012908 Bob Wiseman/Catherine MacLellan, Ottawa, ON

On January 29th, 2008 I walked down to Sparks Street – the hopelessly underachieving pedestrian mall in Ottawa’s most desirable downtown area – where the CBC had set up shop after moving out of their seemingly endless tenancy in the Chateau Laurier hotel. I had a free ticket for a taping of Fuse, a now-defunct Saturday afternoon radio show that generally focussed on Ottawa musical happenings, and I was excited…

012515 Trombone Shorty, New Orleans, LA

Mr. Shorty (who is anything but short) is a demigod around New Orleans. I saw forty-foot tall billboards of him at the airport when I arrived. And why not? He blends pure, old-school New Orleans jazz with a cutting-edge updated rock sound that pushes his music beyond the bounds of authenticity into a new, true sound. It’s rockin’, it’s jazzy, it’s loud and brash and it sounds just like Trombone Shorty…

012016 Tulum Ruins, Mexico

In the future when people look and me incredulously and exclaim, “You went all the way to Mexico just to see Phish!?!” I wanted to be able to come back with something like: “Of course not. I also visited Mayan ruins, went scuba diving, sampled the local food and drink, spent plenty of time on the beach, and had the greatest sandwich of my life…