Not any more

Archive for the ‘Them Kids’ Category

This is Regent Park!

In Government, It's About School People, Them Kids, Toronto on August 15, 2012 at 15:46

Just a tad…

My daughter and I would take the 506 streetcar across the north end of Regent Park and she’d ask, “why there were bars on the window.”  I honestly had to tell her that, “I didn’t know, but in a few years those bars are going to come down and you’re not going to recognize this place.”  Canada’s oldest and largest social housing project has and is changing.



…It’s Friday and You need to smile. TGIF

In Cars, Have to Laugh, Media, The Social, Them Kids, YouTube on May 14, 2010 at 21:35

Just a tad…

I got this email from my best friend telling me to watch this YouTube video.  If you’re a parent or even if you’re not, you will enjoy the following videos from good folks at Toyota.  TGIF


Sorry I just had to add this one..because Vader Kicks Ass

Ann Coulter’s Excellent Canadian Adventure & More {Updated May 2014}

In Canada, Government, Have to Laugh, Law & Order, Media, Politico, The Social, Them Kids, Women, YouTube on March 24, 2010 at 08:46

Just a tad…

AP ~ Protest Cancels Ann Coulter Speech in Ottawa

I’m kind of shocked about what happened in Ottawa.  With years and years of talking tours under her belt in the United States, never has Ann Coulter been stopped by a mob to speak her mind.   Real Time’s Bill Maher and Countdown’s Keith Olbermann should be taking notes on how to shut this lady down.    They’ve been trying for ever.    She accuses the University of Ottawa’s academic vice-president, Francois Houle, of “inspiring hatred” toward her.  That is rich.  Coulter is reportedly planning to file a Human Rights complaint.  She’ll be speaking next in Calgary.  Enjoy her mindless dribble below.


(I need to stress that the original post was all about Ann Coulter’s trip to Canada back in March 2010..but she’s been so completely off the wall with her comments in general, I felt that using this forum to post her rants was the right thing to do.  So…)

Here is Ann Coulter’s address at the 2012 CPAC


Original stuff below

You Can read Julian Beltrame’s full article at The Toronto

‘Safety’ fear shuts Ann Coulter speech

Darling of the U.S. right a no-show amid protests

OTTAWA–Hundreds of screaming students succeeded in what few thought possible Tuesday night – silencing incendiary right-winger Ann Coulter.

Organizers for the American’s tour of Canada scrubbed her much-anticipated speech at the University of Ottawa when students crowded the entrance before her arrival.

A spokesman for the organizers said about 2,000 “threatening” students posed a security threat to the darling of the American right, and she was advised against appearing.

“It would be physically dangerous for Ann Coulter to proceed with this event,” said conservative political activist Ezra Levant.

Protest organizer Mike Fancie was happy the speech was halted.

“What Ann Coulter is practising is not free speech, it’s hate speech,” he said. “She’s targeted the Jews, she’s targeted the Muslims, she’s targeted Canadians, homosexuals, women, almost everybody you could imagine.”

This video segment shows the entire question of the muslim young lady and Ann’s entire answer. In the press coverage of this event, this segment contains the most quoted line of Ann’s presentation

Part 1 Tom Clark Vs Ann

Part 2 Tom Clark Vs Ann

Part 3 Tom Clark Vs Ann

Michael Coren with Ann

On Fox News

Bill O’Reilly loves Ann 1

Bill O’Reilly loves Ann 2

The Other Bill Vs Ann

Joy Behar so so with Ann

Keith Vs Ann

CBC Vs Ann

Full CBC episode

What Can I Say…hail Ann Coulter

The Real Ann…No way!!

Rex Murphy gets the last word on freedom of speech in Canada

History For Morons (Ann Coulter Edition) – Canada and the Vietnam War

Words of wisdom from Ann to Canada ~

Below are excerpts from Coulter’s and Carlson’s Canada-bashing.

From the November 30 edition of FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes:

COULTER: Conservatives, as a general matter, take the position that you should not punish your friends and reward your enemies. And Canada has become trouble recently.

