CBC Radio 3

Okay, consider this a Rock Sellout assignment. Consider it, your first homework of the new year. Now, I know Kip put together a wonderful Christmas CD that included the songs in limited timeframe downloads, but my project is a little different. I am going to give you the cover artwork. I am going to give you the track list. And I am going to give you the reasons why. But. I am not going to give you the songs. That is because in the spirit of what we’re trying to do here, and in the spirit of supporting these fantastic indie acts, I request that you seek these songs out yourself. Because in today’s “we expect everything for free” society, isn’t it great to know you’re giving back? Of course if you were cool, you’d already have these in your library.

Now… on the the good stuff… Your Homework!

songs you need to like if we are ever going to be friends
my favourite songs from 2006

Maybe you will or maybe you won’t know right away that all the bands I have included on this CD of 2006 musical goodness are Canadian. Was that intentional? You bet your ass it was. I blame CBC Radio 3. They get it right. I am sure when you look at the list you will have your own ideas of where I have missed, but I caution you before start to create your list of things I missed that you consider my qualifications when creating this: One. It had to be released in the calendar year 2006. Two. It had to be Canadian. Three. I had to love the song.

So, In a year where as far as I am concerned, a lot of fucking great music came out, there is no denying that a lot of what was being considered great was Canadian. And I can’t help being proud – sharing with you some of the best examples of what the year 2006 gave Canada… aside from another World Junior Hockey Championships Gold Medal, it also gave me a lot fantastic, home-grown music. This list is neither in order, nor is it law. It exists as proof. If you seek the songs out, put them together on a CD, and print the cover, you’ve got a damn fine reason why to like 06.

Here is the irrefutable truth:

