August 24, 2015
First Name: Kate
Occupation: Band instrument repair tech
Mixtape Name: Kate’s Mix
1) Do I Move You? by Nina Simone
I’ve been a huge Nina Simone fan for years, but I just got turned onto this song recently and it’s the perfect blend of soulful and raw sex that I think everyone should experience it at least once.
2) Today by Jefferson Airplane
I would put this song under the category of haunting love song and that’s why it’s one of my favorite Jefferson Airplane songs.
3) Moonage Daydream by David Bowie
I love David Bowie so, so much and this is probably my favorite song of his. I become Ziggy Stardust every time I sing along to this in the car.
4) Last Dance by Donna Summer
This one is for my bestie from repair school. We were in Boston, this song game on the jukebox and the waitress and I had a moment to this song. It’s been a favorite ever since.
5) Theme from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by John Barry
I am a huge James Bond fan and I wanted to put a theme from one of the films on this list, but the more I thought about it the more I knew this had to be the one. It’s the only instrumental thing on the list, but the groovy organ more than makes up for the lack of Shirley Bassey crooning about girls, guns and martinis.
6) Incense and Peppermint by Strawberry Alarm Clock
When I was a little kid, one of the first CDs I ever owned was a compilation of 60s hits and this was one of the songs on the CD and after a couple of listens I was hooked instantly. I like to thank this song for being the gateway to my life long love of psychedelic music.
7) All I Ever Need Is You by Sonny and Cher
This is one of those songs that I love to put on in the car if I’ve been having less than a stellar day. The intro cheers me up instantly and it’s such a cute song that it’s hard to stay upset afterwards.
8) I Wanna be Your Boyfriend by The Ramones
Every now and then I go through periods where I want to jump on the ukulele train and teach myself covers of songs you wouldn’t normally associate with the ukulele. This is one of those songs that I think would sound really great played at the same tempo, but with the softer sounds of a ukulele strumming in the background.
9) Dover Beach by The Fugs
I found this song recently and have been hooked ever since. It’s a great song to put on and clear your mind to on top of beings a great example of classic psychedelia.
10) Couleur Cafe by Serge Gainsbourg
This is one of those songs that’s on the imaginary playlist in my head for a classic cocktail party. The music is bright and it just sounds like party music.
11) More Than a Woman by The Bee Gees
I love disco. I know it’s not everybody’s thing, but I am a fan of the leisure suits and the glitter and disco music. I knew I had to put some disco on this list and decided to go for a classic Bee Gees song because you can’t go wrong with the Bee Gees.
12) I Gotta Be Me by Sammy Davis Jr.
I like to think of this as my personal mantra in song form. Whatever happens in life, the bottom line is that I’ve still gotta be me at the end of the day.
Liner Notes: Mixtapes are a way for one person to express a specific idea to another person(s). Keeping that in mind, I decided to put together a list that would be a sonic representation of who I am. From great jazz to far out glam rock to James Bond themes to disco, every part of this list is one part of who I am. And as Sammy Davis Jr. croons in the last song on this list, I gotta be me.
Spotify Playlist link: Kate’s Mix
August 17, 2015
First Name: Matt
Occupation: Proprietor and Chief Archivist at AlternateHistories.com
Mixtape Name: Moon Moods
1) The Jetsons Theme by Hoyt Curtin
2) Flying Saucer Rock & Roll by Billy Lee Riley
3) Telstar by The Tornados
4) Venus by Jimmie Haskell and his Orchestra
5) The Martian Hop by The Ran-Dells
6) Moon Moods by Les Baxter
7) Nightmare by Artie Shaw
8) Theme from Eegah by Arch Hall Jr.
9) Mystery Science Theater 3000 Love Them by Man Or Astroman?
10) My Love’s A Monster by Clea Bradford
11) Monkey Vs. Robot by James Kochalka Superstar
12) Zombie Dance by The Cramps
Liner Notes: Since I run Alternate Histories, where I take old maps & prints, then add in monsters, robots, & zombies, I thought it would be fun to make a mixtape that showcases some of those very same sci-fi creatures through my favorite Monster-A-Go-Go type songs. Listen with me…IF YOU DARE!!!
