(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. Continue reading →
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.
My sister’s original copies of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust. I have many fond memories of listening to these albums with her.
My return to the My Life — In Concert! series, this time looking back on seeing David Bowie for the first time, 30 years ago, fortuitously dovetails with last week’s delightful shock that is the release of Bowie’s first album of new material in a decade, The Next Day.
He first came into my orbit 40 years ago in his Ziggy Stardust days, at the dawn of 1973. His ongoing body of work has been a constant presence in my life ever since, in particular, the ground-breaking succession of albums that he released between 1969 and 1980.
Before turning my focus to the show at Toronto’s CNE Stadium, I’ll first write about what Bowie and glam rock meant to me, and my impressions on how his emergence had a broader impact on the 1970s.
Lightning struck twice for me shortly after I turned 10. 1972 was bleeding into 1973, and I was thrilled to now be part of the double-digit-age clique, with that majestic 1 planted firmly in front of the stalwart 0 in all its binary glory. The yellow brick road to Teenageville, and then onto Adultia, stretched out before me like gleaming candy. I was excited to be starting my journey, one with a down-the-line jackpot of any manner of enticing Pandora’s Boxes filled with mature delights — mature as envisioned by my still-naive-yet-overactive Grade Five imagination, anyway. Continue reading →
164. Bootzilla: Bootsy Collins, The Flaming Lips, and a sprinkle o’ Soundgarden and Wanda Jackson (but, sadly, no Black Keys), Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 (Pt. 1), LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday July 5/Friday July 8, 2011, $19.17.
On the heels of returning from several days spent soaking up the joyous lunacy that is always the Toronto Pride weekend, barely 24 hours of downtime passed before heading back out into another set of throngs for the start of the 2011 Ottawa Bluesfest. Continue reading →
012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, Part 1, CNE Grandstand, Toronto, Ontrio, Canada, Sunday September 5, 1982, $11 … and a Bonus Featurette: Etymology of the Nickname “Lady Bump.”
It would be difficult to overstate just how obsessed I was with The Clash during their late ‘70s/early ‘80s lifespan. Along with The Jam, and then a bit later, Joy Division, they were my favourite band of the era. This 1982 concert was the one time I got to seem them live and was easily the most anticipated show I had attended up until that point. Continue reading →