Category - Mixtape Monday

What I Listened To In February – {A Year of Playlists – 2014}

music notesedited3

I’ve decided to start keeping a virtual record of my life soundtrack this year, and this month’s a happy hodge podge.

There’s a little more R&B/pop influences here than usual for me, and its because the songs are appealing and catchy.    {I mean come on, I double dog dare you to bop around your kitchen to Happy, and not wear a smile!}

I also listened to a good deal of the acoustic sounds of Shawn Colvin this month.  She’s one of my favorite singer songwriters, and I read and loved her memoir Diamond In The Rough this month. {That reading led me to work on a full post about her work and a comprehensive playlist–look for it soon.}  Finding out some of the stories and inspirations for her songs had me narrowing in on a few favorites this month.

As I’m also in the midst of auditions filled with rejections and angst artistic challenges, and let’s face it – the busyness of everyday life, there’s also a few favorite introspective gems here–perfect for listening to when audition nerves and writer’s block came calling.

{Note: I have switched to using Spotify playlists because of their wide database selection, and the popularity of their music player.  You should be able to listen to this playlist with a free Spotify account.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, please find the song listings below.  Affiliate links in this post if used, help keep the lights on here.  Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here.} 

What I Listened To In February – {A Year of Playlists – 2014}
  • 1.   Get Lucky – Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • 2.   Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • 3.   Your Great Name/Forever Reign – Anthony Evans
  • 4.   Brave – Sara Bareilles
  • 5.   Waiting For My Time To Come – Colony House
  • 6.   Hung The Moon – Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
  • 7.   Set The Prairie On Fire – Shawn Colvin with Will Taylor & Strings
  • 8.   All Fall Down – Shawn Colvin
  • 9.   Polaroids – Shawn Colvin
  • 10. Wichita Skyline – Shawn Colvin
  • 11. In Your Eyes – The Vitamin String Quartet
  • 12. You Are Not Alone – Kate Hurley
  • 13. Somewhere In The Middle (acoustic) – Casting Crowns

Because I want this playlist series to feel almost like a musical diary/journal of sorts, I’m sharing some thoughts about each song I included – playlist liner notes, if you will.  Let me know how you feel about this.  {Do you like it?  Do you care? Will you skip this part of the post?}  Your feedback is much appreciated!

 Playlist Liner Notes:

Get Lucky & Happy:

I don’t listen to boppy pop unless I’m working out, {and that’s a whole ‘nother kind of playlist – let me know if you want one of those on the blog). These songs are delightfully infectious.  I may have danced around my house during a good house cleaning to these fun tunes–and I think you will too.

Your Great Name/Forever Reign:

I heard Anthony Evans live at the Allume conference last fall, and I loved both his gorgeous full tenor, and his sweet and sincere banter with his audience.  He sang this medley tune that night, and its been one of my highway driving soundtrack songs ever since. {His gospel sounding back up is fantastic – in my dreams, I sing like that.}


I usually stick to Bareilles’ slower, introspective tunes but I needed some chutzpah and bravery this past month at a few auditions.  I like the video to this one, and the lyrics are great.

Waiting For My Time To Come:

 I found this song in the inner webs of Spotify, I honestly don’t remember where.  The words spoke to my creative heart this month.  I’ve gotten back into the grind of auditioning, and getting my rusty vocals and pounding-the-pavement-for-a-job-skills back into shape.  I think anyone can relate to these words, when you’ve been planning and dreaming, and you’re in the thick of the work–waiting for the chance to be seen.

Hung The Moon:  

I discovered the band Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors last fall, and they are now a staple on my playlists.  This song was a new find for me this month.  I love Ellie Holcomb’s breezy vocals here.

Set The Prairie On Fire, All Fall Down, Polaroids & Wichita Skyline:  

 Though I’ve listened to this album of Shawn’s pretty much on repeat this entire month, these 3 songs are my February faves.  I found the collaboration of Set The Prairie on Fire on iTunes.  I think the strings and the trumpet give this song such a sultry depth, and I love the colors and emotions the music brings to the surface.  All Fall Down is my favorite song on Shawn’s newest record, and Polaroids & Wichita Skyline are classic Colvin for me – lyrical gold in their depths and a key to my past.

In Your Eyes:  

This song is one of my husband and I’s favorites.   I liked this string quartet arrangement cover for a little variety on Valentine’s.

You Are Not Alone:

I found this song on Spotify–it was played by a blogger I follow, Tsh of The Art of Simple. These lyrics encouraged me this month.  When you’re doing your best to re-connect into a community, its easy to feel a little isolated.  This song helped me as I’m feeling my way through that.

Somewhere In The Middle:  

I don’t usually listen to Casting Crown’s full blown production filled arrangements, but I liked this acoustic version of one of their songs I’d not heard before.  I feel and relate to these lyrics – in my creativity, in my life and in my heart.

