2015: do look back

Dec. 31, it says here.

And with the imminent arrival of year’s end, I am comfortable with taking a look back at the finest music of 2015. True, as I write this we still have over 14 hours to go (EST) and, therefore, it is arguably irresponsible to call it a year. However, while I am hopeful we will see the arrival of another musical masterpiece before midnight, I will at least leave you with my choice for the year’s best as of 9:30 this morning. Continue reading

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pray for the other one

It’s Christmastime. There’s no need to be annoyed.

Unless, that is, you are Andrew Ridgeley.

Yes, the holiday season is here. (Has been for a while, as you may have noticed.) It is a time to celebrate. A time to be thankful. Ah, but at the home of the talented (sic) Mr Ridgeley, this Christmas will be a difficult one.


Why this Christmas? Because of Last Christmas. (Or, for you millennials: Because Last Christmas.)

Last Christmas, a song once associated with the guitar-player (Surely, more of a guitar-holder. –ed.), is everywhere this month. Malls. Grocery stores. Coffee shops. Liquor/marijuana outlets. Continue reading


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Snorri of my life

It’s been a while since we last chatted.

That can be attributed to a number of factors, among them the fact that OC Transpo has yet to respond to my request regarding fares. Like you, I have not forgotten the time the local public transit service asked for and received permission from City Council to implement a second price increase during a single calendar year. The reasoning was that fuel prices had experienced a dramatic increase and bus fares were simply not keeping pace. Well, given that this year has seen fuel prices drop by nearly one third since OC Transpo began work on the 2015 budget, I figured it was reasonable to ask whether the service was considering returning to Council to request a corresponding decrease in fares. Continue reading

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ain’t that good news

I spent the first part of this afternoon listening to BBC World Service reports on the state of our world.

I’m tempted to not make that mistake again. At least, not ’til things are brighter.

Not that good news cannot be gleaned from recent world events. With a bit of effort.

Hence, dear reader, I present a few reasons to be cheerful.

Like, um, let’s see… Continue reading

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Ottawa’s Leiper of faith

Austin, Texas.

The self-proclaimed live music capital of the world.

A key stop on the chitlin circuit. The centre of Texas blues and country. The city of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Nelson, The Flatlanders, South by Southwest, Antone’s, Roky Erickson, Janis Joplin, Lucinda Williams, Townes van Zandt, Nanci Griffith, Scratch Acid, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Marcia Ball, Butthole Surfers and many other influential artists.

And, since 1974, home to Austin City Limits.

There is no city like it. But, if recent press reports are to be believed, the next Austin is prepared to make its name on the international music scene.

You know it as Ottawa.

That news likely came as a surprise to many, for Ottawa is not Austin. Never has been. Probably never will be. At least, not until global warming gathers a little more steam.

Yet, Councillor Jeff Leiper (Kitchissippi Ward), known to some as “the music councillor,” is not deterred. Far from it. And if his vision for Ottawa as a city with a bona fide music industry is ambitious, he is quick to acknowledge that this ain’t Austin.
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