Sunday, July 01, 2007

Welcome to Canada!

As has been demonstrated before, I love lists. I also love Toronto. In honour of Canada Day and merge these two loves, I present to you, without further ado...
Canucks I Canut Help Lovin!

Lovely Lady Lyricists
Joni Mitchell - I first was exposed to her when I heard Tori Amos cover "A Case of You" on a radio interview saying that this was the person that really influenced her. Later, my cousin bought me the album Blue. I was really happy when she was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Alanis Morrisette- Before you start scoffing , just check out this hilariously brilliant ballad-style cover of the Black Eye Peas "My Humps." I also have good memories of discovering her hit single "You Outta Know" while working in the university library one summer. Also kudos to this Ottawan for her cameo in Sex in the City. Fun Fact: She played God in Dogma.
Loreena McKennitt- I got turned on to this singer from Manitoba when I was dating a girl in university. The relationship faded but I still dig McKennitt for turning Lord Tennyson's poem "Lady of Shalott" into an equally haunting song.
Sarah McLachlan- I fell in love with Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and even years later, it calms my soul when it's troubled. Her songs have been frequently remixed and played at clubs I frequent. She founded Lilith Fair which made a space for women in music to be heard and showcased. She has worked to fight poverty in Africa and joined other Canadian musicians for a concert benefitting the BC Cancer Foundation.
Tegan and Sarah- the identical twins rocked my world when I visited Ottawa (and Ottawa Pride) for the first time a few summers back. Since then I think I've recommended and/or burned copies of their music for about a half dozen of my friends! Fun Fact: Tegan and Sara had a guest appearance on the hit Showtime series, The L Word. The episode was entitled "Last Dance" which aired on March, 19, 2006.
Anne Murray - I love Danny's Song and You Needed Me. Fun Fact: Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach #1 on the US charts.
Jann Arden- In addition to Insensitive, she's just come out with a whole album of covers, one that has Janis_Ian's At Seventeen and Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man.
Feist-She's just fun! Check out this video made all in one take. I also really enjoyed this BeeGee cover. Fun Fact: Former tour mate Bright Eyes has covered her work.
Deborah Cox- a native Torontarian, this diva rocked my club nights with "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here", "Absolutely Not", Fun Fact: She got her start as a backup vocalist for Céline Dion.
Melodic Males
Michael Buble' - I picked up his album at a convenience store on a road trip my partner and I were on from Sydney to Canberra. Love his voice. Fun Fact: Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees sang back up vocals on Bublé's version of the group's "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?".
Leonard Cohen- During university, I was housesitting for a boss of mine and I went through their vinyl collection. I was surprised when I came upon Jennifer Warnes' collection of Cohen songs in 1987, Famous Blue Raincoat. Previously, I had only heard the Tori Amos version. That got me interested in Leonard Cohen. Later, hearing a cover of his Halleujah, I was further intrigued. The original recording from 1984 is noted for containing explicit biblical references in the lyrics, alluding to David's harp-playing used to soothe King Saul (I Sam. 16:23), and his later affair with Bathsheba after watching her bathe from his roof. The line "she broke your throne and she cut your hair" is likely a reference to the source of Samson's strength from the Book of Judges.
Paul Anka - singer, songwriter and actor, I love him for writing "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," a song my mom seranaded me with in my childhood. Fun Facts: On the CW show Gilmore Girls, Lorelai named her new dog Paul Anka. Actor Jason Bateman is his son-in-law.
Rufus Wainright - not only is he a brilliant singer-songwriter, playing both the piano and guitar, but he is one of the few artists that have been openly gay from the very beginning. Fun Facts: He's also the same age as me and my coworker once made out with him at a party (having no idea who he was).
Brian Adams - There are so many songs but Summer of '69 will always be my favourite for private (yes I do have those) reasons. I also remember hearing "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" in the movie theatre for the first time. I thought it was really cool that it had rain sound affects. A minute later I realized there were no rain sound effects but there was a leaky roof! "When You're Gone" (with Melanie C) reminds me of an early crush that I had on an unattainable guy.
Gordon Lightfoot -This Ontarian folk singer, composer, lyricist and poet became one of the first Canadian singers to achieve real stardom in his own country without moving to the United States. I always liked If You Could Read My Mind when I was younger and remember the exact moment I heard the remix at the Metro in Wichita.

