Playlist of the Month: Songs from 2013 That Need To Stay In 2013

Towards the end of every year, magazine editors, television producers, bloggers, and miscellaneous people on the internet compile their Best and Worst of Lists. Music lovers tend to release their favorite (and least favorite) songs of the year. And unlike books or movies, songs can carry over into the next year and constantly play on the radio, thus making us want to pull out our hair and also the radios from our cars and throw it out the window if we ever hear that one hit song from last year again. 

In the spirit of hating on tunes, here are some of our picks for songs that should stay in 2013 and never show their face in 2014 – or every year moving forward.

Click here to listen to the entire list on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks:

What Does The Fox Say? – Ylvis

Just like Gangnam Style before it, 2013 needed one of these novelty songs and Norwegian duo Ylvis filled that quota. This song wasn’t even made as a real track – if you don’t know the story, brothers  Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker are hosts of a popular talk show in Norway. They created What Does The Fox Say? as a music video to promote their show, and the video went viral and here we are. But let’s just let the fox and its mysterious sounds in 2013, shall we?

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

I feel like we’re probably on the same page as this, so I’m not even going to explain why this is on the list.

Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

“They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard, I bought a skeet blanket, then I bought a kneeboard.” This song is nominated for not one but TWO Grammys, y’all. GRAMMYS.

Timber – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha

Sometimes songs grow on me. But then other times it’s Ke$ha and I know immediately that I will be utterly annoyed with the song. This song is no different. Unfortunately for us, this was a late entry to 2013 and it’s probably going to stick around until like June. Also, if Ke$ha sings a song with Pitbull in the forest, does it make a horrifying sound?

#thatPOWER – will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber

When Justin Bieber is 50 years old, he’s going to wish he could do 2013 over again. He’s also going to wish he never agreed to do this horrific song with a Black Eyed Pea.

Molly’s Picks

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

As I’ve said before, Imagine Dragons sounds like the name of a pretend band created by two eight-year-old boys who are really into Lego. Let’s allow this song to fade into 2013 and just imagine the dragons from now on.

[Note: I’m noticing a lot of these songs were released in late 2012, but they all climbed the charts in 2013.]

Can’t Hold Us – Mackelmore

This doesn’t even make sense. The ceiling doesn’t hold you. The floor does.

Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia

Apparently my gym is a card-carrying member of the Swedish House Mafia, because this is on every time I go there. [Also, inexplicably, Miss Independent by Ne-Yo.]

Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars

So, I’m of two minds on Bruno Mars. On one hand, I think he’s a talented guy who makes catchy music. On the other, he’s responsible for Just The Way You Are, which is the musical version of a Dove Real Beauty commercial. And readers, you do not want me to get started on Dove commercials.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

Start with a kind of 90s, alternative, folksy sound. But then, let’s add some beats. Wait… what about the music video? Can we have an old west sequence, but also a club scene, but also a model, but also a child? With human branding and ambiguous time travel? And maybe, like, The Dust Bowl? Sure. Have it all.

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Playlist of the Month: Songs for Politicians

Generally, November is a big month for politics, with Election Day and all. But this year our November was filled with the stuff late night talk show hosts dream of. From Chris Christie to cracktown’s Mayor Rob Ford, there was no shortage of politicians to take aim at. Keeping up with the spirit of democracy, here is a list of songs we think would fit American politicians – whether they be disgraced or not.

Click here for the whole playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

Barack Obama – Can’t Get Enough of Your Love by Barry White

I feel like the President gets all kinds of Barry White on Michelle behind White House doors, and I realize this may seem awkward and weird, but let’s be honest, we’ve all thought about it. So I’m just putting it out there. Just picture him mouthing the words along with B White in the beginning…

Larry Craig – I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges

We talked about this Idaho Senator last week and we’re going to keep on talking about him, even though it’s been six years since he was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and soliciting an undercover cop for sex. Again, I’m not saying he’s gay… but… I will say that there’s a reason I picked this *disco* song that may or may not be a staple at various clubs where people of the same sex hookup… Definitely not saying that.

Joe Biden – All Eyez on Me by 2Pac

Our Vice President gets a lot of flack, but there’s a reason why Leslie Knope has such a huge infatuation with him – he’s got swag. Lots of it.

Eliot Spitzer – Still Not a Player by Big Pun

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer reportedly had at least seven sexy meetups with prostitutes from a hooker agency (it actually has a name) over the period of six months, paying more than $15,000 for their services. And that was just during the time he was under surveillence. He allegedly had been doing it for years, splurging up to $80,000 for prostitutes, first as attorney general and later as the governor. 

He resigned from his post in 2008, only to be followed by everyone’s favorite legally blind politician, David Paterson.

Wendy Davis – Who Run the World (Girls)

If I have to explain this to you, you should probably just leave this blog right now. Or if you’re from somewhere outside the U.S. and don’t keep up with American politics, just know this woman is a fierce politician who must have legs of steel.

Molly’s Picks

Rob Ford – Sorry by Nerf Herder

As Ford becomes a walking Chris Farley character, his mistakes get bigger and weirder. Running through city hall drunk? Using coke in a “drunken stupor?” Knocking over a city councilwoman like an excited Great Dane? It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Ford doing everything in this song – then issuing one of his daily apologies. What can I do? It’s over it’s over it’s over it’s over.

Bill Clinton – Rico Suave by Gerardo Mejia

Listen, you don’t earn a nickname like Slicky Willy without being really, almost cartoonishly smooth – just like Rico Suave. Clinton’s not a big ol’ cad like the guy in this song, but some of the lyrics work pretty well for a suave, swoon-worthy politician (What? I know it’s not just me.) Seguro que han oido que yo soy educado…

Mitt Romney – Rockin’ The Suburbs by Ben Folds

Mitt Romney is squeaky-clean in that well-off suburban Mormon way. He wasn’t pictured grabbing a beer with constituents on the campaign trail, but he sure did enjoy a good ice cream cone. When he lost in 2012, SNL showed him drowning his sorrows in milk. I think a lot of Romney’s supporters were clean-living suburbanites, too. But of course, a politician has to show that he understands the problems of the common man. Or, as Ben Folds wrote “y’all don’t know what it’s like being male, middle class and white.” You keep on rocking those suburbs, Mr. Romney.

Al Gore – Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows feat. Vanessa Carlton

Gore’s points about environmentalism and global warming are well-taken. It’s just that his delivery – both with his environmental politics and his presidential run – is not very compelling. So, he’s pretty much the human version of a mild-mannered 2000s cover of a mild-mannered 1960s Save the Earth song.

Sarah Palin – Stupid Girls by Pink

In 2012, CNN played this song to introduce a Sarah Palin segment and a minor kerfuffle ensued. However, it does kind of … work. Pink wasn’t singing about people with low IQs, she was talking about  ladies who put on a dumb persona because they think people will like them more. I think Palin did the same thing — I doubt she’s an actual dummy judging by her credentials, but I think she thinks the stupid act is endearing. Dumb isn’t cute.

Playlist Of The Month: Songs By People Who Scare Me

October is the month for pretty foliage, pumpkin everything, for people to freak out when it gets darker around 5:30pm, and of course, Halloween.

Regarding this festive holiday, there are four types of people when it comes to Halloween.

1) Kids

2) Adults who like dressing up

3) Adults who don’t really care about dressing up but who enjoy going to non-stop parties

4) People who like to get scared.

If you qualify in that fourth category, this playlist if for you. We figure that instead of playing Monster Mash over and over again, you need a real playlist that will make you so scared because the artists who sing them are actually the most frightening people in the world. Read on to see if the musicians who you can’t bare to listen to are on our playlist of the month!

And check out (if you’re brave enough) check out the entire playlist on Spotify!

Molly’s Picks

R. Kelly – Trapped In The Closet (Chapter 1)

I like R. Kelly’s music, most of the time. Really, I do. It’s just that I can’t see him without being reminded that whatever it is he’s doing, he’d probably rather be peeing on young girls.

Marilyn Manson – The Dope Show

All of the “goth” and “alternative” kids in my children’s theater troupe in the late 90s (shut up) were into Marilyn Manson, but Mainstream Molly here was not a fan. It’s not that I think he’s really violent – in interviews he’s a nice, normal guy. It’s the concept of a 40-year-old who is still hanging on to that teenaged urge to piss off “the man” that scares me.

Courtney Love – Celebrity Skin

I know. If Tavi loves her, I should love her. But still. If I can think of one person I’d be terrified to get into a twitter feud with, or date her ex-boyfriend, or run into when she’s coming down off some crazy drugs, it’s Courtney Love.

