I tried to write a solid comment to Murf after this post but really it’s worthy of its own post.
I disagree with the way the Junos are going about things. I would want to be there in an instant to see Coldplay perform, but that is (almost) beside the point. I’m a hypocrite. However, I don’t see why the big acts have to be from another country. Murf mentioned Neil Young, I’ll throw out the Hip and the Guess Who. Hell even try for current artists like Avril or Sum 41. Nickelback will still draw fans, the same way they still sell records and are always on the radio. The difference is that they’re all Canadian.
I’m not completely opposed to what was suggested in the first article that prompted my original post. Like the Grammys did, pair the commercial act with those less contempory. It could produce some interesting and original ensembles.
Actually, here’s two good ones that pop out that aren’t even commercial with unusual: get Diana Krall to perform with her husband Elvis Costello. Then get Feist to perform Secret Heart with Ron Sexsmith. It’s not that hard, and these would be less tits and glitz and more actual talent and the music. Krall, Feist and Sexsmith are all nominated for multitudes of awards. Then get one of the urban nominations to perform with the jazz nominations, and maybe even Neil Young, backed up by one of the country nominations. I guarantee it would be a grand representation of Canadian music.
At the end of the day, CTV is trying to make the Junos something they’re not. Most of the awards aren’t going to be awarded on TV and the two major performers aren’t even Canadian. It should be a focus on recognizing Canadian music, no matter how grass roots it has to be. Give it back to the CBC, they’ll pretty much have to air it, regardless of whether it’s any good or not.
I was talking last night with someone about a cultural policy, which for those who don’t know (like myself) is a government policy dictating how it will support and promote the culture of the country, such as the arts, drama, dance, music, history, heritage and museums, the whole shebang (My first reaction to this was that something all covering and well done could do wonders for Quebec, because one of the key reasons for the separatist talk is the loss of Francophone culture, but that is beside the point). Canada doesn’t have an established broad sweeping one, but it is there in some cases, such as the National Film board and the Canadian law to make sure most of the TV broadcasts across Canada are Canadian content and why when you watch something on Fox like the OC, you usually get the Global feed with Canadian commercials (same reason why we don’t get the Super Bowl commercials).
Music unfortunately doesn’t appear to fall under the umbrella of any policy, despite it being an important part of our culture. Make fun of Canadian music if you want (some of it definitely deserves it), but it is an essential reflection of us. Despite some pretty bad imitations of popular music from the States, Canadian music as a whole is unique to us, it’s part of our social fabric.
Maybe it’s just me, but it’s not just the Junos either, it’s the whole Canadian Idol/eTalk Daily drivel. It just feels wrong, it feels fake. And it’s only getting worse:
MTV Canada is starting up as an all-talk station, carrying no music videos. At the same time, Much Music has applied for permission to reduce music-video content to 50% down from 65%. Before it was a joke that you couldn’t actually watch music on Much Music, now it is becoming a sad reality. Link
Honestly, is there an audience for our Canadian Idols and the Much Music VJ search?