8Tracks

My Year in Music: 2014

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So like I mentioned previously for the next few days all of the posts on the blog are going to be fitting a year end extravaganza theme. Today’s post is my year in music. Yes, all the songs I loved this year whether I’m embarrassed by them or not.  What I’ve learned through this journey is I greatly appreciate a good pop tune from time to time. I’m not really ashamed of my choices for the year end mix. It’s kind of a mixture of different genres which is basically where my taste in music has always been, and many of the songs have been the soundtrack to some very fond memories I will have forever. I guess that idea entirely trumps music snobery. Er… that’s not a word but let’s roll with it. Just a note: the mix is a bigger than normal; running 25 songs long and clocks in at just over an hour and thirty minutes. Bit long, sorry!

Tracklist and streaming links to follow. My favorite albums of the year are coming tomorrow so get excited! See you then!

  1. Salute – Little Mix
  2. Bang Bang – Jessie J featuring Nicki Minaj & Ariana Grande
  3. Don’t Tell ‘Em – Jeremih featuring YG
  4. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  5. Where Do Broken Hearts Go – One Direction
  6. Love Me Harder – Ariana Grande featuring the Weeknd
  7. Two Weeks – FKA Twigs
  8. Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
  9. Begging for Thread – Banks
  10. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  11. She’s Not Me – Jenny Lewis
  12. Good Girls – 5 Seconds of Summer
  13. Drunk In Love – Beyoncé featuing Jay Z
  14. Break the Rules – Charli XCX
  15. Girl Almighty – One Direction
  16. Cecilia & the Satellite – Andrew McMahon & the Wilderness
  17. I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
  18. Jealous – Nick Jonas
  19. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
  20. Beg For It – Iggy Azalea featuring MO
  21. Robbers – The 1975
  22. Sweatpants – Childish Gambino
  23. Dark Horse – Katy Perry & Juicy J
  24. Rather Be – Clean Bandit & Jess Glyne
  25. God Only Knows – She & Him

Stream on: 8Tracks & Spotify

Mixtape: Christmas 2014

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Ah, one week until Christmas Eve which just so happens to be one of my favorite days of the entire year. Of course not for the most obvious of reasons. Santa is a pretty cool guy though. It also means I’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen baking and cooking loads of meals, and attending holiday gatherings. Both of those occasions, at least according to me, require some great tunes which is why I’ve decided to share my yearly Christmas mix. My 2012 mix happens to be my most popular mix ever and I’m really proud of it, so this years fits the same theme and mood. There’s a mixture of classics and some newer versions in addition to some of my all time favorites.

Christmas music tends to be an acquired taste since it’s shoved down our throats beginning the day after Halloween no matter how good or bad the versions may be, so I did my best. I’ve also included one giant four hour long Spotify playlist of all sorts of holiday tunes. I didn’t mean for to be four hours, but sometimes a festive mood just begins to snowball.

Links and tracklisting to follow. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

  1. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
  2. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  3. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  4. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble
  5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
  6. River – Joni Mitchell
  7. Christmas Must Be Tonight – Bahamas
  8. Real Love – Tom Odell
  9. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
  10. Merry Christmas Darling – Christina Perri
  11. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
  12. The Christmas Waltz – Peggy Lee
  13. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan
  14. A Snow Globe Christmas – Pink Martini
  15. Dear Santa – Mr Little Jeans
  16. Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Woody Herman
  17. I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Bing Crosby
  18. Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding

Listen on 8Tracks or Spotify

Other playlists: The most popular Christmas 2012 / Massive Christmas playlist

In the Kitchen: Thanksgiving 2014

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Happy Thanksgiving Eve, my fellow Americans! Time to start prepping one of the largest meals of the year which requires (as far as I’m concerned) some great tunes. My prep begins quite early tomorrow so the music in this mix is mostly relaxing, indie pop and some of my current favorite songs. I made a Thanksgiving mix a few years ago which was much more jazzy and classic so this is bit of a departure from that. Basically, it’s perfect for a Thanksgiving brunch, Friendsgiving, working in the kitchen or even the travel home. Now a disclaimer, this is really my prep playlist this year so there will be songs by artists maybe you personally are not fond of. Trust me. Give it a chance. If not skip it and enjoy the rest!

