Friday, October 17, 2008

TVD's Parting Shots

This is our final installment closing out our “It Came From the North” theme week, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Americans take for granted their inalienable right to kick out the jams to whatever music they want. Perhaps you will be surprised and amused to hear that in Canada we have something called the MAPL system, a series of government-sanctioned regulations to maintain certain ratios of music with “Canadian content” on the airwaves. On one hand, that can be a good thing, giving home-grown artists a helping hand with gaining exposure. On the other hand, it’s a dictatorial measure to influence what gets played based on extraneous features, regardless of quality.

Of course I never knew about this MAPL business when I was growing up, innocently flipping on the radio and absorbing everything the federal government deemed fit to broadcast to thousands of impressionable little Canadians. I was raised on this stuff instead of whatever you Americans were listening to out there in the free-radio zone. Now I’m feeling conflicted… Do I passionately adore these songs because they’re so good? Or is it because I’ve been behaviorally conditioned to think so, salivating every time they come on the radio like one of Pavlov’s dogs? Does it even matter now that I don’t listen to the radio anymore? Let’s hear some objective opinions from our esteemed readers: Did Canadian radio raise me right? Or was my musical taste forever corrupted by arbitrary programming regulations?

The Tragically Hip - At the Hundredth Meridian (Mp3)
Platinum Blonde - Crying Over You (Mp3)
Northern Pikes - Girl With A Problem (Mp3)
Age Of Electric - I Don’t Mind (Mp3)
Cowboy Junkies - Anniversary Song (Mp3)
Tom Cochrane - Life Is A Highway (Mp3)
Sarah McLachlan - Building A Mystery (Mp3)
Arrogant Worms - Last Saskatchewan Pirate (Mp3)
Great Big Sea - The Night Pat Murphy Died (Mp3)
Junkhouse - Oh What A Feeling (Mp3)


Anonymous said...

you got anything from Sun 60's first album? Middlie Of My Life, Should Have Seen The Moon and Responsible would be nice.

Chris said...

I wouldn't worry that the Canadian government made you listen to crap. I lived on the American side of the border, and listened to both CanCon programmed stations with MAPL (get it? Maple Leaf...hehe Pretty damned ingenious if you ask me), and American pop/rock stations. I have to say that the ones on the Canadian side had better sounding music. Sure, there were Platinum Blondes, but there was also Harlequin, Red Rider (pre-solo Tom Cochrane - was he listed on those albums as Cochran? I think so. Try "White Hot," or "Don't Fight It" from the first album. Even "Lunatic Fringe" was hot!), and of course The Hip and others. I think it did benefit Canadian artists. Martha & the Muffins were among those early 80s bands that really would have been hidden gems. Parachute Club. So many others. Great to see this posting... Thanks!

Ramya J said...

I'm 110% with the good ole Cnd. gov't on this. Without MAPL we may never have heard any of the lesser known Canadian gems. And we're bound to get exposure to American bands either's inevitable.