Kirk’s Music Playlists

Over the years I’ve created various playlists. Sometimes as gifts, sometimes to capture concert events, sometimes just because.

I like to share most of them – like mix tapes! They started out as collections of songs I enjoy/like and have now become an annual tradition where I share the songs I’ve purchased/loved throughout the year.

Table of Contents


    2023 – Passing Through Chaos

    Listen and Download

    Several deaths happened in 2023 that were impactful to me or people near me. For myself, the deaths of Sinéad O’Connor and Robbie Robertson were important to me. I really admired both artists for their strength and the change they brought to the world. I took the opportunity to go back through their catalogues, and catch up on Sinéad’s recent work. I opted to include a track in the playlist in the spirit of “music I enjoyed this year”. I also (finally) spread my dad’s ashes as per his wishes. Years waiting.

    As I distilled down the rest of the new-to-me tracks I found threads about death, inevitability, acceptance, impact, loss, and chaos. I found it fairly heavy in nostalgia. I ordered the tracks in a way that represents phases. The last phase focuses on the deaths and working through them to the next phase. I makes my heart well a little bit, I won’t lie. Verklempt.

    I let it run long as I no longer make CD versions of these so length doesn’t matter. That least epic by Joseph sets me free – headphones recommended.

    2022 – Get Off My Lawn, Spotify

    Listen and Download

    This mix came together relatively easily. The mix is named thusly because it is an old-school mix of songs that break most of the rules I’d usually follow. Forget trying to weave slow and fast songs into a pleasing pace. First half is fast, second is slow. Forget keeping tracks snappy and short. There’s a 13+ minute track at the end here. Forget tossing away instrumentals. End the mix with 2 (kinda). This mix works, but only because I say it does. And Spotify would never create such a weird mix (or so I assume, I don’t use Spotify).

    Plus, this year, I “discovered” a local band named Actors and much of my favourite music from the year revolved around them, so it was fun weeding things down, as I get to enjoy a lot of good music.

    2021 – This Is Fine

    Listen | Download

    Another year of so much music. Over 6 hours of selections – the best songs from the albums I bought. This Is Fine speaks to how our COVID-driven lives are creating new normals. It leverages the trope of the person in a dire situation convincing themselves that everything is fine.

    2020 – Abominable Crown

    Listen | Download

    What a year. I bought a LOT of music during the pandemic. Both as a salve but also as a way to support artists financially. I ended up buying a lot of music I might not have otherwise, so as I went through the hundreds of new songs to select a few for the mix, I had a lot of hard decisions to make. Some albums just never made it to the mix even though some of the songs are so great. I still have a director’s cut I could publish some day 🙂

    2019 – Cover Your Eyes

    Listen | Download

    2019 I was swamped in Trumpism, inequality, racial injustice – all before the pandemic hit! A mix of songs to help you cover your eyes like a turtle, or an ostrich.

    2018 – Key Cores

    Listen | Download

    A collection of songs that helped me see and remember my core beliefs, either with specific songs or artists in general. An attempt at a pick-me-up mix.

    2017 – In Order of Appearance


    A mix tape of songs I’d purchased in 2017, sequenced in the order I bought them.

    2016 – Honkin’ Saxamaphones


    A mix of songs that feature saxophones in some important way. Named from a classic Homer Simpson moment.

    2015 – Supposed To Be Up


    I started this mix by trying to find cheerful and fun songs. It didn’t turn out that way, hence the title.

    2013 – Voices In My Head


    Songs I tend to find myself singing along to. They stick in my head like glue.

    2012 – The Longest Day Ever


    A mix tape celebrating my brother’s 40th birthday. The name references the fact that he was born on the longest day of the year. Can’t find a reference for that now 🙂 Each song was picked to reflect a fact about a day during that year.

    2011 – Up & Down


    A mix tape of songs that showcase swings from sad to joyous, a rollercoaster mix.

    2009 – Gear Down


    A mix tape attempting to slow things down. Probably didn’t slow it down enough.

    2007 – Resonance


    A collection of songs that just … resonate with me, all the way back to teen years.

    2007 – If You Like


    Originally a mix tape with the idea of taking popular artists and finding alternates in my collection, that someone who liked <popular artist> would probably enjoy <unknown artist>.

    2006 – Home, Grown


    An album of 100% Canadian music. I was exploring CBC Radio 3 a lot at the time and heard a lot of new Canadian talent through it. This is a showcase of things I enjoyed.

    2005 – Let’s Go


    A mix tape celebrating the marriage of my friends, Nathalie and Marty

    2005 – Kilroy


    This was originally distributed by CD, and on it I included interstitial spoken word read by a robot. It pretends to be a menacing controlling robot who knows what’s best for you silly humans. I’m such a nerd. I’ve just (Dec 2020) recovered a CD version of this, so I was able to rip the spoken parts and add it to the playlist, restoring it to its full force.

    2004 – Something Old, Something New, Something


    A mix tape for Darcy’s 30th Birthday.

    2003 – Greg’s Mix


    A mix I made for my cousin-in-law Greg.

    2002 – Thinking Out Loud (2 Disks)

    Disk One: Listen

    Disk Two: Listen

    A collection of songs I gifted to Alisa on Valentine’s Day, taking 2 disks to amass them all. And this was after I tried trimming it down. Songs I thought she might enjoy, as I listen to a lot of music and this was a chance for me to enjoy them out loud, as it were.

    2002 – Summer’s Chill


    A mix tape for friends. It refers to the second half of our summers, where the sun continues to shine but there’s a new chill in the air.

    2001 – Wedding Disk


    This was a gift we gave to all people who came or who were invited to our wedding. We actually ran out of the CDs at the time and I still have a ToDo to go back and make more CDs and send them out to those who missed out. Ouch!

    2001 – Valentines


    A mix I gave Alisa for Valentines while we were engaged.

    2000 – Wanderlust


    A mix I gifted to my friend Marty as he departed on a world trip.

    Unknown Years

    Mixes I’ve lost track of when I made them. If you know – please let me know too!



    I suspect this was made for XMas 2004, or maybe 2005/6. Alisa and I visited Russian in 2004, and for some reason the word bez really stuck in my mind (Russian for “without” e.g. borscht bez myaca). So I made a mix of songs that I thought dealt with or spoke to the concept of “without”



    A mix of songs that capture a sense of being sad and wistful at the same time.


    I’m collecting playlists of concerts I’ve attended.

    2019-11-26: Thievery Corporation at the Commodore Ballroom

    Note: Work in progress!

    After a long pause on concerts I opted to go enjoy a concert. This was a great one. I recorded 5 second clips of every song and am still working through them to collect the right songs and order.

    2012-04-07: James at the Commodore Ballroom

    This was the first concert for the original lineup of James since the 90’s, the first concert of their tour. It was a bit rough and the crowd really, really annoyed me. I was a tall guy who showed up 2 hours early to get a spot front and centre. Everyone behind me complained once they showed up and stood behind me. Too bad, show up early too suckas. The moshing was a bit rough behind me and at times I had to brace myself against the stage to avoid being pushed over. One guy in particular really liked to bang into me.

    I like to remember the moments where Tim literally looked at me, nodded his respect for my patience, and sang his songs. I remember that really happening 😉

    ~1994: Morphine at the Town Pump

    Darcy and I attended a Morphine concert and it was glorious. I recall Dana blowing into 2 saxes simultaneously playing two parts. Blew my mind. I grabbed the playlist off the stage after the show when it was obvious the band didn’t want it. Literally the playlist Mark was reading from. Took a picture of it last year and recycled it.