Cameron Carpenter – Rock’n’Roll By The Numbers – Seven & Seven Is


Seven has always been a bit of a magical number. Craps players can toss a seven on the first throw and instantly win but must avoid the number once their point has been determined. There are the seven deadly sins to consider, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. Who could ever forget “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” the album from Duran Duran which gave us “The Reflex” (the video was shot at Maple Leaf Gardens) and “New Moon On Monday”. Here’s seven more from the world of rock’n’roll.

“7 & 7 Is” – Love    

One of the greatest rock singles of the second half of the sixties (it was recorded and released in 1966). In 1990 Elektra Records celebrated their 40th Anniversary and released a compilation by the name of “Rubaiyat”. They took classic Elektra released songs and had their current rooster cover them. They also included the original records. Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye produced the package and Billy Bragg recorded a cool version of “7 & 7 Is”. As a humourous aside the B-side of the original single is “No. 14”.

“Seven Years Of Letters” – The Twilight Sad

Gary Butler of The Autumn Stones turned me on to this Scottish band back in 2007 when they released their debut “Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters”. This track is from their second album “Forget The Night Ahead”. I love the voice, and accent, of singer James Graham. Much like The Proclaimers and Glasvegas there is no attempt to mask their Scottish accents.

“Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes

The White Stripes were at the height of their power when they released their fourth album “Elephant” in 2003. It was their second release on the V2 label and the record, which contained the hits “Seven Nation Army”, “The Hardest Button To Button” and “Ball And Biscuit”, would go on to pick up the Grammy in 2004 for “Alternative Album Of The Year”. I pretty much love everything Jack White puts his name to from his solo work, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. One of the few real old school rock stars out there today.

“Seven Days” – Mick Ronson

(Editor’s Note: Sadly, there is no video of 7 Days to share with you here. Instead, a fabulous outtake of Ronno doing the guitar overdub on Bowie’s “Someday” while the Thin White Duke produces.)

Speaking of old school rock stars Mick Ronson was one of the best. As the Keith to Bowie’s Mick he was the consummate partner for Bowie and the driving force behind The Spiders From Mars. He released two solo records around the time of his Bowie partnership “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” and “Play Don’t Worry” (which features “Seven Days”). Technically not a gifted vocalist there is something to say for the passion with which he sang. After Bowie Mick teamed up with Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter for a couple of fine records. It was at a dinner with Hunter (and Segarini) when I first met Mick and the last time I would see him live is when he jumped on stage with David Bowie at the old CNE Stadium during the “Serious Moonlight Tour” and he cranked out a vintage “Jean Genie”. We learned of Mick’s passing in Oslo where we were recording Andrew Matheson’s album “Night Of The Bastard Moon” and spent the rest of the evening at a local pub regaling each other with Ronno stories.

“Seven” – James

With the recent release of “La Petite Morte” James have somehow managed to release thirteen albums between 1986 – 2014. Casual fans will best remember the band for the singles “Laid”, “Born Of Frustration” and “Say Something”. “Seven” is the title track of their 1992 album, the one that preceded the hit “Laid”. When I receive new music I add the singles to my “Current 30” playlist on my iPod and usually listen to the mix when walking around the neighbourhood or when I am travelling on the TTC. I added the new song “Moving On” a few weeks back and every time it comes on I check to see who the artist is as I familiarize myself with the new music. Pretty impressive they are still making great singles after all of these years.

“Seven Steps To The Wall” – Jane Siberry

(Editor’s Note: Unfortunately THIS video is Private. However, I did find the lyrics to it….)

jane-siberryseven steps to the wall
and turn around
seven steps to the window
turn around
three steps to the table – step around
move the chair ’til it is square
and then sit down

is a man
in a room
empty place
there’s a wall
a table
and a chair
…his face

he wants to write something down
he wants to sing a song
or paint something
lie down and fade away
or get up and get away
to the beat of the marching feet
in the heat of the prison heat

there’s the sun
through the bars
cutting swathes
lighting dust
I love dust
that it’s there
that it falls

he wants to write something down …

seven steps to the wall …

is a man
in a room
empty place
there’s a wall
a table
some paper
…his face

he wants to write something down …

all my life
where there’s white
I have words
so I write …
what I hear
…perfect white
…with no words

it is thin
but it’s clear
it is thin but it’s clear

Was Jane Canada’s version of Kate Bush? She made daring records, had an impressive voice, wrote quirky lyrics and took huge musical risks. This track is from her only gold album 1985’s “The Speckless Sky” (which also included the hit single “One More Colour”. Always one to fight the system Jane was one of the first artists to sell her tracks individually on-line, and, between 2006-2009 changed her performing name to Issa. Last year she went crowd surfing (maybe with Mimi) and hopefully she is hard at work on her new album tentatively titled “Consider The Lilly”.

“Sixes & Sevens” – Ryan Dahle 

(Editor’s Note: Once again, no video (Cam…you go deeeep) so here’s an informative interview with Ryan.)

Much like Jack White I have admired the work of Ryan Dahle in all of his musical endeavours from The Age of Electric to Limblifter to his solo work and his most recent band Mounties. I really wanted to sign The Age Of Electric and even convinced my U.S. A&R boss Paul Atkinson (former guitarist of The Zombies) to fly up to Saskatoon to come and see the band. Alas, he was not as impressed by them as I was. Ryan went on to form Limblifter, brother Kurt ended up in The New Pornographers, John Kerns played with Robin Black and Todd Kerns is now playing bass with Slash. See, I knew there was some talent hiding in that Saskatchewan bar. This track is from Ryan’s album “Irrational Anthems”.

Rock’n’roll lost a couple of greats last week with the passing of Bobby Keys and Ian McLagan. Best remembered as the sax player on some of the greatest Rolling Stones songs ever recorded, Bobby was a road warrior and hit the highway at the age of 15 with Buddy Holly. Along the way he recorded or toured with the likes of The Stones, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

Ian  McLagan was a member of both The Faces and Small Faces and performed with The Rolling Stones, The New Barbarians, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and countless others. He even lent a hand (or two) to the Joel Plaskett Emergency album “Ashtray Rock”.


Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

Hear Cam spin every Wednesday night at The Kensington Lodge in Toronto.

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Rock’n’Roll by the Numbers is 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


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