View Full Version : Canadian Rock music - 1999

Mark Moore
06-18-2014, 04:02 AM
I've got a story that takes place in British Columbia in 1999. This one character is a massive music fan and carries CDs around in her bookbag. She and her girlfriend are going to buy gifts for each other, and I want the girlfriend to buy her a then-current Rock album by a Canadian band, but I'm having trouble finding one. I don't want anything too Poppy. Perhaps something similar to Van Halen. Any help would be appreciated.

06-18-2014, 04:06 AM
What about something by Sarah McLachlan and/or Lilith Fair? Or is that too soft? Lilith Fair was big about then.

06-18-2014, 04:12 AM
Barenaked Ladies?

(The band, that is.)

06-18-2014, 04:17 AM
Shania Twain
Celine Dion
Alanis Morissette
Allanah Myles
Kim Mitchell <---- Van Halen sound like (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGCLubIDPfE)
Avril Lavigne
Nelly Furtado

Barenaked Ladies
Simple Plan
Nickelback <- this would be your Van Halen mee-too (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYXb0ZqKucA)
Blue Rodeo
Our Lady Peace
Smashing Pumpkins
The Tragically Hip


06-18-2014, 04:52 AM
Here's a handy list: http://musiccanada.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/late-90s-big-songs-and-albums/

06-18-2014, 06:15 AM
1999 would have been at the beginning of the puck rock sound, while in the thick of the alternative rock. Some obscure Western Canadian music that may be listening would be The Smalls, The Wheat Chiefs, Propagandhi, Captain Tractor, The Weakerthans, Arrogant Worms, Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie, FemBots, Strapping Young Lad, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Delerium, Dayglo Abortions.

Some Albums released between 1998 and 1999

Sarah Slean - Blue Parade
Tegan and Sara - Under Feet Like Ours (note: if you are going to use this album, the name is Sara and Tegan.)
Sarah Harmer - Songs for Clem
Kittie - Spit (a very hard all girl sound.)
Alanis Morissette - Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

Propagandhi - Less Talk & More Rock
Nomeansno - Dance of the Headless Bourgeoisie
Frontline Assembly - Implode
Weakerthans - Fallow
Moev - Suffer
Delerium - Karma
Strapping Young Lad - City
The Smalls - My Dear Little Angle
The Wheat Chiefs - Redeemer
Captain Tractor - Bought the Farm

06-18-2014, 06:25 AM
I was going to agree with Nickelback until I saw that they didn't chart very high until 2001. Same goes with Avril, Simple Plan and Sum-41. IMO Barenaked Ladies are too corny for the sound you're looking for. As a kid I used to record songs off the radio and on those tapes I had both Shania and Alanis. Alanis being more on the rock side.

I should note you shouldn't feel restricted to Canadian bands. A lot of the songs on the radio here are American based.

06-18-2014, 06:39 AM
Nickleback, Avril, Sum41 are really top 40, and Alanis was hardly considered serious Canadian music. If you're looking for something less poppy, avoid them. (also, just avoid them in general)

Canadian rock doesn't have much in the way of Van Halen... The Canadian rock sound is very different from Van Halen.

Unless maybe the Tragically Hip? I guess? Maybe? (but really, if she's a hard core indie Canadian music lover, she's be way past them by that time).

Xelebes has mentioned most of the bands I'd consider (Dude! Did you hear that The Smalls are playing XFest this year??).

Also, D.O.A., Red Autumn Fall, The Northern Pikes, 54-40, SNFU, Rheostatics, Spirit of the West,Theory of a Dead Man, Three Days Grace, Our Lady Peace, Biff Naked, The Tea Party, Moist, The Forgotten Rebels, Subhumans, and Furnaceface. There's also Finger 11, who at the time were known as Rainbow Butt Monkeys. Billy Talent is a good one too. Plus you can make reference to Hard Core Logo, the classic Canadian rock movie they took their name from.

