Canadian Culture: Grapes of Wrath: “Backward Town”

Self-tutoring about Canadian music: the tutor reflects and remembers….

It’s a beautiful day here, just like you’d hope for in mid-summer. On such a day I tend to get nostalgic. My mind landed, this time, on “Backward Town” by the Grapes of Wrath.

I recall “Backward Town” from the very late 80s. A girl I knew – we’ll call her Hannah, though that’s not her name – had the album, but it was her brother who used to play it when I was around.

Hannah and I weren’t romantically involved, but we fell out anyway, which I regret. Whenever I think of “Backward Town”, I think of her. It was more than one lifetime ago.

“Backward Town” is a style of music much more common then rather than now. Its video really captures the song’s essence, which not even most videos necessarily manage.

Absolutely Canadian, the video downplays itself. It’s in black and white, for instance. At the start, the band plays alone in an immense warehouse, empty and deserted save the three of them: a bass player, a guitarist, and a drummer (I don’t see a keyboardist).

The video alternates between footage of driving through the town and the band playing. Yet, in the middle, the band is suddenly joined by what one describes as “guitar-strumming zombies.” There are dozens of them in the background, yet they are easy to overlook in the dreary black-and-white scenery.

“Backward Town” and its video are easily as good as many whose bands draw much more attention. It goes to show how nowadays, success comes 95% (or more) from marketing.


YouTube: TheGrapesOfWrathVevo

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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