Tag Archives: playlist

If I Could Dance, I’d Dance to This.

It was a exciting weekend. Friday night I went to see CHVRCHES at the Black Cat with Megan, WGTB’s outgoing Promotions Director. We danced for hours to the crisp, beautiful beats of the electro-pop trio whose hype is growing faster than Feminist Taylor Swift. On Saturday I went to the hip new Malmaison for the Fête de la Musique, then hit Georgetown bars with friends. And Yesterday I worked at my bakery job to earn some cash.

It would have been nice if any of those things had actually happened. Alas, I was confined to the couch all weekend, thanks to some increasingly mysterious ankle pain that’s been bringing me near tears for weeks. Luckily, I had the company of a fat orange cat and a number of wonderful friends who entertained me, fed me sweets, and prevented me from drinking that six-pack alone as I rubbed my legs with blocks of ice.

In all seriousness, save for my lower extremities, I feel completely fine, and I was content to obey the doctor’s orders to sit things out for a few days. But damn, am I mad about CHVRCHES. Even with my oft-elderly habits, I frequently need to, in the words of Ke$ha, “let the crazy out,” and this was my chance. To put it in perspective, my only outings since Saturday have been to CVS for more IcyHot, or to the doctor for x-rays. If I had known just how restless I would become, I would have tried to stick it out on Friday night, even if it meant wearing Danskos to a club and asking random people for piggyback rides.

So here I am, left with ants in my pants, the jitters, so much pent-up energy! What better use of my time than one of my favorite activities – crafting playlists? After examining my music library with a fine-toothed comb, I have compiled a list of the Top 5 Songs I Would Dance to If I Could. Hit me up if you want to do some Sit and Be Fit to these; I hear they have exercises for, well, everything.

1. The Pointer Sisters -“Jump (For My Love).” The way Prime Minister Hugh Grant dances to this song in Love Actually is the only acceptable way to do it. The subtle butt shake, the all-out stair descent – I can think of no better way to get that body movin’.

2. Beyoncé – “Countdown.” It should come as no surprise to anyone who has attended one of my social gatherings that I am always itching to dance to this. Though I can most frequently be found dancing to it with my beloved roommate around 1 AM as a homework break, it doubles as a fantastic all-purpose crowd-pleaser. Humble brag: in addition to being able to hit every note of the “Boioioioioioioy” vocal climb, I have also created a signature dance move to accompany said vocal climb. It is so popular that Ryan Gosling copied it and put it in some movie.

3. Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – “Mais Que Nada.” Serg has been my main man since February. His tunes always make me want to dance, but since I don’t really have, you know, a sense of rhythm, I’ve settled on replicating what I see the two ladies doing in this video. It’s great! You don’t even have to move your feet!

4. Phoenix – “Sometimes in the Fall.” Speaking of not moving one’s feet, that was the one viable method for dancing at Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival. I was able to rock out to the headliner, Phoenix, only after one of my radio forefathers helped me plant my feet firmly in the mudpit pictured below, the result of of a mid-afternoon monsoon. Had I not had my feet firmly anchored, I would have slipped and had to say goodbye to more than just my shoes (read: my dignity) that night . At any rate, footplanting dancing seems to be viable for those, like myself, who must remain in IcyHot ankle sleeves at all times, and it works especially well for music like Phoenix, whose sound is tight, refined, and easily complemented by hand gestures and aggressive headbanging.

5. The Argument – “No Way.” R.I.P., The Argument, the only quality musical act to ever emerge from my hometown.This song may be over a decade old, but the aesthetic goes for something even older, and it never fails to make me want to put on my monacle and bring out a cane as I sashay across the stage like Fred Astaire, or, you know, Mr. Peanut.

BONUS TRACK! If I make it in to my internship tomorrow, I will have no choice other than to politely say this to someone on the metro if I cannot get a seat.

This post will be cross-published on The Rotation, the blog of WGTB – Georgetown University Radio

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Run This Town: Maintaining Sanity Through 4/28/13

A week ago, I did something straight up wacky. Frugal little me paid over $100 to register for a half marathon at the end of April. I’m not even a runner. Yes, there was a stint last year when I’d drag myself along for a few miles every couple of days, but never once have I considered myself a runner. So when my friend Hillary and I realized that – for some reason – we both had it in our heads to run 13.1 miles next spring, it was more than a little bold to seal the deal and sign up.