Side A focuses on space-travel-themed music, a big idea during the 1950s and 60s. We start with a masterpiece of space age pop, the theme song to the Jetsons, which would later inspire Danny Elfman’s “Simpsons” theme song. Next is a great Rockabilly nugget from the alien-movie-obsessed 1950s, recorded at Sun Studios (the place where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Howlin’ Wolf were all discovered).
Telstar was the name of one of the first communications satellites, and the British Tornados took this instrumental to the top of the charts in 1962. Venus by Jimmie Haskell is a great piece of space-age instrumental, complete with sound effects. I love the nonsense of The Martian Hop as it combines the sci-fi song with a novelty song to come up with a bizarre piece of pop doo wop. And finishing Side A is another piece of gorgeous Space Age Pop, Les Baxter’s Moon Moods.
Side B is more of a free-for-all, focusing on various monsters & creatures. We start off with Artie Shaw’s minor-key big band classic Nightmare setting the scene. Then we take a turn into the camp with Arch Hall Jr’s theme to the wonderfully bad monster movie Eegah. Then thematically we switch to Man or Astroman?’s surf-rock cover of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme song, still my favorite TV show.
I couldn’t do a mix without including my favorite sixties soul music, so here’s Clea Bradford with the aptly-titled My Love’s a Monster. I thought about putting on Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla but that seemed too on the nose so I went with a rarity, comic book artist and performer James Kochalka Superstar’s Monkey vs. Robot. And finally we close it out with the punk rock/horror stylings of The Cramps’ Zombie Dance.
August 12, 2015
The below guest post was written by LA Finfinger, who recently moved from her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh to teach and inspire the denizens of Baltimore one yoga pose at a time. Our loss is definitely Charm City’s gain for LA is truly one of the bestest and brightest around and I implore you to check out one of her yoga classes whenever yinz can. Namaste!
Let me preface this with I love Baltimore. Love it. I love the people, the city, the food, the weather, the water – all of it. With that said, I will always hold my hometown in the highest regard and here’s what I miss most about the 412.
10) Kennywood. Seriously, this is the best amusement park probably in the world that is not over-commercialized and it’s the holder of all things nostalgic for me. If you’re reading this, you’re probably from Pittsburgh and so I don’t have to tell you everything that’s so great about it. (Hint: It’s really not the food for me. It is the rides, the smell, the overly-sugared lemonade, the sound of the Thunderbolt going down the hill.)
9) The 4th of July fireworks view from my former Dormont-deck (aka fire-escape). We could see the display from Mt. Lebanon, Dormont, and the city all from one easy vantage point.
8) Everyone knowing who Rick Sebak was all of the time. Like, Rick Seback’s name is just everywhere and people would say that he ate places and one time right before I moved I met him. He was pretty nice and he really couldn’t have lived up to all of the hype anyway!
7) I’m not sure that there’s a better skyline. I really think that’s not just something we’ve been saying forever. It’s a strikingly gorgeous city at times and I miss the skyline.
6) Knowing how to get places. Like any life-long Pittsburgher, I gave and understood directions from naming old landmarks. People here actually know north, south, east, and west. I lived 35 peaceful years in Pittsburgh and never really knew any of that. (Also, whenever an old Pizza Hut is turned into something else, we always know. Once a Pizza Hut, always a Pizza Hut.)
5) Prantl’s burnt almond torte. I mean, it’s a thing for a reason. I love that shit and someone should probably send me one in the mail. (They have versions that can be shipped! Hint, hint!)
4) I miss being annoyed at my city’s sports fans. I miss rolling my eyes at all of the black and gold and hearing people actually say yinz but it was mine to make fun of! I was born in 1979. I grew up with friends named Tanner (presumably after Chuck Tanner!). If I hear it now – I defend it even though I never was really a big sports fan.
3) Commonwealth Press. My favorite tees are from there. I miss them. I had to unfollow them on IG because it made me homesick.
2) Al Hoff, of the Pittsburgh City Paper’s movie reviews. I will still look up her reviews. If you are skipping right to the horoscopes, flip back because when she writes them, they are thoughtful and almost always spot-on!
