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 »


178a. Magic Chords: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Pt. 1) with The Black Keys, Sharon Van Etten, Femi Kuti, Neko Case, Bahamas, and more, July 4-6

Ticket Festival Pass 2013 Corrected

“Summer’s here and the time is right for …”

178a. Magic Chords: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Pt. 1) with The Black Keys, Sharon Van Etten, Femi Kuti, Neko Case, Bahamas, and more, July 4-6, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Black Keys, Femi Kuti
Thursday July 4, 2013

For over a decade now, Ottawa Bluesfest has been the musical centrepiece of my summer here in the National Capital Region — it’s one of the geography’s positives. Read the rest of this entry »


155. Hanging Around: Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers featuring Blondie’s Clem Burke, November 5, 2010

Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers with Blondie's Clem Burke, Zaphod's, Ottawa November 2010

 The line up in the freezing cold not pictured.

155. Hanging Around: Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers featuring Blondie’s Clem Burke, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa, Ontario, Friday November 5, 2010, $18.

I have three primary associations regarding The Stranglers.  The first dates back to that trip to England in 1977 that I have written about.  Their debut album, Rattus Norvegicus, was a major hit over there that year, and the band’s menacing glares peered out from record store windows throughout the UK. 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 »


152. Ready To Start: Arcade Fire, July 13, 2010

Arcade Fire Bluesfest July 13 2010 ticket 

For some reason, I couldn’t order a single pre-pay in the pre-sale for Cublet on this night, so I went for the print-at-home option.  I’m glad those options exist, but I’m still old school in liking the pre-printed tickets.  At least this gives a differentiating visual.

152. Ready To Start: Arcade Fire, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Tuesday July 13, 2010, $50

After attending Ottawa Bluesfest annually for close to a decade, I’ve come to expect that a series of archetypes will play out via the performances of each year’s featured artists.  As Week Two kicked off after a mid-festival Monday break for both staff and punters (btw, great idea, Bluesfestfolk!—it’s a relief to be able for all to take a pause and come back refreshed), many of them have already materialized for me. 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 »


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

 hole_joan_ticket1279994976

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 »