Tag Archives: mixtapes

My Mixtape Monday – September 5, 2016

First Name: Renee
Twitter: @Naywatch
Sex: Female
Age: 24

Occupation: Researcher & Future Physician’s Assistant. I do science.

Mixtape Name: Want/Need

Side A
1) When You Were Young by The Killers
I could have very easily picked whole albums from The Killers since they are my absolute favorite band since 2004 (I know every lyric to every song they have made & I am fully aware that it’s a sick, sick obsession). When You Were Young, Tidal Wave, and This River is Wild might be my ultimate favorite songs by The Killers.
2) Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo
UGHHHHH I love Oingo Boingo. I’m convinced I was born in the wrong era due to my adoration of 80s music. So, the lead singer of Oingo Boingo was Danny Elfman and he’s pretty much composed all of the best soundtracks and TV theme songs known to man. Check them out.
3) Lonely Town by Brandon Flowers
Yeah, had to throw Lonely Town in there. Brandon Flowers is my idol and this song is fantastic. Totally about a stalker but, hey, who hasn’t been in that position before. Ah, unrequited love why doth thou hurt me so. (Someone please punch me in the face after this.) *** link in document ***
4) Something to Believe In by Young The Giant
Young the Giant is another favorite band of mine. They just released a new album called Home of the Strange and I can’t recommend it enough. The lead singer has the voice of an angel.
5) Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
Beast of Burden, um classic. I will never get sick of this song. I love old rock, too. I wish I could have thrown some Hendrix and Foreigner in this mixtape but there isn’t enough room! I’m also missing a ton of Bowie songs that I love.
6) Coming Over by James Hersey, Dillon Francis & Kygo Remix
If you don’t follow Dillon Francis on snapchat, then you are sorely missing out. He and his friends that make up the DJ group Phantoms are insanely hilarious and I would give my left arm to hang out with them. Also, I pretty much can fall in love with anyone that quotes Dumb and Dumber, too. And this song is lit.

Side B
7) Is this Love (Bob Marley Cover) by Allen Stone
Allen Stone is a beautiful human being. I talked to him after one of his concerts because I showed up late (my nephew was being born so kind of couldn’t miss that) anyways. Nicest man ever, got a picture with him and everything and then we talked about our English bulldogs and how they’re the best dogs in the world. Yes, they are. If you disagree, then I hate you.
8) Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys
Do I Wanna Know; I can do my angry strut to this song. Man, if looks could kill – I would be in jail. Also, Sam Smith does a killer cover of this song- definitely worth a listen.
9) Concrete by Tom Odell
Off his second album, Tom really gets me in the feels with this song. So cute and emotional.
10) Warm On A Cold Night by HONNE
HONNE just released their LP and there are some great tracks on there as well. Warm on a Cold night is one of those songs you can blast on a chilly night with all of the windows down and cruise around, just falling in love with all of the lights of the city.
11) Cry Baby by The Neighbourhood
Love this song and how cool the lead singer’s voice is. It’s like feminine but not and super attractive and sexy. I don’t know I’m weird.
12) Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison
Had to include my favorite karaoke song! I either sing Return of the Mack or Lovers and Friends by Usher, Lil John and Ludacris.

Spotify Playlist Link: Want/Need


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My Mixtape Monday – August 29, 2016

First Name: sean
Twitter: @seanbeauford
Sex: M
Age: 28

Occupation: curator

Mixtape Name: what i’m on at the moment

Side A
1) The Way by Macy Gray
I randomly came across this song while randomly digging through Macy’s discography. It’s so vulnerable and inspirational and redemptive. Everyone goes through tough times, and this song makes you want to cheer for them. Or yourself.
2) The Sweetest Gift by Sade
This reminds me of my daughter, Neon. “Quietly while you were sleeping, the moon and i were talking. i asked that she’d always keep you protected. she promised you her light that you so gracefully carry”.
3) $ by D.R.A.M ft. Donnie Trumpet
Just a dope, relatable song. I first heard it while seeing the video which features vintage footage of D.R.A.M singing in church as a child, which was very nostalgic for me. There’s two versions of this, make sure you play the one with Donnie Trumpet.
4) How Great by Chance the Rapper ft. Jay Electronica & My Cousin Nicole
I grew up on gospel music, and while i loved the choirs, I was never a fan of gospel rappers, no matter how skilled they were. I wish there was a Chance when I was growing up. Chance isn’t a gospel rapper, he just raps his truth, and probably better than anyone else out right now. Him and Jay Elect destroy this. I’m here for 3 minute choir intros too.
5) Hello, Lakisha by Kilo Kish
I love this song’s energy. It’s about some of the things (black) people with different (black) names deal with growing up. Lakisha isn’t different at all to us, in fact it’s super common, which this artist didn’t like – I can relate to that. I didn’t want my daughter to have a common name.
6) Burgundy by Earl Sweatshirt ft. Vince Staples
The Neptunes produced this. It sounds like a band of elephants in tuxedos having a jam session. One of my favorites from Earl.

