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Thread: Canadian Lead Singers-- Something in the Water?

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Canadian Lead Singers-- Something in the Water?

    I was thinking about this the other day. There are and have been a plethora of Canadian bands that have graced the airwaves of American Pop Culture throughout the history of modern tunes.
    Seems to me, and keep in mind I am a rabid Rush fan, that most Canadian lead singers have very distinct (some may call annoying) singing voices.
    Think about it, Friends...
    I'll start with my most framiliar example:
    -Geddy Lee from Rush. Very high-pitched voice. A lot of folks have told me that Rush is an awesome band, their lyrics are very cerebral and the musicianship is amazing, but I cannot STAND that voice.
    -Niel Young: very subtle, Kermit the Frog-ish voice. I love his tunes, but as another Canadian, he too has a very distinct voice.
    -Joni Mitchell: Me? Oh heck no. I am not a fan, but my mother is and growing up, I heard a lot of her. An very (some may be distinct again) annoying voice.
    Recent quick examples: Think of the 1990s.
    -Crash Test Dummies. Very low-pitched vocal styling of this group from Winterpeg.
    -Alanis Morisette: Sounds like a lot of angry-chick rock vocalist, but tends to be throaty and "yelps" every now and then.
    -The lead man for the Tragically Hip. Has a little different flavor to him. I just began listening to them though and cannot get into specifics.

    So what gives, Canada? Is it the back bacon? Hockey Night in Canada? Tim Horton's donuts? The Labatt Brewing company? The Trailer Park Boys? I've sampled all of them and nothing has changed for me...

    Please offer insight or other examples below...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Don't forget Bryan Adams, although his voice could be compared to a lot of other singers though, right?

    And then there's Nickelback...oh how I wish that band would die!!! They are radio's annoying puppet.

    Also, I am a fan of Rush and I loved Alanis's Jagged Little Pill album, but yes, their voices can indeed be annoying!! Alanis' yelp espeically...*shivers*
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
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    We can't forget about "Nash the Slash"! Find him and other great Canadian bands at: http://www.canadianbands.com/
    There's classics in there...

    Bill

    _____________

    “Mmmmm... I look good. I mean really good. Hey everyone... come and see how good I look!”

    - Ron Burgundy

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Other Canadian musicians that should die:

    - Celine Dion: for the Titanic song if nothing else... that song makes me wish for instant death.

    - Shania Twain: she's hot but she started the "cross-over country" that has become so irritating.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  5. #5
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Also don't forget the lead singer for Cowboy Junkies... Margo Timmins
    Last edited by teshadoh; 27 Sep 2005 at 8:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Let's not forget the band that sold more records in 1971 than The Beatles and The Doors, combined.....The Guess Who. Lead singer was Burton Cummings. The group hailed from Winnipeg. (When they split, part of their band became Bachman-Turner-Overdrive....."Taking Care Of Business".)

    Anybody remember Lighthouse? Great horn/jazz/rock band of the early 1970's. Had some hits in the USA. They had a couple lead singers, in a band with about twelve (12) members.

    Winnie The Poo wasn't exactly a lead singer, but he also hailed fron northern Ontario, just down the lane from Shania Twain.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread

    - Shania Twain: she's hot but she started the "cross-over country" that has become so irritating.
    She IS hot, and I'm actually buying into the cross-over country thing, for the simple facts that

    a) decent rock music has fallen by the wayside (the only good rock band from the past 10 yrs is Velvet Revolver).

    b) country music is actually more rock n' roll than a lot of bands today...they actually have guitar solos, upbeat tunes, and a good rock boogie goin'

    c) every rock and pop singer is becoming a hippie/ultra-liberal/nerdy reject who is anti-Bush all the time and country music is the only genre I can identify with politically, since music is all about politics these days for some reason

    Before you all kick my a$$, roll your eyes, or gasp with shock...it's just my opinion!!
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Here are a few lower tier artists:


    Kim Mitchell (Go for a soda and I am a wild party plus various Max Webster songs)
    David Wilcox
    Tom Cochrane (Big League / Boy inside the man)
    Don't forget the singers from the Bare Naked Ladies

    For the retro crowd don't forget Cory Hart and Gowan.

    Gord Downey is the lead singer of teh hip
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    c) every rock and pop singer is becoming a hippie/ultra-liberal/nerdy reject who is anti-Bush all the time and country music is the only genre I can identify with politically, since music is all about politics these days for some reason

    Before you all kick my a$$, roll your eyes, or gasp with shock...it's just my opinion!!
    So you're saying ya like the Dixie Chicks cuz Ted Nugent's too liberal?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    You Canadians don't get off that easy - don't forget Corey Hart (I Wear My Sunglasses at Night) and Loverboy. Ironically, both those guys sang with weird Brooklyn accents, kind of like Vinny Barbarino.

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    The next "big" male lead singer from Canada - the new lead singer of INXS. Watch for them at a casino near you.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    The next "big" male lead singer from Canada - the new lead singer of INXS. Watch for them at a casino near you.

    J. D. Fortune, a former elvis impersonator turned INSX frontman... gotta love those Canadians... its how we're slowly invading the USA... well, not really... but hey, a Canadian can dream can't he?
    Mitchbaby: Proud to be a :canada: planner and a :canada: surfer

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    So you're saying ya like the Dixie Chicks cuz Ted Nugent's too liberal?
    a) I only like Shania, Big & Rich, Toby Keith, and a few others. Very limited. But in general, it's a lot less liberal than the Green Day/Coldplay crowd.

    b) Ted Nugent is classic rock. And classic rock is gold for me, regardless of the politics, because the rock music is in your face, not the politics. At least it is for me. I'm a big fan of late 70s/80s pop-rock, primarily. And there's very few blatant political messages in those songs.

    c) Ted Nugent is the exception to the rule. I haven't seen any other musician as prestigious as him having the balls to flaunt their conservative views in a very liberal entertainment scene.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    c) Ted Nugent is the exception to the rule. I haven't seen any other musician as prestigious as him having the balls to flaunt their conservative views in a very liberal entertainment scene.

    AALLLLLLRIIIIIIIGHT TIME FOR ze-WANGO ze-TANGO

    I like classic country and western. Willie Nelson, old Alabama, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash. I do not like the mainstream stuff. As for Conservative country, that was ruined when I worked banquet for the Northern Colo. Chapter for the NRA in college. Nothing like old gun nuts pumping their fists while Toby Keith talks about putting a boot in your ass or some ignorant &*#% to ruin country and western for me.

    And I support the 2nd Amendment... I also support diplomacy when it comes to world affairs though...

    As for the Nuge, I like him. Some of his views are extreme but I admire his gumption. And he puts on ONE HELL of a show. (I saw him twice when he toured on one of Kiss' farewell tours...)

    ON TOPIC:
    Good answers for the Canadian ones, but why are their voices so different. British singers sound American while singing? Also who judges the Canadian Idol on CTV?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner

    And then there's Nickelback...oh how I wish that band would die!!! They are radio's annoying puppet.
    OT: Check out this MP3, "Nickelback to Back." From WFMU's On the Download: "Overlap two of their hits, and it really IS the same song." They're right!!!

    http://archive.wfmu.org:5555/archive...lbackthing.mp3

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    [QUOTE=zmanPLAN
    ON TOPIC:
    Good answers for the Canadian ones, but why are their voices so different. British singers sound American while singing? Also who judges the Canadian Idol on CTV?[/QUOTE]

    Sass Jordan
    Jake Gold
    and a another guy.

    It is hosted by Ben Mulroney, son of former PM Brian.

    For all other news ....

    http://www.ctv.ca/idol/gen/HomeAudition.html
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  17. #17
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I do kind of like Nickelback... even if it is the same song...

    Also the only MTV Cribs I watched featured the lead singer's house in Vancouver and he has some good taste.

    I wonder what BC's laws for squatting are...

    Quote Originally posted by donk
    Sass Jordan
    Jake Gold
    and a another guy.

    It is hosted by Ben Mulroney, son of former PM Brian.

    For all other news ....

    http://www.ctv.ca/idol/gen/HomeAudition.html
    At first you said it was Brian Mulroney hosting it...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    :ON TOPIC:
    Good answers for the Canadian ones, but why are their voices so different. British singers sound American while singing? Also who judges the Canadian Idol on CTV?
    Canadians have to be slightly different on everything they do. Its part of their national identity problem. They cannot accept the fact that they are a country of immigrants where different lingustic styles prevail based upon geography. Canadian language is almost national (with the exception of Quebec). I was really amused by this when I travelled from Detroit (where I am used to the accent spoken by those living in Windsor) and crossed the border from very western sounding Idaho into British Columbia. Folks in BC sounded exactly like those in Windsor Ontario, even though the folks in Idaho sound nothing like those in BC. If you look at aerial photos of these areas you will notice there is no boundaries between them, (well there is an easilly traversed river in the Straits of de Troit), but the differences between Canadians (nationalistic) and United States residents (independence) cultures are remarkable.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Canadians have to be slightly different on everything they do. Its part of their national identity problem. ... If you look at aerial photos of these areas you will notice there is no boundaries between them, (well there is an easilly traversed river in the Straits of de Troit), but the differences between Canadians (nationalistic) and United States residents (independence) cultures are remarkable.
    Off-topic:

    I think that is a very simplistic viewpoint. As an American in Canada, I hear all different types of accents. Ever talk to a Newfie (someone from Newfoundland)?... the sound *nothing* like someone from the West Coast and they even have localized vocabulary. Similarly, I can recognize someone from the Toronto area almost immediately as well. There are certain words that are pronounced different than in the States, and Americans only tend to hear that difference. If you were to listen more closely though you would pick up the nuances of accent as well. As an example, the word "about" sounds different than Americans say it no matter where you go in Canada... but depending on where you do go in Canada, it does sound a bit different than other locales. Out here in Alberta, it sounds more like "a-boat" and back east it's more like "aboot". Just had to get in my 2 cents, because it seems like Americans are always over-simplifying Canadian culture. This ends my public service announcement.

  20. #20

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    I have to be obscure ,

    The vocals in the Montreal-based "post-rock scene" for the relatively few bands that have vocals, are an acquired taste.

    For example, Montreal's Ephraim (Godspeed You Black Emperor) hs a vocal project called "Silver Mount Zion." He sings in a kind of strained, plaintive, thin voice. Not a falsetto, really. But, certainly not a "good" voice, either.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I have heard a difference between my anglo-phone cousins from Laval, Quebec... and my girlfriend's family's friends from Nelson, BC and the Calgary area.

    What does someone from Yellowknife sound like? Does anyone actually live in Yellowknife?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    Off-topic:

    I think that is a very simplistic viewpoint. As an American in Canada, I hear all different types of accents. Ever talk to a Newfie (someone from Newfoundland)?... the sound *nothing* like someone from the West Coast and they even have localized vocabulary. Similarly, I can recognize someone from the Toronto area almost immediately as well. There are certain words that are pronounced different than in the States, and Americans only tend to hear that difference. If you were to listen more closely though you would pick up the nuances of accent as well. As an example, the word "about" sounds different than Americans say it no matter where you go in Canada... but depending on where you do go in Canada, it does sound a bit different than other locales. Out here in Alberta, it sounds more like "a-boat" and back east it's more like "aboot". Just had to get in my 2 cents, because it seems like Americans are always over-simplifying Canadian culture. This ends my public service announcement.

    Whoops forgot that the Newfies were even Canadians! Yes I remember once being at a party and thoughout the party the Newfie guy got totally smashed. He went from talking very deliberately plain english to well, you've heard the newfies, and I'm sure you've seen drunks! I do realize my explainations was overlysimplified, but after all I was trying to convey the theory to a mostly US based culture (therefore I'm sure you understand). They're a lot like those poor Yoopers in the US.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    Sass Jordan
    Jake Gold
    and a another guy.

    It is hosted by Ben Mulroney, son of former PM Brian.

    For all other news ....

    http://www.ctv.ca/idol/gen/HomeAudition.html
    The other two guys who are judges on the Canadian Idol are Farley Flex and Zack Werner.

    Isn't the show also semi-hosted by Jon Dore, the annoying not-so-fummy comedian?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I saw a Canadian performer last night called McRorie. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. He sang cover tunes of 80s music- like AC/DC, Van Halen and some 90s rap- like Sir Mixalot. He was by himself, but sounded like a full band. There were sensors on his feet that made drum sounds, keyboards down his arms and he did something to sound like a guitar. Truly hilarious. He opened for Beck, so I knew something more exciting was coming.

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