The Best Music Recommender in the World Cup. Round One.

Hello. First off, that’s a very nice looking selection of Canadian classics you have put together there. Sterling work everyone.

There were a few notable omissions; no k.d. lang, no Glenn Gould, no Nelly Furtado (Maneater anyone?), no Drake, no Vanity 6, no Jane Siberry. If anyone had picked something off William Shatner’s The Transformed Man (as long as they did it unironically) they would have gone straight into Round Two. And while yes, yes, we are all far too cool to nominate Céline Dion, Think Twice is an absolute classic that would have won more than a couple of rounds (and the sooner we all recognise that, the better, imho).

If anyone is interested (and I don’t mind if you aren’t) I would have picked Balade à Toronto by Jean Leloup. Let’s all have a listen to that before we get to the main event, shall we?

  • Group One

  • George Sandison recommended Androgynous by the Crash Test Dummies

  • Psycho Kylie recommended Oh Canaduh by Nomeansno

  • Justin Chisnall recommended Canadian Flag by The Yummy Fur

  • Tom A recommended How Does a Duck Know by Crash Test Dummies

    OK, so… Canadian Flag is one of my favourite songs, but, The Yummy Fur aren’t even Canadian so I can’t see how I can let it win? Not really. And the Crash Test Dummies? Well. I mean… they’re a bit annoying aren’t they? Most people assume it is the singer’s voice that grinds but I suspect it is actually the drumming and, fine, also the singer’s voice. Either way, I can’t let them win. Which just leaves Nomeansno, and a song I didn’t really like. I am declaring it the winner though, albeit basically by default. Congratulations Psycho Kylie. You’re through to round two.

  • Group Two

  • Benjo recommended Down to You by Joni Mitchell

  • Rob Cutforth recommended Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole by Martha Wainwright

  • Expletive Undeleted recommended The Spirit of Radio by Selina Martin

  • Matt Tuckey recommended I Remember by Deadmau5

    I don’t know why, but I had a feeling Rob (the Canadian among us) would pick Hawaii by The Young Canadians. He didn’t, but I did correctly predict his choice would have swears, so go me. I didn’t have any idea what the rest of you would suggest but none of you disappointed. This was a tough group to judge. I love all four choices. Any of them would have walked Group One. The draw has been cruel to you, guys. Really cruel. Proper ‘group of death’ stuff. Sorry.But there can only be one winner, and it has to be Rob Cutforth. I love Martha Wainwright. Some might say he had an unfair advantage, what with been Canadian and all, but trust me, I’ve seen his record collection. It was sheer dumb luck that he won.

  • Group Three

  • David Hartley recommended Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)

  • Geisterhaus recommended You Oughta Know by Alanis Morisette

  • Sam Whyte recommended Beware the Fly by Rational Youth

  • Marv didn’t recommend a song

    I still haven’t fully recovered from the amount of times my sister played Jagged Little Pill when we were teenagers. Geisterhaus wasn’t to know that of course, and I probably should have warned you all before we started but, you know, too late now innit? You Oughta Know is actually a great song but, out of sheer spite, I can’t let it win. Neighbourhood #3 is a banger too but I’m going to give the win to Sam Whyte for picking probably the best (and definitely the most Canadian) song of the group.

  • Group Four

  • Dan Edmonds recommended Afternoons and Coffeespoons by Crash Test Dummies

  • Miranda Whiting recommended Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen

  • Nicola Mostyn recommended Going To A Town by Rufus Wainwright

  • Tom Mason didn’t recommend a song

    As the choices came in on Monday and Tuesday, I greeted each song with a nod or a smile or a, “nice”. Only one choice got an ooh and that was Going To A Town. “Good luck going against that,” I thought. And so it proved. I love Leonard Cohen but he never stood a chance. Not this time. (Crash Test Dummies were never in the conversation. obvz, soz). Nicola Mostyn wins the group.

  • Group Five

  • Neal recommended The Canadian Dream by Sam Roberts Band

  • Plashing Vole recommended River by Joni Mitchell

  • Mallen181 didn’t recommend a song

  • Bruno di Gradi didn’t recommend a song

    It was pure luck that after giving it all Billy Big Bollocks on Twitter about beating Plashing Vole in the league, Neal would meet him in the first round of the cup (and the other two contestants wouldn’t nominate a song). So what happened when it was one-against-one? Neal got a thumping, that’s what. It wasn’t even close. It was embarrassing, really. Plashing Vole swaggers into the second round doing Shooter McGavin pistol motions with his hands (or he would, if he wasn’t a gentleman). Has any victory in the history of sport ever been easier, or sweeter?

  • Group Six

  • Beth Woodward recommended Call Me Maybe by Carley Rae Jepsen

  • James Beck recommended 1234 by Feist

  • Subfuscous recommended Sex Mad by Nomeansno

  • Monsterlander recommended The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

    Obviously, Call Me Maybe is the best song of the four but, CLERICAL ERROR KLAXON, Beth is already in Round Two because she won the X-Factor round. So, James, Subfuscous and Monsterlander get a lifeline. They don’t have to beat Jepsen. They only have to beat each other.

    Of the three of them it’s Feist, and James Beck, who gets the nod. I don’t think that’s a controversial choice.

  • Group Seven

  • Graham Cox recommended Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) by Arcade Fire

  • Tinky Winky’s Handbag recommended Mother by Tallies

  • David N Atkinson recommended Like a Madness by Sandi Shore

  • Saul Hay Gallery didn’t recommend a song

    Three great choices. Three great songs. However, Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) was the first song at my wedding. It’s unfair, perhaps, but you can’t compete with that. Graham Cox takes the win.

