Everyday is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and…Well, Friday I’m in Love: Weekly Mix #23

Of course this week’s mix had to be one for my country’s national holiday coming up this Tuesday. I seem to reflect most on Canada and being Canadian when I am away from home or have recently returned. Five years ago, when I went backpacking across Europe, as North American youth tend to do as some bourgeois rite of passage, the Canadian flag sewn to my backpack produced a rather awkward moment. While the very same embroidered patch had garnered both me and my travelling companion much gleeful recognition from fellow travelling Canadians and general camaraderie from European strangers, it also prompted an American girl to ask us why we wore it. We had been hanging out with her for a couple of days rather pleasurably in the Italian villages of Cinqueterre, and the question seemed to come out of nowhere, but was nonetheless very serious. Both my friend and I just stood there, completely unsure of how to proceed. We knew we didn’t want to say outright that we didn’t want to be mistaken for Americans even though we knew that was the truth and that that was what the girl was driving at. I don’t quite recall how we wriggled out of it, but considering we’re Canadians, we somehow managed to defuse the situation diplomatically like the peacemakers we are.

This incident illustrates something at the core of being Canadian, and that is negative definition, a Kenneth Burkean concept meaning we define ourselves by what we are not and against what we are not, in this case, namely, American. When asked to come up with what makes us Canadian or what defines Canada as a national identity, Canadians shrug their shoulders and say “We’re not like the US.” Despite the flawed logic to this response (especially considering the fact we are very much like Americans in a lot of ways), it points to an interesting and seemingly unique Canadian conundrum: we are a non-nation, a cipher. I remember the provincial English exam for Grade 11 asking us to write an essay on what Canadian national identity consists of. Probably because the school board didn’t have an answer and really wanted to know. What country but Canada would ask such a question on a high school exam? Having written and passed that exam, I’m still unsure about Canadian national identity myself.
Being the rather sparsely populated but land leviathan that it is, Canada often struggles against its heavily populated and rather bolshy neighbour to the south, whether in terms of cultural production or economic strength. When we’re not inundated with all things American, we are greatly reminded of our ties to Britain and its Commonwealth – we have a Governor-General, who is the Queen’s representative in our federal government, and the Queen graces all of our coins. And I think all of these close, sometimes smothering, connections often force our very young country into some interesting issues, including one that has bearing on Canadian music.
Since I was a teenager and first listening to the radio, I noticed that Canadian artists were played at regular intervals, and that was when I first noticed the Canadian content requirement put in place by The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). This requirement is there to “protect” Canadian culture against a powerful influx from other nations’ music. I’m not sure how I feel about this mandate or how I feel about radio in general, especially considering I listen to very little radio, and when I do, it’s college radio. Does our music need protection? Do we need to pump our radio stations full of Canadian music even when it’s not worth promoting just for the sake of it? For the most part, most of us Canadians probably don’t really care.
Yeah, Canada, we stand on guard for thee, but only if we have to. From what I can tell, most Canadians, including myself, aren’t particularly patriotic – you don’t find a lot of maple leaf flags hanging outside houses, even on Canada Day. However, I like to think of Canada’s seemingly lazy non-patriotism as a healthy apathy and as our saving grace; after all, patriotism leads to all sorts of mess, violent and otherwise. We carry on day to day in our multicultural mosaic surrounded by rather massive, unpopulated areas full of natural resources and bilingual food packages without really thinking about it. I read somewhere that the reason Canada has produced such prolific academic figures in the area of communications is because communication has always been one of our prime concerns in a country this large and this full of gaps.
At the same time that we are unpatriotic, we are often, humorously so, quick to “claim” the best celebrities any way that we can. For example, though Arcade Fire has members from both the US and Canada, we undoubtedly claimed them as Canadian, and I think several of us still want to claim Rufus Wainwright even though he technically wasn’t born in Canada. If you’re enormously talented and happened to live on Canadian soil for a few weeks, we’ll count you as one of us.

