Once Upon a Deadpool: Reynolds Schools Savage on the Awesomeness of Nickelback

Fred Savage no longer has a bloody mole probably because Ryan Reynolds chopped it up and turned it in to guacamole when the unaging Freddy said something not very nice about Nickelback.

There are those who may not like the idea of a Canadian invasion, but we keep invading, and the global masses keep on loving it. Remember when Canadian director James Cameron released the film Titanic with Canadian actor Victor Garber as captain and had Céline Dion voice the phenomenal theme song, “My Heart Will Go On”. Absolute magic. And of course, the movie smashed all box office records.

Céline Dion returned in 2018 to do the same for Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds for his blockbuster film Deadpool 2. “Ashes” was the theme song of that one. A recut of the movie is showing for a limited time in theatres, a cleaner version which drops the R rating to a PG13, and adds 20 minutes of extra footage. Promoting the film, Ryan Reynolds appears to be reading a bedtime story to Fred Savage, somewhat of a recreation of a scene from The Princess Bride in which Fred starred as a child. They seem to be getting along until Fred begins criticizing Marvel being licensed by Fox, making it analogous to The Beatles being produced by Nickelback – “it’s music, but it sucks”. Hear the needle being pulled off the record, as Deadpool slams the book shut and pwns ol’ Freddy, sticking it to all Nickelback haters. Savage finally comes to his senses and joins hands with Ryan to sing “How You Remind Me”.

Nickelback digged it, responding on Twitter with a reworked lyric to the song as, “It’s not like @VancityReynolds to say sorry, we’ve been waiting on a different @deadpoolmovie story.”

Watch Once Upon a Deadpool below.

Remembering English Songs with French Phrases

The inclusion of French verses in English language songs has always been with us (after all, the two countries share a border and have shared royalty), but it became particularly trendy in the early 1980s. While artists from the United States and United Kingdom were gracing their hit songs with French phrases, Canadian Anglophones seemed hesitant to do so. This is ironic since, as an officially bilingual nation, Canadians would have much more credibility in adding a dash of the Eiffel lingo.

New York singer and songwriting piano man Billy Joel posed the important question “Parlez-vous français?” in #4 charting 1980 hit “Don’t Ask Me Why”.

Blondie’s Debbie Harry was never shy about singing in French and proceeded to on several tracks including 1980 number one smash and third biggest song of the year, “Call Me” (appelle-moi, mon cherie).

Peter Gabriel’s Top Ten 1980 song “Games Without Frontiers” about a European TV show has Anglophone Kate Bush add the line jeux sans frontières.

ELO joined the legion the following year with Top Ten Hit “Hold on Tight” that included an entire stanza in French!

Accroches-toi à ton rêve
Accroches-toi à ton rêve
Quand tu vois ton bateau partir
Quand tu sents ton coeur se briser
Accroches-toi à ton rêve

Canada’s April Wine managed to slip a French line in international hit “Just Between You and Me” from 1981: seulement entre toi et moi, a translation of the title.

Billy Idol did the honours in 1984 Top Ten hit “Eyes Without a Face” about film Les yeux sans visage, Brit Perri Lister handling the French part.

There are certainly more examples, and our intention is not to provide an exhaustive list here. In recent years, Canadian artists like Mia Martina have been faithful in honouring the French language by including choice phrases in her songs. We would like to see more artists do this.

Carly Rae Jepsen Performs with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Fun fact: On June 25, 1967, 400 million viewers from around the globe tuned in to watch Our World, the first live, international, satellite television production in history. It featured the live debut of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”. Among millions around the world who were born on that day, one, now celebrating his 51st birthday, boarded the SkyTrain from Metrotown station with his wife, and the two headed to the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver. Those were just two who attended a very special event: multiplatinum pop superstar Carly Rae Jepsen performing with The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO). Both are JUNO Award winners.

Working mainly with material from her Polaris short-listed album Emotion, Chris Mayo arranged the pieces for a full symphony orchestra. Carly had previously performed with the Toronto and Indianapolis Symphonies. Lucas Waldin was to conduct the VSO for Jepsen’s third symphonic collaboration.

