Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 - The Year in Concerts

I attended 46 concerts and skipped 8.

February 12, Saturday - Motorhead - Burton Cummings Theatre, row 5
March 24, Thursday - The Residents - West End Cultural Centre, balcony
March 26, Saturday - The WSO: Dark Side of the Moon - The Music of Pink Floyd
April 5, Tuesday - Bruce Cockburn - Burton Cummings Theatre, row 1
April 8, Friday - Hawksley Workman - West End Cultural Centre, balcony

April 13, Wednesday - Destroyer - West End Cultural Centre, balcony
April 27, Wednesday - The Pixies - Concert Hall, row 7
May 7, Saturday - Elton John - MTS Centre,
May 15, Sunday - Front Line Assembly - Pyramid Cabaret
May 22, Sunday - Merzbow - Pyramid Cabaret

May 24, Tuesday - Anvil - Pyramid Cabaret
May 25, Wednesday - Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan - Pantages Theatre
May 26, Thursday - Sepultura - The Zoo
May 29, Sunday - U2 - CanadInns Stadium
June 8, Wednesday - Supertramp - MTS Centre, floor, row 6

June 14, Tuesday - Wynton Marsalis - Concert Hall, row 2
June 20, Monday - Blonde Redhead w/ The Luyas - Pyramid Cabaret
June 21, Tuesday - Robert Plant and the Band of Joy - Concert Hall, row 1
June 22, Wednesday - The New Gary Burton Quartet - Art Gallery, row 1
June 23, Thursday - Trombone Shorty - West End Cultural Centre

June 24, Friday - Robert Glasper - West End Cultural Centre
July 4, Tuesday - Devin Townsend (Children of Bodom headlining)
July 9, Saturday - Winnipeg Folk Festival
July 10, Sunday - Lynyrd Skynyrd - MTS Centre, floor, row 2
July 27, Wednesday - Slayer/ Rob Zombie - MTS Centre, sect. 106, r 15, seat 18

August 14, Sunday - Chris Isaak - Concert Hall - row 6
September 7, Wednesday - Train (Maroon 5) - MTS Centre, floor, row 3
September 8, Thursday - Jerry Seinfeld - MTS Centre, floor, row 1
September 17, Saturday - Pearl Jam - MTS Centre, section 220, row 1, seat 11
September 24, Saturday - Bachman & Turner - MTS Centre, floor, row 1

September 30, Friday - The WSO: Live and Let Die McCartney Tribute, row 11
October 1, Saturday - Danny Michel - WECC, balcony
October 4, Tuesday - Kings of Leon - MTS Centre, general admission floor
October 5, Wednesday - Enslaved/Alcest/ Junius - WECC
October 8, Saturday - Opeth/ Katatonia - Burton Cummings Theatre, row 1

October 15, Saturday - Dan Frechette - The Folk Exchange
October 20, Thursday - Firewind - The Zoo 
October 21, Friday - Johnny Winter - Pyramid Cabaret
October 22, Saturday - Jeff Beck - Pantages Theatre, row 2
October 25, Tuesday - William Shatner - Concert Hall

November 5, Saturday - Amjab Sabir - India Community Centre
November 23, Wednesday - The Tea Party - Burton Cummings Theatre
November 27, Sunday - Randy Brecker - Art Gallery
December 4, Sunday - Devin Townsend - Pyramid Cabaret
December 8, Thurday - Prince - MTS Centre - 104, row 5, seat 10

December 20, Mark David Stallard - Joe Black Coffee Bar

Skipped shows
January 28, Friday - Loudon Wainwright III
March 5, Saturday - Cyrus Chestnutt
April 10, Sunday - Oliver Jones - Art Gallery
July 7, Thursday - The Tragically Hip - Shaw Park
August 9, Tuesday - Lyle Lovett - Burton Cummings Theatre, row 3
September 28, Wednesday - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Park Theatre
September 16, Friday - Braids - The Park Theatre
November 7, Monday - Matthew Good - Burton Cummings Theatre

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TV shows sometime overstay their welcome

 Cast members from Breaking Bad.

I think the X-Files was among the first television shows that I was hooked on that really went on longer than it should have.  ABC's Lost followed suit, no doubt about it. As did 24 on Fox.  I'm quite a fan of serialized shows, the ones where the story continues with each episode.  The much talked about 24 movie hasn't materialized yet, which suggests that the public was burnt out on the series.

Fast forward to my newer favorite shows, like Showtime's Weeds.  I can't say I'm looking forward to Weeds continuing.  The ending seemed awkward but appropriate for a show that has gone on for seven seasons already.  It should have ended while out on top.  But, about six weeks ago, I was renewed for 13 episodes in 2012.  Weeds was dramatic but also very humorous.  The hero, Nancy, just could not stop going from one awful conundrum to another.

AMC's Breaking Bad is probably the best show that I have seen in years.  After ignoring the hype, I decided to give it a try.  I was hooked instantly.  It's not a comedy-drama, just a high-stakes drama with a good guy turned somewhat bad guy to root for.  It's gritty with the main characters constantly living on the edge, living lies and living in tremendous fear.  It's the fear that keeps my adrenalin going when I watch this show.   In August, 2011, the show was renewed for a final 16 episodes, possibly to be split over two seasons.  I don't like it when they drag shows out like this, but I guess they really need time to find a solid replacement.

There are a lot of shows out there about secret agents, and most of them are pretty lame.  There's one called Persons of Interest on ABC, in which a secretive billionaire software guru taps into a massive computer surveillance system that he built for the government, to figure out when a person's life may be in danger of murder, so that he and his secret agent-type partner can stop the crime.  It's hokey but the action scenes are good.  I don't expect it to last more than one more season, though.

When I heard about the new drama called Homeland, I wasn't interested.  It was getting good reviews but the topic of hunting bad guys in post 9/11 America just didn't seem all that interesting.  I decided to give it chance, however, and was rewarded with an incredibly gritty drama, not for prime time television on a major network.  As great as it is, I wonder if they should have left it at one season.  It's been renewed for 12 episodes in 2012 (does anyone remember when televisions shows typically had 24 episodes in a year?)  Claire Danes, a film actress, is the star of Homeland, along with Damian Lewis, best known for his role as Capt Winters in the Band of Brothers HBO television series.

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