Tag Archives: Canada

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

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 … Continue reading

5×5: My “Best Of” Musical Round-Up for 2010

5x5 Best of 2010 variousartists

NOTE TO READERS: Compiling my series of Top 10 Lists for each year of this century’s first two decades gave me an opportunity to re-consider what my favourite tracks and albums are from my previous posts.  It’s always easier to assess in hindsight as I now have the luxury of knowing what recordings have lasted/improved/lessened for me over time.

Here is my revised Top 10 lists for 2010 (as of December 2019):

Continue reading

025. So Here I Am: UB40, March 7, 1984 & March 14, 1985

UB40 Tickets 84 85UB40 play London, Ontario twice, a year apart almost to the week. (Ticket and program scans by VA.  Other images from internet and arranged by VA.)

025. So Here I Am: UB40, Centennial Hall, London, Ontario, March 7, 1984; Alumni Hall, UWO, London, Ontario, March 14, 1985

When you’re a tunehead lifer, farming your musical terrain with a polycultural approach to sonic agriculture, it’s a reality — indeed a necessity — that certain strains of artists/genres/stylistic obsessions inevitably drop out of and then later resurface in my listening crop rotations.  But, as I’ve previously noted, not all seasons’ harvests continue to yield again down through the years.  While some evergreen produce re-seed and return stronger than ever, others wither and dine on the vine. Continue reading

178a. Magic Chords: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Pt. 1) with The Black Keys, Sharon Van Etten, Femi Kuti, Neko Case, Bahamas, and more, July 4-6

Ticket Festival Pass 2013 Corrected

“Summer’s here and the time is right for …”

178a. Magic Chords: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Pt. 1) with The Black Keys, Sharon Van Etten, Femi Kuti, Neko Case, Bahamas, and more, July 4-6, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Black Keys, Femi Kuti
Thursday July 4, 2013

For over a decade now, Ottawa Bluesfest has been the musical centrepiece of my summer here in the National Capital Region — it’s one of the geography’s positives. Continue reading

177. We Rule the School: Belle & Sebastian, Saturday July 6, 2013

BLOG Bluesfest wristbands 2013

 This year’s much-used Ottawa Bluesfest full fest passes featuring their mascot, Leadbelly.  He waved at me on Day One.  I think he looks like a blue version of the Just For Laughs gremlin.

177. We Rule the School: Belle & Sebastian, Saturday July 6, 2013, Ottawa Bluesfest, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, $19.50 (as part of 10-day pass)

I first heard of Belle & Sebastian shortly after their mid-‘90s emergence but didn’t get to actually hear them until just after the turn of this century.  A younger friend of ours from that time was over one night when Donovan came on a CD compilation that we were listening to.  “Who is this?,” he asked.  “It sounds like Belle & Sebastian.” Continue reading

176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent and Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, June 23 & 29

blog_yes_mc_black_background1377387404

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. Continue reading