In the punk era of the 1970s, New York had its famous CBGB club and London has its sneering Sex Pistols, but Toronto had its moment too. Treat Me Like Dirt: an Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond (1977-81), a new book by poet and author Liz Worth, chronicles that subversive Queen Street West scene. On Monday, Worth speaks with Damian Abraham, lead singer of 2009 Polaris Prize winners Fucked Up. Here, they provide us with their picks for the essential music of the era.
Released : The Diodes's second record captures their immaculate songwriting style. Clever and catchy the whole way through, this album flaunts some of the band's best work, including Photographs from Mars and the classic anthem Tired of Waking of Up Tired . (Liz Worth)
Cyborg Revisited : It took more than 15 years for the world to catch up to the brilliance of this Simply Saucer's record (it was not released until 1990). It combines electronic, psych and garage rock to create one of the most fascinating records of the period. More amazingly, it predates the work of peers by a good three years. (Damian Abraham)
This Ain't Hollywood : This second album from Hamilton's Forgotten Rebels deserves the oh-so-rare designation of being called a perfect record. It oozes glitter and glam and spills perfect pop confections over razor-sharp backdrops. Can easily be listened to over and over and over again. (L.W.)
Screaming Fist : If there is a song that has come to be the anthem for the early Toronto punk scene, it is Screaming Fist by the Viletones. But it is more than just a local hit, it is a song that has found fans the world over. Its importance in alternative music cannot be overstated - it has influenced everyone from the Adolescents to the Bad Brains to Sonic Youth. (D.A.)
This Is Not a Reading Series director Marc Glassman hosts a night of musical guests and a conversation between punk singer Damian Abraham and Liz Worth, author of Treat Me Like Dirt. Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. $5 (free with book purchase). Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St W., 416-531-4635.