Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s of Rock’n’Roll – Looking For Q’s


Always one of the toughest letters in the ABC’s of rock’n’roll especially when the columns start racking up. How many times can I talk about Quality Records, The Runaways “Queens Of Nosie”, or, Queen? To fill some space I can mention some very Quality new releases which are coming your way soon. First and foremost I would head over to iTunes before next Monday and grab the free “Single of the Week” the title track to the latest New Pornographers “Brill Bruisers”. Much like 54-40 the west coast band keeps releasing solid albums with little fanfare and, outside of campus, satellite and the CBC, sparse airplay.

Murder City SparrowsWhen my pals The Murder City Sparrows went their separate way a couple of years ago they all left Toronto and headed back to various points out west. Jay Sparrow has been releasing solo records and has just signed a deal with Royalty Records. Doc DeGroot joined Owls By Nature and their new album “The Forgotten And The Brave” will be released in October. After a show in Edmonton at The Pawn Shop on September 13th the boys will be heading back to Europe for their second tour there in as many years. Sparrow’s guitarist Mike Nash released his first solo album “Hard Stuff Radio” yesterday and is also the latest Sloanaddition to Owls By Nature. Sloan will be releasing their eleventh studio “Commonwealth” on September 9 and the double record will feature an entire side each by Andrew, Patrick, Jay and Chris. Interesting concept and reminds me of when the four lads each had their own cover issue of the late-great Chart Magazine. They will head out to Sudbury on October 7th for a western tour that will wrap-up in Los Angeles October 24th. I have been listening to an advance of the new Interpol album “El Pintor” and I am hearing a return to form for the New York band. This is their fifth album and it will be released on September 9th (same day as Sloan). The Foo Fighters will release their first album since 2011 when “Sonic Highways” hits the streets on November 10th. The eight song record was recorded at eight different studios across America and there will be a HBO eight-part series to coincide with the release.

Ok, let’s double-down on some Q’s and just get them out of the way.

“Quinn The Eskimo” – Bob Dylan/Manfred Mann

The song was written by Bob Dylan in 1967 as “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)” but was not released by Dylan until a live version appeared on his album “Self Portrait”. Manfred Mann released the song as “Quinn The Eskimo” in January of 1968 and the song soared to number one on the UK charts and was a substantial hit in North America. The British band would change their sound in the seventies and score a massive hit with a Bruce Springsteen cover “Blinded By The Light”. They had pretty good taste in American songwriters. Hate to say it but in both instances I have always preferred the cover versions (as they were the ones that I grew up with on AM radio).

“Quicksand” – David Bowie/Seu Jorge

“Quicksand” appeared on the 1971 album “Hunky Dory”. For the most part Bowie was still a cult figure at that point and I’m sure him name-checking the likes of Winston Churchill, Aleister Crowley and Heinrich Himmler did little to help commercial airplay. Seu Jorge recorded a beautiful Portuguese version of the song (as well as many other Bowie tunes) for the soundtrack of “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”.

“Under Pressure” – Queen & David Bowie

This duet worked so much better than the Bowie/Jagger version of “Dancing In The Street”. The first time Bowie ever performed the song live was at the 1992 “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” where he was accompanied by Annie Lennox. Queen recorded a live version of the tune at the old Montreal Forum was back in November of 1981.

Que Sera Sera – Doris Day/Pink Martini

Doris Day is a true star. She had hit recordings, was a huge film star in the fifties and sixties, had a hit television show and is a best-selling author. He first hit was in 1945 as the featured vocalist on “Sentimental Journey” recorded by Les Brown & His Band Of Renown and, during the course of her amazing recording career, his always remained on Columbia Records with almost seven hundred songs recorded for the label. “Que Sera Sera” was the theme song for her late sixties comedy “The Doris Day Show” and remains her signature song. It was originally recorded for the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” as “Whatever Will Be, Will Be” and rumour has it that Day has always hated the song. Cocktail revivalists Pink Martini covered he song, changing it to a minor key, on their album “Hey Eugene”.

? & Mysterians – “96 Tears”

The original version was released in 1966 and soon topped the charts in North America. It has long been considered a garage band classic and a predecessor of what would become punk. Although the original remains the definitive version there are some great cover versions out there including takes on the song by Garland Jeffreys (appearing at the Halifax Urban Folk Festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at The Carleton in Halifax. How’s this for a bill? Garland, Dwight Twilley, Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Steve Poltz and Joel Plaskett and friends), The Stranglers, The Cramps, The Modern Lovers, David Byrne, Suicide and Eddie And The Hot Rods.


Bob as StephensonHappy Birthday to our fearless leader Bob Segarini. There is a party tonight at Cherry Cola’s where you are more than welcome to head over to and buy the Bobo a shot. Things are going well for WayBackWednesdays at The Kensington Lodge and I am having a great time spinning the tunes after work on Wednesdays. There is a great little group of regulars starting to come in and make requests while enjoying a pint or two on one of the patios.

Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

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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.


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