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 »


150. Good Sister/Bad Sister: Hole, Joan Jett, July 9, 2010

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Talk about two great, complimentary, back-to-back sets …

(My ticket says $19.17 as I get an early bird full festival pass)

150. Good Sister/Bad Sister: Hole, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Friday July 9, 2010, $40.

Back in the late ’80s, I had a conversation about Tom Waits with a rep from Island Records, his label at that time.  I was/am a big fan of Mr. Tom and, as it turned out, this woman had functioned as the record company assistant to him and his wife/collaborator, Kathleen Brennan, during their stay in Toronto for Waits’ Massey Hall show in 1987 Read the rest of this entry »


016. End of the Party: The (English) Beat with R.E.M., April 12, 1983

beat-rem-ticket-1983-blog

As with the Gang of Four concert, I came away only with the end stub.  Luckily, that practice was quickly scrapped. 

016. End of the Party: The (English) Beat with R.E.M., Alumni Hall, UWO, London, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday April 12, 1983, $10.

In my memory-themed piece for the Boomtown Rats show, I pondered “In terms of the more review-centric pieces I am writing on contemporary shows, what am I leaving out now that I’d highlight later? What context and foreshadowing — invisible to me now — will become essential and evident as time passes?” This Beat/R.E.M. gig is a perfect specimen to examine through that lens. Read the rest of this entry »


014. Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop with Nash the Slash, October 27, 1982

IggyPop Ticket 1982 BLOG

My ticket was lost during the melee that was this show, so thanks once again to Ms. P for providing me with a copy of hers.

014. Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop with Nash the Slash, Wonderland Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday October 27, 1982, $11, with Guest Contributor M. Zeppelin.

Wonderland Gardens was a dance hall in London, Ontario’s outer-west region. It opened in 1935 and hosted many key and regional orchestras of the big band era. The long, narrow building, hidden away from Wonderland Road by a thick nuzzling blanket of surrounding trees, was a beautiful vintage venue with sprung floors: all the better to absorb the shocks of jiving swing dancers during the Second World War years and the decades just beyond. Read the rest of this entry »


012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, September 5, 1982

One for the ages.

012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, Part 1, CNE Grandstand, Toronto, Ontrio, Canada, Sunday September 5, 1982, $11 … and a Bonus Featurette: Etymology of the Nickname “Lady Bump.”

It would be difficult to overstate just how obsessed I was with The Clash during their late ‘70s/early ‘80s lifespan. Along with The Jam, and then a bit later, Joy Division, they were my favourite band of the era. This 1982 concert was the one time I got to seem them live and was easily the most anticipated show I had attended up until that point. 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 »