Tiny Tim – Tiptoe Through The Tulips

No. Nope. No, no, no. When I have a dream that I’m getting married by accident and have no way out of it, this is the face I see after my veil is lifted. While best known for his rendition of Tiptoe Through The Tulips, theres something extra-horrifying about this guy who sounds like a ghost  from the 1920s singing Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, Highway To Hell, and Stayin’ Alive (he covered them all)]

Hatebreed – Destroy Everything

I first heard about this band last year, when CNN mislabeled them as a white supremacist band. They’re… not?… I guess. Which is good, because we don’t want to give anything like that clicks. However, they still do seem to hate everyone. They just hate them all equally. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s mostly what this post was about, and if I broke down on the highway and my choice was to get a ride with these guys or wait in an unheated car in a snowstorm 3 hours for AAA to show up, I’d take the latter, no question.

Traci’s Picks

Metallica – Enter Sandman

I listen to/can tolerate a lot of different genres of music – except metal. Anything that is remotely heavy metal or punk rock or screamo or doesn’t involve harmonies but does involve yelling and anger, I’m not a fan. My ears deserve better. Which is why one of the best heavy metal bands is on this list. I don’t appreciate middle-aged white men screaming at me in real life, I don’t appreciate it through the speakers either.

Rammstein – Du Hast

I remember when this song popped up in the 1990s MTV era and I was like ‘What in the world am I watching right now? Bring back BSB.’ If it isn’t apparent, Rammstein is a German band which was named after an air show disaster in 1988. And PS: Du Hast in German translates to ‘You Hate’, so there’s that. They’re known for their controversial (and offensive) stage shows and music videos, but they’ve sold 25 million records worldwide, so I guess there’s a market for this kind of crap.

Insane Clown Posse – Hokus Pokus

Alright, let’s be clear. Not only do I think people dressed up like this are scary, but the spectacle is completely unnecessary. I get that everyone has their freedom of expression, but ugh I just don’t get it or think it’s a good thing to be teaching the younger generations. Anyways, back to ICP – they definitely picked the appropriate name for their band, because they are exactly that. The first thing I think of when hearing ICP is the  Juggalo convention. Don’t know what it is? Get ready to have your mind blown (and mind blown here-NSFW/NSFL). Alcohol, drugs, nudity, sex, death, objectifying women, everything that’s great about America.

Slipknot – Snuff


There was a few kids at my middle school that liked Slipknot and I never understood why, because I felt like they should have merged their group with ICP, but also because they were scary as hellll. All the members wear masks from out of a horror movie, and no one knows their names since they all go by numbers or like, ‘guy with protruding pins coming out of his head’. The most disturbing thing is that their songs have inspired people to commit crimes and grave rob. Lit’rally rob a grave.

Gwar – Sick of You


Hi, this band’s members looks like if video game villains came to life and then they throw (fake?) blood into the crowd during concerts. Enough said. (Sidenote: since I’ve never heard a song by the last 3 artists, I just picked the most popular off Spotify. So I mean, my apologies if they’re the worst.)

Playlist of the Month: Songs by High Schoolers

It’s back to school time for all you kids out there! However, the last September that we headed back to high school, Mean Girls was in production and I was the first person I knew to go back to school with side bangs.

So, it was a while ago. And while our memory of high school isn’t as crisp as it used to be, we can be sure that we were not internationally-known recording artists. As if we didn’t feel old enough during this, the Tenth Anniversary Of Our Last First Day Of High School, here is a playlist comprised entirely of tracks by young artists who were still in high school at the time of recording.

Check out the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

Name: Lorde
Song: Royals
Age of release: 16

If it seems like Lorde came out of nowhere, she did. New Zealand to be more exact. She released this song in her home country back in March, and months later, US stations began picking it up and now here we are. I can’t believe how great of an artist she is and how her voice is so unique and distinct. If you like this song, check out her new one, Team.

Name: Birdy
Song: Skinny Love
Age of release: 14

I feel like Birdy was hoping to be what Lorde is becoming now. A teenager from England, she covered this Bon Iver song and blew up shortly thereafter. She also earned her first Grammy nomination thanks to her awesome song with Grammy darlings Mumford and Sons, Learn Me Right, from the Brave soundtrack.

Name: Aaliyah
Song: Back and Forth
Age of release: 14

Despite the fact that R. Kelly was the first one to mentor her in the music industry and they were rumored to be dating, Aaliyah and R. Kelly made a classic 90s R&B song that kicked off her too short of a career. I don’t think anyone’s really been able to create the same magic since her, and this was the song that started it all.

Name: Destiny’s Child
Song: Say My Name
Age of release: 18 (all 4 members were 18!)

Listen, guys. Say My Name is probably my all time favorite DC3 song. And to think that if we went to the same high school, I’d be looking up to them as they were Seniors, being all cool and making hit songs and shit. Seniors in high school don’t make classic records like Writing’s on the Wall – they are too focused on getting into college and acting like the own the school and stuff. I guess Beyonce & co. owned pop music at the time, really.

Name: Michael Jackson
Song: Ben
Age of release: 14

Oh Michael. Little black Michael. Ben was the first song he recorded as a solo artist, but was still in Jackson 5 at the time of the release. It was the title song for the 1972 movie of the same name, and even though it’s essentially about a rat, it’s still a good song. Just forget about the rat part.

Molly’s Picks

Name: Jake Bugg
Age of release: 18
Song: Lightning Bolt

Back in June, I almost put Lorde on our summer playlist. Then I thought “I don’t know, this song has been out for a while. It’s  great… but it’s probably on the way down.” That song? Royals. Clearly I don’t know anything. So take this with a grain of salt: I think this kid is really good and might be going places.

Name: Brandy and Monica
Song: The Boy Is Mine
Age of release: 19 (Brandy), 17 (Monica)

Everything about this is awesome. In an awful way. Who could forget the probably fake drama that was concocted between the teen singers?  While not a technically good song, The Boy Is Mine is fun because it seldom comes up alongside the other cheesy 90s R&B tunes, so it’s always a fun surprise when you hear it. It’ll make you want to wear tims and head-to-toe Tommy Hilfiger like you wanted to in the late 90s.

Name: Hilary Duff
Song: Come Clean
Age of release: 16

I’m really embarrassed by how long it took me to choose between Come Clean and So Yesterday. Feel free to include both on your next Playlist Of (no) Shame.

Name: LL Cool J
Song: Rock The Bells
Age of release: 17

Before LL Cool J was a man with a hardworking publicist… before he guest-rapped on a track about a skinhead having a conversation about race in America with his barista… before he was the tough yet dad-ish agent on NCIS, LL Cool J was a teen rap phenom.

Name: Laura Marling
Song: New Romantic
Age of release: 17

Even when she was 16-17, Laura Marling was writing wonderfully clever lyrics. The difference is that in those first years some of her music had more of a Lily Allen, Kate Nash vibe than it does now. This and Ghosts were released around the same time and it was almost as hard as choosing between So Yesterday and Come Clean.

Playlist of the Month: Songs That Need To Not Be Popular

If you listen to the radio at all, you’re familiar with a bunch of pop songs that are played way too much. And by too much, I mean played at all. For every good pop/guilty pleasure song, there’s another tune that doesn’t deserve to be put on repeat in cars or boom boxes across the country.

Here are a few of our picks for songs that should not be played as much as they are – so we’re just going to tell you about them so you can listen to them even more.

{Listen to all the tracks on Spotify!}

Traci’s Picks

We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I strongly dislike Taylor Swift. So is it any surprise that she would be on my list? As I’ve stated previously, she does make catchy tunes (see: the time I listened to Trouble while singing outloud and shaking my head in shame). However while many point to her outstanding lyrical skills, I don’t think you can qualify this track for ‘Song of the Year’ at the Grammys. For any TSwift superfans that may be reading this in outrage, I’ll point out that this song earned her a ‘Record of the Year’ nom – which is the award for overall production of the track. ‘Song of the Year’ is reserved for the best song in both overall quality and LYRICS. Anyways, I just can’t get behind a track that has the phrase “We are never ever ever ever getting back together… Like, ever.”

Bubble Butt by Major Lazer

Call me crazy, but I am usually not a fan of songs that repeat the same two words over and over again for about 90% of the time, and not to mention, the song is about big booties on women.

In related news, this is the most disturbing video I’ve ever seen. I honestly can’t tell you why I watched all of it, either.

Stupid Hoe by Nicki Minaj

Nicki. I defended you when Super Bass came out, because that song was my JAM. However, this is not. The first two notes irk me so much and then she goes for that long ass “note” about 30 seconds in and I want to stab myself in the eye with some BARBed wire. GET IT???

Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey

Here’s the problem, Lana Del Rey: you are WAY too depressing for me. Every time I listen to one of your songs I feel like I need to take a Prozac after it. The words Summertime and Sadness shouldn’t even be in the same sentence.  AND there’s also a remix dance version that’s being played on the radio and it’s still not peppy enough for me to dance around in the club to it. Not that I even dance in clubs anymore.

Gentleman by Psy

The thing about Psy is… he should have been a one hit wonder. I get why Gangnam Style swept the world. He was a brand new artist from Korea – which besides the cult of K-POP, has not been mainstream in America. You have to hand it to the guy. Create a viral video with a song that only people who speak Korean can understand, and create a stupid dance, and you become a worldwide sensation.

But how did he manage to get a second song so popular? The video has over 500 million views and has broke some kind of YouTube record. Society, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Also, I suggest you watch the video with the sound off, and then ask yourself the question: WHY IS THIS FOOL POPULAR??

Molly’s picks

22 by Taylor Swift

Congratulations, Taylor. You’re 22. That’s great for you, but can you stop being so showy about it?  The only thing you’ve done to earn your relative youth is not dying for 22 years. Time passes all too quickly, and in a blink of an eye you’ll be 27, wondering how it could possibly be fun to dress up like hipsters and make fun of your exes when you can dress up in business casual and internet-stalk your ex’s The Knot profile, instead. From there, it’s just one foot in front of the other until the grave. So, enjoy 22, Tay!

What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction

My main issue with this is the logical fallacy. Not knowing she’s beautiful is what makes this girl beautiful, so then the One Directions go and TELL her which I think makes her ugly by the end. Also, I’m pretty sure that if you’re beautiful, you know it. Because people will tell you – like, for instance, One Direction. If you have been waiting forever for a pop tune about a girl with body dysmorphic disorder who eventually gets made ugly by a flock of little British boys, you probably like this song.

Redneck Crazy by Tyler Farr

This summer there was a lot of outrage about Blurred Lines, and I was like “guys, can we please get mad about Redneck Crazy instead, because it’s way worse and also I think Robin Thicke is really appealing?” This song is narrated by a man who was cheated on, so he drives his car to her front lawn, drinks on the hood of his car, shines his headlights through her windows, throws beer cans at her shadows, and is the kind of man “that shows up at your house at 3am.” The last part is the worst. I hate when people use “that” instead of “who.”

Crazy Kids – Ke$ha

All of Ke$ha’s songs sound the same, and she always looks like she slept in garbage then threw glitter at herself. I don’t feel bad for saying that because I think it’s on purpose. Also, I hate that she styles her name with a dollar sign in the middle because typing shift+4 really slows down my typing. This one’s awful because of that part where she whispers “we are the crazy people” and sounds like a pop star from a bad dream — only we’re all far too awake.

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

There’s nothing exactly wrong with this, I’m just sick of it. It sounds like it was recorded to play in one of those dark indoor roller coasters. The band name “Imagine Dragons” sounds like the fake band of three 8-year-old boys who are really into Lego.

Playlist of the Month: Modern Day Fourth of July Songs

Happy 4th of July! This is one of my favorite holidays. Not because I’m so into America (though I mean land of the free and all of that), but because it’s such a laid-back, no-expectations day that it can almost never disappoint you. As long as you have friends, fireworks, and food, you’re all set. The only thing missing is a good playlist — just call it our love letter to America.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks:

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

You’re probably expecting Born in the USA. But I thought I’d throw a curveball, and also I like this song better.

Jack and Diane – John Mellencamp

This may be a little ditty about Jack and Diane (two American kids growing up in the Heartland), but apparently it’s also about the loss of innocence amongst teens. So yeah, kids in the USA go through life changing experiences, and that’s a part of American culture.

All-American Girl – Carrie Underwood

A touching tale of a boy who grows up, falls in love, gets married, and hopes for a son to carry on his football legacy, his dreams changed when he has a baby girl. An ‘All-American’ baby girl. But hey, it’s 2013, girls can play football too. Theoretically.

Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts

Fourth of July obviously means summertime, and this is a great song to play if you’re chillin in the back of your friend’s pickup truck drinking an ice cold Budwiser in the middle of a corn field. Note: I’ve never done this, I just imagine that’s what kids in the country too.

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

I think my thing with Fourth of July songs is that I picked songs that everyone knows. Independence day is celebrating America- One Nation, Under God, etc. etc. What better way to come together as a whole than by singing a song together that everyone knows? In saying that, Sweet Caroline personally reminds me of the Red Sox and Fenway Park – baseball, Americana, etc. And the ‘Ba Ba Ba’? Who doesn’t love a good ‘Ba Ba Ba’?

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

Because, America.

Molly’s picks:

America, Fuck Yeah – Team America: World Police

On the 4th of July, you will be hearing a lot of soaring, majestic numbers about amber waves of grain and there being ain’t no doubt you love this land. Fine. But I like an America that can laugh at itself. LOL jingoism.

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

Independence day barbecues are all about the cheerful oldies. You need to play a selection of the summery ones – whether it’s this song, Summer In The City, Surfin’ USA, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini … whatever it takes to make you feel like Megan Draper without all the, you know, troubles.

Electric Feel – MGMT

    If I picture outdoor summer parties from the past 6 years or so, this song is always playing. I don’t know who made the rule that every 20-something’s summer party in the 2010s has to play MGMT, but the rule exists and you may as well follow it.

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

    Right?! Right.

At The Beach – The Avett Brothers

    If it’s 4th of July, I need some kind of country or folksy music. It’s no wonder that the best 4th of July celebration I’ve been to was in Nashville. Something about the modern version of country/bluegrass/folk just makes me really happy to be from the good ol’ U.S. of A. So put on Devil Makes Three, or the Avett Brothers, or Father John Misty, or Old Crow Medicine Show, or whatever, and thank God that you live in America.

American Pie – Don MacLean

    Everybody knows this song, everybody loves this song, and it’s one of the best singalong tunes I know. Plus the word “American” is in it so… you know.

Playlist of the Month: On the Road Again

This is a special time of year for us here at Cookies + Sangria. Both of us consider the time we left our study abroad countries as an “anniversary” of sorts, and we’re both at 7 years now. It’s hard to believe, frankly. Although the whole “college girl who goes abroad and learns about the world and herself” thing is a bit of a cliche, that’s exactly what happened for us.

We’ve both spent our fair share of time on the road and in the air since then, and we still love a good travelin’ song. Hopefully you do, too. Bon voyage, nos amis!

Check out the full playlist on Spotify!

Molly’s Picks:

Travel Light by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling

When I was an astronaut I didn’t have my boots, When I was a coal miner I didn’t have the news, When I was a record store I didn’t have the blues, I travel light and that’s the life for me.

This is one of my personal travel anthems, and it doesn’t make a half-bad life anthem, either. Originally recorded by Diane Cluck and Jeffrey Lewis, I much prefer the Flynn/Marling cover.

Shambala by Three Dog Night

Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind, On the road to Shambala

In Nicaragua, our driver had a CD with about 5 tracks on it. We listened to it about 900 times over the course of a month. This was one of those songs, and it always brings me back to that hot, dusty village. Maybe an odd pick, but for me it sums up those perfect travel experiences where everyone you meet on the road is helpful and kind.

California by Joni Mitchell

They said “How long can you hang around?”/ I said a week maybe two, Just until my skin turns brown

On more long-term trips out of the country, it’s a weird, ambivalent thing thinking about your homeland from abroad. You’re sort of enchanted with everything you see, and you’re sort of ready to pack up and head home, too. Not that home is perfect: Joni was writing during Vietnam, and I was traveling a lot during the worst of the Iraq mess. Travel can magnify your home country’s flaws and make you miss it terribly all at the same time.

Elias by Dispatch

Distance is short when your hand carries what your eye found

When I left Spain, I learned one of the secrets of traveling: if you do it right, it means that wherever you go, you will always miss someone. I missed my friends and family in the U.S. during my months abroad, but when I came home, I missed my friends and “family” in Madrid. It’s worth making personal connections with people you meet on your travels, even if you have to accept that you may go the rest of your life without seeing them again.

Clean Getaway by Maria Taylor

He felt just like love. Except no fear of losing, and it wasn’t tough.

It’s so amazing when you travel that wherever you are is just plain home to someone else. Rather than making you feel empty that you’re anonymous, it mostly just feels free. This one reminds me of moving to a city where I didn’t know a soul but my own, which is always good to do in your early 20s (before, like a used car, your shock absorbers start to go).

Honorary mentions: I love Safe Travels (Don’t Die), but it’s more relevant when somebody else is doing the traveling. Chicago is another travel song I love, but like most Sufjan Stevens tunes, it means about 3 different things to me and will probably find its way onto a different Playlist of the Month anyway.

Traci’s Picks:

3×5 by John Mayer

Today skies are painted in a cowboy cliche. Strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway.
This is a travelin’ song if I ever heard one. Driving down the road, taking in nature, the sights, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have someone you care about sharing it with you. Not to mention the instrumentals are a perfect background for his picturesque lyrics. It just feels like you’re on the move.

Going Home by Marc Broussard

You know I was born to roam.

In the same vein as 3×5, this jam has a general driving/travel theme in the lyrics, and the music feel like you’re on an old-timey train – like Hogwarts Express – going through the US to your love.

Cathedrals by Jump Little Children

In the cathedrals of New York and Rome, there is a feeling that you should just go home – and spend a lifetime finding out just where that is.

When I studied abroad, I discovered this song and it really hit me. I had this weird emotion where I wanted to be back home in America, where everything was familiar, and where my friends and family were. But at the same time I wanted to explore every single city in Europe – a place where I was slowly calling home too.

Chocolate by Snow Patrol

This could be the very minute I’m aware I’m alive. All these places feel like home.

Gosh, if there was a scene in my autobiographical movie, where I was running through the streets of a foreign country with a handsome man and exploring everything, it would be set to this song.

Heads Carolina, Tails California by Jo Dee Messina

We can pack up tomorrow. Tonight, let’s flip a coin.

Ok, this song is admittedly corny, but we played this on our road trip from the east coast to LA constantly. The idea of just packing up and not knowing where to go next was an idea that I would never dare to do, but our semi-planned drive across the country was the closest thing I’ll ever get to flipping a coin and leaving.

Playlist of the Month: April Showers

You’re familiar with the old saying, “April Showers bring May Flowers,” so we figured why not give you some appropriate songs to listen to while the rain comes down and you’re stuck inside wishing you were somewhere it was sunny. Check out some of our fave tunes to listen to while waiting for the sun to come out.

Want to listen to all these tunes on one playlist? Check it out on Spotify!

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Traci’s picks:

Leave by Steve Kazee (Once: A New Musical)

If you’re not familiar with Once, please please please check it out. Based on the movie of the same name and the songs of The Swell Season, this show is a hit on Broadway, and even won the Tony for the Best Musical. With all this praise, you would think I’ve seen it a million times, but I haven’t seen it at all. Good news is that I’m finally getting to see this magical show when it comes to LA!!! In 2014. Womp Womp. Anyways, NPR was streaming the entire album when the show first opened, and it just so happened that when I listened to it for the first time, it was raining. Ever since then, I can’t imagine listening to anything other than this soundtrack while it pours down outside.

The Shape of Us by Ian Britt

I was introduced to this song from an episode of Parenthood, and per usual, it was the thing that pushed me right over the edge to bawl like a child.

Blue Ocean Floor by Justin Timberlake

This song from JT’s new album is quite different than anything else he’s ever released, and I am loving it. I find that I have to be in a certain type of mood to listen to this, preferably at night or – while it’s raining.

Skinny Love by Birdy

Well kids, this girl is 16 years old and better than you, so we can all stop trying. Her cover of Bon Iver is haunting and comforting at the same time. Like a nice warm bowl of tomato soup.

All My Days by Alexi Murdoch

This was the main track from the Away We Go movie soundtrack, and it was just perfect for the tone of the movie. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph travelled all across the U.S. to find a place to settle down before the birth of the impending birth of their kid, and this song hits just the right notes of the journey to find a home and knowing everything was going to work out.

Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

Apparently my theme for rainy day songs means depressing songs too. Which is fine by me, because these are all great jams. And as for this one, listening to any Civil Wars song when it’s raining out is acceptable.

Molly’s picks:

Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine

Weather that makes you feel happy-sad calls for a song that makes you feel the same. This is one of my favorite songs, but by the end it’s a tossup as to whether I’m smiling or crying.

Kathy’s Song by Simon and Garfunkel

Poor Paul Simon is so broken-hearted and sweet – “I know that I am like the rain/ there but for the grace of you go I” – that I’ll love him if this Kathy girl never comes back.

Aguas de Marco by Elis Regina and Tom Jobim

This is one of those songs that you know, but you don’t know that you know it. After a listen it will probably sound familiar. Technically this is about MARCH showers, but that’s the rainy month in Brazil. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the song sounds like rain falling. And if you do understand the lyrics, then you’ll probably feel simultaneously uplifted and bummed out. Rain does that.

Sunshine by JJ Heller

JJ Heller is technically a Christian artist, but don’t let that hold you off (to paraphrase a quote misattributed to Gandhi, I like your Christ but I do not like your Contemporary Christian Music). She writes about everything, and there’s nothing religious in this song, or a lot of her others. The laid-back sound of this song reminds me of a rainy day, but the good kind: cozy and happy.

Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson

If it’s going to rain, you may as well stay in and be joyful and charming about it.

Playlist of the Month: Songs for Single People

Welcome to the inaugural Playlist of the Month post! Every month, we’ll present to you some jams that go along with a common theme, but are also top-notch tunes. This month, in honor of everyone’s favorite (least favorite) holiday, Valentine’s Day, we present to you our top songs for single people on this, the day of love.

PS: If you want to listen to all these songs, check out the playlist on Spotify HERE!!! Enjoy 🙂

Traci’s Picks

Me, Myself, and I – Beyonce

Queen Bey has a knack for those independent women songs (see: Independent Women Part 2), and this is no exception. If you’re just getting out of a relationship or just plain old single, B reminds us that a lot of times in life, the only person you can rely and trust on is you.

I realized I got Me myself and I, That’s all I got in the end, that’s what I found out.  And it ain’t no need to cry, I took a vow that from now on I’m gonna be my own best friend.

The More Boys I Meet – Carrie Underwood

I actually used to hate this song, because it’s a typical country, tractors and beer type of storytelling song. But the more I listened to it, the more I liked it, and appreciated it for its sheer ridiculousness and earnest lyrics. Well of course you’re going to meet your fair share of useless men, so find companionship elsewhere.

It’s not like I’m not trying, cause I’ll give anyone a shot once… And I close my eyes, and I kiss that frog. Each time finding the more boys I meet, the more I love my dog.

Desire – Ryan Adams

For those looking for a good wallowing song, sorry about your life, but here’s a tune to help you out. If you want a real “kick you in the gut – forever alone – crying into your extra large glass of wine” song, this is the one for you.

You know me. You don’t mind waiting. You just can’t show me, but God I’m praying, that you’ll find me, and that you’ll see me, that you run and never tire.

Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work – Solange

We fall in love, we fall out of love, and some things are never meant to be. My motto has always been, everything happens for a reason, because I really like cliches (not really, I’m just a victim to believing it to be true). But Solange puts it best in a very blatant way. Not everything can go your way. Deal, move on, find something better.

I’m thinking of some time off. I’m dreaming of a time that you knew me. So maybe then we’re better off So maybe if it’s all you wanted it. Leave me alone. Some things never seem to fucking work.

Fuck You – Lily Allen

Pretty sure this is self explanatory.

Fuck you. Fuck you very, very much. Cause your words don’t translate, and it’s getting quite late, so please don’t stay in touch.

Molly’s Picks

Marriage Is For Old Folks – Nina Simone

I have married friends and relatives who are (a) not old folks and (b) very happy, but you know what? If they’re allowed to spend all of today talking about how happy they are with their lives, we’re allowed to discuss how happy we are not to be married right now, too. Also, couples get all of the jazzy, old-timey songs today, so here’s one for the rest of us.

Marriage is for old folks/ Cold folks, not for me/ One married he, one married she/ Whaddya got? Two people watchin’ TV

My Life – Billy Joel

I love Billy Joel as much as Billy Joel loves crashing his car into private residences, which he must like a lot because he did it like three times. This is a classic, late-70s, ‘I’ll do what I want and don’t even try to tell me what to do’ anthem (in Billy’s case, what he wants to do is marry much younger women and engage in some reckless driving. Don’t judge).

I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life, Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone

Runaway – Kanye West

The theme of most Valentines-y songs is “I’m so wonderful, you’re so wonderful, let’s be so wonderful together!” But what if you’re not wonderful? And what if you’re single because you think nobody should have to put up with you? Yeezy addresses this sentiment.

Let’s have a toast for the douchebags/ Let’s have a toast for the assholes, Let’s have a toast for the scumbags,/ Every one of them that I know/ Let’s have a toast for the jerkoffs/ That’ll never take work off/ Baby, I got a plan/ Run away fast as you can

A Cause des Garcons – Yelle

Every once in a while, my inner 12-year-old isn’t above listening to a good, old-fashioned, ‘boys suck’-themed pop tune. Particularly when it’s a French electropop cover of an ’80s novelty song.

À cause des garçons !/ On met des bas nylon/ On se crêpe le chignon/ À cause des garçons !/ Et du “qu’en dira-t-on”/ On pleure sur tous les tons/ À cause des garçons !

I’m Good I’m Gone – Lykke Li

Lykke Li brought us the messy bun on the tippy-top of her head long before anyone was doing that. As an aside, I had my hair like that at work and everyone treated me very gently, as though I might be hungover. Anyway, this song is all about leaving your haters and unsupportive gentleman friends in the dust, because you’re a hard worker on your way up in the world.

If you say I aim too high from down below, Well, say you’re not ’cause when I’m gone, You’ll be callin’ but I won’t be at the phone