VA’s BEST OF 2015: GREAT TUNES FROM A ROTTEN YEAR

VA's Best of 2015 Great Tunes From A Rotten Year

(Graphic by VA)

My year-end recap is appearing late, just as it usually did back on Open Salon.  But I see this as a victory that I am even getting this up online as my blogging has largely been in deep freeze since the shuttering of Open Salon—which housed the former flagship (and much more widely read) version of this blog—in March 2015.

OS shutting down is but just one fabaroony event of many that helped make 2015 a particularly rotten, rotten year for me (and I had thought 2012 was a bad one…).  Mind you, last year seemed like a less than fine one around the world as well as for a high proportion of people I know, for seemingly a variety of reasons.  That’s the nature of life, sometimes, so I guess I’m not an outlier in that regard.  Misery and company, etc. etc.

Enough of the Deborah Downer … On the plus side, there was lots of terrific tuneage and related media to lift the spirits.  And so, without further adieu, here are 15 foci from 15: the soundtrack highlights to one crappadoodles set of twelve months, starting with … Read the rest of this entry »


8 x 11: My “Best of” Musical Favourites from 2011

Best of 2011BLOG Photo

(Photo/Graphic by VA)

NOTE TO READERS: Owing to the March 2015 closure of OpenSalon.com — which was my primary publishing platform, where I initiated this blog and concert series project, and was where most of my pieces were accessed — I need to plug up a few blog-holes (i.e., post-up here a clutch of early Open Salon blog entries that I never transferred to this cyberabode).  This here post is one of those orphaned Ghosts of Blogging Past that needs a re-debut.

In advance of my Best of 2015 re-cap (appearing shortly), here is my second year-end music recap from February 2012: 8 x 11: My “Best of” Musical Favourites from 2011.   While I couldn’t order my fave long players and tracks at the time, I can certainly do so now from the perspective of four years on.  My revised lists would now be …

Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


Three is a Magic Number: My Third Anniversary (originally on OpenSalon.com)

3rd Anniversary Fear of Music Cover

No “Fear of Music” … a fear of OS’s obsolescence, perhaps … (Mock-up by VA)
(This piece originally published on Open Salon on June 3, 2013)
NOTE TO READERS: Owing to the March 2015 closure of opensalon.com — which was my primary publishing platform, where I initiated this blog and concert series project, and was where most of my pieces were accessed — I need to plug up a few blog-holes (i.e., post up here a clutch of early Open Salon blog entries that I never transferred over to this WordPress version). 
 .
Also note that the OS closing also affected some of the cross-linked images here across entries which I will also be fixing piecemeal.  Finally, I am also going to try and transport all OS user comments over here to be amalgamated for posterity.
   ..
Join me over the next few months on a journey into the Ghost of Blogging Past as those missing posts, covering a variety of topics and years, re-debut over here.  Meanwhile, new entries of past gigs are on their way as well.
  .
This month marks my 5th blogging anniversary.  I am going to be republishing my previous anniversary posts which never made it over here, one per day, with this year’s (delayed) celebratory post appearing on Friday.
.
June 3rd marks my third anniversary of hitting the “publish” button here on OS — an anniversary that, round about six or so months ago, I really didn’t think would happen.  While there have been plenty of “sky is falling”-type predictions about the demise of OS during the several years I’ve been here either writing or reading, I never paid much attention to them … until the site started to full-on atrophy in every sense sometime around the middle of last autumn.

Read the rest of this entry »


It Takes Two: My Second Anniversary (originally on Open Salon)

Hard Days Night 2nd Anniversary Cover variousartistsIt’s been A Hard Year’s Night … (Thanks to Cublet for the photos of Thurston and I). (This piece originally published on Open Salon on June 3, 2012)
NOTE TO READERS: Owing to the March 2015 closure of opensalon.com — which was my primary publishing platform, where I initiated this blog and concert series project, and was where most of my pieces were accessed — I need to plug up a few blog-holes (i.e., post up here a clutch of early Open Salon blog entries that I never transferred over to this WordPress version). 
 .
Also note that the OS closing also affected some of the cross-linked images here across entries which I will also be fixing piecemeal.  Finally, I am also going to try and transport all OS user comments over here to be amalgamated for posterity.
   ..
Join me over the next few months on a journey into the Ghost of Blogging Past as those missing posts, covering a variety of topics and years, re-debut over here.  Meanwhile, new entries of past gigs are on their way as well.
  .
This month marks my 5th blogging anniversary.  I am going to be republishing my previous anniversary posts which never made it over here, one per day, with this year’s (delayed) celebratory post appearing on Friday.

 

It was two years ago today when I first hit that “Publish” button on Open Salon. It not only marked the start of many hours spent happily devoted to working on the My Life — In Concert! series, but also the initiation of online interaction with a group of some terrific writers and all-round interesting folks. Much here makes each of us sigh, groan, and roll our eyes at one time or another, but I believe that’s massively overruled by the positive creations and input on OS, participating in what is essentially a virtual writing and arts group. It’s all about the collective sum. Read the rest of this entry »


One Year Anniversary … Crivens! (originally on OpenSalon.com)

One Year Anniversary Sex Pistols Cover blog“You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

From Once In A Lifetime” by the Talking Heads. (This piece originally published on Open Salon on June 3, 2011)

NOTE TO READERS: Owing to the March 2015 closure of opensalon.com — which was my primary publishing platform, where I initiated this blog and concert series project, and was where most of my pieces were accessed — I need to plug up a few blog-holes (i.e., post up here a clutch of early Open Salon blog entries that I never transferred over to this WordPress version). 
 .
Also note that the OS closing also affected some of the cross-linked images here across entries which I will also be fixing piecemeal.  Finally, I am also going to try and transport all OS user comments over here to be amalgamated for posterity.
   ..
Join me over the next few months on a journey into the Ghost of Blogging Past as those missing posts, covering a variety of topics and years, re-debut over here.  Meanwhile, new entries of past gigs are on their way as well.
  .
This month marks my 5th blogging anniversary.  I am going to be republishing my previous anniversary posts which never made it over here, one per day, with this year’s (delayed) celebratory post appearing on Friday.

It’s one year after my first posting on Open Salon and, as unfashionable as this is to say right now, I’m rather happy I stumbled into the joint and that it continues to exist.

As for how I discovered it, here’s a funny thing Read the rest of this entry »


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 »