Tuesday, October 23, 2007

getting past "eh"

Lately as part of my program of Canadian cultural conditioning, I've been listening to Joni Mitchell albums. Right now I have "Blue" playing in the stereo, and it's fantastic.

Canada seems like kind of an underdog country, at least to this culturally semi-literate American, but the more you look the more amazing artists you find have come from here. I suppose that's the catch - lots of great musicians come from Canada, but many leave it to go somewhere else. And so Americans end up imagining this big, cold, empty country that people are scrambling to escape.

Well, hopefully that will change, and it already has in my mind anyway. I've been reading a lot of Canadian authors, like Alice Munro and Vincent Lam. Lam's debut novel Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is one of those books that keeps reminding me of people and places I've known. My friends Brad and Denise gave me a little book called "So You Want to Be Canadian?" when I moved up here, but the more I look the more vast this country seems to become. And I still don't even understand a thing about hockey. Oh well.


Spot said...

And for every amazing artist, there's a Nickelback or Sum 41 to even the score.

patrick said...

Hey Matt, if you'd like a musical crash-course on Canadian history, I'd recommend you familiarise (note the lack of the letter ZED!) yourself with The Tragically Hip. Even if you don't enjoy the music, at least they're a pretty safe topic for conversation amongst Canadians.
besides hockey...

LR said...


You should also check out Paul Quarrington's books, especially Home Game.(Interestingly, Paul is brother to bassist Joel Quarrington...) I think Dono owns it, its a great read!


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