The theatre filled to capacity, the lights dimmed, and the conductor emerged. Following an orchestral intro, Waldin asked the crowd to welcome a first-time performer with the symphony – Carly Rae Jepsen. When she appeared on stage, the crowd went nuts. All dolled up in a beautiful black and gold dress, and blonde locks, Carly belted out the words to “Run Away with Me” and followed it up with three more tracks from her critically acclaimed album. The arrangements were beefed up with strong drum beats and some fine guitar work from her right-hand man, Tavish Crowe. After the set, Jepsen announced she would take a break and allow the symphony to perform a piece of classical music, Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”. The conductor said it was Carly who had chosen it.

Jepsen re-emerged to offer two more tracks but this time in a lighter string quartet arrangement, and then, as is traditional with orchestral performances, a 20-minute intermission ensued.

A second classical piece was delivered beautifully by the orchestra, again chosen by Carly, Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Jepsen re-emerged with a short fluffy bright red dress to begin her second set. The crowd was fairly even in terms of males and females, mostly millennials with some members of generation X and a few iGens and boomers. All in all, a nice mixture of ages. Apparently, some had travelled from other cities to be there.

Of the dozen or so songs Carly performed through the evening, one had the crowd cheer so loudly, it’s a wonder that the roof wasn’t blown off the theatre, and that song was “Cut to the Feeling”. By this time, all were on their feet swinging and dancing away. Carly had joked that all should feel free to stand up and boogie but teased she may respond by performing a ballad. She finished the final set with “Call Me Maybe” which had everyone singing along. She exited, and, of course, returned for an encore. The evening was capped off with her performance of gold single “I Really Like You”.

Afterwards, Carly Rae Jepsen commented, “A night I shall not soon forget!! Thanks to all who made it possible! @vsorchestra @tavishcrowe @lucaswaldin @Cjsmayo and every single heart in the Orpheum tonight!”

10+1 Female Soloist Songs That Topped the Year-End Charts

In honour of International Women’s Day, we list songs from female soloists that topped the Canadian year-end charts.

By female soloists we do not include all-female duos or groups and no female fronted bands; however, we have included a female who names her backing band in the artist name (e.g. Joan Jett and the blackhearts).

Not all years have official year-end charts. We have 1967-1999 (minus 1972) from RPM and 2008-2017 from Billboard. From these we found 10 instances in which a female soloist had the number one song of the year. We list them below in chronological order with some info on the song penned and the music video embedded.

Surprisingly, songs you might think took the crown came in at #2, often outdone by a so-called novelty song. For example, “Bette Davis Eyes” was robbed of glory by The Stars on 45 “Medley” in 1981, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was outdone by Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” in 2012.

Another point to consider is that sometimes a song appeared on two consecutive year end charts because it charted from the end of one year through the beginning of the next. Had it charted within one year, its performance on the lone year-end chart would be much better. This is why we cannot really consider these as the biggest female soloists songs in Canadian history, though they are certainly among them.

We have slipped in an 11th entry, as we took a look at the year-end CKOI charts to see if any musique Francophone tracks from female soloists made the lofty grade, and there was one.

The 11 songs below, from ballads to rock-outs were megahits back in the day, slaying like nothing else. Four of them are from Canadians. Which one is your favourite?


You Light Up My Life, Debby Boone

This inspirational piece was the number one song of 1977 in Canada. Debby is the daughter of Pat Boone who was a major player in the 1950s. “You Light Up My Life” spent five weeks at the top of the weekly RPM singles chart.

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Very different from Boone’s entry but equally delicious, this bluesy rock anthem spent eight weeks at #1 and became the biggest song of 1982. The single was certified double platinum.

The Power of Love, Jennifer Rush

Later covered by Céline Dion, “The Power of Love” from the New Yorker was the biggest song of 1986 and went gold spending a couple of weeks at the summit of the weekly charts.

Like a Prayer, Madonna

Madonna’s biggest hit in the Great White North, “Like a Prayer” was on top for four weeks and became the top song of 1989 to close out the 80s.

L’aigle noir, Marie Carmen

This brilliant cover of French singer Barbara’s “Black Eagle” by Canadian singer Marie Carmen was the #1 song of 1992 on the CKOI chart beating out all English language and foreign artist songs of the year.