It’s — I suppose it’s always, I might add, the worst Americans who end up going there. The Tories after the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam draft dodgers after Vietnam. And now after this election, you have the blue-state people moving up there.


COULTER: There is also something called, when you’re allowed to exist on the same continent of the United States of America, protecting you with a nuclear shield around you, you’re polite and you support us when we’ve been attacked on our own soil. They [Canada] violated that protocol.


COULTER: They better hope the United States doesn’t roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.


COULTER: We could have taken them [Canada] over so easily.

[ALAN] COLMES: We could have taken them over? Is that what you want?

COULTER: Yes, but no. All I want is the western portion, the ski areas, the cowboys, and the right-wingers.


COULTER: They don’t even need to have an army, because they are protected, because they’re on the same continent with the United States of America. If we were not the United States of America, Canada — I mean, we’re their trading partner. We keep their economy afloat.


ELLIS HENICAN [Newsday columnist]: We share a lot of culture and a lot of interests. Why do we want to have to ridicule them and be deeply offended if they disagree with us?

COULTER: Because they speak French.

COLMES: There’s something else I want to point out about the French. Is it’s fashionable again on your side to denounce the French.

COULTER: We like the English-speaking Canadians.

From the November 30 edition of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Reports:

CARLSON: Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting.


CARLSON: We exploit your [addressing Canadian Member of Parliament Carolyn Parrish] natural resources, that’s true. But in the end, Canadians with ambition move to the United States. That has been sort of the trend for decades. It says something not very good about Canada. And I think it makes Canadians feel bad about themselves and I understand that.


CARLSON: Canada needs the United States. The United States does not need Canada.


CARLSON: I think if Canada were responsible for its own security — you would be invaded by Norway if it weren’t for the United States.


CARLSON: [A]bsolutely the countries will remain allies and there will always be politicians who see it to their benefit to stomp on Bush dolls [referring to action taken by Parrish]. But no, I don’t think the average Canadian feels — the average Canadian is busy dogsledding.


PARRISH: No, there’s not a lot of dogsledding. There’s a lot of dog walking, my friend. Not a lot of dogsledding.

CARLSON: Welcome to our century.

From the November 30 edition of CNN’s Crossfire:

CARLSON: Canada’s essentially — essentially a made-in-Taiwan version of the United States.


CARLSON: I’m surprised there was anybody left in Canada to attend the protests. I noticed that most sort of vigorous, ambitious Canadians, at least almost all comedians in Canada, come to the United States in the end. Doesn’t that tell you something about the sort of limpid, flaccid nature of Canadian society, that people with ambition come here? What does that tell you about Canada?



So this has nothing to do with Canada per se but it just seemed like a nice addition to this loons past talking points

I’ll let the fine people a Gawker explain, (full context here

“Ann Coulter’s bullshit conservative troll game is slipping. In her zeal to land a jab against… Twitter? Michelle Obama? Nigerian schoolgirls?… she opened a door for her detractors, and they jumped through it with a two-leg flying kick of Photoshop fury.

The way Coulter’s game is supposed to work is 1) she says something bigoted or just plain dumb and trollish, 2) outraged critics say something she can twist as sexist, 3) she positions herself as the victim, 4) she wins. But if she looks like a fucking tone-deaf joke of a demagogue instead of a victim, it doesn’t really work.

That’s where Twitter comes in. Here’s the backstory: Michelle Obama, among others, made the hashtag #bringbackourgirls trend, a viral if superficial way to draw mainstream attention to the plight of the 234 Nigerian teen girls kidnapped by an Islamist militant group called Boko Haram. Never mind that anti-Islam conservatives were the first folks to scream for media attention to this story; the nascent right-wing meme is now that Michelle Obama trivialized the story by hashtagging it. So Ann Coulter responded thusly on Twitter yesterday:”


So social media got even with good old Ann

Untitled 8 Untitled 7 Untitled 6 Untitled 5 Untitled 4 Untitled 3 Untitled 2

Good Bless our American Cousins.

