: Maestro Fresh Wes (Aaron) Tired of Waking Up Tired: The Diodes (Carol) A Case of You: Joni Mitchell (Carl) Round 2: Have Not Been The Same: Slow (Mike) Hallelujah (Live): Leonard Cohen (Keith) Wheat Kings: The Tragically Hip (Pete) Vetoed By Carol Subdivisions: Rush (Carol) Vetoed By Keith Rags and Bones: Nomeansno (Carl) Round 3: One Great City!: The Weakerthans (Mike) Westray: Weeping Tile (Keith) Vetoed By Pete Deeper Than Beauty: Sloan (Pete) Having an Average Weekend: Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (Aaron) I've Been Everywhere: Hank Snow (Carol) Illegal Bodies: Simply Saucer (Carl) Round 4: Help Me Rhonda: The Langley Schools Music Project (Mike) Vetoed By Pete Secret Heart: Ron Sexsmith (Aaron) (FC's note: Actually Aaron's Round 2 Catch Up Pick!) Daylight: The Nils (Keith) Barrett's Privateers: Stan Rogers (Pete) Vetoed By Mike War in Peace: Skip Spence(Aaron) Vetoed By Carol Static: Terrible Canyons of Static; Chart #3; World Police and Friendly: Godspeed You Black Emperor! (Carol) What About Me? The Nihilist Spasm Band (Carl) Vetoed By Keith Round 5: Blues For Big Scotia: Oscar Peterson (Mike) Sudbury Saturday Night: Stompin' Tom Conners (Keith) Little Girl: Death From Above 1979 (Pete) Brian Wilson (Live): The Barenaked Ladies (Aaron) Vetoed By Carl New York City: The Demics (Carol) Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: Buffy Sainte Marie (Carl) Round 6: Blues for Pablo: Gil Evans with Miles Davis (Mike) O Marie: Daniel Lanois (Keith) Can't You See: The Matt Minglewood Band (Pete) OK Blue Jays: The Bat Boys (Aaron) Vetoed By Keith Put the Blame On Me: Handsome Ned (Carol) Time to Get a Gun: Fred Eaglesmith (Carl) Round 7: Log Driver's Waltz: Kate and Anna McGarrigle (Mike) Curling: The Dik Van Dykes (Keith) The Deep End: Swollen Members (Peter) Theme to Hockey Night in Canada: Dolores Claman (Aaron) Andy: Mike O'Neill (Carol) Cool It: Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy (Carl) Love the OTHER 50? HATE the OTHER 50? Looking forward to Carl nominating Men Without Hats? Leave a comment! Keith: I think Mike has another pick, but before we get to it, I think I'll slip mine in I have to admit I doubted myself a little bit before making this selection. It'd be a pretty hard argument to claim that The Arcade Fire isn't one of the hottest bands in Canada right now; but are they one of the best? And even if they are one of the best bands in the country, what does one album prove? One of my main beefs with Pete picking Little Girl was that I don't think DFA 1979 are built to last (Why didn't I veto that pick? Well, if I did, who would have dropped the bomb on OK Blue Jays?). In short, I think you ought to have some historic impact to be on a list like this (Full Disclosure: I'm aware that the Dik Van Dykes are not historically significant, not really). So, picking a band like The Arcade Fire for this list is a prediction as much as an assertion. It's not only a prediction of the band's fortunes (long may they run...music lovers need more records like Funeral) but it's a prediction that this band will have long-term impact; defining a sound or a scene. It's a much more difficult thing to commit to than a condemnation of the Casio. (Sorry Carl!) With some of that doubt in mind, I nearly picked something else on Saturday. Then the indie gods started sending me signs. The Time magazine cover and my girlfriend losing out on her Arcade Fire in Montreal Ebay auction (memo to Sean, hook a brother up?) were the first two. To console ourselves, we went to the M Ward show Saturday night and sat down right beside, you guessed it...Win and Regine. No, I didn't hit them up for tickets. I could write all of that off to coincidence if it weren't for the fact that in today's Citizen, PWI's URL was slapped right beside a picture of...well, you get the drift. In short, who am I to try and go against fate? The Arcade Fire are an incredible live act and a uniquely powerful voice in current indie rock. If they can make 10 records half as good as Funeral they'll easily go down as one of the better Canadian acts of all time. With that in mind, I'm nominating Wake Up the powerful chorus (call to arms?) that opens up most live Arcade Fire shows. (Listen to Wake Up) All six members of the band take to the opening choral bars of this song without mics. The power of the resulting howl has been responsible for more goose bumps on North American college campuses than Mischa Barton and final exams combined. I can't guarantee that the Arcade Fire aren't just a flash in the pan, but this nomination is a sincere reflection of my hope that they'll be with us for a long, productive while. Carl: Personally I don't prefer Arcade Fire to a lot of other Canadian indie rock stuff right now (tho I certainly prefer them to DFA), but they certainly are the current leading symbol of it. (Oh, and I also prefer them to Broken Social Scene.) Not that we're going to get through this exercise before Aaron drops his 2004 release into the mix, once we're safely in the no-veto zone. But I do feel like