The Straight's 10 best videos of 2015

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      With video only becoming a regular part of the Straight's online content earlier this year, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of our most popular features, and a few that may have been overlooked. Here are my picks for the 10 best videos of 2015, in no particular order.

      Get in the Van: The Lazys

      This recent addition to the Straight's list of regular video features zeroes in on life on the road for musicians as they pass through Vancouver. Let's just say our first instalment of this feature with Australian rockers The Lazys set the bar pretty high. Watch as Leon and Mat, the band's vocalist and guitarist, give me a private tour of their filthy R.V.

      Cirque du Soleil's Kooza: Inside the Wardrobe

      What would the circus be like without costumes? I spoke with Jason Brass, head of wardrobe at Cirque du Soleil's Kooza, about the work that goes into costume production, and the importance of the wardrobe. Watch as Brass gives me an inside look at some of his favourite pieces, plus, get a preview of a few tricks from the stage.

      In the driver's seat with 22-year-old taxi driver Pav Nagra

      Pav Nagra was a featured speaker at this year's Indian Summer Festival. In the days leading up to his appearance, I took a ride around East Vancouver with Nagra to how he's breaking the stigma about what it means to be a cab driver. Listen as Nagra shares some crazy stories about life on the road.

      Jerk in the Can meets the Straight

      If you haven't had the pleasure of being introduced to one of Vancouver's quirkiest local bands, this is one to watch. Marc and Jessica Blaquiere are barbers by day and balaclava-wearing badasses by night, writing and performing rule-breaking music and creating ridiculous music videos. Check out this exclusive afterhours interview at Uptown Barber from this past summer.

      My Favourite Thing: Mother Mother

      In creating this video, I found out that Mother Mother's Ryan Guldemond is not only a talented musician, but a very eloquent speaker. Plus, his favourite thing provided me with some very cool b-roll footage. Find out Guldemond's favourite album cover, performer, and more in one of our early episodes from the My Favourite Thing series.

      Straight to the Pint: Parallel 49's Graham With

      It was this initial tour through Parallel 49's brewery that set me on a path to visit craft beer hubs all over the Lower Mainland. Brewmaster Graham With was helpful in explaining to me that competition among brewers is virtually zero: as he put it, "We leave the competition to the sales reps." Take a tour of Parallel 49, and then head to the liquor store and pick up a pack of their Filthy Dirty IPA. You'll thank me.

      UBC gets a new student union building

      Complete with a rock climbing wall, state-of-the-art performance space, art gallery, and more, the $107 million student union building almost had me applying for school again. Watch as AMS VP of administration Ava Nasiri and sustainability coordinator Chiyi Tam show off their snazzy new LEED certified complex for students.

      The discipline of jiu-jitsu

      If the strange movements don't blow your mind, listen to the principles explained by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Giacomo Zanini. He's one of Canada's top BJJ competitors, and a medal winner at the world level. (Full disclosure: It was the filming of this footage that led me to start practicing the martial art.)

      Federal Election 2015: Turn Up YVR

      Local musicians including Dan Mangan and Zach Gray of the Zolas rallied together at Broadway-City Hall Station on October 10 to encourage advanced voting. The two played sets on the back of a bus as it drove voters to advanced polls around the city. Watch as my colleague Travis Lupick chats with Gray, and as Mangan tries to keep his balance while playing guitar in a moving vehicle.

      My Favourite Thing: Shane Koyczan

      It was no surprise that spoken word poet Shane Koyczan's episode of My Favourite Thing went viral on the Straight's Facebook page back in September, easily ranking as the Straight's most watched video of the year. If you're curious about the spoken word poet's favourite performer, singer, and more, watch the video above. 

      Watch more Straight videos on Facebook and YouTube, and be sure to watch out for new video features in the new year.