Posted on September 30, 2009
ONE STAR AT A TIME
Growing up, most of us went through musical phases by genre, but in my case I seemingly went through phases based on geography. At one point I was in a British chapter, listening only to Duran Duran, Blur, Pulp, Oasis and The Verve. During junior high I was stuck on the U.S. of A. and couldn’t get enough of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. Looking back, the most loved part of my musical trip around the world was most definitely Canada.
Canadian music has, without a doubt, had the deepest impact on my personal musical history. While I’m not sure if the same is true for most of you, I know that for myself, I can pinpoint almost any time in my life and attach a song to it. When I entered high school, “Naveed” by Our Lady Peace was forever on repeat. During the summer of 1996, many day trips down Vancouver Island were filled by Sarah McLachlan’s “Building A Mystery.” High school graduation was marked with Bif Naked’s I Bificus and I can recall countless snow-filled walks through my mom’s neighbourhood in the Comox Valley with Sam Roberts’ debut record spinning on my Sony Discman.
Perhaps it’s simply the fact that, because these artists are homegrown, there’s a naturally instilled sense of pride when listening. Whatever the reason for the intrinsic connection to music of the Canadiana variety, it amazes me how nourishing it feels to re-visit my past by listening once again. Several days ago I purchased “Bobcaygeon” by the Tragically Hip on iTunes and have since lost count of the number of times I’ve listened to it. That is, however, when I’m not relentlessly spinning Closer, Sarah McLachlan’s greatest hits collection.
Maybe these songs feel safe to me. Maybe these songs represent times in my life when everything turned out alright and serve to remind me that everything is still turning out alright – or even better than before. Regardless, despite it all, this music ensures that I walk to work each day with a huge grin on my face. Yes, even on Mondays.