Happy Canada Day, everybody! Our neighbors to the north are celebrating the uniting of two British colonies plus a British province into a single country called Canada in 1867. Like Independence Day in the United States, Canada Day celebrates the birth of a new nation with fireworks, barbecues, concerts, parades and copious amounts of eating and drinking (probably Molson). Canada is a remarkable country, as they have delightful socialized medicine, a charming separatist movement in the province of Quebec and loads of excellent musical exports, from legends like Neil Young to one-hit wonders like Snow.
The video playlist below is a salute to some of Canada's finest musical contributions. They include everything from buzz-worthy hip-hop (Toronto-based Drake's "Best I Ever Had") to folk-kissed indie (Feist's "Mushaboom") to sugary teen pop (Justin Bieber's "Eenie Meenie") to good old-fashioned rock (Our Lady Peace's "Somewhere Out There"). There are also divas, both traditional (Celine Dion) and non-traditional (Alanis Morissette). There's also Hole's slick "Celebrity Skin" (former bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur is from Montreal) and Skid Row's jagged "Breakin' Down" (frontman Sebastian Bach grew up outside of Toronto). Of course Avril Lavigne is on that list, as is Barenaked Ladies' "One Week."
But we begin as all things should begin: With Sarah McLachlan. She'll be celebrating Canada Day in her hometown of Vancouver today, as the newly re-launched Lilith Fair makes a stop at Ambleside Park. McLachlan is our favorite Canadian of all time, as she not only creates expertly-crafted pop songs but also made those long skirts really popular for a little while at the end of the '90s. Her "Building a Mystery" remains the song that everybody thinks about when they think about female musicians in the late '90s (well, either that or that one Meredith Brooks tune), and she remains a vital artist (her recently-released Laws of Illusion is charmingly frosty pop). Check out the totally amazing clip for "Building a Mystery" and toast the nation that gave us rabid hockey fandom, poutine and that Tylenol with Codeine in it.