I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston

From the diamond certified soundtrack to feature film The Bodyguard, “I Will Always love you” from the late American singer spent 8 weeks at #1 and was the biggest hit of 1993. It’s a cover of the Dolly Parton original.

You Learn, Alanis Morissette

At #1 for 3 weeks, “You Learn” was Alanis Morissette’s biggest hit and the top song of 1996. Her “Ironic” was 2nd of the year. Both are from her double diamond certified album Jagged Little Pill.

Building a Mystery, Sarah McLachlan

At the zenith of the weekly charts for eight weeks, Sarah McLachlan scored the biggest song of 1997. It is from her diamond certified album Surfacing.

My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion

Theme from blockbuster film Titanic, which broke all box office records, and was directed by Canada’s own James Cameron, this stands as Céline’s biggest hit to date. It was #1 for six weeks and the top song of 1998.

California Gurls, Katy Perry

Pop slayer Katy Perry championed the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 with this romp of pure fun for nine weeks, and it became 2010’s biggest hit.

Rolling in the Deep, Adele

With her soulful, salty vocals, Adele is the only British female singer to have a number one song of the year in Canada, and it was this one, in 2011. The MV has well over a billion views.

Ladies of the Eighties

We were asked by a fan to provide a list of popular female Canadian singers of the 1980s. When we think of the 80s, Canadian male superstars come to mind – Bryan Adams and Corey Hart in particular. Also, there were the bands like Loverboy, Glass Tiger, and Men Without Hats. So how about female soloists? First of all, there were a number of groups led by female singers who scored hits such as the following:

Martha and the Muffins / M+M (Martha Johnson)
Rough Trade (Carole Pope)
Toronto (Annie “Holly” Woods)
National Velvet (Maria Del Mar)
The Headpins (Darby Mills)
The Parachute Club (Lorraine Segato)
One to One (Louise Reny)
Candi (Candita “Candy” Pennella)

Note that the above is not a complete list.

Anne Murray scored some big hits in the 80s, even crossing over to pop, though we associate her more with the 70s.

Besides Anne, there were only two other Canadian female soloists who made a year-end Top 100 chart through the 80s, and they are

Alannah Myles

The latter appeared the last year of the 80s and is more associated with the 90s whereas Luba broke through in 1984 and scored hits through the rest of the decade. If there was ever a Canadian female to represent the 80s, she was the one.

Singers who scored hits in the weekly Top 40 through the decade that didn’t make any year end charts number at five:

Sherry Kean
Jane Siberry
Sass Jordan
Lee Aaron
Eria Fachin

Francophone women were much more successful than Anglophones in the decade. The following dozen scored French language hits through the 80s appearing on CKOI’s annual year-end charts.

Diane Tell
Diane Dufresne
Fabienne Thibeault
Véronique Béliveau
Marie-Michèle Desrosiers
Martine St-Clair
Sylvie Daviau
Marie Philippe
Marie Carmen
Céline Dion

Ten 2017 Christmas Albums Worth Checking Out

It’s been proven that a good Christmas album, even though it contains songs that have been covered hundreds of times over the years, can sell very well. As the folks who celebrate the holiday yearn for fresh interpretations by their favourite artists to listen to while they wrap gifts and decorate the tree, we present 10 Canadian artist Christmas albums released in the past couple of months. These are listed alphabetically by title. Hopefully one of these will appeal to you.

Christmas Caravan by Sultans of String

A trio of JUNO nominations grace this Ontarian string quintet. Beyond string arrangements, the world music group combines shards of traditional Arabic, Cuban, French, and Spanish styles: everything from Flamenco to Gypsy jazz. Christmas Caravan includes a number of prominent vocalists: Crystal Shawanda, Nikki Yanofsky, and Alex Cuba among them. Well-known holiday treats include “Little Drummer Boy” and “Jingle Bells”. Also find Turkishified “Greensleeves”. A culturally rich masterwork. iTunes

Christmas Together by The Tenors

Triple platinum JUNO winning group The Tenors originated from Victoria, BC. The trio is comprised of humble gentlemen with pristine, handsome vocals. This is the second Christmas album to appear from the group. The disc includes two originals and eight classics, the latter including “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. A beautiful production.  iTunes