Side B
7) I Love My Music by Wild Cherry
Because I love my music too. I don’t know what it is, but there’s a lot of great songs from this era (late 70s, early 80s) that are dedicated to the love of music.
8) Bad Believer by St. Vincent
Low-key obsessed with Annie Clark. She dropped this as a part of a re-release of her already incredible, future Grammy award winning self-titled album. I love Annie’s ballads but rocker Annie is my favorite, especially when she’s shredding live. I love her + John Congleton.
9) Alive with the Glory of Love by Say Anything
I’m a big fan of sitcoms and one thing about the great ones, is that they always have great music, especially on finales. Songs that play during finales, season or series, always stick with me. Heard this on Scrubs season 6 finale and immediately loved it. It’s also one of the best love songs I’ve ever heard.
10) Maybe by N*E*R*D
I’ll always like Fly or Die more than In Search Of because I witnessed Fly or Die. This song is still top 5 in their and P’s entire catalog. The drums are underrated.
11) III. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information] by Childish Gambino
One of my favorite songs off one of my favorite albums ever. Gambino showed a ton of versatility on this joint that he co-produced. The change ups are brilliant. The internet sample around 3:15 is one of my favorite musical moments ever. Kilo Kish is on here too.
12) Valley of Death by Rick Ross
Rick Ross is mostly known for his gangster persona and material flexing but he’s really human and humble on this one. My favorite lines, “I got two kids, and for me to feed them, I’ll get two gigs. I’ll shovel sh*t, I’ll C.O” are probably the most gangster bars he’s ever spit. Toomp killed this ish.

Apple Music Link: what i’m on at the moment

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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


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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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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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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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My Mixtape Monday – Best of Vol. VII

The following double-disc compilation highlights my favorite tracks from the past twenty-four “My Mixtape Monday” playlists. Along with sharing some really great music, each contributor did a thoughtful job ruminating over their selections in the associated Liner Notes. These retrospective essays are always a great read, and I highly recommend that you click on all of the names below to check them out!

Disc 1

1) Telstar by The Tornados (Matt)
2) Couleur Cafe by Serge Gainsbourg (Kate)
3) Let’s Go by Matt & Kim (Bree)
4) Steal Smoked Fish by The Mountain Goats (Kate)
5) Einstein On The Beast produced by DJ BC w/ Philip Glass and Beastie Boys (Goob)
6) New York by Ja Rule ft. Fat Joe and Jadakiss (Natalie)
7) Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac (Niki)
8) Winter by Lail Arad (Nick)
9) 4 Simple Words by Frank Turner (Kards Unlimited)
10) Saturday by Fall Out Boy (Amber)
11) Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley (Meg)
12) Gooey by Glass Animals (Leah)

Liner Notes: Disregarding the collective crew of Kards Unlimited and the amorphous Goob (personal data unknown), the individual ages of this group ranged from 22 to 38. Of these, eight were female and two were male. Their occupations included fashion photographer, greeting card creator, marketing coordinator and band instrument repair technician.

The twelve playlists were comprised of 148 songs in total, with only one duplicate – I Don’t Want Love by The Antlers. Six artists showed up twice, with Death Cab for Cutie being the only band to place three song selections (insert GIF of Seth Cohen nodding).

Disc 2

1) Desperately Wanting by Better than Ezra (Shannon)
2) The House That Heaven Built by Japandroids (Scott aka Kirby)
3) Where My Girls At by 702 (Sarah)
4) Brave by Sara Bareilles (Kerry)
5) Modern Jesus by Portugal, The Man (Kate)
6) Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix) by Flight Facilities (Laura)
7) Santa Fe by Beirut (Kasey)
8) In The End by Linkin Park (Zain)
9) Love Yourself by Justin Bieber (Marisa)
10) Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths (Patrick)
11) Get Up by Sleater-Kinney (Toby)
12) Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails (Samantha)

Liner Notes: The ages of this group of contributors went from 23 to 50 (really?), with four males and eight females. Their occupations included stay at home mom, orthotist, comedian, moonbounce cleaner and @stitchfix stylist.

The twelve playlists totaled 150 songs and the artists ranged from Adele to Kendrick Lamar to Zac Brown Band. No artist placed three songs across the collective, but five did garner two selections each – alt-J, Future, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Rob Zombie. Now that sounds like a concert that I’d love to see!


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