Toronto punk labels take on Rob Ford
While the odd anti-Rob Ford song has come up, Toronto's punk and hardcore scenes have been largely silent about municipal politics (and various national issues, cough cough). Cynicism over how a song could stop Ford Nation is well-founded, especially as the Brothers Ford do seem like an unstoppable force - but artists ignoring a mayor who looks on arts and culture with scorn, who's alienated the LGBT community, and who reduces citizenship to the act of paying taxes suggest questionable motives (punk is experiencing a commercial resurgence in Toronto, if it ever faded).
In an attempt to correct this dearth of political enthusiasm, Toronto punk labels Mammoth Cave Recording Co. and Ugly Pop Records are releasing two anti-Rob Ford 7" singles later this month: punk/lawyer/consultant Warren Kinsella's band SFH's "Mayor on Crack" and Strange Attractor's "Barely Doing Crime." The double record release will mark the first This Ain't Ford Fest at the Bovine Sex Club.
"Frankly, Toronto bands are mostly blowing it when it comes to political commentary, and Simon (Ugly Pop) had a desire to step up and put this together," explains Paul Lawton (Mammoth Cave, Ketamines, local curmudgeon). Strange Attractor are actually Sudbury-based, throwing more fuel on the idea that Toronto bands largely don't give a fuck - though Toronto's The Cola Heads ("no, not Coke Heads... that would be our mayor and his lowlife friends," say the labels) are also on the bill. To make things even more interesting: Kinsella is involved with Olivia Chow's campaign.
While This Ain't Ford Fest will undoubtedly result in a room full of left-leaning scenesters (voters or non), hopefully it spurs some discussion among Toronto music fans about how they can get involved in the upcoming civic election beyond clicking "attending" on a Facebook event.
This Ain't Ford Fest is Saturday, April 26 at Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen St. West).