Hot Docs 2016

Each year for the past several years I have appreciated one of the best film festivals in Toronto. The Hot Docs Film Festival has become a staple in my life that opens up the world and narratives I may have missed.

Posted on April 28, 2016 .

Peter's Music Playlist - Quarter 4 2015

Quarter 4 2015 playlist

As the year begins to wind down, it is time to reflect on the last few months of music.  The end of the year is always a busy time with birthdays, holidays, and general year end duties.  Beyond the 'horror' music for Halloween and the constant and consistent Christmas music, the end of the year can provide some amazing tunes.

I had the pleasure of winning tickets to a City & Colour private concert.  I wrote about it earlier in the year HERE.  I have always enjoyed Dallas Green's talent; both in Alexisonfire or solo with C&C.  Does it make sense that sad music seems to have more soul?  Of course I had to add C&C to the list, by putting a song at the beginning of the playlist!

In November Steph and I traveled across Europe for several weeks.  One of my favourite aspects of trips is really getting to enjoy music that might have been missed over the past year.  With each of us having our own music tastes, it is good to expand my song vocabulary through shared experience.  A song I really got to enjoy while looking out the window on a train in between cities in Italy was by Alexisonfire.  They were one of our wedding song bands, and yet I haven't had the ability to enough all the songs they have made.  A combination of soft and angry.

I was asked recently what type of music I listen to.  I couldn't answer with a single genre, which seemed to irk the questioner, but it is true. Folk, pop, punk-rock, electronic, indie, hip-hop and any combination of any seem to stay on my music rotation.  For those who only listen to a few select artists, how do you expand yourself emotionally, mentally or spiritually without variety?

I don't want to choose any one particular song that was my favourite this quarter.  I can say 4-5 would easily make my top 15 this year.  Since music can be easily attached to a memory, moment or emotion - I have an attachment to each song for one reason or another. 

Below is the playlist for Q4, 2015.  Click on each song to be directed to youtube or soundcloud versions.  Enjoy

  1. City and Colour - If I Should Go Before You
  2. Adele - Hello
  3. Marcus Marr & Chet Faker - The Trouble With Us
  4. Drake - Energy
  5. The Neighbourhood - R.I.P. 2 My Youth
  6. Alexisonfire - Polaroids of Polar Bears
  7. Sia - Alive
  8. Calvin Harris - How Deep is Your Love
  9. Banners - Shine A LIght
  10. Jennifer Lawrence - Hanging Tree (Hunger Games)
  11. Daniela Andrade - Halfway
  12. Michl - Kill Our Way To Heaven
  13. Private Island - Enough

This is one of my favourite videos of the quarter. enjoy.

Posted on December 31, 2015 and filed under Music.

City & Colour October 2015

Life is full of surprises.

There are moments you enter a contest where you don't expect to win.  You take your chances but aren't optimistic about the odds.  Days or weeks pass from the time the contest is entered, allowing you to forget you even entered.  Then the phone rings, its Edge102.  Steph and I had the pleasure of winning access to a private show of City & Colour in Prince Edward County for their album release.

Since the beginning of last year, we haven't taken the time to enjoy ourselves like we've wanted to.  Not enough exploring our city or immersing ourselves in events or shows.  So much spare time is funnelled into municipal or other level of government involvement.  Meetings, events, or focusing on reports to read or topics to stay up to date.  It was going to be a fun experience.

The only catch to the event, the 2 1/2 hour bus ride there and back.  We thought ahead by bringing music players, snacks and patience.  Bus rides have a calmness for me.  Being a passenger that can just look out a window and watch the world go by is different than the day to day drawl.  I got to clear my mind for a short while as Steph slept and I listened to Q3 & Q4 playlists.

The drive was interesting once we got off the highway.  It felt like we were driving to the middle of nowhere.  Winding down roads, passing elections signs (which is interesting to see on country roads) and wondering when it was ever going to stop.  Eventually the bus arrives at our destination: The Hayloft. I hadn't researched where we were going and didn't realize it was a barn.  Not knowing was a great surprise, although it was a barn... and it was a bit chilly.

Once we got in and looked around, we grabbed a drink and settled near the stage.  We couldn't get the 'front row' but 2nd row wasn't so bad either.  The Hayloft isn't a big place, it felt appropriate to listen to a jazzed up City & Colour.  Eventually they take the stage and the concert was amazing.  The playlist is in a picture below if you are interested.  I don't need to go through the songs, you can do that by going to City & Colour's website

We had a great time together, had the pleasure of hearing good music and enjoyed the ability to put everything on pause and have an experience.  Big thank you to the Edge on getting us there (with snacks and stories) and also home again.  Let's do it again sometime!