  • Group Eight

  • David Coates recommended The Laws Have Changed by The New Pornographers

  • Adam Farrer recommended Do You Wanna Rock by Danko Jones

  • Dan Powell recommended Magic Word by Fucked Up

  • Talking Bullocks recommended Living on Video by Trans-X

    After disqualifying Danko Jones for the disturbing/sleazy way he says, “Let’s get it on,” I was left with three choices. Magic Word was a bit too angry for me, and while I did enjoy Living On Video it conjured up too many memories of 1980s British tv staple, The Clothes Show, to feel truly Canadian (which is hugely subjective, and hugely unfair, I know, but it is what it is). Which left David Coates the last man standing, and with a place in the second round.

  • Group Nine

  • Desmond recommended Women Around the World at Work by Martha and the Muffins

  • James Hannah recommended Little Green by Joni Mitchell

  • Renlau Outil recommended A Case of You by Joni Mitchell

  • Rufus Hound recommended The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

    With the best will in the world, this is the battle of the Joni’s, isn’t it? And as I can’t split them musically, I’m giving the win to Renlau Outil because the song he picked has that, “On the back of a cartoon coaster / In the blue TV screen light / I drew a map of Canada / Oh, Canada,” bit in it.

  • Group Ten

  • Graeme recommended Crooked Legs by The Acorn

  • Cheryl Sonnier recommended When the Night Feels My Song by Bedouin Soundclash

  • Lucy Lapwing didn’t recommend a song

  • Nicholas Royle didn’t recommend a song

    You would think it would be easier when there are only two songs to choose between. It isn’t. Not necessarily. Not in this case. However, by the finest of margins, I’m going to choose… Graeme. Congratulations.

  • Group Eleven

  • Slugger recommended The Place I Left Behind by The Deep Dark Woods

  • Jim Peeeeeeee recommended Mechinut by Jeremy Dutcher

  • Scout Tzofiya recommended The Art Teacher by Rufus Wainwright

  • Adrian Slatcher recommended I’m an Adult Now by The Pursuit of Happiness

    I’m not sure what the odds of the two Rufus Wainwright recommendations given being my two favourite Rufus Wainwright songs, but that is what has happened. It’s not even as if I like everything he does. As somebody who sat through his opera I can assure you, he doesn’t always hit the bullseye. The Art Teacher though, oh my. I do like that. I like that a lot. Scout Tzofiya takes the round.

  • Group Twelve

  • Chris Bissette recommended Boiled Frogs by Alexisonfire

  • Dan recommended Fuck the Pain Away by Peaches

  • Kerrie Ann Gardner recommended Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

  • Mark P didn’t recommend a song

    Three great songs. Three very different songs. My head says Joni Mitchell but my heart says Peaches. However, my gut says Alexisonfire. I am a body at war with itself, no part of me prepared to compromise. So… and sorry about this… I’m going to roll a die to decide…. A big blue die with gold dots that I got in a home-made cracker when I was ten or so (I think). It’s big but it rolls well. A good die has rounded corners and- oh sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah… the winner is Kerrie Ann Gardner.

  • Group Thirteen

  • Socrates Adams recommended Run to You by Bryan Adams

  • Kate Feld recommended Undun by The Guess Who

  • Rachel Bentley recommended A Case of You by Joni Mitchell

  • David Quinn recommended Wash Your Face in My Sink by Dream Warriors

    I was disappointed to see that Socrates, a man who had previously championed the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack, would forsake Spectre General when asked to pick a Canadian song but he did, and that’s that. I wasn’t blown away by The Guess Who. Which means it comes down to a fight between Joni Mitchell and Dream Warriors. It’s close, but, Rachel Bentley takes the win. (David, if you had picked Do Not Feed the Alligators, you would have edged it. Life, eh? A series of fine margins etc etc.)

  • Group Fourteen

  • Donna Morris recommended You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

  • Richard Jones recommended Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars

  • Sarah-Clare Conlon recommended Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne

  • Iain McGregor recommended Canada by Woodpigeon

    I’d like to pretend this was close, I’d like to be cooler than I am, but it wasn’t, and I’m not, so congratulations to Sarah-Clare Conlon for picking the absolute ANTHEM that is Sk8er Boi. A place in the second round is all yours.

  • Group Fifteen

  • Barngates Brewery recommended Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire

  • Nightjar Press didn’t recommend a song

  • Dentiste de Prison recommended Oblivion by Grimes

  • Chris WEAR YOUR DANG MASK recommended Don’t be Denied by Neil Young

    I was quite rude about Neil Young when we did Y, and I really should clear up any confusion. I’m not fundamentally anti-Neil Young. If you had gone with Heart of Gold, you’d be in Round Two. As it is though Barngates Brewery just nicks it.

  • Group Sixteen

  • Geraint recommended You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

  • Tom. recommended Lovely Allen by Holy Fuck

  • Matthias Reuter recommended Suburban War by Arcade Fire

  • Richard Smyth recommended About as Helpful as You Can Be Without Being Any Help at All by Dan Mangan

  • Michael Conley recommended Up on Cripple Creek by The Band

    I felt a bit bad that due to ANOTHER CLERICAL ERROR in which I highlighted (but didn’t circle) Tom on my first round draw list (look, it was a complicated system, I’m not perfect) he ended up in Group Sixteen (which was supposed to be an open group for people who hadn’t taken part in the league but fancied a go in the cup).

    However, his choice wouldn’t have won the group he should have been in (and it did win this one) so I’m over it now, mostly. Things usually work out for the best.


So, congratulations to everyone who won their group. This week is half term so I’m going to take a short break from listening to your recommendations. Next Sunday I will reveal the full draw for Round Two of the cup. Next Monday (ie the 2nd of November) I will be contacting those of you have made it into Round Two to ask for your next recommendation.