Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock – E2

I am going to break format this week about bands and focus on a couple of other things.

Bob, it was amazing to have had the opportunity to know your parents. Although I only met your Dad once or twice I loved his style and dry sense of humour. I was lucky enough to meet Mercedes many times and I can’t count the times we have used her cioppino recipe. I remember sitting around your old dining room, using cloth diapers as napkins, and chowing down on massive bowls of the magical seafood. I also remember the sharp glances Mercedes would throw our way if we started to get out of line. Loved your column and had to pay my respects. As you know my Mom rocks (and I think Kootch still owes her a couple of hundred bucks).
Speaking of respect what can I say about Frank Gutch Jr.? This is a man I have never met, or even spoken with in person, but paid me the honour of driving sixty miles (one way) to see a band on my recommendation. Thank God he liked them and I agree with everything he said in his column this week. It is so difficult to get people out to a gig nowadays but nice to know there are still some really passionate music fans out there. Of course I knew Frank had good taste a couple of years ago when Segarini started to rave about The Research Turtles after Frank turned him on to them. Frank you owe me nothing, just keep writing about bands we should all know about. May the Faith be with you.
Also, thanks to  Bob, Jaimie, Nadia and Frank who all spend time reading and commenting on each others columns. They always have something positive to say and it is appreciated. There are lots of little golden nuggets to be found in the DBAWIS family scribblings and I always check out what the others are writing about.
Alright, after screening close to 200 movies of the course of the last six months the esteemed Ambrose Roche (Head of Programming for the NXNE Film Festival and noted film maker) and I have come up with the schedule for the 2012 NXNE Film Festival June 11-17). You can plan your own music, film and interactive timetable with the NXNE Schedulizer which can be found at We work really hard to put the right films together in thematic packages (even if it only makes sense to the two of us) and we are thrilled with what we have put together this season. Most of the screenings are during the day at the National Film Board located at Richmond and John Street. We start things on Monday June 11 and wrap it up on Sunday June 17th. We will also have a full slate of films with our old pals at The Toronto Underground Cinema on Friday June 15 (Queen and Spadina beginning at 12:30 PM) and one very special screening at The Royal (Clinton and College on Thursday June 14th). We finish screenings early in the evening giving you lots of time to check out the  650 bands that will be invading the city. Here are some of the treats we have in store for you,
E is for Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy
How could we not bring you the latest film from the author that gave us the brilliant “Trainspotting”? I can’t wait to see this film as it is the only one I did not screen. There is a nice local connection as the film was directed by Toronto’s Rob Heydon and some of the movie was shot in Toronto and Sault Ste. Marie. Here is what we can expect:
“Ecstasy is a dark romantic comedy based on the controversial book (a bestseller in over 20 countries) by Irvine Welsh. The film combines Welsh’s provocative characters and superb storytelling with shocking thrills and dark comedy, taking us on a journey into a crafty, drug-fuelled contemporary satire on modern culture. Shot in Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto, as well as Scotland and Amsterdam, the film follows a romance between Lloyd and Heather against a background of clubbing and drug dealing. Lloyd’s emotional experience is at the heart of this film; every step he takes leads him deeper into the secret world of his faith and love, forcing him to confront himself and his own beliefs and prejudices. Using hand-held cameras, mixing up drama and real life, shooting fast to capture performance and the ever-changing light, the film reflects the hypnotic essence of life that young people face today.”
And how can you not love Welsh when he recently quipped “If a film says ‘Say no to drugs’ you know it is going to be shit”.
Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy will screen Thursday June 14th at  7 PM at The Royal.
Jobriath A.D.
I cracked this DVD open as soon as I saw the title. Could it be a documentary on the “flamboyant” wanna-be rock star from the seventies who often graced the pages of Creem Magazine? I remember buying the album “Creatures Of The Street”  back in 1974 during the height of glam. When this package arrived I instantly had the cover image of that album in my mind. I remembered the jacket but none of the music remained on my internal cassette deck. It’s like I could sketch the cover of Kim Fowley’ s “International Heroes” (released the year before and purchased by you know who) but not hum one of the tunes. Back then, unlike now, albums either grabbed me right away and hung on for life, or, they were set aside for a later that rarely came.