Haiti’s struggle is K’naan musical mission

In Canada, East Coast, French Kiss, Loss of Life, Media, Money, Music, The Social, The World, Them Kids, West Coast on March 12, 2010 at 09:29

Just a tad…

K’naan keeps on waving.   A reworking of Wavin’ Flag was released this morning to support Haitian earthquake relief efforts.  You can purchase the song on iTunes here.  Free the Children, War Child Canada and World Vision will all benefit from the sales of this digital single.  Along with K’naan, 57 contributing artists lent their voices to this project.  They include
Avril Lavigne
Sam Roberts
Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan)
Tyler Connolly (Theory Of A Deadman)
Kardinal Offishall
Jully Black
Josh Ramsay (Marianas Trench)
Jay Malinowski (Bedouin Soundclash)
Chin Injeti
Jacob Hoggard (Hedley)
Red 1
Derek Whibley (Sum 41)
Serena Ryder
Emily Haines (Metric)
James Shaw (Metric)
Hawksley Workman
Pierre Lapointe
Corb Lund
Fefe Dobson
Jim Creegan (Barenaked Ladies)
Tom Cochrane
Kevin Parent
Lamar Ashe
Colin James
Nikki Yanofsky
Suzie McNeil
Stephan Moccio
Aoin Clarke
Kathleen Edwards
Jim Cuddy
Stacey McKitrick
Jessie Farrell
Colin MacDonald
Justin Nozuka
Hayley Sales
Matt Mays
City & Colour
Pat Kordyback (Stereos)
Dave Faber
Brandon Lehti
The Canadian Tenors
Justin Bieber
Torquil Campbell (Stars)
Broken Social Scene


You can make your donation through the Young Artists For Haiti Facebook Page.

1400+ days until the next Winter Olympics Games

In Canada, Media, Olympics, Them Kids, West Coast on March 7, 2010 at 11:06

Just a tad…

Yeah I’m not over it yet. It’s been a week since the ‘kid’ turned into a ‘Man’. The NHL is feeling tad boring right now. Not that any of the videos I’ve linked too will bring back that magic, it’s always nice to remember.

If you didn’t get to see this great commercial with Michael J. Fox, here’s you chance. Also some other

At 48 (that “61” on his sweater reps the year he was born), he’s been an American citizen for years. So really he’s the perfect guy to set all this up and also to remind us that which ever nation wins Sunday, it’s just a game. The victory for Fox is being able to lace up a pair of CCM Tacks, flip a puck on the ice and pick a corner, tremors be damned. Go Canada, and donate to Parkinson’s research at the Michael J. Fox Foundation here.

Just in case you don’t understand “The Beautiful Game” here’s Pat Kelly to give you the 411

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys

I’m Sick…yeah right

Fate…was forced!

Just so you know…we take Hockey personally here in Canada


Four seconds: Sidney Crosby’s goal like you’ve never seen it
How a few minor mistakes, barely noticeable acts of brilliance and decades of preparation handed Sidney Crosby – and Canada – a golden moment
March 7, 2010 Mary Ormsby

The goal is just a week old but it has already achieved the historic heft only a hockey nation can bestow.

Paul Henderson, the shinny scales of importance have shifted. Sidney Crosby is Canada’s freshly minted ice icon.

Crosby’s quick draw on American goaltender Ryan Miller last Sunday clinched an Olympic title for Canada. After three full periods and seven minutes and 40 seconds of overtime, the goal came in a four-second crucible of action that Crosby both initiated and finished. That frantic fragment of time included at least two dozen vital on-ice decisions.

From deteriorating ice to an official’s skate, from an urgent cry to a hit from behind, from a lowered head to the tilt of a stick, the thrilling game-breaker was no simple lucky shot, as Crosby has modestly suggested.

How do we know? The Toronto Star deconstructed those final four seconds.

