This story is over 5 years old.

We Found Out if Listening to Canadian Music Sounds Better When You're High

Sometimes we make mistakes in life. This is one of them.
April 20, 2016, 1:20pm

Illustration by Jane Kim

At Noisey, we come up with a lot of bad ideas when we're starved for content. And today, on this very special day of days—it's 4/20 if that wasn't already clear—we're proud to announce this is one of them. What did we do exactly? We decided to find out of if being under the influence actually improves the quality of Canadian music. Why? Because everyone knows music is supposed to sound better when you're high and it's no secret most of the music here ranges from middling to bad. So surely weed would help make the sound of folk guitars and cringe bars bearable. Also here are some quasi-reports we found so we can pretend this has some scientific background.


Anyways, as evidenced in the choices most of these songs were chosen at random thanks to YouTube and what the auto player considers Canadian music. The participants of this experiment are as follows; esteemed VICE colleague and American Allison Elkin, a random guy named Charms and a (smart) VICE employee who decided at the last hour not to be named. The results of this study are below. All comments made have been transcribed with minimal edits.

Shawn Desman - "Get Ready"

Jabbari Weekes: For like months, when this song first came out I thought Shawn Desman was black. And then I saw the video and… umm what do you guys think of this song?
Charms: The song is meh. It’s a solid meh, but it’s not good.
Unnamed VICE employee: Man, I used to think Shawn Desman was the man. But in retrospect, he was a white dude in a velour suit who thought it was a good idea to wear a du-rag under his fitted. “Get Ready” still slaps.
Jabbari: Yeah, can’t believe he’s not black. But yeah this is an overall solid pop song for the time it came out or so.
Charms: Does it sound better to you in this, state?
Jabbari: The choreography in this is excellent. I say, yes.

Verdict: Better

Ramriddlz - "Venis"

Jabbari: Why is this song so long? Why haven’t I heard the chorus yet? It’s been two minutes.
Charms: I like this song it’s tropical. Is the V supposed to be an upside down "A." Like a cute way of saying Aenis?
Allison: Why does he have a pineapple?
Jabbari: I think it’s like he’s sweet. He’s supposed to taste sweet.
Unnamed: As an OG sweeterman, this song vindicates my decision to stan for Ramriddlz at every opportunity. “We did drugs and boozies / then I touched your booty” is a great line.
Jabbari: Yeah this is great. “Girl I really want to play, play.”
Charms: We’re on another song now. This isn’t “Venis.”
Allison Elkin: So much autotune I can’t take it. Is he from Mississauga? I don’t get their identity. Oh my god you're spilling things!
[Charms spills water everywhere. Judging from this audio recording no one cleans it up.]

Verdict: Better?

Shania Twain - "Come on Over"

Allison: What do you think of her hair? What year was this?
Jabbari: A long, long time ago. 1997.
Charms: What does it make you feel?
Jabbari: It feels like a song about red sparkles.
Charms: Is this country music, country pop?
Unnamed: Is this song one big booty call? How many sons or daughters do you think were conceived to this song? My mom always liked playing Shania Twain in the car.
Allison: Is it possible for a song to be slightly different between Canada and America? This sounds different from the version I heard growing up.
Jabbari: Yes? I’m not totally confident this song sounds any better right now. But like Shania has braids in this video and she doesn’t look horrible.
Charms: I need water.
Jabbari and Allison: DRINK MORE WATER!

Verdict: No noticeable difference

Rush - "Tom Sawyer"

Allison: What was that? I feel like I blacked out for a second.
Jabbari: That was Rush.
Allison: What is the obsession here in Canada with Rush? Like what did Rush do for music? I feel you can point to a lot of bands and know what they did but I have no idea what Rush did for Canadians. Anyways play the song.
Jabbari: I did.
Allison: There’s no way you did.
Charms: How many seconds did you listen for?
Jabbari: Four minutes and 36 seconds.
Allison: It did not go on for that long!
Unnamed: This feels like something that a hippie would take LSD and listen to. I am not on LSD. Meh.