1) The people of Pittsburgh. I’m not going to lie. The people here are really great. You’ll love them when it’s not a gameday. The truth is that one of the reasons that I feel so at home here is that life-long Baltimoreans are made of the same blue-collar, tough stuff as life-long Pittsburghers. It’s kind of awesome and it makes me proud to call both cities home.
August 10, 2015
A common thread of our generation’s greatest musical artists is that they all have a lauded double album in their discography. Arcade Fire, 2Pac, Smashing Pumpkins, Outkast, Aphex Twin and Biggie have all released seminal music collections that were just too big to be contained by the limits of pre-mp3 media storage formats.
Inspired by those greats, below is the first double disc collection of the best songs from the past twenty-four “My Mixtape Mondays”. Please enjoy the music below, and don’t forget to check out each individual playlist to learn more about the awesome people behind the song selections.
Disc 1: just like the white winged dove…
1) Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks (Deanna)
2) Hey Mami by Sylvan Esso (Jennifer)
3) Digital Witness (Darkside Remix) by St. Vincent (Adam)
4) Intergalactic by Beastie Boys (Rachel)
5) Insane in the Brain by Cypress Hill (Jackie)
6) What’s up, Fatlip by Fatlip (Chris)
7) Pear & Rust by Lavola (Kerriann)
8) Future by Cut Copy (James)
9) Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths (Carla)
10) Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse (Ruby)
11) Studio (SchoolBoy Q Cover) by Durand Bernarr (Deitrick)
12) Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam (Terri)
Disc 1 Liner Notes: Here are some notable statistics about this group of mixtapes:
Eight females and four males participated. Their ages ranged from 20 to 43, with an average of 32. The occupations ran the gamut from taco truck owner to bouncer to pediatric nurse.
There were 145 songs selected in total, with only one repeat – Vivrant Thing by Q-tip. Beyoncé was the most selected artist, placing three songs across the twelve playlists. #QueenBee
In line with my usual batting average, I was familiar with about a third of the songs. Representing one end of the spectrum was Terri, whose playlist I scored a perfect 12/12 with and featured such classics as Yellow Ledbetter and I Wish by Skee-Lo.
Conversely, Kerriann shut me out completely. I did not know any of the songs she collected, nor even the bands themselves. But thanks to her I’m now familiar with a lot of awesome music that I know would not have heard otherwise, and that’s really one of the main objectives of these mixtapes so big ups to her!
Disc 2: ooh ooh ooh…
1) Nantes by Beirut (Dana)
2) Vampire Smile by Kyla LaGrange (Bree)
3) Wannabe by The Spice Girls (Shannon)
4) Bye Bye Bye by Nsync (Marissa)
5) Fix Up Look Sharp by Dizzee Rascal (Jenn)
6) Hey Now by Matt and Kim (Chelsea)
7) I love you, Honeybear by Father John Misty (Joe)
8) By the Way by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Rachel)
9) Million Dollar Man by Lana Del Rey (Jaci)
10) Is This How You Feel? By The Preatures (Giulia)
11) Ruby Soho by Rancid (Amanda)
12) Say It, Just Say It by The Mowgli’s (Barb)
Disc 2 Liner Notes: Here are the stats about this collection:
This group’s gender makeup was the opposite of a sausage party, with eleven females and just one male taking part. The average age was 29, with a range of 24 to 37. We had some related professions this time, with four folks working in marketing and three in education.
144 songs were chosen in total. Surprisingly there was only one Beyoncé song, while The Killers and Sara Bareilles each garnered three selections. No songs were repeated. I knew exactly a third of the songs (48). Bree shut me out this time, and the best I could do was scoring an 11/12 on Shannon’s playlist.
August 3, 2015
First Name: Amanda
Occupation: Systems Analyst by day, BOLD Pittsburgh writer/editor and artist by night
Mixtape Name: On the side
Side B – Night
7) Hollywood by Codeine Velvet Club
8) Outta My Mind by The Arcs
9) Treat Me Like Your Mother by The Dead Weather
10) Plus Minus by Sons of the Sea
11) California Babylon by The Transplants
12) The Love Letter by Blaqk Audio
Liner Notes: I love it when members of bands break off and do side projects; as long as they come back to their main gig eventually. I like to compare the two to see if they are similar or completely different than their main band. I can respect the side project because I myself have tons of side projects going on after my main 9-5 gig. Side A has some of my favorite bands doing their “day” job and Side B is the side project or their “night” job.
