Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Stay
informed
Artist Julian Taylor's recommendations for the summer

Artist Julian Taylor's recommendations for the summer

on
July 14th, 2020
Artist Julian Taylor's recommendations for the summer

This week's guest curator is singer-songwriter Julian Taylor, who released his latest album The Ridge ahead of schedule so that his folk songs "might bring joy in troubled times." The Toronto musician (who some may recognize from his former band Staggered Crossing) writes about the places our bodies and souls can journey. Like many, he won't be touring this year due to COVID-19. Instead, Julian offers some Canadian favourites for stay-at-home pleasures.

On A Cold Road by Dave Bidini (novel)

I was discovered this fantastic novel by Dave Bidini of The Rheostatics while traveling across Canada on tour with my first band, Staggered Crossing. Our drummer Jeremy Elliott had just finished reading it and it was sitting on the bench of our van. I’d always been in awe of bands like The Rheostatics and The Tragically Hip so I picked it up. It’s a perfect depiction of life on the road and from a distinctly Canadian perspective. Bidini captures it all — from the long stretch of highway between each city to tight-knit friendships forged over humour, shared dreams and disappointments; from the roar of the crowd in a packed room to how it feels performing to an empty one. Any aspiring musician from anywhere in the world should read this book.

Learn more about the book and where to find it here.

Stay connected during the lockdown. Sign up now.

Required

Isolation doesn't have to be isolating. Sign up and be part of the movement.

Required
Required
Required
Required
The Skin We're In (44 minutes)

I believe that this documentary film should be watched by all Canadians. First came the book by Desmond Cole, and then the film which brought it to life by the creative genius of Charles Officer. Recently, I've been asked to comment on the growing tensions and treatment of Black people in our own country, because a lot of people seem to think that we don’t have prejudice or racism in Canada. Many people think that it’s an issue and a problem south of our border. Having grown up here, I assure you it is prevalent in our own backyard, too. The Skin We’re In is a brave testimony that focuses on what it’s like to live as a visible minority in Canada. It is an extremely important film. What I really appreciated about it is how the story is told by an educated and articulate Black man. Too often Black people are not fairly depicted as such and it’s crucial for Canadians to see us that way.

Watch the documentary here.


More incredible recommendations by Canadian artists:
Blood Quantum (96 minutes)

I love zombie films in general and I love this one a lot. It has all the blood, guts and gore that is needed for a good zombie flick but it also touches on some very important social issues. Director Jeff Barnaby's story comments on Indigenous issues and the treatment of Indigenous people as well as the abuse that humans have and continue to perpetrate against Mother Earth. In this critical time in our history I feel this movie succeeds in pushing these matters forward, while at the same time providing a lot of great, horror-filled entertainment.

This film is available for rent or purchase here.

Stay connected with our curated recommendations. Sign up now.

Required

Isolation doesn't have to be isolating. Sign up and be part of the movement.

Required
Required
Required
Required
In this article
Stand with us in the defense of Canada's cultural and economic interests.