Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And The Change From A Dollar On 95 Cents Is...?


It's fashionable, especially in Canada, to voice your disdain for “Nickleback”.

Much of this comes from the knowledge that we have given the world far more worthy musical icons like Celine Dion, Justin Beiber and Raffi.

And although as we would like everyone beyond our borders to think we only listen to “The Tragically Hip”, “Arcade Fire” or Leonard Cohen and all own an original vinyl of “After The Gold Rush” protectively wrapped in a room temperature beaver pelt -- we know that's not true, don't we?

Pour a few fingers of Crown Royal down any Canadian and you'll discover that we all know the lyrics to "Burn It To The Ground" -- and can sing them even louder after each subsequent shot.

Not long ago, the venerable British publication, The New Music Express, (who once predicted “Darkness” would surpass the popularity of “The Beatles”) voted “Nickleback” the worst band in the world.

Yet another reason we need to rethink the Monarchy thing if you ask me…

Hard on the heels of this, an online petition in Detroit demanded that the Detroit Lions football team rescind their invitation to the band to perform at halftime of their Thanksgiving Day game, the complainants insisting that the booking was a slap in the face to Detroit's musical legacy.

I'm sure the Lions were shaken by this. After all, it was an online petition.

But I'm also sure they had already checked to see if the surviving members of "The Temptations" could get out of their retirement home for the day and that there was a construction crane available to haul Aretha Franklin to the 50 yard line.

If there's a couple of things I've learned about the music business and the media over the years it's that the critics and the Rock intelligentsia mostly love bands who will never make it and the mainstream media only loves those who are mostly over the hill.

How else do you explain year end Top Ten lists including nine bands you'll never hear from again and shows like CBC's "Cover Me"?

This week, “Nickleback” took time out from the tour schedule that earned them over $100 Million last year alone as well as promoting their already multi-platinum just-released album to respond to Detroit with a cute video over at "Funny or Die".

Of much more importance, they'll be back home in Vancouver on Sunday to perform the halftime duties at "The Grey Cup Game" -- where fully 1/4 of the country will be tuned in and, dare I admit it, singing along.

Here's a snippet if you need to practice.



Anonymous said...

My son was at the Age of Enlightenment when these guys started out, and would pretty much be in the running for at least the regionals for "Nickleback Fan of the Decade". Hey, at least it isn't rap.

So, a few years ago, spending some bondable time together, we went to a sold out show at the Amphitheater in Toronto. I guess all those fans were shipped into the Centre of the Universe (although, quite a few of them had that weird Oshawa accent, come to think of it).

Wasn't the best show I've seen, but it was far from the worst. Energy, attitude, stacks o'amps. That's what Rawk is supposed to be about, no?

As David Lee Roth said: "the reason why rock critics prefer Elvis Costello to Van Halen is because most rock critics looked like Elvis Costello."

Or, if you'd prefer something Zappish:

"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read."

In a world where all you have to do to become a hit is make a Youtube video or fail on "Tiny Talent Time", I'll still support those guys who hit the road in a crappy van to play shitholes for beer money, just to follow their dreams.

But I'm still not gonna listen to them on the radio...

win said...

Nickelblock blocks all references to Nickelback http://awe.sm/5aGHA

Brandon Laraby said...

Hey Jim,

I have to admit that there are a few Nickelback songs that I'm able to hum -- I don't consider them my favourite band of all time, but I definitely try not to slam them either.

We Canadians certainly have enough 'Tall Poppy' syndrome to go around.

I mean, geez, look at all the hate being poured on Justin Beiber.

Again, not the best singer in the world, but he's a Canadian that's managed to not only break out as an International star, he's making millions and still a pretty decent, humble guy from Stratford.

I don't like his music, but he deserves some sort of respect... or does he not deserve it because he was 'found online' and had to work his way up club-by-club like Nickelback and other such bands?

Otherwise, I still love acts like Classified - a Halifax rapper who's worked himself up from the ground up to get where he is. He got a touch of the big big time when his song 'Oh Canada' hit and soared during the Olympics... but still, he's a down-to-earth guy who tries to write meaningful music (recently: That ain't Classy -- a song about not selling out 'Jersey Shore' style to get your 15 seconds of fame).

Classified: That Ain't Classy

Classified: Oh, Canada