We spoke to key players on the ice, on the bench and in Vancouver’s GM Place. We interviewed veteran NHL referee Bill McCreary, who was officiating his third Olympic gold medal final. And yes – if you listen carefully to the video – you can actually hear No. 87 scream, “Iggy!” over the murmuring crowd to get the attention of Jarome Iginla.

What became clear was it took the uncommon skills – physical, intellectual and intuitive – of a once-in-a-generation player to grab gold in four seconds.

Crosby later described the golden grenade fired through Miller’s legs this way: “I just shot it, maybe it went five-hole.”

But Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager Brian Burke, who was Team USA’s GM in Vancouver, begs to differ. “He was gracious in his comments by saying, `I don’t remember what I did,'” Burke says of Crosby. “But that’s bullshit.”

You can and SHOULD follow this link to read and view the rest of the article Here

How the musical part of the closing ceremonies should have gone

In Canada, Entertainment, Have to Laugh, Me Myself & I, Media, Music, Olympics, Pictures, The World, Them Kids, West Coast on March 3, 2010 at 15:33

Just a tad…

This goes out to everyone that watched the closing ceremonies of Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics:  On behalf of the many Canadian Twitters that enjoy and love Canadian Music, we just want to say sorry for the lack luster effort we put out for you, the WOLRD to see.  After Neil Young’s Long May You Run this is who you should have seen and what you should have heard.  Again sorry.



after the comedy montage and Michael Buble’s Maple Leaf Forever

Neil Young’s Long May You Run

From Quebec

Céline Dion  – any song as long as she’s only on stage for about 1.45 seconds 🙂

Rufus Wainwright’s Slideshow

Arcade Fire’s Wake Up

Sam Roberts’ Them Kids

The Dears’ Lights Off

West Coast

Swollen Members’ Pressure

Matthew Good’s Load Me Up

Bif Naked’s Tango Shoes

Mother Mother’s O My Heart

Rascalz and Friends’ Northern Touch

Central Canada

Nickelback’s Photograph (They don’t even have to take the stage…just play a huge photo montage of the last 17 days of Canada’s Athletes)

Feist’s I Feel It All


Tragically Hip’s 50 Mission Cup

Metric’s Live It Out

Treble Chargers’ Hundred Million

Esthero’s Country Livin’ (The World I Know)

East Coast

Wintersleep’s Weighty Ghost

Great Big Sea’s When I’m Up (I can’t get down)

Joel Plaskett’s Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

Classifed’s Oh Canada

Get Everyone Back On Stage To Finish With This Song

K’naan’s Waving Flag

So of course I’m missing some epic Northern Canadian Music so if you have some ideas send them my way.

It was all about the HBC Mittens

In Business, Canada, Have to Laugh, Media, Money, Olympics, South of the boarder, Sports, Them Kids, West Coast on February 28, 2010 at 11:17

Just a tad…

Forget about the opening ceremonies, the mild weather, the lack of access to the Olympic Flame or Own the Podium.  The story of these games will be the iconic red mittens from HBC.  Beyond any other Canadian sponsor, sans Molson Canadian Hockey House in Vancouver, these little mittens have gotten recognition through out Canada and the rest of the world.  Here’s to the you, the little mittens that could.


