Millennials might know them from Gossip Girl, Gen Z from TikTok but, wherever you’ve heard, Sohodolls has a tune for each occasion and their new single, Period, is shining a light on the Period Poverty… More
After what felt like 37 weeks, today is finally the last day of the month of January.
So many things happened this month that it feels like it’s already October or so! But we’ll get through it, guys, hang in there! We’ve passed Blue Monday, we’re almost through the end of today which saw the ridiculously rare Super Blue Blood Moon (if you were in a different corner of the world because here in the UK, it was business as usual) and, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to 4 different countries in just this little period of time (although that’s always a great way to spend time!).
I’ve been waiting for January to be over for so long that I made this playlist days ago when I couldn’t take it anymore!
To be honest, a couple of days ago someone tweeted about how February is usually worse but, c’mon! It’s got 3 fewer days and LOADS of gigs coming up. It’s already winning…
And it’s in this spirit that I present you with this latest mixtape to help you perk up and look forward to longer and warmer days. Ladies, gents, non-binaries, I present to you: shiny happy people!
Of course, no upbeat, happy playlist is complete without the ray of sunshine that is Colbie Caillat. That girl’s like if Hawaii were a song!
Among the mix there are also indies, classics and newcomers such as the latest hype in London town, Ferris & Sylvester*. The one word of warning is that it’s very hard to keep still while listening to it so…choose your location/timing wisely or just let yourself go and find your inner carefree self!
*you can catch F&S live in London on 1 Feb at their usual hangout, the Spiritual Bar in Camden, on 15 Feb at the Green Note and on 25 Feb at Battersea’s The Magic Garden.
It’s that time of the year, folks. Whether you’re proud or keeping yours locked in a safe, it’s always entertaining to get an overview of our listening habits on Spotify!
Head over to 2017wrapped.com for your own.
If you follow us, you know there are no surprised here on our side…
FUN FACT: Colbie Caillat was top of my iTunes most listened with “Bubbly” nearly 10 years ago!
A few months ago the lovely Eric from the Nerdologues gang invited me to be a guest on his podcast, Blank Cassette. It may have taken way too long for the reciprocal invite to be actually sent out (especially since it had been in the pipes since before said pod went pretty public nearly 10 months ago!), but I finally got him to make you a playlist.
He didn’t exactly make it for you nor me, but Eric’s being kind enough to share the mix and inspiration behind it with us.
Read on for a High Fidelity-esque tale of break-up, travels and music. The basic trinity of pop culture!
*WARNING: do NOT look up “Door County” photos if you don’t have time to drop whatever you’re doing to plan a holiday.
Last summer my girlfriend and I had booked a weekend getaway to Wisconsin for the Fourth of July. For some reason, that’s a really common thing for people who live in Chicago to do – we live in one of the largest and most engaging cities in North America but, you know, the grass is always greener. So Wisconsin it was! Door County in particular – that’s an especially picturesque part of the state up north, near Green Bay (home of the Packers and cheese hats). It was going to be our first road trip together – always an exciting part of any relationship.
One of the things I did to prep for the trip was put together a playlist of artists that put me in the headspace of Wisconsin. The lady enjoyed listening to my playlists (one of my relationship Kryptonites) and it seemed like this was a great opportunity for one since we’d be in the car a whole lot. Usually I keep my playlists pretty tight – something that would fit on a blank CD if anybody still used those – but I made this bad boy open-ended to better accompany the long drive we were staring down.
By this point you’ve probably picked up on all the past tense here. That road trip never happened. A few days before we left, she broke up with me. We’d had a nonrefundable hotel room (booked via an insane deal on hotels.com**) though, so I was like “fuck it, I still want to go on this trip”. So I kept working on the playlist.
I didn’t end up going to Door County exactly – through the intervention of some very kind friends and the fact that I couldn’t bring my dog to the hotel we’d booked unless she was a service animal (you better believe I was bringing somebody to that hotel), I instead spent the weekend at my friend’s cabin in nearby Tomahawk, WI. The playlist was still in play. And you better believe I listened to it on the way up there and back.
The base of the playlist is a lot of power pop. There’re a couple reasons for that – the That ’70s Show aesthetic (check the first song) primarily, but it also just seems like Wisconsin needs a power pop soundtrack. All the heavy beer, cheese, and sausage of the state mixed with its beautiful airy scenery – the power meets the pop, right? That explains stuff like Big Star, Alice Cooper, and 1-800-Band.
