A Happy New Year to everyone! Hope everyone had a wonderful celebration 🙂 So like last year, I decided to put together a bit of a generalised list of some of my favourite things from 2015 🙂 The only thing of course not included in this list are books; for my books recap for 2015, check out my 2015 list for the End of the Year Book Survey.
A couple of awesome albums were released this year, both from artists that are new to me and some favourites 🙂 But I’m also including two features from albums not released this year but I was super late getting around to…
Probably my favourite new discovery this year. They’re from Canada (yeah!) and their entire album, “Black to Gold”, is fantastic with the retro alternative sound. Hands down my favourite song off the album is “Kids Wanna Know” (click here if the embedding below doesn’t work; I can’t recommend it enough) but I have so many favourites, I can just listen to the whole album on loop all day 😀
A Happy New Year to you all! If you celebrated last night, I hope you had fun, and I hope you have an awesome 2015 🙂
So I don’t normally do this favourite lists at the end of the year unless it’s the End of the Year Book Survey (see: my 2014 list), but I decided to do it this year because there’s some memorable standouts that I wanted to share with you all 🙂 By no means is this a definitive list–I’m definitely missing a few in the music section, I reckon–but nonetheless, I highly recommend the following if you’re looking for something to check out today or this year 🙂
A couple of awesome albums were released this year, and I discovered quite a number of new artists along the way.
I discovered this band when I checked out their single of the week, “Human”, on iTunes, which then prompted me to buy the whole album because it’s just awesome! Their music is very atmospheric and dreamy, the lyrics gorgeous. My favourite song from their album is actually “Shallows”, but “Youth” I think was their first single and probably the most well-known song off the album (love this song too…and “Still”…and “Winter”…the whole album, basically).
Babylon 5. In the heyday of the 90s with the three Star Trek franchises, Stargate starting up and The X-Files, there was Babylon 5. I remember it airing an hour or so before TNG but I never actually got around to watching it until around 1999. Its follow-up show Crusade was cancelled by FOX (still bitter about this) but it was there that I was intrigued by Babylon 5. And I didn’t look back, it knocked DS9 out of top spot of my favourite television shows ever.
No matter how many times I re-watch this show, it’s just as mindblowing and amazing an experience for me as the first time I watched it on television. Despite its smaller fan base (compared to the other sci-fi shows that were out there at the time–and shows that followed), it’s been recognised as stellar sci-fi by the Hugos (won in 1996 and 1997 for Best Dramatic Presentation) and by NASA (I think it was NASA…the science community, suffice to say). I sort of condensed my reasons why I loved the show in my 100 Things but here’s my 10 reasons why you should watch Babylon 5.
In no particular order after the cut:
So here’s the thing: I love sci-fi but I find that my love for the genre lies more in television than books (I only realised this recently so I’ve been trying to correct that along the book-end of things). Growing up there were so many sci-fi shows that I enjoyed, even well into my undergrad days. There’s a recent surge of new shows in the genre, which is encouraging, but growing up it was really about Star Trek and Babylon 5 for me. But anyways, the following are just some of my favourite shows, both past and present. Some didn’t get a slot but I enjoyed watching when I was growing up (The X-Files, Cleopatra 2525 (this show was fun), SeaQuest DSV, Stargate SG-1, etc.) and mini-series are not included here (Dune, Children of Dune, etc.) but here we go…
10. Misfits (2009 – 2013)
I started watching this show while I was on my semester exchange and yeah, I’d consider it as sci-fi with how they got their abilities and some of the stuff they have to face (and later on–time travel!). What I really enjoyed about this show was how these characters are anti-heroes in their own way: they’re not out to be heroes or follow the superhero tropes but rather lay low (usually leading to not-so-good results). It also has a lot of dark humour but can also be very introspective. I wrote a 100 Things entry about the show but also a few other posts about it; sadly, I stopped watching around series 4. Been meaning to catch up, if only for Rudy, but I haven’t (yet?).
