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The Phenomenal Mix Playlist Winners Revealed

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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

  1. 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

  1. 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.

The winners are Serena Dracis and Amber West!!!

 

The Ultimate Mixtape: 2016 Edition

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Hey Music Lovers,

For the past four years, I’ve called on you to share your favorite songs and musicians with me for a reoccurring nerdy gift I always give my mom and sis for Christmas. A mixtape.

Since 2007, I’ve made them a personal playlist of phenomenal women. Every song is a female musician. And the tunes are typically upbeat. It’s the kind of thing you’d play before going out, or pumping yourself up for some hours in the kitchen or cleaning. Songs that make you move.

When a need arrived to add some more mellow songs, as well as male musicians, I created the Cafe’ Mix. The songs you’d listen to while holding a mug of your favorite warm beverage and gazing out the window, or curled up on the couch while reading a book.

It has become a favorite gift of my mother and sister (partially because they are busy women who don’t have time to search for new music and don’t have smartphones yet – my sis does now though). When they get the new Phenomenal Women Mix and Cafe Mix, they play them all year long.

This is where you come in.

I need your help! Tell me your favorite songs! The ones you’ve thumbs up’d, hit replay on, shazam’d, go back to again and again when you hit “a mood”.

Tell me in the comments what your favorite song recommendations are for each album. Last year, you gave me 58 songs to listen to!

To thank you, I’ll draw two random commenters to also receive copies of the cds and post the complete lists in the New Year! 

Thank you all so much for your input. I’ve missed you. Here’s to making the new year…well, phenomenal!

***

Song Ideas to Get You Started: 

Phenomenal Women Mix

Wolf by First Aid Kit

Knots by Lisa Hannigan

Wild Young Hearts by the Noisettes

Cafe Mix

Fare Thee Well by Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac

Heart Beats by Johnnyswim

You and Me by Sara Watkins

Phenomenal Woman Mix Revealed and Winners Announced!

hair bun and headphonesHey fellow songsters!

Thank you all so much for the many music suggestions for the phenomenal woman and cafe mix cds this season! You fantastic people gave me 58 songs to check out!

I had a literal dance party listening to all the tunes you shared.

So it’s time to reveal the final playlists aaaaaand the cd winners!!

Check em out! Did your favorite bands and musicians make the cut?

***

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the mix cds –
Amy Kennedy Fosseen and Julie Glover!!!

Happy jamming, ladies!

***

Phenomenal Woman Mix

1. Little Red Wagon – Audra Mae and the Almighty Sound

2. Wherever is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile

3. Flashlight – Jessie J

4. Dangerous Days – Zola Jesus

5. Burning House – Cam 

6. Alive – Sia

7. Night Like This – LP

8. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift

9. Lights and Camera – Yuna

10. Glow – Ella Henderson 

11. Sound of a Woman – Kiesza

12. Hold Me Down – Halsey

13. Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King

14. Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld

15. She’s Not Me – Jenny Lewis

16. A Change is Gonna Come – Leela Jones

17. Water Under the Bridge – Adele

18. Get Up, Get On – Jill Andrews

19. Buffalo Stars – Leila Broussard

20. Stay Gold – First Aid Kit

***

Cafe’ Mix

1. Make This Leap – The Hunts

2. Diamonds – Johnnyswim

3. Riptide – Jasmine Thompson

4. Empress – Morningsiders

5. Hold Each Other – A Great Big World

6. Accustomed to the Dark – Theresa Andersson

7. America – First Aid Kit

8. San Andreas Faultline – Sugarcane Jane

9. The Heartache Can Wait – Brandi Carlile

10. Slow Motion – Phox

11. Sinner – Jeremy Loops

12. The Crossing – Meg Hutchinson

13. The Fairest of the Seasons – Anna Nalick

14. Let No Grief – The Wild Reeds

15. Shadowplay – The Saint Johns

16. Rox in the Box – The Decemberists

17. It’s Only Me – Dessa

18. Emmylou – First Aid Kit

19. Ends of the Earth – Lord Huron

20. Gulf Coast Highway – Red Molly

21. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis

***

Find any new favorites?
What are you listening to now? 

