You know that traveling and music thing I love? I did a lot of it last year. I think the highlight would be traveling from the Rockies to Montreal for 4am poutine dates with my best friend to Ottawa to see Joel Plaskett.
And not just any Joel Plaskett show, Joel Plaskett with the NAC Orchestra. There are few things that just get to me like Joel Plaskett’s Light of the Moon guitar solo. So just imagine my delight when I heard Light of the Moon paired with an orchestra. Best.
I also caught Joel during Sled Island in Calgary, a relatively short jaunt. It didn’t rain out Sled Island’s parade like the year before, but it did rain, but that just added to the atmosphere. The outside set during a thunderstorm? There were people dancing barefoot in the rain and it was amazing. And of course, he played Lightning Bolt during the storm, so yeah, amazing.
There were some great shows in Banff too (basically no travel). Kevin Drew played a tiny club at the Banff Centre. I love combining my favourite things, so when their surprise guest was one of my fave authors, Joseph Boyden? I cried tears of happiness as he read aloud from the Orenda as Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin jammed.
The Arkells played a killer set outside in Banff too! And back to Calgary, Rah Rah, Rich Aucoin, and the Mounties played some deadly sets to warm up my winter.
I’m sure you’re all wondering if I saw Hey Rosetta! and you know I did; a small club set in Edmonton and then a larger outside set at Calgary Folk Fest. Sets from Rufus Wainwright and A Tribe Called Red were also Folk Fest highlights. I didn’t travel too far for Hey Rosetta! in 2014, but 2015 watch out!
I did make another long trek for music last year though. I roadtrip’d from the Rockies along the west coast to California and caught both Bombay Bicycle Club and the War on Drugs in San Francisco. Solid shows! And then it was back to mountains, nature, and coastlines for the rest of the trip.
Creating a numbered list of best albums of the year is always a struggle, I mean, how do you decide? Based on number of listens? Musicality? Its cohesiveness, concept and flow? I know people that create their own algorithms, but can you really assign math to feelings? So, I’m still working on my numbered list but have these playlists for you in the meantime.