Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Canadian Pop Music: It does really matter, actually

Today it hit the news that the Kenny MacLean, bassist for Platinum Blonde--or as some call them "Canada's Duran Duran"--passed away suddenly this weekend.

I was 8 years old when Platinum Blonde's "It Doesn't Really Matter" hit the airwaves, and I heard it many times, particularly being an avid listener to Winnipeg station CFRW's Top 6 at 6 and Top 10 at 10. That was even before Canada's first music video program Video Hits hit the publicly sponsored TV in 1984. I also heard it repeatedly at the roller rink, where it animated many a careening crash.

I'd like to say that it changed my life, because that would make the loss of a creative person more meaningful, and give me a really very good reason for posting it on my art blog. Or even, perhaps, that it learned me some nihilism, and that I started reading Sartre in grade 3 as a result. That would be good too.

I don't think it did have such a dramatic effect, really. However, I do think that this song is still really great, as are other Platinum Blonde hits like Cryin and (to a lesser extent) Situation Critical. Of course, I'm biased as is anyone when it comes to the songs of their youth. But at moments like this it becomes every more clear how pop music lyrics and styles can be ingrained deeply in one's brain. Now that I have many more "brain is full" moments and the old neurons are on the decline, songs just don't get remembered the same way.

Reviewing the video today, I grin at the hairstyles, wince at the misogyny (my, how times have changed... not) and wonder how much current teens and preteens would pay to get their hands on these now-retro clothes and shoes.

I won't be "Cryin" over MacLean; but I am grateful for what he produced. A chance to dance, which, as I indicated on Monday, also makes for some great art sometimes.

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