the Big Shiny late-90s/early-00s CanCon poll

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the method here was simple so as to keep the # of bands manageable: they had to be Canadian and they had to make a Big Shiny Tunes comp, but not so successful that they actually made it big in the US. (so no BNL; I gather Bran Van's "Drinking in LA" was a minor UK hit but that didn't seem disqualifying). The span chosen was the first six BST comps (1996-2001).

I did cheat a little: I threw in Gob for pop-punk representation though they don't actually make it in till BST8 (whatever it's my poll and "I Hear You Calling" gets stuck in my head several times a year); also added Odds, who weren't on a BST proper but did make it onto both "Big Shiny 90s" comps which came out at the tail end of this era.

decided not to include Sloan because they now enjoy some US success and have actually long outlived this era, which almost none of these bands have. the Tragically Hip also mysteriously never made one of these comps though a few singles got a ton of MuchMusic play; they both pre- and post-date this era and have a certain level of prestige I don't really associate with these bands so I didn't feel too bad keeping them out. these are, by and large, runts, several of which even I have no recollection of (Pluto? j. Englishman?)

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Bran Van 3000 8
Odds 6
Matthew Good Band 6
The Tea Party 3
Big Wreck 2
Treble Charger 2
Our Lady Peace 2
I Mother Earth 1
Holly MacNarland 1
Econoline Crush 1
Limblifter 1
Serial Joe 0
Pluto 0
Moist 0
The Age of Electric 0
The Killjoys 0
j. Englishman 0
Gob 0
Default 0
Wide Mouth Mason 0


Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:09 (four months ago) link

ah at last my thread

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:19 (four months ago) link

good call cutting sloan and the hip, who loom larger than any of these bands imo

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:20 (four months ago) link

anyway let me be the first to say that early treble charger slaps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd6Ytvgz2wE

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:21 (four months ago) link

Lol I was def gonna post the "Red" video.

I highly recommend the first Don Vail album, which has some Treble Charger + Chore membership.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:23 (four months ago) link

I've listened to more OLP than any of the other bands, but I'd rather not hear them ever again.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:24 (four months ago) link

Drinking In LA wasn't a huge hit over here but it's basically never gone away. Everyone over the age of about 25 knows it.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:24 (four months ago) link

My first instinct is to say that The Tea Party aged best (as per the other thread), but I'd have to indulge in some heavy duty nostalgia to reassess the lot of them.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:25 (four months ago) link

Oh wait, it went top three here and was just ~in the air~ for a lot longer. Point is it was huge even if no one bothered to listen to another Bran Van 3000 song ever again. That alone puts them in a different category to any of the rest of these bands.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:26 (four months ago) link

i love olp but they're like an inherently flawed band bc raine maida is their lead singer. they get better as they get big concept (happiness is not a fish that you can catch and spiritual machines are their twin peaks) but also way goofier

HOWEVER this video contains one of the most incredible drum performances i've ever seen in my life, jeremy taggart 4ever

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6i9_LQQ-x0

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:27 (four months ago) link

I recall vaguely liking Moist as a 12 year old. I have no idea how any of their songs went, though.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:28 (four months ago) link

David Usher apparently went on to have a minor hit covering the Manics' "If You Tolerate This..." which is exceptionally weird to me

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:32 (four months ago) link

i'm voting for matthew good though. i think he's made at least three masterpieces (beautiful midnight, avalanche, hospital music) and his other records all have good stuff on them. he's incredibly self-serious but i'm fine with it for some reason? i moved to canada for 10 months when i was 15 and saw the "weapon" video shortly after i got there and was blown away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv0w8LIzo6I

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:33 (four months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXvNEU5f4Bc

PICTURE yourself

ok i'm done

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:35 (four months ago) link

I kind of remember OLP and MGB as tonal polar opposites almost duking out in some way, though never explicitly I don't think, with Raine as the careening rafter-climbing pretty boy and Good as the sneering, self-hating loser who was above doing rock moves.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:36 (four months ago) link

my fave MGB singles were the ones off of The Audio of Being, which is half-great but you can practically hear how miserable it was to make

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:37 (four months ago) link

I remember finding the MGB overly lacking in the angst department. But then again, Bush was my favourite band for a few months.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:37 (four months ago) link

my fave MGB singles were the ones off of The Audio of Being, which is half-great but you can practically hear how miserable it was to make

― Simon H., Wednesday, April 3, 2019 5:37 AM (forty-two seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

agreed on both counts. "carmelita" is prob their best song!

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:38 (four months ago) link

yeah, absolute snarler. nasty tones.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:39 (four months ago) link

"carmelina"* lol

great video too, good was always uh good at maximizing the ideas he could get out of his videofact budget

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:40 (four months ago) link

not so successful that they actually made it big in the US.

