Monday, April 10, 2006

Haven't you always wanted a monkey?

I have a theory that if you reside in Canada for one calendar year, odds are better than 80% that you will hear "If I Had $1000000" by the Barenaked Ladies at least once. Even if you only casually channel surf past MuchMusic or MuchMoreMusic, you might still hear part of it. Failing that, it may well appear on at least one commercial for a non-profit organization on CTV or Global. Then there's specials on Bravo!, various specials on Showcase and the Comedy Network, &c. Suppose you don't even have a TV. There's still parties, outdoor carnivals and fairs, and of course radio. Now, I've only lived in and around the Lower Mainland so I can't really attest to other areas, but I imagine that you'd be just as likely to hear them in the Prairies, and even more likely to hear them out East. Maybe not in the Territories, though.


I don't know how popular the earlier Barenaked Ladies stuff is in the US (that is, everything before that live version of "Brian Wilson"), but I assume not at all. I've always been amused that Americans really started to latch onto them only when they were well past their prime. Remember "Enid"? Remember "Jane"? "Be My Yoko Ono"? If I'm correct, the Canadians are thinking Of course! while the Americans are thinking Wha? I liked "One Week".

Hearing this stuff again really stirs some memories. About a year and a half ago I had, for the first time in my life, a real, strong urge to listen to the Tragically Hip. I realized that it had been three months since hearing any Hip, and that is probably the longest I'd ever gone in my life without hearing "50 Mission Cap". The stuff had really wormed its way into my brain; it apparently is deeply entwined in my upbringing. It's the same with this early Barenaked Ladies stuff. These songs, along with all sorts of other weird and wonderful (?) gems by Glass Tiger, I Mother Earth, Ashley MacIsaac, the list goes on, represent something very peculiarly Canadian. A lot of it, I would think, would never fly on American radio.

And that's a damn shame.

Current Music: BNL - If I Had $1000000


franiwack said...

but not a real green monkey, that's cruel...

woo, i actually listened to that song quite a bit, but thanks, now i can listen to it again

dinning said...

"Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" would fly on any radio, at any time.

In other news, the verification word you have to type in here is starting to piss me off. It just took me 45 seconds to successfully type in "ubbqpqjpq". What the fuck is that?! Can't you put it on the easy word setting or something?

Dickolas Wang said...

Ah, but you only heard it four years ago, not fourteen years ago.

And that is one hell of a verification word.