Posted on 12 Comments

A musical rabbit hole

Ear buds

It seems that I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. The other day, when I added my April Showers playlist to, I got pulled into a world of playlists and new music, and I have barely looked up since.

I’ve been a member there for several years, but I never really looked at it much until this week. And now I find myself looking up all kinds of tags to help me find music for all kinds of occasions: “mornings” “coffee break” “happy” “workout” “cooking supper” “sleepy” …

There are so many cool playlists put together by people who seem to need only the slightest provocation to compile a musical salute to a particular feeling, place, or action. And everyone adds snappy cover art to their playlists, too. These are people after my own heart! happy dance

So, anyway, all of this listening has put me in the mood to put the finishing touches on a couple of playlists I’ve been thinking about for years.

Skee Ball at the Shore

The first is going to be a collection of older tunes (I feel weird calling 70’s and 80’s songs “oldies” but I guess the term fits…). Jilly’s arcade on the Ocean City boardwalk usually has the South Jersey oldies station playing. Hearing those tunes always brings me back to the good times we spend at the shore every spring.

I should have no problem composing that mix on my own. I actually listened to the station online this afternoon to help jog my memory, and I now have a nice long list of possibilities.

Open Window Summer Kitchen

On the other hand, I could use your help with this one. I’ve got a very specific feeling in mind: Imagine a mild and breezy summer day. You’re in the kitchen with the window open, wearing an apron and baking something frivolous just for fun – cherry cupcakes, maybe? a strawberry crisp? blueberry pound cake?

Anyway, the music you are listening to is heavy on the Innocence Mission and Madeleine Peyroux. (I realize those two don’t really represent the same genre, but they are compatible in my mind.) Mellow but upbeat, old-fashioned or folkey, classic. The breeze comes in the window, and you sing along while you stir the batter…

I don’t know if I can explain it properly, and I’m feeling super picky about this mix, but maybe you have some suggestions for songs and/or artists that would fit the bill? I love the idea of including some more obscure acts, but I also want to see some very classic artists represented. I’ll probably throw a little Ella Fitzgerald in there, for example, followed by an Over the Rhine tune.

Does that help communicate the feeling I am after? What other tunes do I need to hear while I’m twirling around my breezy kitchen with a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon?


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Posted on 12 Comments

12 thoughts on “A musical rabbit hole

  1. “Summer breeze…makes me feel fine” “Summertime…and the livin’ is easy” 😉

    1. Summer Breeze could actually work for either one of those playlists 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. For SBATS, you’ll obviously need heavy doses of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, because, New Jersey in the 70s and 80s.

    For OWSK, to consider: Emiliana Torrini, Pomplamoose, almost anything off the Arrested Development Unplugged album, Simon and Garfunkel, and I think of you as not-so-much a Grateful Dead person, but “Uncle John’s Band” seems really summer-breezy to me.

    1. OK, just relistening to ADU, and although I do love that album a lot, most of it isn’t the mood you’re looking for. The track that is, I think: “Mr. Wendal — Live” (Track 18).

      Also, “Ooh Child.”

    2. Some good OWSK suggestions there – thanks! Pomplamoose is new to me, so I will have to check it out.

      As for SBATS, I hope they don’t revoke my New Jersey residency when they find out I’m not a big Springsteen or Bon Jovi fan. That said, I do absolutely love one Springsteen tune, and it’s already on there. I just went looking through my Bon Jovi collection only to find I don’t have one. Heh.

    3. Your mix is occupying really a lot of space in my brain these days. Joni Mitchell? Something off “Blue”?

      1. That has definite possibilities.

        Maybe it would help if I told you what I had in my working list so far. I’ll probably remove some of these and add others before I settle on a final lineup, but I’m not really in a rush. These are in no particular order:

        1. The Innocence Mission – Rain (Setting Out in the Leaf Boat) (4:12)
        2. Let’s Go Sailing – Sideways (4:19)
        3. Honeydrippers – Sea Of Love (3:03)
        4. Bobby Darin – Beyond The Sea (2:53)
        5. Madeleine Peyroux – Dance Me To The End of Love (3:54)
        6. Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind (2:54)
        7. Ella Fitzgerald – Love You Madly (4:38)
        8. Over The Rhine – Trouble (4:01)
        9. Bye Bye Birdie Original Broadway Cast – Rosie (3:35)
        10. The Ditty Bops – Because We Do (2:40)
        11. Blossom Dearie – A Doodlin’ Song (2:14)
        12. 10,000 Maniacs – Circle Dream (3:25)
        13. Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me (3:29)
        14. Jeff Lynne – Smile (2:32)
        15. Sarah Harmer – Open Window (the wedding song) (4:09)
        16. k.d. lang – Miss Chatelaine (3:49)
        17. The Sundays – I Kicked A Boy (2:16)
        18. Fiona Apple – Get Him Back (5:24)
        19. She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? (2:30)
        20. Suzanne Vega – Gypsy (4:04)
        21. Van Morrison – Into The Mystic (3:27)
        22. The Mamas & The Papas – Dream A Little Dream Of Me (3:14)

  3. I feel like Billy Joel might also be acceptable.

    1. Already got him on the oldies mix. Not really feeling him for the open window mix, though.

      1. Right, that’s what I meant.

        For the open window, though, how do you feel about Sara Evans? I’m thinking “Born to Fly.”

        1. Hmmm, a little twangier than what I’m going for.

  4. […] After auditioning dozens of potential tunes over the last few months, I finally committed to 23 old-fashioned-ish songs for my Open Window Summer Kitchen mix that I mentioned last month. […]

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