Tag Archives: soul

022a: Changes: Bowie, The 70s, & Me

Space Oddity Ziggy Stardust Album Covers Vinyl BLOGMy sister’s original copies of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust.  I have many fond memories of listening to these albums with her.
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My return to the My Life — In Concert! series, this time looking back on seeing David Bowie for the first time, 30 years ago, fortuitously dovetails with last week’s delightful shock that is the release of Bowie’s first album of new material in a decade, The Next Day
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He first came into my orbit 40 years ago in his Ziggy Stardust days, at the dawn of 1973.  His ongoing body of work has been a constant presence in my life ever since, in particular, the ground-breaking succession of albums that he released between 1969 and 1980.
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Before turning my focus to the show at Toronto’s CNE Stadium, I’ll first write about what Bowie and glam rock meant to me, and my impressions on how his emergence had a broader impact on the 1970s.

Lightning struck twice for me shortly after I turned 10.  1972 was bleeding into 1973, and I was thrilled to now be part of the double-digit-age clique, with that majestic 1 planted firmly in front of the stalwart 0 in all its binary glory.  The yellow brick road to Teenageville, and then onto Adultia, stretched out before me like gleaming candy.  I was excited to be starting my journey, one with a down-the-line jackpot of any manner of enticing Pandora’s Boxes filled with mature delights — mature as envisioned by my still-naive-yet-overactive Grade Five imagination, anyway. Continue reading

158. Better Things: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, May 11, 2011

Sharon Jones Ticket BLOG Sharon Jones kissed me!

158. Better Things: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings with Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Bronson Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday May 11, 2011, $34.

 It’s a given that every generation is going to throw up its own pop flibbertigibbets. While we may grouse about “Beiber Fever” or the vexatious Ke$ha, it’s wise to not overdo it and constantly go on one of those “darn kids today and their crap” harangues. The reality is that teen-targeted moppets are simply part of a never-ending conveyer belt that will always exist as long young’uns and a corporate marketplace are both table guests at the dinner party of pop culture. Continue reading

148. Dr. Feelgood: Aretha Franklin, May 30, 2010

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Luckily no balcony falls were incurred.

148. Dr. Feelgood: Aretha Franklin & Her Orchestra, Southam Hall, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday May 30, 2010, $116.75.

After 35 years of concert going, there remains a number of acts that currently perform live who are on my Still Must See List (Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder, and U2 among others).  Aretha Franklin has long been on there as well, and with this performance I was able to cross off another name. Continue reading

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

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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.

Continue reading