Category Archives: Special Features
Three more months until the end of 2012. As we did last year, we’ll be recapping the year in Canadian music with stats on the best-selling singles and albums, profiles on new and successful artists in 2012, awards, and key events during the year.
Many music enthusiasts like to list the “10 Best” albums of the year. This activity is appreciated by some and frowned upon by others. In defence of the latter group, there is no such thing as a best album just like there is no such thing as a best colour. (“Blue is the best colour.” “No! red is!”). The positive aspect of the 10 “best” lists is that artists / record companies can use them for their promotional activities. (“X magazine rated our album as one of the 10 best of the year.”)
In order to do things right, we will not name our lists as the “10 Best” but as “The Canadian Music Blog’s 10 Favourite Albums of 2012″ which is more sensical. We will not present these lists in any kind of authority and in fact are happy to receive lists from our readers with their faves. We will also provide a list of our ten favourite songs of 2012. The #1 album and #1 song on our lists will receive imprint badges. We have already added these to our picks for 2011 (see below). Of note, in 2011 we listed only the 3 favourite albums and 5 favourite songs. People like to compile Top 10 lists, so we will be making the adjustment this year.
The problem with many lists is that they tend to discriminate against particular genres, popularity levels, regions, or ethnicities / languages of artists. The Canadian Music Blog looks simply at which music engages us the most and do not carry any prejudice in terms of what genre/style the music is, whether it is Francophone or Anglophone, what part of the country it comes from, whether it is a male or female artist, whether it is from a band or soloist, or whether it is indie or popular. The only stipulation is that the credited artist is a Canadian citizen. (We also consider songs that are a collaboration between a Canadian and foreign artist).
No doubt, many will be disappointed when noting that their favourite song or album of the year does not appear on our list. This is why we encourage you to submit your list. And we may even publish it! We will repeat this request near the end of the year. In the meantime, get working on them! We are more interested in lists that are well-rounded. (It really is rare to find such lists). Alternatively, you can simply send us your #1 favourite song and album at the end of the year.
Some of you are more internet savvy than me, but I can give fans of Canadian Francophone music a start in terms of tuning into radio statoins that play Canadian Francophone music. Most major radio stations in major cities broadcast over the net. The nice thing about this is that you can see displayed the name of the song and artist. Wikipedia is actually a good tool for finding stations. They list all radio stations in a given province sorted by city stating each station’s “format” (what kind of music it plays or whether it’s a talk/news station). From this list, you can click the link (call sign) to a radio station’s individual Wiki article, and at the bottom of this article will be the link to its website. From the radio station’s website you can click a button to listen live. For those not fluent in French usually the listen button will be called something like “Ecoute en direct” or “Lancer la Web radio” The Wikipedia list of radio stations in the province of Quebec is HERE.
For your convenience, we will provde links to websites of a few radio stations in Montreal and Quebec City that play contemporary Canadian Francophone music (among other stuff).
|CKMF||Astral Media||94.3||NRJ||Contemporary Hit Radio||LINK|
|CKOI||Cogeco||96.9||CKOI||Hot Adult Contemporary||LINK|
|CITE||Astral Media||107.3||Rouge||Soft Adult Contemporary||LINK|
|CJEC||Leclerc Communications||91.9||Wknd||Adult Contemporary||LINK|
|CHIK||Astral Media||98.9||NRJ||Contemporary Hit Radio||LINK|
|CITF||Astral Media||107.5||Rouge||Soft Adult Contemporary||LINK|
Additionally, AccuRadio, based in Chicago, USA of all places has some mostly commercial-free, talk-free internet radio stations that play Canadian Music, both Anglophone and Francophone. You can check them out HERE.
Bonne chance and happy listening!
What are you doing to celebrate Asian Heritage Month? The Government of Canada declared May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada a few years back. According to Statistics Canada, over 12% of Canadians are of Asian descent. To honour this special month, the Canadian Music Blog is pleased to present the following.
Montreal’s JoSH is a bhangra duo comprised of south Asian Canadians “Rup” (Rup Magon) and “Q” (Qurram Hussain). Rup is Sikh, born and raised in Montreal, while Q is a naturalized Canadian from Pakistan. They are signed to Universal Music and have released some 4 albums since debuting in the new millennium. They are perhaps more famous outside of Canada than within it, as bhangra music is less known here than it is in the United Kingdom, India, and Pakistan. The duo’s award-winning second album, Kabhi, remained in the MTV Top 20 charts for half a year in 2004-2005. JoSH has sold some 2 million records worldwide.
Nelly Furtado has done some work with them in releasing some bhangra remixes of her songs “Maneater”, “Powerless”, and “Promiscuous”. JoSH’s song “Nasha Pyar Da” from their album Mausam won a Best Bhangra Song award and the album’s “Mahi Ve” reached #1 on the BBC Asian charts in Britain.
This spring, the Canadian High Commission in Pakistan organized an event to promote and discuss pluralism in both Canada and Pakistan. JoSH performed on stage in Karachi attracting a number of youth leaders from various universities and Canadian expatriates and Pakistanis of various ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Andrew NG, Head of Communications for the Canadian High Commission spoke at the event and said:
“Canada has very strong people-to-people links with Pakistan. There are an estimated 300,000 Canadians of Pakistani origin, a number of whom I grew up with in Toronto. Much like Pakistan, Canada has evolved layers of policies to accommodate our diversity, such as federalism, bilingualism, multiculturalism and aboriginal self-government. Extremists believe that by targeting different communities they can provoke chaos and social disintegration in Pakistan but I must say, Pakistan is stronger than that, and today is an example of it. The fact that two Canadian artists can find such adoration in Pakistan speaks volumes about this nation’s acceptance level and love for music.”
Below is JoSH’s latest music video, for “Pyar Ho Gaya”, from their recent album Beyond Kismat. The video was shot in Mumbai, India.
JoSH Official Website
You can watch a video about the unity in diversity event HERE.
Before MTV, MuchMusic, and Good Rockin’ Tonite, local TV cable channel Shaw in North Vancouver launched a weekly show called Soundproof. It was pioneered by music writer Tom Harrison (Georgia Straight) and hosted by two Canadian hosers Dave Toddington and Buzz E. Miller (real name Martyn Stubbs). Dave was the serious “Bert” character who was very knowledgeable about music and recording artists in the days before the internet, while Buzz was the “Ernie” who offered comic relief. Occasionally, Tom came on the show as did local TV personality Terry David Mulligan.
The show began as a platform to help promote local artists who would perform live in the studio. This became unfeasible to set up every week, so the show began to air music videos which were becoming more common. In keeping with the show’s vision, videos were played of non-mainstream artists (what we would call “indie” or “alternative” in today’s musical jargon). Not only were local artists featured, but national and international artists as well. In the early 1980s there was a huge “underground” music scene. Many people were into artists that were not getting played on the radio. So Soundproof offered those into alternative styles of music a way of discovering new bands and artists. Examples of some of the artists they played: Modern English, Echo and the Bunnymen, Moev, Gary Numan, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Images in Vogue, Ultravox, Tears for Fears (before they became famous), and D.O.A.
They also did album reviews (scale of 0 to 10) which were often quite comical. I remember Tom giving a punk album a 0. The following week he said that another punk album was even worse than the one last week, so he gave it a “negative zero”. Below is a video of Tom Harrison talking about the show with some clips. Even though it was simply a local North Vancouver show that played indie music videos, many of the techniques they used influenced other widespread, mainstream music video shows like MuchMusic. It was a very cool little show and those of us who grew up with it remember it fondly. Thanks guys!