Sunday, 4 May 2008

Can Canadians Ever Be Cool?

A few months ago, I went to an industry trade event, and I got given a CD of new Canadian music. It was being promoted by something called FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), so I didn't have terribly high hopes for the contents, especially since the last Canadian band I remember liking was BareNakedLadies, and that was partly because they named one of their albums after me.

Anyway, I was going through a pile of CD's, found it, and decided I'd better play it before I took it to the charity shop.

Most of it didn't move me. I know I've heard the name "Tokyo Police Club" several times, but they sound like a bunch of guys who listened to Joy Division and couldn't get a deal in 1981. The other band I'd heard of were The Besnard Lakes, and they left me cold.

I'd never heard of Les Breastfeeders or Holy Fuck, but they seemed to have used most of their energy on picking their names.

There were a couple of things I liked. Dan Mangan is from Vancouver, and sings a quirky little song called 'Journal of a Narcoleptic'. But my two new favourite Canadian bands are both electronica acts from Quebec.

Champion, or "DJ Champion et ses G-Strings" takes a very sexy, cracked, bluesy female voice, the kind that Moby used to steal from old 78's, and layers it into a sonic lasagne with electric guitars and synthesisers.

And in this case, the voice belongs to a real live woman by the name of BĂ©atrice Bonifassi.

Here they are on a French language TV show.

Because I'd already heard BareNakedLadies, I expect a band called Lesbians on Ecstasy to be a bunch of fat, white men, but - joy of joys! - they are real live women, and they have names like Fruity Frankie and Bernie Bankrupt, and they also sound like they take drugs and have great sex with one another, and with their fans. This has to be a good thing.

Here they are asking the all-important dating question, "Tell me, does she love the bass?". (I think she probably does.)

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