Take Five: My 5th Anniversary

VariousArtists 5th Anniversary Five Years Daydream Nation Mockup“Daydreaming days in a daydream nation,” from “Trilogy” by Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988).  The world of blogging itself is a daydream nation … (Photo and Mockup by VA)

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the My Life In Concert! blog which I started over on Open Salon back on June 3, 2010. For the uninitiated, this blog is a gig-by-gig memoir of my life as an avid concertgoer, chronicling my unabated passion from Roxy Music in February 1975 through until my present day. While I am looking at these shows from my own personal lens, I am writing not just about the music but also the ticks, quirks and details of the larger Music Life experience surrounding these shows, artists or scenes. I also write of other music and media interests on my radar as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

VA’s Best of 2014: Fave Music, Media and Re/Discoveries From The Century’s Inaugural Teen Year

variousartists best of 2014 graphicVA Best of 2014 A&M

(Top Photo montage/doctoring by VA — original photos taken at the downtown Bank St. location of Compact Music here in Ottawa and at Chez Various: Click on photo to see full size image.  Below: This and all other labels on the page doctored by VA from my personal vinyl bounty).

After a relatively-weak-year-for-albums 2013, 2014 should have been the antidote for me: seemingly almost every currently working artist that I listen to released a new album while many of my favourite legacy acts put out compilations, archive sets or deluxe reissues.

And in many ways, 2014 was an antidote. Read the rest of this entry »


VA-Tel presents 20 OUTTASIGHT XMAS SENSATIONS! (Xmas #8)

VA-Tel presents 20 Outtasight Xmas Sensations(Cover by VariousArtists; Pics grabbed from ye olde Internet)

20 Sensational Hits! 20 Sensational Stars!

Here’s some fun’n’hip shakin’ musical accompaniment for the annual Santafest.  This splendiferous list mostly avoids the obvious or overly solemn, and should get the gang groovin’ at your seasonal shindig while helping to mask the sound of partygoers vomiting in the bathroom after too many Baileys … or drive everyone swiftly out the door, depending on the circles you run in.  (A playlist of this terrific 20 can be found over on my YouTube channel, VATV). Read the rest of this entry »


VariousArtists’ 13 Halloween Viewing Recommendations

VA13HalloweenViewing(Graphic and pumpkins by VA.  Stills grabbed from web and videos from YouTube)

VA’s 13 Viewing Possibilities for the Halloween Season

Here is another VA seasonal viewing guide for you, dear readers, following my Easter and Xmas recommendations.  And, as with those previous lists, I am taking my own idiosyncratic liberties as to what could be seen as relevant to the festival of candy’n’costumes. Read the rest of this entry »


185. In The Flesh: Blondie, July 10, 2014 (& their mid-70s birth)

Ottawa Bluesfest 2014 Blondie wristband variousartists

Blondie’s 40th and Ottawa Bluesfest’s 20th

185. In The Flesh: Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest, LeBreton Flats, Ontario, Thursday July 10, 2014.  Approx. $50

I first encountered Blondie in the pages of NYC-based Rock Scene magazine in the summer of 1975.  It was a single page feature, appearing less than a year after the group’s formation and first shows at CBGBs.  Blondie had begun by opening for the also-nascent Ramones who had similarly been popping up in recent Rock Scene issues.  Indeed, most of the mid-70s NYC underground first came to my attention via RS.

Retrospectively, I now see what an odd, prescient publication it was on a few fronts.

Read the rest of this entry »


VA’s KARAOKE: Proceed With Caution!

  VA Karaoke Cover

“Fasten your seatbelts.  It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve.

NOTE: Image repairs underway (images linked over to my opensalon.com page disappeared when the site closed).  Eventually all images will be restored.  Thanks for your visual patience. 

YOURS, THE MANAGEMENT

 

NOTE: I’ve been off the blog for another periodic pause.  More is coming, but in the interim I’m throwing this silly quickie out there.  Mind you, it does explore a fantasy I’ve long had …

I hate Karaoke.  Passionately.  Singularly.  I have friends who simply love it, and bless ‘em … but I Do Not Get It.  When I’ve been at Karaoke nights, my experience has been that of tunes I mostly can’t stand in the first place being murdered.  Hell ya, I’ll have some of that.

Of course, the right kind of badness can be fun.  However, as a self-appointed connoisseur and enthusiast of Great Badness, I gotta say that most Karaoke for me is not within Badness’ positive spectrum.

But what if it was?  Rather than being a “Shoot me now!” experience, what if it instead was a “WTF?  WTH? ???? Has David Lynch or John Waters shown up?” kind of a time? Why does Karaoke have to be all Ishtar or From Justin To Kelly when it could be Valley of the Dolls, Glen or Glenda?, or Showgirls?

Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas Advertising: LIFE Magazine, Nov. 30, 1959 (Xmas#5)

LIFE Magazine November 30 1959 Proctor smile variousartists

Just look at that radiant smile!  And it’s all because of (find out below) …

NOTE: I occasionally post off-topic entries, especially during the Christmas season.  I’ll be taking a breather from the My Life — In Concert! series for December to make way for three or four Christmas-themed entries to come in the the next few weeks.

A couple of yuletides ago, I published an entry highlighting Christmas-related ads spanning 1949-2011 that were culled from my magazine collection, focussing on gift-giving suggestions from throughout the years as well as with ads relating to seasonal social activities and entertaining.

While I love old magazines in general, I am particularly fond of and seek out issues of LIFE (something I chronicled in this piece on the first issue of LIFE on the 1950s).  In this entry, I am zeroing in on one particular issue, with a newsstand date from exactly 54 years ago today: November 30, 1959. Read the rest of this entry »