8 x 11: My “Best of” Musical Favourites from 2011

Best of 2011BLOG Photo

(Photo/Graphic by VA)

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

In advance of my Best of 2015 re-cap (appearing shortly), here is my second year-end music recap from February 2012: 8 x 11: My “Best of” Musical Favourites from 2011.   While I couldn’t order my fave long players and tracks at the time, I can certainly do so now from the perspective of four years on.  My revised lists would now be …

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Three is a Magic Number: My Third Anniversary (originally on OpenSalon.com)

3rd Anniversary Fear of Music Cover

No “Fear of Music” … a fear of OS’s obsolescence, perhaps … (Mock-up by VA)
(This piece originally published on Open Salon on June 3, 2013)
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 over to this WordPress version). 
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Also note that the OS closing also affected some of the cross-linked images here across entries which I will also be fixing piecemeal.  Finally, I am also going to try and transport all OS user comments over here to be amalgamated for posterity.
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Join me over the next few months on a journey into the Ghost of Blogging Past as those missing posts, covering a variety of topics and years, re-debut over here.  Meanwhile, new entries of past gigs are on their way as well.
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This month marks my 5th blogging anniversary.  I am going to be republishing my previous anniversary posts which never made it over here, one per day, with this year’s (delayed) celebratory post appearing on Friday.
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June 3rd marks my third anniversary of hitting the “publish” button here on OS — an anniversary that, round about six or so months ago, I really didn’t think would happen.  While there have been plenty of “sky is falling”-type predictions about the demise of OS during the several years I’ve been here either writing or reading, I never paid much attention to them … until the site started to full-on atrophy in every sense sometime around the middle of last autumn.

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

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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. Read the rest of this entry »


011. What A Day That Was: The Police Picnic II with The Police, the Talking Heads, the (English) Beat, Joan Jett and more, August 13, 1982

Hmmm … this ticket looks familiar …

011. What A Day That Was: The Police Picnic II with The Police, The Talking Heads, The (English) Beat, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, A Flock of Seagulls, and The Spoons, CNE Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Friday August 13, 1982, $22.

Sometime during the early morning hours of Saturday August 14th, 1982, a Music Mann Tours bus pulled up to Victoria Park in downtown London, Ontario, Canada. Among those descending from the bus were myself, Lady Bump, and Le Château: the same trio that went to the OMD show in March. Although, with us, it was more like we were crawling out of it rather than walking off of it. I seem to recall kissing the pavement upon our return.

OK, that last touch may just be my imagination running away with me. But there is no doubting the memory of my/our utter relief and joy at being back in the hometown we so often derided.

It was supposed to have been such a fun day. Where did it all go wrong?

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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 »