For you, the dress code is casual.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On the TV Menu: Junk Food!

So, it's back! CBS's Rock Star!

See, I've always watched the lame-ass music shows. As a 10-year-old, I watched and enjoyed "Puttin' on the Hits," a terrible waste of a program that lasted for all of a single season, in which contestants would come out and lip synch to popular hits of the day... which meant Phil Collins and Bananarama. LOVED it, I did.

As time has gone on, I'm pretty selective about my musical reality programming. I mean, I'll 'watch' American Idol, but I don't get that into it. I miss more shows than I catch, and can't really get into any one performer that much, usually. The problem with AI is pretty simple: The talent's not very exciting.

Oh, sure, you disagree. But the recording industry doesn't. They think I'm bang on. Why? Where's the proof? No one lets them sing their songs! You don't see Pink Floyd getting covered there, do you? Or Coldplay? Or the Black Crowes? Or Nirvana? Or the Police? No! Why not? THEY HAVE FUCKING STANDARDS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

American Idol's glorified karaoke, and nothing more. Fun TV, sure, but when it comes to getting a PERFORMANCE, I'll watch Rock Star, thankyouverymuch.

Shit, half the kids have lived on the streets. They've clawed their way onto the road, they've performed in shitholes, they've lived a little life. They're not naive and hopeful, lucking out on Fox program with the hopes of singing hackneyed old "standards" and diva-esque bullshit (Mariah, baby) that may show vocal range but does sweet fuck all for performance criteria.

Hell, the latest American Idol can't even dance. He's like a member of the Joe Cocker "Let's Make a Milkshake" club of dancing, for god's sake.

This kid, and the South African-turned-Texan chick have my money on 'em for most likely new frontpersons for the so-called "supergroup" SuperNova, who this season's Rock Star candidates are trying out for. The guy's Lukas Rossi, the latest Canadian to step up to the plate. Hell, one won the gig last time out, and I've a feeling the Canucks are gonna win this time, too.

Thing is, no one realizes Canadians can rock. They think, "Barenaked Ladies," yawn, and "Bryan Adams" epitomize Canadian music. Nah! Never! Not! Fuck them and the pop horses they rode in on! How about Arcade Fire? the Stars? Broken Social Scene? Avril Lavigne? Sum 41? Death from Above 1979? Metric? And that's just some of the shit goin' down 'Nuckside, my friends.

There's a real angst amongst Canadians in my age group and younger. A pride and love meets an angst and revolution. There's this essay written a long while back by Margaret Atwood, which to this day sums nicely the perception many Canadians have about Americans -- that Americans fail to see the differences in Canadians, and just assume we're little siblings, nothing more. It's funny, Americans tend to see this angst as being anti-American, but we're just opposed to a) your politics, and b) the belief that the world seems to revolve around America.

The world will never revolve around Canada, and we're fine with that. We're just sick of being perceived as having a carbon-copy culture of America, when our books are different, our music is different, and our film is different. Just because our mass media is flooded with American images doesn't mean it speaks for us.

And I think some of us are shouting out that we ARE Canadians, and we're not just NICE people. We have more to bring to the table than niceness and good jokes, and I think my generation and its youngins are proving it. I'm thrilled to see another solid hardocre rocker competing in this show. We don't have enough scouts scouring our country for talent... we have the largest number of writers per capita out of any country in the world, and a great number of other artists of all kinds, too, and not nearly enough representation. Funny how it works.

So, don't think this is anti-American shit, 'cos it ain't. It's just time that Canadians start getting recognized for what they are -- Canadian. After all, we love our country, too. Americans just don't get what it's like to live in their shadow. Tiresome is what it is.

Here's a commercial that was the first mainstream thing to really tap into this so-called angst and fight for identity that enveloped my generation around year 2000.