Tag Archives: Broken Social Scene

O Canada

Not too long ago, a close friend of mine became a Canadian citizen. Today we celebrated that fact. I told her and her husband that I would provide the music for the party…

 

  1. Blue In Yr Eye – Amy Millan
  2. Snowbird – Anne Murray
  3. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) – The Arcade Fire
  4. The Power – Army Girls
  5. Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac
  6. Tall Tall Shadow – Basia Bulat
  7. Two Girls From Montreal – The Bicycle
  8. Somebody Waits – Blue Rodeo
  9. Hasn’t Hit Me Yet – Blue Rodeo
  10. Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
  11. Lovers In A Dangerous Time – Bruce Cockburn
  12. Pop Goes the World – The Burning Hell
  13. Golden Baby – Cœur de pirate
  14. Claire – Cuff The Duke
  15. Sold – Dan Mangan
  16. The Valley Town – Elliott Brood
  17. Assoholic – 54-40
  18. Highschool – The Flashing Lights
  19. It’s Not Safe – Gentleman Reg
  20. Outside Of Saskatoon – The Good Family
  21. Song For A Winter’s Night – Gordon Lightfoot
  22. Straight Up the Dial – Hooded Fang
  23. You Will Know – The Inbreds
  24. True Patriot Love – The Joel Plaskett Emergency
  25. A Case Of You – Joni Mitchell
  26. Raised On Robbery – Joni Mitchell
  27. I Woke Myself Up – Julie Doiron
  28. Crabbuckit – k-os
  29. If Rap Gets Jealous – K’naan
  30. Back to Me – Kathleen Edwards
  31. Never Had To Fight – Local Rabbits
  32. Let Your Backbone Slide – Maestro Fresh Wes
  33. Fil de soie – Marie-Pierre Arthur
  34. Echo Beach – Martha And The Muffins
  35. Cocaine Cowgirl – Matt Mays & El Torpedo
  36. Ages & Stages – The Meligrove Band
  37. Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young
  38. Pocahontas – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  39. Mass Romantic – The New Pornographers
  40. Someone Who’s Cool – Odds
  41. Joy of Cooking – Old Man Luedecke
  42. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Paul Anka
  43. Scott Pilgrim – Plumtree
  44. 9 Piece Luggage Set – Radio Radio
  45. April Fools – Rufus Wainwright
  46. Edmonton – The Rural Alberta Advantage
  47. North Humberland West – The Sadies
  48. Possession – Sarah McLachlan
  49. Money City Maniacs – Sloan
  50. Everything You’ve Done Wrong – Sloan
  51. Underwhelmed – Sloan
  52. Home For A Rest – Spirit Of The West
  53. Northwest Passage – Stan Rogers
  54. Up And Running – The Super Friendz
  55. The Day We Hit The Coast – Thrush Hermit
  56. Life Is A Highway – Tom Cochrane
  57. Raise a Little Hell – Trooper
  58. D.D. – The Weeknd Trilogy
  59. Common People – William Shatner
  60. I Wasn’t Made For Fighting – Woodhands

Polaris Prize 2010

Today’s a two for one day, you get two posts in one day.

For those who didn’t notice1, last night was Polaris night, an evening in which 10 bands gather to perform, while judges sit in a room and decide who’s album was the best. The prize seemed to instantly be seen as the greatest measure of good music in Canada. The policy is that genre and sales don’t matter, all that matter is the music. Past winners include (and are limited to) Final Fantasy2, Patrick Watson, Caribou, and Fucked Up.

There’s lots of criticism over who has been picked in the past, but I don’t think anyone in Canada can say that any of those four albums were damn good records. They might not be your cup of tea (Fucked Up, Caribou), but they do what they do well, and made some records that deserve a high amount of praise.

This year the entire shortlist was a list of some amazing musicians. There were only three groups who weren’t my cup of tea in the least (The Besnard Lakes, Tegan & Sara and Broken Social Scene).

  • The Besnard Lakes, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night
  • Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record
  • Caribou, Swim
  • KarkwaLes chemins de verre
  • Dan Mangan, Nice, Nice, Very Nice
  • Owen Pallett, Heartland
  • Radio Radio, Belmundo Regal
  • The Sadies, Darker Circles
  • Shad, TSOL
  • Tegan and Sara, Sainthood

Broken Social Scene started off the evening, and they did exactly what they do very well. If I liked their music I would’ve been in bliss, but I don’t like their music.

Next up were The Sadies, who tore the stage up. Their country rock is unlike any other in the country, and while they make mediocre records, their live show is the best in Canada. I haven’t heard Darker Circles, but if its like their other records, they shouldn’t have been nominated, their records aren’t that good.