Nestled alongside power pop what puts me in the mood of driving through an endless wash of Culvers are a bunch of artists I’ve seen perform in Wisconsin. Milwaukee and Madison are home to a number of beautiful theaters, and Milwaukee also hosts the annual Summerfest, giving me a bunch of tremendous musical memories – hence the appearance of acts like Rilo Kiley, Beatallica and Jakob Dylan.
Any time I visit some place, I make it a point to listen to local artists. Winsconsin includes a smattering of that as well; welcome the Violent Femmes, the Bodeans, the Chordettes and the like.
And finally, some songs appear because they’re tied to very specific Wisconsin memories – the time my friends and I were driving back from Milwaukee and spontaneously sang literally every word on Weird Al’s Bad Hair Day album, or the time we were heading to Minneapolis and, just past Madison, my friend Steve decided that if I really liked Van Halen, I should be able to listen to “Jump” nonstop for three hours without complaining (I made it maybe 20 minutes).
Memories of that particular weekend are, understandbly, still pretty bittersweet for me. But dang it, I really like this playlist. I think it’s a nice, varied collection from across my musical taste that puts you in the headspace of a pretty lovely state. I’m actually heading there this Friday for a work outing and you better believe this bad boy’s gonna be cued up on my Spotify.
writer, editor, comic book retailer, Nerdologues member, alright guy I think?
**this post was in no way endorsed by hotels.com (although we’re totally open for that, guys!)
I’m not the only one making mixtapes around here, Adam’s made you one too and #wednesdayhumpday sounds like the best time to dive in this one.
Ladies, gents and binaries, here’s Adam:
I’ll cut to the chase, the moral of the story is that whilst you should totally go on a 20k walk exploring an new city with great company, be prepared to pay the price if you’re doing so in flip flops!
The day in question was almost two weeks ago on a trip to Portugal and having soldiered on things haven’t been healing as I might have hoped (don’t improvise surgery on blisters with nail scissors kids 😉). Having arrived home in the UK at 4am I was struggling for motivation to get up and out for a friend’s birthday in Tufnell Park. So whilst I was soaking away some aches and pains I started to fill a playlist with motivational tracks to get me back on my feet.
Some, like Walking on broken glass and Hole in my sole, have titles that perfectly captured the Pain I was feeling, whilst Walk idiot walk captured my general mood having only myself to blame. Walk This way takes me back to the van rides to the beach, in the Land Rover with no stereo, where I was the DJ singing along with so many new friends that I look forward to seeing in the waves again. Others catch me looking forward to when the recovery is over and I’ll Run back onto the Softball pitch on October 1st (hopefully 🤕). We round out with one of my all time favourites, a track I’ve heard live 20+ times, Look what happened indeed ‘we’ll walk in circles around this whole block/ walk on the cracks in the same old sidewalk/ then we’ll talk about leaving town…’
I’ll heal up soon and forget about the injury but the memories of catching waves, beautiful sunrises with beautiful people and nighttime ponderings of penguinologists will stay with me forever.
Thanks to Liv for letting me play in her space for a bit and to you for reading this far. Enjoy the music.
I don’t know where you guys are but it was a holiday Monday here in the UK and there’s not much better than an extended weekend. Except for a hot and sunny extended weekend, which this one so happened to be.
As I was lying in the sun with two books to catch up on, I couldn’t carry on with either. Not because they weren’t interesting or because some dudes were playing ball way too close and I had to concentrate on not being hit. But because my Daily Mix of choice was so, OH SO chilled and the books were one about business, one about 90s grunge, so….as I found myself in a, well, summer daze!, with the soundtrack that was playing in my ears I figured I’d turn it into a playlist and share it with the world. Or at least with my 3 or 4 readers.
I don’t always make playlists – even though it’s what I set out to do here! – but, when I do, it’s usually summer-related…I swear I have completely different ones in the pipeline and I promise I’ll, er, try to post them in the very near future but, for the time being, as this may or may not have been the last we’ve felt/seen of hot sunshine, behold, Summer Daze.
Du hast. Du hast mich. So goes one of Rammstein‘s classics. You’ve heard of them, right?! Or krautrockers Kraftwerk.
Well, these two – among others – are quite fitting to the German stereotype. So I’ve come to debunk this myth that they are cold, surly people and their language sounds ugly and hard (‘hard’ as in ‘not soft’ because ‘hard’ as in ‘not difficult’ is definitely true!).
Germans are, in fact, pretty loving AND loveable people! I lived with a local family in a little village near Frankfurt a few years ago and found myself missing that life these past couple of weeks and listening to all those tracks that helped me understand der, die, das and the difference between akkusativ and dativ cases (yeah right, a lifetime wouldn’t be long enough for that!).