My memories of Canadian music while growing up consisted primarily of Bryan Adams and that crop of ’90’s “alternative” bands like Our Lady Peace, Moist, The Tea Party, Econoline Crush and I Mother Earth – to be honest, I was more impressed with early Bryan Adams than I was by the latter. Also, from my high school years, I remember the pre-Gorillaz animated band Prozzäk (which despite their beating Damon Albarn to the punch, should best be forgotten, umlaut and all), the bubbly pop of Sky (as short-lived as Prozzäk), the one-hit wonder band Pluto (blink and you would have missed them), and the pop-punk of Treble Charger (who will likely forever be known as the band who discovered and promoted Sum 41 only to disappear completely under their protégé’s shadow). All in all Canadian music was rather bleak to me when I was younger. In addition to this rather sad array, we had and still have our drivel just as much as any other country, including the aforementioned Sum 41, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Three Days Grace, Loverboy, Shania Twain, and the national disaster that is Celine Dion, but as this mix reveals, we also have a lot of music to be proud of. I may have come late to an appreciation of Canadian music, but better late than more clichéd phrases.

No Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, or KD Lang on this mix – they are legends to some but not to me…at least not at this juncture of my life. There may very well be a large contingent from Montreal – it wasn’t deliberate in the sense that I favour Quebec over other provinces for music, it just so happens that this one city has made much of my favourite music of late, and often within an incestuous group of musicians weaving in and out of each others’ work. I also have artists from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and of course from my home province of Manitoba. They range from electro acts to political punk acts to quirky indie to dreamy pop. For an honest, yet quirky, look at what truly makes Canadians Canadian, read Douglas Coupland’s books Souvenir of Canada and Souvenir of Canada 2 and watch his documentary of the same name. Of course Coupland was technically born in Germany, but he’s definitely Canadian to us. I’ll call this mix Canadian Content. I don’t think we have any reason to worry about CRTC regulations. Then again, we probably wouldn’t worry anyway.

I Was a Pre-Teen McCarthyist – Propagandhi

Blood On Our Hands – Death From Above 1979

Monster Hospital – Metric

Black Flag (Juan Maclean Remix)- Duchess Says

Teacher Teacher – Dragonette

The Looks – MSTRKRFT

In the End It’s Your Friends – Shout Out Out Out Out

Call Me Up – Chromeo

You’re a Hologram – Hexes & Ohs

Dacha – Montag

Neighbourhood #4 (7 Kettles) – Arcade Fire

Heart – Stars

Falling Through Your Clothes – The New Pornographers

Lola Stars and Stripes – The Stills

Fine Young Cannibals – Wolf Parade

Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961) – The Weakerthans

Still Life – The Russian Futurists

Drifters – Patrick Watson

You and I Are a Gang of Losers – The Dears

Shampoo Suicide – Broken Social Scene

Present of Future End – The Most Serene Republic


3 Responses to “Everyday is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and…Well, Friday I’m in Love: Weekly Mix #23”

  1. 1 JC
    July 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    The way Canadians describe themselves vis-a-vis Americans is uncannily similar to the wat many Scots describe themselves vis-a-vis the English.

    Hope you had a great Canada Day.

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Gigs Attended

Arcade Fire w/ Bell Orchestre + Wolf Parade (2005)

Arctic Monkeys w/ Reverend and the Makers (2007)

Austra w/ Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy (2011)

Big Audio Dynamite (2011)

Billy Bragg w/ Ron Hawkins (2009)

Billy Idol w/ Bif Naked (2005)

Bloc Party w/ Hot Hot Heat (2009)

Buzzcocks w/ The Dollyrots (2010)

Damo Suzuki (2012)

David Bowie w/ The Polyphonic Spree (2004)

Diamond Rings w/ PS I Love You + The Cannon Bros. (2011)

Diamond Rings w/ Gold & Youth (2012)

Dragonette w/ Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees (2009)

Frank Turner w/ The Cavaliers (2010)

Frank Turner w/ Into It Over It + Andrew Jackson Jihad (2011)

Franz Ferdinand w/ Think About Life (2009)

Gang of Four w/ Hollerado (2011)

Good Shoes w/ The Moths + The Envelopes (2007)

Hot Hot Heat w/ The Futureheads + Louis XIV (2005)

IAMX w/ closethuman (2007)

IAMX w/ Coma Soft + The Hourly Radio (2007)

Interpol (2007)

Janelle Monae w/ Roman GianArthur (2012)