Tracklisting and links below. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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November Playlist: Fall 2014

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A few months ago I was randomly asked if I had a favorite month of the year. I’ve never really given it much thought and after a moment of shock at this entirely strange question, I realized I actually do have a favorite month. So I sheepishly answered, “I suppose November is my favorite.” This began an entirely new line of questioning mainly why I loved November. He naturally assumed it would be because of my birthday or some relevant event. I began to answer with things like Thanksgiving, nice chilly weather, I can wear my mostly dark colored wardrobe without looking like a crazy person, etc. Couldn’t possibly admit to loving November because November always brings a new One Direction album, now could I? No. He was none the wiser to that one.

What does this little story have to do with anything? Well, fall is starting to finally take hold around here, and it’s time for the monthly playlist. Because I love november this theme was simple: cozy fall nights. The nights when it’s just chilly enough to sit in front of a fireplace (or outdoor fire pit around these parts) and have a nice glass of wine. The tunes on this months playlist are from a variety of artists (some popular others not), but it plays perfectly in the background. I personally enjoyed a few listens making my evening meal with a nice glass of wine. So I suppose that’s my listening suggestion, haha.

Tracklisting and links below. Enjoy!

  1. Medicine – The 1975
  2. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  3. The Funeral – Band of Horses
  4. Under the Table – Banks
  5. Nancy From Now On – Father John Misty
  6. I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
  7. Heart – MMoths featuring Keep Shelly In Athens
  8. The Fall – The Rhye
  9. All I Want – Kodaline
  10. Backdrifts – Radiohead
  11. Recollection – Keep Shelly In Athens

Spotify / 8Tracks

October Mix: Halloween 2014

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For as long as I can remember Halloween has been a big deal in my family. Not only for trick or treating, but for every little aspect of the holiday. Is it a holiday? I don’t even know. My family embraces all of it; horror movie marathons, fun size candy bars, and, most importantly, scaring the daylights out of each other with hidden decorations and popping out of dark rooms with masks on. Seriously, I’ll never forget my dad jumping out of the hallway in an ape mask. I cried for 3 days I’m positive.

Every year I make a playlist and this year is no exception. They usually end up containing the same songs because, hey, a classic is a classic, right? But this year I decided just to cut to the chase and make a playlist of the cheesiest, cliche, and greatest Halloween songs. It’s perfect for a party situation or maybe just handing out treats to kids with grubby little hands who feel entirely entitled to candy you purchased with your adult money.

Tracklist and links are below. I also included links to all previous years mixes I made public. Hopefully something floats your boat.

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September Mix: Turn Down for WWAT

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I didn’t really have a solid theme for September’s mix. I went back and forth between just what I’ve been listening to a lot lately and just not doing one at all. Not that posting a mix really matters all that much to begin with. So what ended up being this months mix? A mixture. Some songs I had in current rotation so far this month and the other songs came from my weekend spend at Where We Are Tour. Before and in between acts they played plenty of tunes crossing a few genres. Some of them just stuck with me and ended up on this mix. Pictured above is one of my photos from one of the nights at the Rose Bowl before it filled to capacity with screaming girls and I went partially deaf. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. My ears still hurt when I hear Midnight Memories.

Tracklisting and links below.

  1. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  2. Everything is Embarrassing – Sky Ferreira
  3. Dark Horse – Katy Perry featuring Juicy J
  4. Go – Grimes featuring Blood Diamonds
  5. Little White Lies – One Direction
  6. Drunk in Love – Beyoncé featuring Jay Z
  7. Ready for Your Love – Gorgon City featuring MNEK
  8. What I Like About You – 5 Seconds of Summer
  9. Gecko – Oliver Heldens
  10. Break Free – Ariana Grande featuring Zedd
  11. Hideaway – Kiesza
  12. Changes – 2Pac
  13. Champagne Coast – Blood Orange
  14. Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode
  15. Crew Love – Drake featuring the Weekend
  16. Odd Look – Kavinsky featuring the Weekend
  17. Need You 100% – Duke Dumont featuring A.M.E.

Listen on Spotify or 8Tracks

Mixtape: Summer 2014

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Summer doesn’t unofficially end until Labor Day next Monday (can’t believe how soon that is), but I’m calling Summer 2014 officially to a close today. Not only are my fall semester classes about to pick up speed, but I’m entirely over the heat and pretend relaxation. So today I’m sharing those songs that forever will remind me of this summer. It’s quite honestly the most diverse pot of songs I’ve posted in awhile, and I’m okay with that. Now I’m ready to usher in fall which, as everyone knows, is much more my style.

