August 24, 2020
Today's Carolaoke tune pays homage to Canadian Rock 'n' Roll!
A long time ago, I was supposed to go to Ontario's Sheridan College International Summer School of Animation program. I think it was a two or three year program if I remember correctly. You needed two years of art school to get in, I was in fact accepted based on the portfolio I submitted, but that year there was some type of trade embargo between Canada and the USA which more than doubled the tuition for United States students and made it impossible for me to attend.
Before this, all through junior high and high school, I made animated films on my grandfather's Super 8 camera and dreamed BIG TIME of getting into that school. During high school, the animation studio I was working at at the time (Karen Johnson Productions) had many alumni from Sheridan, and they'd fill me in on how amazing it was to attend. Most of them were alumni from the 1970's (tuition was dirt cheap apparently) but this was now the 1990's.
Not being able to attend the program crushed me on multiple levels. I'd stare at my acceptance letter thinking what a cruel joke that all was. Luckily I was working at the animation studio as an assistant animator at the time, but my spirit was seriously crushed. Even my grandmother was super excited at the prospect of me going to Ontario Canada to continue my education, which is where she was actually born and spent her early childhood.
Why does this matter even in the slightest? It created a type of affinity in me for our northern neighbors, their culture, art and music that never left my heart. And in later years, a deep appreciation for their music (especially pop) and their musicians. This song was extremely popular in the states while starting my band. It's important to point out that all members of Sweet Jelly worked at that Racine, WI animation studio. I loved singing along with this tune to warm up for band practice in the car while commuting the two hours (one way, once a week) it took me to "get" to practice from where I live. It's feisty, snarky, angsty and just a really fun song to sing.
Please enjoy my scratch track version and rudimentary recording skills of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" and all the baggage that comes with it.