Joel Plaskett Emergency w/ Frank Turner (2012)

Jonathan Richman (2011)

Keane w/ Lights (2009)

Lou Reed w/ Buke and Gass (2011)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Fear of Music (2007)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Bear Hands (2009)

Manic Street Preachers at Wanaja Festival (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Old Folks Home (2009)

Mother Mother w/ Whale Tooth (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Hannah Georgas (2012)

MSTRKRFT w/ Felix Cartal (2008)

Muse (2004)

Nine Inch Nails w/ Death From Above 1979 + Queens of the Stone Age (2005)

of Montreal w/ Janelle Monae (2010)

Owen Pallett w/ Little Scream (2010)

Patrick Wolf w/ Bishi (2007)

Prince (2011)

Pulp w/ Grace Jones, TV on the Radio, The Hives, The Horrors, Metronomy, Devotcka, Vintage Trouble (2011)

Rufus Wainwright w/ Teddy Thompson (2010)

Snow Patrol w/ Embrace (2005)

Snow Patrol w/ OK Go + Silversun Pickups (2007)

Sons and Daughters w/ Bodies of Water (2008)

Stars w/ Thurston Revival (2006)

Stars w/ The Details (2008)

Stars (2010)

Steven Severin (2010)

Stroszek (2007)

The Antlers w/ Haunter (2012)

The Flaming Lips w/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (2010)

The Jesus and Mary Chain w/ Nightbox (2012)

The Killers w/ Ambulance Ltd (2004)

The New Pornographers w/ Novillero (2008)

The New Pornographers w/ The Mountain Goats (2010)

The Ordinary Boys w/ Young Soul Rebels (2006)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart w/ Suun (2011)

The Rakes w/ The Young Knives (2006)

The Raveonettes w/ Black Acid (2008)

The Stills w/ Gentleman Reg (2009)

The Subways w/ The Mad Young Darlings (2006)

Tokyo Police Club w/ Smoosh + Attack in Black (2008)

TV on the Radio w/ The Dirty Projectors (2009)

Yann Tiersen w/ Breathe Owl Breathe (2011)

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The only certain thing that is left about me

There is no part of my body that has not been used

Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame

Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave


So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

The Smiths Queen is Dead

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're happy

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're wanted

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

But you lose 'cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

The Clash London Calling

When they kick at your front door

How you gonna come?

With your hands on your head

Or on the trigger of your gun


Charles Windsor, who's at the door

At such an hour, who's at the door

In the back of an old green Cortina

You're on your way to the guillotine

Here the rabble comes

The kind you hoped were dead

They've come to chop, to chop off your head


Then you came with your breezeblocks

Smashing up my face like a bus-stop

You think you're giving

But you're taking my life away


Won't someone give me more fun?

(and the skin flies all around us)

We kiss in his room to a popular tune

Oh, real drowners


Don't walk away

In silence

See the danger

Always danger

Endless talking

Life rebuilding

Don't walk away

Walk in silence

Don't turn away in silence

Your confusion

My illusion

Worn like a mask of self-hate

Confronts and then dies

Don't walk away


You don't want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I'm tearing you asunder

Oh there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don't we

The Associates Affectionate

I don't know whether

To over or under estimate you

Whether to over or under estimate you

For when I come over

You then put me under

Personal taste is a matter of gender


I wake at dusk to go alone without a light

To the unknown

I want this night inside of me

I want to feel

I want this speeding

I want that speeding


You'll never live like common people

You'll never do what common people do

You'll never fail like common people

You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And dance and drink and screw

Because there's nothing else to do

Vanilla Swingers

All I have is words, words that don't obtain

And I feel I'm a stain on your horizon

So I stay away - it's easier that way

And there won't be no-one I need to rely on

Is it him, is it me

Or is there something only I can see

How did I get here, why do we blow around like straw dogs on the breeze

I'm a special one, what they used to say

But I've to stay on, finish levels-A

You don't need exams when you've read John Gray

The Indelicates American Demo

And nobody ever comes alive

And the journalists clamour round glamour like flies

And boys who should know better grin and get high

With fat men who once met the MC5

And no one discusses what they don't understand

And no one does anything to harm the brand

And this gift is an illusion, this isn't hard

Absolutely anyone can play the fucking guitar

JAMC Darklands

And we tried so hard

And we looked so good

And we lived our lives in black


Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her leg and then he was a she

