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 »


149. Keep This Party Going: The B-52s, Renaissance, July 8, 2010

B-52s Renaissance Ottawa Bluesfest Thursday July 8 2010

 Ottawa Bluesfest begins for me for yet another year!

149. Keep This Party Going: The B-52s, Renaissance, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Thursday July 8, 2010, $40.

The B-52s and Renaissance. Now wouldn’t that have made for a truly bizarre double bill.

As it happens, these two bands played on completely different stages at different parts of the Bluesfest site (with The Moody Blues sandwiched in between them, both physically and set-time-wise). It would have been fun, though, seeing one literally follow the other: I sometimes love perverse juxtapositions. Read the rest of this entry »


019. Walking on the Moon: Police Picnic III featuring The Police, Peter Tosh, James Brown, King Sunny Adé, & more, August 5, 1983

PolicePicnic83

Three consecutive summers of Police Picnics — and four consecutive summers of music festivals — come to a close for me with this final edition.

019. Walking on the Moon: Police Picnic III featuring The Police, Peter Tosh, James Brown, King Sunny Adé, Blue Peter, and The Fixx, CNE Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Friday August 5, 1983, $20.

Another summer, another all-day music festival in Toronto headlined by The Police. The last of the three, in fact.

It was part of the band’s final tour undertaken during the time of their original existence, as a promotional vehicle for their fifth album, Synchronicity, which was an immediate blockbuster upon its early June release. Advertised as being along for the ride this time were former Wailer and reggae legend Peter Tosh; the brilliant King Sunny Adé and His African Beats; bland, contemporary new wavers The Fixx; Toronto’s own Blue Peter, then nearing both a career peak and the last throes of their existence; and, best of all and initially the biggest reason for my purchasing a ticket, Scotland’s Simple Minds, then finishing up their global flogging of what is for my money the one truly brilliant long-playing moment of their career: 1982’s New Gold Dream.

Read the rest of this entry »


008d. I’m Not Angry: The Heatwave Festival (Part 4), August 23, 1980

008d. I’m Not Angry: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 4 ) with the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile featuring Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, and more, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday August 23, 1980, $20.

In Part Three, I covered the evening sets by the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and the Attractions.  This fourth and final installment examines my being left stranded in the middle of nowhere with only a few dollars in my pocket and the variety of adventures that ensued during my odyssey back home.

I arrived back at the faraway parking lot probably somewhere short of midnight, with the post-show, second evening party in full swing.  I was dreading having to meet back up with Doofus and That Guy.  Trying to imagine the level of obliteration they would be in by this point was a depressing scenario to ponder but, oh well, this was my ticket there and back.  Or was it? Read the rest of this entry »


008c. Once In A Lifetime: The Heatwave Festival (Part 3) with the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello & the Attractions, August 23, 1980

008c. Once In A Lifetime: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 3) with the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello & the Attractions, and The Kings, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday, August  23, 1980, $20.

In Part Two, I covered the daytime sets by the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, as well as what happened once I made it through the main gate with Doofus and That Guy. Part Three focuses on the evening sets by the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and the Attractions (and The Kings, sort of). 

The fourth and final installment, concerning being left stranded in the middle of nowhere with only a few dollars in my pocket and the variety of adventures that ensued over the next day or so as I tried to make my long way back home, will be published this weekend.

Following the top flight sets from the Pretenders and The B-52s came the Talking Heads for what I hoped would be a performance on par with these two preceding acts.  I had been following the NYC foursome to varying to degrees for a few years, beginning by seeing a small piece on them in Rock Scene magazine in the mid-’70s. Read the rest of this entry »


008b. Dance This Mess Around: The Heatwave Festival (Part 2) with the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile, Teenage Head, and more, August 23, 1980

In Part One, I discussed the hurdles I faced in getting to the festival, on a variety of levels. Part Two covers the daytime sets by the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile featuring Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, as well as what happened once I made it through the main gate with Doofus and That Guy. Part Three, covering the evening sets by the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and the Attractions, will be published on Wednesday.

008b. Dance This Mess Around: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 2) with the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday August 23, 1980, $20.

Myself and my compadres — Doofus and That Guy — entered the performing area through the main gates after being frisked by cops.  We came in with a big group of people who we had been hanging with — you know, the You Touch It, You Drink It crew featuring The Haggard Julia Phillips. Shortly thereafter I got separated from the other two. Read the rest of this entry »


008a. I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down: The Heatwave Festival (Part 1), August 23, 1980

Visually, this is one of the most interesting tickets I own as well as one of the largest, measuring 6″x3″ (and you can add in another inch for the missing end stub). The design encapsulates the contrasting, cut and paste punk/new wave visuals of the time. $20 may seem like a huge bargain to 2010 eyes but it was a pricey gig back then.

008a. I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 1) with the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile featuring Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, and more, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday August 23, 1980, $20.

NOTE: Today’s entry is the first in a series of four that I will be posting over the next few days. Part One deals with all of the obstacles involved in my actually getting to the festival  — both strategically and literally — as well as contexutalizing the gig in terms of both my life as well as the times in which the festival took place. Part Two, covering the daytime sets by the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, will be published on Monday.

An all day festival! And just a few hours away! Featuring many of the best bands of the day! The first major outdoor punk and new wave festival, anywhere! And for only $20!

Everyone’s going to want to go, right?!

Er, not so fast there, Various. Read the rest of this entry »