Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Canadian Bands

In the Canadian media, be it television or radio, you're required to play content that has been created by Canadian artists and made right here in the great white north.  It's a condition of licence and the percentages are pretty high.  The abbreviation to this rule is CanCon.

Hate it or love it this is something imposed by the governing body that is the CRTC and companies must ensure they meet these percentages in order to continue doing business.  There are other countries that have similar rules including Australia, Israel and the UK to name a few.

For me growing up in Canada this rule introduced me to many artists I would never have heard of otherwise.  There was a period in the 90s when I don't know if I could have told you if a band was Canadian or not.  There was simply so much amazing Canadian music on the airwaves and it didn't matter if it was Canadian or not.  They were being played alongside the biggest acts from all corners of the globe and they sounded like they belonged.  Remember this was a time when the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Weezer were breaking through.  To hear a band like Pluto, Rusty, The Gandharvas  or Esthero just meant they deserved to be book ended by those international acts.

In 2012 the competition is even tougher.  The opportunities to breakthrough are slimmer and harder than ever before.  Yes there are more outlets and avenues to be heard - but that just means only a handful will get their chance to break through the clutter because anyone and everyone can stick some music up online.

I have the luxury of being able to see and hear many of this countries finest on a daily basis.  Some make it internationally like Drake, Justin Bieber, deadmau5, Metric and Carly Rae Jepsen but for each of these success stories there are thousands more incredible talents that have yet to break through.  It's not to say they aren't successful as there are endless acts that have made it here and continue to do so each year.

Here are 10 Canadian bands/artists I love and feel should have made it on an international level.  Many have had some success elsewhere - but they really are world class and should have gone further.

The Junction



The Mark Inside

Young Empires

Marianas Trench


Kathleen Edwards

The Sheepdogs

Down With Webster

As we approach Canada Day I'm reminded how great this place really is.  The people, the culture and music are like nothing else on earth and we should be proud.

Happy Canada Day.


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