Easy on the Eyes
Jay Manuel- an openly gay native of Toronto, his cuteness and fabulous fashion sense caught my attention on America's Next Top Model and I'm thrilled he is hosting the Canadian version. Fun Fact: At 19, Manuel was diagnosed with sacroilitis, an inflamation of the sacroliliac joints, which connect the spine and pelvis. He was confined to a wheelchair and had to relearn how to walk.
Nathan Fillion- Edmonton, Alberta, I first noticed him in the show Two Guys and a Girl. Fun Fact: For fans of Lost, he appeared as Kevin, Kate's ex-husband.
Fabrizio Filippo- This Torontarian was Ethan, the sultry violinist who played his way into Justin's heart on Queer As Folk.
Chris Potter- Also from Toronto, he played David, Michael's hunky boyfriend on the first season of Queer as Folk.
Eric McCormack-another Toronto native, I will always remember him for being Will in Will and Grace. Fun Fact: Appeared in the Barenaked Ladies music video Pinch Me.
Adam Beach- a native Canadian from Manitoba, I loved/lusted him in Smoke Signals. He also was in Windtalkers and Flags of our Fathers. Pictures of him here.

The Cliks- Hailing from Toronto, this rock group with a transgendered lead made an awesome cover of Cry Me A River. You owe it to yourself to give them a listen. Fun Fact: I saw them open for the Indigo Girls for Toronto Pride.
Dan and Dean Caten- these Ontario identical twins are behind Dsquared2 designs. Fun Fact:In 2002, the brothers designed over 150 pieces for Madonna’s Drowned World Tour and "Don't Tell Me" music video.
William Shatner- From Montreal, he's been acting since 1950 and still going strong! Captain Kirk was a hero of mine from childhood. Fun Fact: He was cast as "Ranger Bill" on the Canadian version of the Howdy Doody Show.
Alan Thicke- actor, songwriter, game show host and talk-show emcee, this Ontarian will always be Kirk Cameron's dad to me (Jason Seaver, the patriarch on the ABC television series Growing Pains). Fun Fact: He has co-written over 40 TV theme songs, including The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes.
Sarah Polley- Although I first noticed her in the fun flick Go, this native of Toronto has many credits to her name, most recently the film "Away From Her" that she adapted from a novel and directed. Fun Fact: Polley played the part of Ramona Quimby, in a series that Disney produced from the beloved Beverly Cleary series.
Yvonne DeCarlo- two words: Lily Munster Fun Fact: De Carlo's last-released big-screen appearance was as Aunt Rosa in the 1991 Sylvester Stallone comedy Oscar.
Alex Trebek- He is an icon due to his long running hosting of Jeopardy! Fun Fact: He holds a degree in Philosophy from University of Ottawa.
Michael J. Fox -Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties. Forever and always. Fun Fact: His middle name is actually Andrew. He wanted to avoid the Canadian joke "Michael eh? Fox" so picked the letter J.
Catherine O'Hara- I have loved her in every movie I've seen her in, most notably the Christopher Guest mockumentaries. Fun Fact: She wrote and performed songs in the 2003 film A Mighty Wind.

Of course the Canadians I love best are my friends! Happy Canada Day to all! I love you!


Anonymous said...

Dear friend. Good one. Happy Canada Day. Another fun fact about Alan Thicke is that he grew up with my mom in a very small northern town called Virginia Town. Best Adam Beach movie is Dance me Outside. You need to see more Bruce McDonald films. I can help you with that. :)

Ottawa is good. Totally needed some R&R. Talk to you soon.


Jolie said...

This was a super fun list! I was starting to share with my computer the fun fact about Paul Anka and Gilmore Girls, but then there it was on your post! Good times!

Jay Price said...

Nice post. Happy Canada Day Dan.

Re Gordon Lightfoot, let's not forget his best song--and a Great Lakes one if not Canadian one specifically: The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald.

RD said...

Great lists!

Jolie said...

I'm WAY over Canada Day. I need more Danifesto!! :)