The Pope Knows – Carole Pope Live
Submitted to Cashbox Canada
The Canadian icon, best known for her work with long time musical partner, Kevan Staples, in the band, Rough Trade during the late 70’s and into the mid 80’s, performed April 13 at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa, Ontario.
Carole was noted to be one of the first openly lesbian entertainers in the world to achieve mainstream fame.
Thirty some years later, Carole Pope who has maintained a lower profile career, still has the voice and charisma as she had back then. Opening up her set with the “All Touch/No Contact”, the type of song that brings you right back to her rockin’ concerts in the 80’s.
“High School Confidential” with its long lived popularity quickly brought people on to the dance floor. At the time of its release, “High School Confidential” was one of the most sexually explicit songs ever to reach the Canadian pop charts, and despite the sexual ambiguity, the first with such strong lesbian overtones. Other notable songs that were performed from the Rough Trade era were “Crimes of Passion” and “Weapons”.
After Carole Pope ended the set and left the stage, the crowd whistled and cheered for her to return for an encore. And that she did, just as she started the evening she came back with “All Touch/No Contact”.
Carole Pope embraces her anti-establishment stance and as a counter-culture performer has been recognized by the music industry with three Juno Awards (the Canadian Grammy), several independent music awards and a Genie Award (the Canadian Oscar).
As a solo recording artist, Pope's solo recordings “Landfall” (2011) is an esoteric mix of sex, politics, alt rock, and electronica, with a lingering top note of Brecht. Transcend (2007) and the Radiate (1996) establishes her position in the progression of alternative/new wave music. Pope's other film score contributions include the cult classic "Cruising", Atom Egoyan's "The Adjuster", Jeremy Podeswa's "The 5 Senses" and the soundtracks of "The L Word" and "Trailer Park Boys". Pope appeared, alongside Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Moby, in the film about rock star vampires entitled "Suck", which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and received its theatrical release in the U.S. in September 2010.
Carole Pope is currently an Ambassador for the The Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School in New York City and is a Board Director for the Songwriters Association of Canada. Her autobiography "Anti Diva" (Random House) has been optioned for a film and is currently in development.
The audience was witness to the fact that Carole Pope can still rev up a crowd with her combination of talent and tease. This before her time diva still knows how to rock the joint – proving to us all that the Pope knows !