With over 50 song recommendations shared by you through social media, I had a lot of listening to do. I was introduced to some great new bands and awesome jams. Like the rest of you, I was happy to see 2020 come to a close. Even if 2021 isn’t starting out too differently, it’s nice to at least dance to something new in your pj’s.
With so many suggestions across music styles and genres, it’s always hard to choose. Not every song can make the list. But here are the 2020 playlists to send y’all out in style.
Phenomenal Woman Mix
- Always Alright ~ Alabama Shakes
2. Higher ~ Bishop Briggs
3. Kids Gloves ~ Serena Ryder
4. Every Heartbeat ~ Grace Potter
5. Pastime ~ Samantha Crain
6. Love Me Wild ~ Hannah Blaylock
7. Family Tree ~ Caylee Hammack
8. No Roots ~ Alice Merton
9. A Beautiful Noise ~ Alicia Keys & Brandi Carlile
10. Ride Out in the Country ~ Yola
11. Underdog ~ Alicia Keys
12. Remind Me ~ Emily King
13. Please Mr Jailer ~ Nancy and Beth
14. So Far Away ~ Mary Lambert
15. The Let Go ~ Elle King
16. You are Unstoppable ~ Conchita Wurst
17. Young and In Love ~ Ingrid Michaelson
18. Invisible ~ Zara Larsson
- If the World was Ending ~ JP Saxe & Julia Michaels
2. Slow Dance ~ John Legend
3. Every Now and Then ~ Noisettes
4. Home Again ~ Michael Kiwanuka
5. Too Young to Burn ~ Sonny and the Sunsets
6. Can’t Hold Me ~ Emily King
7. May I Have this Dance? ~ Francis and the Lights
8. Fly Before You Fall ~ Cynthia Erivo
9. It’ll All Work Out ~ Phoebe Bridgers
10. Send the Sun ~ Nikki Lane
11. Texas Rose ~ Ray Remington
12. The Age of Worry ~ Madison Cunningham
13. Skin ~ Rag’n’Bone Man
14. Starry Starry Night ~ Lianne La Havas
15. Where Rainbows Never Die ~ The SteelDrivers
16. Colors ~ Black Pumas
17. Bridges ~ JOHNNYSWIM
There you have it. The mixes that made me feel better about my space in the world. I hope they bring some light to you as well.
And as a thank you, the two lucky winners their own copies of the mixes are Ruth Hage and Jessica Lea! Congratulations, ladies, and thank you for sharing your suggestions with me. Dance on!
It’s that time again.
Despite everything going on in the world, some things remain. The annual blog share of song suggestions for an old school mixtape gift is one of them.
Since 2004 I’ve made my mom and sister two mixtapes for Christmas, a Phenomenal Woman Mix featuring all female artists (power ballads and dance worthy, feel good tunes) and a Cafe Mix featuring easy listening jams.
For years I’ve asked for your help. Your song suggestions help me find the most diverse mix of artists and songs, as well as some truly awesome music videos, albums, and songs to play on repeat.
Why might this be the most fun year to collab on a mixtape? I don’t about y’all, but music has been one of the biggest mood lifters for me during this pandemic. Life is stressful. Why not dance some of it out, after all no one is watching if you’re really isolating. *thumbs up*
So I hope you’ll comment below and share with me your favorite song suggestions. Who are the artists you’ve discovered this year? What songs are you playing on repeat right now? What’s your fave song ever? The tune that no matter where you are when you hear it, you have to dance?
Tell me your suggestions for the 2020 Phenomenal Women and Cafe Mixes. As a bonus, I’ll draw TWO LUCKY WINNERS from everyone who comments who will win a copy of the mix cd’s for themselves. Winners and playlists announced in January.
To get started, here are a few songs that made the 2019 lists.
Phenomenal Woman Mix
Call on Me ~ Starley
Stay High ~ Brittany Howard
The Storm ~ ZZ Ward
Came Here for Love ~ Sigala & Ella Eyre
My Own Fault ~ Manny Walters
The Weary Kind ~ Ryan Bingham
Lost in the Light ~ Bahamas
Your Somebody Else ~ Flora Cash
Thank you for your suggestions. Thank you for your good energy. Thank you for dancing along with me and helping spread a little joy, which coincidentally, is my mama’s name. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
With 75 song suggestions from y’all, plus the rabbit holes I fell into while checking out new and old artists – so many rabbit holes – I present to you the 2019 Mix Tapes’ songs and artists that made the final cut.
I have a lot of fun checking out all the artists you recommend and I wouldn’t have the diversity of artists and styles without your help. So first and foremost, THANK YOU for creating this project with me.
