Tag Archives: music

Thursday Thirteen: Our kids go Gangnam Style. We had hairy armpits.

My kids asked me to crank up the satelleite radio in the car last week when the K-pop song “Gangnam Style” by Korean rapper Psy came on.  My kids love the song that over 900 million people have viewed on YouTube and it got me thinking about a couple of things.  First off, what is “Oppa Gagnam Style” and secondly, what other songs made it huge internationally which were not in English. 

So I thought this week’s Thursday Thirteen should focus on the thirteen non-English songs that have “made it” over here in Canada in the past 50-60 years.  Surprisingly, there are not that many, Gangnam Style aside…  You should, however, recognize each song on this list and if you’re not sure about the song, head over to You Tube, watch the video, and you’ll be sure to recognize it.

Before we get to the list, however, for those of you who may not know, “Oppa Gangnam Style” is funny because it makes fun of the gangnam district – a very wealthy district in Seoul, South Korea – and how people who frequent that district are known for their frivolous spending of  their money and that they order people around.  These people really abuse their wealth and allow their children to go out partying, creating chaos wherever they go because they know their parents money is going to get them out of trouble.  It’s about the uber-privilidged and their bratty children.

On to the Thursday Thirteen…  Please sit back, take out the bell-bottomed jeans, hide away the 8-track, and check your armpits for hair and let’s go! 

13. Trio’s ‘Da Da Da’ (from the VW commercial)

12. Austrian Rock group Falco who had hits in Austrian with Der Komissar, and Rock Me


Psy’s Gangnam Style


11. Los Lobos with the huge hit “La Bamba”

10. “Ich Bin Ein Auslander” (German for “I am a foreigner”, by Pop Will Eat Itself, from 1994.  

9.  “Numa Numa” by O-Zone

8.  “Bailamos” byEnrique Iglesias

7.  French-Canadian hottie, Mitsou, and one of her hits, “Bye Bye Mon Cowboy”

6. “Oye Como Va” by the legend Carlos Santana

5.  For the hard rock / heavy metal lovers, there is “Du hast” by Rammstein.

4.  The ’90s music scene saw the pop success of the Chanting Monks, who chanted in Latin

3.  Enigma’s “Sadeness (Part 1)”.  You know this song for sure…  

2.  “Bamboleo” by The Gypsy Kings

1.  “99 Luftballoons” by Nena.  Did you know that Nena was not the name of the woman who sang the song, but the name of the band?  And how many of you remember the German version video, where ts wearing either black or red leather pants, and a black tank top, and she danced with her arms over her head and for us prudish North Americans, all the talk was about her very natural hairy armpits. 

Honourable mention to:

“Macarena” by Los Del Rio, which is sung partly in English.

The Ole Ole Ole song they sing at soccer games.

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Have You Heard About the C.C. Mixed & Ready Canadian Cover Challenge?

English: Logo of whisky.

Let me first get something off my chest.

I love Canadian music!

There.  I said it.  From Platinum Blonde to Colin James, Bryan Adams to Shania Twain, Alanis Morisette to Amanda Marshall.  Old, new… Headstones, Nickleback, Andrew Scott, Tragically Hip, Gowan, Our Lady Peace, rock, pop, country, jazz… I love Canadian music and support the artists where possible by buying their music on iTunes and in the olden days, buying their CD’s (and even older their records and 45’s).

So when the Canadian Club, C.C.® Mixed & Ready Cover Challenge launched June 29th, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in this wonderful event which provides a platform for undiscovered Canadian talent to cover one of 5 unique Canadian songs and compete to be noticed for doing the best cover.

I checked out the uploads last week and I have to be honest, these bands are fantastic!   It’s going to be a great contest!

The songs being covered are;

  • Steal my Sunshine by Len
  • Superman’s dead by Our Lady Peace
  • Striptease by Hawksley Workman
  • Fat Lip by Sum 41
  • Pullin’ Punches by the Arkells.

Here is how the C.C. Mixed & Ready Cover Challenge works:

Beginning June 28th, 2012, Canadian bands are invited to submit their covers on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/CanadianClubCanada).  They have until August 27, 2012 for the chance to win an opportunity to have three of their demo songs recorded, mixed and mastered in Toronto, plus $3,000 for band gear and / or transit to Toronto for the recording session.

Winners will be selected based on a combination of Facebook voting (25%) and C.C. Mixed & Ready’s judging panel (75%), consisting of music industry experts and brand representatives of which I will proudly be involved.

The winning submission will be announced by September 15, 2012.

