Cameron Carpenter – 10 CC – Single Me Out
Well, the show was not half bad. There were no cringe-worthy duets, the pace was pretty quick, the set looked good, there was no blatant pimping of other CTV properties and, for the most part, the performances were pretty good. The one major complaint I have is they need to go a little simpler on the camera work. There is no need for the 360 shot, followed by the zoom out, followed by the zoom in followed by the reverse 360 shot. Keep it simple. Focus on the performance, cut away for the solo (of there is anyone actually playing a solo), and then, come back to the performance. I don’t need to see crowd shots of people watching the show through their smart phones. Also, the annoying Google Play commercials reminded me of why I can’t stand karaoke.
It was gratifying to see old road warriors such as Michael Zweig, Nick Sinopoli and Tim Bovaconti get a chance to share the spotlight with Hall of Fame inductee Burton Cummings and it was good of Burton to thank the likes of Lorne Saifer and Sam Boyd for their years of service and hard work. I was happy for Ron Kitchener, Paul Shaver and the team at RGK Entertainment for their big win with Dean Brody and Bob Ezrin was a very worthy winner of the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year award as Jack was the man who shaped Bob as a producer, and, Bob now works closely with Jack’s son Garth. It was nice that Rosalie Tremblay got an award and a mention on the show but if you didn’t know her remarkable history you would not have found out anything about her on the actual broadcast.
Arguably the most important musical performance was the duet between Lights and Calgary high school student Sam Spensley. Sam more than held her own and put a spotlight on why organizations such as MusiCounts are so vital to keeping our ever-developing music education programs in place.
There are so many great young artists in Canada right now. The new Wintersleep single “Amerika” is a great rock song as is the latest from The Dirty Nil “Wrestle Yu to Husker Du”. On the pop front my guys Bellwoods are making inroads with their new single “Sin To Get Saved” and young talent Tringa Rexhepi is debuting her new EP tonight at The Supermarket down in the Kensington area. Last week we looked at some classic Canadian albums so why not keep the flag waving and look at some great Canadian singles? (For a more in-depth view a worthy read is “The Top 100 Canadian Singles” by Bob Mersereau). I’m sure I have mentioned most of these in previous columns but it is always fun to make lists.
“Africa” – Thundermug
This 1972 rocker is still my favourite Canadian single of all time. It’s heavy as hell, talks about hash and has a kazoo solo. What more could you ask from a single? I remember seeing the London, Ontario band a lot during the seventies. They opened for Aerosmith in 1975 at Massey Hall (wearing coveralls) and I am pretty sure they rotated around the old Ontario Place stage a few times.
“S’cool Days” – Stanley Frank
Like most of the songs on this list I still have my original 45. My copy is from Attic Records ih 1976, although there are a few U.K. versions available as well. When Stanley signed to A&M (around the same time as Segarini) I’m pretty sure the three of us spent some time together. For some reason I think I ended up writing a new bio for him at some point in history. Just a fantastic record and one that always gets a reaction when I throw it in the middle of a mix.
“Possibilities” – Viletones
No their punkiest song by any means but sang with more honesty and emotion by Steven Leckie than any other Viletones song. I’m sure the original recording cost next to nothing but it captured far more than recordings with 50 times the budget. The original four are still my favourite incarnation of the band but I am glad Steven and crew are still out there showing the kids how it was done.
“Sugar Cane” – Hardship Post
(Editor’s Note: No Video of Sugar Cane exists, but this is a fine example of this great Under-the-Radar band’s music.)
Probably the only rock song that talks about canker soars in its opening line. This was yet another great Canadian band that fell between the cracks. A little bit Sloan, a little bit Urge Overkill, a little bit Nirvana. They came from St. John’s and settled in Halifax in the early nineties and, after being on Sloan’s Murder Records, signed a deal with Sub Pop, but it was all over much too soon. I would have loved to have heard them after four or five albums.
“From the Back of the Film” – Thrush Hermit
It was pretty easy to tell early in the game that Joel Plaskett had a rock’n’roll heart and the proof is in this song from 1999’s “Clayton Park” album. This would be the final album the band would record, and, as often happens, contains some of their strongest material. There was something in the air on the east coast of Canada throughout the nineties and I am glad so much of it was captured.
“As Years Go By” – Mashmakan
There was something going on in Montreal in the seventies and this is a great example. It is one of those rare recordings that doesn’t sound remotely like anything else. There is the cheezy keyboard, the slight accent of the voice and the totally solid bottom end. I know I couldn’t name another Mashmakan song if my life depended on it but I will never forget they gave us “As Years Go By”.
“Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy” – Pagliaro
When my son Kyle was at McGill I had the great pleasure of taking him to see Michel Pagliaro when he played a reunion show at Club Soda. This single came out in 1971 when I was a pre-teen but I knew it was good. The song and the artist have only grown in stature as I presumably matured. Makes me smile every time I hear it.
“(Make Me) Do Anything You Want” – A Foot in Coldwater
This was my high school equivalent to “Stairway to Heaven”. The band used to rehearse on Fallingbrook Road and had some loose connections to The Beach. They played my high school Malvern Collegiate. The song was a ballad but still heavy and ballsy and appealed equally to males and females. A true Canadian classic.
“New York City” – The Demics
They were never really a hard core punk band and were Canadian not American but the London, Ontario natives wrote one of the most defining songs of the late seventies and helped launch a record label (Ready Records) and a radio station 102.1 CFNY. The never lived up to the potential of their debut release, as is so often the case, but they will always be loved for “New York City”.
“True Romance” – Andrew Matheson
This is the first song that I ever heard by Andrew Matheson. It was from his debut solo album “Monterey Shoes” and we had decided to pick it up for distribution on Quality Records. It was the lyrics that first caught my ear, and that lyrical prowess would convince me to sign Andrew back in the early nineties and record his second solo album “Night of the Bastard Moon”.
Hey, if you are in the east end and looking for something to do Friday night my buddies Tommy Youngsteen will be playing “Born to Run” in its entirety at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa.
Cam’s column appears every Thursday.
Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59, Instagram @Cambo1959 and Spotify @Cambo59
Contact us at: email@example.com.
Cameron 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.