Theory of a Nickelback

Image from theywillrockyou.com

Image from theywillrockyou.com

I am in my car for roughly 1.5 hours per day. I listen to the radio for 65 per cent of that time. When I decide I’m done listening, it’s usually for one of three reasons: (1) I can’t stand listening to the same songs anymore (2) I need the quiet (3) Nickelback comes on.

The only Nickelback song I ever liked was their first single. I probably liked it for the same reasons I assume everyone else did: it was funny to see a 20-something sing the words “must have damn-near killed you”.  After that, it was all rasp and no gumption.

I know a lot of people who don’t like the band. Hundreds at least. In fact, I don’t know anyone who likes them. If I think about it really hard, I only know *of* someone who enjoys their music but she doesn’t count because she wants to marry the lead singer–that’s two strikes in good judgement baseball.

You might argue that someone must like them if they’re on the radio all the time. But I disagree on the basis that they’re Canadian. Our CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) requires  broadcasters to air a certain percentage of Canadian content in a given day. If I’m not mistaken, I believe it’s 25 per cent–a significant ratio.

(The definition of Canadian content, by the way, is anything at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from Canada)

As you know, our population in the Great White North is still pretty low. Our funding for artists is lower. While we have some fabulous musicians that come from Canada, there aren’t that many relative to what’s out there in pop culture. It’s slim pickins.

So what do we do? We hold onto the marginally well-known musicians and play the hell out of their records. That’s radio stations do with these guys. So much so that I think Canada has made Nickelback more famous than they deserve to be. Because they are one of few famous Canadian pop bands, they get a disproportionate amount of air play.

If they were American and getting this sort of recognition then I might buy it. But as it stands, I feel that someone is doing a poor job of lying to me.

I’ve been thinking about how we get our other famous musicians more popular and this is what I came up with:

-Nelly Furtado needs to come out with a new album, as does Feist.

-The Tragically Hip needs to incorporate house beats

– Celine Dion needs to partner with Timbaland

– The Arcade Fire needs to sing more about money and partying

Until any of this happens, I’ll be sitting in my car in silence.

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2 thoughts on “Theory of a Nickelback

  1. I think its actually 30% CDN content 40% U2 and the rest of the 30% is shared between Phill colins, Madonna and Sting.
    My biggest problem with Nickleback and other bands of its kind is that they make everything rhyme in this AABBC pattern. It reminds me of grade 8. Bleck.

  2. Exactly. There is little effort being put forth, which wouldn’t bother me if it was a Britney Spears song–that’s because her genre never claims to be anything but feel-good fun. I would argue that people listen to Nickleback for different reasons than Britney.

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