T.C. Folkpunk: Press
Commençons par le début… Je suis un fan de Frank Makak. En fait, je suis aussi l’un de ses amis (même si on se rencontre seulement une fois aux 12 ans). Pour faire une histoire courte, Makak m’a invité à aller voir son spectacle à Montréal il y a quelques semaines, alors qu’il jouait avec Timothy Cameron (aka T.C. Folkpunk) à l’Inspecteur Épingle. Il m’a dit, et je le cite textuellement : «si tu ne viens pas voir Cameron, tu vas avoir des remords toute ta vie». J’y suis allé. Et j’ai passé une excellente soirée.
Makak et Cameron ont partagé la scène en quatre blocs, dans un jeu d’alternance imprévu. En gros, ils ont séparé leur setlist respective en deux parties. J’ai profité de la première pause de T.C. pour acheter son dernier disque. Et c’est là que je veux en venir – au disque de T.C. Folkpunk. C’est ex-cel-lent!
Pour un album qui dure un peu moins de 23 minutes, on en a quand même pour son argent. Le musicien de Toronto détonne avec des mélodies rock, tantôt sur une trame folk soutenue par un harmonica inspiré, tantôt sur des riffs un peu plus trash qui rappellent le punk des années 70. La musique de Timothy Cameron nous fait penser à quelques chansons des Beatles (Twist and Shout, Rock ‘n’ Roll Music, I Saw Her Standing There…), à des chansons moins connues de Green Day (Christie Road, Hold On, Jackass…) ou même à plusieurs masterpieces de Bob Dylan. À ce titre, T.C. ne cache pas ses influences. En 2010, il a été invité à prendre part au festival The International Pop Overthrow à Liverpool, ce qui lui a permis d’offrir deux performances au célèbre Cavern Club où les Beatles ont fait leur débuts.
Sur les sept chansons qui composent l’album de T.C. Folkpunk – que j’aurais envie de qualifier d’échantillon ou de trial-betatest à cause de sa courte durée – mes préférées sont Zero To Hero (un vrai hit!), Take a Look Around You (délicieusement entraînante) et She Has Everything (hymne rassembleur et mélodieux). Mais les quatre autres sont aussi brillantes.
Pendant le spectacle, Frank Makak m’a confié que le deuxième disque de Timothy Cameron (Every Cloud Has A Sulphur Lining) faisait partie de ses 10 albums préférés à vie. Je ne serais pas prêt à dire la même chose du dernier T.C. Folkpunk, mais il s’agit certainement de ma plus belle découverte en 2011. Merci Frank, de m’avoir botté le cul pour j’aille voir ton show!
(Approximate English translation):
First things first ... I'm a fan of Frank Makak. In fact, I am also one of his friends (even if I only see him once every 12 years). To make a long story short, Makak invited me to go see his show in Montreal a few weeks ago, while playing with Timothy Cameron (aka T.C. Folkpunk) at L'Inspecteur Épingle. He told me, and I quote: "If you do not come see Cameron, you'll feel remorse for the rest of your life." I went. And I had an excellent time.
Makak and Cameron shared the stage in a series of four alternating sets. I took advantage of TC's first break to buy his latest record. And that's what I'm coming to - the T.C. Folkpunk album. It is ex-cel-lent!
For an album that lasts a little under 23 minutes, it's a great value for the money. This Toronto musician's music explodes with rock melodies, sometimes within a framework supported by a folk inspired harmonica, sometimes using more thrashy riffs a bit reminiscent of 70's punk. Timothy Cameron's music is reminiscent of everything from a few old songs by the Beatles (Twist and Shout, Rock 'n' Roll Music I Saw Her Standing There ...), to lesser-known songs by Green Day (Christie Road, Hold On, Jackass ... ) or even several masterpieces of Bob Dylan. As such, T. C. does not hide his influences. In 2010 he was invited to take part in the International Pop Overthrow festival in Liverpool, which enabled him to play two performances at the famous Cavern Club where the Beatles made their debut.
Of the seven songs that make up the album T.C. Folkpunk, I'd like to describe a sample (or "trial-betatest" because of its short duration). My favourites are Zero To Hero (a real hit!) Take a Look Around You (deliciously catchy) and She Has Everything (convener and melodious anthem). But the four others are also brilliant.
During the show, Frank Makak told me that Timothy Cameron's second disc (Every Cloud Has A Sulphur Lining) was one of his 10 favorite albums of all time. I am not quite prepared to say the same thing about the most recent T.C. Folkpunk release, but it is certainly my greatest discovery for 2011. Frank, thank you for giving me the kick in the ass go see your show!
