Sunday, March 19, 2006

More Canadians

I sat down to write a post entitled "Ten Things To Do Before I Die", but got distracted. I googled a guitarist I admire to see if she is playing anywhere, and found her name in the newsletter of a coffeehouse in Major Metropolitan Area (but only as a donor, unfortunately.) Scanning the schedule, though, I noticed Garnet Rogers [Canadian], playing there this week! I became a fan of Garnet after I became a fan of his deceased brother Stan [also Canadian], who I learned about from Lead Dog when we used to live at the Dumpy Ranch House and sit around listening to folk music instead of vacuuming or doing the dishes. Alas, I won't be able to go to the concert.

Anyway I clicked on Garnet's website and was delighted to find there a long, rambling list of what he listens to in the car on his endless transcontinental drives. And what, among others, does Garnet enjoy? "Gordon Lightfoot-- the first 3 or 4 albums. Try driving across the Prairies on a frosty October morning listening to those early records and drinking tea from Tim Horton's; the complete Canadian experience."

I feel absolved. If Garnet Rogers has three or four Gordon Lightfoot albums in his car, then I am proud to have them in my iPod. Also, I feel that pretty soon I may be asked to leave The Imperialist Country, due to my inexplicable preference for Canadian musicians, as well as my endless complaining about the lack of snow here. If this comes to pass, I do hope my friends up north will take me in. I know how to say "maple syrup" in French, if that helps.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can rest assured that any Gordon Lightfoot listening Maple Sugar Snow loving Yankees will be welcomed with a "Good Day, Eh" north of the 49th. Some required resource material to be reviewed should you choose to move here include:

1. Movie, "Strange Brew", based loosely on the story of Hamlet, featuring the infamous SCTV skit regulars Bob and Doug MacKenzie.

2. Movie series "Anne of Green Gables". Love her or hate her, Anne Shirley is deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of all Canadians.

3. Music: anything by "The Tragically Hip" prior to 2000. In making conversation with a Canadian regarding their music, please refer to them only as "the Hip". On a lighter note, anything by Ron Sexsmith will surely quench any need for mellow tunes.

4.Read: Obasan, by Joy Kogawa - chronacles canada's sometimes not so great record in dealing with it's population.

That should keep you busy for awhile. The only other french word you need to know is "touque".


an urban hippie & proud canuck

3/20/06, 3:11 AM  
Anonymous girltuesday said...

i have a touque.

3/21/06, 10:27 AM  
Anonymous girltuesday said...

actually, i think it's spelled 'tuque.' not sure.

3/21/06, 10:32 AM  
Blogger Katinka said...

Come on over, Eh!

3/22/06, 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Johanna said...

Toque. At least, en français. Even better, toqué (with the accent) means nutjob.

The urban hippie’s preparations before taking off (to the great white north) are interesting… I most definitely second Strange Brew, particularly so if one is old enough that stubbies are not just this weird thing Red Cap is doing these days. Also read CanCon related story of the origin of Bob and Doug (

I would skip Anne Shirley and Obasan, unless one is looking for northern equivalents of Laura Ingalls and Snow Falling on Cedars. I would substitute a whole lot of Rick Mercer instead ( He’s funnier.

I remember a time when we spent a lot of energy on defining (and I would argue, in so doing attempting to create) a uniquely “Canadian” identity – missing the point that what is so cool about Canada is that half the population of its largest city is foreign born. We spent a lot of time strenuously asserting that the one thing that we most definitely are not is American. We don’t seem to have that conversation as much anymore, but we also don’t need to anymore – given the differing directions of federal policy north and south of that line, I don’t think we need to point to pop culture to remind ourselves that we’re not *that*. We know we’re not, and by and large, we’re very glad of it. Or maybe I just don’t hear these debates anymore, because I’m off in a canoe on the Shield…

Yes, Gordon Lightfoot worms his way into your ear. But drive along Highway 17 on one of those long summer evenings when it’s light out til 10, and north of Whitefish Bay where the highway almost touches the lake on the flats, pull over, and look out at Lake Superior, and think of waves big enough to close the highway that night the Edmund Fitzgerald went down with the song playing in the background. It will make you positively maudlin. At least it did me… (there was also the time I was so bored in Brandon, Manitoba and took my walkman and my GPS and jogged out to the 100th Meridian, to see where the Great Plains begin. Soundtrack by the Hip.)

p.s. Tim Hortons coffee isn’t all that. (I’ll probably be asked to leave now.)

3/22/06, 8:16 PM  
Blogger Katinka said...

Johanna, I totally concur with you re. Tim Ho's coffee...can't understand the obession. Mind you their Tim-bits are another thing altogether! :)

3/24/06, 2:00 AM  

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