VariousArtists’ 13 Halloween Listening Recommendations

variousartists 13 halloween listening recommendations

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

 

Last week I laid out 13 possibly-Halloween-friendly viewing suggestions and this week I have an unlucky 13 playlist appropriate for the season of graves’n’goblins.  I’ve tried to avoid the more obvious selections with choices ranging from Halloween-specific to it’s-a-conceptual-stretch.  So, parade around in the costume of your choice, inhale bite sized chocolate bars, crank up the gramophone and groove (there’s also a link to the playlist at the bottom of the page) …

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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.

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June 1, 1974: Eno, Cale, Nico, Ayers — 40th Anniversary

BLOG June 1 1974 Cover

While I’m a fan of both recorded music and live performances, I’m not frequently overly enamored with the results of their intersection: the live album.   More often than not, they are merely contract fillers, between-project marketplace bookmarks or low cost quickie $$$ generators.  They are rarely creative high points in an artist’s output.

Just because a particular artist can consistently wow ‘em live doesn’t necessarily mean that the live document will have the same effect.  Concerts are not just heard, but experienced, in person and in real time, and that in-the-moment vibe rarely translates fully to the recorded medium. Read the rest of this entry »


RIP Lou Reed: “Between Thought & Expression Lies A Lifetime”

BLOGP LouNY89

One of the greats; not to be forgotten. (Photo by VA: A lifesize Lou that used to live on my wall at the top of a stairwell).

“What would I see if I could walk away from me” from “Candy Says”“Between thought and expression lies a lifetime” from “Some Kinda Love”… my two favourite lyrics by Lou Reed … or anyone else for that matter.

I’m not a natural off-the-cuff writer but decided that I had to put something up to mark the passing of Lou Reed.  I couldn’t let it pass without my saying something.  Something like, I’m absolutely gutted.

The Velvet Underground and The Beatles are my two favourite groups, so the impact of Reed’s work upon my world has been huge. Read the rest of this entry »


Picture This: VA Poster Collection Highlights

PosterBanner

Howdy to those of you on both Open Salon and WordPress … I’ve had another OS/WP absence owing to a few reasons: life stuff, some needed household re-arranging, and a spell of writer’s block.  I was also having too much damn hot fun in the summertime as of late, seeing a slew of great gigs over the past two months.

Well … that fun seems to have unblocked things. Read the rest of this entry »


022a: Changes: Bowie, The 70s, & Me

Space Oddity Ziggy Stardust Album Covers Vinyl BLOGMy 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.
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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
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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.
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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. 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 »