Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pass the burning leaf

If you have complaints about the lack of a podcast for the past two weeks, or the sparse presence of new posts, please address all concerns to my liver, as I've decided it's doing all the work as of late. I 'survived' the weekend, if you want to call it that, and tomorrow morning, I'm flying out west, to spend some much needed detox and relaxation time with the family over Easter. Granted, I first have to get through rugby practice, and then the 311 show at Metropolis... but we'll take this one thing at a time.

While I always like to hold my posts together with some sort of common theme, St. Patrick's has left me exhausted and uncreative. However, I will take this time to champion some more amazing Canadian music, and this time with a theme of 'passing the torch'. Today we're going to look at three different generations of Canadian music... or at least two and a half.

Starting by respecting our elders, I'm going to direct your attention to Mr. Don Ross. Ross is a Montreal born finger picking guitarist who has lived most of his life in Toronto. I was first put on to Don Ross by Eric at Hurley's Acoustic Army. Eric had played a few of his tunes before, and for any of you who had seen them, understand the level to which this type of music can drop your jaw. While you could literally spend an afternoon browsing through youtube videos of Ross, I have to reccomend a song which Eric played at the last night called Afraid to Dance.

Jumping across the country, and around twenty years, we're going to do something silly. The Dudes are a band that made me ask the question, "what is so wrong about playing simple, silly, pop music about girls." While I love the intricacies of Mars Volta, the near orchestral writing of Tool, or the hallucinogenic lyrics of Every Time I Die... sometimes, I kinda wanna just play power chords and whine about girls.... but not in a fucking emo way, for the love of God. In my opinion, one of the best things to come out of Alberta since Whitey Houston (which, I'm sure we'll talk about soon enough), The Dudes are a nice, friendly, show your mom, kind of reminder that music can sometimes just be happy, simple music.

Our last, and youngest in the chronological trek of Canada has a humorous, and ok, really fucking awkward preamble. I was in Ottawa for Canada day this past year. While floating around between bars and parties, I found myself sitting in a high rise apartment building in the middle of the afternoon listening to music which completely took me away from the entire festivities of the day. In a small living room, a young woman by the name of Meredith Luce had setup a PA, and was putting on a 'mini-Canada-day-show' for a handful of people.

After her set, I had to talk to her, at minimum to learn more about her music, and in all admission, to try and hit on a girl who I had a serious music-induced grade school crush on. To make a long story short, I found out that she was only 17, so I decided to stick with just learning more about her music. What I did learn was that while only 17, she had developed a mature, powerful voice, flowing, elegant guitars, and songwriting which could be that of a 40 year old's. We just have to ignore the fact that she is also, jailbait.