The Globe and Mail’s Marina Strauss on Friday Feb 26th, 2010

HBC tries to build on Olympic momentum
Empty shelves.  Lineups at the cashier. Missed sales.
Those are the problems Jeff Sherman struggled with when he took the helm of a fatigued Hudson’s Bay Co. 18 months ago. Today, the CEO of the venerable retailer, which owns the Bay and Zellers, faces similar snags. But for a good reason this time.  As official outfitter of the Canadian Olympics team, HBC has struck gold with its Games merchandise. Its stores have been selling out of Olympics-branded red mittens, black hoodies and buffalo-plaid scarves.  Mr. Sherman didn’t count on inventory shortages, but scarcity is creating a buzz. Consumers are using Twitter to ask others about HBC product sightings; the $10 wool mittens go for three times that price on eBay. This is not the sort of excitement that HBC is known for.  “Scarcity can create a perception of coolness,” said Chris Staples, president of Rethink Communications in Vancouver. “This is the first instance of cool stuff at the Bay that I can remember.”
The collateral benefit
Mr. Sherman is banking that shoppers noticed other new features in the stores when they visited for Olympics products or events. The Bay has added 150 new fashion labels, such as Juicy Couture, Theory and Hugo Boss, while dropping 700 underperforming brands from a roster of 1,200.  Mr. Sherman’s team is already developing the collection that will leverage the Olympics line. One inspiration is an Italian-style quilted jacket ($100) from the Olympic line that sold out the day after it was introduced.  At the same time, HBC’s heritage — the firm was founded in 1670 as a fur trading company — is being emphasized in the Bay’s Signature Shop and in advertising. And Mr. Sherman has elevated Bonnie Brooks, CEO of the Bay, to pitchwoman. She has been a visible presence in Vancouver, holding court at soirées and in media interviews. “Bonnie is both a credible voice of fashion and of change at the Bay,” said Arthur Fleischmann, president of the retailer’s ad agency, John St. “She cuts through and connects with people.”
You can read the full article at The Globe and Mail here

Is Kevin Smith Secretly Canadian?

In Canada, Entertainment, Have to Laugh, South of the boarder, The World Comes To Toronto, Them Kids, Toronto on January 31, 2010 at 11:26

Just a tad…

I read a very entertaining article in the Toronto Star this morning on Kevin Smith’s Toronto.   The 39 year old filmmaker/actor/comic book store owner talked about his favorite spots in Toronto including The Hockey Hall of Fame, the Eaton Centre and the Brass Rail strip club.  It got me thinking, could Kevin Smith secretly be a Canadian?  Although his birth certificate says Red Bank, New Jersey who’s to say that this couldn’t have been changed from its original birth place of Red Bank, New Brunswick .  Is this true, maybe, but you cannot deny the complete love affair Smith has with past television series, Kids of Degrassi, Degrassi Junior High and current Degrassi: The Next Generation.   Included in the Degrassi mess is his crush on Caitlin Ryan aka Stacie Mistysyn.  Alright  so maybe that’s a stretch too.

Kevin Smith plays Q&A at Roy Thomson Hall on February 6th in Toronto of course


Kevin Love T-Dot

Part One

Part Two

You can read Kevin Smith’s Toronto here on Toronto

Canadian Oldies but Goodies will Shine Brightly at The Grammys this Year

In Canada, Entertainment, Me Myself & I, Media, Music, South of the boarder, Them Kids on January 29, 2010 at 12:22

Just a tad…

They just keep on Rocking in the free world.  Canada’s continuous rock and roll prince, Neil Young and lyrical music poet Leonard Cohen will both be honored at 52nd Grammy Awards .  After watching Mr. Young spin is rock vibes singing, Long May You Run during the end of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and then team up with Dave Matthews to perform Hank Williams’ Alone and Foresaken; I had to dust off the old digital copies in iTunes plug back into my non existence years.

My parents have always loved Leonard Cohen.  My mom has said he has the musical presence of Trudeau.  Strong, present, soft and forceful all at the same time.

Apologies for the German Subtitles

Neil Young will be honored with the 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year award and Leonard Cohen will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy.  Congrats to both men.


Nick Patch’s full article in the Globe and Mail on Leonard Cohen can be read here

With the Grammy Awards about to honour Leonard Cohen, the 75-year-old Montreal legend decided to pay respect to his home country during a party at the Canadian consul general’s residence on Thursday.

Cohen, clad in a dark suit with his trademark fedora shading his eyes, climbed onstage alongside a group of other artists at the gathering – held annually in honour of Canadian Grammy nominees – before making a brief speech to the cheers of a grateful crowd.

“My great grandfather, Lazarus Cohen, came to Canada in 1869, to the county of Glengarry, a little town in Maberly,” Cohen said.

