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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171. Chameleon/Comedian: Kathleen Edwards, February 9, 2012

Kathleen Edwards ticket Ottawa 2012 bronson centre variousartists

My 2012 concert-going began with this magnificent show from returning hometown hero, Kathleen Edwards.  (ALSO NOTE: With the posting of this entry, I am now caught up here on WordPress with all my concert postings from my Open Salon blog, although there are other types of entries on OS not yet available here).

171. Chameleon/Comedian: Kathleen Edwards with Hannah Georgas, Bronson Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Thursday February 9, 2012, $43.50.

Back around the turn of the century (isn’t it neat to be able to write that as a contemporary benchmark!), Cublet and I took a trip out to the country to meet up with his family for a barbeque. His sister had just moved into a farmhouse she was renting in tandem with a good friend of hers. “Her housemate is a musician,” Cublet told me. “Hmmm …,” I pondered, with a mix of interest and ambivalence.

Both responses derived from the same source, namely that I’ve known a lot of musicians in my life. Read the rest of this entry »


173. Hold On Me: Esperanza Spalding with Gretchen Parlato, June 28, 2012

Esperanza Ticket 2012 This was one hot show, in both good and bad senses.

173. Hold On Me: Esperanza Spalding with Gretchen Parlato, Toronto Jazz Festival, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thursday June 28, 2012, $48.25.

It was less than one week after experiencing the brilliant Janelle Monáe under unnecessarily difficult circumstances thanks to the intuition-challenged burghers of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, and here we are five hours south at the Toronto equivalent. Staged right downtown at the feet of City Hall, Cublet and I were here to hear the similarly-brilliant Esperanza Spalding and her big band wail away, showcasing her new release (and one of 2012’s very best), Radio Music Society. Read the rest of this entry »


156. It’s the Year Two Thousand & Ten: Broken Social Scene, December 16, 2010

BSS Dec2010 Blog  2010 draws to a close, re-capping a key soundtrack for my year.

156. It’s the Year Two Thousand & Ten: Broken Social Scene with Here We Go Magic, Bronson Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Thursday December 16, 2010, $41.

In the course of being a multi-decade gig-goer, there are several acts I have ended up seeing five times or more. David Bowie, Sonic Youth, Neil Young, and Rufus Wainwright among a few others are part of my “five or plus” club, and with this December gig at the Bronson Centre, Toronto-based collective Broken Social Scene are now members in good standing. Read the rest of this entry »


020b. Waiting In Vain: 20 Performances I Missed, 1980-2011

nxtc handbill london 1980XTC at Centennial Hall, London, Ontario, Monday November 24, 1980. Too bad the show never happened (Thanks to MZ for the scan of her handbill).

You’ve got the warm ticket in your hot little hands, anticipation is building, and you just know it’s going to be a great experience and a fun night out.

But it doesn’t always work that way.  Shows get cancelled or artists are pulled from advertised lineups owing to illness or personal emergencies.  Or ticket demand is too high — or too low.  Or shows go ahead but it is you that is ill or can’t afford to get yourself there (as you’ll see, that’s a popular one for me during my university years). Or the weather turns crap. Or rides vanish. Or someone joins a cult. And on it goes. Read the rest of this entry »


153. I Feel Possessed: Crowded House, July 15, 2010

Crowded House Ottawa Bluesfest July 15 2010

And the highlight of Week Two is …. 

153. I Feel Possessed: Crowded House, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Thursday July 15, 2010, $40.

Two nights on from the Arcade Fire gig that I thought was a mixed bag, and here I was again with Cublet in tow at the Lebreton Flats. Read the rest of this entry »


056. Stoned Soul Picnic: Laura Nyro, July 15, 1989

LauraNyro Ticket Toronto July 15 1989 variousartists

A night of reverie.

056. Stoned Soul Picnic: Laura Nyro, Music Hall Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Saturday July 15, 1989, $17.50

 Tonight (Saturday April 14, 2012), Laura Nyro will be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On the occasion of her induction, I would like to ruminate on one of my very favourite artists and her career, and jump into the middle of my series to a magic concert I saw Nyro give in Toronto, on a hot July night in 1989.

I remember seeing Laura Nyro’s name for the first time. It was on the label of my sister’s 45 of Three Dog Night’s 1969 hit cover of her tune, “Eli’s Coming.”

There was something about that name Read the rest of this entry »