Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – V is for Various

CamNadia’s column yesterday started a beehive of activity on Facebook as she mused in her writing about music that she currently hates. It is amusing to read the comments and the passion that music can evoke. For the majority of my writing career I have always tried to stay on the positive side of the fence and write about bands and music that moves me and, by doing so, hopefully turn some people on to something new, or, something old and great. At the same time there is nothing I enjoy more than a good band thrashing in print. Hating confrontation as much as I do this probably explains why I rarely discuss politics or religion via social media or over a pint. I do have some very strong opinions margaret_thatcher_1974845but I tend to keep them to myself. A couple of weeks ago I watched, and at times refereed, two friends debating the pros and cons of the Margaret Thatcher regime and the pro and cons of the upcoming vote for Scottish independence. Both made very valid points and I much more enjoyed listening to the debate than actively participating in it. Pertaining to Nadia`s column yesterday I must defend The National as to my ears they write great songs and have some of the best lyrics on radio. There is emotion in their seemingly emotionless delivery and for a great insight into the inner workings of the band (and certain family members) the documentary (which we screened at NXNE last year) “Mistaken For Strangers”. While we are on the subject of documentaries NXNE is co-presented two upcoming “This Film Should Be Played Loud” flicks at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (Bathurst and GoldfrappBloor across from Lee’s Place). This Friday night we will be screening “Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That” (a live 2006 Beastie Boys concert shot by 50 different fans) and on Wednesday March 26 we will have the Toronto premiere of “Goldfrapp: Tales Of Us)”. Doors open at 8:15 PM and TPOH’s Moe Berg will be spinning tunes until 9:30 PM this Friday and Tim McCready will be the DJ for the Goldfrapp movie. Steam Whistle tall boys are five bucks a pop and, if the crowd at the recent screening “Stop Making Sense” is any indication, there is a party atmosphere in the building well before the first frame is shown. Mark Cam DanaMy boys in Slaughter are returning to Toronto next month for a pair of dates. On April 4th they will be at The Rockpile West and the following night performs at The Rockpile East. For those of you waiting for some new music frontman Mark Slaughter will be releasing a new single “Never Givin Up” prior to the Toronto dates.  It’s a great little rocker and long-time fans will be thrilled. I imagine there will be release details available on Mark’s Facebook page at    (Pictired: Mark, Cam, and Dana)  I was in The Pocket Studio in Toronto a few days back listening to the new Mike Turner produced Alert The Medic album and it sounds great. The Halifax band has been touring across Canada for years and Turner has captured their live energy on their third album. It will be released in May and there are a series of Southern Ontario dates set up for early June. Check for updates. Alan SnoddyThe first time I met Alan Snoddy he was playing guitar in Stars and they were at the old XM studios recording a “Live At The Verge” session. Over the course of the last year Alan has hooked-up with Morgan Cameron Ross to form the nucleus of the band Bellwoods, which has a plethora of members who float in and out of the project. Late last year Alan released a solo five song EP “Shot Of Rhythm” which surprised me with its alt-country sound with equal nods to Steve Earle and Doug Sahm. You can check it out at The title track features Serena Ryder and there is a great cover of John Hiatt’s “My Old Friend”. Alan will showcasing the EP at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto on April 17th and it promises to be a very entertaining evening as you never know who might turn up to join him on stage. Now, here are some V songs you can sing along to while you shovel the snow. “V-2 Schneider” – David Bowie ) This song, which was the B-side of all three versions of the “Heroes” single (English, French and German), perfectly captures the sound of David’s “Berlin” phase in the late seventies where he recorded the albums “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”.  The song is named after Kraftwerk member Florian Schneider. “Valerie” – Greg Kihn Band ) What a great powerpop song writer. This track led off the “RocKihnRoll” album which featured the radio hit “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write Em)”. Kihn was signed to Beserkley Records along with Earthquake, Jonathan Richmond & The Modern Lovers, The Tyla Gang and The Rubinoos. A great stable of bands but it was Kihn would ultimately had the greatest success. “Vampire Rock” – The Fabulous Poodles ) I loved the Fabulous Poodles with their British wit bringing a sense of humour to the sometimes very humourless “new wave” scene’. This track is from the album “His Masters Choice” which was a North American compilation of the first two late seventies U.K. releases. “Vegas Two Times” – Stereophonics ) Kelly Jones, lead singer of The Stereophonics, has one of those great whiskey and cigarette voices which is more than apparent on this track from their 2001 album “Just Enough Education To Perform”. The Welsh rockers always seemed on the verge of massive North American success but never formally closed the deal. “Keep Your Balance” – Violent Kin ) I was always a fan of this Saskatchewan band, as well as The Blood Lines, who Violent Kin brother and sister S.J. and Maygen Kardash were also members of. This is from their 2010 “Velvet Hideout” E.P.. Not sure what the band is up to but hopefully they will record again soon. (Editors Note: No video for Velvet Handshake, so…this is another fine song by Violent Kin.)  “Venus” – Television ) As soon as I hear the guitar in this song I am instantly transported back to 1977. While punk was exploding in London there was something else going on in New York and Television were at the forefront. From the absolutely brilliant debut  album “Marquee Moon”. If you are a fan of The Strokes and want to know where they copped some of their sound from have a listen. How can you argue with the line “I fell right into the arms of Venus de Milo”? “Venus Of Avenue D” – Mink DeVille ) Also released in 1977, and with deep New York roots, “Cabretta” by Mink Deville was like nothing else happening at the time. Led by the soulful Willy DeVille the album captured the emotions of “West Side Story” era New York. For my bitcoin one of the best debut albums ever. “Victoria” – The Kinks ) Ray Davies at his sarcastic best in 1969 with “Victoria” from the album “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)”.  Is this one of the first songs that “Canada” gets a shout out in? We could have done a lot worse. “Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure” – The Weakerthans ) Not only a song  from the perspective of a cat but actually an answer to the song “Plea From A Cat Named Virtute” from the Weakerthans previous album.  This is from the classic 2007 album “Reunion Tour” which was produced by rock lord Ian Blurton. “Violence” – Mott The Hoople ) If I was pressed and could only take one Mott album to a desert island (and my rules say no greatest hits or live albums allowed) it would be 1973’s “Mott” and “Violence” is one of the reasons as it is one of the hardest songs they ever recorded.


Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59 Cam’s column appears every Thursday Contact us at: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and The 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.  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.

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