Monday, January 14, 2008

Defending the Music XI: I Must be too Dumb to be Proud

Just past the halfway mark!

I've made a point of doing a few of the shiniest gems, but for the most part I've worked my way through the items I'm least excited about. Looking at what is left over now and deciding what I'm going to tackle next I have committed myself to writing about what in my mind are the three least of the remaining five bands in this and the next two entries.
But don't be mistaken, when I say 'least' we are still talking about the 'least' bands in the list of artists I trust the most.
Though it bears saying that these least artists do kind of hammer home the point that that trust comes from an expectation I put upon their worst music, not their best. Several bands have made the list because I'll put up with their occasional crappy song in order to be there when they put one out of the park, but in many cases it's a simple matter of feeling like even their worst music would get at least three stars on my media player. This is one of those artists.

I discovered Our Lady Peace and Alannis Morrisette (as opposed to Alannis) in one ten minute window. That makes for a reasonably important 10 minutes in my personal history of Canadian rock. Alannis didn't (even come close) make 'the list' though.

I listened to that first OLP disc, "Naveed" throughout the summer of '95 on tour. The ensuing five albums have admittedly sounded very much like that first one. That has been a virtue thus far, but I have to admit that I'm hoping that the new OLP album, due this spring, takes them in a fresh direction.

I figure that a good part of the appeal of OLP is that, being 1) My age; 2) Canadian and 3) Of roughly the same musical aesthetic as me, they represent 'the band I would have been in' if that had ever been a reasonable trajectory for my life. Though I have to think that it would be inevitable that I would have written songs with more humour than Raine Maida. I mean, geez, could one person explore the feeling of being let down from more angles?

Every now and then, OLP had struck a chord running deep in me. Their debut, "Naveed," (both the song and the album) musically hit exactly where I was at at the point in my life that I heard it. But it needs to be said that the lyrics of one of their songs - "Waited" - stand as the only song lyrics that have ever changed my life in a directly quantifiable way. I was in a very toxic relationship, I was in severe denial about the damage it was causing me. But upon hearing the chorus of that song... "I must be too dumb to be proud, 'cause I waited, waited here." ...I saw myself and how pathetic that was. Needless to say I got out. Fast. There has never been any looking back on that one.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else reading this has ever had a similar experience with any other song? Doesn't have to be a relationship thing, just a point where a song has made you look inside yourself and change a bad pattern.

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