Spotify Playlist link: On the side
July 27, 2015
First Name: Bree
Mixtape Name: What’s New to Me and What I Can’t Live Without
Side A – What’s New to Me
1) Lucky Day by Hunter Hunted
I saw Hunter Hunted open for Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness last fall and I have been looking forward to their album ever since.
Favorite Line – “Lately I cross my fingers tight, superstition in my mind… I must be breaking mirrors under ladders all the time, because I’m followed by the rain..”
2) Ditmas by Mumford and Sons
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I love the new Mumford album. So many people complained about how “different” it is. Yes, it’s different, but it’s also fantastic.
Favorite Line – “Where I used to end was where you start… You were the only one.”
3) Cool for the Summer by Demi Lovato
This is my summer song. It’s just fun. I can’t help but turn it up whenever it comes on the radio. I’m sure it will eventually get overplayed and I’ll hate it, but right now I love it.
Favorite Line – “Tell me what you want, what you like, it’s okay… I’m a little curious too…”
4) Caught by Florence and the Machine
Though I don’t think “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” is nearly as good as 2011’s “Ceremonials,” it’s still Florence and she still kills.
Favorite Line – “It’s hard to see it, when you’re in it, cause I went blind for you…”
5) If You Ever Want to Be In Love by James Bay
James Bay… One of my favorite new artists. His album is full of great songs, but this one is one of my favorites.
Favorite Line – “I’m not waiting, but I’m willing if you call me up…”
6) I of the Storm by Of Monsters and Men
There will have to be a really REALLY great album to come out in the next five months to dethrone OMaM’s new album as my favorite of 2015. It’s that good.
Favorite Line – “And it echoes when I breathe, until all you’ll see, is my ghost…”
Side B – What I Can’t Live Without
7) Vampire Smile by Kyla LaGrange
I wish somebody would have told me about Kyla LaGrange. She came up randomly on a Spotify playlist and I’ve been loving her ever since. Vampire Smile is raw, sexy, and obsessive. I love it.
Favorite Line – “Baby I need a friend, but I’m a vampire smile, you’ll meet a sticky end…”
8) The Resolution by Jack’s Mannequin
There are few songs that I consider “perfect,” but The Resolution is one of them.
Favorite Line – “Yeah I’m alive, and I don’t need a witness, to know that I survived, I’m not looking for forgiveness…”
9) Secret by Howie Day
I love how Howie Day puts songs together. Lyrically, he makes you think. I love that.
Favorite Line – “Right and wrong is not quite seen, right and wrong is it everything?”
10) Church Clothes by Matt Nathanson
I could fill up a mixed tape with Matt Nathanson. If you’ve never seen him live, you must do so. Not only is he and amazing performer, but he’s also hilarious and often tells hysterical stories between songs. He is also a huge music nerd and genuinely loves music.
Favorite Line – “I wanna be brand new… I wanna trade in these wings, they don’t work like yours do…”
11) Synesthesia by Andrew McMahon
Andrew McMahon is an amazing writer. Not just songs, but anything he writes. If you read any of his blog entries, you will see that. He is so poetic and real in his lyrics. Synesthesia is just a great song.
Favorite Line – “Grab your wings, they’re putting gravity on trial…”
12) I Will Find You by O.A.R.
O.A.R. is one of those bands that I’ve loved forever, and in my opinion, they just keep getting better and better. I Will Find You is unique in the sense that at 9:01 long, it’s almost like two songs in one. The first half is completely different than the second half, but somehow they work together seamlessly.
Favorite Line – “Am I on my way to everything that I want, or am I here?”
Liner Notes: Trying to pick just twelve songs was quite the challenge! I could have gone a million different directions with my mixed tape, but in the end I decided to share some tracks that I’m loving from 2015 for Side A. There is a mix of new artists, new music from some of my favorite artists, and artists that are new to me.