“It’s customary to thank people for the help and aid they’ve given. On this occasion, because of the great hospitality that was accorded my ancestor who came here over 140 years ago, I want to thank this country, Canada, for allowing us to live and work and flourish in a place that was different from all other places in the world.

“So I thank Canada for the opportunity that was given me to work and play and flourish. … Thank you, friends.”


Nick Patch also has an article on Neil Young that you can read in full here

Neil Young’s peers happy the Canadian rocker finally getting due from Grammy

By Nick Patch (CP) – 16 hours ago

LOS ANGELES — When Grammy gives its person of the year award to Neil Young this weekend, a star-studded cast of performers will be on hand to serenade the Toronto-born rock legend.

Sheryl Crow, Elton John, James Taylor, k.d. lang and John Mellencamp are just a few of the names who will perform at Friday’s MusiCares gala, and who will presumably have a chance to meet the elusive singer/songwriter.

Many Canadian artists who hold Young up as a Canuck icon still haven’t had the pleasure.

“I’ve always wanted to meet him,” Stompin’ Tom Connors told The Canadian Press in a recent interview.

“He’s got a great name for himself throughout the world and he’s well thought of back here in Canada. I’m looking forward to meeting him someday.

“If you see him before I do, let him know that I’d be willing to meet him, sit down and have a few beers.”

He’s not the only one.

It’s My Music Matters List…Deal with it!

In Canada, Me Myself & I, Media, Music, Tech, Them Kids on January 4, 2010 at 11:17

Just a tad…

This is it.  The end of the decade.  Music and making music over the last 10 years has been, well…interesting.  After Metallica’s (Lars Ulrich’s) battle with Napster, the way we listened and consumed music would never be the same.  P2P, Bit Torrents, MP3s and iPods would be new norm when it came to the new words in the dictionary of Music Industry.  RIAA south of the boarder went to war with everyone.  Illegal downloading 1 or 100 songs didn’t really matter.  All would be taken down.  Even with the rise of legitimate downloading sites like iTunes, the music industry couldn’t flame the fires of how people, customers, music listeners consumed music.  Towards the end of this decade Canada has now become the new mecca of Goggle type listings of thousands, no millions of open torrents to free music.

My Top Ten Albums (in no particular order)

From Canadian Bands ~

Arcade Fire

Mother Mother

Theory of a Deadman

Hot Hot Heat

The Trews


The Dears



Death From Above 1979

From Canadian Singer Songwriters ~

Rufus Wainwright

Sarah Hammer

Hawksley Workman


Sam Roberts

Matthew Good




Andrea Gauster

From UK Bands ~

The Good, The Bad and The Queen



Air Traffic

Bloc Party

Hard Fi





From UK Singer Songwriters ~

David Gray

Damien Rice

Thom Yorke

(honestly they are the only three people I like)

