20/12: My Musical Favourites and Re/Discoveries of Last Year

2012 BEST OF 8TRACKS BLOG
 (8-Tracks Mock-Up by VA)

After a break of several months I’m returning to writing and to the My Life — In Concert! series.  But first, my annual recap …

Rarely have I been so happy to put a year to bed as 2012.  For me, it was the very essence of the phrase “exceedingly crappadoodles.” So, rather than rehash the family crises, near job loss, triple shooting and homicide a few doors down, car theft, etc. etc, etc., I’ll Instead ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive: it’s a new year that’s off to a much better start; spring is around the corner — and there was a shed-load of great tunes during the past year so that not all my associations with it are bad ones. Read the rest of this entry »

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157. Monkey Gone To Heaven: The Pixies perform “Doolittle,” April 16, 2011

Pixies Ticket 2011 BLOG.jpgFarewell, Civic Centre.

157. Monkey Gone To Heaven: The Pixies perform Doolittle with Imaginary Cities, Ottawa Civic Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday April 16, 2011, $45.

1989. I was 26 and remember it as a pretty good year for me personally and, as you shall see down the line, the one wherein I attended the most number of shows ever within a calendar 12 months.

I would also rate it as one of the 1980s’ better years for album releases, encompassing a number of titles that I loved both then and now: Read the rest of this entry »


172. Locked Inside: Janelle Monáe with Roman GianArthur and the David Mott Quintet, June 23, 2012

 Janelle Monae June 2012 Ottawa Ticket variousartists Locked inside, in the great outdoors.

172. Locked Inside: Janelle Monáe with Roman GianArthur and the David Mott Quintet, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday June 23, 2012, $49.

It was the perfect summer afternoon and evening for sitting outside and taking in live music. There was substantial pre-show buzz in Ottawa for this performance, resulting in a large turn out for this night of tunes capped off by an electrifying set from genre-hopping, R&B-based, tuxedo-clad headliner Janelle Monáe and her dynamite backing band of 12 musicians plus + 1 MC. As an artist who topped my current “New Act I Most Want to See Live” wish list, she exceeded all my expectations for what I hope will merely be the first time I’ll be seeing her perform.

Sounds splendid, doesn’t it? Such a shame, then, that the Ottawa Jazz Fest went out of its way to make this event as teeth-gnashing as possible. Read the rest of this entry »


020a. You Won’t See Me: 20 Acts I Wish I’d Seen (1920s-1980)

20 Acts I Wish I'd Seen Colour Block by VariousArtistsk BLOG

(Top 20 Colour Cube by VA)

For those of you who go out to see live music, you know that part of going to shows is not going to shows. Concerts are cancelled, plans change, unforseen events present themselves, and sometimes people plain up and die (luckily, Johnny Thunders made a full recovery from his early-evening overdose on the night I went to see him, living to play the show, albeit barely).

As I work my way through my series, I wanted to have an entry that honoured those concerts and performers who I did not get to see … and here it is, also doubling as a celebration of working my way up to No. 020 (they say that hindsight is 20/20, so I felt this was a fitting number for the piece). Read the rest of this entry »