The songs on Side B are the songs I can’t live without. The ones I go back to again and again – the ones that I NEVER skip over in the car. These are the ones I turn up, and sing horribly off-key to.
July 24, 2015
It’s Friday and Daddy needs a hot slice of pizza and a cold pint of beer! But before we get to that, let’s run through an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!
5) beezuskiddo (@beezuskiddo)
Come on vacation with me if you want to gain 25 lbs in 5 days and spend all your money.
Throw in a hangover, lost sunglasses and a really bad case of sunburn and you have yourself a deal!
4) Damon Hunzeker (@DamonHunzeker)
I’ll just have a whiskey straight, and then I’ll drink some vodka as gay as you can possibly imagine.
All vodka is gay vodka if you drink enough.
3 – tie) Valjean Taffer (@killakow)
Who gets Chopped first:
Chef who doesn’t plate all ingredients
Chef who bleeds on the plate
Chef who uses truffle oil as an afterthought
I hope chopped judges make a lot. Most of that food has to be horrible.
I love Chopped but it’s been on so long that the mystery ingredients just don’t shock me like they used to. I mean, who doesn’t know by now to go light on the Bhut jolokia and always blanch and peel the fava beans first. Therefore, below are some suggestions for future baskets that will assuredly raise the stakes of the competition:
Appetizer round: Shea butter, masking tape, cotton swaps and a live turtle
Entrée round: cigarette butts, Crystal Pepsi, Styrofoam, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head
Dessert round: glitter, snozzberries, 1984 Topps Baseball Andy Van Slyke Rookie Card and AquaNet hairspray
2) no (@tbhjuststop)
don’t worry password, im insecure too
I recommend using self-compliments as a password (good example URtheBest1) because they’re easy to remember and make you feel good to write them. Just don’t make it too specific or you’ll be in for an uncomfortable conversation if you have to repeat it out loud to the helpdesk (bad example Eyebr0ws0nFleek).
1 – tie) Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez)
*takes dog to mommy and me class*
Sincerely Tumblr (@SincerelyTumblr)
Pizza first people second
* takes slice of pizza to Mommy and Me yoga class *
Below is a picture of kitten Rachel from 2005. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!
July 23, 2015
My wife and I recently spent a long weekend in the fourth biggest city in North America – Toronto, Canada. It was my first time visiting Drizzy Drake’s hometown and I absolutely loved it. Below is a recap of some of the many highlights of our trip.
InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel: Nestled next to Rogers Centre in the shadow of the CN Tower, the InterContinental was the perfect home base for our stay in Toronto. It was very modern, attractive and clean (like me) with an extremely friendly and helpful staff (again, just like me).
The CN Tower: Getting to the top of the CN Tower was the first activity we undertook after checking into our hotel. It was an absolutely gorgeous day so the 360 degree view of the lake and the city was quite breathtaking. The sky terrace was pretty crowded but we were still able to navigate through the selfie-stick wielding crowds to get some really great pictures.
Spice Route Asian Bistro & Bar: This popular King Street West restaurant combined a super-chic ambiance and a menu overflowing with sharable Indo-Chinese delicacies. I’m now 17% cooler just by having dined there.
Hey Lucy: Another trendy bistro on King Street, Hey Lucy backed up their fashionable façade with delicious brick oven pizzas and a gaslamp-lit rooftop patio that provided the perfect amount of romantic ambiance.
Bar Hop: A sh*tload of beers on tap and really great French fries. Bar Hop was basically what I imagine heaven to be like.
Distillery District: Strolling around the cobblestone pathways of this Victorian-style village was such a charming experience. Along with a plethora of artisanal shops and cafes, this area was also home to the awesome Mill Street Brew Pub.
The Second City’s How to Kill a Comedian: People constantly texting “lol” has devalued the sentiment so much that it has almost replaced “ok” as a compulsory response. Regardless, there’s really no better way for me to describe my Second City experience other than with a capital #LOL. I laughed out loud so much that I nearly p*ssed my pants. And that would’ve really sucked since I only packed one pair.
Canadian Craft Beers: Though still dominated by Labatt’s, Molson and Bud (ughh), Canada also has a burgeoning craft beer scene with many appealing options. Below are three of my new favorites along with an alliterative summation:
Bar Hop Poutentious ESB (Premium Bitter/ESB – ABV 5.0%) – bitter, biscuity and bubbly.