From US Bands ~


Foo Fighters

John Mayer Trio

Dave Matthews Band


The White Stripes

Kings of Leon

Cold War Kids

Black Kids

Blonde Redhead

From US Singer Songwriters ~

Pete Yorn

Amos Lee


Justine Timberlake


Gnarls Barkley

John Legend

Kelly Clarkson

Kanye West

Fiona Apple


Are the 2000s a decade without a ‘Thriller’ or ‘Nevermind’? Musicians say so

By Nick Patch (CP) TORONTO — In the 1990s, there was Nirvana’s “Nevermind.” In the ’80s, it was “Thriller.” But what was the album of the 2000s? Many musicians and tastemakers feel that the first decade of the 21st century is hurtling to a close without a similarly era-defining record. And in fact, with the music industry fractured and limping, and the Internet offering increasing access to an overwhelmingly massive pool of bands, is it still possible for a single album to amass the widespread cultural weight to capture the zeitgeist? “No, I think the Internet ruined that,” Tegan Quin of Tegan & Sara told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. “There’s too many groups now. It feels like everybody has a favourite band every five minutes.” Indeed, based on recent critical surveys of the past 10 years, a handful of albums have emerged as the cream of the decade’s crop, but no one record really stands out above the rest. Entertainment Weekly chose “The College Dropout,” the much-hyped 2004 debut of hip-hop producer extraordinaire Kanye West that tore down boundaries between underground and mainstream hip-hop and moved rap away from the gangsta trappings of the first part of the decade. NME, meanwhile, chose the Strokes’ “Is This It,” the uber-cool, garagey 2001 throwback to classic New York rock that, despite being a near-perfect pop record, had more of a lasting influence on hipster style (skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors) than on the future sound of rock music. The Onion’s AV Club picked the White Stripes’ “White Blood Cells,” which, in combination with “Is This It,” was tasked with saving rock ‘n’ roll following its ’01 release. The Guardian thought that “Original Pirate Material,” the blurred, British stoner-rap effort from the Streets’ Mike Skinner, was the best musical achievement of the decade. Q Magazine awarded a different Brit, giving top honours to Amy Winehouse’s neo-soul sophomore record, “Back to Black,” a massive hit in 2006 that spawned a wave of imitators who cloned Winehouse’s Dusty Springfield-influenced croon. Venerable American rock mag Rolling Stone and the increasingly influential Chicago webzine Pitchfork agreed on their top choice: Radiohead’s 2000 reinvention “Kid A,” in which the British rockers mostly abandoned the Pink Floyd-influenced rock of their past in favour of voicing their technological paranoia through minimalist electronic means. All those records have something in common: before or after their release, a critical frenzy predicted that they would change music. And certainly, all of those records proved influential. But if they weren’t game-changers on the level of “Thriller” or “Nevermind,” it might be because the newly splintered record industry – where music listeners craft their own iPod playlists instead of necessarily being beholden to MTV, MuchMusic or the radio – just doesn’t produce records that everyone can agree on anymore. “I think we’ve reached a point where it’s no longer going to be about record of the decade, because everything moves too quickly and there’s too many examples and there’s too many bands,” said Alexisonfire singer Dallas Green. “It’d be against what’s going on this decade to have one album,” said Passion Pit drummer Nate Donmoyer, who singled out Radiohead’s “Hail to the Thief” and the Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” as his personal records of the decade. “I think this decade’s about being able to get whatever you want, from old, bebop jazz to soul to punk to everything that’s ever happened in the musical world, all at the same time. “I think to reflect what’s happening now you’d have to have at least 20 albums of the decade.” Melissa Auf der Maur, who played with Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins while releasing solo material this past decade, agreed with Donmoyer – and saw the musical splintering as a positive. “I think what’s amazing about the 21st century is that it’s everything all the time,” she said. “It’s future, it’s revivalism, it’s all mixed and wacky. It’s a really cool time in music. … So I’d say the defining thing for the first part of the 21st century is that there’s no style – all style is wrapped up into one.” In fact, some say that a lack of definition is what really defined the past 10 years in music. “This decade is marked by the absence of that singular game-changing act,” said Alan Cross, host of “ExploreMusic with Alan Cross” and “The Ongoing History of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” in a recent telephone interview. “There really hasn’t been a defining band in the ’00s, but I would say it’s the indie sensibility, the rise of the indie band, and it wasn’t one particular band, but a series of them that showed how things could be done as an independent artist, and I would certainly include the Arcade Fire, along with the White Stripes and the Strokes in that number.” That rise was no doubt fuelled by the Internet, where the proliferation of music blogs helped small bands receive major press. Never before were bands able to find so many listeners without major-label backing and widespread radio play. Canadian acts including the Arcade Fire, Feist and Broken Social Scene found millions of ears around the world largely on the strength of word of mouth. Of course, the Internet also gave way to the era of the backlash, where some bands saw breathless adulation give way to visceral vitriol before their albums were even available for purchase – or download. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend – those New York purveyors of preppy afro-pop and certainly one of the most divisive bands of the past 10 years – said it would be nearly impossible for a band to reach culture-defining status in a time where any criticism is amplified by the Internet’s open mike. “I think we’re past the point where a band can have the illusion that they’re on top of the world and everybody loves them,” Koenig, whose personal choice for the decade’s best album was the Walkmen’s “Bows & Arrows,” said in a recent interview. “People have more opportunities to voice their negativity. So I think that any band that becomes successful, or any band that gets a lot of critical praise, you will be able to find visceral and angry dissent. “Any band that could pretend that ‘everyone really likes our music’ – that was an illusion. We’re past the point where the illusion of total cultural dominance and agreeance can exist.” And yet, some musicians like the idea that an era-defining album that manages to unite disparate groups of music listeners could be waiting just around the corner. “If we didn’t believe that you could make an amazing record that everyone can love, we’d have to quit,” said Two Hours Traffic frontman Liam Corcoran. “Because every time out we’re trying to make the absolute best music we can.” The Canadian Press asked a number of musicians which album they thought defined the decade, drawing a diverse cross-section of responses. -Out of several dozen interviews, Green Day drummer Tre Cool was the only musician to select one of his own band’s records for album of the decade – and he made no apologies for doing so. “‘American Idiot’ and ’21st Century Breakdown’ are the albums of the decade,” Cool said in a telephone interview, without a trace of irony. In justifying his selections, Cool said that “American Idiot” perfectly summed up Bush-era frustration and disillusionment with a government that didn’t represent the majority of Americans. “It actually goes there and talks about the time … it takes a photograph of what’s going on,” he said. “I think it sort of it’s empowering also. It doesn’t just talk about you know, something mundane. I could use examples (of mundane albums) but I’m gonna keep it classy.” -Beck’s masterful 2002 album “Seachange” was a sublime breakup record, but lately it’s just bringing people together. Corcoran said he “played (the album) out for about two years” and called it his sentimental favourite, while the White Stripes’ Jack White only needed a few moments to consider the question before selecting “Seachange” as his album of the decade. “That’s an incredible record,” he said. But when members of his band, the Dead Weather, brought the Strokes’ debut into the discussion, White said he loved that record too. -Toronto hip-hop artist Kardinal Offishall was one of the few artists to make up his mind quickly. After noting that this decade wasn’t his favourite for music, and giving a shout-out to one of his preferred artists of the past 10 years (Outkast’s Andre 3000), the personable rapper settled on what he thought was the record of the ’00s: 50 Cent’s 2003 debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.” “I think that was a changing of the guard,” he said. “He generated a really organic … crazy buzz in hip-hop. He made a name out of a crazy hustle and a crazy grind. Whether you love 50 Cent or hate 50 Cent or whatever, just the way he was able to market himself and turn 50 Cent the rapper into 50 Cent the brand? That was really important for hip-hop. He opened a lot of doors … in an industry that really didn’t accept us in a lot of ways before.” -Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and the Strokes’ “Is This It” have been popping up on more than their fair share of album-of-the-decade lists, but the principal songwriters in each band have no idea what they’d choose themselves. “That’s a tough one – I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” said Strokes singer Julian Casablancas in a recent telephone interview with The Canadian Press. “I’m a terrible judge. I’m a terrible person to pick.” He eventually tossed out a few names – the Arctic Monkeys, Dirty Projectors and 50 Cent – which is more than Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy would offer. “I can’t even remember my favourite records that I listened to today,” Tweedy said in a phone interview. “I don’t have that kind of energy to quantify things like that.” -In a telephone interview, Pet Shop Boys’ Chris Lowe was adamant that there was no album of the decade (“Does anybody buy albums anymore?” he wondered aloud), and that if anything, the ’00s were marked by singles, not LPs. But when bandmate Neil Tennant shouted his choice – Winehouse’s “Back to Black” – from the background, Lowe was quick to change his tune. “That’s inarguably the best album of the decade,” he declared. “It’s the only album of the decade. No question. We agree on that. (It’s got) fantastic songs, brilliant production, she’s got an amazing voice. Everything about is good. … She’s had quite a time following it up!”

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