 

 

The Ultimate Mix CD Revealed + Giveaway Winners

I thought it was time I revealed the master playlists from the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe Mixes. Every year I create 2 mix cds as gifts for my mom and sister – a phenomenal woman mix full of upbeat dance tunes, and a cafe mix for relaxing at home. I’ve enlisted help from the blogosphere for the past several years in finding just the right tunes to add and I hosted a giveaway for those that shared ideas.

Thank you all so much for sharing your musical suggestions with me. To see all the recommendations, check out The Ultimate Mix CD Project.

Here are the winning contenders!

Phenomenal Woman Mix:

1. Shake It Off  by Taylor Swift

2. Hideaway by Kiesza

3. Mother and Father by Broods

4. His Gorgeousness by The Shoe

5. Tough Love by Jessie Ware

6. Ghost by Ella Henderson

7. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit

8. The Chain by Brandi Carlile

9. Knots by Lisa Hannigan

10. Gun by CHVRCHES

11. Coffee by Sylvan Esso

12. Wings by Birdy

13. Safe & Sound by Savannah Berry

14. Pompeii by Jasmine Thompson

15. Wolf by First Aid Kit

16. Last Bus Out by Jillette Johnson

17. Spectrum by Florence + the Machine

18. Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding

19. Higher by Lia Ices

20. Rockstar by Emily Kinney

21. Enough by The Mrs.

*****

Cafe Mix:

1. Paper Cup by The Shoe

2. Long Way Off by Gungor

3. Fare Thee Well by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford

4. Kids by Emily Kinney

5. Stay With Me by Bernhoft

6. Michigan by The Milk Carton Kids

7. Li’l Red Riding Hood by Laura Gibson

8. Just Another Day by Stacey Earle

9. I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

10. Come Out Wherever You Are by Paul Cook & The Chronicles

11. Like a Dream by Francis and the Lights

12. Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

13. Somebody That I Used to Know by Madilyn Bailey & Jake Coco

14. Mull of Kintyre by Wings

15. Be Not So Fearful by A.C. Newman

16. Shadow on the Wall by Brandi Carlile

17. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

18. 18th of December by The Deep Dark Woods

19. You and Me by You + Me

20. Go To Sleep by The Avett Brothers

*****

There are the ultimate playlists! Happy listening.

And the winners of the cd giveaway are…

Lauralynn Elliott and Susan Dahlstrom

Congrats ladies!

***

What were your favorite tunes of the past year?
Find any new favorites from these playlists?

 

The Stocking Stuffer You Won’t Want to Miss (IYKWIM)

Hey Dudes and Dudettes!

First off, a big and gracious THANK YOU to everyone who popped over to my guest blog on The Indie Chicks! You sure made this girl feel awesome with all the views, comments, and shares. Thank you very much for your cheerleading and support! You made my week. And if you missed it, don’t worry, you can still check it out here!

Today I’m playing hooky from my blog – again – because I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to guest post at my dear friend, Jenny Hansen’s place. After all, she’s the Queen of More Cowbell!

Jenny has a series called The Undie Chronicles, which encompasses a lot of everything you never knew you wanted to know about people’s skivvies. 😉

When I came upon a certain product while doing research at work (and I work in a family planning clinic – so it’s not as weird as you think), I had to talk about it. Jenny offered to host that conversation!

So please stop by and chat with us on The Stocking Stuffer You Won’t Want to Miss.

*****

~ TEASER ~

Scroguard is shipped discreetly to your home and stored in a package that is easy to slip into one’s pocket. Or, if you’d prefer, Scroguard can be worn for several hours prior to sexy time so you can avoid “awkward interruptions” between you and your lover. Won’t she (or he) be surprised when you unbutton your pants and show off your massive…protection?

Scroguard

*****

C’mon…you know you want to read more. 😉

The Ultimate Mix CD Project 2014

Listening to MusicHey Peeps!

With Christmas just a month away, I’ve got to get cracking on my go to gift for my mum and sis.

The Ultimate Mix CD Project

Since 2007 I’ve given them each a Phenomenal Women’s Mix CD, a compilation of all female artists and the songs are usually upbeat and dance-worthy. A few years ago I added in what I call a Cafe’ Mix – mellow music for hanging at home and which allows male and female artists. Since 2012, I’ve enlisted YOUR help with creating those awesome playlists.

I need your brilliant ideas again now!

