Playlist of the Month: Songs I Liked Before They Got Overplayed

We’ll never learn. We hear a new single on the radio, declare that it’s really amazing, and maybe even tell all of our friends about it. Within a few months the song is completely overplayed, we can’t stand to listen to it, and we’re frankly embarrassed that we liked it in the first place. But since there are no secrets on the blog, we’re confessing all today: at one time, these tunes were music to our ears. Now, years after they came out, we STILL change the station when we hear the opening chords.

Molly’s Picks

Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s

Ten years ago this March, both of us were traipsing across Europe on our semester abroad. Meanwhile, my suitemates back home had a replacement roommate (who ended up becoming our friend, so that worked out great)! Anyway, she introduced everyone to this catchy new song that wasn’t even on the radio yet: Hey There Delilah. I even remember someone asking over IM whether I had heard it (hey there, 2006). I had not. Cut to over a year later, the single reached number one and I was very, very sick of it.

Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer

I was in junior high, it was featured on both Dawson’s Creek AND She’s All That, and that’s no excuse. I had a head start on this song thanks to the W.B.’s heavy music marketing, so by the time it was on the radio I was already done. I mean, just kiss someplace normal.

Daughters by John Mayer

To this day, I cannot make it all the way through this song. To this very DAY. But Heavier Things was one of the defining albums of my high school years (lest anyone think I’m at all cool), and there was a time when I’d get very excited every time I heard my favorite fake-sensitive acoustic-rock guy on the radio. That all died with Daughters, as the more (and more… and MORE) I heard it, the more insipid it became.

Sugar We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy

Because no list of songs that sounded really good before you listened to them 100+ times would be complete without something from the Fall Out Boy/ The Killers / Panic At The Disco / Kings Of Leon neighborhood.

Ho Hey by The Lumineers

“Have you heard of The Lumineers? They only play them on the indie station now but I think they’re going to get really popular!” – This idiot, c. 2012.

Traci’s Picks

Kiss From a Rose by Seal

It was the summer of 1995. I was 9 years old, Michael Keaton was Batman, not Birdman. It was a different time back then. After featuring on the Batman Forever soundtrack, the song basically launched Seal into a global superstar when the song skyrocketed constant radio rotation. It’s a good, haunting song that is perfect for Seal, but it go to the point that I heard it so much on the radio (because in 1995 we didn’t have Spotify or SiriusXM, kids) that I would demand the station be changed from the backseat of my parents’ car. It was like hearing nails on a chalkboard for me.

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

I, like many others, were introduced to this song via Justin Bieber’s rather brilliant homemade music video with his then-GF Selena and her BFF Ashley Tisdale. I couldn’t resist the catchiness of the song and played it on my own personal rotation constantly. And then it became popular on the radio, people started doing covers of it, and the rest is history. In defense of Carly Rae, this may be the song she’s best known for, but she’s got other great hits too. I.E. her entire album, E MO TION, which is hands down, one of the best pop albums I’ve ever heard. Get on it.

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye

Remember when this song blew up in 2011? And how no one knew how to pronounce his name if they saw it on paper? And how we don’t know what’s happened to Gotye since?

Torn by Natalie Imbruglia

Like Seal’s Kiss From A Rose, I had an adverse reaction to this after day number 410 of the song being played on repeat in 1997. To Americans, Natalie was a new artist who had a one-hit wonder with Torn and her memorable music video in an apartment that never changed settings. To Australians, she was and still is top actress who happened to have a hit song around the world. Fun fact: Natalie’s version is actually a cover of American alternative rock band Ednaswap, who featured Torn on their 1995 album.

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

Before all the legal battles and misogyny, this was a good song. In fact, I was fan of Robin’s from his other tracks like Lost Without U and The Sweetest Love, so when he came out with this tune I was excited. Then it went downhill from there.

Playlist of the Month: Best Movie Tracks of 2013

No that’s not a typo, we really mean 2013. Since it’s technically still Oscars month, we decided to keep the celebration going, with our picks for the best songs from all the *Oscar-eligible* movies from last year.

