The List: Brendan Canning’s favourite things

The List: Brendan Canning’s favourite things

Broken Social Scene’s long-awaited fourth album is out, and their annual Island concert is this month. Here, 10 things the founding member of Canada’s favourite indie rock collective can’t live without

Canine companionship
My girlfriend and I recently adopted an eight-year-old chihuahua. I swear it was more involved than adopting a child: we drove up to King City to meet the dog, then someone came to our home to interview us, and then after we got him, there were follow-up phone calls. His name is Santana, but lately we’ve been calling him “the Poozle.”

I look forward to our post-show card games more than the gig. When we were on the road in Europe, it was an obsession: we taught our bus driver how to play and had a big tournament. I was on a winning streak until somebody replaced my lucky deck.

My music authority
I’ve been going to Rotate This on Queen West for more than 15 years. Back then, I was buying house records and Ninja Tune albums from the U.K. I’ve learned about a lot of great bands just by going in there.

Wardrobe staple
I have a lot of plaid shirts. When I was playing with hHead and doing the whole ’90s grunge thing, I got them from Buy the Pound at Adelaide and Jarvis. Now I get them for free from a brand called RVCA. Swag is definitely one of the perks of being in a band.

My footie fix
I’m in the Toronto Services Soccer League. Every year I have this inner struggle: “Do I have it in me to play in the premier league?” It’s not worth it unless you’re in the top tier.

Preferred poison
We drink a lot of tequila on tour. Our front-of-house man, Marty, got us into this 100 per cent agave tequila, which is so high-grade you don’t feel like crap the next day. He also invented a drink called the Touchdown: white grape juice, tequila and lime. Sometimes you need something to keep the party train moving.

My ride
My bike is an oldie, a three-speed CCM Elan. I’m a vintagey kind of guy. I got it at George’s in Kensington Market, across from Jumbo Empanadas.

Mushroom risotto
Tati Bistro on Harbord makes the best risotto, which isn’t on the menu. It’s nothing fancy, just with special mushrooms. No, not that kind of
special mushrooms.

My at-home instrument
The only guitar I play at home is a Harmony beater archtop acoustic. It’s a 1950s Sears model.

Bath time
I’m a bather, not a showerer. I have an old claw-foot tub. I like the reflec­tion time. I don’t read; I just hang out and shut ’er down.

(Images: dog courtesy of Brendan Canning; others by John Cullen)