Below are a few photos I snapped.  Enjoy.

Posted on October 15, 2015 .

Peter's Music Playlist - Quarter 3 2015

Quarter 3 2015

The summer is always an interesting time to listen to new music.  Usually everyone is busy with the benefits of hot days and cool nights to expand their musical acumen.  I find any quarter 3 to be the hardest to piece together a full set playlist.  It changes if one attends music festivals, then there is always a flood of new music to sort through. 

Posted on October 6, 2015 .

Music Reflection - 2012

The Importance of Music - Best of 2012

In 2012 I began to listen to one album a week.  It was an ambitious feat to attempt to dedicate enough time to absorb a new album in a relatively short period of time.  From the great ability to pick music from friends and family, the library and also random online streams & compilations,  it was definitely a rewarding challenge. 

For many people who listen to music, they stay within their comfort zone.  It is understandable since music has the power to convey so many emotions.  Music can make you smile, laugh, cry, think, get angry or invoke a memory to bubble to the surface of consciousness.  Staying within a comfort zone of genres, artists and favourite album is safe. 

I don't like to stay locked in a same small corner of music.  Music can sooth after a long day at work, it can get the blood flowing before a night of dancing.  It can make you want to call your best friend or your parents and just say 'hey'.  There are times the lyrics are almost invisible to an overwhelming base line.  There are moments when a soft voice speaks to only you, piercing your defenses and showing that you aren't alone.

I have moments of musical reflection.  I can listen to particular songs and connect them to an event/moment/memory of my life.  I am often amazed how powerful an emotional response a person can feel with a melody.  A day brightens, a tear forms or a body becomes paralyzed in awe.  There has been no recent better year for musical reflection than in 2012 for me.

2012 was an important year in my life.  I got married.  I got a promotion.  Life was good.

2012 was a year that began with a song I heard on Youtube well before it became a massive hit (as an original and as a cover).  It also gave me one of my all-time favourite songs that I could just put on repeat.  I got a chance to hear 'new' songs to me that were not to everyone else.  Thanks to Spin Magazine and compilations they would put out for concerts or festivals, they provided too much great music that could not fit onto my "BEST OF 2012" playlist.

The year began with this song:

BEST OF YEAR 2012:

  1. Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
  2. Hospitality - Betty Wang
  3. Ingrid Michaelson - Ghost
  4. Sharon Van Etten - Serpents****
  5. First Aid Kit - King of the World
  6. Of Monsters & Men - Little Talks
  7. Japandroids - The Night of Wine & Roses
  8. M83 - Midnight City
  9. Alex Clare - Too Close
  10. Common - GO!
  11. The Lumineers - Ho Hey
  12. Mother Mother - Let's Fall in Love
  13. The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather
  14. Nina Simone - Feeling Good
  15. Alexisonfire - Rough Hands

I identified my favourite song of the year, Serpents.  A quietly haunting song that just resonated with the right emotional response for the year.  It was actually used on The Walking Dead as a trailer to a season and also within an episode... years after I cherished it.

This is a throwback to 2012.

Sometimes it is good to look back and see where you were.  It will help you know where you are going.

Posted on August 23, 2015 and filed under Music.

Peter's Music Playlist: Quarter 2 2015

Music has always played an important role in my life.  It has the ability to capture moments, invoke emotions & overwhelm your senses.  I have created playlists for each quarter of a year for awhile now which has opened up many interesting bands and songs I may not have heard of otherwise. 
I have created a playlist for the second quarter of 2015. Enjoy

Posted on July 1, 2015 .

Hot Docs 2015

Each year for the past several years I have appreciated one of the best film festivals in Toronto. The Hot Docs Film Festival has become a staple in my life that opens up the world and narratives I may have missed.  I have planned a week of vacation to correspond with the festival and utilize the time to saturate myself with as many docs as possible.

Posted on April 23, 2015 .

Peter's Music Playlist: Quarter 1 2015

Music has always played an important role in my life.  It has the ability to capture moments, invoke emotions & overwhelm your senses.  I have created playlists for each quarter of a year for awhile now which has opened up many interesting bands and songs I may not have heard of otherwise. 
I have created a playlist for the first quarter of 2015. Enjoy

Posted on April 6, 2015 and filed under Music.