Coconut Christmas by The Lost Fingers

For something more on the upbeat side, comes this world-flavoured pop charmer. The Lost Fingers struck platinum and attracted a pair of JUNO nominations. It’s interesting listening to the Christmas songs done in tropical style but remember that many people celebrate the holiday in the tropics. It’s only about snow and cold weather in the north. There’s also some Indian folk; check out “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. Find “Sleigh Ride” and “Blue Christmas” but also some comical tracks like Austin-Powers approved “Santa’s Lost His Mojo”. Enjoy as well a cover of U2’s “New Years Day”. This is a fun one. iTunes

Les Gars Du Nord by Les Gars Du Nord

The Acadians are coming! The Acadians are coming! Four popular singers from New Brunswick band together to form this group and create a Christmas album in Acadian folk style. The singers are 2003 Star Academy winner Wilfred Le Bouthillier, Maxime McGraw, Jean-Marc Couture, and Danny Boudreau. Find John Lennon’s “War Is Over (Happy Xmas)” and “Minuit, chrétiens” (“O Holy Night”). Get down to earth in the heartland with this one.  iTunes

Imagine by Heather Rankin

While in the Atlantic, let’s swing over to Nova Scotia to find the hometown of Heather Rankin, a JUNO nominee. With candy cane vocals, she gifts us with this very soothing and peaceful holiday record. The album contains lots of originals and a few covers. “Once in Royal David’s City” and “Picture Perfect” are very well done. Also find an exquisite cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Relax and let this album remove all stress away.  iTunes

Lumieres d’hiver by Emilie-Claire Barlow

This two-time Ontarian JUNO winning jazz vocalist dresses up jazzy piano driven songs with her sumptuous vocals. Find nice string and percussion arrangements on “Le dernier Noël”. Popular singer Ingrid St-Pierre joins her on “Hey Santa” and Mitsou (of “Bye Bye Mon Cowboy” fame) on “As-tu vu le Père Noël?” The latter track has a righteous saxophone solo. If nothing else, this album is the female counterpart to Michael Bublé’s Christmas record. Invigorating.  iTunes

Lux by Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, Jonathan Oldengarm & Jean-Sébastien Vallée

For those who like their Christmas music more on the spiritual side, this work should do the trick. Gorgeous human voices in choir with a church organ is always magical. The album impressed staff at iTunes who put it best: “Imagine a large snow-covered church at Christmas, lit only by candles, the voices of a well-trained choir curling up into the roof.” The album reminds us that the world’s most beautiful instrument is the human voice. “What Child Is This?” just may make you cry. Warm and glowing with cushions of comfort.  iTunes

Noël Ensemble by Mario Pelchat and Les Prêtres

Gifted vocalist, platinum recording artist, and four-time JUNO nominee Mario Pelchat scored a gold album this year when he teamed up with Les Prêtres on Agnus Dei. This holiday season, he presents Les Prêtres in Christmas album Noël Ensemble. A legion of popular singers, besides Mario, guest including legendary Joe Bocan, Cindy Daniel, popular folk duo 2Frères, and Tocadéo. The album has a nice blending of classical and folk flavours.  iTunes

Old School Yule! By Matt Dusk

Triple JUNO nominee Matt Dusk has a gold record among his achievements. The Ontarian serves a swing jazz Christmas album that should do it for fans of old blue eyes and the rat pack. It’s bright and cheerful. Enjoy the perky “Sleigh Ride” and smooth “Do You Hear What I Hear?” For those who like old school adult pop vocal, Matt’s the man – forthright and confident.  iTunes

Peace, Love and Opera by Julien Brody

Twelve-year-olds rejoice! One of your own has become a star. Julien Body’s dream is to become an opera singer, and he’s off to a splendid start. The dapper fellow with the assistance of Giancarlo Scalia drops a real winner that will inspire desires for peace on earth. This is a sweet one.  iTunes

20 Biggest Canadian Artist Franco Songs of Hot 100 Era

The Canadian Hot 100 debuted in mid-2007, and since that time 67 French-language songs by Canadian artists have made it onto the chart. Nielsen/Billboard’s particular tweaks to the criteria over the years do not seem to have fallen towards Franco song favour, as fewer tracks have made the chart since 2007. The last French language song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 was Céline Dion’s “Encore Un Soir” which spent a week at the end of May 2016. In 2008, 14 Franco songs made the chart. We have ranked the songs using a points system in which we subtracted each weekly chart position from 101 and summed the results. We broke a tie by looking at which song had the higher peak position. The most successful song of all was “Toi+Moi” from the 2012 Star Académie finalists which shimmied up to #31 and spent 18 weeks on the chart. The success of some songs is difficult to assess. For example, Coeur de Pirate’s “Oublie Moi” had the Anglo version “Carry On” and presumably stats for both were counted together. We have included it nonetheless.