Verdict: Worse

Sky - "Some Kinda Wonderful"

Jabbari: Okay so this a song with two white people.
Allison: How old is this?
Jabbari: Like 20 years. I remember watching this on Hit List and trying to get my crush to listen to it every time it came on. Anyone remember the band 5ive?
Allison: Were these guys big? Like are they known in Canada?
Jabbari: Kind of.
Unnamed: These guys have a pretty low bar for wonderfulness. All I have to do is make a mean steak and be an eyeful? What do you think they mean by eyeful? Big to the point where you cover their entire eyesight?
Allison: It’s funny because there are some bands that are really famous here that aren’t famous in America. Like you guys really promote your own music and have all these radio requirements, restrictions on how much Canadian content you have to showcase. It’s kind of strange how things develop here and don’t make it elsewhere.
Jabbari: Huh?
Allison: Like Our Lady Peace is really big here but they had like one hit song that was popular on the radio in America and that was it. But here they were like a big deal. It’s really bizarre to me.
Charms: SO, that song was trash.
Jabbari: No, this is definitely a great song, high or not. This a classic.

Verdict: No difference because this song is great.

Justin Bieber - "Drummer Boy"

Allison: Is this recent? I really like his new album.
Jabbari: This was like before, before.
Allison: So three times before that album?
Charms: This was a great song.
Unnamed: A Christmas song with Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes? I’m in on this already. OMG Bieber is rapping. This is hard.
Jabbari: I came to realize my homie Bieber hit me on the Twitter. Then I hit him back despite I had some food up on my finger.
Allison: Meh.
Charms: We’re doing this for you, Jab. Does this sound better?
Jabbari: I came to realize my homie Bieber hit me on the Twitter. Then I hit him back despite I had some food up on my finger.
Allison: What is he doing?
Charms: He likes memorizing really bad lines from rap songs and saying them out loud. That means he liked it.
Jabbari: Rocking Louis Vuitton condoms, cause I'm so fucking in style, wow.

Verdict: No noticeable difference

Nickelback - "Window Shopper"

Allison: So, yeah, I just want to know why on Canadian radio channels the law says there is a certain percentage in order for them to exist and be funded.
Jabbari: It’s to promote the local Canadian music industry. So you have to like think…
Allison: You should write about this, Jabbari and if people think it's actually helpful to and does anything to incubate talent. It seems like there’s a lot of Canadian talent popping up lately. I wonder if it's because Canada fosters their own. Like, I just wonder if it's done anything to help Canadian artists and if it’s a proven thing. Seems kind of forced.
Charms: Justin Bieber was good this was like “Baby” days.
Allison: I don’t know that song.

Theory of a Deadman - "Savages"

Allison: What is this? Wait who is this? Turn this off.
Jabbari: Crap, I think this is Nickelback. Wait, no it isn't where did I put the list?
Unnamed: This isn’t a cover of 50 cent's "Window Shopper"?
Charms: Please turn it off.
Allison: I’m so glad I chose not to be a music writer. All these songs are the worse.
Jabbari: The guy is in a box screaming at a microphone.
Charms: This song was poor. Can we randomize because some of these songs are terrible? Do you have any songs that are good?
Jabbari: Let’s do Purity Ring.
Allison: Yeah that’s sounds solid but damn I’m slightly concerned about the rest of this playlist. Is there no Drake on this list you made?

Verdict: No noticeable difference… between Nickelback and Theory of a Deadman. Both objectively bad.