From Baz Luhrman’s Great Gatsby soundtrack to pretty much all of Llewyn Davis, there were a lot of great tunes on the big screen and these are just a few of ours. Did we miss any of your faves? Let us know below!

Click here to listen to the entire list (most of the songs) on Spotify!

spotify:user:122917273:playlist:1DrY76LBzKXwOflQXbkJSd

Traci’s Picks

Love is an Open Door by Kristen Bell & Santino Fontana – Frozen

You didn’t think we’d make a list of the best movie songs WITHOUT a song from Frozen, did you? I personally think Let It Go is a fine song, but it’s not my favorite from the whole bunch. I basically switch between this song and For the First Time in Forever when pretending I’m Kristen Bell in my car and belting out these songs. Don’t pretend you don’t too. I’M 28 YEARS OLD, FOLKS.

Over The Love by Florence + The Machine – The Great Gatsby

We mentioned this briefly during the Oscars Live Blog, but we loved The Great Gatsby. Haters to the left. One of the best things about a Baz Luhrman film is that the music will always be top notch. This is no different. One of my favorite tracks from the soundtrack is Florence + The Machine (expect more Gatsby on this list). It’s a haunting song, like more Florence songs, but there’s an elegance to it, much like Gatsby. And I mean it has the words ‘green light’ in it. Come on! Slash Florence make new music kthxbye.

Bad Girls by M.I.A. – The Bling Ring

Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion, but I really liked The Bling Ring. It showed everything that’s wrong with kids (and adults)’ obsession with celebrities and how it can be taken to the extreme. It was like a 2 hour psychology project in film form. This song is perfect for the look and tone of Sofia Coppola’s film, and it always remind me of Emma Watson saying:

Silhouettes by Of Monsters and Men – Catching Fire

While I definitely loved Catching Fire better than The Hunger Games, film wise, I can easily say the first soundtrack was much better than the second. But, this song is an exception – it perfectly encapsuslates Katniss and Peeta’s relationship both in the Games and life outside of it, and Of Monsters and Men does a great job of giving the song an eerie feeling that I assume one would get if ever faced in the Capitol. Especially with President Snow.

Ride Like the Wind by Robin Thicke featuring Ron Burgundy – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

When the first Anchorman came out, it was the summer before I was a freshman in college, and I remember thinking it was the funniest movie I had ever seen in my life. I would quote it constantly and listen to Afternoon Delight as like a pasttime. But a lot as changed since 2004. I’d like to think my humor has changed slightly – but I was delightfully surprised when Anchorman 2 came out and while the jokes were much different, the tone was the same and I still couldn’t stop laughing. My face literally hurt afterwards. In saying this, not only do I genuinely like this ‘yacht rock’ track  originally by Christopher Cross, but the interjections from Ron are on point. It’s the perfect thing to listen to if you need to brighten your day.

***Special shout out to the best ‘musical moment’ from a movie in 2013 – James Franco & the girls in Spring Breakers. If you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly what scene I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I suggest you should try giving the movie a shot, and this might seem kind of weird and out of place, but it totally works in the movie. Here they are singing Britney Spears’ Everytime.***

Molly’s Picks

Please Mr. Kennedy by Justin Timberlake – Inside Llewyn Davis

I don’t know how this wasn’t nominated for Best Original Song, but I’m sure the Cohen Brothers will find consolation that it made the Cookies + Sangria playlist of the month. This is a satire (well… maybe it feels a bit more like pastiche?) of 60s protest songs, begging President Kennedy not to “shoot me into outer space,” and it is awesome.

100$ Bill by Jay-Z – The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby and Frozen were my favorite soundtracks of the year, without a doubt. I love how a lot of the tracks feature jazz horns or riffs from classic old-school songs, but there’s a lot of modern hip hop in there too. Luhrmann’s interpretations are more about the spirit of the material and not the letter of it. Were they listening to Jay-Z in the 20s? … Okay, actually… maybe.

But more importantly, the flappers and sheiks at Jay Gatsby’s crazy parties weren’t listening to the establishment’s music on their Victrola, they were listening to the new and scandalous stuff. Rap and electro are to the 2000s as jazz was to the 1920s. I want to put the whole soundtrack on here, but let’s leave it at this track.