Anyway, today’s mixtape brings you a bunch of German love songs (or Liebeslieder) so the world (cause I have SO many readers…) can also fall in love with that great nation of soppy folks.
It consists of mostly mainstream pop music such as Wir Sind Helden (they played at the old London Astoria back in 2006!), Juli*, Revolverheld, Silbermond, Philipp Poisel (the German Ed Sheeran) and German Idol alumni Yvonne Catterfeld among a few others.
*Fun fact: Juli‘s “Tränenschwer” holds a special place in my heart as it was the first song I heard and understood in full what it was saying! That’s not the fun fact for you though as you probably couldn’t care less. This song also caught my attention for sounding A LOT like another one I had heard before in English performed by an American popstar in 2004…can you guess which?! I might actually send you a prize (even if you get it wrong, really. Basically just because I’ll be really happy I have at least ONE reader so, please, don’t be shy!). The German one was released 3 months after the American. I’m not quite sure who made a version of who though.
I won’t translate every lyric of every song because who has time for that?! (me. I do. But I’m job hunting at the moment and gotta get back to writing all those exciting cover letters) so let’s pick a few and check out how romantic these guys can get…
I think about 99.7% of Juli‘s songs are about love.
One of my favourites is “Regen und Meer” (Rain and Sea). I love the sound of it, the rhythm and I can still picture a friend of mine dancing around pretending to look for something as they sang “[ich] lauf blindings durch die Straße. Hier bin ich, doch wo bist du?” (“[I] walk blindly through the streets. Here I am, now where are you?”). My guess is the dude ran away right after the first verse where she sings about watching him sleep…er, psycho alert! (“und ich zuseh wie du schläfst“)
Soll das alles sein? Should that be all?
Ich war so lang allein, I was alone for so long
Es war alles ganz in Ordnung, It was all in order
Ganz okay, und dann kamst du. All ok, and then you came along (I mean, c’mon! #sorelatable)
Und jetzt verlass’ ich deine Stadt, And now I leave your city
Ich seh’ zurück und fühl’ mich schwer, I look back and feel full of sorrows (“feel shit”, that’s what she meant)
Weil g’rade angefangen hat, because it has just begun
Was du nicht willst und ich zu sehr. the thing you don’t want and I want too much (told ya, the signs are all there…psychooo)
Ich bin der Regen I am the rain
Und du bist das Meer. and you are the sea
But I think that’s the only Juli song we should slightly worry about the subject’s mental health. Some others are sweet like most Germans are (Hitler was AUSTRIAN!) and they can also get a little raunchy! I mean, Elektrisches Gefühl, Electric Feeling, wooooah.
Let’s move on to…Xavier Naidoo. I’m not quite sure who the equivalent would be in the UK, but he’s a pretty big deal in Germany. Legend has it that he was snubbed for the World Cup 2006 opening ceremony in favour of Herbert Grönemeyer because he isn’t the stereotypical German (he’s of Indian decent). Organisers claimed it was because Grönie was more like a German institution in music but who knows?!
He’s a bit of a nutter though. He claims the Federal Republic of Germany doesn’t exist and that the country is occupied by foreign, enemy forces. He was also up for representing Germany in the Eurovision 2015 but was vetoed because apparently he’s had some homophobic songs recently…I mean, the last place homophobes belong in is an Eurovision stage!
Naidoo’s career started out in the 90s but really only solidified about a decade later when he also collaborated with many other musicians such as the all male vocal group Söhne Mannheims.
One of his biggest hits when I was there was Dieser Weg, which is a pretty good explanation about how life works:
Anyway…I just laughed my head off while googling Nevio because I just saw he’s half wearing a mask on an album cover and remembered the producers/judges/whoever at the time thought people were voting for him because he was handsome so he wore a mask for his following performance. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up!
Speaking of German Idol…one of the winners of contests past was Yvonne Catterfeld. For her I can definitely find an equivalent: Kelly Clarkson. Only, while Clarkson sings about how her life’s a billion times better after getting rid of the asshole, the German popstar channels her inner Juliet in Eine Welt One Dich:
To be honest, going back to Rammstein, “Du Hast” is somewhat of a love song too…at least for their standards. It’s a bit of a wedding vows parody and full of double meanings as explained by someone around the internet.
