"CN Tower" by The Poles

LISTEN: "CN Tower" by The Poles

1970s new wave punk from the Queen Street scene

"We were the first new wave punk rock group in this country," says lead singer Michaele Jordana, "It didn't exist before us." She was an artist before she was a rock star — a trip to the Arctic with the experimental electronic musician Douglas Pringle inspired a landmark series of paintings about the whale hunt, a performance art piece, and the name of their new band: The Poles. According to Pringle, "We just got back to the city from this white out and walked into the punk scene and said, 'Hey, this is survival. This is the same thing. It was amazing.'"

The Poles were on the artsy, new wave end of the punk rock spectrum taking over Queen West in the late 1970s. They were one of the bands who played Crash 'n' Burn — the club at centre of the scene for a few brief and glorious months during the summer of 1977, before it got shut down for noise complaints. They shared the bill with local punk legends like The Diodes, The Viletones and Teenage Head. Eventually, they'd find success in New York City, too. They played CBGB's and Max's Kansas City with acts like The Ramones and Patti Smith, and were produced by The Velvet Underground's John Cale.

"CN Tower" was released that same year, 1977, when the iconic tower was a brand new landmark in Toronto, towering over the city as a symbol of modernism and cutting edge communication.

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Listen to more Queen Street punk here.

Learn more Michaele Jordana on her website here or here and in an archival video on YouTube here.

Song posted with permission of the artist. 

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