Here are the 2019 playlists:
Phenomenal Woman Mix
- Home ~ Ella Eyre
- Call on Me ~ Starley
- Oh Heart ~ Tank and the Bangas
- You Have Been Loved ~ Sia
- Forever Young ~ Audra Mae and the Forest Rangers
- Helpless ~ The Regrettes
- Dream of You ~ Camila Cabello
- When I Wasn’t Watching ~ Mandy Moore
- Marry Me ~ Mahalia
- Stay High ~ Brittany Howard
- That Would Be Enough ~ Alicia Keyes
- Sorry ~ Mali-Koa
- The Storm ~ ZZ Ward
- American Pie ~ Shea Diamond
- Evergreen ~ Yebba
- To Rise You Gotta Fall ~ Nicki Bluhm
- Crowded Table ~ The Highwomen
- Came Here for Love ~ Sigala and Ella Eyre
- Cold War ~ Kiah Victoria
- Amen ~ Andra Day
- Shine Your Weary Light ~ Cris Jacobs
- Somewhere in My Heart ~ Aztec Camera
- My Own Fault ~ Manny Walters
- Another Story ~ The Head and the Heart
- The Weary Kind ~ Ryan Bingham
- Goodbye ~ The Sweeplings
- Clay Pigeons ~ Blaze Foley
- If I Go, I’m Goin ~ Gregory Alan Isakov
- Lost in the Light ~ Bahamas
- Waiting Here ~ Jake Isaac
- The Whole of the Moon ~ The Waterboys
- In a River ~ Rostam
- Bag of Bones ~ ZZ Ward
- All on My Mind ~ Anderson East
- I Am Easy to Find ~ The National
- You’re Somebody Else ~ Flora Cash
- Lisbon Love ~ Cameron Douglas
- The Tale of You and Me ~ Wild Child
Congrats to pals Darla, Mark, Eric, Tara, Peyton, August, Andy, Jessica, and Maggie who all had songs or artists selected for the final lists! And everyone who shared a suggestion gets a chance to win the playlists – TWO lucky winners selected!
*drum roll please*
This year’s winners are Lisa David Olson and Tara Eilers! Thank you for your song suggestions! May these new tunes continue to help you JAM ON!
It’s November, and around here that means…
It’s time to make the annual mixtapes! Since 2004, I’ve compiled two mixtapes as presents for my mum and sis. More like mix cd’s rather, which yes – I know are also becoming obsolete – but that doesn’t make the actual songlisting any less fun.
This is where you come in.
I need YOUR HELP collecting awesome songs that fit the theme for the mixtapes.
The FIRST is a Phenomenal Woman Mix – all female artists, songs you can dance to, but some ballads are great too.
The SECOND is a Cafe Mix – any artist, more mellow vibes, songs you can play while relaxing at home.
Why should you help?
Why not?! Music is the ultimate mood lifter and who couldn’t use a boost of finding new tunes to jam to and new artists to fall in love with. Go down the same rabbit holes as me sifting through song suggestions in the comments. Watch YouTube videos until you forget how to blink. Play the same song over and over until your significant other knocks on the bathroom door and asks “What, exactly, are you doing in there?”
BONUS: TWO lucky commenters will receive copies of the cds after the playlist is compiled! Free music for you! Woohoo!
So, share your song suggestions in the comments below. I can’t wait to listen. I always find new favorites and couldn’t make these awesome compilations without you. I’ll share the final picks and announce the winners in January.
Here’s some ideas from last year to get you started:
Phenomenal Woman Mix
Fallingwater ~ Maggie Rogers
Great One ~ Jessie Reyez
Shadow on the Wall ~ Ruby Amanfu
Yours ~ Ella Henderson
Two Blue Eyes ~ Tall Heights
Famous ~ Serena Ryder
Slow Burn ~ Kacey Musgraves
Beyond ~ Leon Bridges
What are your recommendations? I’m all ears!
Also, any suggestions on what platform to adapt
these mixes to once cds do go out?
Thanks, friends! Happy listening! Rock on!
It is time. You and I are going to make a mixtape.
Ok, technically a mix cd, but still, a mixtape.
Yes, even though hardly anyone has a device that will play cds nowadays. (It’s for my mother, she has at least two players that I know of.)
Since 2004 I started making my mom and sister mix cds for Christmas. It’s tradition now. And I rely on YOUR HELP to find new and exciting music to showcase for them.
It’s simple, just tell me what songs or artists you love listening to.
I make two cds: a phenomenal woman mix (highlighting all female artists) and a cafe mix (featuring songs you can chill out and cozy up to while sipping your morning coffee).
Two lucky participants will get copies of the mix cds as a thank you for sharing your song suggestions!
To get started, here are some highlights from the 2017 mixes.
