Bakelite In The Moonlight
This recording started its life as an acoustic demo I wrote awhile ago. Recently it really started thumping in my brain’s jukebox. When that happens, I usually decide it’s time to let it outside to do its thing, always hoping that I don’t have to clean up after it.
The root of the chorus is how I think we all sometimes daydream about cutting all ties and silently slipping away. You know, that running away fantasy that may or may not involve a pickup truck. Apparently Neil Young had it. Maybe that’s where the fantasy comes from? Maybe it’s just me.
Revealing trade secrets, the original idea for the song was based on a tenor guitar riff which gives it that high, jangley bit off the top. It feels like this song could sub-into a kitchen party rave up. Maybe I’ll find a one of those sometime soon and try the theory out.
In the meantime, I’m content to just let this one out into the yard:
Cons At The New Moon
This is a track from Camp Radio’s first LP. I thought doing an acoustic version of this power poppy number would be a fun experiment. It’s always been one of my favourite Camp Radio songs to play. The riff off the top is a jammer and The Knack style break down as the song builds from the bridge has always been a rock and roll manoeuvre I’m proud of.
The backstory stuff: the New Moon was a restaurant in NDG (Montreal) that served as part of the backdrop to my time living there. I remember my friend Leesie finding a cockroach in a salad there too, and though that gave us pause, it didn’t stop us going for poutine when we were bringing empties back to the Dep across the street.
The part about getting shin splints running down that street in my Chuck Taylors is absolutely true and the ‘sweet breath offers’ and ‘hack poets, fumbling on’ is meant as a private tribute to another old friend who went on to do some pretty cool things. She still does.
Those are just some of the little moments that came together to make this song, which is selfishly meant as a vehicle to keep those memories alive for me.
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My beat up copy. The front cover of the 7″ “Sugarbuzz”
In 1993, just after The Stand GT signed to Seattle’s Top Drawer records, we released a 7″ EP called Sugarbuzz.
I remember wanting to see how fast we could play that killer accordion riff on guitar. Once we figured that out, the tempo was set. Having just got into Rocket From The Crypt, we also decided to add a sax part, which has since always struck me as kinda comical.
And in case you ever wondered, that sardonic comment off the top, “Drummers”, was by our coach and mentor, the legendary Montreal-by-way-of-Australia producer, Rod Shearer.
The back cover
I really love this song.
It is such a great example of Shane’s exquisite, thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, married with an anthemic melody, all while keeping the street punk cred firmly intact. Simply brilliant.
Here is our version, fun and zerofucksgiven as it is. I hope Shane would be proud.
You can also listen to, stream and support us by downloading the other songs on Bandcamp here!
And of course, the glorious original below.
Happy St. Patricks Day and long live Shane MacGowan and The Pogues.
My original vinyl copy of Whatever. You can see the boxing sale mark down from 8.99 to 6.99. Score.
I have a long history of fandom with legendary Montreal band The Doughboys that started when I was in high school.
I remember going to Phantasmagoria in Montreal one Boxing Day and buying ‘Whatever‘ on a whim because the cover looked cool. I don’t remember knowing much about the band, though I was really getting into the Montreal scene by way of Og Records (Gruesomes, Deja Voodoo, etc) in those days.
As we did in those days, the record was quickly dubbed to cassette and crammed into heavy rotation in my parents’ Pontiac Acadian for cruising around. As a result, I rarely think about my last year in high school without having those songs play in my head.
The Doughboys live
I remember going to see them live for the first time in the late 80s at the old Foufounes ‘layout’.
(Do you remember when the stage was a few inches off the floor and facing east? I also saw Sham 69 in that configuration… but that’s a whole other story. That was also the layout that existed when The Stand GT opened for the Gruesomes when they launched ‘Gruesomemania’ on Hallowe’en night in 1987! But I digress…)
Thankfully, I got to see Brock Pytel perform before he left the band. I remember standing there watching him in his bare feet, doing yoga stretches on the stage as the anticipation of the band’s set began to build in earnest.
