Originally Posted by rousseau
Whoa...when Neil first came out he was considered by many to be the next Bob Dylan. As was Bruce Springsteen, come to think of it.
Not that people in Canada were thinking, hey, now we got our own Bob Dylan! No, because Neil went to Los Angeles to make his career, so the "next Dylan" moniker had nothing to do with nationality. Though I think Canadians tend to be far too precious about Neil's Canadianness and claiming him as "one of our own." There's not much that's appreciably Canadian about Neil's music save for certain lyrics in several songs. His style and persona are firmly grounded in the American folk tradition (though of course with his own idiosyncratic flourishes). He was influenced and wrote more about the American southwest than "north Ontario." Nobody in Italy, say, should be expected to know that Neil is (was?) Canadian anymore than they would be expected to know that John Candy was.
Our only distinctive musical tradition comes from the Maritimes and Newfoundland. I've met numerous Europeans over the years who've expressed their fondness for Canadian music by listing off several of those celtic-flavoured groups, the names of whom I can't recall at the moment (not my personal cup of tea). The rest of our music is not particularly Canadian in any distinctive way.
Which doesn't bother me in the slightest. Does the world really need more songs about hockey pucks?
Serious question. Shrug. Maybe it does?
this is familiar ground... but let's have this dance again, for old times' sake
john candy and neil young are north americans of the canadian sub-variety, not canadians imitating a foreign culture. though the north american culture that spawned rock 'n' roll and sctv is american-dominated for reasons relating to population, it is not coterminous with "american culture."
it is certainly viewed that way by foreigners, and it is a convenient shorthand... but it is not strictly accurate.
it's ok, though -- really. it's a numbers game. i have thought belgians and swiss were from france before. some minded, some didn't. i don't give a shit if everyone who hears me speak in pristina thinks "u.s.a."... they're playing good odds. i'm just that rare, canadian duck. a duck who sounds and dresses and gesticulates in a manner extraordinarily similar to his friends from pennsylvania and ohio, and who grew up on the same media as they did.
media penned by writing staffs that ordinarily have as many canadians aboard as our population within the north american whole might cause you to expect.
we're like spies!