Happy Christmas Eve Everyone! Hopefully everyone’s settling in for a cozy, snowed-in weekend with their families for Christmas — given the storm yesterday in Ontario, it doesn’t look like people will be able to do much else!

Yesterday, Hardev christened the Christmas break with a very good year in review list of recommendations in TV, Movies, Podcasts, and Books.

Friday FTB: Buds, Permission slips, and your favourite content from 2022

Today, I thought it would be good to fill the category of entertainment Hardev missed: music!

I haven’t listened to quite as much music as I’d have liked to this year, but there have been a few albums I’ve kept coming back to.

I haven’t listened to much Big Thief before this year, but I’ve listened to their new album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You a bunch in 2022. It really crept up on me, too — the first time I listened to it, I thought it was just OK, but I’ve liked it more and more on each listen. It’s a really cohesive album from front to back with calming but melancholy, folk tunes. Beyond that, I really enjoyed their ability to add variety in percussion and instrumentation, even as the whole album has a very consistent feel. Change is the opener off of the album, and it gives a good idea of the album’s vibes.

In 2021, I really loved UK Post-Punk/Art-Rock band Black Country, New Road’s debut album For the First Time. In January this year, they released their follow up, Ants From Up There, and I loved it too. Their first album’s mix of electric guitars, violin, and horns alongside a reliance on repeated musical ideas building up to a cathartic, chaotic whole reminded me of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but with much shorter songs and a vocalist. On Ants From Up There, the songwriting remains chaotic and based on repeated instrumental ideas, but I found there was a slight shift away from the distorted guitars and more reliance on strings and horns. In both albums, the songwriting is really sold by their singer’s melancholy, low-pitched, emotive vocals and really engaging lyricism. All in all, both are really great albums. I’d recommend checking out Concorde or Chaos Space Marine if you’re looking to get an idea of their music!

Those two albums are probably the ones I’m most familiar with from this year, but I also enjoyed a few others. I didn’t get as hooked on the singles from it as I often do with his albums, but Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers was a really solid album, and it was exciting to see him put out another record this year. As well, Topical Dancer by Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul is a really catchy dance album I listened to quite a bit early in the year. LOUIE by Kenny Beats was an album that I often put on when I didn’t know what I wanted to listen to. And finally, Cave World by Viagra Boys was a wild experimental punk album that was really fun to listen to — Punk Rock Loser is such a fun, goofy song.

What are your musical highlights from 2022?

Hockey News

Apparently not everyone went on winter break after the Leafs played on Wednesday (who knew?), so there was still some hockey yesterday. And Alex Ovechkin finally tied Howe for second overall in goals with 801. He did it in the reverse retros from his rookie year too.

And then he potted an empty netter to pass Howe with 802. That’s a lot of goals.

Also last night, Islanders prospect Aatu Räty also scored his first NHL goal last night in first NHL game.

And, finally, we’re number one!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!