If the line is read as “Tod der Scheide” it would be “until the death of the vagina” and not “until death, which would seperate” (“Tod, der scheide”). The whole song is a play on German wedding vows (Wollen Sie einander lieben und achten und die Treue halten bis dass der Tod euch scheidet? – Do you want to love and respect each other and to remain faithful, until death seperates you?). Instead of answering with “Ja,” Till says “Nein,” finally answering the question he said nothing to in the beginning.
So you see?! Germans are not only romantic (sometimes too much!!) but they DO have a sense of humour as well!
And it’s with the most beautiful song in all of the Deutschland that we end this thread.
Behold, legendary punks, Die Ärzte*:
Apologies for a shitty playlist, actually. Spotify UK doesn’t offer much in the Deutsch department…and vielen Dank to my dear Freundin Dani Mysterio for contributing to the playlist with the latest German heartthrobs!
*Männer Sind Schweine Men Are Pigs
It’s SuperBowl Sunday, but one team beat my Seahawks out of the playoffs and the other is a Trump-supporter, soooooo…it’ll be Playlist Sunday instead!
I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory, I don’t need to say it’s a playlist filled with driving tunes and that most of it lays around classic rock, right?! Sadly it only has around 3 or 4 tracks by a lady or female-fronted band so, if anyone wants to send some suggestions to add to it, please, by all my means!
You heard right, we want to see your naked…well, playlist! This a music website! What were you thinking??!!!
Global advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy challenges you to bare all in new Spotify campaign. It’s really easy to look cool on the internet but let’s see who you are in real life…
Ok, ok, it’s not exactly a challenge. We here are not really keen on the “guilty pleasure” terminology. After all, why guilt in listening to music that makes you happy? And also, what exactly constitutes a “guilty pleasure”?! Judging artists by genre, looks or whatever it is that gets you worked up is only keeping you from finding what could be your new favourite song.
It’s this unfounded prejudice from pseudo-music snobs that has people in 2017 still saying things like “wow, I didn’t know Lady Gaga could actually sing!” – no shit, Sherlock! If only you hadn’t judged her for the fact she makes pop music. (as if pop music was Satan’s invention or something…and I’m saying all this while drafting a post condemning shit lyrics…oh, sweet hypocrisy!)
This thing reminded me of a friend who once told me she watches “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” but, when I brought it up in front of other people, she denied like she feared for her life as if anybody actually gave a rat’s ass that she liked it!
Just love what you love and consume whatever entertainment makes you happy! As long as it’s not hurting anybody…sometimes music is art, sometimes it is what it is: entertainment. It’s true it makes me sad that something like the Chainsmokers are chart toppers while so many super talented people struggle, but hey, it’s a big world and there’s space for everyone. We should be glad to have such diversity catering for everyone.
I mean, if Ryan Adams can cover a whole Taylor Swift album, who are you to judge anybody’s taste?
Anyway, my “naked playlist” is pretty much on par with everything I’m always posting: lots of Pearl Jam, Brian Fallon, Wolf Alice, Lissie and Ryan Adams. The two surprises were: the lack of Backstreet Boys – not even ONE track! – and the presence of an Usher song I had on idea existed! If anything, I’d say I’ve listened to “You Remind Me”, “Confessions” and “U Got It Bad” more than any other song by him, but oh well!
What’s in yours? Get it here. Play it loud and share it proud!
Nope, I haven’t taken the shower singing up to the next level just yet – and never will, rest assured.
The very first day of the year started out for me with a really exciting email from Eric Garneau, host of Chicago-based The Nerdologues’ podcast Blank Cassette – every week he asks a guest to put a mixtape together and talk about it. And, on that day, he asked me!
He asked me for about 20-24 tracks so I couldn’t really use any of the existing mixes as they’re all about an eternity-long and, at the time, I’d been listening to a lot of my favourite female rockers and thinking that old “Badass Chicks” playlist needed a bit of updating…so I ended up making vol.2 (with a few repeats because…classics.).
Happy New Year, guys!
In streaming’s earlier years, when doubts prevailed across the artist, songwriter and label communities, one of the arguments put forward by enthusiasts was that when streaming reached scale everything would make sense. When asked what ‘scale’ meant, the common reply was ‘100 million subscribers’. In December, the streaming market finally hit and passed that milestone, notching up 100.4 million subscribers by the stroke of midnight on the 31st December. It was an impressive end to an impressive year for streaming, but does it mark a change in the music industry, a fundamental change in the way in which streaming works for the music industry’s numerous stakeholders?
Streaming Has Piqued Investors’ Interest
The streaming market was always going to hit the 100 million subscriber mark sometime around now, but by closing out the year with the milestone it was ahead of schedule. This was not however entirely surprising as the…
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