VIDEO PICK OF THE WEEK IN HONOUR OF CANADA
Story by Kate Davies
“I’m not a lumberjack, or a fur trader. I don’t live in an igloo, eat blubber, or own a dogsled, and I don’t know Jimmy, Sally, or Susie from Canada, although I’m certain they’re really really nice.”
Surely we all remember those infamous words spoken by Joe, the passionate Canadian who was the centre of Molson’s ad campaign in 2000. It’s been more than a decade since that groundbreaking speech inspired pride in Canadians while simultaneously inspiring jealousy in Americans across the continent, encouraging the world to take note of Canada’s sense of humour and “cool” factor. Joe’s name could not have been more appropriate considering who he represented: the “average” Canadian Joe who stood up for the Canuck in all of us.
The ability to transform the average into the extraordinary permeates through to our modern day DIY culture and our ever-increasing ability to become “ceWebrities”. It is the internet which has been universally accepted as the heart of this DIY fascination because of its role as a haven for budding talent. With innovations like youtube, Instagram, vimeo, and HitRecord taking over the Web, talent is now more easily discoverable than ever before. This mentality has spread throughout all facets of our modern lives, as is evident through the mass amount of American Idol spinoffs which are dedicated to giving the average Joe his shot at the big time.
However, the ease of accessibility that the Web bestows upon us has become both a blessing and a curse to Western culture. For, just as we can be introduced to brilliant artists like Fleet Foxes, so too do we have to endure the William Hungs of the world while travelling down the information highway. Luckily for us, Plaid’s video pick of the week falls into the first category. Filmed over a period of two weeks, this Canadian National “Canthem” features four guys and one girl playing a variety of instruments which have all been constructed from Molson beer paraphernalia. True to the brilliantness that DIY culture sometimes has the ability to impart, everything you see in this video has been created by the five young talents starring in it.
They wrote the anthem’s arrangement, edited and mixed the sound and video, and directed the entire sequence. Using over 1000 beer cans and bottles, a 50 L keg, 30 L keg, 10 L keg, and a whole lotta glue, string, and water, this musical marvel has successfully reinvented the Canadian anthem for today’s youth. The instruments were constructed from scratch, which involved hours upon hours of painstaking building and re-building. All bottles were tuned precisely by being filled with water and they had to be continuously tested for accurate pitch due to the evaporation factor. The instruments range from didgeridoos made from cans, plinko bottlecaps, beer bottle harmonicas, and keggar drums. Basically, the epitome of DIY.
In the year 2000, Joe took the world by storm by representing Canadians as a distinct nationality, successfully disbanding our stereotype simply as “America North”. He is considered an “average” Joe, but perhaps this banal term should be redefined in light of the talent that can be showcased through our so-called “ordinary” Canadian youth. Rather than decrying those apparently Canuck-infused stereotypes as Joe did, these five young talents embody Canadian culture as something more “extraordinary”.
So no matter where you are this fine holiday weekend, how aboot you fry up some backbacon, throw on a side of poutine, and raise a pint in honour of our national anthem.
Happy 145th Birthday, Canada!