The Canadian Club Canada’s Facebook page will contain, in addition to the clips, comments on the bands, feedback, tweets on the event by Canadian Club insiders and the general public, as well as information about some C.C. Mixed & Ready live music events being held in Ontario and Alberta in August featuring some great Canadian bands.

C.C. Mixed & Ready Music Events:


  • Thursday, August 16th to Sunday, August 19th: The Havelock Country Jamboree, featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lynyrd Skynyrd –  Havelock, Ontario
  • Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd: Saugeen Summer Nights featuring Hawksley Workman – Clifford Ball Park Arena, Clifford, Ontario


  • Thursday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 5th: Big Valley Jamboree, featuring Blake Shelton , Toby Keith and Rascall Flatts, Camrose, Alberta
  • Saturday, September 1st: X-Fest, featuring fun., Silversun Pickups, MuteMath, Incubus, Young the Giant, The Joy Formidable, Linkin Park and more, Calgary, Alberta
  • Sunday, September 2nd: Sonic Boom featuring fun., Silversun Pickups, MuteMath, Incubus, Young the Giant, The Joy Formidable, Linkin Park and more, Edmonton, Alberta

C.C. Mixed & Ready will wrap the summer at a special concert event in Toronto, headlined by an exciting Canadian band.  Details on this concert to be revealed in late-July.

About the Product:

As a bonus to being involved in this contest I received a care package from the fine folks at Matchsticks.ca which contained a product I have never heard of, the Canadian Club’s new C.C. Mixed & Ready drink, designed to expand Canadian whisky into the ready-to-drink market and capture interest from consumers who are new to the world of whisky.    The brand focused on the most popular mixes – Ginger Ale and Cola – to create a convenient, refreshing ready-to-drink option.  CC and Ale happens to be my go to drink, so this was a welcomed treat and a fantastic product considering Ready-to-drink beverages are becoming increasingly popular, having risen in volume by almost 4% globally in 2011 over 2010.

In case you are wondering how you missed this product, Canada, it’s because it was test-marketed in Alberta in 2011 and is currently available in Ontario and Alberta in 473 mL cans for approximately $2.95 and 355 mL 6-packs for approximately $12.95.

Feel free to join and follow the conversation: #mixedandready.

The Fine Print:

C.C. Mixed & Ready Cover Challenge contest is open to residents of Canada (not including Quebec) who are of legal drinking age, of course.

So if you are interested in uploading a song, you had better get moving!   And if you appreciate Canadian music and wish to check out some up and coming bands and lend some support and encouraging words, come by.

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Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Iconic Canadian Bands according to Supernova CEO Elliott Hurst and me!


I am a born and raised Torontonian and as a result, I grew up listening to AM and FM radio which under Canadian regulations were required to play a percentage of Canadian music.  Due to that ruling which I believe is still in place, I became fond of Canadian acts such as; Platinum Blonde, Glass Tiger, Gowan, Mitsou, Triumph, the Box, TPOH, and the list goes on.

When discussing music around my office, with so few people as, ahem, aged as I am, and so many 1st and second generation immigrants, they have no idea who Canadian bands are, so I thought about creating a list – checking it twice with the help of Supernova CEO Elliott Hurst, and sharing some Canadiana with my readers.

If you are Canadian, you should recognize at least half of this list regardless of what kind of music you listen to.

If you are a non-resident of Canada, you should recognize 3 bands on this list.

Can you guess which ones?

So here are the 13 most iconic Canadian bands, and some honourable mentions.  For each band I have attached a YouTube link to probably their most memorable song and the name of that song;

1. Rush – http://youtu.be/U7DFsBcVMDA – Tom Sawyer

2. The Tragically Hip – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE2joQsWXJg – Ahead By A Century

3. Guess Who – http://youtu.be/gkqfpkTTy2w – American Woman

4. Arcade Fire – http://youtu.be/NNfWC4Sgkcs – Rebellion (Lies)

5. BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive) – http://youtu.be/NCIUf8eYPqA – Takin’ Care of Business

6. The Band – http://youtu.be/-WoI95PTizs – Don’t Do It.

7. Max Webster / Kim Mitchellhttp://youtu.be/WUhc8-vUp8o -> Max Webster’s Paradise Skies.  Kim Mitchell’s Go For Sode –> http://youtu.be/ymORCbgSyEA

8. April Wine – http://youtu.be/hoSVPiuNqHM – Could Have Been a Lady

9. Triumph – http://youtu.be/yahBtp_1jWE – Follow Your Heart (LOVE this song!!!)

10. Steppenwolf – http://youtu.be/xm5DPlNCmtk – Born to be Wild. 

11. Barenaked Ladies – http://youtu.be/wPh_6_u98tI – 7, 8, 9.

12. Blue Rodeo – http://youtu.be/7vw3jUZo9FQ – Try

13. Our Lady Peace – http://youtu.be/O94CW_tIEzU – Starseed


Honourable Mentions:

