Cameron Carpenter – 10 CC – Cam’s Music Week
I imagine I am currently sitting in the lobby bar at The Sheraton Hotel holding court with a group of friends from points unknown, making introductions, making connections, having a pint, talking music, books and the unlikely scenario where The Foxes have won the English Premiere League. Conventions are like my Christmas, friends, family and lots and lots of surprises. Some people who I have not yet met are likely to become friends for life, possible business partners, wingmen, music pals, or, forgotten by the time the next round appears. Sadly, and without me knowing it, it may be the last time I see someone in the flesh. I plan to make the best of it. Here are ten things I am looking forward to.
1. The Orielles
I am really stoked to see this young band from Halifax, England. I have three chances and hope to see them at least twice. I am also looking forward to meeting their manager, Damian Brave Morgan, with whom I have been corresponding with for the last couple of months as it is his first foray to CMW and he also manages Mike Joyce (The Smiths) who was such a big part at Indie Week last fall. The B-Girls-sounding band will be playing at The Handlebar Thursday May 5 at 10 PM and then again at 2 AM at The Silver Dollar. On Saturday they hit the stage at 9 PM at The Velvet Underground.
2. The Planetary Party
I first met Planetary founder Adam Lewis in Halifax when the Boston-based marketing and radio promotion ace had come to town to work with Joel Plaskett. Since then Adam had grown his operation into a worldwide force and his taste in young bands is impeccable. If you see Adam at a gig you know there is something going on. The party is Thursday afternoon on the rooftop bar “The Porch” and it looks like the weather is going to be fantastic.
3. Tommy Stinson
A rock’n’roll original and whether as a founder of the legendary Replacements or a hired gun with Axl’s version of Guns n’ Roses Tommy lives and breathes rock’n’roll. He is playing The Horseshoe at 11 PM on Thursday but the show I really want to see is when he hits the stage at The Bovine at 2 AM on Friday May 6 (actually Saturday morning but really just a continuation of Friday night). The last time Tommy was at The Bovine he was out front after a Shit From Hell gig helping Warren Kinsella sell band tee-shirts. That my friends is the true spirit of rock’n’roll.
4. The Tiki Party
By the time this rolls around on Saturday I am usually driving on fumes but the seafood and east coast hospitality give me enough full to get through the remainder of the weekend. As usual the music is fantastic and this year’s line-up is no exception. Acts play acoustic or light from 6 – 9 PM (invite only) and then the extra amps are loaded onto the stage for the rockier part of the night which is open to the public. Here is a great playlist of what to expect.
In the midst of CMW we still have to show some love for Indie Week and I am hoping to drop by Lou Dawg’s Thursday night to catch Charlie McKittrick and Barbee Lee Jak. Lots of great Thursday nights coming up this summer as more and more artists are discovering it is a great place to hang out and play.
6. The Bovine & Cherry Cola’s
The Bovine’s Darryl
Cherry Cola’s Cherish
It doesn’t matter who is playing at both of these venues (the bands are usually fantastic) it is all about Darryl Fine and Cherish Stevenson who are both keeping the spirit of music alive by taking chances on young and upcoming bands and running great live venues with killer staffs. A Cam-spotting can be expected late night at both venues on various nights as I usually cap my evening off at these clubs. Good luck to both of them for a busy, prosperous weekend. There is nothing like a little late night pinball with the New York Dolls blasting in the background.
7. The Aussie BBQ
This takes place Saturday from noon to 5 PM at The Horseshoe. Always a great selection of bands, usually some food for starving artists, and one of the best music organizations in the world who know how important Canada is as an international market. All you have to do is look at the success of The Lazys in Canada to appreciate how hard they all work.
8. Victoria + Jean & The Dresden Wolves
I was really looking forward to seeing Victoria + Jean back in Canada to celebrate the release of their amazing debut album “Divine Love” which was just released here by the Cadence Music Group. Unfortunately they have had to postpone their trip but it looks like they will be back in the city twice before the year is over. Fans of Florence & The Machine, The Jesus & Mary Chain and film buffs (they make videos which are like small feature films) take note. You can hear the album at:
I was also looking forward to catching Mexico City band The Dresden Wolves but due to an immigration issue they were unable to make it across the border. The Death From Above-ish two piece rock seriously hard and there is a chance they might make it back to Toronto in say, November. Check them out:
9. Instinct Entertainment
Michael Perlmutter has created a very cool event over the course of the last couple of years where he has new, and established artists perform acoustically in their downtown music supervision offices. These are private industry daytime events but I hope my schedule clears so I can catch Timberwolf on day and Wintersleep the next. I love the fact that Wintersleep are now becoming a cross-country sensation with their incredible single “Amerika”.
10. Holy Holy
Depending on my physical state I hope to see Tony Visconti and his Bowie-inspired “Holy Holy” show at The Phoenix on Sunday night. I missed it last time at The Opera House (the week of Bowie’s passing) but I think I could handle the show now.
Alright folks, be careful out there, be nice to each other and enjoy the music. Support those who are supporting the music.
Cam’s column appears every Thursday.
Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59, Instagram @Cambo1959 and Spotify @Cambo59
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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.