Pat Blythe – #MeToo/#NotMeToo and Rockin’ the Night Away…

Let me start by stating I am not a “political” person. I follow what’s going on the world to keep myself current but I don’t read nor do I decipher every minutiae that is written about “he who shall not be shamed” or anyone else for that matter. However, the latest in a very long string of accusations of sexual misconduct/harassment, particularly here in Ontario, well…..I’ve about had enough. I posted this in Facebook a few days ago and, generally, the respondents agree with me. What follows in a slightly edited version.
“For the first time in years, eons even, I sat down to read something other a computer screen (except for Tom Wilson’s book Beautiful Scars). This time it was the newspaper. The National Post actually. For some mysterious reason it keeps appearing on my front porch at least six out of seven days a week. But I digress……

patrick-brown

What has prompted this diatribe is the resignation of provincial P.C. Leader Patrick Brown over ALLEGATIONS of sexual misconduct. This is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, or more specifically, my back. I am astonished at the spouting off of not only the media in general but particularly the other provincial party leaders, (Kathleen Wynne spent nearly 18 minutes in front of the TV cameras at Queen’s Park Thursday. Only one journalist even bothered to ask her about due process.) not to mention Brown’s entire staff leaving him in their dust. ” Wow! ‘I’ve got your back’ certainly doesn’t exist in politics. I find this entire situation incredulous as everyone jumps on the same bandwagon of “brave girls”, “so courageous”, ad nauseam. Like bloody lemmings to the sea. It’s a fucking media feeding frenzy once again. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Is this where #MeToo is leading? To utterly destroy careers, homes, lives based on allegations? Whatever happened to allowing our justice system to follow due process? That Brown’s accusers spoke to a journalist first!!!! Bloody hell!!! ….and the media is all over it, gnawing away at even the tiniest shred of dignity Brown may have left. Even our illustrious, “feminist” PM, all the way over in Davos, can’t help but be oh so fucking politically correct. I am so angry I could spit!!!

Our smarmy political leaders were so quick to grab the media spotlight over the “hijab cutting” incident. So fast it made one’s head spin. It all ended up being a totally fabricated situation, a boldface lie really, by an 11-year-old girl. What if an “oriental” man had been arrested? You can pretty much guarantee he would have been vilified by people, national leaders for that matter, from all over the world, well before his innocence would have been proven. His life destroyed in an instant. Is this what we have come to?????

I am angry because this is beginning to seem like a vendetta of some sort. It’s gone from Trump to Weinstein to the verbally signed executions of every man who anyone has even hinted MAY be guilty of sexual misconduct….and that’s not an exaggeration. As Christie Blatchford stated in her column so eloquently, and I quote, “it means every man in the world is vulnerable. not because he has necessarily misconducted himself, but because a woman may say he has.” end quote. ….and if a woman says so then we must crucify him first, ask questions later. Have we lost our senses? If a man tells me one more time I look nice or hugs me and then apologizes, I’m going to scream. This “movement” has gone from something in the shadows to standing it the centre of a baseball field with all those brilliant lights on. Talk about extremes….and that’s the problem.

Please don’t get me wrong. Abuse of any kind and the sexual misconduct of some men has been worse than heinous. The old “hung, drawn and quartered” punishment would be too good for some of them. (Look it up, it’s pretty gruesome) Am I a feminist. No. I am a person who believes in the rights of ALL people, not just women. Do I believe that women have been oppressed and maltreated specifically because they are women. Yes. Hell, we only just got the vote last century and that wasn’t without a noisy, sometimes dangerous, protracted fight. But what I don’t agree with is accusing somebody, anybody, of something as sensitive as sexual anything and using the court of public opinion (and social media) to essentially terminate the accused’s life as they know it. McCarthyism at its finest.

I added my voice to #MeToo, joining the chorus of women around the world who had been sexually abused. I never thought that, by joining the campaign, it would lead to this. Quite frankly, if I could, I’d take it back. I believe it’s beginning to overstep it’s bounds and any sense of sanity.

