Music + Culture

1970s love songs playlist

Mix No. 14: 70s Love Songs

Before anyone reading this lets out an audible groan, just give me a chance to explain this cliché mixtape timing.

I think every February my go-to mix is “love” themed in some way at least. I think last year I was honest and made a lonely Valentine’s Day mix, and I still definitely feel that way. I was going to skip a monthly mix altogether because I think love sucks right now. I mean you give so much of yourself to someone else only to be treated like you’re nothing. But I digress.

Now, how did I stumble on such a niche theme like love songs from the 1970s? It’s relatively simple: Fondue parties. Oh yes, that wonderful, dinner party staple from the 1970s is back. Okay, maybe it’s just back for my friends and myself, but I’ve been to a few fondue parties in 2018 so that’s where I got this idea. It came to me because while enjoying melted delicacies with a long stick dipped into a hot pot, we frequently listen to music from the 1970s. Get where I’m going with this?

Cool. So, just for fun, if you don’t know, fondue is melted cheese (or chocolate) in a pot kept over a flame. You use a long stick to dip bread, fruit, veggies, and tons of other stuff inside. In 1930, it was declared the national food of Switzerland in order to increase cheese consumption. But quickly became an American craze after its appearance at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Sure, sharing a pot of boiling hot cheese with your friends sounds fun, but there are even traditions that come with the experience. It’s suggested to consume white wine in order to avoid indigestion (this has not been proven but who needs an excuse to have wine?), and women must kiss their neighbors if they lose bread within the pot. Seems a bit unnecessary to me but, hey, the 70s were a different time.

But back to the mix. While hanging out at these parties and enjoying the 70s tunes, I realized a lot of my favorite love songs come from that time period. I figured it’s Valentine’s Day and some people probably have a relationship or at least a Valentine who isn’t their dog so why not run with it? But I couldn’t strictly make a mix of songs I love so I decided to include some classic ones everyone loves and other downright cheesy ones everyone pretends they don’t like (but secretly love). It’s a real smorgasbord of a mix. You know as diverse as the offerings at a fondue party.

Whether you have a Valentine or not, you can enjoy this playlist on Spotify right now. Happy Valentine’s Day or whatever

If you’re interested in throwing a fondue party here’s a guide. Just look how much fun these people are having! 

fondue-baby

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winter 2018 mixtape

Mixtape No. 13: Long, Cold Winter Nights

I think I should start this mixtape post with a bit of a disclaimer. Arizona has been in the mid to high 70s since like October or November. We have been incredibly short on long, cold winter nights. That said, there are days where we reach average winter temperatures so I guess that balances out.

Thankfully last week there was a couple of cold, rainy nights which inspired this mixtape. A lot of the time I have trouble sleeping and I’m up late at night thinking or missing someone special. It’s worse in the winter because not only is it cold but it feels like the night never ends. It can feel pretty lonely sometimes, and it helps to have music playing. I’m 100% a music mood person. If I’m sad the music is sad or serene, and that’s what this playlist is. It’s fully of folksy, indie tunes that really set a mood, a scene, and can even melt into the background when it all gets to be too much. There’s also just something very moody about the combination of grey, dark winters and these types of songs. They just mesh perfectly together. It doesn’t even have to be a long, cold night but just any grey, melancholy day. Just get some tea, turn on the tunes, and melt away.

Find the tracklist and links below.

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albums of 2017

Goodbye 2017 // Albums of the Year

I must admit I’m happy 2017 is just hours from being over. It’s been one of the toughest years I’ve had in a while. It seemed like every time I would take two steps forward I would get shoved 13 steps backward. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this which was a little comforting, but not by much. It’s a bit sad when having your wisdom teeth removed is high up on your list of positive things about the year. Rather than harping on the things about this year I could not change I thought I would just not post anything at all. Even my blog posting began suffering with my existential crisis. Not that blogging truly matters in the larger scheme of things.

I truly considered not even putting together a list of my favorite albums from the past year which is incredibly unlike me. I know everyone and their mother makes their end of the year albums list and there are many more that are far more important than my own, but it was always fun for me to take a look back. This year I just felt super done with the year and just wanted it over with. Well, there’s still a few hours left in the year, but I managed to create the list in the nick of time.

