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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!!!

 

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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

My Husband and I Cannot Be Trusted to Pick Out “Our Song”

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Me and the Hubs

My husband and I are celebrating two years of marriage this month. And we’ve been a couple for a decade.

We should probably have a song picked out by now.

I mean, we kinda do. We have the song we first danced to. The song we sang at our wedding. We’ve recorded two CDs for family covering songs we love. Given my husband is a professional musician, there is no shortage of music in our home.

Yet, on a recent car trip, a specific song came on the radio and Joe’s eyes lit up in excitement as he said, “Do you know what this is?”

I didn’t.

“Think Tia Carrere.”

It was Dreamweaver by Gary Wright.

“This should be our song,” said Joe.

“Um, I’m not sure I agree with that. Even if it is the soundtrack for a great scene in Wayne’s World.”

I politely suggested another song.

Bird on a Wire by Aaron Neville.

And that, is when my husband gave me a look that said “we will not be figuring out what our song is today.”

Also, he was less than enthused when I started playing this song after he exited the bathroom later that day. *shrug* I still say it’s got a good groove.

What’s your song? How did you choose it?
What song recommendation do you have for Joe and I?
Because clearly, 
we can’t be trusted.

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? 

 

 

Call for Music Suggestions: The 2015 Phenomenal Woman Mix

IMG_6738Since 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.

Cafe’ 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! 

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 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 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!

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