06-18-2014, 07:11 AM
The Smalls are before my time and is generally not my scene (I'm not a big fan of rock in the first place. See my avatar to get a picture of what music I listen to.) But I know quite a few people who are jumping for joy for this.

06-18-2014, 07:23 AM
Yeah, it'd definitely big news.

Though, 1999 was really near the end of the good punk scene, not the beginning. Early 90s was full of all kinds of awesome small time punk and weird indie stuff, in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton in particular. There were nights in the early 90s when I had to choose among up to 3 different shows, each with multiple bands playing. All ages gigs every Friday and Saturday through most of high school. Plus bigger shows at places like The Black Lounge (aka the black lung) at the U of C, or the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. I actually had a wall in my bedroom plastered with layers of gig posters. I'd try to keep them for every show I went to.

As for the character trading CDs with a friend... reminds me of xmas "secret santa" among friends one year. I got Red Autumn Fall from a friend and I got her ... I think it was Jonestown Punch. They were cassette tapes though, not CDs.

The Calgary Cassette Preservation Society is a neat thing. I love the site. Forbidden Dimension, Chixdiggit, Ramada Gods (loved them, still have a tshirt), Huevos Rancheros... I think I've seen at least 90% of the bands listed on there. Very happy nostalgia. I've actually managed to reconnect through their facebook page with people I used to see at shows.

I found this vide of Highwood music festival (few years earlier than what you're looking for but I'm wandering down memory lane now rather than doing homework)... it's a crappy home made video, but shows a few bands and the sound that is Canadian indie metal/punk/rock will come through.
And in my opinion, the origin of the very bass driven sound is all a result of NoMeansNo. They started in the 70s, and they are still playing. Saw them just a few years ago.

06-18-2014, 08:54 AM
When I say puck rock, I mean it as a divergence from skater punk and the alternative sound that developed in the 80s (the bass heavy sound.) The earliest recordings are from 1990 but the genre actually peaks from 2005-2012.

BTW, just from the video heard a sample from one of my favourite techno tracks. Didn't think there would be a remix any of the rarer songs that would end up as a London warehouse rave hit.


06-18-2014, 04:00 PM
Old but known:

April Wine


Mark Moore
06-20-2014, 05:09 AM
Wow, lots of choices. Thanks, everyone. :) I've already written the scene, so I just gotta plug in an album title and artist.

06-22-2014, 10:24 AM
From my memory of being a high schooler in the late 90s in western Canada, the two biggest albums for mainstream Canadian alterna-rock in 1999 were:

Moist - Mercedes 5 and Dime
Our Lady Peace - Happiness ... Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch

Real hipster-kiddies would have been into something more obscure, but those two bands were the soundtrack to most of our grade 11 and both albums were released in '99. Everyone wanted them because the previous album (Clumsy for OLP, Creature for Moist, both in '96-'97) was so influential for us as 15-16 year olds. Both albums ended up being a little bit past the peak of the bands' popularity, but everyone still wanted them when they came out. Moist were a BC band, OLP were Toronto, but both were omnipresent at the time in the west.

Nickelback were nobody at the time, Alanis was a joke, BNL were a bad joke. The Hip have always been cool, but we sure as hell didn't think so in '99. Worth repeating that a lot of the big sounds we heard were American, not Canadian... Some grunge nerds were still into the Foo Fighters, but they were disintegrating. Smashing Pumpkins still seemed deep, but were getting a bit weird. A pity you're a little too early for Three Doors Down, because everyone wanted their album after Kryptonite came on the radio in early 2000.

Hope that helps.

Mark Moore
06-24-2014, 06:40 AM
Hope that helps.

It does! Thanks! :) And I had no idea that some of these bands, such as BNL, were Canadian.

The character that I'm writing about is pretty much the fashionable/popular type (definitely not a hipster, and did that even exist at the time?), and she listens to music on the radio, so I suppose she'd be into the Hot 100 (or whatever the equivalent is up there).