Friday Night Videos
A T.O. state of mind
Though not quite a city of world class status, the music Toronto has cultivated and exported over the decades could argue otherwise. Some extremely popular acts have not only been raised there, but many international musicians have either nested there or adopted the city as a second home. Two of the more popular radio stations, Q107 and CFNY (especially back in the day), are the best known for playing the homegrown talent, and there's a lot of it.
To start off, the grandaddys of the Toronto rock scene, the Band. Here's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" from a 1976 Saturday Night Live performance.
Led by the unique vocals and the overt lesbianism of Carole Pope, Rough Trade scored their biggest hit in 1981 with "All Touch."
Same band, new name. Martha & the Muffins with "Echo Beach" and M+M with "Cooling The Medium."
The darlings of the early 80's new wave scene, the Spoons with "Nova Heart" and "Romantic Traffic" (staged in a Toronto subway!).
More 80's new wave. FM's "Just Like You," Jane Siberry's "Mimi on the Beach," and Chalk Circle's "April Fool."
Out with the synths, in with distorted guitars. The Pursuit of Happiness became well known with their power pop post-new wave sound. Here's "Killed by Love" and "She's so Young."
From the remains of The Pursuit of Happiness, Universal Honey's "Just Before Mary Goes."
The country-folk-blues sound (I've never been comfortable with the 'roots' label. It's accurate, but awkward.) Here's Blue Rodeo's "Trust Yourself," Cowboy Junkies' "Sweet Jane," and the Skydiggers' "I Will Give You Everything."
If there's a common thread among popular Toronto acts, it's their sense of fun. Videos like Moxy Fruvous' "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors," Meryn Cadell's "The Sweater," and Len's "Steal My Sunshine" are good examples.
During the 90's, if there's one thing Toronto knew more about than fun it was rock and roll. From indie to punk, classic rock to progressive, clubs like the Horseshoe, the Rivoli, Lee's Palace and the El Mocambo couldn't get enough of these bands.
Treble Charger - "Even Grable"
Tea Party - "Save Me"
hHead - "Flower"
Rusty - "Misogyny"
Our Lady Peace - "The Birdman"
Big Sugar - "Gone for Good"
Terrific 90's rock that stands aside the best of any city. This decade has yet to be as kind, with a few exceptions like Three Days Grace's "Just Like You" and Billy Talent's "Try Honesty" and "River Below."
A little on the softer side, my favorite Toronto soul act the Philosopher Kings' "You Don't Love Me (Like You Used to do)" and my latest indie favs Broken Social Scene with "Cause = Time."
The reigning kings of Toronto rock, Rush with "Limelight" and "Tom Sawyer."
The reigning kings of Toronto pop, Barenaked Ladies with "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" and "Old Apartment."
My all time favorite Canadian band, Toronto's Rheostatics. Unfortunately only a handful of videos exist, but there are couple of gems. The first video is the surreal "P.I.N." The second video is the "The Tarleks" featuring WKRP's Frank Bonner himself.