Song #20: “Shaved Head”

I nominate Rheostatics as the best band to come out of Canada in the past 25 years, and seeing how my vote is the only one that counts, they win. I don’t listen to much generic white rock these days, but when I did, Rheostatics were at the top of the pile. I didn’t care for their more popular songs like “Claire.” Songs voiced by Martin Tielli like “Onilley’s Strange Dream” and “California Dreamline” were my favourites, but neither of those songs are available through YouTube, so I’ll pick “Shaved Head” from their magnum opus, the 1992 album Whale Music.


Whale MusicIn 1992, Rheostatics released the brilliant album Whale Music, where every song has cohesiveness and originality: you can’t imagine Martin Tielli’s unique vocal style being replaced, and his guitar rhythms are beautiful; and the other musicians make contributions equally astounding, including the underrated song Palomar.

Phillip and I have most of their albums, but Whale Music and Melville are the only ones I don’t grow tired of.

They recently released a new album: 2067. I’m not purchasing it, though: since Whale Music, I haven’t heard anything they’ve produced that grabs me like their first few albums did. I’ll wait for Phillip‘s opinion: I trust him (most of the time).

Incidentally, Whale Music was inspired by Paul Quarrington‘s enjoyable novel Whale Music, which spawned an equally enjoyable movie. A book, CD, and movie of the same name, all worth reading, listening to, and watching.