Monday, April 04, 2005

Fromage, Juno-style

Did anyone actually watch the Junos last night? (To our American readers, that's our equivalent -- to be generous -- of the Grammys.) Well, I need some Ed the Sock to put that pretentious parade of crapola into some kind of cultural perspective, or at least to make fun of it with the stunning precision he brings to all of his cultural criticism. Indeed, his annual "Fromage" retrospectives on the absolute worst in music videos (a medium that deserves to be deconstructed into oblivion) is must-see TV, and I would make the case that he may be one of our most perceptive cultural critics. (To our American readers, Ed the Sock is a hand-puppet that appears as host and interviewer on MuchMusic (our MTV) and CityTV, a local Toronto station.) Sure, it's all a bit too close to the gutter, but there's an honesty to Ed's commentary that seems to elude the bright lights of the Canadian intelligentsia.

Anyway, without mincing words, what is this shit? Avril Lavigne wins Artist of the Year? That's like Keanu Reeves winning a Best Actor Oscar. Okay, okay. So maybe "Artist of the Year" doesn't have anything to do with talent and is really given to the most obnoxious celebrity or the "artist" who makes the most money without actually having any talent. But it must be about "talent". After all, the pride of Napanee, Ontario, as she is commonly known (poor, poor Napanee), was also nominated for... wait for it... Best Album! For that astounding piece of crap, Under My Skin. Now, she lost -- phew! -- but to Billy Talent, a bland, Nickelbackesque rock band that, well, sucks. (Oh, and she was nominated for Best Songwriter!) Other nominees for Best Album: Miracle, by Celine Dion. Now, I hate Celine Dion as much as the next guy... no, more so. She's the worst thing this country has ever produced, and that includes Keanu Reeves. Still Not Getting Any, by Simple Plan. Juvenilia never sounded so bad. I could go on... and on... and on. Under My Skin did win Best Pop Album, yet another sign of impending apocalypse. And Sum 41's Chuck won Rock Album of the Year. Yet more awful Canadian juvenilia at the forefront of Canadian rock. Fan-bleeping-tastic. At least Sarah Harmer won Adult Alternative Album of the Year, whatever that means, for All of Our Names. Now there's some good stuff, buried deep beneath the steaming pile of horse manure that is mainstream Canadian music these days.

Other signs of impending apocalypse: The other Best Pop Album nominees included Celine Dion's Miracle, Fefe Dobson's eponymous debut, and talent-less/soul-less Canadian Idol Ryan Malcolm's Home -- a trio of stinky fromage that speaks for itself. It's enough to make the glory days of Duran Duran and Culture Club seem really, really deep by comparison. (Remember when there was actually some good music out there? See the great Almost Famous, and you'll see what I mean.)

One final sign of impending apocalypse: Shania Twain's "Party For Two" was nominated (but didn't win, thank whatever god is responsible) for Single of the Year. "Party For Two" may be the worst song ever recorded, and that includes anything by Celine bleeping Dion.

At least we can all go out and buy the back catalogues of Rush and the Hip. For now, though, mind your heads. Frogs are about to fall from the sky.

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