What are you listening to this month?


{I’d love to know if anyone would be interested in a What I’m Listening To Playlist Linkup?  Let me know in the comments – thanks!}

Mixtape Monday – A Year of Playlists – January 2014


My friends, it has been entirely too long since my last playlist.  {After all, what good is Christmas music in January?}

One of my blogging goals this year is to be consistent.  Period.  I have been guilty of stopping and starting more than one series on this blog, and I’ve let too much dust settle on one of my favorites, Mixtape Monday.

Hence, some musical motivation.

Drawing inspiration from online influences like Leigh, {Founder of one of my favorite monthly linkups, What I’m Into} and Blaine {who introduced me to scratch tracking and has some of the coolest blog playlists around}, I’ve decided feature at least one monthly post with my current musical playlist from that month.  I also think it will be fun to document and record a year’s worth of my music tastes–a musical online journal, if you will.

{Note: I have switched to using Spotify playlists because of their wide database selection, and the popularity of their music player.  You should be able to listen to this playlist with a free Spotify account.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, please find the song listings below.  Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here.}

January’s mix tape includes gems from a new favorite movie soundtrack – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,  some favorites off of Lone Bellow’s gem of a debut album, some soft acoustic guitars, a classic by Stevie Wonder with the bass stylings of Sting, and even a throwback to a favorite high school band, The Cure.  Coldplay’s Atlas is a song that haunts me in a good way, and by far, my favorite and most played tune this month has been The Wolves & The Ravens. 

 What I Listened to in January {A Year of Playlists – 2014}
  • 1.   The Wolves & The Ravens – Rogue Valley
  • 2.    Atlas – Coldplay
  • 3.   Fortune – William Fitzsimmons
  • 4.   Teach Me To Know – Lone Bellow
  • 5.   Healer – Holly Ann
  • 6.   Space Oddity/Ground Control {with Kristen Wiig} – David Bowie
  • 7.   Runaway Baby – Bruno Mars
  • 8.   Higher Ground/Roxanne – Stevie Wonder & Sting
  • 9.   Gypsy – Suzanne Vega
  • 10.  It Is Well – The Ember Days
  • 11. Everything That Rises – Songs of Water
  • 12. Stay Alive – Jose Gonzalez
  • 13.  Button – Lone Bellow
  • 14. Green Eyes And A Heart of Gold – Lone Bellow
  • 15.  Pictures of You – The Cure


What did you listen to in January?  


{affiliate links used support this blog – thanks!}

{It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like} A Christmas Playlist


Can you believe it’s only 10 days until Christmas–where did this year go??!

I feel like this Christmas season is flying by quicker than most years – no doubt to a later Thanksgiving than usual, and us Texans getting iced in for a solid four days at the beginning of the month.

Having more time this year than usual to unpack boxes and settle into our home has made for me listening to a lot of Christmas music this year – and in particular,  new-to-me tunes.  This year’s playlist has a lot of acoustic, soothing and indie music, with a slightly eclectic feel.

Wherever you find yourself this season, I hope this Christmas list provides joy, peace, reflection and adds a dash of Christmas cheer to your days, as we celebrate Christ’s birth – the true reason for the season.

Technical Note:

{I decided to make my playlist on Spotify this year, though I have resisted it for most of my playlists.  Unfortunately, a lot of the music I chose this year isn’t on my beloved Grooveshark player – but Spotify has almost every single tune.  Please click the playlist link to go directly to spotify.  {I think you need a spotify account to listen to their playlists.  I have signed up for the free version, and can still listen to most all shared playlists.}   If for some reason, you can’t get it to work, I have included a full track listening below, as well as the delightful Noisetrade free downloads where I found a lot of the tracks.  If you download from Noisetrade, be sure and leave a tip for the artists – I know at least one of the playlists profits is going to charity this season!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Christmas 2013 Playlist

  1. 1.    Carol of the Bells – The Last Bison
  2. 2.    Everything Changed At Christmas – Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
  3. 3.    O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Sufjan Stevens
  4. 4.    Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabelle – The Western
  5. 5.    Christmas In The Room – Sufjan Stevens
  6. 6.    Christmas Thyme – The Olms
  7. 7.    Jingle Bells {featuring the Puppini Sisters} – Michael Buble
  8. 8.    Joy To The World – Seabird
  9. 9.    Away In A Manger – Tyrone Wells
  10. 10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman – Good Lovelies
  11. 11. Christmas Tree – Cary Brothers
  12. 12. I’d Like You For Christmas -Good Lovelies
  13. 13. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Little Big Town
  14. 14. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Norah Jones
  15. 15. Snowed In – Mindy Smith
  16. 16. Christmas At Home – Tyrone Wells
  17. 17. The Christmas Song {Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire} – Paul McCartney
  18. 18. I Saw Three Ships – Barenaked Ladies
  19. 19. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Crystal Lewis
  20. 20. Bluegrass, White Snow – Patty Loveless
  21. 21. The Holly & The Ivy – The Lower Lights
  22. 22. Evermore – Phil Wickham
  23. 23. Silent Night – Brian Mann


For More Christmas Playlist Inspiration:


—->Take a listen to my playlist from last year: Sing We Noel.  I also wrote a playlist way back in 2008, and though its a post without any music player, there’s a lovely list of Christmas tunes.