To all my Canadian readers, I hope you’re having a wonderful long weekend! =) Today we are celebrating the 146th birthday of our country (Canada was born in the Confederation of 1867: Ontario (Upper Canada), Quebec (Lower Canada), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; for all my non-Canadian readers, today our country consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories)).
So, in celebration of this national holiday, I decided to put together a list of Canadian stuff, mainly books, music and movies/television shows =) I could’ve gone on to mention other things like sports (our Women’s football team (okay, soccer; I’m a stickler to calling it the European term here), hockey (not an avid follower but like any good Torontonian, I do pay attention whenever our team makes it to the playoffs),
food beer (Alexander Keith’s, Fin du Monde–yes, I love this beer partly because of its name =P) and places to see (I’ve been fortunate to have toured around the East Coast…have yet to tour the West Coast). But hey, if you guys are interested, I can whip another post together ^_~
Canadian Authors & Titles
I admit, I don’t read a lot of Canadian literature or from Canadian authors *blushes* I will try to do better so that maybe next year I’ll have a far more comprehensive list ^_~ But in the meantime, here are some titles that came to mind and that I’ve read:
- Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers (review)
- Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo
- Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi
- Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (review)
- Robert Rotenberg’s Old City Hall (review)
- Douglas Coupland’s All Families are Psychotic and Eleanor Rigby
Honourable mentions: No Canadian list is ever complete without Margaret Atwood (still have yet to pick up The Handmaid’s Tale though–oops *blushes*). I’d also like to mention Vincent Lam, who received a number of accolades a few years ago for his debut novel, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures (another book I have yet to read *blushes again*).
Okay, you know the obvious artists in the pop genre but here’s some other bands out there (and that I jam to):
- Magneta Lane — Been following their discography since they released their first EP The Constant Lover. If you’re into alternative rock, definitely check them out, they are hands down my favourite female band out there. Favourite tracks: “Mare of the Night”, “Wild Gardens”, “Love and Greed”
- The Organ — Sadly this band broke up a number of years ago but their album Grab the Gun was my jam during mid- to late-undergrad. Kind of a mix between alternative rock and shoegaze/dreamy indiepop. Favourite tracks: “Love Love Love”, “Basement Band Song”, “Memorize this City”
- The Stills — Aww, I was just looking up their discography and am sad to learn that they disbanded back in 2011. Their first album, Logic Will Break Your Heart remains my favourite album from them. Favourite tracks: “Love and Death”, “Fevered”
- Arcade Fire — I remember a few years ago at the Grammys they picked up the Album of the Year award and everyone was like “Who the heck are they?” Been listening to their stuff since their first album, Funeral, came out and I just love their sound. Favourite tracks: “Rebellion (Lies)”, “Ready to Start”
Films & Television Shows
- Orphan Black (posts) — Okay, so they never specified what city the story takes place but it is filmed in Toronto. Plus, most of the cast is Canadian, which is beyond awesome. If you haven’t checked this show out, it is absolutely imperative that you do =D You won’t regret it (and then come back here and share with me your thoughts =P)
- Actually a number of sci-fi television shows are currently filmed here in Canada–Orphan Black, Continuum, Lost Girl, Haven (posts)–as well as other shows like Rookie Blue, Flashpoint and I believe the first two seasons of Covert Affairs (they used some stock footage of one of the government buildings where I used to work, lol)
- Bon Cop, Bad Cop (review) — lol, I have to share this movie with everyone because it’s just pretty hilarious. It’s jam-packed with everything Canadian–from the Ontario-Quebec sentiments to hockey fevour–and hey, it’s Colm Feorne (The Borgias, Thor, Revolution)!
- Men with Brooms — I watched this movie years and years ago but I remember enjoying it. Again, it features a nice cast of Canadian talent (I seriously did not recognise Peter Outerbridge in this movie) and curling (a sport that, even after watching this movie, I can’t quite figure out *blushes*)
And that’s my celebratory list of things Canadian! Have you read any of these books/listened to any of these bands/watched any of these shows/movies? What is your favourite Canadian book/author/musician/band/television show/movie/celebrity/public figure/anything and everything? =)