I really like Sheepdogs. I've owned a few, befriended several more. And they all seem to match my own basic world view. Have fun. Try to get along. Don't take what people think of you too seriously.
I'm not exactly sure what first attracted me to them. But I have a theory that they remind me of my first favorite toy, a kind of rocking horse thing of a character named "Punkinhead", whose copyright clearly lapsed sometime before this guy came along.
I also really like Saskatchewan. Because I grew up there.
Saskatchewan can be a dismal place. Sometime around February, when you wake up to your 40th straight day of temperatures below minus 40, it can make you wonder why God doesn't like you very much.
But then Summer comes and you watch a sunset with a Pilsner in your lap and your back to the Midwest night and you feel like maybe you're in the best place anybody could be.
So imagine my excitement when I heard that there was a band from Saskatchewan called "The Sheepdogs".
Excitement heightened by seeing a picture of them and realizing that bands from Saskatchewan in 2011 look EXACTLY like Bands from Saskatchewan did during my rock 'n roll youth of the late 1960's.
Y'know, it might be that the Fountain of Youth is actually hidden somewhere in Saskatchewan -- made harder to find because it's frozen solid for eight months of the year.
Anyway, it turns out said musical "Sheepdogs" are now finalists in Rolling Stone Magazine's "Pick the Cover" contest, in which you vote online for your favorite band and they end up on the cover of Rolling Stone garnering all the attendant fame and fortune Dr. Hook used to sing about.
And given what I've been hearing about all the DRM shackles that'll become mandatory should the new Copyright Bill (C-32) pass unmolested. Given that all the major Canadian Music labels have been officially outed as seriously screwing their artists. And taking into account the new CBC Fall schedule. I decided that it is imperative that "The Sheepdogs" win this contest and get to escape the country.
I mean, seriously, C-32 will pretty much hand over all their creative rights to some record company middle man. Even if they earn royalties, they'll never see a penny of them. And a couple of years from now, they'll be just like Tom Cochrane, singing "Life is a Highway" twice nightly in some Casino showroom while the CBC uses whatever hit they had as the contestant audition piece for the next season of "Cover Me" -- which by then, along with "Battle of the Blades" will be all that passes for Canadian Content on the tube.
You can vote for "The Sheepdogs" here. And it's imperative that you do.
Not only because it'll help some Canadian artists get out of the country while the gettin's good. But it'll prevent Rolling Stone from losing what's left of its credibility and turning completely into "Tiger Beat".
Seriously, "Rolling Stone" -- ??? Whatever happened to the guys that discovered Jimi and Janis? Remember who championed Daniel Ellsberg for revealing "The Pentagon Papers"? Are there no more Ralph Steadmans and Hunter S. Thompsons left in America?
Or maybe they're all in Saskatchewan, helping "The Sheepdogs" pack and get across the border so real rock 'n roll can be heard in the world once more.
Whatever you think of "The Sheepdogs" music, vote for them. Give a fellow Canadian artist a chance.
Release the Hounds. And Enjoy Your Sunday.