I used to be convinced that I could run sans music and do well just with the sounds around me, but the past few weeks of even the most basic training have taught me otherwise. I cannot imagine how I would have made it to the Lincoln Memorial today without Michael Jackson and Beyonce. I would probably still be toddling around somewhere on the waterfront if I hadn’t danced on my own with Robyn or been reminded by Bruce that I was born to run. And god, don’t get me started on trying to do anything in Yates without my iPod.

I don’t think there’s any specific formula to crafting running playlists – some people like super upbeat stuff, while others go for a consistent tempo so their pace doesn’t get too out of hand. I just know it’s not the method in Runner’s World, which suggested that my mom buy Eminem (yes, she did heed their advice, and no, it did not end well). So with all formula, rhyme, reason, and shame thrown out, here is just a fraction of my personal solution to the running playlist problem, an excerpt from the 200+ song run this town.

The tracks might be somewhat out of order; 8tracks was having some upload problems tonight. Below I’ve added a few comments to songs that might leave some people wondering who in their right mind would run to them.

  • “Love on Top” – Beyoncé
  • “Follow Me” – Muse
  • “Raise Me Up (Mississippi South) – Lana Del Rey – Steady, chill tempo + alluring vocals.
  • “Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Ryan Dalton
  • “Only Girl (in the World)” – Rihanna
  • “Tupthumping” – Chumbawumba
  • “Dum Dum Mast Hai (remix)” – Band Baaja Baraat – A total outsider on this playlist, but it is so upbeat that it hardly matters that I can’t understand the words.
  • “Fade into Darkness” – Avicii
  • “We Found Love” – Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
  • “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” – Michael Jackson
  • “You Make My Dreams” – Hall & Oates
  • “What More Can I Say” – Jay-Z + DJ Danger Mouse
  • “All These Things That I’ve Done” – The Killers
  • “Buddy Holly” – Weezer
  • “Never Had Nobody Like You” – M. Ward feat. Zooey Deschanel – Simple, steady and cute.
  • “Serpents” – Sharon Van Etten – I might be crazy for putting this on here, but it’s kind of a cathartic listen when combined with running.
  • “Animal” – Ellie Goulding – The last minute of this song is too perfect for the end of a run.
  • “Foxy Lady” – Jimi Hendrix
  • “Get Myself Together” – Robyn
  • “Take Me Out” – Franz Ferdinand
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AMPlify Radio Playlist – November 1

For my radio show last Thursday, I decided to counter the possible lady-overload from the previous week with a male-dominated playlist. It was mostly folk and alt-country, but there was a pretty wide variety within that, along with some surprises.

As for why I chose to open with Sharon Van Etten, well, I just couldn’t help it. “All I Can” became my new favorite song of as of late after seeing her at the 9:30 Club on October 25.

Enjoy!

  1. Sharon Van Etten – “All I Can”
  2. U.S. Royalty – “Fool to Love (Like I Do)”
  3. Dr. Dog – “Lonesome”
  4. Ryan Adams – “Shakedown on 9th Street” (8tracks wouldn’t allow this track to be uploaded.)
  5. The Shins – “Girl on the Wing”
  6. Neil Young – “Out on the Weekend”
  7. Bright Eyes – “If the Brakeman Turns My Way”
  8. The Smiths – “Half a Person”
  9. Nick Waterhouse – “(If) You Want Trouble”
  10. The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
  11. The Avett Brothers – “Paranoia in B-flat Major”
  12. Mumford & Sons – “Holland Road”
  13. The Temptations – “Under the Boardwalk”

—-

As a side note, thank you to whoever has been listening to my 8tracks mix called “Classy.” I had no idea it would get over 200 plays!

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Keeping It Classy

[The following is another column published for the guide, the lifestyle magazine of The Hoya. The print version of AMPlify runs every other Friday. You can find the originals by searching my name at thehoya.com.]

It’s no secret that at Georgetown, we play as hard as we work. It’s also no secret that by “play,” many of us mean “party.” I imagine it would be difficult to find someone who hasn’t been to at least one party where people are packed in like sardines, the walls seem to be sweating, couples are doing god-knows-what on the dance floor and Ke$ha is reminding us that “We R Who We R.” If this situation sounds appealing to you 100 percent of the time, you can just stop reading and move on to the next column. But if you’d like to take a break from the sweat and Natty Light and auto-tuned music, keep reading.

I like to think that all Georgetown students have some degree of classiness in them, though when I’m forced to leave a party because someone got sick on the dance floor, my faith wavers. Equally jarring are the moments when Joe — I mean Bro — Hoya asks me if I’m a freshman, and doesn’t give me a second look when I say no because he has correctly assumed that I’m not a desperate girl looking for an upperclassman. Let’s not even talk about the number of times I’ve seen people grinding to “Gangnam Style.” It’s after nights like these when I lie in bed with my headphones on and try to remind myself that my entire college experience need not be sweaty ragers filled with Top 40 hits. I clear my senses with what I consider to be one of the strongest assets in my iTunes library,  a playlist titled, simply, “Classy.”

“Classy.” is nothing fancy. “Classy.” is the product of my 16-year-old self trying to throw a Sweet Sixteen that was way more formal than it had any right to be. Having accomplished the mammoth task of getting my male friends to wear dress shirts and ties, I had to make the most of the situation and play the classiest music I knew — jazz, blues and anything that most grandpas would approve of. For the duration of the party, a mix of Billie Holiday,Feist, Blossom Dearie, and Nat King Cole kept everyone tame and happy. That is, until we started hanging spoons off our noses and smearing frosting on each other’s faces.

Still, “Classy.” represents good, clean fun, musicians who are true masters of their craft and a faith in humanity I need when I walk on Prospect Street and don’t want to know why there’s a pair of tighty whities on the sidewalk. I’m no expert on jazz or blues, but I know that when I want to clear my head and take a step out of the 2010s, “Classy.” is a damn classy way to do it.

Benny Goodman – “King Porter Stomp”

Miles Davis – “Generique”

Nina Simone – “The More I See You”

Frank Sinatra – “Oh! Look at Me Now”

Ray Charles – “One Mint Julep”

Norah Jones – “Sinkin’ Soon”

Nat King Cole – “Orange Colored Sky”

Count Basie – “Bye Bye, Baby”

Ella Fitzgerald – “I’m Beginning to See the Light”

Feist – “One Evening”

Marvin Gaye – “Couldn’t Ask for More”

Billie Holiday – “Blue Moon”

Michael Kiwanuka – “Bones”

Glenn Miller & the Army Air Force Band – “A String of Pearls”

Ray Charles – “Sticks and Stones”

You can hear a full mix online here: http://8tracks.com/amprescott/classy

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AMPlify Radio Playlist – October 25

There are many days when I get on air and feel like I’m at the top of the world. Everything is peachy and I’m full of confidence and enthusiasm. And then there are some days when I am just totally off. Basic knowledge of the sound board escapes me as I scramble to find something to say about music I normally talk about all the time. I try to fake it, but I’m just not 100% there.

Today, unfortunately, fell into the latter category. I was recovering from a bout of food poisoning and just did not have my A-game on. But I managed to play some pretty good music by some pretty cool ladies.

The track list is below, and you can find a mix with some extra songs here.The Grace Potter track would not upload to 8tracks, so I’ve included its own link.

  1. Kate Nash – “Kiss That Grrrl”
  2. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – “Paris (Ooh La La)
  3. Florence & the Machine – “Between Two Lungs”
  4. Adele – “My Same”
  5. Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard”
  6. Alicia Keys – “If I Ain’t Got You”
  7. Feist – “Intuition”
  8. St. Vincent – “Jesus Saves, I Spend”
  9. Rilo Kiley – “The Execution of All Things”
  10. M.I.A. – “Jimmy”
  11. Yelle – “Ce Jeu”
  12. Beyoncé – “Schoolin’ Life”

I created this playlist for my show partially as a reminder to myself that there are many more kickass female artists out there other than Jenny Lewis and Feist, the women whose singing voices are most familiar to my ears. There are the Top 40 divas, there are the goddesses of indie who stun with their poetry and grace, there are women who float through genres and create things I could never dream of. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not a hardcore feminist, and I don’t even know that if – by separating the category of music by women from music in general – we are doing that music or its creators any justice. Rather, I’m a kind-of feminist who just likes music a whole bunch. The playlist above just happens to be both really good and by women. So go listen to it, and let me know about any other female singers you’d think I’d like.

 

(P.S. Sharon Van Etten was amazing tonight. More on her this weekend.)

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