Stars Shine Beneath Parliament Fireworks at Canada 150

Quite possibly the year’s most Canadian concert went down on Parliament Hill in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday July 1, 2017. A big crowd gathered on Parliament Hill to see their favourite recording artists perform. Knowing that not all around the world were able to see it, we took some screen captures and present them below.

Above, Walk Off the Earth kicks things off. Below, Louis-Jean Cormier performs beneath the lights.

Serena Ryder kills it (below).

Serena then joins Marie-Mai and Lisa LeBlanc to pay tribute to Gordon Lightfoot covering a couple of his songs.

Gordon Lightfoot himself then mounts the stage. Gord performed on Parliament Hill for Canada’s 100th birthday 50 years ago as well.

The incomparable Lisa LeBlanc does what she does best.

Kinnie Starr wears a tuque in July. What can be more Canadian than that?

Beautiful performance by Kelly Bado.

Kinnie Starr, Louis-Jean Cormier, and Kelly Bado perform together.

Wide shot of the proceedings:

A party wouldn’t be the same without Cirque du Soleil!

Country star Dean Brody sings “Canadian Girls”.

Marie-Mai may be wearing a #10, but she’s #1 with us.

Innovative artist Mike Tompkins turns up the wow factor.

Alessia Cara pumps up the crowd with “Scars to Your Beautiful”.

Back to the Future in Canada 150.

The all-star lineup performs Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century” to close out the show.

Fireworks begin…

A Comparison of Drake’s Hits Among the Major Anglo Markets

There’s no question that Drake completely cleaned up at last night’s 2017 Billboard Music Awards breaking the record with 13 trophies. As a sole main artist, Drake here at home has thus far placed 74 tracks onto the Billboard Hot 100. Forty of these have made the Top 40, nine the Top 10, with his lone number one hit being “One Dance”. Another way of looking at it is that 19 of the tracks spent more than 20 weeks on the chart, six more than 30, and two more than 40. His success on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 has been even more impressive. In the beginning of his music career, Drake’s success in the United States far exceeded success elsewhere including Canada. As he frolicked his way from rapping over to singing and from rap music over to R&B, dance, and pop, his tracks, while retaining success in the US, did better in the other Anglo markets (The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia). The following table shows this. All Top 10 hits in any of the four major Anglo markets are included. There are a total of 15.

Best I Ever Had 24     2
Forever 26 99 42 8
Find Your Love 10   24 5
Make Me Proud 25 95 49 9
Take Care 15 9 9 7
Started from the Bottom 36 93 25 6
Hold On, We’re Going… 5 8 4 4
Hotline Bling 3 2 3 2
Summer Sixteen 12 25 23 6
One Dance 1 1 1 1
Too Good 9 3 3 14
Fake Love 10 16 10 8
Passionfruit 2 4 3 8
Portland 6   27 9
Blem 8   10 38

CMB Picks for Winter 2017

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, spring is upon us. As we await warmer weather and some cherry blossoms, Canadian Music Blog has settled upon one dozen picks in terms of releases from the winter months up to the spring equinox which was March 20 this year. We listened to 125 albums from Canadian artists, 20 EPs, and a batch of stand-alone singles. To celebrate the works we found particularly exquisite, we created album badges with some words from our reviews of the works and decked them with five maple leaves. They are arranged in chronological order and are colour coded. There are eight albums, two EPs, and two singles. We took the two singles plus our favourite track from each of the LPs and EPs to create a 12-song playlist. Find it at the very bottom. We had trouble deciding on the order of the tracks, given that it’s not cohesive in terms of style, though not fully eclectic either. However, when we arranged them in chronological order by release date, it sounded pretty good. So we left it at that. We encourage all of you out there to do the same. Celebrate your favourite Canadian music by creating some playlists from the last three months.

