My Mixtape Monday – August 22, 2016

First Name: Karen
Twitter: @karenewool
Sex: Female
Age: Around 20’s

Occupation: Post-Bacc Student

Mixtape Name: An Unpredictable Lyrical Miracle

Side A
1) More Than a Woman by Gregory Porter
2) I Get Along Without Very Well by John Proulx
3) Julia by The Beatles
4) Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye by Ella Fitzgerald
5) Esperanto by Sean Jones feat. Carolyn Perteete
6) Move Me by Sarah Watkins

Side B
7) Sedona by Houndmouth
8) L’illusionniste by Karen Ann
9) Quiet by Rachael Yamagata
10) Tiger Tattoos by Laura Veirs
11) Wayside/Back in Time by Gillian Welch
12) I Don’t Want to Change You by Damien Rice

Hidden Track: Gangsta Walk by SNBRN 😉

Liner Notes: Ahh those lyrics that you just can’t get out of your head: “Half of what I say is meaningless..” “Baby says I can’t come with him and I had read all of this in his eyes..” “Do dreams live in apartments?” “Back baby back in time..” “J’oublie dans la lumiere orange où je tutoye des anges, je suis illusionniste..” “Water races, Water races down the waterfall”

Point out a songwriter and a singer that is masterful at writing lyrics and/or singing them and I will automatically fall in love with them. It doesn’t matter what type of music it is. That’s what this mixed tape entails. Where words fail…lyrics and music come in. Do you know what a miracle your own voice is? Maybe you don’t.

The physics behind each and every person’s voice is complex—relying on a combination of mechanical vibrations and a molecular environment. Seems that science can explain it all, yup everything…well all except, the undefinable and undeniable emotional attachment to the human voice.

Take Gregory Porter. Man o’man..his voice is truly one-of-a-kind and you can hear his soul shine through his singing, in literally every song he sings. Name me another singer that does this so well…I guarantee you they are one of the greats. But hey I’m not saying all of these singers can compare to the greatest lyricists and singers of all time but they are all songs I enjoy…and maybe you will too.

Here’s to more great music. I wish you peace my fellow music lovers.

YouTube Playlist Link: An Unpredictable Lyrical Miracle

Checkout my Ultimate Cooking Playlist on Spotify: Geniusly titled Cooking Playlist by karenwool403

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My Mixtape Monday – The Best of Jay-Z Studio Albums

It’s been twenty years since the release of Jay-Z’s album Reasonable Doubt. Since that seminal debut, he has put out a total of a dozen studio albums. Showcasing an unparalleled mix of radio hits, vivid storytelling and straight-up ignorant sh*t, his career catalog ends all debate over the question “Who’s the best emcee – Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas?”. It’s Hovi baby!

Below are my picks for the standout tracks from each album, along with some of his more unforgettable lyrics. I’ve also included bonus songs from his two collaborative albums – The Best of Both Worlds w/R. Kelly (2002) and Watch the Throne w/Kanye West (2011).

Mixtape Name: Twelve Hot Albums Every Twenty Year Average

Side A

1) Dead Presidents II from Reasonable Doubt (1996)
2) Streets Is Watching from In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)
Look, if I shoot you, I’m brainless
But if you shoot me, then you’re famous – what’s a n*gga to do?
3) Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) from Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life (1998)
4) So Ghetto from Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)
You see I live for the love of the street
Rap to the ruggedest beats
Hall closet cluttered with heat
5) I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me) from The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (2000)
Both in the club, high, singing off key
“And I wish I never met her at all…”
6) Izzo (H.O.V.A.) from The Blueprint (2001)

Side B
7) Excuse Me Miss from The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse (2002)
8) 99 Problems from The Black Album (2003)
Rap critics that say he’s Money, Cash, Hoes
I’m from the hood, stupid! What type of facts are those?
9) Trouble from Kingdom Come (2006)
10) Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)… from American Gangster (2007)
11) D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune) from The Blueprint 3 (2009)
12) Picasso Baby from Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013)
It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the new Jean-Michel
Surrounded by Warhols, my whole team ball

Bonus Tracks: The Streets, Murder to Excellence

Apple Music Link: Twelve Hot Albums Every Twenty Year Average

BestOfMyMixtapes

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My Mixtape Monday – August 8, 2016

