“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 »
NOTE: This anniversary marked my starting the My Life — In Concert! blog over on Open Salon four years ago and much of the text below was written for the then-OS audience. As I am publishing my previous anniversary posts for the first time over here on WordPress, I am republishing this 4th anniversary today. My 5th anniversary blog will be up tomorrow.
Four years on from when I started this blog project (initially only on Open Salon), and OS and I are still chugging along. On my third anniversary, I lamented how the site was a shadow of its former self, but on this fourth benchmarker I actually feel more positive and upbeat. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally published on OS on September 3, 2010 as part of an open call to writers on the site.
This post was part of an Open Call here on OS for people to list and discuss 15 albums they have their greatest emotional attachments to. Since I create associations between albums/songs with, well, just about everything, trying to pick 15 LPs that are memorable owing to specific parts of my life or events would be an insurmountable task. Therefore, I zoomed through my collection, made a (long) short list and picked my 15 favourites—or what passes as such at this moment—but will briefly discuss each more in terms of memories, time and place, etc than as a critique. (The full long list appears at the bottom.)
My Favourite Album
176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent and Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, June 23 & 29Posted: September 9, 2013
My wristband for the 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival and Macaulay Culkin sporting an appropriate facial gesture. (All photos and scans by VA.)
176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent, Sunday June 23 / Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Saturday June 29, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, $165.00 for a (largely wasted) Festival Pass
Another year, another Ottawa Jazz Festival: more great music intersecting with frustrations. In other words, business as usual.
This year’s J Fest appeared as a terrific proposition with a stellar line-up anchored by its biggest star, Ms. Aretha Franklin, along with the currently touring collaboration between ex-Talking Head David Byrne and the fabaroony St. Vincent aka Annie Clark. Sweetness! Not only that but Willie Nelson, The Bad Plus, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Mavis Staples, and a few other options. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
This was one hot show, in both good and bad senses.
173. Hold On Me: Esperanza Spalding with Gretchen Parlato, Toronto Jazz Festival, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thursday June 28, 2012, $48.25.
It was less than one week after experiencing the brilliant Janelle Monáe under unnecessarily difficult circumstances thanks to the intuition-challenged burghers of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, and here we are five hours south at the Toronto equivalent. Staged right downtown at the feet of City Hall, Cublet and I were here to hear the similarly-brilliant Esperanza Spalding and her big band wail away, showcasing her new release (and one of 2012’s very best), Radio Music Society. Read the rest of this entry »