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.
Last week you all shared 57 song suggestions with me! BAM!
Nice work! I had some listening homework to do, but it was fun, and I have a loooooong list of possibilities now.
Today I’m sharing a few favorites and I hope you keep the recommendations coming! I’ve actually got 3 mix cds to make: the Phenomenal Woman Mix (all female dance mix), the Cafe’ Mix (chill, coffee mug in hand mix), and a Dude’s Mix (all male mix cd).
So if you hear something ya like, *raises eyebrows up and down*, don’t keep it a secret!
Three random commenters will win all 3 CDs!
Favorite Phenomenal Woman Contenders:
Love Me Right by Geek Swag ~ From Ginger Calem
Ginger said this is the song that makes her dance no matter what. I couldn’t agree more! And it has a very Sex in the City kind of vibe, I think. Brunch tomorrow, ladies?
Into the Nightlife by Cyndi Lauper ~ From Emma Meade
Definitely a dance song, and a nice throwback to the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Queen!
Mama’s Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert ~ From Julie Glover
I would describe this song as a 3 part harmony involving the True Blood theme song, Mad Men’s wardrobe, and the Desperate Housewives wig collection. In short, it’s kinda awesome.
It’s Too Late by Wild Belle ~ From Dawn Sticklen
Still a great dance song, but it’s probably played at some french club I can’t get into. Thanks Dawn!
Favorite Cafe’ Mix Contenders:
Say Something by A Great Big World w/ Christina Aguilera ~ From Misty Laws
Sad, poignant, haunting, lovely, honest, heartbreak, hope. This is the kind of thing you’ll play on repeat.
Stop Signs by The Moondoggies ~ From Mark Petruska
This could go on the Dude’s Mix or the Cafe’ Mix. Love his voice. Sounds like something you’d hear in a movie while the main character embarks on a long road trip.
What songs did you love?What else would you recommend?
What’s new with you?
I’ve been known to let hours pass by playing on YouTube. I can’t help it. But I feel like it’s all been worthwhile because I came across this fabulous video.
Learn how to dance like a Peanuts Character!
What’s your favorite dance move? I’m pretty good at the Dramatic Chipmunk!
Would you take lessons at the Charlie Brown Dance School?
You’d Peanuts to go anywhere else!
The other night I couldn’t sleep. Wisconsin was having one of its crazy fits of weather and we’d gone from cold and rainy to thunderous and muggy in a matter of hours. I tried everything. I read for awhile, I moved around, I turned off every light I could think of. Wide awake! So I flipped the TV on to zone out for awhile and what did I find?
Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet my Newest Guilty Pleasure:
Dance Moms Miami
Please, let me tell you more! Staying up until 3am watching this crew, I’ve learned a lot.
Victor and Angel: Longtime friends, Victor Smalley and Angel Armas, are the owners and choreographers of Stars Dance Studio. Their motto: “Turning Kids Into Dancers and Dancers into Stars.” Victor you may recognize as he is now heavily requested for his choreography after being a finalist on Season Six of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Victor is the young, mostly heart, pep talker of the duo, and Angel is the business side, very disciplined, with high expectations for his dancers. Together, they’re shaping their dance team into professionals, learning when it’s time to work, you work, always earning your place on top of The List, a weekly breakdown of each dancer’s performance and behavior. Positioning on The List earns you chances for solo competition.
Ani and Kimmy: Are you ready for this? Meet the only sweet pair in the bunch. Kimmy is an adorable and kind hearted perfectionist. She was recently given a solo to a song all about being bad, and the girl had never done anything bad! Her homework assignment was to misbehave. You know what she did?! Another dancer threw pistachios at her, and she threw them back! Scandalous!
Ani is also the only adorable mom. Staying out of the drama for the most part, her only anxieties show when she watches how hard her daughter practices to dance perfectly.
Abby and Sammy: New mom on the block, Abby, better prepare herself as daughter Sammy climbs The List. The other moms have their claws out and ready.
Which brings me to Debi and Hannah. While I love how hard Hannah tries and the fun she clearly has dancing, her mom is a new form of batsh*t crazy! Whether it’s gossiping, using the other moms as her minions, or full on sabotoge, Debi’s got it covered.
Susan and Jessi: Rivaling Debi for the Most Crazy Mom award is Susan. As daughter Jessi is the oldest and been working with Victor and Angel longest, there’s some entitlement issues happening here! But Jessi recently went to the bottom of The List after her poor sportsmanship was caught on camera, ripping the team’s trophy out of her teammate’s hands! Tsk, tsk!