CMB’s International Music Picks of 2016


It was a stellar year for Canadian artists, and as far as international music goes, some good things were cooked up in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Oceania, and the rest of North America too. We cannot claim to have listened to every song and album released around planet Earth through 2016 (who can?), but we checked out as much as we could and will simply stamp as best one music video, one song, and one album. Unlike the narrow focus of mainstream media, we considered music from all 200 countries performed in any language or genre.

A large assortment of great international music came out in 2016. There were wonderful cutting edge albums like Cosmic Explorer from Japan’s Perfume and chillout Gemini from the United States’ Astronautica. Norway’s Dagny released a fantastic EP called Ultraviolet. South Korean R&B singer Lyn gave us the wonderful song “Love Story” for TV series The Legend of The Blue Sea. The Republic of China’s S.H.E. made somewhat of a comeback with an EP and song that were … Irreplaceable. And of course there were nifty works from Radiohead, Keith Urban, and that cute track from Kungs & Cookin’ On 3 Burners.

International MV of 2016: Love Myself More, Della Ding


For our Chinese language readers, that’s the music video for song 只是不夠愛自己 from singer 丁当.


Della Ding’s (birth surname Wu) rise to superstardom has been slow and steady. She is a native of the PRC’s Zhejiang Province (south of Shanghai), and when 18 years old pursued a singing career, eventually basing herself in Taibei, Republic of China, which has developed a strong music industry infrastructure over the years.


Della released her seventh studio album in March, 2016, Be My Own Friend, or 當我的好朋友. Strength lies in her vocals which are just gorgeous and wholesome. The music video for track “Love Myself More” is beautiful with a very clean look. The MV tells a story while providing lots of detailed shots, crisp, clear photography, classic architecture, little trinkets, and a dip in the hot springs surrounded by snow. We even get to see Della wearin’ a tuque. A nice touch was the cherry blossoms at the end reminding us that spring is just around the corner. 13 million plus views is not too shabby either.


International Song of 2016: Home, Diana Wang


Diana Wang is a Dutch recording artist, born and raised in The Netherlands (the city of Gorinchem). When she was 19, she travelled to the Republic of China and got involved in its entertainment industry. She struck a deal with Warner Music and released Mandarin language album Love Lesson which included tracks written by Hong Kong based hit-maker Khalil Fong. Apparently, with a lack of consensus over her musical direction, Diana and Warner parted ways, though on good terms. After dabbling in acting, Wang returned to music as an independent artist and dropped the amazing single “Home”. It is an R&B song that thankfully has melody, and one of the catchiest in a long time. Her vocals are nothing short of addictive. Check out the music video below which is up to 14 million views.

International Album of 2016: My Wild West, Lissie


lissie-my-wild-westThe United States’ Lissie pulled off an impressive neo-trad feat, lighting up the sound stage with both flickering torches and neon lights on her third album My Wild West. She even dedicated a song to Ojai, California, the dusty wild west hometown of hi-tech heroes, the bionic man and woman. At the core of the sound is roots music (rock, country, folk), but it is often dressed in handsomely progressive attire. There are some tender moments and rollicking ones when she pumps out her powerful but pleasant vocals. Pure ecstasy is achieved when she blows things wide open like an emotional tornado but leaves everything intact.

The album tames the bronco, unstoppably pulses along, ploughs through the dirt, and lets loose when it needs to. Hear big choruses of elation on “Wild West”, “Hero”, and “Don’t Give Up on Me”, and beautiful writing and delivery on cuts like “Together or Apart”. My Wild West by Lissie is a wonderful album and our international favourite of 2016. MV for track “Wild West” embedded below.

