Monthly Archives: November 2008

“Sage Against the Machine” gets great review in Toro magazine.

I’m not gonna say much here except a verse from ‘Maximum Sherpa’, the last track on our now CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED record.

I thought that maybe wings would
But no, fly freak, fly!
You are too ugly to live
And too expensive to die

Because that’s how the band felt about this record when we finished it. Anyway, here’s a great review of it by Jessie Skinner, may he live to a thousand. He actually gets it.

TORO Magazine Review

My crocs made it to NOW Magazine

We played Clinton’s tavern on Nov 6. I just found out that there was a music critic from NOW Magazine in the audience and he wrote a review. He hated us. The thing is he was there to see Flowers of Hell whom he thought was okay but didn’t do nearly as much thinking about them as he did for us. Here’s some of the great content Tim Perlich of NOW Magazine has offered about our show:

“..a Lebanese wedding band who learned to play alt-rock from Watchmen videos”

That’s awesome. I would go see any band with that pedigree (Nidhan, Raja, and Richlach are Indian by the way, Tim).


“Try to imagine a Quebecois Hugh Laurie doing a bad Don Knotts impression and you get an idea of Dirty Penny frontman Jason “JC Penny” Cavener’s performance.”

Also a great image. That’s going straight into our presskit with the word ‘bad’ taken out.

And the best..

“There was cause for concern when the dude in black-and-white checked pantaloons and Crocs mingling before the show suddenly stepped up to the microphone..”

That’s the best one because as I was getting dressed for the show at home I was wearing my crocs at the time and looking at my shoe selection I actually said to myself: “I will be judged by at least one person whom has invested time and effort to come see my show if the man (me) that is placed before them, the man who takes the mic and commands their attention, the man that owns the lights and can say anything he wants as loud as an airplane, in other words the man that is so filled with confidence and piss that he has assumed dictatorship with a smile over every major aspect of their immediate environment, is wearing crocs. Because crocs are crocs. And oh my god doesn’t that mean I have to wear them now. I have to find out who is gonna say shit about the crocs!” No lie, that was my thought process to the letter. Consequently, I went to town on stage with my long John Cleese legs. I kept those rubber babies high in the spotlight so everybody could see them, sometimes hovering motionless (I have crazy strong legs). I could not in my wildest dreams have hoped for better: my crocs made it to NOW Magazine.

Anyways, I wrote a whole thing about self-deprecation and music here but I deleted it. It was all blah blah Frank Zappa blah blah why he never made even nearly as much money as Paul Simon paid in income taxes mollo chollo mollo chollo.

Read the NOW Magazine review

Clinton’s Tavern, nov 6

Last night we played Clinton’s… again. I was pretty great. The rest of the band was okay. I wore checkered Moschino pants. The same one’s Jim Carrey wore on the cover of Vanity Fair forty thousand years ago. I said this to five thousand people last night and nobody remembers it. If you know me then you know I have a good memory. People say to me “wow, I wish I had your memory” after we bring up a memory and I fill in all the details but it’s not so great. It means my bad memories don’t fade away as fast either. On bad days I walk through the city being stoned by every bad memory from five years old until now.

Anyways, last night we played with Flowers of Hell. They were good but almost didn’t get on because their band leader was being a general prick about stuff and pissing off the Clinton’s staff. I had to put out a fire. The bartender was going to have them dropped on the spot but I made sure I listened until he was done complaining. Demoted the ‘out’ to a ‘strike’. This band leader IS an asshole. He was an asshole to us multiple times in the week leading up to the gig. I respect him though. He cares about his band and his music and that’s it. Goodness and tolerance are not necessary fuel in art’s furnace. I’ll buy that. Sometimes they are even a bad idea. Nice guys finish last, bla bla bla. We’ll see. There’s more than one way to skin a cat (I have more clichés, just call me). I’m doing the same thing as him – except Louie and I both share the band leading title – although I’m doing it by being nice. Who will judge the winner? Is the winner the one whose band is played on the radio next to The Arcade Fire and Ween? (Ween’s a bad example but I guarantee you the world would be a better place if it were the kinda world where as many people liked Ween as much as they liked The Arcade Fire) Is the winner the one who makes a comfortable living from music? Yes, I think that’s the one. Hmm… I think he’s gonna win. The guy’s way more driven than me. I only endeavour towards good art. This guy does that and ambition in parallel. That’s okay. When it’s all done god’s gonna look at his pile, then my pile, and he’ll get the trophy but later she’ll be having cocktails with me cuz I’m far better looking.