Chilliwack – http://youtu.be/yahBtp_1jWE

Trooper  – http://youtu.be/STiuregSvHg 

Billy Talent – http://youtu.be/RPg63uxYwN0

Saga – http://youtu.be/gx7XbV82JfQ

I Mother Earth – One More Astronaut – http://youtu.be/8cZT4vYiMxU

Sloan – http://youtu.be/tirqAVBoHFI

Honeymoon Suite – http://youtu.be/1_1AhimnRT0

Glass Tiger – http://youtu.be/Dl1DtF_5dkU

The Pursuit of Happiness – http://youtu.be/pSDF8VvU13M

My personal favourite band – Platinum Blonde – http://youtu.be/I4SOnBDe7qs

The Headstones.- http://youtu.be/BukWT54Cv4U

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider – http://youtu.be/uqUa_G1h3pw

Great Big Sea – http://youtu.be/f-oC-kNtPTs

Nickelback – http://youtu.be/BxgeSv88c2w

So, what do you think?  Have you listened to any of these songs?  Did you recognize the bands?  Who makes your list?

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So you want children, eh?

So… You really want children, eh?  I certainly did.  Now that I’m exhausted and running around every weekend taking the three of them to birthday parties, I have a different perspective on how to keep these kids from beating each other up on a daily basis.

Here are some things the kids have done in the past few days which I had to share.

The other night after Stewie went to bed, I heard music coming from Linus’ room.  I walked inside and there he was sitting on rug in the middle of his room, clock radio playing some am radio station, and his little sister Berry dancing in front of him.

“Change the station, Daddy”, he said.  “Put on something with a Rockstar” he said as he strummed his imaginary guitar. 

I put Q107 and Enter Sandman was playing .  He stood up and started dancing with his sister.  Then he got down on the floor and started break-dancing.  I was laughing but I sat down on the edge of the bed to watch.  The highlight was when he got off the floor and said to Berry, “your turn” at which point she lay down on the carpet and began breakdancing too. 


The kids and I danced for a couple more songs, then we all went off to bed.


Tonight after having a going-to-bed snack Berry was laying on our bed with my wife.  We have developed a routine to get Berry into her crib without freaking out.  I ask her who is in her bed, and her and I name off the stuffed animals sleeping in her crib. 

Tonight as I picked her up off the bed she reached out to her arms, looked me straight in the eyes, and said to me “dumb ass”.

Still resenting that brilliant idea of mine to teach her those words.


This morning Linus was annoying me, our nanny and his brother – par for the course.  He had a piece of “mail” in his hand – something written on lined paper folded in four and with a sticker of the Thing on it.  I was running around trying to get him ready for school – Stewie was too sick to go but then decided he was going and I had a lot on my mind so when he tried to give me the mail, I waved him off.  I’m pretty sure he tried again but I ignored him on that too. 

Fast forward to this afternoon, I found that piece of mail in my laptop bag.  It was the letter.  I opened it up and it read;

“I love you”.

I looked at it.  I choked up.

I thought about him the whole way home and when he greated me at the door I gave him a huge hug and a kiss and told him I loved him too.



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Thursday Thirteen: Audience participation required

Hello readers.

I need some help completing this week’s Thursday Thirteen.  I compare this task to that of playing CityVille on Facebook, where you reach out to your neighbours for missing pieces in order to complete a building or task.  While today I need all of you to assist me.

As you may or may not know, my taste in music is… well… different.  I like loud, hard rock, but also Canadian music, female artists and some classical and some jazz (Dr. Andrew Scott, for example – look him up, he’s Canadian too).  So it only makes sense that I got stumped when trying to figure out 13 songs that have a count-down in them, or a count-up.

I asked Elliott Hurst of Supernova.com and he gave me a bunch of alternative songs, but do you think I wrote them down?!?  Heck no.  But Elliott gave me a good idea, that being, to reach out to you guys to help me out. 

So please, have a look at the below, and feel free to watch the video on youtube in order to verify.

Let’s begin! 

Thirteen Songs that have a countdown in them.

13. Major Tom – David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust

12. Saliva – Survival of the Sickest – 1-2 a 1-2-3-4

11. Rocket by Def Leppard – 5-4-3-2-1, we’ve got lift-off.

10. Patience by Guns ‘n’ Roses – 1-2 ah, 1-2-3-4 (whistling begins)

9. Pussy Liquor by Rob Zombie – 1,2,3…









Honorable mention:

Thank you all for taking the time to chime in with your suggestions.

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