We are all walking perilously close to the edge and I fear we will slip into the abyss if we are not careful. If women demand equality, then we must show our faces and not hide in the shadows. If we demand equality, then fight a fair fight. Don’t blindside those you are accusing of misdeeds with press conferences or whisperings to a journalist. If we demand equality, then we have to stop picking sides, lose the “us versus them” mentality and stand, shoulder-to-shoulder with women AND men and learn to work together.

The Women’s March, showing solidarity with each other (men and women) around the world, was a beautiful thing. Let us not besmirch all the struggles and good work of the women in our past. All they went through put us where we are today. Let us not lose our sense of fair play and justice. All I can add at this point is #NotMeToo.

Blatchford closes her column with this, “That this comes five months before the Ontario elections means only one thing as my wise muse put it: “#MeToo is shaking the foundations of our democracy,” because fundamental to a democracy is — was — the right to face your accuser and make full answer in defence. You can read Blatchford’s entire article here http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-what-happened-to-brown-is-fundamentally-wrong-every-man-in-the-world-is-now-vulnerable

Followup…. a second piece by Blatchford in yesterday’s (Tuesday, Jan. 30) paper follows up on her previous column, continuing in the same vein. Again, I agree with her. Using #MeToo as a sledgehammer to destroy someone’s life and career is shameful, the hijacking of a what began as a campaign to let the world know “I’m loud and proud and won’t put up with the bullshit anymore….time’s up”.  We need to collectively understand that no one ever recovers from false accusations, especially ones like these. Follow due process, stop going to the media. It has the stench of vindictiveness. Media are neither judge nor jury and quite frankly, have no business publicizing accusations and claims that have not yet been proven. Sensationalism at its best.  #MeToo has lost its cachè, its meaning, its purpose. It’s almost become a form of bullying. I want off this train wreck. Read Blatchford here  http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-for-the-men-overtaken-by-the-metoo-tsunami-there-is-no-recovery

Okay , not that I’ve got out of my system…..

A busy, busy week and weekend. Hot Lips, Ready The Prince, Crown Lands and Last Bullet at the Horseshoe Tavern….all in one Saturday night/Sunday morning  followed by George Olliver at TheDukeLive on Sunday evening. What a mix of music and audiences.

A SOLD OUT event at the Horseshoe. There was absolutely no wiggle room in the backroom (or front for that matter) and folks were lined up to get in. Juggling drinks, cell phones, cameras….anything….you had to literally shimmy and squirm your way through the sea of bodies, arms and legs. An insane evening. I arrived really super early as I was interviewing three bands with the first scheduled for 7:15. I have never, ever experienced such quiet at the Horseshoe. You could actually hear yourself think. I had researched each band and, with notes in hand, was ready (even though my guts told me otherwise….). Room set up….gather the troops….ready, set, go! We had 15 minutes per interview.

l-r – Karli Forget, Alex Black, Keith Heppler

Hot Lips opened the up the night with their heart-pounding sound. This trio is comprised of Alex Black (bass, violin, vocals), Karli Forget (lead vocals, synth, keys) and Keith Heppler (drums). Together since 2016, they are making a huge impact on the local club scene. Forget is also a drummer, having beat the skins for among others Crooked Valentine and Girls Give Me Pills. Deciding to move from behind the kit, she joined forces with Black and Heppler as lead vocalist on synth. Forget’s distinctive vocals pierce the night and meld perfectly with the music of Hot Lips. I love that she reminds of me no other singer. Their latest endeavour is a song Forget wrote a couple of years ago….Limelight. Together, the band put the finishing touches on the single and shot the video, an incredibly powerful visual, which debuted late last year. Heppler is a familiar face as the drummer in Secret Broadcast. Originally from the Guelph area, Heppler joined Secret Broadcast when the band relocated from Calgary. Heppler’s kit is simply an extension of him. He literally thrashes the shit out of his drums with a rocker’s precision. I missed a drum-off between Foget and Heppler but my understanding is Black won. Heppler is also one of the few drummers I’ve seen who wear protective ear gear and, considering the decibel level on Saturday night, I had my earplugs in as well. Black’s bass links the harmony with the rhythm and as the pulse of the band, locks in with the Heppler. Prowling around the stage, thrashing about, the throbbing sound of his bass with Forget’s synth sounds and the pounding of the drums creates a visceral feel.  Drums, bass and synth….put these three on stage and you have a powerhouse.

Karli Forget

Alex Black

Keith Heppler

Limelight – Hot Lips

Stephen DeCiantis

Second interview (and performance) was Ready The Prince and these Toronto-based rockers had the crowd screaming. A band I readily admit I was not familiar with and had no preconceptions about either their music or their performance. They stormed on to the stage and literally blasted into their first song…..and didn’t stop. Formed in June 2012, the original duo of Daniel Prada (guitar) and Stephen DeCiantis (vocals/bass) had performed together as an acoustic act for a couple of years before bringing on drummer Jordan Ross (literally on his last day of high school). Their first stage show took place at the Velvet Underground just three months later. A self-titled EP was released in 2013 but not satisfied with the sound Ready The Prince headed to Montreal in 2014 to re-record it. Ross bowed out for a while (the second EP was released in 2015 with a different drummer) and rejoined the group in 2017.

Daniel Prada

Jordan Ross

Their latest EP, Note To Self was released last year with the band hitting the road for a promotional tour throughout Ontario and Quebec. Not wanting to pigeon-hole themselves, the band members will tell you they don’t belong to any one genre but encompass all of them.  To quote, “we are our own sound, which is why we believe our potential has no limit… It’s not punk, it’s not metal, it’s not grunge, it’s not indie, it’s not prog, it’s not blues- it’s Ready The Prince.” Judging by the crowd’s response, they’re on the right track.

Note To Self – Ready The Prince

Your Way or Mine – Ready The Prince

Cody Bowles

Jacqui Childs had the pleasure of chatting with Crown Lands, two Oshawa-based lads who have been taking the music scene by storm. I first saw them perform at the Phoenix Concert Theatre a few months ago and they blew my socks off (if I’d been wearing any). Now, for the second time I got the chance to chat with them and watch their show up close. Guitarist and bass keyboarder Kevin Comeau and drummer Cody Bowles, who also sings lead vocals, pack a whole lotta music into 45 minutes. Dramatic vocals, a rocking drum solo and amazing guitar and pedal work had the audience shouting for more. The set opens with an empty stage and the sounds of Rush filling the room, a huge influence on these two musicians along with Led Zepplin. Referred to as a “psych-blues rock band” Crown Lands have released their first EP & Rise Over Run and the single Mantra. By the way, Bowles is part Mi’kmaq/Micmac and the name of the band refers to land owned by the Canadian government and how the land use (or abuse) affects indigenous people. I like the name and his way of thinking, Talented, innovative, thoughtful….

In the zone…..

Kevin Comeau

A note to Nicole…..If Cody or Kevin show you this….sorry I missed you at the merch table. You were gone by the time I made it back there. Look forward to seeing you at another Crown Lands gig soon.

Mantra – Crown Lands

Last Bullet

My final interview was with Last Bullet, five hard rocking musicians who have been together for eight years. What I found out during my cruise through the net for info on these guys….this  performance at the Horseshoe was to be their last. They were disbanding, by mutual agreement, after eight years of touring throughout Ontario and parts of Quebec. Never doing anything by half-measures, working their asses off, investing tens of thousands of their own dollars, they had come to the end of the road….the joy and fun of music had disappeared. An accidental band, it was their passion for music that drew them together, segueing from jam sessions to full-fledged rock band. Their most recent release, Sin, filmed in the attic of the Royal York Hotel, was nominated for Best Music Video by the Toronto Independent Music Awards. The crowd at the Horseshoe went absolutely insane for them, shrieking and squealing for more. An extremely hot and very sweaty performance, the heat emanating from the stage was palpable. Lead singer Bryan Fontez,  lead guitarist Brenden Armstrong,  rhythm guitarist Michael Silva, insane drummer Chris Galaz  and Will Shannon on bass combined are a force to be reckoned with. Their performance engulfed the entire room. Off their Facebook page, Last Bullet live and die by the metaphor of a name that has served them well; play every show as if they have only one shot”, and the Horseshoe was indeed, sadly, regretfully, their final shot.

Bryan Fontez — the smile says it all….

Sin – Last Bullet

Teaser Video – Last Bullet

Runnin’ Out of Time – Last Bullet

Now all this interviewing was on behalf of SEEROCKLIVE.com and all four of the interviews will be posted on the website along with footage from the show. More at home behind the camera rather than in front of, I’m expanding my horizons a bit or maybe I’m just starting to climb “out of the box”. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime I’ve met some great people and took in an amazing show. It was a hell of an evening with full on rock ‘n’ roll pulsing through the crowd hammering and slamming you from all sides, all night long.

A rather lengthy piece this week, I’m saving George Olliver, a special award and dance steps I thought I’d never use….at least in public….for next week.

…..a little music……

Clairo, a 19-year-old girl from a small town outside Boston who simply wanted to make some music. She recorded Pretty Girl in her bedroom on an off day and posted it thinking no one would really be interested. Apparently she was way off base and the video has now had over seven million views. It’s light and a bit fluffy, but quite catchy as is the second one, Flaming Hot Cheetos.  Read her interview here http://pigeonsandplanes.com/in-depth/2017/09/clairo

Pretty Girl – Clairo

Flaming Hot Cheetos – Clario

Almost 300 million viewers can be wrong….this one keeps “creeping” up on me when I’m searching for videos on YouTube. So, for your listening pleasure…..

Creep – Radiohead

Another one that just popped up….

Cigarette Daydreams – Cage The Elephant

“Funny how it seems like yesterday

As I recall you were looking out of place

Gathered up your things and slipped away

No time at all I followed you into the hall

Cigarette daydream

You were only seventeen

Soft speak with a mean streak

Nearly brought me to my knee”

A band my dearest friend Lyle Murphy introduced me to. A British alt-rock band from the early 90’s, The Sundays are husband and wife David Gavurin and Harriet Wheeler with bassist Paul Brindley and drummer Patrick Hannan. They released their third and last album in 1997 with nothing since…..a very long hiatus indeed.

Here’s Where The Story Ends – The Sundays

….and to close it off, this video keeps resurfacing on FB. From 1992, Barry White and Lisa Stansfield…I love their voices, a perfect blend for a classic song.

All Around The World – Lisa Stansfield and Barry White

One more thing….fantastic news from my home town of London, Ontario. Announced yesterday (Monday, Jan. 29) London will be hosting the 48th annual Juno Awards in March 2019. Read all about here

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/london-ontario-juno-awards-host-1.4508323

Cheers!

All photographs ©A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker” unless otherwise noted.

Sources

National Post, YouTube

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

3 Responses to “Pat Blythe – #MeToo/#NotMeToo and Rockin’ the Night Away…”

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Well written!

  2. Greg Simpson Says:

    Thank you Pat, for voicing the concerns of many of us…and I will confess to being afraid to say the same thing out loud myself…because I’m a guy who has spent most of his adult life flirting…sometimes it leads to something, and sometimes it doesn’t, and, if the latter, I move on…but, like many of my generation I have spent a fair bit of time analysing my actions over the last fifty years, and the only relief is that I’m not some major personality beloved by millions with a big bank account…I fear if someone accused me of inappropriate behaviour it would be an act of futility, because the media doesn’t care and no good would come of it for my accuser or me…

    • We’ve all made mistakes or done things that can easily be misinterpreted…..men AND women. To dig up something that happened 10, 20, 30 up 50 years is utterly ridiculous! Thanks for your comment. It is much appreciated.

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