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My Mixtape Monday – June 27, 2016

First Name: Kate Mickere
Twitter: @katemickere
Sex: Female
Age: 28

Occupation: Writer // Assistant at Comedy Central

Mixtape Name: Obsessions

Side A
1) Ram On by Paul McCartney
2) The Love Cats by The Cure
3) Wig in a Box by Hedwig and the Angry Inch
4) Jesse by Carly Simon
5) Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
6) Hey Ya by Outkast

Side B
7) Long John Blues by Dinah Washington
8) Let’s Spend the Night Together by David Bowie
9) Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
10) Teeth by Lady Gaga
11) Another Day by Paul McCartney
12) Me & Liza by Rufus Wainwright

Bonus Track (since it’s not on Spotify): I Can’t Wait for Christmas to Come by The Loose Tapestries

Liner Notes: “Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed.” – John Waters

Confession: I’ve basically only been listening to podcasts and Paul McCartney’s Ram for the last year or so. Instead of hiding this (possibly) worrying behavior, I’m going to embrace it… with a playlist full of my musical obsessions.

Side A is a sampling of my current favorites. These are the songs that I just can’t get out of my head. Note: “Hey Ya” is just as delightful now as it was in 2003, when I was trying to avoid my homecoming date and only came out of hiding to dance to this song. (Sorry, Steven.)

I’m so obsessed with the songs on Side B that I’ve actually put them into plays I’ve written. From singing “Long John Blues” in my one-woman show Sprinkles & Shame at the Playground Festival at Carnegie Mellon to the current play I’m dreaming up about Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger being disco friends, these songs have inspired me in countless ways.

Bonus: Is it weird to listen to a Christmas song in June? This one is too delightful to be confined to a calendar. Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno and Mighty Boosh comedian (and my imaginary boyfriend) Noel Fielding teamed up to create a surrealist Christmas song that features a rap from Idris Elba. I’m swooning.

Spotify Playlist Link: Obsessions

Apple Music Link: Obsessions

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My Mixtape Monday – June 13, 2016

First Name: Alicia
Twitter: @alicia_staples
Sex: Female
Age: 30

Occupation: Social Media Director and Consultant, Bartender (@mrsmallstheatre), Podcast Host (@mmoviespod)

Mixtape Name: Alicia_Staples Mixtape

Side A
1) Tenderness by General Public
2) In Between Days by The Cure
3) Desperate Guys by The Faint
4) Speakers Push Air by Pretty Girls Make Graves
5) Gold Guns Girls by Metric
6) Bruise Pristine by Placebo

Side B
7) Saddam A Go Go by Gwar
8) Whamola by The Les Claypool Frog Brigade
9) Venus Fly by Grimes
10) Disparate Youth by Santigold
11) Space Age Love Song by Flock of Seagulls
12) Damn These Vampires by The Mountain Goats

Liner Notes: It’s exceedingly difficult and endlessly entertaining to capture your own personality in a 12 song mixtape. I tossed around some theme ideas – “Movie theme songs that are deservedly under appreciated”, “Best songs to stoically cry to while in public”, “Songs I pretend not to know every word to” – all of which I could easily build. However, I decided autobiographical (in the style of Rob Gordon) was more appropriate for this task.

Each song links to an important event, relationship, or time frame for me – ever so lovingly arranged for a listener who has no idea and/or no interest in the personal baggage I have attached to each. Side A has a nice easy new wave into post punk/glam rock thing going on while Side B is frenetic and soothing crossing the genre map.

Spotify Playlist Link: Alicia_Staples Mixtape (with bonus tracks)

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My Mixtape Monday – May 23, 2016

First Name: Patrick
Twitter: @parkingchair
Sex: Male
Age: 50? Really?