And to thank you, I’ll pick 2 commenters at random to win copies of the 2 cds!

I’m guessing no one wants my fake NaNo album – created in a black hole of stress rage. I called it Blames it On the Hormones.

Blames it on the Hormones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No takers? None? Ok.

Then here are some ideas to get you thinking about types of songs to suggest!

*****

For the Phenomenal Women Mix:

My Silver Lining ~ First Aid Kit

This is the song I keep playing on repeat. Lurve!

Hideaway ~ Kiesza

She did this music video in one take. One take!!!

Enough ~ The Mrs

The ladies behind the magic talking mirror. Had to be included!

For the Cafe’ Mix:

Paper Cup ~ The Shoe

Did you know actress Jena Malone has a band? And it’s awesome! This video is flippin’ weird, but I love this song, and every other song on their debut album I’m Okay.

Poison & Wine ~ The Civil Wars

Haunting and beautiful. Hurt and yet thankful. Haven’t we all felt this way at some point?

Stay With Me ~ Bernhoft

A great male addition to my mix. Love the song, and hadn’t heard much buzz about him before, but found this song via my Songza app.

*****

What do you think of these tunes so far?
What other songs should I add? Share your favorites!

The Ultimate Mix CD Release Party

How was everyone’s Christmas?

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter! I’ve got more goodies coming your way!

Today’s the day I get to announce the playlists for the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe’ Mixes!

The three lucky winners of these mixes (and a bonus Dudes’ Mix cd) are:

Misty Laws, Ginger Calem, and Emma Meade!

Congratulations Ladies!!!

Out of 73 song recommendations from YOU, plus what I found trolling around on I-Tunes, behold…

The Phenomenal Woman Mix

1. Hard Way Home by Brandi Carlile

2. Torpedo by Jillette Johnson

3. From Where I’m Standing by Schuyler Fisk

4. Circle of the Sun by Serena Ryder

5. Supermarket by Leddra Chapman

6. Unconditionally by Katy Perry

7. This is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey

8. With Love by Christina Grimmie

9. My Kind of Love by Tessanne Chin

10. Every Mile of the Ride by Lindi Ortega

11. Cannonball by Lea Michele

12. Neon Lights by Natasha Bedingfield

13. Mary Go Round by Serena Ryder

14. Burn by Ellie Goulding

15. Closer by Tegan and Sara

16. What Now by Rihanna

17. Loved Me Back to Life by Celine Dion

18. The House of the Rising Sun by Jacquie Lee

19. Love Me Right! by the Swag Geeks

20. 365 Days by ZZ Ward

21. The Race by Caroline Pennell

*****

The Cafe’ Mix

1. Heart Beats by Johnnyswim

2. Radioactive by Pentatonix & Lindsey Stirling

3. My Blood by Ellie Goulding

4. People Help the People by Birdy

5. The One That Got Away by The Civil Wars

6. Basset Hound by Jillette Johnson

7. I Will Fall by the Nashville Cast

8. Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth & Emeli Sande

9. Everyday by Rogue Wave

10. Heart’s Content by Brandi Carlile

11. It’s Too Late by Wild Belle

12. Summer Wine by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood

13. Castin’ My Spell by Johnny Otis

14. Let it Go by Idina Menzel

15. Say Something by A Great Big World w/ Christina Aguilera

16. Please, Baby Please by Serena Ryder

17. Babylon by Nina Nesbitt

18. Ho Hey by the Nashville Cast

19. Skinny Love by Birdy

20. Give Me Love by Alex & Sierra

21. All I Want is You by Tristan Prettyman

*****

Happy listening! And a Happy New Year!

The Ultimate Mix CD Song Contenders

Listening to MusicHey Dudes and Dudettes!

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?

The Ultimate Mix Tape Saga Continues

Hey fellow music lovers!  I had so much fun chatting with you guys about music that I want more of it!  I’m sharing with you some of my favorite music finds from the suggestions YOU left last blog, and asking you for MORE!  I know, I’m so greedy.  But you guys are a wealth of titillating tuneage!

If you’re just tuning in, I’m in the works of creating 2 mix cd’s for my mom for Christmas.  For the past 5 years, I’ve made her a phenomenal woman mix.  And I’m working on 2012’s now!  But I’ve found so much great music, I’m taking some of the folksier ones and making a Cafe’ Mix as well.

