Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – The Cam Current Top 10

CamThough I often pine for the old days of vinyl and full albums, I, like the rest of us here at DBAWIS, am constantly searching for new music. However, the past still has a hold on me and  I am thrilled that Patti Smith (with her full band including Lenny Kaye) is coming to Massey Hall in September and even more thrilled that Sparks will once again visit our fair city in November. Most of you were not born the last time the brothers Mael played Toronto. I am equally thrilled when I stumble across a new band in a bar (or in the case of The Dirty Nil an actual garage) that feeds my musical soul.

2013PolarisPrizeShortListEarlier this week I was painfully aware of how out of touch I am when I attended the unveiling of the Polaris Prize Short List. As I said I try to stay as current as possible but there is not enough time to listen to everything new.  For the seventh annual Polaris (where one artist is awarded $30,000.00 by a select group of non-partial jurors) the nominees are; Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Zaki Ibrahim, Metric, METZ, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, Tegan and Sara, A Tribe Called Red, Whitehorse and Young Galaxy. I know the music of Metric and Tegan and Sara and can say I am ambivalent at best about both artists. I kind of like METZ and their punky sound and have heard a song or two from Young Galaxy and enjoyed them but not enough to hunt them down. I have never heard a note from A Tribe Called Red, Zaki Ibrahim or Purity Ring. I have met Colin Stetson and enjoyed his company but his music is not up my alley. I have listened to  Rah Rahmore Luke Doucet solo than I have of his new project Whitehorse. Out of the ten artists only one is in my current iPod mix and that is METZ. I was pulling for Rah Rah this year for the Polaris but alas as they are not on the shortlist they have no chance of winning.  The award show will take place at The Carlu in Toronto on September 23 and be streamed live on Aux TV. For the first time ever the public can buy tickets for $50.00 at

As stated in an earlier column I keep a current top 30 list on my iPod where I try to absorb new music. Here is who is living in the Top Ten this week.

1.       “A Ton Of Love” – Editors

This song didn’t grab me at first but has grown on me quickly. “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” first alerted me to the British band back in 2007 and I have been a fan ever since. Their latest album is “The Weight Of Your Love” and after the first few listens sounds as good as their previous works.

2.       “It’s Alright, It’s Ok” – Primal Scream

Primal Scream is one of those bands that I will hear a song from and instantly like it but never realize it is them. I own a few albums and never really get around to giving them a fair chance. I like this new song but it doesn’t have the balls of some of their earlier work.

3.       “What Do You Say” – Filter

I have always been a fan of Richard Patrick going back to his days as a member of Nine Inch Nails. Great voice and songs such as “Hey Man Nice Shot” and “Take A Picture” are fine little rockers. I saw this song on various different charts and decided to risk the $1.29. Decent song but still has not got me singing the chorus without the iPod on.

4.       “Hot Fire” – Crash Kings

The L.A. band broke on to the scene in 2009 with “Mountain Man”. I instantly liked that song and I am quite taken by their latest single. Should spend a little more time with this band as they have a unique sound.

5.       “Bagboy” – Pixies

Saw the free download on Twitter and decided to give it a shot. I always liked the Pixies but was never head-over-heels in love with them. Good song, curious to hear more of the new album.

6.       “Game Of Pricks” – The Dirty Nil

Editor’s Note: No video yet exists for The Dirty Nil version of this song, so here’s ONE of the versions by Guided with Voices, just so you can hear this GREAT song.

A killer cover of the Guided By Voices song by my fave local punk rock band. I love the fact that they are not afraid to do covers and they are more than happy to give their music away for free. As stated in my intro the first time I saw them was in a garage in Kensington full of kids drinking tallboys at $5 a pop.

7.       “Please Don’t Blow” – meisha & the spanks

Editor’s Note: You can hear this song and an interview with Miesha on this episode of The Bobcast (Click on Episode 13). Interview starts at 19:00. 2 songs follow the interview. 

I was handed a cassette of this during NXNE and inside was a download code. Loved the song and found out they are a two piece from Calgary. So many two piece bands in Canada but there is something to be said about most of them. When all the excess is stripped away it seems we get closer to the heart and soul of rock’n’roll.

8.       “Chocolate” – The 1975

Started hearing the buzz on the Manchester band last year and decided to give them a try. Interesting old “new wave” sound. Curious to hear what the full album sounds like when it is released in the fall.

9.       “Come Save Me” – Jagwar Ma

I think this was an iTunes single of the week. A real grower from the Australian band. Mixes well with the 1975.

10.   “Take It On Faith” – Matt Mays

Not really new and probably should not be on my current mix but it has sat there for a long time in the top thirty and just moved up last week.


Hey Frank, if you don’t like Hugh Dillon and The Headstones you can squarely lay the blame on me as I was the one who signed them way back when. I would start with “Picture Of Health” and then have a listen to their latest album “Love + Fury”.  Surprized to see you mention the Greenslade album this week as I thought I owned the only copy.

Finally toured the new “Rock Lobster” at the old Shanghai Cowgirl site and was impressed with the renovations in the dining room and on the patio. Still going to miss my old window seat at the Cowgirl but very happy to see how busy the Lobster is.

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar. The bar and BBQ opens daily at 4 PM and the BBQ rocks until 10 PM. Cocktails available after 10. You can vote The Tiki Bar Toronto’s best patio at


Cam’s column appears every Thursday

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59

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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.


One Response to “Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – The Cam Current Top 10”

  1. Great list! If you want to look into Whitehorse i’d recommend “Emerald Isle” as a good starting point. and I dont think i’ll ever tire of “take it on faith”.

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