As you may have noticed, I’m a HUGE fan of dance music – 90’s-ish dance, in particular. I tend to just label most of it “Eurodance” by default, but a lot of what gets lumped in as Euro is actually Canadian!
There were a ton of great Canadian dance music artists back in the day. I’d listen to them on Chris Sheppard’s radio shows (and Canadians of a certain age now know exactly where “Celebration Generation” came from!), I’d watch them on Electric Circus, and – after moving to the GTA – I’d even hear them on top 40 radio, via Z103.5. Z has a heavy focus on dance music even to this day – It’s my favourite radio station ever, as a result!
So, with Canada Day coming up, I figure I’ll use the big party as an excuse to blog a Canadian Dance Music Playlist. It is out 150th, after all… so I’ll take any excuse to mark the occasion 🙂
To keep this reasonable, I’m only going to embed one song per group, though many featured have several / many great songs. If you hear something you like, I encourage you to look more into them. I love the high energy, uplifting nature of dance music, and love to share it with all of you!
In no particular order..
Laya – All My Dreams
This is one of my all time favourites, and gets played pretty much any time I’m in the truck or in front of the computer.. usually on repeat. LOVE.
Beatman – Nadia
This is one song I first heard through Z, and it’s a classic. High earworm potential, btw.
Roxxy – I’ll Never Stop
I love the speed and energy on this one, it was always great to play during skating practice or for workouts.
Jet Fuel – Hang on Here We Go
This song has a special place in my heart, as someone who was basically addicted to Electric Circus in my early-late teens – this song was the theme for the show Every Friday night, I would plan to watch, and usually record it. Living in Winnipeg – and being too young to go to clubs – it was the most readily accessible dance music, and it was fabulous. They’d open the Much Music studios and basically turn it into a club. The dancers wore bright colours, metallic fabrics.. spandex and feathers everywhere. LOVED. IT.
Capital Sound – Desire
Capital Sound was based out of Ottawa, and had a bunch of great songs. It was hard to narrow it down for the purposes of this list – so many good ones to choose from! I think “In The Night” was probably their biggest hit, but don’t quote me on that. “Higher Love” was right up there, too. “Feel the Rhythm” is probably tied for my favourite, but for my embed, I’m going with “Desire”. I don’t think it got as much love, in general… but I <3 it so.
Bif Naked – Spaceman
Now, I love me some Bif Naked at times, but she wasn’t really known for her dance music. I still find it a bit hilarious that she put out a dance remix of her “Spaceman“… but I’m certainly not complaining! I am firmly of the belief that dance music makes everything better.
Emjay – We All Need Love
I think “In Your Arms was my first exposure to Emjay, and it was DEFINITELY on Electric Circus; she performed live on the show at least once, and they played this video often. She had quite a few great songs, like “Fascinated“, “Flying to the Moon“, “Sound of my Heartbeat“, and “Point of No Return“. For the purposes of this list, though.. I’m picking “We All Need Love”. The video is so spectacularly 90s, and I just don’t hear this song get as much play as the others.
BKS – Living in Ecstasy
BKS was one of Chris Sheppard’s projects – featuring Simone Denny, who I adore – and they put out a lot of great music. Astroplane, Dreamcatcher, Take Control – which was, IMHO, the best song on Much Dance ’95…
I happened to be listening to the Astroplane album when I was trying to come up with a name for my business. It was during their cover of Swamp Thing, when inspiration struck. Chris Sheppard yelled “Celebration Generation, you know who you are!” – “The Celebration Generation” being his name for his fans – and in that moment, I just thought “Yes, I do!”. It stuck.
For this playlist, though, I figured I’d go old school and highlight my current favourite of theirs, “Living in Ecstasy”
Love Inc was another Chris Sheppard project, also featuring Simone Denny. Broken Bones was their first hit, and remains a favourite of mine today. You’re a Superstar is an amazing, feel-good anthem – one I load up on regularly, and make a point of sharing when someone needs it. Here Comes the Sunshine, Who Do You Love?, and more – all great.
Their song “Into the Night” didn’t get the same amount of play as some of the others ones, but it’s just such a gorgeous song, I had to include it here!
O.O.P featuring Simone Denny – You Make Me Feel Like a Star
Ok, this is probably my last Simone Denny song in here, I swear! So far as I can tell, I don’t actually know any other songs by this group, but this one – on the BeatClub CD – is definitely a favourite of mine.
Dion – Maybe
This is one of those songs that just really perks me up when it comes on the radio. Love it!
