Assistant Professor of History Jeffers Lennox may be the second coolest Canadian alive—after, of course, the angelic and immortal Céline Dion (that high belt!).

While Professor Lennox’s singing voice has yet to restore my faith in the goodness of humanity, his use of “visceral” to describe a Sufjan Stevens song would get a nonchalant nod of approval from any music critic. His ability to secure tickets to Stevens’ Christmas tour additionally suggests an impressive command of either witchcraft or the Internet, which require equally complex skill sets to maneuver.

Other cool facts about Professor Lennox include:

He specializes in 17th and 18th century North American history.

He participated in The Archivist’s Trek to protest budget cuts affecting Canadian historical preservation.

He is down with new media, and his Twitter is hilarious.

He played drums for one of the artists on this playlist.

In Canada.

Though Lennox expressed difficulty restricting it to 10 tracks, his awesomely current playlist is a mix of contemporary classics, buzzworthy new artists, and his own musical acquaintances. The song selection and his commentary leave nothing to be desired.

The Playlist

1. Sufjan Stevens, “Impossible Devices” (Age of Adz)
I’ve seen Sufjan live twice, including the Age of Adz tour. It was transformative, visceral, and perhaps the only time I’ve witnessed musical genius. Insane. I also saw him play “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” live on his Christmas tour in Buffalo this year, which made my life.

2. Sharon Van Etton, “Give Out” (February’s Tramp)
She’s just great. Sometimes I think I should buy every record Jagjaguwar puts out.

3. Portage, “Sophie” (The Unsalted Sea)
I actually don’t know much about these guys. [They’re from] Minneapolis, I think? The sound of this record is why everyone should record at home.

4. Les Mouches, “Carload of Whatever” (You’re Worth More to Me Than 1000 Christians)
This was Owen Pallett’s band before he did his Final Fantasy stuff and started working with Arcade Fire. I think they only played a handful of shows in Toronto, but this song always got me.

5. Weezer, “Across the Sea” (Pinkerton)
I’m sad about Weezer now. I saw the Pinkerton tour when I was 16, and it changed my life. This album is high school.

6. Patrick Watson, “Firewood” (Wooden Arms)
All I can say is they put something in the water in Montreal. This song reminds me of late nights at Casa del Popolo and being worried about freezing to death on the walk home.

7. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, “Mladic” (Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!)
Again, Montreal. I only got tickets to see their reunion show because my mother-in-law is friends with the drummer’s mother. True story.

8. Jenn Grant, “I’ve Got Your Fire” (Beautiful Wild)
Jenn’s from Halifax. I played drums for a short tour she did for her first album and was always amazed at how she never missed a note. We all stayed at my parents’ place for the Ontario shows, and I think they have bought every album she’s released.

9. Dog Day, “Sharp Teeth” (Thank You)
Also from Halifax, and they’ve been one of my favorite bands since I saw them in 2004. If there’s a better line than “I will do anything for love, fuck off; I will do anything for love, I hate your guts” I’ve never heard it.

10. Chance the Rapper, “Juice” (single)
I don’t really keep up with hip hop, and I can’t remember where I found this. Wait…it was NPR. Good “hipster” hop tends to make its way into my playlist, and this is Chicago backpack rap at its finest.

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