Roll Jordan Roll by John Legend – 12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave was scored by Hans Zimmer, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a T-Bone Burnett work when you listen to this reworked spiritual. Music is central in 12 Years A Slave, both because of Northrup’s violin skills and the use of music in slave life. Roll Jordan Roll occurs in a pivotal moment in the film, and this great John Legend version was released on the soundtrack – feeling a bit more like one of the Civil Rights-era reinterpretations of classic spirituals.  Sad and surprising coincidence: Like Solomon Northrup, some of Legend’s ancestors were also free Northerners who were kidnapped into slavery.

Also, if you are a combination history nerd-music nerd, you should check out this interview with Nicholas Britell, who mined original sources to create music for the film that sounded true to the time period.

Happy by Pharrell Williams – Despicable Me 2

Yes, this song is everywhere. But it’s so infectiously, well, happy. Especially after the all-star dance party to this tune at the Oscars – and my many no-star dance parties to this song with one of my favorite three-year-olds – I can’t help but smile when I hear this.

If I Needed You by The Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band – The Broken Circle Breakdown

The Belgian bluegrass scene? Yes, it’s real. Just give this movie and soundtrack a shot – it’s the best heartbreaking movie about music since Once. But just a warning: it’s a beautiful film, but very, very sad. If you’re not in a good mental place for that, at least listen to the soundtrack, full of re-imagined Bluegrass and country standards, like this song better known as sung by Townes van Zandt and Emmylou Harris.

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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5 Things You Missed At The VMAs

Missed the VMAs yesterday? Don’t worry, because I got you covered. And it’s probably for the best because there was a good amount of people on the red carpet that I had absolutely NO IDEA who they were. I am old.

Also, before I go into the top moments from the show, can I just share something that’s annoyed me since I started watching this awards show back in the day? WHY is it called the VMAs – as in Video Music Awards? Shouldn’t it be MVAs – Music Video Awards?? Someone from MTV get back to me on that.

Anyways, the storied “VMAs” headed back to NYC and for the first time were held in Brooklyn at Barclay’s Center – aka the place where Jay Z’s basketball team plays. To me, MTV goes hand in hand with New York, probably because of the TRL days, so it’s great that the show was back in the Big Apple.

People are probably going to be talking about things that happened during the show, so here’s a breakdown of the things that went down on Sunday so you can talk to your 20-year-old co-worker/intern about what happened…

5) Amen! Hallelujah! Praise Yeezus

^click for video^

Kanye is on hand (without North or Kimmy K) to sing Blood on the Leaves. He starts off with a red light on his face as he raps into a mic, and then pans out to show just his shadow against this background, and it’s actually really great. Just him performing without all the extra shit. If anyone saw him on Kris Jenner’s show on Friday, he talked about how he went to art school, had three scholarships, and considers himself an artist above anything else. This performance just proved it.

4) Taylor Swift is still an asshat (see here)

So the very first award of the night is for Best Pop Video. Presenting is One Direction, and among the nominees is Selena Gomez. If you haven’t put it together yet, Selena is BFF with Taylor (hence them sitting next to each other) and Taylor used to “date” Harry in 1D (the most famous one with the brown shaggy hair). As 1D was talking, the cameras went to Taylor and Selena, and Taylor said this:

You first.

Selena incidentally won the award, and politely kissed Harry on the cheek.

Later, Taylor won the award for Best Female Video, and said this during her speech:

When winning Best Female Video, Taylor says, “I want to thank the person who inspired this song – who knows exactly who he is – because now I got one of these.”… CUT TO HARRY STYLES LOOKING AWKWARD.

TAYLOR YOU ARE 23 YEARS OLD. GET IT TOGETHER. Even Selena’s over your complaining – look at her face. You always make it look like you’re the victim, but here you are standing in front of the world practically bullying your ex-boyfriend. Just a simple ‘thank you’ would have been sufficient. The girl really needs to learn the art of letting go…

3) Lady Gaga out Gagas Gaga

Gaga opens the show and the very first sight you see of the MTV VMAs is this:

And then this:

 Okay Stefani, you look creepy even for Lady Gaga standards. You look like an extra on a kids’ daytime show like the Teletubbies or something. But if you’re not disturbing by that sort of thing, watch the whole performance.

Oddness aside, I appreciated the fact she kicked off her performance by singing without overproduced beats in the background and just showcasing her voice. But then she broke out into Applause. Through a series of quick on stage costume changes she kind of goes through her discography from Poker Face to Telephone and finally to Artpop. Also all her dancers look like Mike Myers’ Sprockets sketch from SNL.

PS: Another reason to love Gaga despite her odditties – when One Direction won for Song of the Summer, apparently people were booing, and she was not okay with it. She even told the boys themselves.

2) Miley Cyrus twerks with Robin Thicke

click on image for the performance that will damage your brain

First off Vanessa Bayer shows up with her Miley Cyrus impression and it’s the best thing to happen so far (you know, like 20 mintues in). If you wanted more Miley twerking besides that one video of her in a onesie, here it is. Miley’s been toting around this huge stuff bear Boo (like the one in the video), and now the entire stage is filled with bears. Miley breaks out into We Can’t Stop in her furry swimsuit and her mohawk pulled into tiny buns like Gwen Stefani during the Tragic Kingdom days.

Incidentally, this was at the VMAs in 1998

And then she sheds the furry thing off to reveal a bathing nude bikini akin to the girls in the Blurred Lines video, and she begins to twerk on Robin Thicke while they duet on his song. I am uncomfortable, mainly because Hannah Montana should be wearing more clothes and not humping a married man that maybe could be her dad. If Liam hasn’t broken up with her yet, he should now.

But really, the audience reactions were the best. And they were more or less the same.

if your eyes haven’t burned out yet…

Drake bobbin his head, but not being able to actually look at her out of longterm damage

Second hand embarrassment from 1D and high as a kite Rihanna barely understanding what’s happening and if Miley is stealing her moves

Jaden’s face is usually like that, but entirely appropriate for this occasion…

1) Justin Timberlake proves he’s meant to be a solo artist aka *NSYNC reunites

look into JT’s eyes & click the pic for video!

First off, my boy Jimmy Fallon is (fittingly) giving this award to JT. We start off in the lobby and it looks like a love lip dub – and ironically similar to the opening number Jimmy did at the Emmys a few years ago. Basically I just want a posse of dancers to follow me everywhere I go. He then goes into an epic medley of his greatest hits and it is amazing. I had the chance to go to the Legends of Summer tour at Fenway Park in Boston a couple weeks ago, and it was seriously the best concert I’ve ever been to. I think sometimes we forget that JT has so many hits until he sings them in succession and you end up knowing every single word to all his songs. That’s a legend right there. At the VMAs, he spent a minute or two cover a bunch of his hits, making each one seem like its own mini concert.

And then came *NSYNC. Too bad they couldn’t keep that a secret, because it would have been awesome to be surprised when these four other guys joined him on stage. But I get it – they wanted to make sure they got the *NSYNC fans to watch – slash any viewers they could get. Speaking as a Backstreet Boys fan, I even felt like they could’ve been up there longer. But as my friend Meghan (a *NSYNC fan) said, ‘Pretend you hadn’t seen BSB for 10 years. That 90 seconds was well worth it.’ So I suppose the 90 seconds was better than nothing. But at least they came out singing songs I actually liked (Gone, Girlfriend). Chris proved that he should’ve been training for this reunion since the day they broke up because boy needed to keep up with the rest of the group (also, apparently Chris’ trap door failed…). And what was with JC sneaking in a riff at the end? But since JT wasn’t done, the four others went back on their platforms, and slowly descended back down into the pit of being in Justin Timberlake’s shadow.

JT continues his 20 minute medley and the cameras keep showing Taylor Swift singing and dancing in the audience. Okay, so at the Grammys and the CMAs (or country like awards show) they kept doing the same thing and showed TSwift awkwardly dancing. THIS IS A FORMAL PETITION TO START BANNING HER FROM DANCING AT ALL AWARDS SHOWS. NAY, THIS IS A PETITION TO STOP ALL PRODUCERS OF AWARDS SHOWS FROM SHOWING HER IN THE AUDIENCE EVER. I WANT TO SEE AS MUCH JT AS POSSIBLE. GOOD DAY SIR.