Then came Radio Radio, who’s acadian hip hop performance was eye opening to me, and I need to pick up their record. As Kate Harper from Chart tweeted last night, “avec mes pennyloafers ou avec mes deckshoo et j’vas marcher sur la hey ou j’vas marcher sur la hoooooooooooooooooo”

Dan Mangan was my pick for the night. His album Nice, Nice, Very Nice‘s title is an understated review of the album, I’d call it great, great, very great, but in Canada we’re humble. While “Sold” is perhaps the best song on that amazing album, his performance of it last night didn’t sell me. The band seemed uncomfortable performing together, and it was awkward. Fortunately he seemed to get it together for his second song, “Robots” in which he ended with a sing-a-long3 as he stood on a table in the audience telling them that “Robots need love, too. They want to be love by you.”

Then came Besnard Lakes who I think are trying for a Spinal Tap thing, but ending up sounding like a band who spend too much time playing Dungeons and Dragons in their mom’s basement. Not my bag.

Polaris Prize inaugural winner Owen Pallett has finally released an album under his own name, he’s also now expanded his band from one to two people4. He also had joining him Dana Snell5 on drums. His performance was damn good, and makes me want to reevaluate Heartland. It’s not that I dislike the album, but I was never drawn into it. It’s good, but not great, definitely not to the level of He Poos Clouds. I think part of the problem was that it’s on two 12″ discs at 45 RPM. It’s hard to get into a record when you have to stand up to flip the record every 10 minutes.

I’ve seen Shad live once, and while his songs were great, he seemed bored. I was quite enthralled with the music, but the lackluster performance made me never purchase a record of his. He completely changed that for me, with his Polaris performance. He truly put on a great show, and you could tell everyone was into it. He and Radio Radio, the two hip hop artists of the evening were truly the highlights.

Tegan & Sara seemed to get the most buzz, at least in the Twittersphere. They apparently have a very loyal following, which hopefully brought some new attention to the Polaris Prize. While their performance did nothing to impress me, their comedy stylings were top-notch! Perhaps Tegan & Sara are this generation’s Wayne & Shuster.

Caribou, a previous winner, was the final nominee that evening. His performance bored me.

And the winner… Karkwa. Everyone said “what?” but then then said, “okay.”

  1. Are you not in Canada? Are you not on Twitter? []
  2. Owen Pallett []
  3. Gentleman Reg didn’t seem to be singing along. []
  4. Odd that one person is Final Fantasy, and two people are Owen Pallett, but whatever. []
  5. Who plays with Gentleman Reg, and was in the Bicycles. []

The Movie Is Broken

Bruce McDonald reinvented the concert film. Instead of shooting performers on a stage, McDonald attempted to tell a story in the context of a concert. This Movie Is Broken follows a young Toronto man and the love of his life, who’s recently returned to Ontario. Their paths lead them to Harbourfront Centre where Broken Social Scene are playing a free show.

Let’s start off with the obvious (if you know me), I don’t like Broken Social Scene. I don’t hate Broken Social Scene, but I’ve never liked Broken Social Scene. The only member of the band I have any fondness for is Amy Millan, but I don’t like Stars, I just like her first solo record1. I don’t even think Feist is hot, I think she’s funny looking. So why did I go see a Broken Social Scene concert film? It’s directed by Bruce McDonald and written by Don McKellar… duh.

The concert played a bigger role in the film than I had hoped for, but I can’t hold that against it, as it is a BSS concert film. I was very surprised when the first song started and I knew it (mildly), however the rest of the songs were as foreign to me as Graham Nash’s output from the 1980s.

McDonald did an excellent job in capturing the visuals, the film looks good, even though he’s showing Toronto as dingy and dirty. To clarify, the film was shot and takes place on July 11, 2009 when Toronto’s city workers were on strike, and hence garbage was piling up, and city parks became temporary garbage dumps.   

The strike played a major role in the circumstances surrounding the show. Broken Social Scene were scheduled to play their annual concert on the Island, but with municipal workers striking, there was no ferry service. They had to cancel the show, and thus throw a free concert at Harbourfront Centre.

So, I’m not begrudging the film the music, and I like the visuals, what don’t I like? Sorry Don, but it’s gotta be the writing. The story is boring, and underdeveloped, it’s adolescent and to top it all off, the acting is brutal.

If you’re a fan of BSS, see this film in a heartbeat. If you’re a fan of McDonald’s and McKellar’s, ignore it, and wait for Hard Core Logo 2.

  1. I should check out her follow up, one day. []