—->Download a few of these Christmas playlist gems at Noisetrade from the links below:

{In case you’re wondering, I am not getting compensated from these links, I just want to pass along sources of  good music!}

Eastside Manor Christmas Sessions {download at Noise Trade}


The Western Den – Midwinter EP


The Paste Magazine Holiday Sampler 2013

I’d love to hear what you’re listening to this Christmas in the comments!

Merry Christmas Friends!


Four Favorite Recent Downloads {Mixtape Monday}


It’s cool and cloudy in these Monday morning parts, and it happily feels like fall.  I choose music today that feels just like this beautiful time of year – softening, cool, and peaceful.  (And of course two of the four songs are covers – no surprise there).

Instead of doing a Grooveshark player for today’s playlist, I’m deferring to YouTube videos, since one of my favorite downloads is a new band with a song that hasn’t been officially recorded yet.


1. Coldplay – Atlas (Catching Fire soundtrack)

I was captivated and drawn into the world of this song the first time I heard it.  It also got me excited to hear the rest of the Catching Fire soundtrack when it releases sometime in the next few months.  Apparently, this is Coldplay’s first foray into a leading song for a movie soundtrack – I say, Bravo!  I also love the visuals on this youtube clip – for me, they really match the song.

2. The Saint Johns – Your Head & Your Heart

I first discovered this band on a Noise Trade compilation with some other artists I already love–Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors–they are actually touring with them this fall. I’m bummed that I’m not near any of the tour’s cities, but if you are, check them out.  I love the soulful ache, the melancholy, the vocals and the acoustic stylings of this song. (And can I just say their male lead singer looks like one of my favorite characters on Nashville?  I’m sure he’s heard it a million times…but I digress.)

I downloaded all of their free songs at their website, and they’ve got an EP coming out in October which I’m really looking forward to!)    Head over to their Facebook page, and give them some love–its such a joyous thing to experience the work of new artists.

3. Sleeping At Last – 500 Miles (cover)

I feel like I’ve already talked about this cover song in one of my earlier posts, but I like this song enough to share it again.  I didn’t think I would like this cover – I’m a big fan of the original by The Proclaimers.  The more I hear of the band Sleeping At Last, the bigger fan I become.

4. Wicked Game (cover) – James Vincent (Live at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in Ireland)

This song was featured in one of SYTYCD‘s most beautiful routines I’ve ever seen.  I featured the video on a recent previous post, so I choose a youtube clip with the song in its entirety for your listening pleasure.  I think Vincent is the only artist I’ve heard come close to capturing the ache and longing in this song originally sung by the song’s composer, Chris Isaak.

What music are you into and downloading this fall?

So You Think You Can Dance – {Mixtape Monday}


One of my favorite T.V. guilty pleasures this summer has been (like so many other summers), So You Think You Can Dance.  I full well understand that the show is a popularity contest, could very well be fixed as far as voting, and not exactly representative of the professional dance scene….

Still, I love it so!

In a summer where watching the telly has sometimes felt like a ‘lovely escape’, I have really enjoyed the tenth season–chalk full of Mary Murphy’s hot tamale screams, enjoyable guest judges and holy moly batman–a bevy of dancers that could double as supermodels!  I based this playlist not necessarily on my favorite dance routines, but on melodies that feel like they flow together.  I’ve also purposefully left out any fast/hip-hop/dance club-type songs to save for another playlist, so that the music all flows and feels like a similiar mood.

{If you cannot view the Grooveshark music player below, consider downloading the latest Adobe software, and see the song list below.}

Mixtape Monday – So You Think You Can Dance

  1. No Day But Today (live) – Idina Menzel
  2. In The Embers – Sleeping At Last
  3. Hanging By A Thread – Jann Arden
  4. Don’t Let Go Yet – David J. Roch
  5. Young & Beautiful (Great Gatsby soundtrack) – Lana Del Ray
  6. The Edge of Glory (live) – Lady Gaga
  7. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – Birdy
  8. Veins – Charlotte Martin
  9. It’s A Man’s World – Joshua Ledet
  10. I Put A Spell On You – Nina Simone

And hey, because I just can’t resist, here’s a clip from one of my favorite dances of the season. {Tucker’s one of my favorites this season, while Jenna is one of those dancers I’m begrudgingly starting to like.}

How about you – any favorite SYTYCD routines or songs?