I don't remember any of Our Lady Peace's songs, but Clumsy shifted quite a few units.

☮ (peace, man), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:41 (four months ago) link

olp are an odd case, the title track of clumsy was kind of an alt rock hit in the u.s., and then they had a legit hit many years later with "somewhere out there," yet they're forgotten enough to qualify i think

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:42 (four months ago) link

I think I would die of embarrassment if I heard any of the Gravity singles today

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:44 (four months ago) link

i loooooved "innocent" at the time

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:45 (four months ago) link

re: music videos and working on a budget, Big Wreck did their best with some lighting and a long staircase

https://youtu.be/0JtB0Y9oM0I

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:48 (four months ago) link

my favorite fact about our lady peace that makes no sense: happiness is not a fish that you can catch ends with a drum duet between jeremy taggart and elvin jones

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:50 (four months ago) link

lmao just watching that "Automatic Flowers" video again and just...yeah, no, Maida is just too much. I can't with him at all. Idk why cause I like other bands with objectively worse frontpeople.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:53 (four months ago) link

i don't blame anyone for not being able to deal with raine maida, you can hear his smug smile in every line he sings

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:54 (four months ago) link

skip to the perfect drumfill at 1:35 imo

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 12:55 (four months ago) link

I've owned the first Our Lady Peace and Moist CDs. I'm pretty sure I just got these from either columbia house or BMG, probably as my last picks in the X CDs for a penny thing. As I mentioned on the other thread, I spent a lot of time listening to Edges of Twilight, but relistening to it now, it doesn't really hold up.

Bran Van 3000's albums were really good, they really deserved to be more than just a one hit wonder.

I imagine I would recognize songs by most of these other bands (I kind of vaguely remember liking a I Mother Earth song that was getting radio airplay), but I can't say I ever got into any of them.

silverfish, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 14:54 (four months ago) link

I always found it kind of odd that for as big as Our Lady Peace was in Canada, it took until Big Shiny Tunes 6 (From 2001) for them to show up on one of those comps.

MarkoP, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:00 (four months ago) link

I noticed that too! Must have been a label issue or something.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:09 (four months ago) link

It's wild that BV3000 had a single with Curtis fucking Mayfield.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:09 (four months ago) link

I mostly know Pluto for this song, which I was a fan of as a kid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeDs-jZBh5s

MarkoP, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:14 (four months ago) link

Also I noticed you left Bif Naked off this list.

MarkoP, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:16 (four months ago) link

lmao fuck I specifically meant to include them! (tbf though I never found them any...good, really)

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:21 (four months ago) link

I remember listening a lot to this 1998 Edge compilation, which looks like it was angling to tag along on the success of BST1/2. They put OLP right up front.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/4PcAAOSwoFVabinq/s-l640.jpg

jmm, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:23 (four months ago) link

Big Sugar, fuck. Bloozy Canadiana is pretty bleak.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:27 (four months ago) link

I still love the first Big Wreck album, so I voted for them here. I really love the song Under the Lighthouse, its like a pre-emptive Interstate Love Song.

Also when winter turns to spring I invariably end up listening to Drinking in LA about 50,000 times in a row. It's a beautiful day.

Will (kruezer2), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:35 (four months ago) link

Also - didn't Pluto include members who went on to form the New Pornographers? Or am I thinking of a different band?

Will (kruezer2), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:36 (four months ago) link

simon you were talking about bif naked (who i had never heard of) when you were talking about this poll on facebook!

Thus Spoke Darraghustra (Oor Neechy), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:46 (four months ago) link

if Bran Van 3000 win this poll it means UK ilxors voted as that was a megahit here

Thus Spoke Darraghustra (Oor Neechy), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:47 (four months ago) link

bif naked did kinda suck it's true

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 15:47 (four months ago) link

Also - didn't Pluto include members who went on to form the New Pornographers? Or am I thinking of a different band?

associated acts to New Pornos, acc to Wikipedia:
Pretty Girls Make Graves, Destroyer, AC Newman, Limblifter, Superconductor, Age of Electric, Zumpano

(no idea what the PGMG connection is?)

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:08 (four months ago) link

I really enjoy Big Wreck whenever I hear them.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:18 (four months ago) link

xp tbf that's not really an exhaustive list, for ex Neko Case was in Cub and Maow and neither of those are there

was kinda surprised Drinking in LA wasn't a hit in the US cos I associate it with a trip to the west coast in 1999 but tbf we started off in Vancouver BC so I assume it must've been there that it was playing in bars all the time

Colonel Poo, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:22 (four months ago) link

Are any of the Big Wreckers Americans or were they all just studying at Berklee when they formed?