Many of you named artists I already knew and loved.  I thought, for those curious minds, I’d share the playlist from 2011’s Phenomenal Woman Mix!

Phenomenal Woman Mix 2011

  1. Lights by Ellie Goulding
  2. Cosmic Love by Florence + the Machine
  3. With or Without You by Sarah Darling
  4. Never Forget You by the Noisettes
  5. Pride and Joy by Brandi Carlile
  6. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by Amy Winehouse
  7. Waves and the Both of Us by Charlotte Sometimes
  8. All Your Life by The Band Perry
  9. Sweet Ride by Courtney Jaye
  10. When I Look At You by Miley Cyrus
  11. Don’t Stop by Gin Wigmore
  12. Everybody by V.V. Brown
  13. Little Lie by Lindi Ortega
  14. The Treehouse Song by Ane Brun
  15. On the Run by Tina Dico
  16. Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine
  17. Crazy Amazing by V.V. Brown
  18. Sing You Home by Xenia
  19. Tightrope by Janelle Monae
  20. Here I Go Again by Audra Mae

I’m going to extend the mix tape contest through this weekend too.  I’ll be randomly picking 3 commenters between this post and the previous Mix Tape blog for a chance at one of the following,or heck, ALL OF THE ABOVE!

  • a chance to do a guest post about their guilty pleasure
  • a guest post from me on a topic TBD
  • a mix cd of tunes selected just for you!

My favorite recommendations for the Cafe’ Mix so far:

Werewolf by Fiona Apple (recommended by Eric)

An all too true poetic encounter of some relationships.  Been way too long since I listened to Fiona.

If Love is a Red Dress by Maria McKee (recommended by Dawn)

This song is great, and apparently on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack!  Quentin Tarantino marathon anyone?

My favorite recommendations for the Phenomenal Woman Mix so far:

The Only Place by Best Coast (recommended by Mark)

Is this song in a commercial?  I could swear I’d heard it before, which made it instantly catchy and awesome!

Glorious by Stephanie Mabey (power ballad recommended by Julie)

Beautiful!  Just beautiful!  And for fun, you seriously all need to check out Mabey’s tune, The Zombie Song – it’s a riot!

Next to Me by Emeli Sande’ (artist recommended by Victoria)

Victoria does a Sunday Songs post and this week she featured Emeli Sande’ covering John Lennon’s Imagine, which is also great, but I loved this original tune by her.

Beast of Burden by Bette Midler (Julie gets a second nod after I saw THIS VIDEO!)

Don’t you want to watch this video every day for the rest of your life?!

Ok folks, there’s some of the high contenders so far!  Don’t forget to comment, comment, comment below!  Please leave as many female artists/bands as possible!  Three lucky winners to be announced on monday’s blog where I also introduce a special guest music star!  

The Ultimate Mix Tape…For My Mom

Hey Everyone!  This Guilty Pleasures Friday, we’re doing something a little different.  I’m asking for your help and recommendations for a present for my mom!

Every holiday I give my mom a Phenomenal Woman Mix as one of her Christmas gifts and this year I’m finding lots of tunes, but in really different styles.  So I’ve decided to give her both a “Cafe’ Mix” and a Phenomenal Woman Mix (upbeat music that makes you sing in the car or dance to).

So now, I’m about halfway through both and I need suggestions! 

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite music finds for the two compilations, and would love to hear your ideas for additional songs to go on either cd!

Aaaaaand:

I thought we needed a fun contest!  

I will pick 3 commenters at random who will win their choice of the following:

  • a chance to do a guest post about their guilty pleasure
  • a guest post from me on a topic TBD
  • a mix cd of tunes selected just for you!

Let the jam begin!

Here’s some of the tunes for the Cafe’ Mix so far:

Where’d All the Living Go – Imaginary Cities

Never Quit Loving You – Jill Barber

You and Me – Sara Watkins

Tunes for the Phenomenal Woman Mix:

Let Me Out – Imelda May

Wild Young Hearts – The Noisettes

My Heart – The Ettes

Blue Bird – Lindi Ortega

Did you notice a trend?

All recommendations should be female artists please!  That’s what makes it a phenomenal women mix! 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!  Did you find some new tunes you like too?

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