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

5x5 Best of 2010 variousartists

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 post is one of those orphaned Ghosts of Blogging Past that needs a re-debut.

In advance of my Best of 2015 recap (appearing shortly), here is my first year-end music entry from February 2011: 5×5: My “Best Of” Musical Round-Up for 2010.   While I am republishing the list as I saw it at that time, I’ve reconsidered some of my choices in the interim.  Here’s how I would rank 2010 now from a 2016 perspective: Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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. Read the rest of this entry »


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.” Read the rest of this entry »


167. Stop!: Jane’s Addiction and Death From Above 1979, July 16, 2011

 Jane's Addiction, Death From Above 1979, Ottawa Bluesfest 2011, Ticket, variousartists

Bluesfest Stops!: the high spirits of the second Saturday night came to an abrupt halt with Sunday night’s collapse of the main stage during Cheap Trick’s set.

167. Stop!: Jane’s Addiction and Death From Above 1979, Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 (Pt. 4), LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday July 16, 2011, $19.17 (pre-sale, per-night average).

After John Fogerty’s conquering of the Ottawa Bluesfest on Tuesday of Week Two, there wasn’t really much I wanted to see until this Saturday night’s back-to-back double header of Jane’s Addiction and Death From Above 1979. Read the rest of this entry »


165. On & On: Erykah Badu, The Tragically Hip, Shpongle, & more, July 9, 2011

Ottawa Bluesfest 2011, Erykah Badu, Tragically Hip, Shpongle Ticket variousartists    Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 rolled on and on with Erykah Badu …

165. On & On: Erykah Badu, The Tragically Hip, Shpongle, and more, Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 (Pt. 2), LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday July 9, 2011, $19.17 (pre-sale avg., per night) 

Saturday thankfully marked a return to hot dry weather following the previous night’s wash out (for us) of Wanda Jackson and The Black Keys. Returned in a non-moist state, we headed back down to the Flats for an early evening performance by hip-hop soul diva Erykah Badu. A literal sea of fans saturated the Claridge stage for Ms. Badu’s first ever performance in the Ottawa area, Read the rest of this entry »


166. Lookin’ Out My Back Door: John Fogerty, July 12, 2011

july_12_tues_fogerty1317527581

John Fogerty’s top-notch set kickstarted Week Two of this year’s Ottawa Bluesfest … and triggered some bittersweet thoughts and memories for me.

166. Lookin’ Out My Back Door: John Fogerty & more, Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 (Pt. 3), LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday July 12, 2011, $19.17 (pre-sale, per night). 

Weekends may have been made for Michelob, but it appears as if Tuesday’s were made for John Fogerty as the 2011 Ottawa Bluesfest resumed for Week Two with this much-anticipated, mid-festival headlining slot by the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman. Read the rest of this entry »