The list is fulled with indie rock and some hip-hop albums that I really enjoyed over the past year. If you read this blog frequently or know me in real life, you wouldn’t be surprised by that at all. This post contains three things: the album list (in no particular order), a sampler playlist featuring gems from the albums on the list, and a link to another (recently updated) playlist featuring plenty more songs from 2017 that were played in fairly heavy rotation. My hope is that you’ll agree with at least some of my choices or that you’ll find something new to listen to you’d hadn’t considered or heard of before.

So enjoy. Have a happy new year, and I’ll catch you on the flip side in 2018.

ALBUMS OF 2017 PLAYLIST | SONGS OF 2017 PLAYLIST 

christmas baking playlist volume 3

In the Kitchen: Christmas Volume 3

There’s 6 days until Christmas (yikes) which means I will be spending more time in my kitchen than normal. I’m a stress baker (everyone knows this) but I’m also a big Christmas baker. That’s not really a thing, but around Christmas I bake way more than usual. It’s cold and there’s nothing more comforting than warm chocolate chip cookies. I’m also on a constant yearly mission to create the most beautiful (and perfect) cut out sugar cookie ever created by an untrained home baker. Last year I came pretty close, but I think this year I found a tool to make flooding royal icing much easier.

Hey, there’s a reason everyone is comparing me to Reese Witherspoon in those Crate & Barrel holiday commercials. Although even I think owning 37 ramekins might be TOO many ramekins. But I digress, cookies and other yummy baked goods make really good gifts. I bring them to parties and give them to neighbors. They are great to have on hand if people pop by or to undo the awkwardness of surprise gift givers. Why am I making excuses for baking? Baking is delicious, fun, and everyone wins.

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holiday-playlist-2017

Mix No 12: Happy Holidays

Christmas is probably the easiest time to make a mix because there are literally thousands of songs to choose from. I mean how many renditions of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” are there out there? So I feel like it’s really easy to just grab a bunch of classics and modern takes and toss them all together. It’s apparently so easy between my Spotify and old 8Tracks account I was able to find playlists going back to my previous blog in 2012. Yeah…that’s pretty far back there.

I won’t pretend like I don’t know December’s mix is going to be holiday themed from the jump. But in order to keep it interesting (and avoid the same songs over and over) I try to come up with some kind of underlying theme to break it up. This year while listening to the local radio station playing tons of Christmas hits, I thought I would make it about the songs that remind me of being a kid and listening to that station non-stop. But when I started working on it (with a little help from that station) I realized it was a lot harder than I imagined. Despite my memory being pretty great to me, I just couldn’t chose. I also felt it would be a little weird to just open up the world to my memories they have no relation to. 

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thanksgiving-playlist-2017

In the Kitchen: Thanksgiving, Volume 2

Happy (early) Thanksgiving fellow Americans, and just a happy Wednesday to everyone else!

Thanksgiving is a blessing and a curse for someone who loves being in the kitchen. I love cooking and creating things that eventually satisfy others. It’s a gigantic labor of love. I’ve been making Thanksgiving dinner (among other holiday dinners) by myself for roughly 12 years now. Looking back, it was quite the task for a teenager to take on, but it’s really given me a chance to see what works. But what does this have to do with music, right?

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Mix No. 11: Fall Vibes

Ah, the fall mix has finally arrived. The time of year where I fully get to embrace the part of me that loves a good cozy sweater, drinking cup of coffee (or tea), and having indie folk music playing from my speakers. Over the years fall has been one of my favorite playlists to make. I think the only occasion that sees more playlist than fall is Christmas. When I first started college, what feels like a million years ago now, I would create these playlists to keep me company on my long walks to and from class. They each served their own little purpose given my mood or the weather. Pretty nerdy, right? Probably.

When I made this one I used a really chill Saturday morning as the inspiration. The weather has been pretty warm (bummer) so no sweaters were involved. I just kinda tuned everything out (even my phone) and just enjoyed a cup of coffee while listening to music. It was pretty relaxing, and I wonder why I don’t just do that more often. When I set out to make a fall playlist I consider, like anyone would, the mood. Fall tends to be a little more gloomy because the days are much shorter. The weather is chilly, the leaves are changing (if you’re lucky enough to have those), and sometimes you even get rain.

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