Folkpunk is certainly the name for it. The mini album kicks off with The Age Of Nefarious, a barrelling tune and the wordplay contained within is as good as the title. It has this cool trick of delaying the launch into the chorus, building up and up and up, before finally launching.
The sneer and stance of Zero To Hero reminds me of the Clash, with insertions of twanged Duane Eddy style guitar. It collapses into a squawking, squealing end. Take A Look Around You is the nearest the album gets to pop, a straight forward clear melody and some words of advice. Feeling My Way Around In The Dark For You reminds me of Dylan at his best, just gone electric, harmonica wailing and having a whale of a time. She Has Everything is a more stripped back tune, but gritty nonetheless.
Then we’re back onto rambunctious form with Instant Coffee Lifestyle. Whenever I Sink My Teeth Into You sees things stretch out, an almost joyous and devil may care climax to the album. It’s like the last track let’s really go for it, throw everything into it, and it comes off rather well.
This one's kinda long, click on the link below to read the full interview.
T.C. Folkpunk is the debut album by the artist formerly known as Timothy
Cameron. While Toronto’s Mr. Cameron has written some gorgeous melodies
and amusing social satires in the past, this is the first time that he has
performed with a full band and the change is dramatic. In fact, every
song on the T.C. Folkpunk album has an intriguing lyrical construct,
sing-along melodies and imaginative retro production.
Whenever I Sink My Teeth Into You is not a song about Dracula but instead
an apology by an acerbic songwriter. It’s set against an epic late ‘60s /
early ‘70s pop arrangement with mariachi horns. Zero to Hero (In Sixty
Seconds) is stream of observations on materialistic culture with a soaring
pop melody offset by Dwayne Eddy-esque twanging guitar. Instant Coffee
Lifestyle is the song that everyone who struggles to meet mortgage
payments needs to hear. Mr. Cameron has come up with the perfect antidote
for modern life with this album. Highly recommended with no painful side
There are plenty of Elvis Costello-ish lines on these tunes (good example: “She was one mistake that I made/Though I’ve laid her to memory” from “She Has Everything”). Clever turns of phrase, hurtful and hurting asides, it’s all here. The instrumentation is impeccable. The songs are, for the most part, hooky as anything, and the choice of embellishments is kept simple. A nastily-distorted harmonica here (“Zero To Hero”) or horn parts there (“Take a Look Around You”) add a whole new dimension to the music.
Some highlights :
“Whenever I Sink My Teeth Into You” is filled with those marvelous horns again, and has a descending-note bit just before the chorus that does the job admirably. We’ve got the extra added bonus here of a male-choir repeat of the chorus near the end of the song, while the music builds and finally fades back to the acoustic guitar that the tune started with.
“Feeling My Way Around In the Dark For You” is a blues-oriented tune with more of that nasty harmonica. The song is actually a bit surreal and psychedelic, like something that was done by a garage band in the 1960s.
I’m looking forward to whatever T.C. Folkpunk does in the future. For now, I give this album an 8 out of 10 on the England Swings scale of 1-10.
"T.C. Folkpunk: The Place I Leave Behind:: This is one of those melodies you'll find yourself bobbing your head to and having it stick to the innards of your skull. If Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney had a love child I feel it might sound something like this. Upbeat and rough around the edges - it's yummy listening."
Hurgando en la red, y recordando mi pasado inmediato con la Rotunda, decidí buscar bandas que mezclaran la música folklórica con el punk...encontré a un individuo de Canadá, cuyo nombres es Timothy Cameron, quien, de primera impresión, me suena como a Joe Strummer en Unplugged. Ese tipo de punk melodioso a la vieja escuela (el cual no tiene nada que ver con ese asqueroso skater-punk californiano, al cual llaman "punk melódico") se presta bastante para la interpretación acústica...
Sifting through the internet, and recalling my past with the Rotunda, I decided to look for bands that mix folk music with punk ... I met an individual from Canada, whose name is Timothy Cameron, who, on first impression, sounded to me like Joe Strummer on Unplugged. That kind of old school melodic punk (which has nothing to do with that disgusting Californian skater-punk, which was called "melodic punk") works well in an acoustic interpretation...)
Timothy Cameron is a Canadian artist who also goes under the name T.C. Folkpunk, and he has released a mini-album which has some depth. "Every Cloud Has a Sulphur Lining" is - true to the name - both folky and punky, mostly consisting of vocals, guitar, and occasional harmonica. In the tradition of punky folks, or folky punks, T.C.'s record is cynical, with bitingly satirical lyrics. Imagine a cross between Billy Bragg and early Elvis Costello, and you're getting close. Like Bragg, much of the content of the album could be classified under "songs of protest", and like Costello, there's a rough and ready feel to the music that complements the words. As a matter of fact, the music couldn't be simpler and more direct. The guitar style that Cameron prefers is an amplfied acoustic guitar, which produces a metallic and intense sound that's also reminiscent of early punk.The most successful tracks on the record are the rockier ones. "Bread and Circuses" is a lively diatribe against the corporate world, with some clever turns of phrase : "No need to question their integrity/All of the important stuff is on page 3" is T.C.'s screed against the sheep-like manner in which people accept the evil in the world while blocking it out - as John Lennon said "with sex and TV". "Video Video" is perhaps a modern answer to Costello's "Radio Radio". The Costello song was about the control that the radio of the 1970s had over the hearts and minds of listeners; Cameron's song points out that the same can be said for modern television. "Land Of Lukewarm" posits the gray-flannel existence that modern life creates.
Timothy Cameron's seven track mini-album is bristling with the bile and invective of Billy Bragg's early albums. Add to that the intensity of the Clash and puns from the school of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and you have a very entertaining ride indeed. It's full of your basic folk punk tunes, but they merely serve as a vehicle for the spirit of the album and it's lyrical concerns. The lyrics take pot shots at all the seedy aspects of mainstream society and leave them severely wounded.
The stand out tracks are the opening 'Bread and Circuses' which perfects Bragg's hollow guitar sound, but couples it with a softer voice thereby making the song's message more accessible without losing it's cutting edge and also 'The Place I Leave Behind' which is a Green Day style slowie with added harmonica. All in all a fine little album indeed.
Timothy Cameron plays what has become known as folk punk. Essentially that entails unplugged guitars, no bass or drums, and a great story written into each tune. Timothy Cameron fits this definition extremely well...this is really great stuff. The opening track "Bread & Circuses" has to be my favorite, with its comparative narration of the way society has strayed from the paths of what truly is important, rather than what's hot at the time.
"...I usually can't stand the person with the acoustic that is always found around frat parties and coffee shops, but Timothy is able to keep some perspective in his music, something that I can really get into... The guitar lines and minor accompaniment are just a little added benefit – a little sugar to help the medicine go down...What is impressive about Cameron's work on this disc is that most of the tracks on "Sulphur Lining", according to the liner notes, were captured in "one or two takes". Everything sounds so lush, even if the amount of instruments used can be counted (nearly) on thumbs, and to be so confident in one's music and talented with one's hand says a lot for the individual behind the disc... Hints of Warren Zevon can be heard at times, with some of the same wit that the late singer-songwriter was so successful with. Take lyrics from a track like "Bread & Circuses" – 'Now Gretzky's bigger than Jesus Christ, In our complacent little paradise'...Timothy is well on his way to becoming one of the better purveyors of this protest tradition..."
Timothy Cameron's CD, Never Mind the Hyperbolics, has been carefully crafted to stimulate your sense of good-humour. If you don't smile while you're listening to this CD, you're probably a jerk. Behaviour experts could probably save themselves time and effort by just playing this album for their study subjects to determine if they're saps.
Timothy applies a modern take on popular musical idioms of the 60's & 70's to establish a familiar base upon which to heap his unique brand of ingenuity and wit. Don't mistake this for a novelty record; the tunes are well played - a great compliment to Timothy seeing that he played all the instruments, (presumably, not at the same time). He's decided not to hide his effort behind heavy drums, which I think would have clouded the sincerity of this recording, consisting primarily of the man and his guitar.
The highlights on this album are the more comedic numbers You're Someone Else's Problem Now and She Dates Creeps. The sentiments in his song American Dream are likened not to an idealistic model of virtue, but rather more correctly, an affliction of delusion. Splendidly done!
Similar offerings of astute observation decorate this recital by the wayward Timothy Cameron. This CD is just so playful and honest... you've really got to have this thing.
Don't be a jerk.
Timothy Cameron is the perfect package. Catchy minimalist punk guitar riffs, intelligent lyrics and a good sense of humour make up this singer/songwriter. Cameron clearly puts a lot of stock in having his tongue planted firmly in his cheek... What also earns him points is how he keeps his songs short, sweet and to the point, much like the punk he lists as an influence.