But the pressure is totally on. Jessi’s mom is ridiculously tough on her daughter to the point where Victor and Angel stepped in to tell her stop trying to train her at home because she’s coming to class tired! After the whole trophy fiasco and teary apology scene, Victor gave Jessi a hug and a “there, there.” Angel was immediately on him for reinforcing bad behavior to which Victor replied, “It’s not her fault her mom is crazy!” That might be my favorite line of the show!
Lastly, there’s Brigette and Lucas. As the only boy in the group, Lucas, often gets to shine. He’s an amazing dancer and his mother is his biggest fan. Brigette is the lightswitch of the group, if Lucas is on top, she’s all happy and shiny, but if he has a bad week, expect things to go dark…quickly.
Check out this hilarious video of the team’s group number to the song “City Boy.”
So, what exactly did I learn from this new guilty pleasure that seemed absolutely amazing at 3 am in the morning?!
- Be fierce!
- Work hard!
- Own your mistakes, then let them go.
- Dance Moms are Crazy People!
- It’s not your fault if your mom’s loco!
Thanks for stopping by you guys! I had too much fun gushing over this guilty pleasure! What’s been your latest guilty find? And stick around for one more fun video – where the Dance Moms show you there favorite dance moves!
I know it’s not Guilty Pleasure Friday, but maybe, just maybe, this little confessional couldn’t wait. As many of you know, I’ve been a busy bee at work with inventory, which means I’m living nocturnally at the moment, hence the later postings. But I’ve been preparing. When someone works the hours of 4pm to 3am and 7pm to 5am, it throws off your sleep schedule! So, I’ve stocked up on guilty pleasure TV to watch when I get home and I’m wound up, or when I wake up at 2 in the afternoon still tired!
Ok, little known fact about me. *cough* I used to be in Show Choir. It’s not something I would normally admit. Truth is, for all the time I spent wishing I was in it, the glitz and glamour that is crusty hairsprayed hair and scratchy sequin costumes is not all it’s cracked up to be. Someday I’ll tell you all about how the director said I ruined his show when I got my hair cut. True story.
For now, I’m enjoying a little blast down memory lane while watching GLEE. Yep, there, I’ve admitted it. I started watching GLEE. The completely over the top TV dramedy about a show choir at Mt. McKinley High. The newly reformed “New Directions” Glee Club is full of misfits, misfits who just happen to sing their asses off. The key performers are Rachel, the mildly annoying, goody-two-shoes, up and coming starlet played by Lea Michelle, who’s been doing lots of interviews lately and is sometimes made fun of for her impeccable posture during said interviews. It really is kind of unhuman.
Then there’s Finn, the football quarterback/lead male vocalist? Finn is your all American guy who can’t ever quite decide if he’ll suck up the popularity contest and actually stay in Glee, even if it means getting slushie dumped all over you.
You can’t not take notice of Mercedes, the show’s other stellar singer find! She’s a young Beyonce’/Jennifer Hudson kind of gal! I don’t understand why her clothes have so many neon stripes going on all the time, but I’m no fashionista.
And my other favorite is Kirk. Kirk is kind of the stereotypical gay kid character, but I really like him anyway. He’s hilarious. I think my favorite moment is when he helps lead the football team to victory by getting them to dance and loosen up. It’s pretty awesome.
Still don’t believe me that you should probably watch Glee?
If that video alone doesn’t excite you, then let me introduce to you quite possibly my favorite character on the show: Sue Sylvester. Played by Jane Lynch, a favorite actress of mine, Sue only wears Adidas track suits and she coaches the school’s money-making Cheerleading team, the Cheerios! For years, Sue’s been on top of the teaching world because her team always wins and her group gets pretty much all the funding. (Their uniforms are dry cleaned in Europe!) Now that Will Schuester, the Spanish teacher, took over Glee Club, these kids are giving Sue a run for her money. But she is no easy villain to back down. Listen to these hilarious clips of Sue’s plans:
Aren’t you already just a little bit hooked? Don’t you feel that hours spent surfing YouTube videos all about this cast is time well spent? I do. I’m now a “Gleek”.
If you’ll excuse me, I have Season 2 to pick up from the library. What guilty pleasure got you going this week?