Welcome to the My Life in Concert.com Podcast and Blog!
Join me, your host Various Artists, on my musical time travel as I look back on (almost) every live gig I have seen from 1975 to the present.
This blog started life on Salon.com’s late, great OpenSalon.com in 2010. It gained a regular readership there until OS closed in 2015, and is now being resurrected as a podcast in February 2020. I’ll be keeping the original blog entries here, augmented by the podcasts and whole new entries.
I’ve been a lifelong tunehead and fan of many genres with a particular passion for live shows, big and small. And while I’ll be discussing the music played, the podcast won’t simply be a critique of the performance.
People recall a gig’s small moments that can end up defining the event in one’s mental hard drive sometimes more than the tunes: what happened before and after; things seen and heard; technical malfunctions, musicians passing out on stage, etc. Therefore, the podcast is about the “concert-going experience” rather than simply being a description of the performance: a mixture of concert review, music history, memoir, and philosophical musing.
While my main musical bases in the 70s were glam in the earlier part of the decade and punk in the latter half, my tastes have exploded through the years. The podcast will go on to encompass live concerts in many genres: r&b, jazz, folk, pop, electronic, hip-hop, country & Americana, pop, blues, reggae, and more.
I grew up in and have returned to London, Ontario, Canada (with a 20-year stop in Ottawa). While I will be remembering shows from a variety of locations including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Detroit, NYC, and more, many of the early episodes will focus on concerts that took place in the Forest City from the 70s through the 90s … and now again in recent years (it will be Ottawa-heavy in-between.) There will be notable local visits by Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, Radiohead, Joe Jackson, Steve Earle, k.d. lang, Gang of Four, and more.
I’ll also have special episodes devoted to the local and regional live bands I saw regularly from the late 70s through early 90s.
Along the way I’ll be dropping back into dearly departed local live venues including Fryfogle’s, the Cedar Lounge, the London Arena, the London Gardens, Bullwinkle’s, Wonderland Gardens, and the Embassy along with ongoing stalwarts like Centennial Hall and Call the Office. Outside of London, I’ll also be remembering great nights at long-gone venues such as NYC’s Danceteria, Toronto’s CNE Stadium, and Ottawa’s Barrymore’s.
While London was my starting base, I’ll also be looking back on shows in Canadian and U.S. cities where I saw Neil Young, The Clash, Lou Reed, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Janelle Monae, Sonic Youth, The Rolling Stones, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Ornette Coleman, Laura Nyro, Bootsy Collins (who head-butted me and you can view that at this link), The Jam, Paul McCartney, the Buzzcocks, Al Green, and plenty more.
You can also check out the rest of themylifeinconcert.com blog for written entries, original ticket scans, and related visual and audio; our YouTube channel (youtube.com/mylifeinconcert) for live clips; and follow us on Facebook.
Come out and join me at the show!