Phenomenal Woman Mix
That’s Alright With Me ~ Andreya Triana
Higher ~ The Naked and Famous
Want You Back ~ HAIM
Deeper ~ Ella Eyre
The Old Churchyard ~ Offa Rex
Let It All Go ~ Birdy and Rhodes
I Followed Fires ~ Matthew and the Atlas
Without You ~ Oh Wonder
What’s on your playlist? Share in the comments!
Two random winners selected in the new year!
Between blog comments, facebook and Twitter, I received 70 song and musician suggestions for the 2016 Phenomenal Women and Cafe Mix playlists – my annual gift of new music for my mom and sister.
Thank you to everyone who shared suggestions and music videos for my search. Several of your recommendations made the final list and I’m excited to share them with you in the new year. Here’s what I’m currently dancing to!
The 2016 Phenomenal Women Playlist
- Stranger to My Happiness by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
In honor of this phenomenal woman who passed in 2016. She is one of my favorite live performers to have seen. So much soul. Felt the need to kick off the playlist with a song from her album “Give the People What They Want”.
2. Best Kept Secret by case/lang/veirs
3. Into the Wild by LP
4. Wild Things by Alessia Cara
5. No Diggity by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Ariana Savalas
6. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
7. We Break the Dawn by Michelle Williams
8. The Greatest by Sia
I’m a Sia fan. I love her music videos and the unusual ways the dancers move. I think it’s beautiful.
9. Heaven Knows by First Aid Kit
10. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Maiya Sykes
Shoutout to Amber West for recommending some Postmodern Jukebox tunes for the mix, which have not been included before and leant a variety of sounds and styles. I loved this cover of a song by The Killers.
11. Heart of My Own by Basia Bulat
12. Wildewoman by Lucius
13. Tokyo Sunrise by LP
Hands down, my favorite musician this year has been LP. I discovered her last year and included “Night Like This” on the 2015 mix, but since then, she’s released another album and I’ve been playing her nonstop, so two songs made the list this year.
14. Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware
15. Scars to Your Beautiful by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Sara Niemietz
16. Beautiful Life by Judith Hill
Judith Hill is a musician I have tried to include for the last several years and could never quite fit in. Came across this song off the 2015 album, Back in Time, and fell in love. This music video is a paired down version of the song, but it’s gorgeous either way.
17. Runaway by Aurora
18. Got Your Number by Serena Ryder
19. Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina
20. In the Morrow by Brandi Carlile
The 2016 Cafe Mix
- Happiness by NEEDTOBREATHE
The hubs and I are both fans of NEEDTOBREATHE and this is off their new album, Hard Love.
2. Alaska by Maggie Rogers
3. Red Hands by Walk Off The Earth
4. Trying So Hard Not to Know by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
5. The Walker by Fitz & the Tantrums
6. White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
7. Unsteady by X Ambassadors
8. Hold Back the River by James Bay
James Bay was a discovery the hubs and I found through an indie artist bio-vid we came across and we loved his sound.
9. Lost Stars by Adam Levine
10. Growing Things by Shook Twins
11. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
12. Out of My League by Fitz & the Tantrums
13. I Found by Amber Run
14. Snow by Lisa Hannigan
15. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
16. House of Mercy by Sarah Jarosz
Sarah Jarosz has been another musician I’ve had in my collection and tried to include for several years, but hadn’t. This year her 2016 album, Undercurrent, was added to my iTunes and I loved this song.
17. Home Nights by Sugarcane Jane
18. Woodwork by Sleeping at Last
19. Morning Noon & Night by Ryan Shaw
20. Thank You by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Here’s another group I can’t help but groove to when I listen.
And now, the winners of the mix giveaways! Thank you all again so much for the song recommendations, I love listening to all your favorite tunes and they are a huge help in making these playlists.
Since 2007 I’ve made my ma and sis a Phenomenal Woman Mix CD at Christmas. It’s a collection of the best songs sung by women. In 2012, I expanded that to include a second CD called the Cafe’ Mix, which basically housed all my favorite tunes heard at coffee shops (which is where I hang out). This CD can have female or male singers on it.
Sure, in the age of ipods and wireless mini-speakers, a gift like a mix CD could be considered outdated, or worse…lame. But this remains one of their favorite gifts and one of my favorite giveaways of the year!
Because this is the part where you give me music suggestions!
And in turn, once it’s completed, I gift the cds to TWO lucky commenters who shared suggestions with me!
To get started, here’s a look at last year’s line-ups. And here’s a few I’m currently thinking of for this year.
Phenomenal Woman Mix
“Hello” by Adele
I don’t really feel this song needs explanation. It’s Adele’s new hit. It’s going on the cd.
“Alive” by Sia
I’m a Sia fan, especially of her music videos. This one did not disappoint.
