Happy Canada Day: The Two Best Pieces Of CanCon Given To Me By MuchMusic

Jul 1st, 2009 // 12 Comments

It’s Canada Day! As people celebrate our neighbors to the north with ice-cold Molsons and even chillier responses to having bankrupted NHL teams relocate there, I thought I’d look back on the brief period 10 year ago when my cable system received the Canadian music-video channel MuchMusic, which later turned into MuchMusic USA, which then became Fuse. But I remember those early, heady days of non-Viacom-sponsored music television quite fondly, because the Toronto-based MuchMusic had something going for it that boring old American channels didn’t: CanCon regulations, which stipulated that a certain amount of programming had to be given over to acts from the homeland. Sure, this resulted in a lot of Our Lady Peace, but it was an OK enough tradeoff for the occasional video by Sloan–as well as the clips after the jump.


Plumtree – “Scott Pilgrim”

Sludgy, awkward-crush pop? Sign me up! And sign up cult comics figure Bryan Lee O’Malley, too.


Prozzak – “www.nevergetoveryou”

Ah, 1999. You were such a heady time! The word “blog” had just been coined, the first dot-com bubble was just inflating, I was being invited to launch parties for Web sites that never wound up existing. It was only in this time that a song incorporating both a malformed URL and a sample of the “new message” sound from the proto-IM client ICQ could have been birthed, really.


And finally, a video that I didn’t learn about from MuchMusic, but hell, it might be one of the best pop songs of the past 20 years:


Len, “Steal My Sunshine”



I really need to try a butter tart someday. Anyway, feel free to reach across the longitudinal parallel appropriate to your geographic location and share your favorite Canadian musicians here!

  1. Also, Chris Jericho has been listing all of his favorite Canadian bands on Twitter:

    http://twitter.com/iamjericho

  2. Why no love for Matthew Good Band?

    And I actually really like Our Lady Peace (yes, I know, in the minority).

  3. Plus, Canada has a killer national anthem, and the countrymen sing it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meLpuF9UMvk

  4. Oh wow, I know exactly what you’re talking about re: MuchMusic. They introduced me to The Tea Party, The Tragically Hip, Legion of Green Men… although the Tea Party at the time had jumped the shark so hard they wound up in electrogothrockland. The Alhambra EP was worth it though.

    Their late-night programming was top-notch a decade ago… so many great bands I took in first through MM.

    Kate Beaton got me started on Joel Plaskett recently:

    http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=197

  5. Len though… macho posturing pseudo-rap over a disco sample does not a pop song make. (No one tell TReznor)

    I mean if they got rid of the douchebag and whatshername sang all the verses, okay, passable. Or just loop this and get the same effect:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIXHks5z8Tw#t=2m30s

  6. My hometown’s cable company added MuchMusic in early ’98, right around the time “Money City Maniacs” went into heavy rotation. That’s also where I found out about Thrush Hermit and Eric’s Trip.

    The best Prozzak song was “Sucks To Be You,” if only for the hilarious spoken word intro.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlcYw3Pg4jY

  7. Fuse is owned by Cablevision, not Viacom, which is why they sometimes show(ed) concerts from MSG.

  8. Or just a spoken intro. Ugh.

    One last Much clip. Len’s follow-up single, “Feelin’ Alright,” which had a guest appearance from Danny Masterson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_tZ_JOALRM

  9. @KinetiQ: I’d never heard the origin of that sample. Learn something new everyday!

  10. just fyi, jericho is still going.

  11. Though Curtis Mayfield makes the song, “Astounded” by Bran Van 3000 was a good one – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbJgdalkuC8

    Doughboys’ “Shine” was “The Wedge” theme for forever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXmNP7Lim3s

    Other names that haven’t been mentioned: Moist, I Mother Earth, 54-40… Headstones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A02AzC7-hYM

    Probably have to stick with the Hip though, if it came down to picking favorites.

  12. I remember “I’m An Adult Now” by the Pursuit Of Happiness being inescapable on MuchMusic in the late 80s. Terrible song, but I’m sure anyone who’s Canadian and in their late 20s/early 30s right now can sing the chorus:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSDF8VvU13M

    Years later, Moe Berg was (still is, maybe?) a DJ at a shitty bar in Toronto. It always added this surreal element to the night if you were there and saw him over your friend’s shoulder….especially since he doesn’t seem to age AT ALL. Anyway…..

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