October is here again and the weather here in Portland is starting to shift. Yep—it's fall, a time of transition. For some, it means headin' back to class, and for others it marks the end of their favorite season. For me, it means crankin' out a cozy mix of songs about autumn to help me get through the days of spiked cider and pumpkin pie. Luckily we're just two weeks into this season and still have lots of time left to enjoy the changing leaves, windy currents, and the reinstatement of sweaters. So listen up as we say goodbye to summer and hello again to fall.
Even those of us with all-but-zero religious upbringing can have a soft spot or two (or even 11, as you can find itemized below) for music on holy and unholy topics—with and without a splash of irony. (I actually sung every Sunday at a drive-in church in Florida in my late teens, but that's another story.) If you too can get into some jams about Jesus or dance to some devilish ditties, here's a mix for you.
Summer's winding down and those of us who are students are gearing up for another tough year. Even if you've been in school for years, something about the first few days always makes ya nervous–like summer camp, but perhaps with more sex, booze, and drama. It still feels like summer, so maybe you're not so motivated to get back into an academic mindset, but never fear, your lazy brain will make the change once it realizes that you're nose deep in work. Here are some songs about being back in school, being reunited with your besties, finding new friends, basking in the last days of freedom, and of course, school spirit (but not really). Tracklist after the jump!
Although it's often used as a stand-in for elevator music, bossa nova really doesn't deserve the square reputation it's somehow acquired. When it began, it was actually considered cool and bohemian (bossa nova literally translates to "new trend"). If you've never listened, it's time to give bossa nova another try, and what better way than to check out the many great ladies of bossa nova past and present? It's super '60s, the perfect soundtrack to your Mad Men kick and ideal mellow end-of-summer music. This mix can only provide a small sampling of the bossa that's out there, but it's enough for you to temporarily pretend you're lounging on the beaches of Brazil, wearing a retro swimsuit and sipping a daiquiri.
"Why do I have a playlist labeled 'Sexy Jamz' with nothing in it?" I exclaimed one day while looking through my computer's music library, "...your life," a friend said jokingly. I scoffed. But basically, the statement was true—when you're buried neck deep in papers, books, and homework, there's just no time to get down and dirty. But now it's summer, so you must just have all the time in the world to get nasty, right?
Okay, maybe it's not always quite that simple, but here are some songs that might make you feel like an awkward tween again.
Maybe it's time to reclaim karaoke, stop singing along to Paul Anka, and find some new hits. Or maybe just start a Rihanna cover band. Karaoke is cool again, and your grandparents will vouch for that and say it never wasn't cool.
So, for your listening pleasure and newfound or renewed appreciation for the art of karaoke, here are some sexy songs (and some previously unsexy songs) covered by badass musicians who I totally love. Add these songs to your karaoke repertoire and you'll totally be the star of the party.
It's one of those weeks—the kind where you wake up hating everything, and it's hard to decipher exactly why. Maybe it's a combination of things—perhaps it's the weird teen angst hangover of your early 20's, or you're missing somebody, or maybe you took the comments section of a blog post too personally, or maybe it's none of that and you're just sad because people have feelings, and that's okay. Tears build up like a raging river, held back by the dam that is your eyelids. You continue your day by wallowing, writing a sad letter, sitting amongst unfolded laundry, and unfinished crafts. Then, as soon as you think it's all starting to feel better, something else happens and your face becomes Niagara Falls. And it's nothing that hugs and nice words can mend because your feelings are serious business. But maybe next week will be better. You can only hope.
Here are some songs to accompany a sad day/mad day/bad day, which will probably only make you more upset, but sometimes it's what we need, right?
I have now been here for exactly a month, and we're finally getting consistently beautiful weather. I'm glad that person who said the weather would be literally perfect after July 4th wasn't lying. But really. The ten-day forecast predicts sun every single day with a 0% chance of rain. You heard me correctly, 0% chance. Portland, I see what y'all have been looking forward to. I sure as heck wouldn't want to be boiling in the heatwave in the mid-Atlantic right now. That is not what the precious pomp on my head needs. Nooooo, thank you.
So, now that things are getting hot 'n' sweaty, you need to be geared up, right? Sun block, check. Muscle tee, check. Cut-off shorts, check. Phresh summer haircut, check. Comfy dancing shoes, check. Cuties to dance with... wait, did I say geared up? I meant queered up. Here's a bunch of jams by some super fun queer folx who will help you get yr Portland (or wherever you are) summer officially rollin'. Hey, and some of these steamy queers are playing this summer in a town maybe near you! Yay!
Water! It's pretty important and beautiful and easy to use as a metaphor, so it turns out there are a lot of great songs about it. This mix features songs from Rae Spoon, Your Heart Breaks, Kimya Dawson, and Mos Def. Enjoy!
The word "forward" keeps popping up in my sphere. Wisconsinites wielded it during their recent recall election (it's their state motto). Obama has chosen it as his new campaign slogan.
I've decided to adapt it as my personal slogan as well. My life has gone in about a million different directions over the last year—I finished school, went through a major break-up, threw stability to the wind and moved halfway across the country. I know I'm not alone in feeling uncertain about the direction my life will take from here (it is graduation season after all), but that doesn't make moving forward any easier.
So, to those of you who aren't sure where you're going either: I made this "forward"-themed mix for you. Track list after the jump!