“Lights and Camera” by Yuna
Yuna is an artist that has crept up the past three years, and I’m happy to add this tune to the mix.
“Empress” by Morningsiders
I’m loving the piano part in this song.
“Sun Hands” by Local Natives
The final verdict on this one is still out, but I do like it.
“Lost Cause” by Priscilla Ahn
This melody is haunting and beautiful.
Now, as Joan Jett says, hit me with your best shot!
What song recommendations do you have for me to add to the
Phenomenal Woman and Cafe’ Mixes?
I can’t wait to listen!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
May your homes be filled with peace and love. May you be surrounded by all those you call family. May you enjoy quiet moments and uproarious laughter. May you be thankful for all you have, and share with those who have less. May your new year bring only as much struggle as what will help you grow, and two times as many joys. May you be inspired to create and share your talents with the world. And may you get to sleep in at least once this week.
Love to All this Holiday Season,
Jess & Joe
Happy Early New Year Everyone!
I’m feeling very blessed these last few days of 2013. Joe and I spent Christmas Eve with my family, made it back to La Crosse safely for Christmas day with his extended family, and spent friday night with his family for a Christmas pajama party sleepover! Over the weekend, one of my best friends, who I’ve known since high school, came with her boyfriend to stay the weekend with us!
And bonus of all bonuses, this was the first Christmas in 6 years I didn’t spend in retail during the ho ho horror of the holidays! Yaaaaaaay!
So Clue, originally called Cluedo, was created in England in 1949 and is quite possibly my favorite board game. A whodunnit mystery with quirky suspects and unlikely murder weapons! Hidden staircases you say? What’s not to love?!!
Happy Thanksgiving Week Everyone!
As a descendant of two of the Mayflower pilgrims, I’ve been sharing Thanksgiving stories on my blog all month. If you missed out, feel free to check out:
This week, I thought I’d share a history of the actual Thanksgiving.
Are you ready for this?
It happened in 1863.
Wait! The pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621! Your date is over 240 years later?!
That’s right my little pilgrims. The first official Thanksgiving happened in November of 1863, when President Lincoln made it a national holiday at the urging of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale.
Sarah was a New Englander who was interested in bringing a war-torn country together. She wrote editorials for a lady’s magazine on the importance of Thanksgiving, in addition to writing the President, all state governors, and every member of Congress once a year for 17 years!
It is Sarah Josepha Buell Hale who can be thanked for our national holiday being credited to the pilgrims. Many New Englanders did observe an annual Thanksgiving, however in 1863, the states were still divided about the holiday. The South believed the North to be celebrating their current success in the war, so many of them opted to celebrate on an entirely different day.
What the pilgrims really did in 1621 was celebrate their harvest. To truly understand how important that first gathering was for the pilgrims and the Wampanoag native tribe, you need to know that the pilgrims would not have survived without their native neighbors.
A local comedian and storyteller in my town put it like this:
If the pilgrims hadn’t invited the Wamanoag people, that first Thanksgiving would have been an all-you-can-eat barley buffet.
They were still learning how to live off this new land. Much of the food that became staples of their diet was learned through the Wampanoag. And it is a Wampanoag tradition to give thanks throughout the year at harvests. Since they lived off the land, they took time to celebrate it at every season. They knew the peak times for picking berries, fishing in the river, planting the crops, and hunting the forests.
So in act of gratitude, the pilgrims invited Chief Massasoit to their harvest. He brought with him some 90 men, and the harvest feast lasted for three days.
The only known description of this first harvest was found in a letter written by pilgrim colonist, Edward Winslow. He was a key person who helped foster the friendship between Wampanoag and pilgrim. He wrote:
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their great king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
Clearly Edward Winslow didn’t care about run-on sentences.
Eh-hem. So there you have the first harvest, which we now refer to as the first Thanksgiving.
Other noteworthy topics of conversation you can toss around the turkey table this week with family, include…
- The first Thanksgiving had no forks. They used knives, spoons, and their fingers. Forks were not yet invented.
- Eels were considered a delicacy and lobsters were lower class.
- Venison was the main course served, followed by turkey.
- The Wampanoag word for “time of harvest” is Keepunumuk.
- Beer was considered a normal drink regardless of age, gender, or class.
- Both cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies came years after the first Thanksgiving.
- In the 1800’s celery was the featured vegetable – pricey, but available, it was often laid on the table in a fine silver bowls filled with cold water to let the stalks crisp up.
- Sports have always been present at Thanksgiving. After dinner was over, the men would go to the fields to play ball or pitch horseshoes.
- It was President Franklin Roosevelt who made Thanksgiving a truly official holiday, signing the Congressional bill that made it law in 1941.
How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year?