Rob currently works on Parliament Hill and is on the Daybreak Non-Profit Housing Board of Directors. He writes regularly on his blog #RedHeartBlueSign at www.redheartbluesign.wordpress.com on lifestyle, political and personal topics.
Along with issues of the day often share what I’m reading, listening to and what keeps me entertained. Here is how I spent 2023 when it comes to pages, podcasts and tunes.
What a year 2023 was, there were some things that shined a bit better that others. So here today are my favourite things.
My turntable had a good year, especially since it came out of storage following the completion of our renovations.
There were couple albums that really made my year. The first as the issuing of Sheryl Crow debut album on vinyl, The Tuesday Night Music Club. I’ve always thought this is one of the best debut albums ever and I’m happy I picked this up and can now play this regularly. Another favourite that got much time spinning was Taylor Swift Midnights, yep Taylor Swift, this was good. A final favourite was The Beatles’ Revolver. This 1966 release is never old, it was the beginning of the Beatles expansion into more creative writing and producing. It also has one of George Harrison’s best songs ever…Taxman.
I did a lot of reading last year, with 30 books going from the want to read pile to the read bin. My best read goes to David Hepworth and Abbey Road, The Inside Story of the World’s Most Famous Recording Studio. More than just about the Beatles, but they are in it a lot, this is about the beginning of the recording industry; movie music, Pink Floyd and The Dark Side of the Moon and the evolution of recording and staying one step ahead of everyone else. Next up is Washington Black by Isa Edugyan, Isa is becoming one of my favourite authors. This is a story of slavery and freedom earned that many want to take a way. You are transported from Africa to Bahamas to the Arctic and the UK through the eyes of one Mr. Washington Black. Quickly, a 3rd book is The Measure by Nikki Erlick. The Measure is a whole new take on the question, “if you could know how your life would turn out would you want to know? “ If you want a fourth book, look for Greenwood by Michael Christie.
Heading back to Music, when it comes to songs in 2023, three, I’ll make that four topped my personal charts as was compiled for my 2023 Wrapped from @Spotify. The four were divided by two artists. Maisie Peters took my most favourite and third favourite songs with Lost the Breakup and Body Better, while in 2nd and fourth it was Jisoo (of BlackPink) with Flower and BlackPink Shutdown. All it tells me is that when I hear something I like, I stick with it and put it on repeat.
Listening to albums this year, and I consider this a listening from track 1 to the last track as my guide. A couple really made an impression on me, Ed Sheeran with Autumn Variations and The Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds. From start to finish both these albums kept my ear’s interests, there’s not a weak track on either of these. FYI The Stones are still rolling strong in 2024 with Hackney Diamonds.
Lastly, I expanded by list of podcasts that I subscribe to and with these three I rarely miss and episode. The Daily from the New York Times is always current, it’s a good listen on any day. In ’23 I have not missed one episode of The History of Rock in 500 Songs, the year ended with song 171, a 3 hour and 36-minute episode on Hey Jude by the Beatles. The amount of work that is done by Andrew Hickey on every episode is simply tremendous. I could not leave this section without mentioning my weekly need for the political insight, musings and cussing of Scott Reid, Jordan Leichnitz, Kory Teneycke with David Hurley on The Curse of Politics. I can’t decide if its more for the entertainment than information.
I hope you had a year of favourite things as well, Please share them with me through any of the ways you can contact me below.