  1. “stuck for the summer” / two hours traffic
    Okay you know those songs that you hear and you instantly fall in love with them from the very first time you hear them? Well chalk Stuck For The Summer in that realm. Good rock from the east coast.
  2. “nothing to do” / jon-rae & the river
    So I was very late to this game, I’ll admit. All I know is all of sudden everyone is talking about this guy Jon-Rae and how great his music is. And then I heard the song. And they were right.
  3. “grand champion” / les trois accords
    You know what’s great about this song? That I have no fricken clue what they are singing about in the verses, and yet every time the chorus rolls around I find myself singing right along. And you will too.
  4. “this sentence will ruin/save your life” / born ruffians
    I just can’t ignore this song… though, it’s not like I want to. I like this song because it sounds good in my ears. And that’s reason enough you should too.
  5. “jaws of life” / wintersleep
    I call this song Heavy Hayden. Becuase to me it sounds like if Hayden had pulled a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup thing and walked smack dab into the middle of Gruntruck – remember them? Anyway the song is good.
  6. “kiss me” / uncut
    If you consider yourself even a mild fan of The Jesus & The Mary Chain, you by proxy will love this band. I used to get all snippy about bands that sounded like another & bitch all elite-music-snob style. Now, I just think I love how they remind just how many times I played Honey’s Dead.
  7. “all that i know” / the marble index
    Every time I hear this song I am trying to place it. Part of me wants to say it’s Supergrass. And I think that might be it. Try and stop yourself from breaking into a pogo on this one. I dare ya!
  8. “who taught you to live like that?” / sloan
    How could I not include these guys on this album? Seriously! Their album was easily one of the year’s best, and these guys just don’t ever disappoint me. Our indie band heroes have turned into foster parents of the Canadian music scene.
  9. “ticket to immortality” / the dears
    And my pick for best album of the year goes to…(sound of envelope being opened)… The Dears for Gang of Losers. Ya know he sounds like he’s Damon Albarn doing a Stephen J Morrissey impersonation. And that’s perfectly fine by me.
  10. “citizens of tomorrow” / tokyo police club
    It’s entirely possible you’ve not heard of these suburb-kids from Toronto as of yet. If you haven’t I am surprised, because they are getting tons of press all over. When this song kicks in, so do you. Until then clap along… You’ve be warned.
  11. “rough gem” / islands
    What the hell is the whistle thing that carries the melody to this song? Does it really matter… Even as I type about this song my head moves from side to side along to the beat of this song. It makes me happy. It still does. Even now. And right now too.
  12. “my old jacknife” / ladyhawk
    Years from now we’ll scream Ladyhawk instead of Skynyrd. Okay… maybe we won’t. But this corduroy-clad, beard-rock band from British Columbia knows a thing or two about good ole rock and/or roll music.
  13. “change for you” / the midway state
    Okay, this one is a little further off the radar. The band is the brainchild of this kid Nathan who apparently has 400 songs in the bank (probably even more by now). I picked this song mostly cause he’s a good writer. But also cause he’s from Collingwood and I like that town.
  14. “by purpose not by plan (sex nerds mix)” / ninja high shool
    Proof that nerds will inherit the earth. When I listen to this song, I am convinced of two things: The guys in this band have put in their time saving Princess with Mario, and they dreamed that one day they would make the perfect Keith Courage costumes one year for Halloween. In the meantime they make great, fun music.
  15. “forever indebted” / shout out out out out
    I hardly think you can understand how great this band is until you have seen them play live. Until you’ve seen them take a room full head-nodding statues, and turn them into the ensemble cast of Fame… jumping and dancing like they never have before.
  16. “(far from) home” / tiga
    It’s hard when this song is playing to not want to get on a pair of boss, white parachute pants, a sleeveless lighting bolt shirt and Ferrari sunglasses and just strut your shit downtown to the disco.
  17. “voodoo” / spiral beach
    I remember months before anyone was talking about these guys, my sister inlaw handed me their CD and said, “in about 6 months these kids are going to be big”. And she was bang on. I remember liking this song way back then.
  18. “hard line” / jill barber
    I saw her sing with Joel Plaskett. Her voice is fantastic. And so are her songs. They call her style smokey-folky and I think that just about hits the nail on the head.
  19. “he brings out the whiskey in me” / amy millan
    I don’t know whether it’s the sentiment or the melody I love about this song more. But it feels like a real slice of Canadiana. And what a voice. Plus she’s all kinds of cute.
  20. “doctor blind” / emily haines & the soft skeleton
    I saw her play at a show put on by CBC Radio 3 and her songs were compelling in a way that’s hard to explain. One part creepy. One part intimate. And a whole lot of a okay.
  21. “what’s wrong with you?” / lullaby baxter
    You know why I love this song? Because it feels like a Mary Tyler Moore show. It sounds a lot like the Cardigans. But then the chorus, makes me laugh every time.
  22. “madingley” / minisystem
    I really like this song. It takes me away. And when it gets going, it really feels like you are “in-it”. In phase with yourself. Perfect waveform. You know?

So there you have it. I am sure you have a different opinion for what was great in 2006. As I am sure the other writers here do too. But, if you ask me, that is what makes music, the artists who make it, and those of us who listen, great.


CBC Radio 3 recently posted their Top 94 Tracks of 2006.

I thought I’d be kind and allow you the opportunity to download the Top 9(4) seeing John hasn’t won satellite players for us yet. Remember kids, these mp3s are for your listening pleasure. Please, support these artists and buy their music!

1. Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Nowhere With You”
2. Malajube – “Montreal -40c”
3. Islands – “Rough Gem”
4. Cadence Weapon – “Oliver Square”
5. The Hidden Cameras – “Awoo”
6. The Stills – “Destroyer”
7. Amy Millan – “Skinny Boy”
8. Final Fantasy – “This Lamb Sells Condos”
9. Meligrove Band – “Our Love Will Make the World Go Round”

CBC Radio 3 consists of three major parts all devoted to Canadian arts and music: a Sirius Satellite Radio station (channel 94), a weekly podcast from the CBC Radio 3 website, and streaming audio on the same website.

The satellite network does air some music by international artists in its playlist, but is primarily Canadian content; the webstream and podcast are 100% Canadian music.

CBC Radio 3 recently posted the results of their First Annual Bucky Awards. I’m pleased to announce that our very own contributor extraordinaire, John Teeter, was nominated “Biggest Fan”.

