Thursday, November 01, 2007

Viva Canuckistan!

(click HERE to listen)

This weeks track list has an all-Canadian flavor to it. There is so much great music being created in this country that I can really only skim the surface with this post, so here's to hoping you hear something new that makes you want to dig a little deeper into some of these great Canadian music catalog's.

- The Arcade Fire is the prototypical 'perfect band'. They make great music, have an amazing live show, and do everything on their own terms. Most bands of their caliber and popularity would have sold out long ago but they've refused to take the easy road. Track 1 is a choice cut from their first full length lp, Funeral.
- The Skydiggers have long been one of my favorite Canadian bands, to this day they rank highly on my 'Top 5 Live Experiences Ever' list. They were a staple of the Canadian live music scene from '88-'98 but have only played a handful of shows each year since then. Truly a shame. Track 2 is taken from their live record 'There and Back'.
- I like to think that Cuff the Duke picked up where the 'Diggers' left off. They've always had a bit of an alt-country flavor to them but have also grown by leeps and bounds over the course of their past three studio albums. This track is from their newly released 3rd record 'Sidelines of the City'. Highly recommended.
- Paul MacLeod is the hardest working Canadian singer songwriter you've never heard of. Between writing material for his solo records and sideband Hibakusha, he has also become a fulltime member of the Skydiggers and has sat in with the Rheostatics on occasion. This track is from his 2nd solo disc 'Close and Play' which he recorded with another great Canadian songwriter, Hawksley Workman.
- Wolf Parade got their first bit of exposure to the masses while opening for Arcade Fire on the Funeral tour. The band is part Montreal, part Vancouver, but ALL business. Their members all have side projects so it may be a while before we get another album... luckily their first lp 'Apologies to the Queen Mary' has enough great music on it to last for a while.
- Apostle of Hustle and Metric both have ties to the now famous Broken Social Scene, so I thought I'd give all three bands a fair shake this time around. They each have their strong points so you can be the judge on which project you prefer ... in case you're wondering, I'm saving Leslie Feist for another show down the road.
- We're three shows into this podcast and already I've showcased Joel Plaskett and Peter Elkas twice, can you tell I'm a fan? Peter is a former member of the Local Rabbits and has toured extensively as an opening act for Joel as well as playing guitar from time to time in The Emergency. I picked Only You from Peter's 1st solo album because it showcases just how good of a guitarist this guy actually is (he's not just a pretty face ladies). Joel's tune on the other hand is from his 'Down at the Khyber' lp and is pure Emergency goodness.
- Islands are yet another Montreal based band that I've only recently been introduced to. I've included this track because song titles don't get any better than 'Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby'.
- A few months back I was listening to Q ( on CBC radio and Jian Ghomeshi played this track by Martha & the Muffins. It's a solid tune by one of Toronto's best new wave bands (circa 1980).
- I don't listen to the Weakerthans enough, but I'm going to start. This stellar track is from their 2003 lp Reconstruction Site. Winnipeg has a knack for producing some of Canada's most original rock music (remember the Watchmen?) and these guys are continuing that tradition.
- The Sadies have become Canada's alt-country darlings and have earned a reputation as the hardest working live band in the country. High praise to say the least, but these guys deserve every bit of it. They've collaborates with everyone from Rick White(Eric's Trip & Elevator), Greg Kealor (Blue Rodeo), Neko Case, Jon Spencer, and Garth Hudson (the Band) to name just a few, and have also managed to release 6 studio records over the past nine years! It was hard to pick just one track, but I think Translucent Sparrow from their 'Favorite Colours' lp shows the range these guys have as musicians.
- I couldn't put together a list of CanRock without including the Hip. They've been working the music scene for twenty plus years and aren't showing any signs of slowing down. They've got it all as a band; the long haired lead guitarist, the cigarette dangling rhythm guitarist, the solid bass & drum duo, and the wily frontman. How do you pick a favorite song from these guys? I don't have an answer, but I do have this excellent little number off of their 'In Between Evolution album.
- Hayden's 'Dynamite Walls' opus wraps up this edition of the podcast. It's my favorite song of his for many reasons; I'm a sucker for a slowburn intro, his lyrics paint a picture of a winter road trip we've all taken at one point in our lives, and the guitar freakout at the end is face melting.
"Open your eyes, put it in drive, get on the road, and discover."

Intro-> Mitch Hedberg vs. Bullfrog
1. Neighborhood #2 - Arcade Fire
2. Just Over This Mountain - the Skydiggers
3. If I Live or If I Die - Cuff the Duke
4. Broken Wing - Paul MacLeod
5. It's a Curse - Wolf Parade
6. Chances Are - Apostle of Hustle
7. Only You - Peter Elkas
8. 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
9. Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby - Islands
10. Too Little Toot Late - Metric
11. Paint By Number Heart - Martha & the Muffins
12. There's Love in the Air - Joel Plaskett Emergency
13. A New Name for Everything - the Weakerthans
14. Translucent Sparow - the Sadies
15. One Night in Copenhagen - the Tragically Hip
16. Dynamite Walls - Hayden

On a more somber note, the Restless Radio team would like to dedicate this weeks episode to the memory of one of the greats... Robert Goulet. Most of you probably know the name from a Will Ferrel skit on SNL, but Goulet was much more than just a punchline. He starred in several classics (G-Men from Hell, BeetleJuice, and Naked Gun 2 1/2 just to name a few) and was known the world over as the man with the golden voice.


Rick Hutchinson said...

Great stuff Mike!!!!!

Awesome collection of songs dude. Gives them a whole new context when presented in this original arrangement...

Trites said...

RIP, Mitch!

jeddeth said...

Hey man! Saw this on bry and have been really enjoying it for the past 45 minutes! I listen to a ton of music and at first I was thinking it was gonna be some over played arcade fire and a bunch of trash... but I was sooooo wrong, this is a great collection of stuff I've never heard. THANK YOU!

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