Find the tracklisting and links below. Adios, summer! (more…)

July Mix: Missing You

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Sometimes for whatever reason whether it be a breakup or just great distance separates us from someone special. At the risk of sounding like a young adult novel, it feels like a giant gaping hole in the pit of ones chest, and it sucks. It no doubt sucks more than anything should suck. How some people just manage to cope with it, I’ll never know. Myself on the other hand just has an overwhelming feeling of sadness that can’t even be tamed with a bowl of ice cream. And the next day it will feel like everything is going to be just fine. That’s life, I suppose. The other day, I sat down and made a playlist of songs that really just convey the feelings of missing someone so much it hurts a little bit more than normal. I wouldn’t say they necessarily help cope with the situation, but they definitely enable a little bit of feeling. I once heard somewhere, “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” So here’s an utterly depressing but beautiful playlist. Even if you’re not missing someone it’s still filled with beautiful music. Tracklisting will, as always, be behind the cut.

Available for streaming on: 8Tracks / Rdio / Spotify whichever tickles your fancy.

Original image via: Habitually Chic

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Friday Five: Songs for the perfect summer BBQ

Fourth of July. Time for Americans to celebrate our independence from Britain. Sorry about that whole tea thing, guys. There’s kind of a unspoken rule to spend the day relaxing or having a BBQ and when having a BBQ you need some really cool tunes, am I right? I’ve made quite a few playlists in my day, and I’m no expert, but I think there’s a few songs that need to go on (nearly) every BBQ playlist. For today’s Friday Five I’m sharing those with you as well as 5 bonus songs that I’m loving for summer ’14. So fire up the grill, grab a cold one and turn up these great tunes.

Cruel Summer – Bananarama

I don’t know loads about Bananarama as a band, but I do know one of them married the non-George Michael guy in Wham! and without a doubt their biggest hit was Venus (which was just made for razor commercials some 20 years later). I love Cruel Summer. It just evokes this feeling of lounging outside waiting to find something to do. If nothing else, it just really makes me want to crimp my hair, put on a pair of acid wash jorts, and sit out by the pool in an uncomfortable plastic chair by the pool. Totally tubular.

Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts

What do you get when you mix boat shoes, a captain’s hat, and a nice J. Crew jumper? The perfect visual representation of Yacht Rock. Growing up the smooth oldies station constantly played this song and I just kind of grew to love it. If I had to listen to it once every few hours might as well learn to appreciate it. I love Yacht Rock as a genre, and I’m not entirely sure it’s ironically anymore. Summer Breeze just makes me want to watch a sunset while on a sailboat while drinking some fancy wine no one has ever heard of. Sounds like a dream…

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

How is this not the national anthem of the USA yet? It makes America sound like so much fun. Like we always have a Jay Z song on and we are all moving our hips like yeah. I’m not even going to pretend that this wasn’t my jam a couple summers ago. I still love it, and if anything it gets people dancing (and singing). Especially after a couple drinks, right? As Miley says, the butterflies fly away. And no one will ever speak of it again.

Juicy – Notorious B.I.G.

It wouldn’t be a summer playlist without some Biggie. Juicy is more of a late afternoon jam for BBQs. It just evokes this feeling of cruising or chilling while the sun goes down. There’s really nothing more to say than that. It’s just such a chill jam. Happy days.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

I wish I was around to experience summers in the 1960s. They probably weren’t much different than my childhood summers though: riding bikes and listening to the Stones. Satisfaction is one of my favorite Stones songs of all time, and not certainly because I had to listen to that horrid Britney Spears cover a million times and began to appreciate the original. It’s just a great song. And just gives off the vibes of a good time like a party scene of a film. Not to mention, who could forget this scene in Mad Men of Don Draper lighting a cigarette? I certainly can’t. It’s burned on the inside of my retinas.

Listen to these tracks here: Friday 5: BBQ Songs and below you’ll find 5 more bonus songs for summer 14!

Looking for some festive BBQ/4th of July Playlists? Look no further than here!
Spotify: Summer BBQ 1 / 4th of July / Summer BBQ 2 / America
8Tracks: Summer BBQ 1 / 4th of July / Summer BBQ 2 / America

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June Mix

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Already the middle of June and time for a new mix of songs. Hooray one person yells from far, far off in the distance. Just kidding. But in all seriousness this mix is inspired partially by this photo and partially inspired by my daily (far too warm) daily commute. It has some serious summer vibes to it and definitely has been road tested for hours. I would much rather be taking a road trip. Bummer.

Tracklist and links below. Enjoy!

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