Mill Street Belgian Wit (Witbier – ABV 5.2%) – hazy, hoppy and hints-of-banana.
Collective Arts Rhyme and Reason (American Pale Ale – ABV 5.7%) – grainy, grassy and grapefruity.
Final Call: Toronto reminded me a lot of Chicago, except much cleaner and without the constant threat of violent crime. It’s a beautiful, big city with plenty of green space and world-class entertaining, shopping and sports experiences.
Special shout-out to my Torontonian buddy Elle for all her help in planning our itinerary and accommodations. She has now replaced Michael J. Fox as my favorite Canadian!
July 20, 2015
First Name: Giulia
Occupation: Administrator at The Rivers Casino
Mixtape Name: Long days, Hot Nights
1) 10,000 Emerald Pools by BØRNS
This one is an “I like you but I’m afraid to tell you” kind of songs. Great for belting out in the car when you’re by yourself.
2) Cream on Chrome by Ratatat
Just a good throw on your shades and cruise type of tune. I do it quite frequently. No words, all music. Love this band.
3) Is This How You Feel? By The Preatures
Reminds me of an 80’s girl band for some reason.
4) Cocaine Blues by Escort
70’s vibes. I dig it.
5) Hold On by SBTRKT feat. Sampha
SBTRKT is known for these beats, and with the smooth sounds of Sampha, its best of both worlds.
6) No No No by Beirut
Newest song from these guys. Their songs are beautiful and elegantly written. This one is a little more fun and cute.
7) Something About You by Hayden James
One of my many favorite funky get up and dance songs.
8) Obvs by Jamie xx
Those steel drums. Makes me feel all tropical n’at.
9) Inspector Norse by Todd Terje
Big fan of his. Especially this song. It’s a futuristic and dance worthy.
10) Holding On by Julio Bashmore feat. Sam Dew
Another disco inspired song. This is my relationship slump song.
11) Gosh by Jamie xx
I ADORE Jamie xx. Perfect for pre-gaming, or post, or during.
12) Ready for the Floor by Hot Chip
If I could listen to this band for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t complain.
Liner Notes: These songs are on constant rotation. Mixture of synth-pop/electronic with a side of funk.
July 11, 2015
The weekend is here! Let us speed through an abbreviated Week in Tweets before Monday arrives and we’re all miserable again. My responses are all conveyed via “text-speak” acronyms that hopefully you can use in the future. TTYL (Talk To Yinz Later)!
6) netw3rk (@netw3rk)
dance like no one is watching
love like you’ve never been hurt
eat ice cream when everyone is sleeping
HIBE (Hiding In the Basement Eating).
5 – tie) LA (@la_canadiangirl)
Life is too short be happy live carefree ~ inspirational tweet from single people no kids
Simon Holland (@simoncholland)
So nice to be the first one awake and enjoy a quiet house with a cup of-never mind, kids are awake, they ruined it.
HIBESOINTN (Hiding In the Basement Eating and Streaming Orange Is The New Black).
4) Baby Animals (@BBAnimals)
“WHEN CATS ARE SAD
Bartender: What’ll ya have?
Cat: Shot of rum
[Bartender pours it]
[Cat slowly pushes it off the bar]
COLO (Cats Only Listen Once).
3) Mackenzie Brown (@myarmpititches)
I imagine that there are dumpsters full of Furbies, Beanie Babies and all of the other creepy 90s toys out there somewhere
ROTFDNUBB (Rolling On The Floor of a Dumpster Next to Unsanitary Beanie Babies).
2) bourgeois beth (@bourgeoisalien)
Getting a tuna sandwich from a gas station is a cool way of saying, “Don’t have time to stop to eat, but there’s always time for diarrhea.”
NTMDJ (Never Too Many Diarrhea Jokes).
1) Kelli (@kjv89)
I actually love the Olive Garden.
UB4E (Unlimited Breadsticks Forever)
Below is a pic of Oscar and Rachel getting cat hair on my bed in the cutest way possible. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!
next page »