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Talking Bands
by Marianne Dowling

It’s that time of year again when we gather with friends and family, pop the bubbly, wear silly hats and, of course, read all the year-end retrospectives. Here’s another one—my musical memories of 2004. Enjoy.

Most Pointless Award Show:

The People’s Choice Awards, where every category was inexplicably won by Tim McGraw.

Best Band Named After an Assassinated Arch-Duke:

Franz Ferdinand. Some might be put off by the Scottish band’s preference for tight pants—but don’t you worry—the pants are stretchy and the band isn’t afraid to rock out and bust a move. Franz’s breakthrough single “Take Me Out” crossed over into mainstream radio and gave even the most timid wallflower and excuse to get on the dance floor.

Biggest Bush Bashers:

(1) Beastie Boys. On their current tour, the Boys dedicate the last song of the night to George W. Bush. The song is called “Sabotage.” (2) Eminem: Just how did Mr. Mathers III spend his time in between albums? By the sounds of his latest “Encore,” he was holed up in a darkened room sharpening pins for his presidential voodoo doll. Em’s political single “mosh” takes direct hit at “W” with lyrics like “Stomp, push, shove, mush, F**k Bush until they bring our troops home.” Not one for subtleties, he really drove his point home by performing this song at the MTV Europe Awards in front of an armored tank.

Lyrics of the Year:

“I drink a boost for breakfast, and ensure for dizzert

Somebody ordered pancakes, I just sip the sizzurp
That there could drive a sane man bizzerk.”

—Kanye West, “Through the Wire”

“He spent her money oh so well

Take a bath in cold Kristal

He took a trip 2 burn an old flame in “Frisco, like wow
But Doris caught him in her arms

She shrugged her shoulders and said “No harm”
Just put your name on this pre-nup and we can all hit the disco.”

—Prince, “Illusion, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance”

Breakthrough Maritime Band:

The Trews. Although technically The Trews’ House of Ill Fame came out at the end of 2003, it’s clear 2004 was their year. The Antigonish band showed Upper Canada there is more to Cape Breton than the Cabot Trail when their single “Tired of Waiting” hit the air waves.

Heat Seeking Band:

Danny Mainstreet Band. Everything is falling right into place for DMB: A successful CD Launch for Bulletproof and Ignorant, a VideoFact grant for their new single “Rock ‘n Roll Pollution Steroids” and a #1 hit on the East Coast music countdown. Ignorance really is bliss.

Best Albums:

(1) K-OS Joyful Rebellion. There is something for everyone on K-OS’ latest album. From hip hop to soul, gospel, and rock, the Whitby native blends the genres seamlessly while rapping and singing some of the smartest, socially aware lyrics of the year.
(2) Beastie Boys To The 5 Boroughs. Sandwiches, kugel, Carl Sagan, and Sasquatch. Just some of the topics Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA thought were worth rhyming about on their latest album released in June. The irreverent, crazy raps, hilarious name checks and shout-outs to New York City were all the more heart-warming when you consider they had been on hiatus for six years. In that time, we all realized how much we missed them. Fun, energetic, nostalgic, and at times even political, the Boys (with a combined age of 117!) answer why they can’t, they won’t and they don’t stop.

Honorable Mentions:

The Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Events Calendar

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