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18 Google autocompletes about Canadian music

by Mark Teo

January 7, 2014

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If nothing else, Canadian music is impossible to summarize. We can barely define a singular Canadian identity—Torontonians tout Hogtown as the saddle of upper Canada, Westerners tout the Saddledome as the, uh, seat of Canadian power, Quebecers want sovreignty and so forth—so naturally, it’s tough to put a finger on the musical zeitgeist.

Maybe we can’t tell you what Canadian music is or isn’t, but Google can. We asked the venerable search engine all our Canadian music questions, and here’s how it responded.

First, we dug around with the most generalized search term—”Canadian music.” Google seems split on the topic: “Canadian music is the best” yields celebratory lists running down the nation’s best all-time songs, albums, and performers. On the flip side, the first predicted search query—”Canadian music is boring”—yields an editorial written by myself and Josiah Hughes for a Calgary alt-weekly. That story was written largely about the then-glock heavy Canadian indiesphere, which led us to the next query:

When it comes to indie rock, Google believes that Canadian indie rock isn’t only boring—the “Canadian indie rock is gay” search query’s second hit is Tegan and Sara’s Wikipedia page, and in a supreme Google burn, “Canadian indie rock is dead” leads to Metric and Stars’ bios. Ouch.

Off the topic of indie rock, we were curious what Google thinks of Canada’s growing rap scene. Apparently, Google thinks that Canadian hip hop is dead—though the search leads us to a few stories that claim that hip hop ain’t dead—it lives in the north. Like in Smithers, B.C. (OK, not that far north.)

Of course, Canada’s reputation in hip hop (and pop) circles back to one man: Aubrey Graham. So we decided to search Drake next, and apparently, Google’s mouthbreathing denizens are supremely interested if Drake has a post-secondary education. Or if he went to jail. The reality? Drake finished high school just over a year ago—though he attended Toronto’s bougiest public school, Forest Hill Collegiate, before leaving to film Degrassi—and has never been to jail (though he did rumble with Chris Brown). We were determined to find out more about Drizzy, so we followed up with this search term:

So, what’s Drake like? We asked again.

He’s also the type of guy who brings salad to the barbecue. Or licks his finger before turning the page. Or who ties his shoes without bending his knees. Or… OK, let’s move on.

Remember when the Arcade Fire won a Grammy for The Suburbs and the world collectively lost its shit? Yeah, that was two years ago—since then, David’s Tea-sipping moms have gotten wise to the Win Butler and co. Right? Wrong. Google still questions where they’re from (Montreal, duh), if they’re boring (Reflektor was kind of meh), and if they’re weird (that search leads to them serenading Zach Galifianakis with “Little Drummer Boy”).

OK, so maybe Arcade Fire is a little weird. But surely Celine Dion, our country’s biggest old-guard celeb, couldn’t be. Right? Um, maybe not. But she sure as hell is rich. “Celine Dion island” leads to a story detailing the singer’s $72.5 million private island, complete with a water park. 

But while old-guard Canpop stars are riding their waterslides into pools of currency, our current pop stars unwind in different ways: Namely, they go to Brazilian brothels.  Or space. But he isn’t the only star to fall from grace.

Let’s just say that Google isn’t kind to Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley. He’s ugly. He’s fat. He’s a douchebag. OK, we get that, in 2014, the camera isn’t exactly kind to Whibley. But he totally get bud points for putting together a Chavril couples costume.

If Deryck Whibley is Google’s Rodney Dangerfield, Jian Ghomeshi is the search engine’s answer to Mystery. No, he’s not an in-the-wool pickup artist, but he’s certainly deemed creepy—all because of an XO Jane story that details his alleged bad behaviour on a date. (No one’s certain if it’s actually about Ghomeshi—only a “C-list Canadian celebrity is listed in the story, and certain people have pointed fingers.)

Speaking of Chavril, this list wouldn’t be complete without touching on Nickelback. The top (!!!) search query for Chad Kroeger’s band yields a Tumblr that asks “Is Nickelback the worst band ever?” We clicked on the link, and this is what showed up.

Well, with that settled, we moved onto more contentious topics.

So, apparently, people are completely unsure on whether KD Lang is a man or a woman. The question leads to an impossibly stupid Yahoo Answers page (the top answer: “you ask the impossible question, she’s a lesbian”), but the real answer is probably something like: KD Lang is a woman who’s attracted to women, but anyhow, you should know that gender is fluid and doesn’t have anything to do with your sexual preferences but anyhow she self identifies as a woman and also has the biological bits to back it up so like, she’s a woman, was that so hard?

Speaking of sexual preferences, people seem to be very confused over whether Abbotsford, B.C.’s Hedley—we assume they mean frontman Jacob Hoggard—is gay. And yet again, Yahoo Answers swoops in with this gem: “I think he is straight. Why? No gaydar went off when he had my dick in his hands!!”

One young poster, however, wasn’t satisfied with that answer. Convinced that Hedley is, in fact, gay, he went on the band’s Facebook page to state the “fact.” This is what happened.

Billy Talent’s second most-searched query is “is Billy Talent gay?,” only after questions surrounding their punk legitimacy. The answer lies in this, the least funny meme ever created.

Meanwhile, no one’s questioning if Emily Haines is gay. Rather, most of the chatter around the Metric singer seems to focus on her drug use—some comments-section goons seem to believe she’s an addict. “[T]he four times live ive thought she was and then the girl straight up told me thats all she cares about, singing and coke… id do her again though,” a user called The Sssnake wrote on a Coachella forum. Maybe the Neptunes will produce her next record.

If Emily Haines only cares about packing her nose, our pal Ben Cook—former child actor, current Fucked Up member—only cares about one thing: Ben Cook. Why? Because according to Google, he is an arrogant dumbass. Watch this YouTube video, which savages “that gorgeous fucking asshole” and his “stupid hair,” his “little lip thing,” and “that stupid accent of his.” Your turn, Ben.

Finally, the question we were all wondering: Is it possible for Christian teens to listen to Alexisonfire without feeling the wrath of their God-enforcing parents? Well, the answer isn’t quite so simple. This Punknews.org thread rages on about how Christian Dallas Green and co. actually are—or aren’t.

Tags: Music, Cancon, News, Alexisonfire, arcade fire, Ben Cook, Billy Talent, canrock, Celine Dion, Deryck Whibley, Drake, Emily Haines, google, hedley, jian ghomeshi, Justin Bieber, Nickelback

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