Mixin’ it Up: February’s Playlist

justin-timberlake-grammys-2013-performance-watch-video-jay-z-jpg_105011I love my car, I really do.  It is practical and in pretty good condition.  If I had to have one complaint it would be that it came out the year before they started putting iPod jacks in cars, but after they stopped installing tape decks.  This puts me in quite the pickle for what to do about music, because I can’t do radio.

My solution to this quandry has been to make a mix CD (or two, or three) every month, just to keep things fresh.  The mixes are usually a mix of new songs and old favorites that I want to listen to that month.  While it can sometimes be a pain, it is also kind of fun to sit down and reflect on what is jiving with me.  It also ends up being like a sort of musical journal entry, because I can go back to my May 2012 playlist and be taken right back to that month.

I thought I may as well write about some of my top picks for each month, because I like to think I have somewhat good taste and it is certainly eclectic enough to strike a chord with a wide range of people.

Thrift Shop”  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Feat. Wanz – Yeah, I know.  Me and everyone else on planet earth.  But just in case, this one hasn’t ended up on your radar yet, you need to change that.  I have been listening to this while walking to my office from our parking garage and I have a really hard time not dancing.  I sneak in some moves and let people think I am moving to fight off the cold.

All For You”  Sister Hazel – Whatever, don’t hate the playa, hate the fact that 90’s music is awesome.  This one came on my Pandora last week and I went and downloaded it right away.  It’s happy.  If you don’t end up singing and/or bouncing along to this song, you need to get over yourself.

Boys and Buses”   Hayden Panettiere – Something you will quickly learn about me is that my TV/movie viewing dictates a lot of my music discoveries.  If you told me last year that I would be downloading a whole lot of country music, I would have laughed in your face, but that’s just what happens when you watch a whole lot of Nashville.  I enjoy the lyrical simplicity of this one.  Yeah, Juliette.  Boys and buses, DO have a lot in common.

Brooklyn We Go Hard”   Jay-Z Feat. Santogold – Another download that came about after hearing it on TV, this one coming from the trailer for the upcoming 42 (the Jackie Robinson movie).  Side note:  As an extremely white girl, do I need to feel weird about blasting this in my car and bopping my head like I’m gangsta?

Silver Springs”   Fleetwood Mac – Confession: this song was a blind spot in my Fleetwood Mac listening until it popped up on the recent covers album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, being covered by Lykke Li.  While I discovered the song through that cover, nothing is going to compare to Stevie, right?  Right.

How Come You Don’t Want Me”   Tegan and Sara – I just got this album (Heartthrob) and I am liking it quite a bit. I picked this song specifically because haven’t we all thought this at one point?  (It’s also a really good song).

I’d Rather Go Blind”   Etta James – I may be weird, but there is nothing sexier to me than old school R&B.  There’s something about it that just…  just… just watch this dance to see what I mean without making things awkward.  This is a perfect of that languid, sexy, vibe that I’m talking about.  I’d rather go deaf than never get to listen to Etta James again.  (See also “Sunday Kind of Love”)

Shelter From the Storm”   Bob Dylan – Let the record state that I do not like Bob Dylan.  His voice and general attitude usually annoy me, but when I heard this song in Warm Bodies I reluctantly fell in love with it.  There was just something about a zombie playing it to express to his human crush that he would protect her that really got to me.  (Another reason to not like Bob Dylan is that apparently he won’t allow YouTube play his music, but Vimeo got him somehow even if it isn’t the version I like).

Suit & Tie”  Justin Timberlake Feat. Jay-Z – You guys, I love Justin.  Did you see him at the Grammys?  He is just so… cool!  Then Jay-Z just ambles up and does his thing and then goes and sits back in the audience with Beyonce.  No biggie.  I know that a lot of people are disappointed with this song, but let’s respect it for what it is: a pretty dang infectious hook with JT’s swagger.  I’m all in.

Yer So Bad”  Tom Petty – I’ve been on a Tom Petty kick lately.  Well, really, for my whole life, but I’ve been digging into some of the B-Sides and this one is my current jam.  That strum in the chorus gets me rocking out every time and I love “Yer so bad, best that I ever had.”  Once you get past all the divorce and suicide, it’s a pretty sweet song.

Whew.  Click on the links and watch some videos (official and fan made).  What is your current jam?  I’m also interested in recommendations.  Aside from all those I have just listed, I am downloaded every song that is featured in Warm Bodies and I am loving all of them.  Check out the music and the movie.

Ellen

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Grade A Choice Picks: Best New Fall TV Shows!

We are officially well into the fall TV season, so we thought we would let you know which of the new shows we are are still digging.

Whitney’s Picks: 

The Mindy Project (Fox): Called it! We told you that this show was going to rule, and so far, it has. Usually, shows about clueless women in the workplace (I’m looking at you, Ally McBeal) really annoy me, but Kaling’s Mindy is funny enough to pull it off. Plus, I feel I’ve found a kindred fictional spirit in Mindy, as she seems to be as rom-com obsessed as I am. Mindy, you totally complete me.