Ivan – Open Your Eyes
I never cease to be amazed at how obscure Ivan’s solo dance music seems to be. I do love to see the shock on friend’s faces when I point out that Ivan is Ivan Doroschuk, from Men Without Hats. Remember Safety Dance? Yep – that’s Canadian too!
Anyway, he put out an album in the mid 90’s – “The Spell”. This, and “SuperBadGirls” were my favourites from that album.
Temperance – Lost in Love
Temperance was a Toronto based group that had a couple of hits – A great cover of “Forever Young“, and Lost in Love, which was my favourite of the two.
Yakoo Boyz – Pipe Dreamz
Techno version of “Scotland the Brave” – what else can I say? This one has a special place in my heart, as I used to skate to the instrumental version. I thought my coach would kill me when I cut the music, choreographed it, and showed up to a competition with it, without telling him. The skirt was neon plaid, the bodice was made of 4 way stretch black PVC with metal zippers and rivets – looked like a stylized biker vest. I had my tattoo showing (a no-no for figure skaters back then!), a blue stripe in my hair… and I had FUN. This song makes me smile, just remembering all that nonsense 🙂
YBZ – Now That I Found You
Yakoo Boyz teamed up with Cleo-Patra,became YBZ (the code for a Toronto airport), and put out this song. Love it!
Outta Control – Tonight It’s Party Time
OK, I was wrong, this is another Simone Denny song. Whoops. This one was the first song on one of the compilation dance music cassettes I had way back in the day. Can’t remember which one, but I wore it out over this song. 🙂
Joee – Feel it in the Air
IN the end, I’ve gotta go with “Feel it in the Air” as my fav (“Almost Suicide” is a close second!)
Boomtang Boys – Dancing with Myself
Boomtang Boys are a group of producers/remix artists. Yep, they were the ones behind HamsterDance(and Hamster Dance 2.0)… but are much better known/respected for their work on other’s remixes (see “Spaceman”, above), and their own singles, Squeezetoy and Pictures (which had a memorably disturbing video!), and Both Sides Now, and – my favourite – Bang a Gong. (Which seems to be blocked in the USA, boo!)
My second favourite is their version of “Dancing with Myself”… even if I find the video – full of kids bouncing around – to be a completely bizarre choice, given the song’s rumoured (Though disproven) subject matter!
Prozzak – Omobolashire
I enjoy The Philosopher Kings, but I LOVE Prozzak – a project started by two of their members. Yes, the songs are cheesy, and the videos are corny, and the fake British accent is ridiculous.. but I LOVE it all. Judge all you want! 😀 Sucks to be You, www.nevergetoveryou, Europa, Strange Disease, the uplifting Be as… it’s all great for listening while sewing. My favourite, though, is the first song of theirs that I’d ever heard, Omoboloshire.
Jefferson Project – All I need is the Night
I don’t know much about this group, other than that I first saw them on Electric Circus back in the day. Love the song though!
Shauna Davis – Get Away
This song is a classic… and the singer is fascinating. Shauna Davis is Stéphane Moraille, who went on to sing for Bran Van 3000 (“Drinking in LA” is one of my favourite songs ever!), before becoming a lawyer and politician in Quebec!
…. this list is getting long! I’ll wrap it up with:
Solina – I Wanna Know
So. Yes. Canadians do Dance Music well! 🙂
Like many people I share traits with – women, young people, Canadians, immigrants… alive and breathing… – I’m kinda stressed out by the election tomorrow.
It’s been only a year since my homeland’s longest, most stressful election ever… and that one was 78 days long! I will never get used to multiple years of campaigns, attack ads, trauma, scandals, etc. It’s exhausting.
So, as some of my friends have panic attacks (literally), and others seriously consider exit strategy, I figured I’d distract myself by compiling an election day playlist. I tried to keep it a good mix of serious and fun, only a little snark, and tried to just avoid going down the whole apocalypse rabbit hole, for the most part.
Here is what I came up with:
Spirit of the West – “D is for Democracy”
Going to start this out with a good, uplifting song. Very “GET OUT AND VOTE” theme, IMHO.
Gaelic Storm – “Don’t Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story”
This one actually has nothing to do with elections or politics… but damned if I don’t think of the election every time this one pops up on Pandora!
Voodoo & Serano – “Overload”
I think a lot of us can identify with the feelings expressed in the video and lyrics, at this point.