The film is absolutely fascinating and my pick surprise hit of the fest. It is what every great doc should be. It shows a character complete with flaws, shows the reasons for the flaws and more often than not shows the genius that was usually dwelling somewhere near the surface. It also made me re-examine his music and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the perfect cross between Sparks and Queen. A real must see.
Jobriath A.D. will screen Saturday June 16th at 5:00 PM at The National Film Board
What Did You Expect? The Archers Of Loaf Live at Cat’s Cradle
Well we expected Gorman Bechard’s “Color Me Obsessed – A Film About The Replacements” to be the hit of the 2011 fest and we were right. When Gorman contacted us last fall to ask if we were interested in having a look at his new film about The Archers Of Loaf we replied with a chorus  “hell yeahs”. It is almost the exact opposite of The Replacements film. In “Color Me Obsessed” you never hear The Replacements, see a video or hear them speak in an interview. In “What Did You Expect” you feel you are on stage with the band at the reunion show at The Cat’s Cradle and Gorman does some one-on-ones with the band members between every few songs. Both film highlight bands that should be better known and loved and are one fan’s love letter to them.
Gorman’s next film will be “Every Everything: The Music, Life And Times Of Grant Hart”. Those in the know will recognize Grant as a member of Husker Du, yet another criminally under rated band. You can check out the Kickstarter page at to see what a success the campaign was. Pay attention artists, there is money to be found out there. We would like to offer Gorman a spot at NXNE 2013 right now.
Along with The Archers film the band will be appearing at The Phoenix in Toronto on June 16th at 9 PM.
“What Did You Expect” screens Friday June 15 at 6:30 PM at The National Film Board. (A day before the band plays – wonder if they will show up?)
My Father And The Man In Black
A couple of months back Ambrose and I were invited to a press screening for the rough cut of  “My Father And The Man In Black’. Once we confirmed that the man in black was indeed Johnny Cash we were there with bells on. We watched the movie (along with folks from TIFF, Hot Docs, and other festivals) and walked away impressed. A little more than impressed actually, and knowing the publicist was heading to the Friar & Firkin for a beer with the director, we hunted them down. We wanted this movie and armed with a couple of pints we figured we could sway anyone with our passion for film and music. The film is the story of Saul Holiff who was the London, Ontario based manager of Johnny Cash from the early sixties to the early seventies. This is the story that was never told in the Hollywood feature “Walk The Line” (which I loved). The story is told by his son Jonathan Holiff and uses archival footage as well as re-creations. The story is moving and captivating and as much about the relationship between father and son as it is about Johnny and Saul. We swapped some rock’n’roll and movie stories with Jonathan and his team and left the pub after a handshake deal. A little passion goes a long way and we are thrilled to walk away with the Canadian premiere. Actually we were so happy we are going to screen it twice
“My Father And The Man In Black” screens Friday June 15 at 7 PM at The Toronto Underground Cinema and encores on Father’s Day (June 17th) at 2:30 PM at The National Film Board.
More NXNE films and rock’n’roll next week.
Cam’s column appears every Thursday.
Contact us at:
The Shanghai Cowgirl (538 Queen Street West will be my unofficial headquarters during NXNE as it is close to The National Film Board, The Toronto Underground Cinema and all the cool Queen West clubs that will be staying open late to serve up the rock, while the Shanghai serves up the roll. (Sorry about that one).
Cameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener,  The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, NXNE, The Daily XY and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

One Response to “Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock – E2”

  1. Your tale of the “acquisition” of “My Father and the Man In Black” is a perfect example of Steve Turnidge’s theory of one thing leading to another (Turnidge actually has a name for it, but I’ll be damned if I can remember it). The mere fact that you tried “changed history” for not only the film but yourselves. Weird how things like that work.

    I do owe you. Alcoholic Faith Mission’s show has given me a fuel boost toward things I have wanted to accomplish but have never done. One will hopefully be a clearing house for venue information for Portland. If it works, it could help many small bands gain a foothold where they may not have otherwise.

    And Jobriath? Sonofagun.

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