32 Canadian music facts that will make you feel old
by Mark Teo
September 10, 2013
The Moffatts turn 30 next year. For real.
If you’re the type of person who thinks that ’90s occured 10 years ago—newsflash, it was 2003 a decade ago—then, well, join the club. But if that wasn’t enough to make you feel partially senile, here are 32 more Canadian music shockers that’ll make you feel… well, twice your age.
1. The Moffat triplets turn 30 next year. In our minds, they still look like this:
Thankfully, their eternal youth will be forever preserved in mega jams like “Bang Bang Boom” and the truest mega jam, “Misery.”
2. As a band, the Tragically Hip are already 30. They started in 1983, when Pierre Trudeau was still prime minister.
And after roughly three decades of being Canada’s favourite band, Gord Downie—and his plethora of onstage grimaces—don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
3. Sook Yin Lee, from Muchmusic’s The Wedge, has been with CBC’s DNTO for 11 years.
In our minds, she’s forever the host of The Wedge. Sorry, Damian.
4. The iconic Sam the Record Man sign is gone.
And Canada has lost a national music icon. It’s not coming back, either.
5. Souldecision singer Trevor Guthrie is 40. He was born on the year when construction on the CN Tower began.
And now he has a hit single with Armin van Buuren. Still, Souldecision, reunite already! Trevor is still 5 years younger than…
6. … Maestro Fresh Wes, who is 45. He was born in 1968, the year Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy died.
But it was also the year a Canadian hip hop legend was born.
7. Speakers Corner: Then and now.
At its height, Speaker’s Corner had multiple locations across Canada. It offered, at the time, passersby a far-off chance to appear on national television—and it also launched the career of the Barenaked Ladies. See their appearance below. The iconic Speakers Corner—the most famed location being at Toronto’s Queen and John intersection—has since been shuttered.
8. Rusty’s Ken MacNeil had the most iconic dreadlocks of the ’90s.
Though we can get behind a clean-cut Ken.
10. Safe to say he’s aged better than Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley.
Geez. Let this be a warning for people who want to stay in high school forever: It’s not a good look. Other pop-punk idols, however, aren’t faring nearly as badly.
11. Jonovision, who we loved for its music segment, Jonopalooza, debuted 17 years ago.
The national teen talk show, which featured some of the best Canadian music acts of its era, helped launch Jonathan Torrens’ career. As a nation, we’re better off for it.
12. The first Edgefest happened in the same year Sidney Crosby was born: 1987. Teenage Head played.
And, for a period, the festival—which initially was birthed from Toronto’s influential CFNY radio station—went national. Between 1997 and 1999, it canvassed the country, becoming our answer to Lollapalooza. (And that’s no joke: Hole headlined festivities in 1999.)
13. SARStock, Canada’s biggest-ever concert, happened 10 years ago.
Has it really been a decade since SARS, the epidemic that made Purell a fixture in public life?
14. Electric Circus also retired 10 years ago.
But we still haven’t stopped L-dancing to Love Inc. in the shower.
15. Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair concert series is old enough to get a driver’s license.
Sure, laugh at Natalie Merchant and Paula Cole’s had-a-bad-day-so-I’m-hitting-the-bathtub-with-a-bottle-of-red folk. But we’d still check out this Lilith Fair lineup—Neko Case and Cowboy Junkies, among others, were on the bill, and we still love them to this day.
16. You remember when The Trailer Park Boys’ Bubbles played in Sandbox and looked like this.
And as much as we loved Sandbox, we also love Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys.
17. Master T is 52.
And we’re forever grateful for his massive presence of Rap City, a show that introduced hip hop to countless Canadians. T, we salute you.
18. Sloan’s Twice Removed is the same age as Justin Bieber.
And at 19, Twice Removed is probably better behaved than the Biebs.
19. Meanwhile, Sloan’s label, Murderecords, is the same age as Miley Cyrus—both were born in 1992.
19. The last Cargo Records album was cut in 1997—the year Princess Diana died.
And though it’s been 16 years, we still miss the label that brought us seminal Change of Heart, Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet, and Killjoys releases.
21. Ten years later, in 2007, the last Music World and the flagship Sam the Record Man stores would close.
The Quinte Mall in Belleville, ON, is home to the last-standing Sam the Record Man.
22. Here’s what Airwalk shoes have turned into.
In 1996, the classic stripped-down Airwalk was the pinnacle of cool-kid style. Now, they’re making Croc knockoffs.
23. Meanwhile, here’s how the Modrobes logo evolved.
Meanwhile, Mod Robes went from being the beacon of folk-fest hippie cool to being…. a less influential beacon of folk-fest hippie cool.
24. The Doughboys’ Crush is 20.
And led by “Shine,” which was the alt-rock song of a generation, Crush still sounds incredible. Their members’ influence remains: singer John Kastner is now a programmer for NXNE, while red-bearded guitarist Jonathan Cummins is a Montreal-based writer who, among other projects, helped form the Besnard Lakes.
25. The Rheostatics’ Introducing Happiness is old enough to go university.
And it’d totally be a drama major with a minor in Canadian literature. (With a focus on hockey-related stories.)
26. The ages of the actors in the Zit Remedy are (or would be) in the 40s.
Pat Mastroianni as Joey, Stefan Brogren as Snake, and Neil Hope, who sadly passed in 2007, as Wheels, are or would be well into their middle age. No matter, really, as the Zit Remedy’s only song, “Everybody Wants Something,” will live in eternal infamy.
27. Degrassi’s Spike and Caitlin are still friends—and they DJ together as DJs Demanda and Mistycious. They look like this now.
Together, the lovely duo has periodically spun punk rock and goth at an ’80s dance party called In Between Days—Spike and Caitlin would’ve loved it.
28. Chart Magazine’s logo: Then and now.
The national music magazine-turned-website, which first launched in 2001, has seen its share of lumps: It went on a brief hiatus in 2011, only to be bought by andPOP and, eventually, media company Channel Zero. Its well-deserved redesign comes from its andPOP era, and, we’ll be quite honest: The update was well-warranted.
29. The Ongoing History of New Music, with Alan Cross, isn’t new: At 20, It can legally purchase alcohol.
30. Enhanced CDs, like I Mother Earth’s Scenery and Fish and Treble Charger’s Self=Title, came with extra digital goodies—like pictures, puzzles, and zine directories.
Remember when we actually bought CDs and actually put them in our computer towers and actually pored through the enhanced content on them? Treble Charger once featured a zine directory on one of their albums, which—really Treble Charger? You were actually down with zine culture at one point? Times done changed.
31. Serial Joe’s Ryan Dennis is 29. He looks like this now.
He’s long ditched the nü-metal balladry, and now, he’s a shockingly decent beatmaker who goes by the name of Platypus. Here’s a video of his music:
32. The B4-4 brothers look like this now.
And as RyanDan, they’re now a pop duo who’ve grown up—they’re no longer writing songs about blowjobs. And finally, these guys:
Became these guys: