You box up the music section’s Christmas presents and ship them back to Santa, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.
Dear Payback Time: I am writing in response to the article about top albums of 2009. I was disgusted by the opening line, “It wasn’t a particularly stellar year for music, but our critics managed to find a few things that didn’t suck.” And then they go on to name a bunch of bands from the U.S. and other places. The lack of insight, knowledge, and Canadian pride that is apparent in your critics further permeates the problem of dwindling Canadian content.
Also, the first quote written by one of your obviously less educated writers: “Sadly, I lost my copy of the latest Dirty Bear Collective opus before I could give it a proper listen. I’m sure it’s a work of life-altering magnificence, but I had to settle for the following.” Wow, please can we learn more about how you inadequately do your job, Mr. Lucas?
> Joel Levy
John Lucas responds: Dearest Joel—I don’t want to make you feel stupid (really!), so I’ll put this as delicately as I can. Dirty Bear Collective isn’t a real band; I made it up in an apparently fruitless attempt at satire. Sure, you could have discovered that in about five seconds using this wicked new app called Google, but I guess you have better things to do. Like listening to music you don’t really like out of some misguided sense of patriotic duty.
Good music knows no borders, Joel. If I like something, I don’t give a flying fart if the artist resides in Reykjavík, Iceland, or Reykjavik, Manitoba. Moreover, our critics are not compelled to give short shrift to one of their 10 favourite albums of the year so they can free up a spot for a Canadian record. To do so would be intellectually dishonest, as it would result in lists peppered with albums the writers included only because they were ordered to hand out pity fucks on the basis of nationality.
In any case, if your typically Canadian sense of inferiority needs some soothing, get a dose of external validation by peeping Billboard ’s Hot 100 singles chart. Last time I checked, it included songs by Drake, Nickelback, Michael Bublé, and Three Days Grace. They’re all Canucks, you know. (If you’re truly desperate, you could count Robin Thicke as half Canadian.) I suspect you don’t give any more of a shit about any of them than you do about Miley Cyrus or Chris Brown or anyone else on that chart, but because they were all born in the same country as you, I’m sure you’ll be able to work up enough spit to give each of them a good, old-fashioned Lower Canada. Follow it up with a swig of maple syrup and you won’t even notice the bitter aftertaste.
You can voice your impotent rage by snail mail or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.