Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – That’s A Wrap

Shanghai Aug 2012I never get sick. That being said I am sitting here sucking back chicken noodle soup and trying to fight off a flu which is usually far too nervous to invade my body. I shouldn’t have gone out on Monday as it started to set in but I had to drop by the NXNE Christmas party, stop by The Rivoli to wish my friend Todd Pinnell the best of luck of his new adventures as he said goodbye to his beloved club, pop into The Horseshoe to check out Sid Johnson and then head to the Bovine for their annual X-Mess Party.

Last night it got the better of me and I had to stay away from the Mediazoic Party (apologies to Greg and Chris) and tonight is the annual MuchFact Dana StrumScreening Party and I will make that call in a couple of hours. This weekend sees a myriad of Holiday parties and my old buddy Dana Strum (Slaughter) will be in town performing with his pal Vince Neil and hopefully I will garner enough strength to spend some time with them. Knowing that Frank Gutch lives vicariously through my photo ops I would hate to disappoint him.

It was an interesting year musically. Some would say the biggest story of the year is the Universal takeover of EMI while others would argue that “Gangnam Style” was the biggest musical event. Frankly both make me sad. As more and more of the old school labels merge there are less and less of the passionate people who built this industry now without full time employment. Yes, I have a soft spot for the majors as I made a decent living for many years and was fortunate enough to make lifelong friends with the bands I worked with and the people that supported them from road crews, managers, lawyers, agents, producers, engineers and everyone who was a part of their careers. With regards to Psy, who cares? It frightens me that 1.4 billion people have wasted five minutes of their lives watching the video but come April he will be as forgotten as the Ikea Monkey or the Montreal Golden Eagle.

It was a good year for my pals Gloryhound as they landed a record deal, toured with The Cult and finally crossed the country (twice) to show Western Cobra RamoneCanada what old school rock’n’roll was all about. My girl Cobra Ramone made a record that proved girls can rock as hard as boys and, quite possibly, kick their asses at the same time. If you are in L.A. she will be at The Voodoo Lounge on January 24th. After years of developing his alt-country sound Jay Sparrow made an about face and released a brilliant album that owes more to OMD and the Pet Shop Boys than Steve Earle and Hank Williams. In the process he also shot a series of videos that are breathtaking in their scope and imagination. Morgan Cameron Ross is a writing machine and just released a new five song EP “College And Bathurst” and had a great year winning over legions of fans in Quebec and even entertaining 15,000 Carly Rae fans at a show in Peterborough this summer.  Amos The Transparent released a record that was as good as any other released in Canada last year but, sadly, decided to part ways with their management company. Another management casualty was Robyn Dell’Unto who is about to release her latest record. It can be frustrating to put in so much time and effort (for little or no money) and then get the “It’s not you it’s me” speech.  It was a tough year but I wish both artists the very, very best. It was also great to work with my old friends in The Spoons and Triumph this year.

Those who know me well know that I am outwardly positive and try to put an optimistic spin on almost every situation. That being said let`s put 2012 behind us and look forward to 2013. I am lucky to be surrounded by great friends and family and they showed their support above and beyond the call of duty this past year.

Cam and WendiIn closing thanks to Wendi- Jane for her love and support and for finding her new OAZ family. To Bob, Frank, Jaimie and Nadia it is always an entertaining read and I am honoured to share a space with you. Thanks to our Friday support team and it is great to welcome Justin Smallbridge to the family. To Heather and Alex, I am so happy for your engagement and can’t wait until the wedding. Thank you for all of the support and good times this last year.  Here’s to kicking the lawn bowling community in the ass in ’13. Todd, it was a tough year but I think karma owes us a couple, let’s see what the new year brings. Kari and Kyle, there isn’t a prouder father in the world. You both continue to amaze me as you grow into adults with careers with nothing but promise and total support from Mario and Lydia. Keep going! Sue, I hope you and Bryan enjoy the empty nest. You deserve it. Kelly, so looking forward to spending time with you, Barry, Heather and Sean over Christmas. We’ll always have Paris. Dad and Jackie, Merry Christmas and we will see you with the whole extended crew in a couple of weeks. And finally, Barb Kelly. I will never be able to thank you enough for everything you do. I love you all. That’s a wrap.

Lots going on over the holidays with our friends at The Bovine and Shanghai Cowgirl. The Bovine will be open, as always, on Christmas Eve and on The MahonesChristmas night you can celebrate with local rock god Ian Blurton. On New Year’s Eve the BSC will present The Mahones along with the reunion of The Downbelows. On New Year’s Day it is the legendary Pajama Party at The Shanghai with great food, tunes and fashion all day long. It is one of Toronto’s great rcok’n’roll traditions. Thanks to my pal Darryl Fine for all of the support this year. Here’s to 2013 my friend.


Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

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DBAWIS_ButtonCameron 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, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

Cam Shanghai Logo Inverted

3 Responses to “Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – That’s A Wrap”

  1. More pictures! (and vicarious photo ops) You wouldn’t happen to have taken a picture with Alcoholic Faith Mission, would you? Look at me. Always about the music when I should be saying Merry Christmas. 2013 will be another adventure, Cam. Looking forward to your input and takes. And wishing you Happy Holidays! (No, really… Happy…. Holidays…. seriously…. what? Matches… candles… matches… candles…

    • Cameron Carpenter Says:

      All the best to you Frank. Hopefully we will finally have a photo op together in 2013. Can’t wait to have a few with you and figure out who we know in common. Guarantee there will be a few weird connections. Also, add me to the Kink Adore fanclub. Have not seen them yet but loving what I have heard.

  2. CC — actually, “=CC=”, a hard rock logo waiting to be unique-fonted if ever there was one — you can’t take Psy personally. It’s a time/place thing. If YouTube was around in the ’70s, it would have been “Disco Duck” or, worse, “The Streak.” every era has its 15min Warholian novelty; only the medium changes.

    Merry Ho Ho, see you in ’13.

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