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Re: The Yanx and Canux

On Fri, 31 Mar 1995, Joe Clark wrote:

> But don't French, German, and especially Australian bands also have

french and german bands generally sing in french and german.  this would 
probably marginalize their appeal in north america.

> marginal appeal aux États-Unis? Midnight Oil and Hoodoo Gurus aren't

at the ttime of their "deisel and dust" lp, midnight oil were quite 
possibly one of the most popular pop bands in the world.  they did not, 
however, keep up with the tide of public fancy, so their sun faded.  They 
still, however, have lots of fans.

> exactly as big as the Stolling Rhônes, though Crowded House does figure in

the rolling stones have been around since the sixties.  they appeared in 
america at a time when british music was being embraced as a change from 
the simplistic, sterile pop that america was producing a the time.  What 
we are seeing now is a backlash in terms of popularity of foreign bands 
in america.  the culture (in terms of mainstream rock) has been so 
overewhelmed in terms of brit pop straight through to the eighties, when 
every band wanted to be british (duranduran, the cure, etc,etc), that 
there is now a strong movement to make "american misic".  The fact that 
the rolling stones still have popularity is because they are a leftover 
from a bygone era - a british band these days would have little chance of 
having such a succesful career in america (elastica, oasis, blur, etc).  
Crowded house (who started out in the eighties) have managed to slip into 
mainstream consciousness at the tail end of this eighties brit pop 
appreciation.  That explains why they have managed to keep a rather 
steady fan base (although have any of their records reached "temple of lo 
Men" in terms of sucess since that time?).
because of this backlash towards foreign music canadian mnusic (which is 
by definition NOT american - no matter how hard some might try) can not 
suceed as "canadian" music in the US.  the only two canadian acts in 
recent years to acheive sucess in the US have been the crash test dummies 
and bryan adams - both of which recorded theit albums in america for 
american labels, etc, etc, and have down played their "canadian-ness".

> BTW, I'm happy to give props to Canadian bands in Canada. A lot of Canadian

no, joe, i get the props, and you get the buttocks.

> bands are happy with that too. Who needs the Americans? And heck, we can

you (and others) seem to be confusing mainstream sucess and independant 
sucess.  they are apples and oranges.  most of the sucessful canadian 
indie bands (bands on canadian indie labels) are not in positions to quit 
whatever jobs they have currently outside of music, and very few ever 
will be.  Most american indie bands still have to have day jobs as well.  
To compare the level of sucess that say Pest 5000 have with someone like 
seBADoh is ludicrous.  derivative don't have the resources of subpop to 
promote their bands or send their bands on tour.  

in order to stay totally independant, and to be able to support 
yourselves and your bands as well takes a lot of time.  Candada does not 
have the network of independant distribution, independant record stores, 
'zine culture, plus the geography of the country makes it virtually 
impossible to tour effectively.  for a band in canada to even come close 
to matching the success of a popular american independant is very 
doubtful IMHO.

Don't get me wrong - i'd love to see this happen, it would be great if 
such a community were to develop, but it seems that most of canada's more 
popular indie bands are content to sign to majors asap, or to go with US 
indie labels - actions that are detrimental to the integrity of a 
"canadian" scene.  

> build our own communities or proto-communities, like SloanNet.

it's a start, but 150 records sold does not a career make.  it'll take a 
lot more than a sloan net to make indie music viable in a canadian 
context.  If there were sloan nets in every region of canada documenting 
every single scene (no matter how marginal or insignificant) then we 
might be getting somewhere, but it would seem that there isn't, so we've 
got a long way to go.


>                                         Joe Clark
>                                     joeclark\!/hookup.net
>                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~