John walked off with a Sirius Satellite Radio, and more importantly…CBC Radio 3’s undying respect.

“See Vous Play” at Kool Haus
Toronto, ON, October, 1, 2006
Les Breastfeeders, Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, Les Trois Accords, The Joel Plaskett Emergency.

In a word: fantastic.

In a bunch of other words: All four bands were great. Being that is was a joint event co-ordinated by CBC Radio 3 and their French counterparts, Bande à part, fitting that two bands were English speaking and two were French. But all four were great.

The evening got started in a raucous way with “Les Breastfeeders” who played a forty-five minute firestorm of energy in their homage 60’s garage punk. Their ‘tamborinist’, Johnny was a one-man, show stealer – quite hilarious.

Next up, was “Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton” who most would know as the lead singer of ‘it’ band, Metric. But, she’s compiled 4 years of writing and recording into a solo album that she plans on touring in between the spaces and places Metric takes her. Her show, complete with a nine piece orchestra was definitely a change of pace from the previous act, but equally as good. More of a sit-down set, in a stand-up venue. Still, her songs and voice were quite hauntingly compelling.

The next act, “Les Trois Accords” the second Quebec act on the bill, have sold has many records in the province of Quebec alone, as bands like Hot Hot Heat have sold in all of Canada. Impressive was that fact, equally impressive was their set. They’re a pretty straight up rock band that have pretty catchy pop hooks to their songs. Even if I didn’t understand all the words, I found myself wanting to sing along.

Last but not least was pretty much the reason I was going, the “Joel Plaskett Emergency”. He’s pretty much an icon of indie rock in Canada, a founding member of the now defunct band, Thrush Hermit. Joel has a way of writing and creating songs that feel as Canadian as getting up at 6:00 am on a cold, January Saturday morning for ice hockey practice. And he did not disappoint. He played all my faves, “Love This Town”, “Extra Ordinary” and “Work Out Fine”.

It’s hard to pick a favourite act from all four for the evening, but my gentle nod would go to Joel Plaskett. The evening ran well, with the breaks between sets kept to a minimum – the hour plus long breaks of other shows I have been to lately really grate me. But, CBC Radio 3 and Bande à part personalities Grant Lawrence, Lauren Burroughs, Alexandre Courteau, Craig Norris, Natalie Poirier, and François Lemay took turns with segments in between to help pass the time. Though, I think the longest break between sets was maybe twenty minutes or so, which was shortened by the smooth, musical stylings DJ Johnny Fraglerock (which coincidentally I saw no Doozers during his set – I believe him not to be a real Fragle)

My only complaint on the evening, a blip on the radar, was that it was a general admission venue (Kool Haus, Toronto) and there was nowhere to sit except on the floor where we staked our territory near the soundboard. With four bands on the bill, and the doors opening at 7pm, it was too long to stand for an old fogie like myself. Many fans by the middle of the evening were sitting on the floor between sets or flocking to the one row of benches on a wall off to the side, behind one of the bars.

The number one, best dressed person on the evening was a tie between CBC Radio 3 host Grant Lawrence’s used car salesman suit adorned with a white tie and matching white dress shoes, or the CBC Radio 3 on the floor roving reporter, Chris Kelly who rocked a complete 3 piece navy, velvet grade 8 graduation suit ensemble that would have made Peter Brady blush. And pink Chuck Taylors no less (which coincidentally may have been worn to confuse Grant into thinking he was his high school crush).

All-in-all a fantastic evening made that much better by the price tag: FREE (for those who emailed or logged into the microsite for the show in time). It was ‘sold out’ and the venue was pretty jam packed. However those not lucky enough to get a ticket, could log in an see a live webcast of the event, or listen to their channel on satellite radio. As well CBC Radio 3 has posted the recorded live audio feeds on their site so you can enjoy the show over and over again like I am. I paid $5 to park for the night, paid for a tank of gas down to Toronto, and dinner at a pub near the Kensington Market… I think that is the cheapest night I’ve had out in Toronto in long time. And probably was easier on the wallet than my last concert here in town

[John Teeter]