She says, hey babe,

Take a walk on the wild side

Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side


Hide on the promenade

Etch a postcard:

How I dearly wish I was not here

In the seaside town...that they forgot to bomb

Come, come, come - nuclear bomb


Back when we were kids

We would always know when to stop

And now all the good kids are messing up

Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

Wire Pink Flag

Prices have risen since the government fell

Casualties increase as the enemy shell

The climate's unhealthy, flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later the end will arrive

This is your correspondent, running out of tape

Gunfire's increasing, looting, burning, rape


Well, maybe there's a god above

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown

For whom none will go mourning


My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it


Oh it's opening time

Down on Fascination Street

So let's cut the conversation

And get out for a bit

Because I feel it all fading and paling

And I'm begging

To drag you down with me

Mansun Six

And you see, I kind of shivered to conformity

Did you see the way I cowered to authority

You see, my life, it's a series of compromises anyway

It's a sham, and I'm conditioned to accept it all, you see

Japan Gentlemen

Take in the country air, you'll never win

Gentlemen take polaroids

They fall in love, they fall in love


We just want to emote til we're dead

I know we suffer for fashion

Or whatever

We don't want these days to ever end

We just want to emasculate them forever

Forever, forever

Pretty sirens don't go flat

It's not supposed to happen like that

Longpigs The Sun

There's no perfume I can buy

Make me smell like myself

So I put on perfume

To make me smell like someone else

In bed

Calvin Harris I Created Disco

I got love for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's


Does his makeup in his room

Douse himself with cheap perfume

Eyeholes in a paper bag

Greatest lay I ever had

Kind of guy who mates for life

Gotta help him find a wife

We're a couple, when our bodies double

Simple Minds Sons and Fascination

Summer rains are here

Savaged beauty life

Falling here from grace

Sister feeling call

Cruising land to land

No faith no creed no soul

Half a world away

Beauty sleeps in time

Sound and fury play

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

North to south


Running on


As if to say, as if to say

He doesn't like chocolate

He's born a liar, he'll die a liar

Some things will never be different


LCD Soundsystem

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house

I've waited 7 years and 15 days

There's every kid for miles at my house, my house

And the neighbors can't...call the police

There's a fist fight brewin' at my house, my house

Because the jocks can't...get in the door

Johnny Boy

I just can't help believing

Though believing sees me cursed

Stars Set Yourself

I am trying to say

What I want to say

Without having to say "I love you"

Josef K Entomology

It took 10 years to realise why the angels start to cry

When you go home down the main

Your happy smile

Your funny name

Cocteau Twins Bluebell


Doesn't she look a million with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Yes, she's a beautiful brunette angel from heaven with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Augment a beautiful brunette

New Order Power Corruption

How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are


You must let her go

She's not crying



Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times



Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone


Girls in the back

Girls in the back

Puressence Don't Forget

They say come back to earth and start getting real, yeah

I say come back to earth and start getting real

I know I can't


So I walk right up to you

And you walk all over me

And I ask you what you want

And you tell me what you need


The problem of leisure

What to do for pleasure

Ideal love a new purchase

A market of the senses

Dream of the perfect life

Economic circumstances

The body is good business

Sell out, maintain the interest


Sitting in my armchair thinking again and again and again

Going round in a circle I can't get out

Then I look around thinking day and night and day

Then you look around - there must be some explanation

And the tension builds

Psychdedelic Furs

India, India

You're my love song

India, you're my love song

In the flowers

You can have me in the flowers

We will dance alone

And live our useless lives

Ladytron Light Magic

They only want you when you're seventeen

When you're twenty-one

You're no fun

They take a polaroid and let you go

Say they'll let you know


No consolation prizes

Spit out your lies and chewing gum

Cut off your hair yeah that's it!

If you look like that I swear I'm gonna love you more


All the neighbors are startin' up a fire

Burning all the old folks, the witches and the liars.

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids

But my heart keeps watchin' through the skin of my eyelids


Prince charming

Prince charming

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of

Don't you ever, don't you ever

Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome


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