Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Playlist Part Two

CamMy continuing saga of the beauty of the playlist and what lurks on my iPod.

Dinner Rock – A six hour 80 song mix which, as titled, is great for a causal dinner party and it is to be played well before the Jager shots. The music goes from Roxy Music and Scritti Politti to Murray Head, Wintersleep and Japan. The occasional new track gets thrown in to keep it fresh.

Dzaidzai – Polish for Grandfather and a tribute to my kid’s late grandfather. Still gets played at the occasional family function and runs the gamut from Jimmy Sturr to Al Martino and Simon & Garfunkel. Makes me think of the man every time it is played.

The GasworksGasworks – Keeping up with naming mixes after great bars. If you ever spent time at the Gasworks slowly draining a quart bottle of Blue you know what is on this playlist. Its hard rock time with Motorhead, Fu Manchu, Goddo, Moxy, Triumph and newbies such as Gloryhound, The Heelwalkers and Monster Truck. This is the one you put on when you open the Jager.

Halloween – For that special night in October and something to amuse me on the patio while dishing out the treats to the local goblins. Mike Oldfield, Bauhaus, Alice Cooper, Ministry, Oingo Boingo are all represented and mixed in amongst various sound effects.

Mixed Mix – A catch-all that runs close to six hours and one that can be played almost any time. Nothing too hard, too soft, too dancey or too offensive. Artists include Jesse Malin, Rah Rah, Steve Earle, Prefab Sprout, Glasvegas and The Twilight Sad. Old meets new.

Motown – Sometimes you just need to get back to West Grand Avenue where “Hitsville U.S.A.” lived. You can’t go wrong at a party with the 40+ crowd to get the dance floor moving with The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and The Jackson 5.

Night Windows – Named after a song from The Weakerthans. At over eight hours I can pop this one in while reading and it will still be playing in the morning when I wake up. A great mix once the crowd leaves and it’s time to settle in with the world’s finest cocktail, the Rusty Nail. Featured artists are The Housemartins, The Beautiful South, Duffy, The Besnard Lakes, Hey Rosetta!, 10CC, David Gray, and, of course, The Weakerthans.

Nuts & Bolts – This is the new wave club I used to DJ at in downtown Toronto back in the early eighties and the music is pretty well all from that era. Visage, Ultravox, Gary Numan, Images In Vogue, Lene Lovich, Pete Shelley, O.M.D., Spoons, Japan, The Puppets. It still brings out the new romantic in me.

NXNE Film – This playlist features artists who were featured in movies we screened at the NXNE Film Festival during my tenure there. Not really a coherent listening mix as the music movies from Johnny Cash to Jobriath to The Replacements but more of a history of the films we have been honoured to show. Should be quite a few great additions to this list come June.

Oh, Canada – The patriot mix. Three hours with 50 Canadian classics from Joel Plaskett Emergency to Pagliaro. It’s a cool backyard mix when you are spending time Bomp Magazine Power Popwith those folks who have never had the opportunity to experience what makes the Canadian music scene so special.

Powerpop Mix – I would say this is in the top three of my playlists and never fails to put me in a better mode. Running just over five hours The Shoes battle with 20/20 while Big Star, The Raspberries and Cheap Trick turn up the amps. Lots of cool old 45’s some of which were digitalized via an Ion turntable. Hell it even has the Research Turtles in case Frank Gutch ever shows up for a beer.

Quick Party Mix – Almost four hours and one that spans a few age groups and styles. Not necessarily for dancing there are a few three-four song mini-dance sets built in just in case. Terence Trent Darby, James, Jet, Weezer, Midnight Oil. Having a quick look at this one I can see it needs some fine-tuning as there are a few songs that seriously don’t belong anymore and a few new ones that could be added. I see this as cleaning out the iPod closet.

Rock Mix – Well if nothing else this exercise is making me clean up my playlists. This sprawling mess runs close to 15 hours and as I don’t anticipate a flight to Australia anytime soon I think some of the songs may need to be purged. Everything is covered from Queen, The Hold Steady, Be-Bop Deluxe, Silversun Pickups, and The Records to Gaslight Anthem and Montrose.

Rod – The best of Rod with The Jeff Beck Group to The Faces to solo. Much in the mode of an old cassette this one runs a perfect 90 minutes and goes from the obvious, “Maggie May” and “Stay With Me” to the more obscure “What Made Milwaukee Famous” and “Cindy Incidentally”. Nothing from the Great American Songbook series although I thought there were a couple of good moments to be found within.

R’s & B’s – Basically a funk mix for when the mood strikes me. Outkast, Cameo, Prince, The Heavy, M.I.A.. I imagine this would be a good workout mix if I ever actually worked out.

Sparks Best Of – By far the most listened to playlist on the iPod. Two hours of the best of Sparks and a mix that guarantees to put me in a good mood. Most often listened to while taking the streetcar home after a late night downtown. Doubles as a good fall asleep mix when suffering from insomnia.

Stones – Much like the Rod mix this is 90 minutes of The Rolling Stones. “Angie” “Sweet Virginia” and “Dandelion” get their “Rocks Off” on the “Silver Train” while “Dancing With Mr. D.”. Hey, “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It)”.

Swingers – Leans heavily on the Vince Vaughan movie with nods to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy but also goes back to Peggy Lee, Mel Torme and Dean Martin. Music for martinis.

Wendi-Jane – A collection of songs that Wendi-Jane hears and asks for them to go into her mix for those summer afternoons playing backgammon in the backyard. There is a bit of everything from “The Theme From Downtown Abbey” to The Dears, Sinead O’Connor and, Grammy winner Sunday night Chilly Gonzales.

Bloor CinemaLast Saturday night NXNE co-presented “Stop Making Sense” at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Tall boys were $5 bucks a can and as a special feature Moe Berg was hired to DJ for 90 minutes before the film. It was a great success with over 400 people in the audience and there was even dancing in the aisles. Moe was spinning from his laptop and tipped me off on a great free program called Mixx. For all you wannabe DJ’s you can grab the program at I started playing with it this weekend and it is pretty fantastic.


Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and Bovine. There are heaters on the Bovine patio and great bands downstairs at the legendary rock bar. Fill up next store at The Rock Lobster and then get your rocks off at The Bovine. Contact us at:

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, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: