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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

February 14, 2014

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. Some love it, some hate it. And the world’s musicians have taken note. This Hallmark holiday has so much music written about it it’s hard to keep your head straight, no matter on which side of the love spectrum you happen to find yourself. So if you’re head over heels, or burning your ex’s photos, there’s a wide variety of tunes to keep you entertained between chocolate bites and champagne sips. So pucker up, buttercup, because you’ll be making out with someone soon, even if it’s your hand.

:Beyonce – Drunk in Love (Featuring Jay-Z):
:PJ Harvey And John Parrish – Black Hearted Love:
:The Pretenders – Message of Love:
:The Police – Can’t Stand Losing You:
:Al Green – Love and Happiness:
:Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke:
:Ray Lamontagne – You Can Bring Me Flowers:
:The Smiths – There Is A Light and it Never Goes Out:
:Van Morrison – These Dreams of You:
:Quiet Company – How Do You Do It:
:Rhett Miller – Come Around:
:Alexi Murdoch – Song For You:
:She and Him – You Really Got A Hold On Me:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

November 15, 2013

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Thanksgiving is upon us, and before you know it, you’ll be overdosing on turkey and pretending you like your grandmother’s oyster stuffing. But with the right music, a family meal doesn’t have to be unbearable. Please your parents, your uncles, and everyone in between with this sure thing of a turkey day playlist.

I’ve got a good mix of old (Otis Redding, Frank Sinatra), really old (Benny Goodman), and new (Mayer Hawthorne, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings) that will turn that mundane meal into something to talk about. So push play as soon as you’re serving up, and by the time you cut the pumpkin pie, you’ll be busting a move with Uncle Milton. I bet he’s got a mean Mashed Potato up his sleeve.

:Ike Turner And The Kings of Rhythm – Drifting Blues:
:Otis Redding – My Girl:
:Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings – Nobody’s Baby:
:The Animals – Bring It On Home To Me:
:Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon:
:Charles Bradley – The World (Is Going Up In Flames):
:Cat Power – New York:
:Fleetwood Mac – Silver Springs:
:The Beatles – Rocky Raccoon:
:Ellen Mcillwaine – Can’t Find My Way Home:
:Mayer Hawthorne – Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out:
:Benny Goodman – Body and Soul:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

October 18, 2013

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Remember last time, when I said it was almost fall? It’s here, y’all!

It’s time for sweaters, scarves, and pants. Pants! I’m so excited to get snuggly and settle in for this sort of season we actually get here in Texas, and I’m making my playlist to bide time between books and cider sipping. I’ve got a newish track from an indie spinoff, a new track from one of my neo-folk faves, and several other random ditties that’ll have you yearning for a pumpkin patch.

:Big Star – Thirteen:
:Michael Kiwanuka – Bones:
:Andrew Bird – Nuthinduan Waltz:
:The Beta Band – Dry The Rain:
:Golden Suits – Swimming In 99:
:Echo And The Bunneymen – The Killing Moon:
:The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored:
:Sharon Van Etten – Don’t Do It:
:The Head And The Heart – Another Story:
:Sondre Lerche – Good Luck:
:The Morning Benders – Excuses:
:The Rolling Stones – Let It Loose:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

September 13, 2013

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Fall is here! Sort of? OK, the temps are still nearing the 100 degree mark, but officially, the Autumn months are rolling in. To me, fall brings to mind chunky sweaters, jazz tunes, and changing leaves. Oh, and a handful of songs that are perfectly suited for sipping chai tea and eating pumpkin flavored items. Here are some of my personal favorite fall tunes, because even if its not technically there yet, at least we can fake it, right? I’ve got some old standbys (Simon and Garfunkel, R.E.M.), some indie perennials (Wilco, The Replacements), and even some soul (Bill Withers) to get you in the groove for that cable-knit sweater. So put this bad boy on and you’ll be leaf-peeping in no time. (That’s a thing. I promise).

:The Avett Brothers – Laundry Room:
:Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands:
:Simon And Garfunkel – St. Judy’s Comet:
:R.E.M. – Driver 8:
:Fiona Apple – Get Gone:
:Wilco – I Am Trying to Break Your Heart:
:The Replacements – Androgynous:
:The Antlers – I Don’t Want Love:
:Porcelain Raft – Drifting In and Out:
:Damian Jurado – Museum of Flight:
:Sun Kil Moon – Carry Me Ohio:
:Yo La Tengo – Autumn Sweater:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

August 9, 2013

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This week marked a hugely important milestone in my adult life. Sure, I moved in with my boyfriend, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the anniversary of something that shaped my adulthood dramatically. Something that influenced my taste in music, men, and much more. This week marked 10 years since the first episode of teen drama The O.C.

I lived for The O.C. in college. We had watching parties. I owned soundtracks. Thursday nights meant nothing else. And while it definitely contained its fair share of soap opera fodder (ahem, Marisa, ahem), it was a real game changer for me. Adam Brody’s Seth Cohen gave nerdboys everywhere a chance to be cool. And it gave me a new ideal to look forward to. Admit it, my fellow nearly thirty ladies out there – Seth Cohen created a Captain Oats-loving yardstick to which college suitors were all measured. And then there was the music.

People may fight me on this, but I defend that The O.C. served as the catalyst for Indie music’s gentrification and push into the mainstream, at least partially. In the twilight of the TRL years, teens were suddenly listening to Death Cab for Cutie and watching Modest Mouse perform at the Bait Shop. So to celebrate my love for the residents of Newport, I’ve made a little mix tape of some of my favorite songs from the show. So sit back with Princess Sparkles and get your Yarmulclause ready, because you’re in for a treat. Welcome to The O.C., bitch.

:Phantom Planet – California:
:South – Paint The Silence:
:Spoon – The Way We Get By:
:Beulah – Popular Mechanics For Lovers:
:Coconut Records – West Coast:
:Mates Of State – Goods:
:Rilo Kiley – Portions For Foxes:
:Death Cab For Cutie – The Sound Of Settling:
:The Thrills – Big Sur:
:Modest Mouse – Third Planet:
:Ben Kweller – Rock Of Ages:
:Bright Eyes – First Day Of My Life:
:Ryan Adams – Wonderwall:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

July 12, 2013

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It’s hot. There are no two ways about it. So hot, in fact, that the mere idea of going outside some days seems as unbearable as a Tara Reid movie (that’s a shot out to my fellow Sharknado watchers). So it’s important to make the most of your indoor time, with some tunes to keep you cool.

I’ve got some new-ish jams (Max Frost, Schoolboy Q), some more low-key standards (Sun Kil Moon), and even a collaboration between some indie greats (Polica and Justin Vernon). So scoop some ice cream and slip into some shorts, because it’s gonna be a hot one, and you want to avoid it at all costs.

:Schoolboy Q – Collard Greens:
:Max Frost – White Lies:
:Washed Out – It All Feels Right:
:Polica – Tiff (Featuring Justin Vernon):
:Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness:
:Rilo Kiley – Let Me Back In:
:Michael Kiwanuka – Bones:
:Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck – Heaven Can Wait:
:Donnie and Joe Emerson – Baby:
:Bright Eyes – Devil Town:
:Sun Kil Moon – Carry Me Ohio:
:Beach House – Walk in the Park:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

June 14, 2013

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Like it or not, summer is coming, and there’s little we can do about it. So instead of lamenting the heat from the confines of an air conditioned cavern, why not get out and enjoy the last few days we have left that are at least somewhat bearable? And if you, like me, are having a hard time getting into the summer spirit, I’ve tracked down some of my sun-soaked faves to get in the swing of things. There’s an old family staple (Van Morrison), an indie mainstay (Pavement), and inarguably the best surf song of all time (Pet Sounds). And everything wraps with what’s been my recent vote for the song of the summer (you try not singing along…). So unwrap a popsicle and listen up, because you’ll be putting on sunblock and hitting the lake in no time. The days may be longer, but that just means you have more time to listen.

:Little Joy – The Next Time Around:
:The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds:
:Van Morrison – Caravan:
:Beck – Tropicalia:
:The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon:
:David Byrne And Brian Eno – Life Is Long:
:She And Him – In The Sun:
:Animal Collective – My Girls:
:Pavement – Summer Babe (Winter Version):
:LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean:
:The Smith Westerns – Weekend:
:Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness:
:Aloe Blacc – I Need a Dollar (How to Make It In America):
:Os Mutantes – A Minha Menina:
:Vampire Weekend – Diane Young:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

May 17, 2013

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In case the overwhelming lack of lounging around time hasn’t tipped you off, festival season is upon us, in a big way. And last week, our former festival-that-could known as Austin City Limits revealed it’s now two-week spanning lineup, full of up-and-comers and big-namers to boot. (Did I meet my dash quota in that sentence – I’m not sure). This year’s lineup, while polarizing to many, boasts some of my favorites, from some Columbia grads who made it big (Vampire Weekend), to a fiery-haired musical heroine (Neko Case), to the band that shaped my college years (Wilco), to a band that shaped my high school years (The Cure). Plus, some lovely Frenchmen (Phoenix), the hipster bands of the moment (Tame Impala, Local Natives), a British rocker so young it seems criminal (Jake Bugg) and many more. Here are my picks for some of the top tracks from bands that will surely be making my ACL Lineup.

:Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt:
:Vampire Weekend – Unbelievers:
:Okkervil River – Our Life Is Not A Movie (Or Maybe):
:Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better:
:The National – Mistaken For Strangers:
:Local Natives – Airplanes:
:Lissie – Little Lovin’:
:Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – Know Better, Learn Faster:
:Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards:
:The Cure – In Between Days:
:Pinback – Tripoli:
:Wilco – Poor Places:
:Neko Case – In California (Live):

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

April 12, 2013

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Spring has sprung, and I for one am ecstatic. I’m ready to shed my coat in favor of tank tops, and don strappy sandals instead of boots. But for some, spring’s arrival isn’t as welcome. It signals our slow-but-steady entry into 100+ degree temperatureland, and even the promise of sno-cones and watering holes can’t subside that fear. Alas, there are some songs that just put me in a happy mood, giving me that extra spring in my step, in more ways than one. (Forgive me, they can’t all be winners). I’ve got an upbeat playlist that’s sure to help you shake off those winter doldrums, featuring a Talking Heads power duo, an indie favorite or two, some 90′s love rock, and even some Tropicalia. Enjoy, folks. If you need me, I’ll be soaking up some Vitamin D while I can still stand to be outside.

:Teenage Fanclub – The Concept:
:Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion:
:The Decemberists – The Infanta:
:Delta Spirit – California:
:Smith Westerns – Weekend:
:David Byrne And Brian Eno – Life Is Long:
:Os Mutantes – A Minha Menina:
:The Raconteurs – Yellow Sun:
:Miike Snow – Silvia:
:Girls – Lust For Life:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

February 8, 2013

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Ah, February. The short month full of Hallmark cards, increased chocolate intake, and enough flowers and candy to make every single person gag. Yep, we definitely get doused in consumerism as February 14th approaches, but that doesn’t mean that cupid’s favorite month needs to be nothing but sap.

We’ve all been to enough weddings to know that there are songs that make you warm and fuzzy, and songs that give you the cold sweats. And I’m here to offer up my takes on some of the best tracks that leave you jonesing for a make-out session. And believe me, when it comes to thinking about love, dating, and the like, I’ve done more than my fair share (follow along with my chronicles of the chronically awkward dating world over at CultureMap’s Sex and the Capital City column).

So, enjoy my picks to inspire the passion this month. Don’t forget to put a sock on the door if things work out.

:The Rosebuds – Make Out Song:
:The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey:
:Air – Playground Love:
:Carla Bruni – You Belong To Me:
:The Decemberists – Red Right Ankle:
:M. Ward – Fool Says:
:Van Morrison -  Into The Mystic:
:The Troggs – With A Girl Like You:
:Otis Redding – These Arms Of Mine:
:Sam Cooke – You Send Me:
:Whiskeytown -  Everything I Do:
:The Zombies -  This Will Be Our Year:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

January 11, 2013

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The whole is equal to the sum of its parts. There are plenty of bands that prove this old adage – The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, heck even The Spice Girls, just to name a few. But there’s something impressive about artists being able to branch off from the group and prove themself as a solo star. With yesterday’s news of a Destiny’s Child reunion in the works, it seemed only fitting to tip the hat to Sasha Fierce and her fellow solo acts that struck my fancy.

There’s a Mikela mixtape staple (Aimee Man, duh), a White Stripe, my favorite Beatle, Art Garfunkel’s better half, and a former boy-bander on deck here, so I hope you enjoy. And I’m just kidding about Art Garfunkel. That luscious mane will get me every time.

:Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Tigers:
:Neko Case ­– Margaret vs. Pauline:
:Aimee Mann – Real Bad News:
:George Harrison – My Sweet Lord:
:Albert Hammond, Jr. – GfC:
:Thom Yorke – The Eraser:
:Coconut Records – West Coast:
:Paul Simon – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard:
:Jonsi – Boy Lilikoi (Live at KEXP):
:Jack White – Love Interruption:
:Justin Timberlake – Lovestoned/I Think She Knows Interlude:
:Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It):

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That Time Of The Month: Christmas Edition (Mikela)

December 18, 2012

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I have a confession to make. I love Christmas music. It’s as cliché as my annual viewings of Love, Actually. But Christmas music gets a bad rap, and I hope to change that. We’re inundated before we’ve even finished our turkey dinner; bombarded by the sounds of Josh Groban as we shop for paper towels and get our teeth cleaned.

However, amongst the incessant kitsch of All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, there are some songs that genuinely ignite the Christmas spirit from within. So I’ve compiled my girly music Christmas Party playlist. We’ve got some throwback soul, a pop star staple, and even a few girl groups, courtesy of Phil Spector. You know, before he got all murdery. Merry Chrismas, y’all. If you need me, I’ll be fast-forwarding through all the Laura Linney scenes. Girlfriend caught a tough break.

:Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You:
:The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride:
:The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping:
:Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home):
:Zooey Deschanel And Leon Redbone – Baby, It’s Cold Outside:
:Coldplay – 2000 Miles (The Pretenders Cover):
:Otis Redding – White Christmas:
:Jack Johnson – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer:
:Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here:
:Ella Fitzgerald – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve:
:Rilo Kiley – X-Mas Cake:
:Neko Case – Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis:
:Joni Mitchell – River:

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Mikela’s Top 5 Albums Of 2012

December 10, 2012

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Picking 10 albums from an entire year’s worth of music is no easy feat. Picking 5? Nearly impossible. So in order to offer up my handful of favorites from the Mayan calendar’s final year, I thought long and hard about what impressed me in 2012. And while I could easily have put 25 albums on this list, here are 5 that consistently made their way into my catalog almost instantly. So sit back and listen, and maybe you’ll find some music to help you tune out your family this holiday season.

1. alt-J – An Awesome Wave

I joke about avoiding buzz bands because I’m afraid to be disappointed, and alt-J fell victim to my prejudice. But since discovering this album a few months ago, it’s been a permanent fixture in my repertoire. Sleek, sexy, and Radiohead-esque, this is an album best enjoyed through headphones.

:alt-J – Breezeblocks:

2. Japandroids – Celebration Rock 

It’s hard to argue an album that was more fun than Japandroids’ most recent release. This scream-every-lyric, can’t-help-but-dance-around collection of songs is an instant anti-depressant, turning every gray cloud into a gritty and loud ray of sunshine.

:Japandroids – The Night Of Wine And Roses:

3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist

First off, I’m not a hip hop girl. But with the sweet and soulful gay marriage anthem Same Love, this Seattle rap/producer duo reeled me in. It was their infectious hooks and slew of guest collaborators that kept me around for more.

:Macklemore And Ryan Lewis – Same Love (Featuring Mary Lambert):

4. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

I gotta hand it to my girl Sharon Van Etten. She does angst in a heartbreaking way. And while her freshman release was near-perfect, her sophomore release expanded her ability and broke my heart all at the same time.

:Sharon Van Etten – Give Out:

5. Father John Misty – Fear Fun

It has to be said that of all the shows I saw in 2012, Father John Misty was one of the most surprising. A former Fleet Foxes member, Josh Tillman struck me as the kind of guy who would put on a bit of a snoozy show. Yet when he took the stage dancing and prancing, I was sold. His first solo effort is solid, from folky tunes to the foot-stomping Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.

:Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings:

Honorable Mentions:

Patrick Watson – Adventures in Your Own Backyard

A hauntingly beautiful effort from this Canadian singer-songwriter.

:Patrick Watson – Words In The Fire:

Tame Impala – Lonerism

An album that feels like it should have come out years ago. 1/2 Beatles, 1/4 Miike Snow, and 1/4 Dr. Dog, I loved it.

:Tame Impala – Elephant:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

November 16, 2012

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I’ll admit it – I’ve been a bit down lately. Everyone has their off days, but I’ve been in a funk, and not even music can shake it. But I’m sure as shit going to try.

Music has the ability to shape our moods. A depressing song during a breakup can cue tears; a poignant song during a time of mourning can do the same. So it makes complete sense that if we’re feeling blue, some of our favorite ditties will scoop us right out of those doldrums. I’ve got some old standby’s (Talking Heads, Old 97’s, The Strokes), some surprising jams (Born Ruffians, Mark Ronson), and far too many songs that are likely to depress the general population (The Replacements, The Smiths), all of which I turn to when I want to turn things around. Heck, I’ve even got two songs of the same name!

So on the off chance that you’re feeling out of sorts, here’s my musical prescription to shuffle you out from under that dark cloud. So put in those headphones and perk up, buttercup, because Eeyore’s pretty much got the sad sack angle covered.

:The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five:
:The Head And The Heart – Down In The Valley:
:The Replacements – Can’t Hardly Wait:
:Wilco – Hummingbird:
:Elton John – Bennie And The Jets:
:Born Ruffians – Hummingbird:
:Mark Ronson – Valerie (Featuring Amy Winehouse):
:Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better:
:The Smiths – This Charming Man:
:The Strokes – Hard To Explain:
:Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero:
:Old 97’s – Timebomb:

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

October 19, 2012

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Cover songs. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re a surefire way to get people talking. They pay homage to the classics, and often put a new spin on something tired.

Many are even more famous than the original. Sure, Dolly Parton may have penned I Will Always Love You, but it’s Whitney Houston’s take that put the song on the map. In fact, many women have offered their own takes on songs that aren’t their own, and I’m here to give them some love.

So here, I present you with some of my favorite Cover Girls. Ladies that have lent their sound to something pre-existing (often written by a man), and made it just as great or better. So much for the fairer sex, right? These gals are no shrinking violets, that’s for sure.

:Aimee Mann – One (Three Dog Night):
:Cat Power – I Found A Reason (The Velvet Underground):
:Ellie Goulding – Your Song (Elton John):
:Cowboy Junkies – Sweet Jane (The Velvet Underground):
:She And Him – You Really Got A Hold On Me (Smokey Robinson And The Miracles):
:Fiona Apple – Across The Universe (The Beatles):
:Jenny Lewis And The Watson Twins – Handle With Care (The Traveling Wilburys):
:Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone (The Nerves):
:Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings – This Land Is Your Land (Pete Seeger):
:Lissie – Pursuit Of Happiness (Kid Cudi):
:Yael Naim – Toxic (Britney Spears):
:Patti Smith – Gloria (In Exelsis Deo) (Van Morrison):

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