Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s of Rock’n’Roll – What’s New Pussycat?


Here at DBAWIS we all like to bring you old music and especially new music. We all have our own distinctive tastes in new music and totally different points of reference for all of the great music that has been recorded since the dawn of rock’n’roll. Anyone who truly appreciates music spends as much time with the old as they do with the new. Here’s looking at “new” kid.

New York Dolls

The original New York bad boys and the band that launched a million hips (and only sold a few thousand records). The early seventies classic line-up of the band, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Johnny Thunders, Arthur “Killer” Kane and Jerry Nolan, released two classic albums, “New York Dolls” (1973) and “Too Much Too Soon” (1974) and paved the road for the New York punk revolution. Death, drugs and bad management would tear the band apart in the late seventies but, thanks to Morrissey, a new incarnation of the band anchored by Johansen and Sylvain, would re-emerge in 2004 and since then have recorded three new studio albums. Johansen can be heard, doing his best Tom Waits, on the new Beck album “Beck Song Reader” growling a tune called “Rough on Rats”.

“Leaving New York” – Sylvain Sylvain

Syl, born Sylvain Mizrahi, kept recording after the original demise of the Dolls and released a great self-titled solo album on RCA in 1979. He is still recording with and without the Dolls and this single was released back in 2012.

New Radicals

There were very few singles in the 1990’s that could hold a candle to “You Get What You Give”. The New Radicals, basically Gregg Alexander, blew on to the scene in 1998 and released “Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too” and by 1999 it was all over. I had the pleasure of seeing the band live during that short window and would have sworn they would have been playing arenas by the time their second album was released. I am still waiting.

“New Rose” – The Damned

Most consider this to be the first punk rock single released in the U.K. in October on 1976 on Stiff Records. It wasn’t the first Stiff release (both Nick Lowe and The Pink Fairies had released songs earlier in the year) but it was definitely punk rock. Locals punks in Toronto used to gather at the store New Rose which was located at Power and Queen East and run by Margaret and Freddie from The Viletones. I actually met Mick Jagger there on Saturday afternoon as he shopped for a “Free Keith Richards” tee-shirt.

The New Seekers

Formed in 1969 as a new version of “The Seekers” the band hit the charts with their single “Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma”. For those of us of a certain vintage they will always be remembered for their commercial “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” which they would re-image as “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”.

“New City” – Owls By Nature

(Editor’s Note: There is no video of “New City”, so this will have to do.  “Heart Breaking Ways”)

I am looking forward to the second album from Edmonton’s Owls By Nature which will be released later this year. This is from their 2012 debut. The group features former Murder City Sparrow multi-instrumentalist Doc DeGroot.

New Order

I for one am rather glad they did not call themselves “The New Joy Division”. After the death of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis the remainder of the group formed New Order. They ruled the Manchester scene and helped make Factory Records one of the most important labels in the country. Their 1983 hit “Blue Monday” is the best selling 12” ever released.

“New York City Cops” – The Strokes

Talk about bad timing. This single was pulled just after 9/11 when the last thing a New York band wanted to associated with was saying something derogatory about local first responders. On their club tour later that year that had no qualms about playing it live once they had crossed the Canadian border.

The New Pornographers

One of Canada’s musical treasures. Formed in Vancouver in 1999 the band has released five great albums, and their latest “Brill Bruisers” will be released later this month on Matador Records. I once tried to sign drummer Kurt Dahle way back in the day when he was playing with his brother Ryan (now of Limblifter as well as The Mounties) in the band the Age of Electric.

“The New” – Interpol

From their 2002 debut album “Turn On The Bright Lights” which was also released by Matador Records. Although contemporaries of The Strokes the band has a sound which is much more influenced by Joy Division. The New York group will be releasing their fifth album this September tentatively titled “El Pintor”.

The New Christy Minstrels

The early sixties folk group recorded over 20 albums and have direct lineage to such future stars as Barry McGuire, Gene Clark, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes and even actress Karen Black. Their song “Green, Green”  was a platinum record back in 1962 and with over 300 members considered alumni, there is still a current touring version of the band.

“New Girl Now” – Honeymoon Suite

This is the song that won the Niagara Falls band the Q-107 Homegrown competition, and, ultimately got them their deal with Warner Music. The album cover was shot by Patrick Harbron who recently launched his music themed photography website

New Buffalo

New Buffalo was the stage name for Australian singer-songwriter Sally Seltmann between the years 2000 -2008. Seltmann is best known as the co-writer of the hit “1234” by Feist, which, because of an iPod commercial became a worldwide hit and the launching pad for Feist’s career.

“New York’s A Go-Go” – SLAVE to the SQUAREwave

From the Toronto dance/new wave party band’s 2007 album “Big Change”. They have just released their excellent new album “Asphalt, Sex & Rock’N’Roll”. The always entertaining band are great live and play all over Southern Ontario.

New Vaudeville Band

Long before Maynard Keenan (Tool) and Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver) were rockin’ a megaphone on stage, New Vaudeville Band singer John Carter was doing Rudy Vallee megaphone effects on the 1966 smash single “Winchester Cathedral“. I remember spinning this 45 to death as a kid. The novelty band was actually managed by future Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant.

“New York Mining Disaster 1941” – The Bee Gees

This 1967 tune was the first North American charting song from the soon to be famous disco hitmakers The Bee Gees. When the song was released many thought that the recording was actually by The Beatles and the BG stood for Beatles Group. Klatuu were not the first!

Huey Lewis & The News

I spent a lot of time with Huey and the boys back in the eighties as the height of their success with the albums “Sports”, “Fore!” and “Small World”. The “luckiest bar band in the world” managed to sell over 30 million copies and 80% of the band from this era is still on the road playing casinos and sheds this summer and still delivering their well-loved hits. Many of the band were the backing band on Elvis Costello’s “My Aim Is True” and one of Huey’s dearest friends was Phil Lynott. I learned this the hard way around 2:00 AM at an after party in Syracuse when speaking of Phil I said to someone “too bad he was a junkie”. Huey overheard the conversation, grabbed me by the collar and loudly told me I knew nothing of the man. I quickly exited and went to my room. Waiting for our flight the next morning Huey did apologize for his sudden reaction and I then learned of his close friendship with the Thin Lizzy legend.

“A New Career In A New Town” – David Bowie

An instrumental from the first of the Berlin trilogy albums “Low”. Produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, and with collaboration from Brian Eno, the album was a further stretch on the musical boundaries that began with “Station to Station”. The cover is a still from the film “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.

New Morty Show

The ten piece San Francisco band, together around the time of the film “Swingers”, were called the “Sex Pistols of Swing”, and recorded three albums between 1998 and 2000. Hell they even covered “Enter Sandman“.

“What’s New Pussycat? – Tom Jones

I also had the honour of spending a few nights with the legendary Tom Jones when he made his “comeback” album for Chrysalis Records back in the early nineties. I have vivid memories of my young children and his grandkids dancing at the side of the old Ontario Place forum watching TJ as they dodged flying panties and bras.

Well, if everything went according to plan last night I should have had a great time at The Kensington Lodge in Toronto last night spinning classic Bowie, Roxy Music and Velvet Underground. I saddle up to the bar at 7PM and spin until the last pint is drawn. Next Wednesday my theme will be Stax and Motown. Come on down and request a tune.


Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

Contact us at:

Cam likes to plant his butt on the roof of the Bovine and soak up a few rays.

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and The Bovine. The Tiki Bar welcomes the mild to hot weather and The Bovine presents 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.



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 )

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: