Category: Puck Rock
The boss sent this piece from British paper The Guardian over to me yesterday. It’s a view of puck rock (the punk sub-genre, not the occasional feature I run interviewing hockey folks about their music tastes) and Vancouver’s punk pioneers DOA from across the pond. This particular passage amused me:
Our introduction to the genre comes courtesy of Vancouver punk veterans DOA. Hold on, there’s a story, courtesy of their label’s website: “A short time ago, Canadian-punk godfather Joe “S***head” Keithley was sourly contemplating the namby-pambyness of the new National Hockey League style. As he reached for the solace of a beer, he thought: “Hey, damn this corporate NHL crap! Let’s give the people some real rough and tumble on the ice!”
If you’re really into ice hockey, this is probably a massive laugh. As a Brit, however, it is all slightly bewildering. Here, hockey is a game played by public schoolgirls with bruised ankles, so it’s easy to lose track when watching the New York Raiders battle the Chicago Blackhawks. Luckily, we have a regional alternative – step forward Leeds band Geoffery Oi!Cott, cricket-themed punks who lovingly translate the gentle thwack of leather on willow into rowdy terrace anthems like (Cricket) Bat Out of Hell and Dawn of the Dickie Birds. Proof, again, that if you can think of a topic which might be amusing to cover through the medium of song, punk has probably already got there first.
Is it just me or is there a huuuuuuuuuuuuge difference in a punk song being inspired rough-and-tumble old-time hockey and…the gentlemanly sport of cricket? This might get me in trouble with some of our readers over in the UK, but punk’s always been about speed and attitude. You’d think the land of Sid Vicious would know this. Cricket’s like baseball except it can literally last all day, and I don’t know about you guys, but as much as I like baseball, there’s very little that’s punk about it. Here’s an example of cricket:
(First off, this will be the final edition of Puck Rock for this season. I’ve got a list of players to hit up come next year and, if I get off my lazy butt, will be working on a pretty cool spin-off of this project over the summer. Stay tuned, and thanks for making this a successful and fun ride.)
Hockey fans know Ryan Suter as one of the keys to Nashville’s budding young blueline, along with being the nephew of former NHL All-Star Gary Suter. Fans in Nashville, though, might consider him one of their own, and it’s not just because Suter was drafted a Predator. Turns out Music City was a perfect fit for Suter as he’s a huge country music fan.
Was it a match made in heaven? From his play on the ice, the answer is a resounding yes as he continues to be one of the best young defensemen in the NHL (and most likely, Team USA 2010). Off the ice, Ryan’s enjoying the luxuries of being around country music royalty—and he’s the focus of this edition of Puck (Country) Rock.
In my eyes, Boyd Devereaux may just be the luckiest dude on the planet. Here’s a guy who’s got a Stanley Cup ring and his own indie rock label, Elevation Recordings (no relation to Elevation Partners, the Bono-powered venture capital firm). Currently back with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Devereaux’s seemingly got the most in-depth musical taste of any player in the NHL; he’s probably the only guy you’ll be able to find on both TSN’s and Stereogum’s archives.
From Radiohead to Black Sabbath to Mogwai, Devereaux’s favorites are a virtual catalog of indie rock and college radio essentials—and he’s the focus of this edition of Puck Rock. For you music geeks out there, you’ll marvel at his selection of tracks.
Like many other people, I thought that Mike Green should have made the All-Star team this past weekend. Being featured in Puck Rock is, hopefully, a reasonable consolation as we get ready to gear back up for the season.
When Mike Green isn’t sending breakout passes to Alexander Ovechkin or running the show on the Washington power play, he can be found annoying his neighbors with his drums and guitar—not that that’s a bad thing. Would he like to be a rock star? From the looks of the Washington Capitals season-opening music video (featuring Green on drums; Ovechkin on vocals; Jose Theodore, Alex Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom on guitar; and Brooks Laich on bass; yes, that’s three guitar players), Green’s got the ability to keep a beat but still has to work on his rock-star aesthetic. Or as Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy put it:
Defenseman Mike Green was on drums. He gave it his all ... but for the love of Bonham, someone get the guy a Tommy Lee video before the next shoot. It doesn’t matter if you keep the beat: We must have stick-twirling with the tongue out.
No worries, though. Green admits he’s still a bit, erm, green when it comes to the drums but that doesn’t dampen his aspirations to one day rock out with Seether. Check out the Q&A:
Remember that guy in high school who always wore the Metallica t-shirts and drew the Metallica logo all over his binders and backpack? Well, imagine if that guy became a hulking NHL defenseman. Such is the life of Derek Morris: defenseman, Phoenix Coyote, and Metallica nut. One has to wonder how stoked Morris must be for Guitar Hero: Metallica. In any case, Morris took a few minutes out of his time in between headbanging and skating to partake in the latest Puck Rock Q & A.
Who is Dave Bidini? If you’re an American hockey fan, you may not be that familiar with Dave. That’s too bad because he’s one of the most entertaining hockey writers around. He also is the founder of noted indie rock band Rheostatics, and has recorded his share of solo albums. Dave’s hockey books include Tropic of Hockey (an award-winning look at how hockey can be found in even the most remote of regions; ToH was also the basis of The Hockey Nomad aired on CBC in 2003) and The Best Game You Can Name (a funny and vivid look at the game from Dave’s on-ice perspective and the perspective of greats like Steve Larmer and Frank Mahovlich).
If you’re Canadian, you may have heard, seen, or read Dave about sports and all things puck because he’s all over the place. He’s featured in This Magazine (writing), Toro Magazine (web show host), and, well, a bunch of other places. If it rocks or if it’s got a puck involved with it, chances are Dave has some thoughts about it. He’s even curated a gallary exhibit about Maple Leaf fandom called Blue Blood (runs through January 4th at Toronto’s Harbour Front Center.
Which, of course, makes him perfect subject for an edition of Puck Rock. And in true punk spirit (punk, not puck), here’s Dave’s irreverant take on the whole thing:
Sean Burke may be best known for stopping pucks (a quick stats overview: 300+ career wins, nine teams, 2001-02 Vezina finalist, two Canadian World Championships) but he’s also one of the most enthusiastic hockey people when it comes to music. Of course, if you saw him during his playing career, a quick snapshot could probably have told you that—he’s had a number of great guitar players on his goalie mask.
Today, Sean has a front-office gig with the Phoenix Coyotes as head of prospect development. A long-time guitar player, Sean’s musical tastes vary, from his beloved Led Zeppelin to old-school heavy metal to newer country artist—and he’s the focus of this edition of Puck Rock.
A quick aside about Puck Rock —I’ve got some cool things lined up for this, some obvious and some not. There’s no real timetable for when I’ll have these posts but I’ll try to make it fairly regular. If you have any suggestions for players or personalities that would be good for Puck Rock, leave it in the comments.
I think it’s appropriate that we kick off the initial Puck Rock Q&A with one of the most popular hockey personalities in the US: ESPN’s John Buccigross. Not only is Buccigross one of the most dedicated hockey supporters in the national spotlight, he’s also a huge music buff. If you’ve seen him on SportsCenter or the now-defunct NHL 2Night, you’ll know that he drops in as many music references as possible during highlights. He’ll also talk about his favorite songs and bands in his weekly ESPN column almost as much as he discusses his love for Chris Drury.
Want to get on his good side? Ask him about Cam Neely being in the Hall of Fame or why Red Hill Mining Town is the greatest U2 song of all time.
I often tell people that I’ve got two big passions: hockey and music. This blog and my other hockey writing gigs allow me to be part of the NHL community in ways that I’d never thought possible. But other than a brief stint as a music writer for a Sonic Slang (I think you might still find my Alma Matters column somewhere using the Wayback Machine), I haven’t been able to write about music as much as I’d like.
Longtime readers of this blog will know that I often make random music quotes and references, and the Rawk the Puck! feature that ran for a few seasons was good fun for music geeks. But now I think I’ve found a pretty cool way to try and bring these two things together. Introducing Puck Rock, and here’s a little bit about how it’ll work—and how you can make it better.