I can’t believe it’s been a year! A year since my last ‘Favorite Songs’ playlist. In fact, I went back today and checked, and it’s been exactly one year to the day since I last compiled a favorite songs playlist. Well, I’ve been kind of busy. But I was inspired to compile today’s list because I need a little assistance from folks willing to give the first song on my playlist a listen and help me figure out what other song it’s reminiscent of, because something’s lurking there, in the background of my musical brain, but for the life of me I can’t put my finger on it.
For those of you who are new to Mistress Of The Mix, there are some ground rules to my ‘Favorite Songs’ playlists. These are the songs which have risen to the top of my own churned mix….they are the heavy cream on top of my buttery musical choices over the past 6 months (or, in this case, the past year). They are not necessarily new pieces of music, but they absolutely must have been new to my iTunes during that period. So there are a few rare old pieces that make it onto the list, but they are pieces that I didn’t have daily, immediate access to prior to adding them to my iTunes.
In putting together today’s column, something became pathetically obvious to me. I’m a little bit ashamed to admit it, because I really should be cooler than this.
In the past year of my life, I have become exposed to new cool and awesome music in just a few ways:
- By listening to Open Air on JPR (and if you have not yet checked out our new morning DJ from 9 to noon, Maestro Paul Gerardi, you are in for a treat! Tune in 89.7 immediately! He has turned me on to so much cool music recently!
- The free trial of SiriusXM satellite radio in my Subaru Outback. By the way, while I was thankful for the 3 tunes that I was turned onto during that 4 month trial, I felt it was somehow wrong and perhaps sacrilegious to be a career public radio professional and have satellite radio, so I cancelled it). But I’m keeping the car.
- Through my teenage daughter and whatever ways she is turned on to new music.
- TV. Through shows about Zombies, sarcastic New Yorkers and I can’t believe I’m going to admit to this….reality TV. And worse.
A short, pathetic list, I know….but we’re just coming out of a long, sequestered winter. I’m sure my next Favorite Songs playlist will be full of amazing music that I was exposed to through friends sharing great music I’ve never heard of at my wedding, stuff I heard at outdoor festivals, and events at the Cascade Theatre (wait until you see the REST of the season lineup that hasn’t been announced yet!!!! WOW!!! Other than that, my lip is zipped).
But let me just say that I think you’re gonna love today’s playlist.
- Ride On-Right On – Phosphorescent This is currently my absolutely, no-doubt-about-it, favorite song, and right now I’m hearing it almost every day on JPR. Thank you Paul!!! Now if only I could figure out what old rock song this reminds me of. If you’re wondering too, and up to the task of being my own personal musical detective, please click the play button on the black & white Grooveshark playlist box above, give the first song a listen, and let me know what it reminds you of.
Rumble & Sway – Jamie N. Commons My daughter has taken to watching Conan lately. The talk show, not the Governator’s old movies. This guy was on a few weeks ago, and I was mesmerized. Then about a week later, he was a live in-studio guest at JPR. One of those rare moments I wished I was working out of the Ashland studios instead of Redding. This British blues rocker is amazing. Unfortunately, he’s not on Grooveshark, so you’ll have to check him out in the video (above).
- Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked – Cage The Elephant This is one of those ‘new to me’ songs that’s been out for awhile. I think it was one of the 3 tunes that I discovered after realizing that my new car came with satellite radio for a few months.
- Default – Django Django Another satellite radio tune
- Bright Lights – CeeLo I’m pretty sure I found this song through my daughter, but even she can’t recall how she discovered it. We’re thankful to Cee-Lo not only for this tune, but for his participation in the reality show that brought us the next two songs on my list
- How Ya Like Me Now – The Heavy Fans of this column may remember how I gushed over some of the songs that came into my radar after being covered on The Voice. This one was one of them, as sung by Tony Lucca. But The Heavy’s version is almost as good.
- 99 Problems – Tony Lucca This was also on The Voice, as sung by Tony Lucca, a cover of a cover. Tony did it best, and let’s consider ourselves fortunate that his version is available to listen to today!
- Global Concepts – Robert DeLong There’s a couple of F Bombs in today’s playlist, and I was actually taken a little off balance when the one in this song was dropped. Thank SiriusXM for getting this one stuck in my head.
- Catchafire – Toby Mac It might surprise you just a teensy bit to discover that I appreciate Christian Rock every once in awhile. Heck, it surprised me. Toby Mac is awesome, mainly because he sneaks his praise into awesome songs instead of hitting me over the head with it.
- The Funeral – Band of Horses I’m a sucker for How I Met Your Mother, so I was crying the first time I heard this song, in the episode where Marshall finds out that his father has passed away. And then the Dubstep remix came out, and it’s become one of our favorite ‘driving to school songs of 2013.’
- Koriass – Saint Eustache French Canadian Rap Pop. It’s so cool that I don’t mind that I can only pick up every 14th word.
- On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons Another nod to my daughter and her friends for introducing me to the only band that has two spots in this favorite songs playlist. I just love an upbeat song with handclaps!
- Black & Gold – Sam Sparro I heard this song from an Australian crooner about 400 times when my daughter was rehearsing for her last dance recital performance, and fell in love with it. So while she introduced me to it, the real thanks goes to her dance teacher at U-Prep, Marissa Kinneavy.
- Lights – Grasscut I’m just going to rip the bandaid right off of this one. TV commercial. It was a TV commercial. I hate it when I have to confess that I heard a cool song for the first time during a TV commercial.
- Amsterdam – Imagine Dragons By the way, I thought for sure this band was from England or Scotland or something like that. I was kind of floored when I found out they’re from Las Vegas.
- First of the Year – Skrillex Another song my daughter and her friends turned me on to. From their name, I thought for sure it was going to be screamo (look it up). I was pleasantly surprised!
Valerie Ing has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for over a decade, and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She’s the mother of a teenage daughter and an adorable West Highland Terrier, and can’t imagine life without them or music.
She’s often spotted driving around town singing at the top of her lungs to new wave hits from the 80’s, but at work Valerie hosts the afternoon classical show Siskiyou Music Hall (at 90.9 FM in Shasta County or streaming at ijpr.org).