Category Archives: R&B

000. Ticket To Ride: An Introduction (Podcast Episode 1)

Concert Ticket Collage 1: 1978-2008

In this introduction to the My Life in Concert.com Podcast series, I discuss why and how music and live shows became such an obsessive, integral, and ongoing part of my life; where I am coming from as a lifelong tunehead; how I came to start writing the original blog over on OpenSalon.com in 2010; the musical and non-musical aspects of gig-going that I will be delving into; and some previews of coming attractions.

Click the graphic below to click through to the podcast …

Podcast Interim Graphic

My original blog Introduction (different from the podcast) continues below.

I don’t know if I can fully explain or put into words the pull that music has always had for me—but it looks like I’m going to give it a damn good try.  It’s a connection that is almost otherworldly.  As a devout, practicing atheist, I think that my religion is worshipping at the temple of all the creative arts, with particular enthusiasms for film, art, design, and the written word.  Yet for me, music remains the most holy. Continue reading

BEST OF THE 2010s & 21st CENTURY (SO FAR): VA’s Top 10 LPs and 45/Tracks from Each Year (2000-2019)

MLIC Top10 LPs 2000to2019

MLIC Top10 45s 2000to2019

As a prelude to re-launching My Life In Concert as a podcast series, I am re-activating my blog.  I’ll be posting links to podcasts in tandem with related materials starting this February.

To get the blog re-rolling and to mark the end of this decade, I will be looking back at my personal choices for the Best Albums and Singles/Tracks of both the decade and century so far.  Following that are my 10 Best Albums and Singles or Tracks from every year of this century.

This century has been Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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). 
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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.
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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.
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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. Continue reading

15 Favourite LPs

VariousArtists Top 15 LPs 16 Covers16 covers?  You’ll have to read to find out why.

Originally published on OS on September 3, 2010 as part of an open call to writers on the site.

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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 favouritesor what passes as such at this momentbut 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

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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. Continue reading

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). Continue reading