Last year, I spent the day of my nation's birth strolling semi-aimlessly around my former Toronto stomping grounds. The graffitti had changed, most of the old haunts remained, and my convulsively (in)viable old employers finally shuttered its doors for good. It was refreshing to breathe some of that (fairly pungent) southern Ontarian air again.
This year, I'll be dining on leftover birthday cake, taking a few online quizzes (19 of 20! Damn you, William Lyon Mackenzie King!), and cruising YouTube for clips from Kids In the Hall, but in my perennial quest to prove that there's more to Canadian music than Bryan Adams and Avril Lavigne...
I still get goosebumps recalling when I saw their inaugural Lee's Palace performace. They've yet to match their end-to-end burner of a debut, but can still outrock the rest.
Death From Above 1979
Yeah, I called them "Polite-ning Bolt" too, but let's face it: they planted a lot of greasy, scuzzerific seeds that are still only starting to flower.
The Sebutones (no relation)
Oh, shit, Canadians do hip-hop too? As anyone who bugged out over that last Cadence Weapon record will tell you: yeah. And a lot of it's pretty damned good, too.
The Tragically Hip
Trad pub-rock though they may be (with the notable exception of Day For Night's dark, earthy psychedelia), Gordon Downie is the poet laureate of Canadiana. Thanks again - and always - to my Dad for taking me to see them in some Baltimore dive when I was thirteen.
Yeah, you knew this was coming. Suck it. This rocks.
Hang on a minute - did I really manage to make some kind of a Canuck Top 5 that utterly omitted Montreal? Don't think that wasn't intentional. I mean, I love that city as much as anyone but... c'mon.