I'm waiting to see where AF go next, not quite enthralled by this record but fond of them as a band. Keith: Not that we're going to get through this exercise before Aaron drops his 2004 release into the mix, once we're safely in the no-veto zone. Carl, i KNOW. we have a 21st century problem. In fact, the preponderance of 21st century music on our list was something I was trying to avoid when I originally proposed the Y2K cutoff. Mostly because many lists I've read seem to be harmed by this same "I've been listening to this record so much it's BOUND to be a classic" syndrome (remember when Tracy Chapman made one of Rolling Stone's all time greatest records lists?) FC's Note: Not only did Tracy Chapman's self titled record make the top ten of Rolling Stones greatest albums of the eighties it also was number 261 on their Greatest Albums of All Time list . . . interesting. That said, I hope my nomination was caveated enough and I really think A.F. have a chance at long term influence. Aaron: Even if the Arcade Fire fell off the face of the earth tomorrow (note: this seems highly unlikely, especially given the continued presence of gravity), it would not diminish from the wonderfulness of Funeral. And if we're getting into the business of bold predictions, I'd say Arcade Fire stand a very good chance of being the Canadian "It" band that ends up selling the most records. (The darkhorse being Stars.) P.S. Oh Carl. I actually think I'm going to get through this list without a 2004 pick. Peter: I'm not quite sure I understand how one can suggest DFA haven't proven themselves, and may never do so, then turn around and make arguments in support of Arcade Fire that, more or less, are the same as the arguments I made in favour of DFA. Regardless, I find Arcade Fire an enjoyable band, if their true worth remains obscured in this year's critics' feeding frenzy. I don't find them to be as wholly original as many suggest - they remind me of earlier, recent sounds, principally the Original Brothers and Sisters of Love. Personally, I'll reserve judgement for a year or so until the buzz moves onto some other darling du jour, and. AF can be heard without the hype. No veto here from me, as I could hardly do so without compromising my own arguments for DFA. Keith: You're right, we made the same arguments (hoplessly biased justifications?) for our "buzz band" picks. I guess I just think the band I picked has a better chance at staying power than the one you picked. Carol: I rather liked the Y2K rule; it made you dig and avoid many of the critcal darling bands. Don't get me wrong. I really like Broken Social Scene, The Arcade Fire and the one track I've heard from Death from Above 1979. I just don't see them as essential or quintessential yet. I feel they are part of an re-invigorated indie movement in Canada which will likely be documented as well as "Have Not Been The Same" did for the last rennaisance. Am I alone in this? Keith: I don't think you're alone at all, Carol. In fact - I think Carl said it earlier - I'm not sure if this isn't the most fertile period of Canadian rock music in recent memory if not ever. It'll exciting to see how many of these acts actually stay in Canada, create here and add to the culture. Are you ready, Mike? Mike: I spent a lot of time listening to all of my Bruce Cockburn trying to pick the ideal track and dare I say the CBC got this one right? Tokyo is ok, but it fails in my mixed tape methodology - there are so many Cockburn songs that I'd burn for a friend before I picked that one. His 80s stuff has way too much synth for my tastes. Call it Democracy is too strident, Laughing is a song I frequently sing in the shower (while it's no woo-woo to sing along to, the chorus of ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha-ha is fun) unfortunately it has a flute solo that could only have been done by Ron Burgundy in his hey day, which just destroys the back end of this track. The whole time the flute solo is winding up, I'm waiting for Will Ferrell to do some flaming zambuca. That leaves me with Rumours of Glory as my next pick. (Listen to Rumours of Glory) Keith: This might just be a difference in methodology but I'll throw it out to see if anyone else has an opinion. I've picked a few artists on the CBC list (Neil, Stompin' Tom) and my approach has always been to focus on the fact that the Corp picked the right artist, but it's the wrong track. Mike, if Wonderin' Where the Lions Are is the right track, why do you think we need a Cockburn song at all? Just asking and don't get me wrong, I like Rumours of Glory. Wan't to read EPISODE TWENTY?
Comments:
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Jay, you kick ass! I've removed your comment so you don't get bombarded by people pretending to be me.

K
 
If only we all had a blog to stand upon and shamelessly beg for tickets ... am I too assume that you actually scored some???
 
You assume correctly, anon, and the show was outstanding!

You should get your own blog!

K
 
Seriously!
 
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