Finally it comes to an end and Jim Jam comes back on the stage hyped as ever and legit going to lose his voice from pumping up JT so much. Worth it. Bros ❤ JT is as humble as ever, even thanks his boys of *NSYNC for being the reason why he was up there in the first place. “I don’t deserve this ward but i’m not gonna give it back” Fair.

Honorable Mentions

 – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis promote equality with Mary Lambert and Jennifer Hudson. Those harmonies between the ladies tho.

Katy Perry roars under the Brooklyn Bridge. NGL, I love that song. I felt like I could wrestle a lion after that.

– A collective ‘Who da fuck is that??’ from all the millennials who were tuning in to see the *NSYNC reunion.

Playlist of the Month: Summer Jams

Well folks, we’re well into the summer season now, and the sun is showing itself a little more often than it was a couple months ago. School’s out (which I’m assuming doesn’t effect most of our readers, but you can still feel the freedom in the air), the dresses and sandals come out from the closet, and eating ice cream and fro-yo everyday is more acceptable than in the winter months.

So to celebrate the season, here are our favorite jams for this summer. No ‘Call Me Maybe’, but a few good picks for 2013.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus

I have no shame in saying I love Miley. She doesn’t give a fuck, and that’s why I appreciate her. Do I think the music video for this song is appropriate for her younger fans? Not really. But do I think she did it because she can and she looks good while twerkin’? Yes. It’s her party she can do what she wants.

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

This song should come with no explanation. Sex.

Disclosure – Latch

I first heard this song on a recent episode of So You Think You Can Dance, and ever since I found out what the song was, I haven’t stopped listening to it. Like it will end and I will immediately play it again. Plus nothing says summer like SYTYCD.

The Way – Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller

Don’t know who Ariana Grande is? She’s a Nickelodeon starlet who’s 19, but has a lot of tween fans. Sound familiar? She’s still in her innocent phase, but boy does she have a great range.

Cruise – Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly

Need a song to play while you’re driving through the country? Here’s your jam.

Miss Movin On – Fifth Harmony

I’ve mentioned Fifth Harmony here before, and again, no shame in liking them. They’ve come such a long way since they were thrown together on The X Factor, and this is the perfect first single for the girls to release as a hopeful summer hit (and their acoustic version is balls to the wall amazing). I have big hopes for these gals!

Molly’s picks

Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu

As soon as I heard that Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu were collaborating I was like “okay, then, that’s my new favorite song.” Like, before I even heard it, because how could you go wrong? And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I will say, though, that this one’s a grower. The first time I heard it I was like yeah, it’s pretty good. Then by listen 4 or so I was all, this jam is my JAM.

Get Lucky – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell

First of all, who would have thought this would be the summer of Pharrell’s comeback as a featured artist? Second, I have plenty of fond memories of dancing to One More Time, and there’s always room for more Daft Punk. Third, it’s only the first day of summer, but I can already tell you that no Summer 2013 playlist would be complete without Get Lucky and Blurred Lines.

Gun – Chvrches

Once you get over the thing of like, “wait, I just pronounce it “churches, right?” this is pretty great.

Diane Young – Vampire Weekend

Ezra. EZRA. Nice work. Love the old-school rock vibe they have going on here. I feel like I’m going to get a malt and watch a drag race. My knowledge of the 50s is mostly based on Grease.

Cocoa Butter Kisses – Chance The Rapper

First time I heard Chance the Rapper, I was like what the hell is this Adam Sandler-impression-sounding guy even doing? But I’ve come around, and Acid Rap is def one of THE mixtapes of the summer.

If you want to add a chill jam to the list, I suggest Wakin On A Pretty Day by Kurt Vile. If your summer needs more Kanye, well, primarily I recommend listening to 2005-era Ye because that’s the BEST. But I’m seriously feeling Black Skinhead this summer too.