Cameron Carpenter: Rock’n’Roll By The Numbers – 8 Good Reasons


JC and Me

Well it’s the last column of the year and we have eight things to go over as we transition from the ABC’s of Rock’n’Roll to Rock’n’Roll By The Numbers. Who knows what 2015 will offer as a theme.

1. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The class of 2015 was announced earlier this week (you can read my nomination predictions here: I scored 66.6%, which I find ironic as the H of F usually dismisses metal as a worthy inductee (Deep Purple, Motorhead, etc). Although I don’t agree with many of the honourees NWAthis year I did call Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Green Day for getting in and Chic, The Marvelettes, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, Sting and The Spinners for being left outside behind the Velvet Rope. The ones I missed were Bill Withers and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band getting in and N.W.A., War and Kraftwerk being once again ignored. I am happy with Lou, also happy with Joan (but feel The Runaways were far more influential), stunned that N.W.A. and Kraftwerk were not asked to the party as both bands changed their respective musical genres, ambivalent about SRV (never a fan) and think The New York Dolls had way more influence than Green Day. Always a fun annual debate.

2. Don’t Call It A Comeback

Lots of artists from years gone by released new records this year and many are worth checking out. The name of this week’s column is a song title from the new Sinead O’Connor record “I’m Not Bossy. I’m The Boss” and it is one of the best of her career. There is a great new song called “New York City” on the Art Bergmannew Lenny Kravitz album “Strut” and one review I read called it the best song the Rolling Stones haven’t written in the last 25 years. It’s great to hear Art Bergman again as he released his first record in eons “Songs For The Underclass”. Vintage angry Art. There is something about Weezer that always brings a smile to my face and their new single “Back To The Shack” from their latest “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” continues that tradition. Finally what a delight to hear a new song from Suzi Quatro “Girl From Detroit City”. The pre-Happy Days teenage boy in me was thrilled.

3. I’m A Good Sport

Yes Toronto is abuzz with the recent success of both the Leafs and Raptors but let’s not forget what went down earlier in the year. There was something special about sipping that first Guinness of the day at 7:00 AM as the Canadian Olympic hockey team faced-off in the gold medal game. I was at a packed Balmy Beach Club as hundreds gathered to watch the game and this happened right across the country. In the world of real football Manchester ArsenalCity picked up the EPL title, Real Madrid snatched the Champions League crown and my beloved Arsenal picked up the FA Cup but this was just a pre-cursor to the greatest sporting event on earth The World Cup. Toronto is one of the greatest cities in the world to partake in the event as every participating nation is represented by a large community in our city. Although England was knocked out early, Germany played a near perfect tournament and were more than worthy champions.

4. Bands To Watch

The LazysAs always I saw hundreds of bands this year and a couple should soon be on everyone’s radar. The Lazys from Australia absolutely floored me with their songs, stage show and work ethic. I saw them play three shows the course of just 24 hours as they blew away ever-growing crowds at The Horseshoe Tavern and The Bovine. Since the spring Canada has become a second home for them as they have toured across the country and made friends in every nook and cranny of the country. Headline arena shows are in the future for these engaging rockers. Lowell is hard to categorize but her album “We Love Her Dearly” is fantastic and her stage presence is hypnotic. One to watch.

5. Eight Songs You Need To Listen To

“Suzie Is A Man” by Gloryhound

“Burning” from The War on Drugs

“Unconditional Love” by Against Me!

“27 is the New 17” from Zeus

“So Blonde” by EMA

“Turn It Up” from Stars

“Punk Come ‘N Get Me” by The Lazys

“Live It Up” from Bellwoods

6. Tis The Season

The BovineThanks to the fine folks at Sparks Productions and The Talent House for a couple of great Christmas parties this year. Always fun to meet old friends, and make new ones, over a little festive cheer. So sorry I missed the annual bash at The Bovine but will saddle up for sure next year. Special thanks to Michelle and her team at Habits Gastropub for service well beyond the call of duty.

7. Gone But Not Forgotten

NashAs we age we always lose those musicians that influenced our lives and this year was no exception. I am saddened by the passing of Phil Everly, Tommy Ramone, Johnny Winter, Dick Wagner, Paul Revere, Big Bank Hank, Bobby Keys, Ian McLagan and my old friend Nash The Slash.

Cam and Mom 28. We Are Family

So much going on with the ever-extended family. There were engagements, weddings, new jobs, and illness but thankfully everyone is still with us. I am looking forward to spending time over the holidays with Wendi-Jane, Kari, Kyle, Kelly, both Barry’s, Jackie, Sean, Heather, Lydia, Beca, Mario, Mom, Sue, Bryan, The Jack and Dianne, Brent, Marini and Malini. See you in 2015 and thanks for reading.


Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

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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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