Jonathan Cummins was the first to pick up an instrument and taunted the audience as he broke into a verse of the KISS ballad ‘Beth‘. (Unfortunately, I never got to see Scott McCullough perform as Jonathan had already joined the band at this point.)
A few seconds after that, the band congealed into a sonic wave of pop-punk euphoria for this wide-eyed kid: The first song was an explosive rendition of ‘Tradition’.
Okay, this is starting to feel like a review of a show that happened 25+ years ago, so you get the picture. If not, this will help:
That show was a mind expander for me. The explosive energy of their live set was off the dial, and nothing like I’d seen before. That bouncing energy became a trademark for the band as they went on to influence so many jumping-while-singing young bands right across North America.
For instance, I remember being in Seattle with The Stand GT and being surprised friends there knew of the Doughboys. “Are you kidding?”, one guy said to me. “They clean up when they come here”.
The Doughboys were real trail blazers for indie bands in those days.
Benefit this Saturday at House Of Targ
So the long and short of all this is, I will be joining my pals Jim Bryson, Blake Jacobs and Leigh Newton (Blake and Leigh of the wicked thrash metal act World War 4!) to play a bunch of Doughboys songs as part of the benefit ‘Punk Rock Cover Nights’ at House of Targ.
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone for this one, as I’m taking on the role of Jon Bondhead and playing bass. I still plan to take on a few jumps while I sing back up, but I guarantee I won’t be sporting dreads or wearing shorts.
The details of the show are:
Saturday, March 5th
90s Punk Rock Cover Night #6
House Of Targ
1077 Bank St., Ottawa
FACE TO FACE performing ‘Face To Face’ (Radiodazed)
MXPX performing ‘Life In General’ (Sidelines)
DOUGHBOYS (Jim Bryson, Chris Page, World War 4, Metal Patrol)
OSKER (Cool Kids Not You)
9pm. 19+. $5.
10:15-10:45 THE DOUGHBOYS
11:55-12:35 FACE TO FACE
The fellas rehearsin’. Photo courtesy Jim’s Instagram account
The 3rd annual edition of the Solos Going Steady show!
Spend a wintery Friday night at Irene’s in Ottawa with these fine folks who who will play solo sets, singer-songwriter style.
The evening will also be in support of the Ottawa Food Bank, so please bring a non-perishable food item… we’ll be collecting at the door.
Friday February 12th
Irene’s – 885 Bank St.
9:15pm – Patrick Shanks
10 – Jon Hynes
10:45 – Elizabeth McDermott
11:30 – Chris Page
Supporting the Ottawa Food Bank
This year we’ll be once again be accepting donations for the Ottawa Food Bank. After Christmas can be a tough time for charitable causes, so we are hoping to give a little support here in mid-winter.
There are a few ways you can contribute at the show:
1 – Bring a non-perishable food item that we’ll collect at the door…and if you do, we’ll reduce the admission!
2 – Signed posters by each artist: Once again this year, meltingplastic has created a beautiful poster that we will all sign. You can have a signed poster with a ‘pay what you can’ donation to the Ottawa Food Bank. We’ll have jar at the bar.
3 – A straight up $$ donation in the jar!
My upcoming week, in patches
If you’re in Ottawa this week, there are great shows happening as part of the music industry conference MEGAPHONO, which goes down right here in the nation’s capital.
There is a tonne of cool stuff starting with the keynote on Tuesday at 4pm, right through to a close-out bash over in Gatineau late Friday night.
My show is slated for Friday evening at 7:45pm. I’ll be playing with Jack Pine and Chérie at the Bridgehead Coffeehouse near little Italy, just off Preston: 130 Anderson St. The doors for this show are at 6:30, it’s all ages and admission is ‘pay what you can’.
The set times:
Here are links to all the key details for the week:
Have a listen to the artists throwing down for this year’s event on Megaphono’s Bandcamp site:
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