It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s the time of year when music streaming services send us our year in review lists. It’s always fascinating to see what the data reveals – what songs we listen to, how much we listen, and how our tastes have changed over the years.
As an open-concept office, things can get noisy. It’s not uncommon to see three or four team members with headphones on at any given time. We collectively share a Bluetooth speaker system and are exposed to each other’s tastes. Let’s just say that it can get pretty contentious (in the most friendly way possible).
Sarah McGaughey – Digital Marketing Administrative Coordinator
What Sarah says: Years ago, when my daughter was about 3, she loved the video for Mushaboom so much that I made her flying toast from felt for her birthday (watch the video, you’ll understand). When I listen to Feist, I feel nostalgic for those early years of motherhood, and for the early 2000 Toronto music scene. I suppose there is at least one Feist song on every playlist. She’s on mine because her music serves many purposes for me – dancing, singing along, concentrating, comfort, feeling sad, feeling happy, and introducing myself to new people.
What Sarah says: The New Pornographers has been one of my favourite bands for over 20 years, and this is one of my favourite songs of theirs. I love the harmonies, and the beat, and the driving melody.
What Kevin says: My 2019 was a year spent with fun, amazing people and Thomas Rhett is all about fun, amazing music. Contemporary Country Music always puts me in a good mood, and Thomas Rhett is one of the best out there.
What Kevin says: I literally listened to this song on repeat for 4hrs straight one day and then would continually listen to it over and over again. I can’t get enough of the catchy beat and the strong delivery of the lyrics. It’s honestly just a fun song, and even at the end of 2019, I still enjoy playing it on repeat.
What Ryan says: There are a few reasons why Jim Bryson was my top artist this year. Not only does he live down the road from my hometown, but I saw him play in Uxbridge at the Springtide Music Festival. After the show, I was on a big kick of listening to him – a kick that has continued the entire year!
Top Song: Stuck in the Middle by Jim Bryson
What Ryan says: I guess if I was listening to him the most that I would have him as my top song too! I am just surprised that something from Frozen didn’t end up here as my daughter controls the music in the car!
What Jason says: I enjoyed Papa Roach back in 2001 when they first hit the scene and for a few years following. They continued to release albums, and I got back into them in 2017. So when their latest album came out earlier this year, I listened to it a lot. For a good month, it was on repeat working at home, in the car, and my trip to Vail. And I got to know their last few albums better too. And they show up a lot in the rock chart playlists I listen to. Spotify says I spent 49 hours listening to Papa Roach this year.
Top Song: Elevate by Papa Roach
What Jason says: Elevate was probably the most popular song on Papa Roach’s latest album. It was on all of the rock chart playlists I listen to the most, so it got played more often than the other Papa Roach songs I was already listening to. Not my favourite song of the year, but it was my most played.
What Crys says: Eric Harry is the award-winning composer behind CalmRadio.com, who happens to be one of our clients. I discovered his music not long after they came on board. He quickly became my top choice for instrumental music when I am working or writing in my spare time. His music carries such emotion, and his albums are so beautifully put together. His tracks can make you feel uplifted or haunted and everything in between.
What Crys says: I discovered this song on an acoustic covers playlist Apple had put together, and the lyrics packed an emotional gut punch that stuck with me. It is a beautiful song that deals with the loss of a parent. Not exactly a happy song, but a beautiful one nonetheless.
What Mark says: I have been a huge Korn fan since high school. As a musician, I appreciate every bit of energy and skill that goes into creating their sound. As a programmer, there’s always been something about heavier music that gets me in the zone to write code. This year, Jason let me tag along to see them live for the first time, which got me listening to them even more.
Top Song: Blind by Korn
What Mark says: I wouldn’t say this is my favourite song in the world, or even by Korn, but it’s the one that always gets me going! I love starting off my week, or a new project hearing them growl: “Are you ready?”
What Pam says: From the moment I heard Brandi Carlile’s 2007 album “The Story,” I was hooked. Her powerful vocals and boldly honest songwriting with the Hanseroth brothers are inspiring. Today, her voice is stronger. Her songwriting and producing skills are exceptional, and her live performances, both alone and with the Hanseroth twins, are hair-raising and pitch-perfect.
Top song: The Joke by Brandi Carlile
What Pam says: “The Joke” is an intense folk rock aria with melodic twists and soaring vocals. The lyrics speak to the unloved and underrepresented, to the social upheaval surrounding immigration, gender inequality and the hope for a better tomorrow.
Thanks for listening! If you want to listen to the playlist on Apple Music, here is the link.
To end the blog, we will share Wendy’s end of the work week tune: Is it Friday Yet by Gord Bamford!
Whoever said that Canada can’t compete with a Single Malt Whisky has obviously never tried Cape Breton Rare! Whether it is the fact that the Glenora Distillery draws its clear spring water from MacLellan’s Brook which trickles down the beautiful Mabou highlands, or whether it is the fact that the craftsmen learned from Bowmore Distillers in Scotland who lent their hand with production training and the sourcing of authentic Scottish Copper Pot Stills, it’s award winning whisky has a smooth, flavourful taste that competes with world renowned single malts.
