Over at Poptimists, we’re in the midst of a massive Best of the Decade POLL-a-thon. Conspicuously absent from most nominations are a bunch of songs that were inescapable back in the early days of the decade, when I was young and impressionable and listened to the radio a great deal. On reflection and a bit of research, I realized that CanCon is to blame for this.
Essentially, legislation exists in Canada to promote Canadian culture by mandating a certain percentage of music played on the radio must be home-grown talent. Of course, at the height of mass-produced pop music (late 90s/early 00s), this often resulted in the pimping of Canadian artists groomed to reproduce current American pop trends. Massively popular in Canada, but most never broke in the States. Thus, non-Canuck music aficionados of my generation remain blissfully unaware of its existence. Some of the music is terrible, but most is as alright/bad/weird as mainstream American pop at the time. As we poll forward through the decade, I feel as though there is a vague responsibility to dredge up these songs from the waste-bin of Canadian music history, dust them off, and expose them to the light, if only for three and a half minutes.
More substantive treatment of it later, as well as some genuinely good music, but for now, one of the most egregious offenses caused by CanCon (besides Nickelback, of course). Chuckle away. Dance. And cringe.
They’ll make you come tonight. (Over to their house.)