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:27 (four months ago) link

Ha, wow, I don't remember this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtBYIghz6MU

jmm, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:29 (four months ago) link

oh god I remember these literal kids now.

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:47 (four months ago) link

also, someone get fgti in here

Simon H., Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:48 (four months ago) link

Prob goes without saying that it's super hokey.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:04 (four months ago) link

(no idea what the PGMG connection is?)

― Simon H., Wednesday, April 3, 2019 9:08 AM (two days ago)

None, other than both were Matador labelmates at the same time for a brief moment.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:11 (four months ago) link

That's alright, being abroad has a way of making even such things appear exotically palatable.

xp

pomenitul, Friday, 5 April 2019 19:13 (four months ago) link

not really poll-relevant but this is my fave pre-NPs AC Newman tune

https://youtu.be/TvTltNhTy-E

― Simon H., Wednesday, April 3, 2019 11:24 AM (two days ago)

Same, might even be my favorite of his including NPs.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:13 (four months ago) link

This is probably way too under the radar for Big Shiny but this was one of my fave Canadian songs of the specified era:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrWq4J4GzLA

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:20 (four months ago) link

That's an interesting list. Always annoys me that "I'm an Adult Now" is the TPOH song people remember since it's so monotonous and says nothing to me. Much prefer "She's So Young" or "Beautiful White".

Yes! I thought I was alone on this. I'm an Adult Now drags so much compared to the rest of the album.

Also - is this the place where we can discuss how awesome the first Lowest of the Low album is?

Will (kruezer2), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:31 (four months ago) link

im an adult now is a shitty song.

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:32 (four months ago) link

I like those Doiron records a lot

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 19:32 (four months ago) link

I don't know that I've ever consciously heard Lowest of the Low.

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 19:33 (four months ago) link

this is the LotL song that got much music play...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t06Kg3LwyE

I love it and the rest of the album, Ron Hawkins is one of my favourite songwriters.

Will (kruezer2), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:41 (four months ago) link

ah now I see why you just referred to it as "the first LotL album" and not by name lol

I'll check it out!

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 19:43 (four months ago) link

haha, yeah brutal album name.

Will (kruezer2), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:43 (four months ago) link

Heh, I just put on Radio-Canada in the van and they were playing Jean Leloup's "Joue de la Guitare".

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 5 April 2019 20:14 (four months ago) link

Yeah that album is loaded with hits, top 10 Canadian albums ever for sure

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 5 April 2019 20:19 (four months ago) link

*LotL that is

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 5 April 2019 20:19 (four months ago) link

Fuck the system, do it, do it, do it, do it, yeah!

pomenitul, Friday, 5 April 2019 20:22 (four months ago) link

ugh i relistened to a bunch of olp records today and now i have to change my vote to them

happiness... is pretty perfect

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Friday, 5 April 2019 22:23 (four months ago) link

I definitely bought Moist's Mercedes Five and Dime as a #teen for....some reason. Relistening now I have no idea what prompted that, but it's not bad. There's a certain lightness / airiness to the sound that's not very typical of the era.

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 23:03 (four months ago) link

Went with Odds. Their albums are consistently good, their live show fun and hilarious, and they are also my second CD purchase.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Saturday, 6 April 2019 23:59 (four months ago) link

Though Pluto almost made it on the strength of "Paste" alone. Likewise The Killjoys on the strength of "Today I Hate Everyone"

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Sunday, 7 April 2019 00:00 (four months ago) link

My principal conclusions after going back through the MGB discography afresh is a) man, that guy wrote a lot of good songs that are more melodically clever than I remembered and b) Warne Livesey is a very dull producer who did them no favors. Loser Anthems is their most distinctive-sounding record and it's the only one he wasn't involved with. (OTOH he has a songwriting credit on the Mark Hollis solo album so he can't be all bad.)

Simon H., Monday, 8 April 2019 03:50 (four months ago) link

I need to admit that I cannot remember how a single MGB song sounds. I'm not sure I consciously knew one at the time.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 8 April 2019 03:58 (four months ago) link

I'd be surprised if you put on "Load Me Up" or "Apparitions" and didn't have at least the slightest twinge of recognition.

Simon H., Monday, 8 April 2019 04:00 (four months ago) link

Gob

flopson, Monday, 8 April 2019 07:48 (four months ago) link

I revisited a bunch of MGB singles the other day and while his songwriting does tend to surpass his contemporaries', the intervening decades haven't helped me warm up to his voice at all. And the production does indeed suck, although MGB are hardly alone on this one (I'd love me some Albinized CanCon).

pomenitul, Monday, 8 April 2019 08:01 (four months ago) link

I remember OLP working with THE Bob Rock was an actual talking point when Gravity came out.