Occupation: (Writer)

Mixtape Name: Music for Manic Depressives

Side A
1) Tether by Sarah Harmer
2) Two Star by Everything But the Girl
3) Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths
4) Good Day by Paul Westerberg
5) Until I Die by Ben Kweller
6) Promises by Badly Drawn Boy

Side B
7) Summertime by The Sundays
8) St. Croix by Family of the Year
9) Just Like Heaven by The Cure
10) Hard to Beat by Hard-Fi
11) Gimme Some Lovin’ by The Spencer Davis Group
12) Like Wow Wipeout by Hoodoo Gurus

Liner Notes: While I have never been clinically diagnosed as manic depressive or bipolar, I have always been one moody sonofabitch. In a good way. And music has been my companion on this lifelong journey of indecisive feelings. But I’ve never used music to alter my moods; rather, it has been an affirmation of the way I feel at any particular time. As it relates to Pittsburgh, this playlist could be organized by the times I am away from my hometown and missing it terribly—and the times I am actually there, remembering why I love it so much.

Side A is all about those times I feel like the world is terrible and no one sees things the way I do—or appreciates my brilliance. You know, the kind of world that could potentially elect a bombastic, fraudulent, hatemonger to the highest office in the land. Fortunately, we don’t live in that kind of world; it just feels that way. I think. I hope. Oh God, this may all be real! It’s a collection of six tunes I can always count on to ease me through a lousy day. With just a dash of hope in there to remind me that it always gets better.

Side B offers a glimpse into the flip side of my personality. Six songs that, no matter what’s happening, always make me smile. Songs that are infectiously happy, each with their own unique form of exuberant swagger. I dare anyone to listen to this group of songs and not feel like they just kissed Charlize Theron while swimming in shimmering blue Caribbean waters as your catamaran is anchored just off a secluded white sand beach. You’re welcome.

Indeed, everybody does love Alex, and I thank him for allowing me to take up a little space in your world with this rambling collection of words and music.

Spotify Playlist Link: Music for Manic Depressives

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My Mixtape Mondays – May 12, 2014

First Name: Clara
Twitter: @ohthatclara
Sex: Female
Age: 38

Occupation: District-level administrator for a large school district

Mixtape Name: My Chronological 12

Side A
1) Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
The first Beatles song I memorized and it started my lifetime love of George Harrison.
2) Paul Revere by Beastie Boys
I got in trouble for singing this at Catholic school.
3) Serenade for Strings in E Major Op. 22 by Antonín Dvořák
I have always loved classical music. It’s my favorite genre and Dvořák is my favorite composer.
4) Boom! I Got Your Boyfriend by M.C. Luscious
I was a cheerleader all through school and we did many dance routines. This one stood out, for obvious reasons, and is still a high point of hilarity in my life.
5) Cannonball by The Breeders
High school. I played this way too loud for an entire year.
6) Smile by Pearl Jam
I’ll only say that my best friend died shortly after this album was released and this song was played at the funeral. It makes me smile.

Side B
7) Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
My job in college was an on-air DJ and that is how I met this band. I grew to love them so deeply. Their music encapsulates my college years and still sweeps me off my feet.
8) She’s a Bad Mama Jama by Carl Carlton
I went skydiving for the first time with a large group. They asked me to provide two songs as background music for the DVD of my jump. This is the song that plays as I prep and go up in the plane.
9) She’s a Lady by Tom Jones
Everyone else in my skydiving group chose “Free Falling” by Tom Petty as the song that plays as they jump out of the plane and land. Not me. I chose this one.
10) Before We Begin by Broadcast
This song best captures what was going through my head when I met my future husband. We were both exiting bad relationships and were afraid to begin again.
11) Mint Car by the Cure
Our wedding song! Our families didn’t get it and we didn’t care. They clearly haven’t read the lyrics.
12) The Sweetest Gift by Sade
This is the song I sing to my two sons.

Liner Notes: I picked specific points in my life, in chronological order, and recalled what songs were important during that time.

Spotify Playlist link: My Chronological 12

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