Add this to your Christmas wish list, or better yet, take a trip to Cape Breton Island and visit the Glenora Distillery, take a tasting tour and pick up a bottle yourself, you wont be disappointed.
Adam Grant, is a top-rated teacher at Wharton and an influencer in international HR with a Ph. D. in organizational psychology. His book Originals is an exploration of how people, can and do, choose to step forward and champion unconventional ideas and values.If you are looking to originate ideas and practices Originals offers fresh insights on a variety of topics that will leave you feeling hopeful and, possibly, a little exhilarated.
Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and several other internationally bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction.Her book Big Magic dives into the creative process and shows us insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. Gilbert encourages us to embrace curiosity, let go of suffering and uncover the hidden jewels in ourselves. She offers tactics on how to face down our fears and live a creative life.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott is a New York Times bestselling Author and a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship who writes fiction and non-fiction. Lamott knows there is no better way to write than to sit down and do it, line by line. It does not matter that your first draft is “shitty,” all that matters is that you keep your eyes open and keep moving forward. She offers tips such as finding a writing partner and carrying around index cards to jot down fortuitous phrases. Bird by Birdencourages, instructs and inspires writers with blunt honesty and humour.
Searching for rockin’ chicken wings in Midland? I recommend you look no further than the Original Wing House. Boasting over one hundred flavours of wings, from the sweetness of honey bbq to the explosive Texas homicide, from dry rubs to wings so messy you’ll need a stack of napkins, this place has your taste buds covered. Bring some friends and share a platter that lets you sample multiple flavours from all parts of the world, or get a combo and discover their salads and excellent fries. Enjoy your food in the laid back, casual atmosphere of the bar, or take the wings with you on the road or home to your TV. It’s all up to you.
They might be named for their wings, but that’s not the only way the Original Wing House knows how to serve chicken. Their wraps, sandwiches and quesadillas promise to satisfy any chicken lover. There are also vegetarian wraps and quesadillas, and sides ranging from onion rings to garlic bread to jalapeno poppers. No matter your tastes or mood, you will find a meal that hits the spot for a reasonable price that will not leave you hungry.
The staff here are polite and sociable. The first time I visited the Original Wing House and was understandably overwhelmed by the vast selection of flavours, the serving staff were ready and willing to answer my questions and provide recommendations based on what I was in the mood for. The garlic parmesan wings I ultimately went for were delicious and I can easily understand why they are one of their most popular choices. The service wasn’t the fastest, but I was regularly updated and was able to talk to serving staff while waiting for my order. I have not had problems with incorrect orders and the food was piping hot.
I recommend the Original Wing House to any chicken lover seeking a casual bar dining experience, or anybody who doesn’t mind waiting a little for takeout. They easily have the best chicken wings I have tasted in a long while and their meals are large enough to satisfy an empty stomach.
After visiting 44 countries, these are my favourites so far…
Thailand – Inexpensive, awesome food, tons of cultural history, warm weather, lots of beaches, and a great place to party. Most people in the tourism industry speak English well enough so it’s pretty easy to get around. I spent a month in Thailand had a great time. Best place was Railay (Rai Leh) Beach, just around the corner from Ao Nang which is a very scenic coast town on the Krabi coast that has a fun vibe, decent beaches, beautiful islands to kayak to and beautiful cliffs. http://wikitravel.org/en/Rai_Leh
Italy – There are so many amazing places in Italy… But Rome is likely my favourite place that I’ve been to in Europe. The history is just mind boggling. And there are so many ruins, cathedrals, museums, art galleries and other notable attractions. Even if you only have a couple of days, a visit to the Colosseum, Forum and Vatican City are outstanding. http://wikitravel.org/en/Rome
Nepal – A great place to experience the Indian Subcontinent without feeling as overwhelmed as visiting India itself. The mountain tourism makes for some great tourist mecas in Kathmandu while still experiencing some of the Indian/Nepalese culture. http://wikitravel.org/en/Kathmandu Then from there the tallest mountains in the world are at your fingertips! Personally, I hiked to Everest Base Camp just to say that I did it, but I’ve heard that the Annapurna Circuit is the more scenic route. http://wikitravel.org/en/Everest_Base_Camp_Trek
Czech Republic – Relatively inexpensive in European terms, castles on the scenic landscape, and Prague: one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with its rivers, historical streets and buildings (untouched by the world wars unlike most other European cities), and fun atmosphere. I haven’t been here in almost 20 years but I was blown away by Prague’s beauty. http://wikitravel.org/en/Prague
New Zealand – I had so much fun on the South Island of New Zealand. Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world! And with all the beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers, what better place. I recommend the AJ Hackett Thrillogy (http://www.bungy.co.nz/) which involves 3 bungee jumps in different locations in one day! And don’t miss all of the Lord of the Rings filming locations. http://wikitravel.org/en/Queenstown_(New_Zealand)
And for an added bonus, there’s one country that is at the top of my list of places I’d like to go:
Norway – I have a love for mountains and scenic beauty and Norway happens to have an abundance of this. From the photos and videos I’ve seen, the fjords that skirt the entire northern coast of Norway are beyond words. The only downside (and the only reason I haven’t gone yet) is that you need a ton of time to travel it all and therefore is a quite costly trip to do it right. It’ll happen… eventually…