Great Big Sea – End of the World as We Know It
Yeah, I know that REM did the original… but I’m Canadian, this is the first version I ever heard, and it’s my default. 🙂 Pandora seems to agree on the song (REM’s version, though) being appropriate. While I’ve never heard it played on any of my Pandora stations before, it’s been coming up *all the time* the past week or so!
K’Naan – “Wavin Flag”
As a VERY homesick Canadian living in North Minneapolis (“Murderapolis”), this song speaks to me on a spiritual level. Powerful, beautiful song. Somehow seems appropriate, even though it was written about Somalia.
The Guess Who – “American Woman”
Not as in the misunderstood “patriotic song about an actual woman” way. Nope, I’m including this song in its intended meaning, as an anti-war song. Tired of all the fighting.
Genesis – “Land of Confusion”
Is any commentary really needed on this one?
4 Non-Blondes – “What’s Up”
Because a lot of us are asking ourselves this.
The Cranberries – “Zombie”
Yep, it’s about The Troubles in Northern Ireland, but the message is pretty relevant to this, to us, to HERE.
Lohen & Lomax – “Live On”
Beautiful song, beautiful video, beautiful message.
Ice MC – Think About the Way
Anti-Racism song. Great message. You may wanna look up the lyrics if you’re not used to Ice MC 🙂
Les Miserables – “Do You Hear the People Sing”
I don’t know, the election just makes me want to listen to it. Chose the multi-lingual version for a reason. Also: R.I.P Michael Burgess, who will always be my one true Valjean.
Liza Minelli – “Cabaret”
If you know the musical and have any sense of pattern recognition with regards to past/current events (and accompanying dread) … you know why it’s here.
So, that’s it for now… what songs will YOUR Election Day playlist contain?
My tornado memoir – “Twisted” was released on 05/22/12! click here for more details, or to purchase!
Whew. It’s been a crazy few days. If you’ve been following on Twitter, you know the gist of it, but for the rest of you…
.. so it turns out, bathroom was damaged. We didn’t know, at the point the adjuster came by, but it doesn’t really matter – we blew past our coverage $30k in damages ago, so it’s a moot issue. Basically, the window dislodged – probably from the trees and crap that had gotten tossed between us and the neighbor on that side – and there’s a lot of water damage.
The guy who owned the house before us didn’t do the best job of … anything, really. House hasn’t had a permit pulled in over 30 years! So, after the storm, the window is sort of sagging – there’s about 1/2″ gap above it, straight out to the outside. Ew. That could explain some of the nasty bugs that have been getting in! Had we been living here / SHOWERING here, we might have noticed it earlier, but… like I said, moot point. We’d been planning to redo the bathroom anyway, so it’s not a HUGE catastrophe. We weren’t planning on having to make all these decisions / put out the money now, but… we just want it done. When the contractors are done in here, I want them done. I want all of the transitional crap, destruction, bare walls, and CHANGE done. I can’t see waking up ANYTIME soon and saying “hey… let’s tackle the bathroom now!”. We decided we need to just rip the bandaid off. Suck it up, get it all done. That’s what credit cards are for, right?
We picked out the new tiles for the bath/floor, and all of the stuff to do it. Then, the adventure began! (more…)
My tornado memoir – “Twisted” was released on 05/22/12! click here for more details, or to purchase!
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I’ve been getting through this whole tornado deal by cracking really awful, sometimes dark jokes. I know, it’s bad… but making ridiculous comments and laughing at it is sort of therapeutic. I don’t want to think what kind of basketcase I’d be if I didn’t have at least a few laughs this past week and a half.
I’m surprised that I haven’t been told off for this yet, but I’ve been tweeting suggestions for a “Tornado Playlist” the past few days. Like Dead or Alive’s “You Spin me Round” or Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass”. Haha.. I know, awful!
Well, today my husband and I were driving, I’d hooked up my phone to his car stereo, and we were listening to some tunes. I realized that, all joking aside, Unique II’s “Break My Stride” would definitely have to make it to my “Tornado Soundtrack”. Also, Eiffel 65’s “Lucky”.
As I thought about it, I realized that there are a LOT of great songs that come to mind, as I try to feel more upbeat about this whole thing. Some came to mind as friends gathered to help. Some came to mind at times that I’ve been wrestling with the worry that I was just a hair’s breadth away from losing my mind completely. I think that all of them are good to listen to if you’re feeling down, and all provide a pick me up.
So, I’d like to share my new, non-joking Tornado Playlist. Maybe some of these songs can bring some of the same cheer that they bring to me, to others affected by the disaster.