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    2011 The Review

    I don’t know about you but my 2011 was nuts. I left my first career, started working for Oaktree Media (Thanks for saving me Kelly!), started Music Lives. I’m sure I did some other stuff too but let’s get down to the good stuff. The music we saw, the hits we loved or plagued us and some of the musicians we lost. Me being me, I’ll start with the sad part.

    The Day The Music Died…

    This year we lost a pile of great artists but here are just a handfull. Gerry Rafferty, hopefully you’re playing now, of Stealers Wheel, and solo fame. Clarence Clemons, who played sax with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street band forever, and also had a #1 hit this year performing the sax solo on Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory. Losing Amy Winehouse wasn’t a surprise to many although it’s always sad to lose such a talented person. Warrant‘s singer, Jani Lane, and Alice In Chains original bass player, Mike Starr , both fell victim to previous addictions mixed with depression. Check out Rolling Stone’s Memoriam for a better run down. Now, on to happier pastures.

    We’ll Do It Live!
    I have to admit that I’m completely spoiled to have such an amazingly vibrant and diverse music scene right at my doorstep. Guelph rules for several reasons but this is one of them. There is at least 8 live music venues, all within a 5 minute walk of one another. I love it. Some of my favourite shows this year were as follows. Ben Caplan is the the east coast of Canada’s answer to Tom Waits, but a gypsy. A crazy, running around the venue without missing a note, kind of gypsy. I came to this show just to lend a hand to the promoter with almost no intention of actually paying attention to the show as I had other work to do. I could not take my eyes off of him. If you missed the show, which most of you did, you’re in luck. Ben Caplan will be opening for three different acts in January, Guelph. Get out and see him at least once. Two of my favourite live music moments came courtesy of local promoters GAIN Music. One was My Son The Hurricane, that opened for USS. Twelve people on The Vinyl stage. A full horn section. An MC?! Seriously, just watch all their videos and you’ll see the energy and awesomeness that is this band. The other moment I have to mention from this year is the Cancer Bats. AND I got to see them twice! Crazy energy, crowd interaction, great sounding, metal maniacs. The whole place erupted when they busted out their cover of The Beastie Boys, Sabotage, and with good reason. See these guys live before they get any bigger! Just check out this gallery. In fact this whole card was stacked.  Starting Music Lives has really opened my eyes to what makes a show or band connect with people. I could list all the amazing shows I got to be a part of this year, but then I wouldn’t finish this post until next year! Thanks to everyone that let me be behind the scenes of the scene I love so dearly.

    Big Ones

    Now we get to the actual charts. I keep a vague on these but take them with a grain of salt. It was a notable year for a few artists. Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson‘s record for most Billboard number one hits from one album with 5 (and she’s single again! I so have a shot!). If the video I posted, which is stuck at number four, hits number one, she’ll win. That’s quite an accomplishment for any artist. The fact that she writes her own songs makes it that much more impressive. Korn, a band I loved in 2000, was given a lot of metal honours this year, even though they released a Dub-step album. I guess sometimes it pays to take a risk. I’m not the keenest on the album, but I don’t mind the lead off single. You really can’t mention anyone in music this year without mentioning Adele. Not only was her album #1 on every notable music publication and listeners choice awards, but it also spent 50 weeks on the Billboard charts, with over 20 weeks at the top spot. It’s not too often that such a young person can sing with so much soul and put together a whole album that is fantastic start to finish. I believe every word she says.

    Happy New Year!!!
    Have a safe one everybody! I’m really looking forward to what 2012 brings to the table. It’s an exciting time for me in my life and I hope that Music Lives can continue to grow as I am. See you all in 2012. Thanks so much for your readership and support! Feel free to list your favourite albums, songs or concerts of the year below!

    P.S. I have a feeling I’ll be fist pumping to this later!