Last Resort (ABC): In all honesty, I can’t be sure if this show is actually as awesome as I think, or if I’m just so freakin’ grateful to have Scott Speedman back in my life that my judgment has been compromised. Time will tell. If you’re not already watching this show, think of it as Hunt for Red October sans Cold War backdrop. Are you asleep yet, ladies? If so, let me direct you attention to this picture of Mr. Speedman. Are you back with me? Good.

Mockingbird Lane (NBC): Honestly, my hopes were not high for this Munsters remake, but thanks to the combined talents of Eddie Izzard, Portia de Rossi, Jerry O’Connell, Charity Wakefield, and writer Bryan Fuller (of Pushing Daisies fame), I’m now totally on board. If I can’t have Ned and Chuck, I’ll gladly take the Munsters.

Ellen’s Picks:

Nashville (ABC): I have noticed that the only dramas that I am drawn to are crazy over-the-top and scandalous, and Nashville fits in quite nicely.  There are all sorts of sexual politics, real politics, shady business dealings, family drama, bedroom eyes over microphones, and country music (which in and of itself is pretty dramatic).  And I can’t get enough!

Ben & Kate (Fox): Definitely my favorite new comedy.  It is sweet, charming, and hilarious.  I can already tell that I am going to enjoy watching Ben and Tommy and their crazy antcis, B.J.’s dating lessons for Kate, the sibling love/rivalry between Ben and Kate, and the potential couplings that could ensue.  Not to mention, that little girl is  adorable.

Emily Owens, M.D. (CW): It has now been decided and proven that I have to add one schlocky show to my roster with every new season of television (see Hart of Dixie last year).  Regardless of the schlock, I still love to watch them.  Also well documented is my love of complicated love triangles, so it should be no surprise that I am on board with this one.  If this doesn’t sound like it is as much up your alley as mine, watch it at least once for the uncanny resemblance of Mamie Gummer to her mom, Meryl Streep.  It creeps me out sometimes.

-Ellen and Whitney

Fangirly Crush of the Week: Sam Palladio

As predicted, I am loving Nashville.  So of course, I had to decide who my main squeeze of the show is.  I had no other choice but to choose Gunner (Sam Palladio).  What can I say?  I love me the lovesick puppy and a good high falsetto.

It doesn’t hurt that his duet with Clare Bowen is currently on repeat during my commute.  Also, my Nashville comrade and I have decided that he is a young Lee Pace, which is A-OK with me.

Check out the duet if you missed it!

-Ellen

Marry Boff Kill: New Fall TV Shows

It’s here!  It’s finally here!  I feel my life beginning to take meaning again.  That’s right everybody, fall TV is upon and with it comes a fresh crop of new shows.  Like any sane person would do, I have chosen which of the new shows I am ready to marry, boff, and kill.  In other words, which shows I already feel commited to, which I am willing to give one night of passion to for them to prove their worth, and which I will be killing from my DVR lineup.  Let’s dig in!

Marry: 

The Mindy Project Having already seen this pilot, I have to say that I was impressed.  I typically feel that pilots are a poor test in deciding whether a show will be good or not.  It is a strange thing to go back and watch the pilot of a show that you have loved for years, because they usually morph into something completely different.  That being said, pilots usually suck so I like to give them some time to grow on me.  The promos for this show left me on the fence, so imagine my surprise when I left the pilot almost positive that I was going to fall for this show.  Mindy is a funny, smart, and unique female lead and judging from some of her references, I feel like we are of the same people.  Definitely the show I am most excited about of this bunch.

Ben & Kate – Like the above, I have already seen the pilot to this show.  Though I enjoyed it to a lesser degree, I still saw promise.  Do I think it will join the lineup of shows like New Girl or Parks and Rec, shows that I can’t wait to watch every week?  No.  But do I think it could join shows like Raising Hope or The Middle, shows that I enjoy but have no problem letting pile up on my DVR until I have a lazy Saturday morning?  Yeah.

Nashville – It’s got Tami Taylor, y’all!  I shouldn’t have to say anything else, but I’m going to anyway.  I love a good song and dance number, even when they are country.  In general, I tend to go more for comedies, but the dramas I do watch tend to be ones that I can still have fun with, i.e. soapy, slighty over-the-top dramas.  This looks like it should deliver in spades.  Also going for it, the critics are raving and I am weak enough to buy into it.

Boff: (I’m going to start talking less)

Elementary – I may only have room in my heart for one Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch is taking up a pretty large residence.  Show me what you got, Johnny Lee Miller!

Arrow – Dear CW,

Nice work with those billboards.  You are really proving the boffability of this program.  If you have any brains with that brawn, I could see this really working out between us.

Sincerely, Ellen

P.S. Nice work scheduling it with Supernatural.

Revolution – The premise intrigues me, but I don’t know how that plot is going to work on a week to week basis.

Kill:

The Neighbors – Have you seen the promos?  I really don’t need to elaborate.

Chicago Fire – I don’t know why this has no appeal to me.  The elements are all fine to great: procedural, bulky men, firemen, and oh yeah, FIREMEN!  But it still is not working for me. 

Beauty and the Beast – Like most things, the 80’s did it better.

-Ellen