First Name: Forrest
Twitter: @bipedalbiome
Gender Identity: Female
Age: 26

Occupation: Vendor Operations Associate

Mixtape Name: Stay Up, Go Out, Get Heavy

Side A
1) Don’t Sing by Data
2) All Tomorrow’s Children by The Spits
3) The Anthem by Onra
4) When It Rain by Danny Brown
5) Just As The Day Was Dawning by Big Business
6) When Christine Comes Around by Grudge

Side B
7) Poppycock by Rudimentary Peni
8) Wriggle by Clipping
9) Vacant Moan by O’Death
10) Self Destruction by Radium Girls
(only available on Bandcamp, I used You Better Not Stay Sick by Robot Has Werewolf Hands in the Youtube playlist)
11) Seamstress by Dessa
12) Torture by Running For Cover

Liner Notes: I chose songs with darker subject matter that you can also shake (or pogo or mosh) a butt to. This is music that reminds me that it’s okay to be a hateful little ball of stress and rage, just do your best to channel it into something constructive.

YouTube Playlist Link: Stay Up, Go Out, Get Heavy

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The Week in Tweets – August 5, 2016

Hooray for Friday! Here’s my itinerary for the weekend:

Friday – beer and pizza

Saturday – pizza and beer

Sunday – leftover pizza and whatever’s left of the beer

Now that’s my kinda weekend! But before we get to that, let’s run through an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!!

6 – tie) Hand Solo™ (@RdrJay47)

You can’t claim to be a pizza lover until you eat the box cheese.

Nope Jessie (@jessienope)

omg i tried to dip mcnuggets while driving & almost died, i couldve ended up like that cyclist i clipped

Remember three years ago when Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson broke his arm in a car crash when he took his hands off the wheel to save a pizza from sliding off of his passenger seat. Stories like that put everything into perspective. I mean, imagine if he wasn’t able stop the pizza? How horrible would that have been? #NeverForget

5) Beulah Maud Devaney (@TheNotoriousBMD)

*writes “move location from bed to sofa” on to-do list*

*marks it as done*

*pats self on back*

Number one on my to-do list every day is *wake-up*. Number two is *number two*.

4) aly (@WElRDAL)

I need potatoes in my life

I believe that it was the great Leonardo da Vinci who said “A life without potatoes is no life at all.”

3) cash hew (@CashewSpell)

I am farting all over this target I’M SORRY TARGET

Though farting while shopping is frowned upon in Target, it’s actually mandated at Walmart.

2) Nope Jessie (@jessienope)

my yard brings all the boys to the yard & they’re like “thats a really nice yard” damn right thats a really nice yard i could mow it but nah

Mowing the lawn really sucks. At least that’s what I assume since I pay someone to mow mine for me…

1) leahbron james (@wellthatblowes)

when all else fails, buy a block of muenster and hope for the best

Muenster is not only one of my most favorite cheeses to eat, but I also love the name because it reminds me of the Munsters television show. Below is a list of my other top-ranked cheese names, along with the ones I think are the worst.

Best Cheese Names
Affineur Walo Le Gruyère
Moot-zah-rell (or mozzarella for you non-pisans.)
Muenster
Brimstone (this cheese sounds tasty as hell!)
Formagella
Cornish Smuggler
Cameo (word up!)
Baronerosso di Capra (sounds like the name of female mafia boss.)
Etzy Ketzy
Gouda

Worst Cheese Names
Brick (how f*cking noncreative is this name?!)
Rollot
Sonoma Jack (I think I once ate at a crappy restaurant named Sonoma Jack during a layover at LAX.)
Lil Moo
Baron Bigod (this sounds like the name of some lame-ass DC Comics supervillain.)
Blue Vein
Carrot Rebel
Lemon Fetish (do not Google this one at work.)
Edith
Goat Log (sounds like a euphemism for a seriously large piece of poop; used here in an example tweet “sh*t for the 1st time all week and stuffed the toilet with the biggest turd ever! #GOATLOG”)

Below is a picture of Rachel and Oscar settling down for their 14th nap of the day. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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Dive Bar & Grille – Lawrenceville Neighborhood

Restaurant: Dive Bar & Grille

Location: The lower part of Upper Lawrenceville where Alchemy N’Ale used to be.

Atmosphere: The exposed brick, tin ceiling tiles and esoteric light fixtures added a nice touch of gastropub coolness to the otherwise casual “classic American diner” vibe.

dive2

Menu: Wings, quesadillas, tacos, sliders, salad bowls, sandwiches, burgers and just about anything else you might need*.

* Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at “tacos.”

Food: I’m a sucker for po’boys. Lobster po’boys, shrimp po’boys, oyster po’boys, hell, I even like the song “Po’Boy” by Bob Dylan. So when I saw that Dive had a shrimp po’boy with chipotle aioli*, which you could also add a crab cake to for an additional $2**, it quickly moved ahead of all the other mouthwatering options. #MalacostracaDoubleDown

The sandwich turned out to be a real winner. Big ol’ chunks of moist crab cake covered the bottom of the sizable roll, which along with the cornmeal-crusted shrimp provided an ocean’s worth of seafood goodness. The side of fries was a little lackluster, but I still ate every one so who am I to complain.

dive3

I paired my food with a Jibe Session IPA (American IPA, 4% ABV) from Green Flash Brewing. Its crisp texture and light-citrus taste made for a perfectly refreshing lunchtime libation. The beer rounded out a delicious meal of crustacean goodness that even Squidward Tentacles couldn’t complain about.

* Chip Aioli would make a great name for a contestant on The Next Food Network Star…

** Can you believe that!?? Only 2$?!?! I wish that everything came with the option of adding a crab cake for two bucks. And not just food either. Oil changes, haircuts, lap dances…what wouldn’t be improved with the addition of a two dollar crab cake?

Service: Good.

Final Call: The fact that Dive has a location in the North Hills suburbs and not the South hills suburbs near my house makes me angry. Other than that, everything’s awesome!

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My Mixtape Monday – August 1, 2016

First Name: Teylor
Twitter: @teylormorgan
Gender Identity: Female
Age: 23

Occupation: ICU Nurse

Mixtape Name: Time-hopping

Side A
1) Jump by Kris Kross (1992)
2) Mr. Jones by Counting Crows (1993)
3) Pony by Ginuwine (1996)
4) Show Me Love by Robyn (1997)
5) Stop by Spice Girls (1997)
I actually WAS a Spice Girl when I was little; they are probably my all time favorite group ever. PLEASE have a reunion, Spice Girls.
6) No Scrubs by TLC (1999)

Side B
7) All For You by Janet Jackson (2001)
Janet Jackson was my first concert ever when I was 10 years old, only because Michael Jackson wasn’t on tour.
8) Señorita by Justin Timberlake (2002)
Justin Timberlake was my second concert ever which my Dad so graciously endured for me.
9) Dirt Off Your Shoulders by Jay Z (2003)
10) We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (2012)
11) Love Never Felt So Good by Michael Jackson (2014)
Speaking of Michael Jackson, my favorite songs unfortunately were all released before 1992 so I chose this song from his album of unreleased songs, Xscape.
12) Roses by The Chainsmokers (2015)
I am Chainsmokers obsessed and if you haven’t heard their music you need to check them out right now!

Liner Notes: Making this playlist was WAY harder than I thought. I’m a nurse so I only work (maybe) half of the Mondays in a year, but for everyone else who sadly has to go to work every Monday – here is the perfect uplifting playlist for your work day. And since I was born in 1992, I decided to pick songs that I love from then up until now. J

Apple Music Link: Time-hopping

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The Week in Tweets – July 29, 2016

It’s Friday! Let’s get on to an all-new Week in Tweets before we blink ours eyes and it’s time to go back to work!

5) courtney (@CourtneySanto)

Could someone please tell me why the Thong Song is in my head????

Maybe it’s because you like to dance on the hip-hop spots and cruise to the groove like connect the dots?

4) Untastic Mr. Fitz (@UnFitz)

If I say “I’m pretty,” it’s not narcissism. I just haven’t quite finished a sentence that will eventually end with “tired.”

I’m pretty…narcissistic.

3 – tie) katrina (@ohhkatrina)

there have got to be more alternate spellings of “Caitlyn” than any other name in the world. I can’t keep up.

Real American Dadass (@R_A_Dadass)

You can tell a lot about a person by the name they choose for their baby.

My wife is expecting a baby girl in November and we’ve narrowed it down to four choices – Rose, Dorothy, Sophia or Blanche…

2) WendyDarling (@wendchymes)

I’m gonna open a gym in my home for millennials and charge them to do fitness challenges like-

Swiffer the stairs or empty the dishwasher.

You should also make them pay you to wax your car and paint your house and call it a karate class!

2) Damien Owens (@OwensDamien)

I hear you, Sanders supporters who plan to vote Trump. One time I asked for Coke but they only had Pepsi, so I set fire to my head.