I just had a great idea. I’ll tell you about it later.

JC Penny

the same moschino pants jim carrey wore

Goodbye, Alex Magnusson.

Hello all you dirty people. I am JC Penny, front man for Dirty Penny. I hate this but I’m gonna be writing these from now on. If you’ve been following our news thru this blog at or via the feeds on our myspace, etc., you know about Alex. Alex was our band biographer and keeper of this news blog for the last year, a freelance journalist and graduate of the old Ryerson University. He was an unstable sort and we did our best to ground him. Unfortunately, he was apprehended in a public school gym dressed as a woman and has been charged with sexual perversion and endangerment to minors. We were doing a benefit concert for the school’s french immersion program at the time. We wore those little hats with propellers on them like you see in cartoons. “Beanie Props” I think they’re called. It was a genius idea and I forget which one of us came up with it at rehearsal. It might have been me. Anyways, in schools these days they start kids off at four years old! Can u imagine 5 strange men playing devil music in their gym all of a sudden while they’re sitting on the floor with their little chums eating squares.. they’d run right under their mommy’s skirts! But 5 strange men with propeller hats made them all flock right up to us. We even had to push some off the stage. It was very great. I can’t tell you how touching it is to see a sea of children eating a performance with their eyes and ears, not rocking out in any way because they don’t know how yet. This was for most their first rock show. They were all gazing at the equipment, the fingers, the pedals. Of course there were a few that ran away with their hands over their ears. Now I have kids. I remember playing on a synth with my stepson when he was seven and some sounds would actually cause him pain. He’d say “Ah! it’s too loud!” I discovered it was more the range of frequency than volume because other settings like ‘bassoon’ wouldn’t bother him at the same volume. So I know that kids are extra sensitive to sound but that doesn’t explain the rest that were pressed against the amps gazing at us. I guess those other ones are our future progressive conservatives.

Here’s the other great thing about us that night: I modified our songs to be kid friendly and then translated them to French! So normally, “If I Wuz a Cat” is the story of a married joe with kids tanked on bourbon, ranting on the streets about all his fake mistresses and bad boy adventures. I changed it to “Scaring the Cat” which is about a five year old playing with toys alone and starts doing all the voices for the dolls and sound effects for fights and destruction. Check it:

“Scaring the Cat”
Took my toys
and lined em up
and smashed em with my truck
I’m a monster with laser beam eyes
Blew up my sister’s dolls
Play my games the way I want to

the way I play with that is scaring the cat
the way I play with that is scaring the cat
the way I play with that is scaring the cat
my mom says I’m going crazy!

(here’s the original adult version)

“If I Wuz a Cat”
In just a tie
I steal your car
And punch you in the jaw
Call your mom when I need money
Maybe wear pants
Got 47 dates between 11 and 3

get away with that if I wuz a cat
get away with that if I wuz a cat
get away with that if I wuz a cat
call your mom when I need money
So we now have all our songs in family friendly format. We’ve decided we like playing for kids and perhaps “Shiny Dime” will be our band name for when we play for kids. Please contact our for booking.

Hey so this wasn’t so bad. I like writing about us. It’s so sad about Alex. We didn’t really didn’t get to know him that well. I hope he’s getting along in jail. I hope they got him his own cell. I want to state that in no way do we feel that Alex was and is a danger to children. We, Dirty Penny, stand firmly against this sort of thing. Alex had his demons but in no way was the Norman Rockwell of the cop that buys the lost little boy a soda at the diner counter one of them.

Oh yeah I almost forgot: I wrote a new song for our next album. It’s about two maids that clean our minds. One is named “Remembering” and the other I forget ;) Our next album will be all story songs.

JC Penny