Celebrate Halloween with the Killer Queen, Zombie Girl

zombie-girl-killer-queenAround Halloween, there are a few tracks you can count on that will sell well, such as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “The Monster Mash”, and Ray Parker Junior’s “Ghostbusters”. Spooky themes from scary movies are often hard to find: “Rocky Mountains” by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind from The Shining soundtrack and “The Unborn” from Gary Numan and Michael R. Smith are two standouts. Some are more available like “Suspiria” by Goblin. If you prefer your spook more on the IDM side, as if to dance under blood sprinklers Blade style, Canada’s Renee Cooper, who records under Zombie Girl, should do the trick. From her excellent Killer Queen album released last year, here is some Halloween techno; opener “Thorazine” is embedded below. Lots of good tracks and remixes on the deluxe version of the album.  iTunes

Andie Duquette Speaks Out on Missing Children


Canadian rocker Andie Duquette, whose debut album last year Ton problème was very well received, has teamed up with The Missing Children’s Network to share the faces of people unaccounted for over the years with her album’s track “Pour oublier” as soundtrack. She says she would be grateful if the result of this endeavour was to find even one of the many children and youth who have gone missing over the years. The music video opens with the statement that every day 18 children are reported missing in the province of Quebec alone. With info in both official languages, the website of the Missing Children’s Network is hereiTunes

What’s Next for Carly Rae Jepsen?

carly rae jepsen

Well to answer that question in specific terms, Carly Rae Jepsen will be performing at the Polaris gala September 19, as her album Emotion is one of 10 shortlisted for the annual prize. One of her fans (a jepsie) recently used an image to explain why she is referred to as Carly “Slay” Jepsen. We took the idea a little bit further in the listing of Metacritic scores for selected popular albums below. (No offence to fans of the other artists.)

carly slay jepsen copy

We didn’t include any albums from her fellow Canadians, as Canada is not in a competition with itself. However, we make a brief reference to Justin Bieber’s Purpose with a Metacritic score of 63, Drake’s Views 69, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness 74, all below her towering score of 78. The number 78 can also serve as a reference point to the year 1978 which lies in the decade Carly promises to pay tribute to next. While Emotion was all about the 80s, Carly wants to get us dancing Bee Gees or ABBA style promising that her fourth studio album will be all about the 70s. Strobe lights? Yes, please. Platform shoes? Ah, maybe we’ll pass on that one. Carly is probably best at getting us dancing. Even the security guards at her early concerts couldn’t stand still. While we eagerly wait for her next album, with Emotion Side B holding us over, here is a summary of Carly Rae Jepsen’s biggest hits to date.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s 10 Biggest Hits to Date

10. Tonight, I’m Getting Over You

From album Kiss, Carly penned this track with a legion of writers including the ubiquitous Max Martin. While making it to #88 in Canada, it was a Top 40 smash in the UK peaking at #33.

9. Run Away with Me

The opening track from critically acclaimed Polaris shortlisted Emotion was co-written with Sweden’s Shellback. Without much radio support, it climbed to #83 at home and #58 in Britain.

8. Beautiful

Anticipation rode high in the days surrounding Carly’s Kiss album for a collaboration with Justin Bieber, as she had been signed to his management team. Fans were not disappointed with the result. “Beautiful” made the Top 40 at #37.

7. Tug of War

Jepsen’s folk-pop debut single and title track of her first album was co-written with Canadian dance pop doyen Ryan Stewart. Reaching #36, this one went gold, and Carly became to the rest of the world Canada’s best-kept secret.

6. Bucket

Followup to “Tug of War”, “Bucket” was the album’s second single. Also going gold, it did slightly better on the charts reaching #32 in the summer of 2009.

5. This Kiss

Off Carly’s second LP, “This Kiss” became a staple of radio airplay and peaked on the charts at #23.

4. Curiosity

Followup to smash hit “Call Me Maybe”, the original version of “Curiosity” from the EP of the same name was all over the airwaves and also went gold. It made it to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

3. I Really Like You

Despite a lukewarm response from radio, the lead single from album Emotion went gold and peaked on the charts at #14. It was even a bigger hit in the UK where it reached #3.

2. Good Time

A surprise collaboration with Owl City, “Good Time” topped the charts becoming Carly’s second #1. It was included on album Kiss helping the album go gold and win the JUNO award for Album of the Year.

1. Call Me Maybe

“Call Me Maybe” took a while to build momentum but once it did it became a global blockbuster, topping the charts in dozens of countries around the planet including Canada. It apparently was the best-selling digital single of 2012 in the world and was domestically certified at 8x platinum. The song was included on both the Curiosity EP as well as album Kiss.