Big Shiny Tunes 2 is the third-best selling album in Canadian history, but #1 in the heart of every ’90s kid.
The diamond-selling MuchMusic compilation contains 17 tracks of pure 1997 alternative and Can-rock goodness. This Saturday at Bar le Ritz PDB, as part of CJLO 1690 AM’s FUNdrive, a slew of Montreal acts will pay tribute to this iconic Canadian release that has stood the test of time in some respects, while becoming hopelessly outdated in others. Although the series came to an end in 2009, the Big Shiny Tunes name lives on as a reminder of a time before the CD-R killed the compilation.
Set to take on the likes of Prodigy and the Tea Party are Silver Dapple, Look Vibrant, JJanice+, Commander Clark, Fleece, Boy Friends, NOBRO, Jilted X, Engone Endong, Half-truth, Feefawfum, Deadbeat Poet Society, Christ Diesel, In the Name of Havoc, B.A.B.E.D.U.D.E, Miss Isles, Chris Durning of the Bawdy Electric.
Look Vibrant have the honours of tackling Blur’s “Song 2.”
“Personally, I remember being young and seeing Big Shiny Tunes at Walmart and on commercials and thought it was so cool. But I never owned it, probably because I was too nervous to ask my mom to buy it for me,” recalls Look Vibrant’s Matt Murphy. “It looked like it was for big kids. I likely thought that she’d deem it too intense or be offended by some of the lyrics. I was too young though to realize that it takes a lot for my mom to be offended and that she would never judge someone based on their music tastes.”
Electronic pop songwriter Half-truth will get to channel his inner Gavin Rossdale when he does Bush’s “Swallowed” on the big night.
“Bush had a young audience, a handsome singer and made grunge before Creed established how bad things could get, which made them super-uncool. Listening now, though, they definitely had some good tunes! This is possibly my fave,” says Half-truth. As for the comp itself, he recalls: “It was the one compilation that all your high school friends had, no matter how much or little they loved music.”
And Commander Clark, who is no stranger to doing covers in his live sets, will be playing Collective Soul’s cringeworthy “Precious Declaration” and Matchbox 20’s hick-ish “Push.” For the former, which Clark will be doing with new local supergroup B.A.B.E.D.U.D.E., he intends to make a sign pointing out that it has the worst bridge ever written. (It really does.)
“Growing up in Ontario, before the Internet, the only way to really listen to music was Much,” Clark explains. “When I figured out how to burn CDs it became kind of a moot point, but when you couldn’t do that, you could buy a Big Shiny Tunes CD and pop it in.” ■
CJLO 1690 AM FUNdrive presents Big Shiny Tunes 2 LIVE at Bar le Ritz PDB (179 Jean-Talon W.) on Saturday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m. , $10/PWYC