Bruce Allen a man of the tasteless

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      Have you heard? Bruce Allen recently said something shocking. No, not his controversial remarks regarding Canadian immigrants–that's nothing. If you want something truly outrageous, flash back to his Vancouver Magazine profile this past spring entitled "Bruce Almighty". Try this on for size: "I get pissed off that too many artists are given the label 'Great' when they haven't earned it.”¦I do not believe the Tragically Hip are great. I believe they're a Canadian act that wouldn't even be in existence today if it wasn't for Canadian content. So when I sit there and hear about the New Pornographers being great, or Neko Case being great–I go crazy. What, you earned 'Great' because you sold out the fucking Railway Club? I don't get it."

      Well, I guess he's right about one thing: he don't get it. But wait–who is this guy? Some kind of music promoter? Didn't he have something to do with Vancouver's late-to-the-party new wavers Strange Advance? Oh, yeah, and Loverboy? Upon further investigation, it turns out that Allen is also a radio personality. He calls himself "the voice of the people". Yes, he's a regular Joe Lunchpail–if your lunch pail happens to be made out of solid gold.

      The fact that a zillionaire should host a segment called Reality Check doesn't surprise me. Money buys wisdom and according to Allen, he just says what we're all thinking. Really? Who's "we"? I get the impression that Allen fancies himself a little blue around the collar, hanging with the truck drivers and dry wallers at the Boo Pub talkin' NASCAR and meat.

      In reality, though, he is simply championing the status quo: backslapping golfers, smooth-jazz soccer moms, and the white, uptight, Gore-Tex set. You know, "the people".

      So when this Foghorn Leghorn without feathers equates musical greatness with sales and popularity, I wonder what the rest of his life is like. Is every meal a Quarter Pounder With Cheese washed down with a Starbucks Frappuccino? Are his IKEA Billy bookshelves lined with nothing but Danielle Steel and John Grisham? Does his DVD collection look like the new-release section at Blockbuster? And what about the paltry few musical genres that exist outside of corporate arena rock? For Allen, Musical Youth's 1982 hit "Pass the Dutchie" must have been the high-water mark for reggae. Is this really the reality we're supposed to be checking?

      Okay then, let's close the Railway Club. Shut 'er down. Nothing worth listening to has ever been played in a small club, certainly nothing great. Charlie Parker was a chump. CBGB was one big loserville. Neko Case, you've been warned–start filling Wembley Stadium or quit calling yourself "Neko the Great". I'm not trying to tell you your business here, but would a colourful headband kill you? New Pornographers, I'm just going to throw this out there: David Foster. Seriously, think about it.

      Let's face it, bigger is better. Go big or go home. And so on. It's a bold reality, a telling-it-like-it-is kind of reality, as concise as a bumper sticker and just as incisive. Or maybe somewhere it's always 1983, where everybody's working for the weekend, where you've got the eyes of a stranger, and even though it might cut like a knife, it feels so right. Wait”¦did I say that out loud or was I just thinking what everyone is saying? Or is it the other way around? Maybe I'm the one that doesn't get it. I'm pretty sure that's how Allen would see it. Hey, that's great with me.

      Link: Bruce Allen Talent

      Bruce Allen's Reality Check

      Comments

      8 Comments

      mysticrose

      Jan 8, 2009 at 1:28pm

      I think that Mr. Filbrandt might want to check with more of the population rather than just using his own opinion to bash Mr. Allen's opinion. There will be some on either side of the coin he refers too. I myself have the same opinion regarding the Tragically Hip as Mr. Allen. This doesn't mean that I agree with his entire philosophy of life, just that I think the Hip would never had made it further than the bar scene if not for good marketing and Canadian content needs. Maybe if they got a singer, that would help. Anyway, Mr. Allen and I are not alone in this opinion. I know many people who feel this way. Unfortunately many Canadians live in a realm of apathy and refuse to voice what they actually think. Just because Mr. Allen has no reservations about voicing what he thinks doesn't make him wrong. Many of us would do well to follow his example.

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      Lois Powell

      Jul 21, 2009 at 10:36pm

      I want someone to stand up for us Taxpaying Canadians....do you know how much of a discount a status indian gets when he/she buys gas at a gas station on a reserve....22 cents a liter less than us...I guess they do not drive on our roads....I want someone to speak up for us. Native Indian contribute nothing to Canada and the Indian Industry costs taxpayers over 9 billion dollars a year...they do not pay property tax, or income tax if they work in a business that is located on a reservation...why are non native businesses on reservations....Our Home or Native Land , by Mel Smith should be mandatory readying in all schools

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      BruceLD

      Jan 23, 2010 at 4:22am

      For Lois

      I happen to be one of those Indians you are talking about. Except I save only GST and PST on gas which does not equal 22%. I suggest you do your research before claiming that I get more.

      Wow. So I'm costing the government billions of dollars a year? Really now? I live off the reserve and pay income tax and property tax just like everyone else. I had no idea that I am such a burden to the government.

      Well Lois you've made me feel so ashamed that I guess I should just go and get raped at a residential school, get my culture/language/religion stripped from me and I'll just take some disease infected blankets and die in some back alley from alcohol poisoning.

      Lois, you would love that wouldn't you? Well I'm not, infact the next time I save the GST and PST at the pump, I'm gonna laugh at you knowing how much it really bothers you.

      LOL! Stunned tw@t

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      D< Manuel

      Sep 30, 2012 at 1:52pm

      Im a recording artist visiting Vancouver from South Fl. From what I have seen after being here for some months I think Mr. Allen has a valid point. afew groups I have seen which I wont mention are mediocre at best. ther is so much of the same trip up here. Not a lot of originality at all and people eat it up. Vancouver could use an eye opening shot in the arm. Boring ass bands that are hyped on themselves cause a folk call you great. you do have to earn the title of great and that shit dont come just cause you can play a six string and use a distortion pedal. SHOW ME SOMETHING.

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      teth adam

      Sep 30, 2012 at 7:55pm

      this article is from 2007! ???

      BikerCK

      Oct 2, 2012 at 8:30am

      Allen's music management fortune was heavily subsidized by the Cancon rules that put his artists in high rotation. I always find his right-wing politics a trifle hypocritical in that regard. He was happy to use nanny-state culture rules to his advantage when the opportunity arose.

      lance f

      Aug 23, 2013 at 10:21am

      Hurrah for Bruce Allen, we need more guys like him. Political correctness is way over the top. It was created
      by ASS KISSING POLITICIANS for one purpose only, to get votes from minorities. Bruce is right, this is Canada, if you don't like our system and follow our rules, screw you, go back were you came from.
      I had to learn the language and live by the rules, so can all new Immigrants. And natives should stop bitching. They happen to be lucky, to be here.I guess they must have fallen out of the sky? What contributions did they make to develop the infrastructure? Why are they using white man's technology for their way of life?

      JC

      Dec 12, 2014 at 8:36am

      Straight is impotently biased- blame it on gay agenda
      Hurray Bruce Allen!