I think that’s what happened to Michael Jackson back in ’84…

1) Hitmonjake (@jake_likes_naps)

*describes my ideal pizza on my dating profiles About Me section*

I also wrote “large pepperoni” in my Match.com About Section but I wasn’t talking ‘bout pizza!!

Below is a Prisma-filtered pic of Oscar and Rachel snuggling. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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My Mixtape Monday – July 25, 2016

First Name: Anthony
Twitter: @anthony_of_pgh
Gender Identity: Male
Age: 40-something

Occupation: Desk Jockey

Mixtape Name: Reflections Over a Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats

Side A

1) Brand New Start by Paul Weller
2) One Day Like This by Elbow
3) Relatively Easy by Jason Isbell
4) Snow In Vegas by David Gray
5) Great Lakes of Love by John Smith
6) You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry by John Moreland

Side B
7) Central Time by Pokey LaFarge
8) Howling at Nothing by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
9) Honey and the Moon by Joseph Arthur
10) Wrecking Ball by Ryan Adams
11) Let’s Be Still by The Head and the Heart
12) Reach for the Sky by Social Distortion

Liner Notes: These songs are the background music to my most recent leap forward in life. Some of them hold meaning because of the lyrics; the others hold meaning only because they were playing during the journey. But if you listen close enough to most any song, you can probably find some meaning in the lyrics somewhere.

Life is in a constant state of change. It’s never too late to make a brand new start. Reach for the sky ‘cause tomorrow may never come.

YouTube Playlist Link: Reflections Over a Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats

Apple Music Link: Reflections Over a Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats

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My Mixtape Monday – July 18, 2016

First Name: Erin
Twitter: @pizza_please17
Gender Identity: Female
Age: 21

Occupation: Student

Mixtape Name: Summer Sangria

Side A
1) Spirits by The Strumbellas
2) 7 years by Lukas Graham
3) The Little Things by Big Gigantic
4) Elijah by Matthew and The Atlas
5) Riptide by Vance Joy
6) Follow You by Cheat Codes

Side B
7) Vagabond by Wild
8) Paper Walls by Relevant Elephants
9) Michigan by Arms Akimbo
10) Good As Hell by Lizzo
11) Reaper by Sia
12) Trampoline by Kalin and Myles

Liner Notes: This playlist is my go-to summer jam. I love the different mix of sounds and vibes. It is good for any time of the day!

Spotify Playlist Link: Summer Sangria

Apple Music Link: Summer Sangria

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My Mixtape Monday – July 11, 2016

First Name: Addi
Twitter: @addiful
Sex: Female
Age: 36

Occupation: Senior Business Technical Analyst at HM Health Solutions, singer/songwriter with The Telephone Line (@TeleLinePgh)

Mixtape Name: Single It Out

Side A
1) What You Don’t Do by Lianne La Havas
2) Fifty Bucks by Meeting of Important People
3) Water by Ra Ra Riot
4) My Baby Don’t Understand Me by Natalie Prass
5) Part One – Hey, No Pressure by Ray LaMontagne
6) Just Sayin/I Tried by The Internet

Side B
7) Love Like That by Mayer Hawthorne
8) Limit to Your Love by James Blake
9) Walk of Shame by Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes
10) Jackrabbit by San Fermin
11) One by Esperanza Spalding
12) Karma by Lady

Liner Notes: It’s hard to say what has changed my approach to new music over the years. In my youth I’d discover an artist and devour their albums whole. Nowadays I hear a song on WYEP, in a bar, from the local scene, or even in a commercial (I know, I’M THE WORST) and latch onto a line of lyrics.

I Google it and check Spotify with my eyes closed and fingers crossed. The ones that survive this rigorous process <EYEROLL> land on a playlist with the other singles. And voilà: an ongoing (and hopefully eclectic) playlist. Occasionally a single will hit me so hard that I can’t resist the full album (Lady’s “Karma” introduced me to one of my favorite albums of all time) but most of them remain orphans.

Maybe technology is to blame for my lazy one-off listening, but I’m convinced that’s just how it goes when you’re working full time and keeping a bunch of bands afloat on the side. These 12 tunes are mostly just from the last few years, but the playlists I’m slowly accumulating reflect a broader range of pop/rock from various decades. Here are the links for anyone who may want to check them out:

Spotify Playlist Links: Singles 1, Singles 2, Single It Out

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