Simon H., Monday, 8 April 2019 12:00 (four months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2KJDl-T-y4

JENNI
KILLED HER DAD WITH HER CAR
NOW SHE'S A MILLIONAIRE

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Monday, 8 April 2019 12:33 (four months ago) link

idk i love the sound of those mgb records. they definitely sound like the '90s though

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Monday, 8 April 2019 12:34 (four months ago) link

I tried to listen to Limblifter this morning but I just get nothing out of that guy's voice.

Simon H., Monday, 8 April 2019 12:49 (four months ago) link

holy shit this thread is too much

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boot Edge Edge" (Will M.), Monday, 8 April 2019 22:03 (four months ago) link

keep clicking songs and having intense flashbacks to childhood

fucking i mother earth lmao

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boot Edge Edge" (Will M.), Monday, 8 April 2019 22:04 (four months ago) link

Def the most ridiculous of these bands

Simon H., Monday, 8 April 2019 22:09 (four months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 19 April 2019 00:01 (three months ago) link

re the convo upthread, as a rural boy in 90s ontario i can tell you with absolute confidence that leloup, colocs, etc had zero penetration in my tiny circle, and in fact i did not really hear any of these artists/bands until the past couple of years bc of dating francophone person. like, even living in mtl and largely hanging out w/ anglos i still didn't get any exposure. but all of these BST bands i was at least very intimately familiar with their heavy rotation muchmusic/bst offerings.

still really split on who to vote for, OLP or Moist prob the most honest to me at the time (in that order chronologically, i think?), kinda wanna vote bran van for the most interesting career to me retrospectively, and kinda wanna vote holly mcnarland because numb just fuckin bangs

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boot Edge Edge" (Will M.), Friday, 19 April 2019 19:31 (three months ago) link

BV3000 had that one wild song where the video was just people making out for like 4 minutes. i think i liked the song but i was far too repressed to not feel deeply uncomfortable watching the video. maybe that was the point!

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boot Edge Edge" (Will M.), Friday, 19 April 2019 19:33 (three months ago) link

UHH matthew good covered cloudbusting in 2015, feat. holly mcnarland????????????????? ok im voting for her

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boot Edge Edge" (Will M.), Friday, 19 April 2019 19:33 (three months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 20 April 2019 00:01 (three months ago) link

Next to no discussion about the Odds and they sneak in for second place. Good band, occasionally great, and there's nothing embarrassing in their catalogue (even "Wendy Under The Stars" holds up) like any of the other acts that I was familiar with in this poll , so that's why they got my vote.

Ρεμπετολογια, Saturday, 20 April 2019 00:50 (three months ago) link

The only song I remember by them is "Heterosexual Man" tbh, which I do think of as a bit embarrassing.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 20 April 2019 00:59 (three months ago) link

It did have Kids in the Hall in the video tbf.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 20 April 2019 01:00 (three months ago) link

I guess it's a bit embarrassing, but I never took it as anything more than Gen X irony, and the video reflected that.

Ρεμπετολογια, Saturday, 20 April 2019 01:12 (three months ago) link

It was definitely ironic. I just don't think the by-the-numbers rock track or the joke have held up that great. Tbf, though, I doubt they were going for timelessness. It did give me a smile at 14.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 20 April 2019 01:17 (three months ago) link

told you who would win any why, Simon.

Thus Spoke Darraghustra (Oor Neechy), Saturday, 20 April 2019 01:18 (three months ago) link

xp It's a safe bet that the by-the-numbers rock sound was imposed upon them by record company higher-ups (We'll let you self-produce but there had better be a radio-friendly hit)...they still managed to get Robert Quine and Warren Zevon to guest on the album.

Ρεμπετολογια, Saturday, 20 April 2019 01:36 (three months ago) link

Hm, maybe I should listen to more of the album.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 20 April 2019 01:48 (three months ago) link

A Tea Party song came on when I was out in the car today ("Temptation"). I reflexively reached to turn it off as always, thought of this poll and left it on. As they say in Newfoundland, lord thunderin' Jesus.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 April 2019 23:29 (three months ago) link

Oor was right, it's true

anyway 6 people voted for MGB in an ILM poll so my work was worthwhile

Simon H., Saturday, 20 April 2019 23:40 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

https://exclaim.ca/music/article/r_i_p_big_wreck_guitarist_brian_doherty

Big Wreck guitarist Brian Doherty has passed at only 51. Crank "That Song" this weekend in his honour.

Simon H., Saturday, 8 June 2019 01:10 (two months ago) link

:(

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 8 June 2019 01:17 (two months ago) link

sadly it took the prompt for me to listen to their well-thought-of album from 2017 and it's quite a bit proggier, more psychedelic and colorful than the stuff they got famous with

Simon H., Saturday, 8 June 2019 02:39 (two months ago) link


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