Purity Ring - "Bodyache"

Jabbari: This is a great song. Purity Ring is so great. THERE’S A CULT, THERE’S A CULT INSIDE OF ME!
Charms: I don’t know this band but this melody is really catchy. Didn’t really stick in my mind what they were saying but it’s catchy. I’d bump this fully conscious.
Jabbari: Form a salt, sprinkle it around MEEEEEE!
Charms: What does that even mean?
Allison: I love them but I feel like some people don’t. They kind of use cheesy electronics with really weird lyrics but there’s something about them. I remember when I first heard them that’s what immediately stuck out to me was how really basic the chords were but there’s something about their vocals. It somehow makes it okay.
Jabbari: That’s a lot of words… just to say Purity Ring is amazing. Yo, let’s listen to “Love and Caring.” Crystal Castles is Canadian.
Charms: We’re NOT going to do that! Not again! Not with you!

Verdict: Better

Godspeed Black Emperor - "Mladic"

Unnamed: When is the music going to start?
Charms: Why is this song 20 minutes? No, no we’re not listening to this.
Unnamed: 20 fucking minutes?! I’m out.
Jabbari: This is the first song on their album. It gets better.
Charms: No, if I want to listen to the score from Interstellar I’ll buy it. I’m not sitting here for a whole ass tv show to listen to this.

Celine Dion - "My Heart Will Go On"

Unnamed: Celine makes me feel things when I’m sober, so I can barely take this right now.
Allison: Beautiful.
Charms: Beautiful.
Jabbari: Beautiful. Verdict: Read above

Metric - "Stadium Love"

Allison: Yeah, we’re not gonna listen to this.
Jabbari: Why are you guys doing this? We need to listen.
Charms: Why are we even doing this again? Like all of this is pretty much bad.
Allison: Canadians have a sick obsession with Metric and yeah like they were a cool indie band, Emily Haines is pretty sick but you guys make this big deal about booking them, having them headline festivals, like geez.
Charms: This whole song, honestly, it made me question the entire meaning of life. The song, the conversation, quintessentially.
Jabbari: I like this song but it is slightly less tolerable in my current state of things.

Verdict: Worse

Drake - "One Dance"

Jabbari: Are you guys happy now?

Verdict: Yes.

Michael Buble - "You've Got a Friend in Me"

Jabbari: Alright one more song, “You've Got a Friend in Me.”
Charms: Quintessentially, listening to this music what does it make you feel now that you’re here?
Jabbari: Indifference.
Charms: You’re indifferent. Where does indifference take you?
Jabbari: I don't know. Why are you saying quintessentially all of a sudden?
Charms: I’m feeding energy off of you—wait is this Toy Story?
Unnamed: This is from Toy Story right? Can we talk about how weird that movie is? A friend pointed that out to me recently.
Allison: Oh, it’s Michael Buble? He’s Canadian?
Jabbari: Yes, and it’s a cover.
Allison: Is it in the actual movie?
Charms: Not sure if it’s this exact version but yeah this song is in the movie.
Allison: To be honest I wasn’t even a fan of this song or the Toy Story movie.
Charms: Wow you’re a bad person. What’s your favourite Disney movie?
Allison: Mine is The Little Mermaid. What is yours, Jabbari? You have to answer!
Jabbari: I feel like the easy answer is The Lion King but that’s such an easy choice and there’s so much out there. I just want to sleep.
Allison: Yeah, I would always cry when Mufasa died. Like even if I were to watch this now I probably still would. I was such an emotional kid and it was one of my fav movies and I’d watch it over and over and just be crying. Very questionable when a child decides to do something like that to themselves.

Verdict: Undecided.

Now, rested and fully conscious we can say with certainty that no reasonable answer can be taken from whatever this was. However, in the interest of a conclusion, it would appear being under the influence of a drug does have some semblance of a positive effect on Canadian music. Jesus, this was such a stupid idea.

Jabbari will always love "Saltkin." Follow and slander him on Twitter.
Allison believes backpacks are an important clothing accessory. Follow her on Twitter.
Charms is a guy I know.
Unnamed VICE employee doesn't want to be found for a reason.

* Special thanks to The Danforth Compassion Clinic