19/12/2012 § 2 Comments
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra with their daughters Gail and Nancy, 1967.
I will admit that I am something of a closet Christmas music listener, but only of a very specific type of Christmas music. Mostly, they have to be the kind of songs that I can picture Dean Martin singing, while he leans over the back of an upright piano with holiday cocktail in hand (and any exceptions to this rule are simply for nostalgia’s sake). So I’ve thrown together a little holiday playlist on Spotify for you that features Dino, Frank, Sammy, Ella, Bing, Nat, as well as a few newer selections that just felt right. I hope you enjoy it. You can access it via the player above or this link.
You can also find my previous playlists here.
23/10/2012 § Leave a Comment
As long as I can remember, my father has always had a guitar in the house. A member of a garage band when he met my mother, he’d frequently pick at his pretty Guild with its sunburst finish while we watched television that he wasn’t all that interested in, giving our TGIF sitcoms a folksy soundtrack (which we loudly complained about). But when I was about 13, I decided that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar, too. My father, delighted, promptly bought me a classical guitar of my own, showed me a few chords and then gave me all of the dog-eared songbooks he had: Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.
Ultimately, the guitar didn’t take, but the music definitely did. And this fall, I’ve been surrounding myself with the kind of music that reminds me of my Dad — rock with notes of folk and country, singer-songwriters with distinctively smoky voices, and more than a little melancholy. I’ve even included the first song that my Dad tried to teach me on my guitar: “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Also featuring Dan Auerbach, The Allman Brothers Band, Ray LeMontagne, Ryan Bingham, The Avett Brothers, and The Head And The Heart, among others, it’s just as good for pensive drives in the country to look at the turning foliage, as it is for Sunday mornings with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a big fat newspaper or two. I hope you enjoy it.
You can find it via the player embedded above or via this link.
Image via the US National Archives.
06/08/2012 § 2 Comments
“I just want to play ball.”
London 2012 has definitely been the year of the woman. I am over the moon at how the stories of Franklin, Soni, May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings, Rhode, the Williams sisters, Richards-Ross, the 38-0 record of the US women’s basketball team, and, my personal favorite, Gabby “USA Gold” Douglas, have dominated the headlines. And while I may be a bit old to start my Olympic career, I’m really hopeful that the little girls watching this summer — like my nine year-old niece who really loves gymnastics — are inspired to push for Olympic gold.
For those of us who are a little older, but have nonetheless been similarly inspired to improve upon our own personal bests, I’ve put together a mix of songs guaranteed to power you through a few extra miles. Or maybe your commute to work. While some prefer running to books on tape (books on mp3…?) I’ve always been a bit dance-heavy in my workout soundtracks. Throw in some Beyoncé, a few rock anthems and a bit of 80s, and I’m good to go. I hope you enjoy it. It is a Spotify playlist that can be accessed via the player embedded below, or this link.
So get on out there and play ball.
18/07/2012 § 5 Comments
- Francoise Hardy — Le temps de l’amour
- DJ Cam & Anggun — Un Eté à Paris
- Serge Gainsbourg — Cha cha cha du loup
- Nina Simone — Feeling Good
- Gotan Project & Thelonius Monk — Round About Midnight
- Charles Aznavour — Je M’voyais Déjà
- Bitter: Sweet — Dirty Laundry
- Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald — Summertime
- Yves Montand — Pour faire le portrait d’un oiseau
- Shirley Bassey — Where do I begin? (Away Team mix)
- Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse — Valerie
- Peggy Lee — Fever
- Duffy — Warwick Avenue
- Nina Simone — Lilac Wine
- Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto — Corcovado
- Billie Holiday — Speak Low (Bent remix)
- Sammy Davis Jr. — The Lady is a Tramp
A mix that is a little French, a little jazzy and features more than a few of my favorite divas (Dame Shirley Bassey! Nina!). This time around, I wanted to hear the old with the new, so along with the classics, you will notice a few remixes by Gotan Project and Verve, and a few new songs, a few selections by Stéphane Pompougnac (sidenote: did you hear the rumor about Hôtel Costes settling into Tribeca? Yes please!) — but nothing too dancey. Perfect for a sultry summer evening. Enjoy.
You may have also noticed this is my first Spotify playlist, which you can access via the embedded player above, or this link. Let me know if you have any problems with either, yes? And, you can find Mix I here.
*Updated: I also created an abbreviated version of this playlist on 8tracks.com if you don’t/can’t use Spotify. I wasn’t aware Spotify is unavailable outside of the US! Find it here.*
Photo of Lena Horne, singing in Paris in 1947, taken by Yael Joel for Life Magazine.