The Ultimate Mix CD Project

Listening to MusicIt’s that time of year again! I’m working on the mix cds I make for my mom and sister every year. Since 2007 I’ve made them for Christmas and it’s become one of their favorite presents.

The first is called the Phenomenal Woman Mix – it’s a collection of all female artists/bands that are feel good and dance worthy!

The second I’ve dubbed the Cafe’ Mix – a more mellow, relax at home with a cup of coffee blend of male and female artists.

I need your help!

What songs/artists do you recommend I add to the mixes?

Here’s some of the songs I’ve already compiled to give you an idea…

For the Phenomenal Woman Mix:

Torpedo by Jillette Johnson – Power number to start the day feeling like you can conquer the world.

Closer by Tegan and Sara – Definite dance in your underpants all weekend!

This is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Ray – I love Lana’s retro Nancy Sinatra look and velvety voice. This is her latest song.

For the Cafe’ Mix:

The One That Got Away by The Civil Wars – Haunting and amazing. Perfect for staring out the window and reflecting on your past.

Please, Baby Please by Serena Ryder – Serena’s been on the last 2 mixes as she is my favorite musician. She just released her new album this fall, called Harmony, and every song is soulfully wonderful.

Heartbeats by Johnnyswim – Romantic and moody, I love both of their voices immensely.

What do you recommend for these mixes?

Please share! I’ll put my favorite suggestions in next week’s blog post and THREE lucky commenters will receive their own copies of both cds as well!

39 responses

  1. How about Tina Turner’s “Better Be Good To Me” for the Phenomenal Woman CD? Or you could try Aretha Franklin’s “A Deeper Love’ or “Freeway of Love.” What a fun project!

    1. Oooh classics! I may need to add some throwback tunes to the mix. Thanks for the idea! I’ve used Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Dinah Washington in the past.

  2. I am ashamed and chagrinned to admit that I have never heard of ANY of these songs!! Oh man, I need to up my recent musical knowledge.

    I used to make CDs. Ahhh, memories. I actually still have a bunch of Xmas ones in my car that I made for myself years ago. I even themed them . . . Mod, Country, Classic, Instrumental, etc. I still whip them out every season. It’s not the holiday season unless I’ve listened to my Mod CD with The Eels’ Everything’s Gonna Be Cool and Pearl Jam’s Let Me Sleep. (But you weren’t looking for obscure Xmas songs, sorry . . . I just took a trip there).

    Ok, one suggestion for the contemplative, soulful (these are not my wheelhouse, so sorry if this doesn’t fit . . . ): Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. You may have used it in the past if you’ve been doing these for years. But that song always gets me.

    In case you were wondering, yes, I think I need these CDs. 😉

    1. Oooh, wait. I actually thought of one. Under the huanting category. Say Something by A Great Big World.

      And just to clarify, I have actually HEARD of some of these artists (a few), but had never before heard the songs. I LOVE the Civil Wars’ one. Really excellent.

      1. Once again, I have to thank Julie Glover for finding tunes I like, and this one came because she and Tiffany White got me addicted to Pretty Little Liars which is sooo frustrating and yet addictive at the same time. The Civil Wars song was used to promo their new spin off show Ravenwood. I’m now a total tween fangirl, except that I’m practically 30. LOL

    2. You know, I wanted to make a Christmas mix last year of all female artists singing Christmas songs, but I ran out of time. And I wanted to use Kristen Chenoweth’s new cd for a bunch of them, but then my mom got that as a gift, so I sort of scrapped the idea. I should reconsider that…if I get these two done first.

      You should check out the Pentatonix Christmas cd. They’re an acapella group that’s insanely amazing and their Carol of the Bells is just phenomenal!

      I almost used a cover of Hallelujah years ago, but it didn’t make the final cut. Maybe this year… 😉

    1. Awesome! Thanks for the compilation!

  3. Like Misty, I’ve never heard of any of these artists. LOL. I’m not going to make any suggestions, because this isn’t really my kind of music. My mix would be very eclectic, from the Beatles, to Metallica, to Linkin Park, to show tunes. 🙂 (Yes, I’m weird.)

    1. Ooooh show tunes! Do share! All the Witkins women love a good musical!

      1. Anything from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, or Show Boat. 🙂 Oh, and I can’t forget Evita.

  4. Hate to admit I’ve never heard of these bands except for Serena Ryder, which I heard of through you. Love most of these so you’re off to a good start.

    Oh, I’m so not good at this but I’ll give it a shot. I’m a classic rock, jazz, blues and countrygirl so I’d have to suggest: We Got By by Al Jarreau (my favorite jazz vocalist), Something to Talk about by Bonnie Raite, Here for the party by Gretchen Wilson, Popsicle toes by Michael Franks, The Nearness of you by Norah Jones, Goodbye to Romance by Ozzie Osborne.

    I seriously need a CD. You know, broaden my musical horizons.
    Can’t wait for the final list! Your CDs are always awesome!

    1. Love the variety! What do you mean you’re no good at this?! My Redhot sista is PHENOMENAL at all things!!!

      I don’t know all the names you listed, so I have some fun homework ahead of me! Check out Serena’s new cd! It’s beautiful! I love that woman’s voice!

  5. I adore Lana Del Rey. Chilling out now listening to “This is What Makes Us Girls” so thanks!
    For the Phenomenal Woman Mix I suggest “Into the Nightlife” by Cyndi Lauper.
    I’d recommend “Everyday” by Rogue Wave for the Cafe Mix.

    1. I put Lana’s song Ride on last years mix. Do you like her song from The Great Gatsby soundtrack?

      I don’t know Rogue Wave, I’m excited to check them out!

  6. I’ve got some suggestions for the Cafe Mix:

    1. “In The Beginning” – Daughn Gibson
    2. “The Same Thing” – Cass McCombs
    3. “Stop SIgns” – The Moondoggies
    4. “Murderous Joy” – Carter Tanton
    5. “Dreams of Cannibalism” – Typhoon

    I’ll stop there, but you know me – always willing to share music suggestions!

    1. I know the Moondoggies. Didn’t you and Tara go see them in concert?

      Keep em coming! You shared tons of good ones last year! Thanks Mark!

  7. I must have given you my best stuff last year. Although, have you heard of Laleh? She’s a Scandinavian artist, and her songs are kind of cool. Check out Live Tomorrow (it’s 2006, though):

    I’ve got all kinds of stuff if I troll through my old albums (several actually vinyl).

    1. Ugh, you made me go back and look some more. Because I just love music and talking about it! Downloads in the last year that I love include Allison Kraus and Robert Plant, Gone Gone Gone (yeah, there’s a guy there, but this country gal singing with the Led Zep lead singer makes her uber-cool); Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart; Imelda May – Meet You at the Moon; and Bette Midler – Stuff Like That There. A couple of vinyl treasures: Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz and Della Reese – And the Angels Sing. A few more classics in my collection: The Puppini Sisters – I Will Survive; Lena Horne – Come On Strong; and Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 – Mais Que Nada.

      Thanks for letting me share that whole list, Jess! 😉

      1. I discovered the Pistol Annies last year, so I’ll checkout Miranda Lambert! I LOVE Robert Plant and Allison Kraus’s cd. My favorite song is Please Read the Letter That I Wrote.

        Thanks for researching for me! We’ll see if you make the cut this year. 😉

        1. Now you’ve got me going: I Could’ve Been Your Girl by She & Him

          1. Oooh She and Him are awesome! I’ve used one of their tunes a couple years ago. Do you watch New Girl. I just started season 1.

            1. I don’t watch New Girl. I feel like I support the family by watching Bones instead. 😉

    2. You definitely won the most slots on last year’s mix, Julie! And I’m glad you like Imelda May so much! I haven’t heard of Laleh, I’m off to listen!

  8. This is not my area of expertise at all because while I love music, I can never remember the details, like song titles, artists etc. BUT — there is a new song that I’m in love with that I do remember and it might be great for your phenomenal mix. It’s called Treat Me Right by Swag Geek. Every time I hear that I just just grooving! 🙂 For the chill-out mix, I’d vote Norah Jones. So soulful. I have her CD, maybe her first one, and it has Come Away With Me, which I love and the rest on there are amazing too.

    Good luck. Super great gift!!

    1. Thanks Ginger! I like the band name – Swag Geek. Sounds awesome!

  9. Woot woot! My favorite time of the year 🙂 Did I mention Schuyler Fisk’s “Hello” last year? That’s a new one for me, as well as Rilo Kiley’s “Silver Lining”:

    1. I used Silver Lining a couple years ago. Great tune! I know you told me Schuyler Fisk, but I don’t think I used her yet. I’ll have to explore her again.

      P.S. I’m shocked you didn’t say Anna Kendrick’s “When I’m Gone.” 😀

      1. Nah, the cups song is overdone. However, “Keep You” by Wild Belle would DEFINITELY be an awesome track to put on there!

        1. I just discovered Wild Belle! Good choice!

  10. I feel like I’m snooping through Christmas presents right now! I’m not going to listen to anything new until the cd is my hands. I love a good surprise and your CDs are always my favorite gift! Mom, Sonja, and I listened to one today!

    1. Yes, please shut your eyes and plug your ears. Otherwise you’ll know what’s coming. LOL

  11. Awesome list–I’ll have to check these out!

    Anything by Alison Krauss. She’s done some incredible duets, too (Robert Plant and John Waite are my favorites).

    I love her bluesie sound. Here’s her cover of “When You Say Nothing At All”

    1. Yah, the cd with her and Robert Plant might be one of my faves. Sooo good!

  12. Great minds think alike, Jess, because that’s exactly what I do for Mathair and the rest of my family for Christmas. For the Phenomenal Woman Mix, I’d go straight to Heart and pull out the classic Barracuda or even Gloria Estefan and Rhythm is Gonna Get You. (The latter is actually my fave, but I’m a Southwest Florida girl LOL)
    For the Café Mix, I’m obsessed with this new find,
    Hope this helps. 🙂

    1. Thank you Inion! It’s such a fun simple gift, but they love it all year long!

    2. OMG! I love the song Jolene! I put this on last year’s phenomenal woman mix. LOVE. IT.

    1. Thanks Patricia! I think they love it too!

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