Happy Independence Day!

Dan Bryk is one of the subjects profiled in a Fourth of July-themed article in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Independent Weekly. Writes Grayson Currin:

“Here—during this most paramount of American holidays—we profile two local musicians whose recent addition to the Triangle has added new questions, sounds and ideas, and another, whose progressive bent on an old form proves that molds are meant to be re-imagined…”

As Dan Bryk sees it, Canadians think a lot about becoming Americans. He recalls Canuck musical satirists The Brothers-in-Law and their late ’60s cut “Canada-U.S.A.,” a yarn that speculated on the effects of Canada finally fulfilling its destiny as the 51st united state. Canadians, Bryk remembers, would be lavished with only the best American assets—the John Birch Society, color television, racial segregation. It’s not always a positive picture.

But it’s not all snark, either: Bryk is quick to note that for decades Canadian artists had to head south to be more than regional successes—four-fifths of The Band, Michael J. Fox, Neil Young, Dan Akroyd, Lorne Michaels. There’s another list, too, says Bryk—those Canadian acts that should be part of the collective North American heritage but aren’t, mostly because they refused to leave. Bryk extols Kensington Market and The Paupers, Canadian standouts who are barely mentioned in America four decades later.

It’s not like that anymore, or at least it’s not as extreme: Especially in the realm of indie rock, which Bryk circumnavigates with a piano and pop songs, Canadian bands—The Arcade Fire, Destroyer, Wolf Parade—tour the world and cling to their national identity. Bryk grew up in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. He started performing his witty, hooky songs 15 years ago, but—even when he left in 2001—he found it was hard for a Canadian artist to stretch beyond the country’s broad boundaries. “I hit the glass ceiling in Canada hard,” he remembers…

Read the whole thing at the Indy website.

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