Summer Mix 2019

A new year means a new summer mix. Eighteen songs, clocking in at just a hair over an hour, made for any sun-dappled gatherings or drives during the next few balmy months. Enjoy the journey through triumphant R&B (Beyoncé, Amber Mark, Lizzo), driving rock (The Black Keys, Charly Bliss), catchy indie (Vampire Weekend, Generationals, Sufjan Stevens), soul (Anderson Paak & Smokey Robinson, Durand Jones, Marvin Gaye), chill palette cleansers (Jessica Pratt, Aldous Harding, Andrew Bird) and of course, the gigantic, unstoppable force of “Old Town Road.”

1. Beyoncé: “Before I Let Go”
2. Amber Mark: “Mixer”
3. Stella Donnelly: “Tricks”
4. Vampire Weekend: “This Life”
5. Jessica Pratt: “Poly Blue”
6. Generationals ft. Sarah Quintana: “In Green”
7. Lizzo: “Juice”
8. The Black Keys: “Go”
9. Aldous Harding: “Fixture Picture” *
10. Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus: “Old Town Road”
11. Tuxedo: “The Tuxedo Way”
12. Charly Bliss: “Hard to Believe”
13. Rosalía: “Malamente”
14. Anderson Paak ft. Smokey Robinson: “Make it Better”
15. Durand Jones & the Indications: “Listen to Your Heart”
16. Andrew Bird: “Manifest”
17. Marvin Gaye: “Try It, You’ll Like It”
18. Sufjan Stevens: “Love Yourself”

* Aldous Harding’s “Fixture Picture” is a current obsession of mine. I can’t stop listening.

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Introducing the Current Jams Playlist

If you follow the D-Brad Music Instagram page, you’re already well aware of the Current Jams playlist I update every two weeks. I realized I didn’t ever officially introduce it on the site, so here it is.

D-Brad Music’s Current Jams is a rotating 1-hour-ish Spotify playlist of current favorite tracks (usually new, sometimes old). Every two weeks, I give the playlist a complete refresh, so you’ll always have new songs to hear. For best results, just listen from the top to the bottom — no shuffle.

 
Click here to open the Current Jams playlist.

And if you’re interested in listening to previous Current Jams playlists from this year collected in one place, check it out here.

Summer Mix 2018, Part 2: Night

Here’s Part 2 of this year’s summer mix (here’s Part 1, in case you missed it). This time, songs to play as twilight is dissipating and the heat from the day seeps into the night. Listen now on YouTube or Spotify.

1. Neon Indian: “Polish Girl”
2. Miguel feat. Travis Scott: “Sky Walker”
3. Blue Hawaii: “Versus Game”
4. Michael Jackson: “Rock With You”
5. Kali Uchis feat. Reykon: “Nuestro Planeta”
6. Dream Wife: “Hey Heartbreaker”
7. The Carters (Jay-Z and Beyoncé): “SUMMER”
8. Kendrick Lamar feat. SZA: “All the Stars”
9. Amber Mark: “Love Me Right”
10. Tennis: “No Exit”
11. Leon Bridges: “Beyond”
12. The War on Drugs: “Holding On”
13. Maggie Rogers: “Fallingwater”
14. Nico Yaryan: “Just Tell Me”
15. LCD Soundsystem: “Home”

(Note: “SUMMER” by the Carters is not on YouTube.)

Summer Mix 2018, Part 1: Day

Summer is here, and so is D-Brad Music’s annual Summer Mix. This year’s mix will come in two installments — Part 1 for the daytime, Part 2 for the nighttime. Check out Part 1 now on YouTube and Spotify.

1. Drake: “Nice for What”
2. Ty Segall: “Every 1’s a Winner”
3. Haim: “Little of Your Love”
4. The Voidz: “Leave It In My Dreams”
5. The Rolling Stones: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
6. Naughty by Nature: “Hip Hop Hooray”
7. De La Soul feat. Snoop Dogg: “Pain”
8. Natalie Prass: “Short Court Style”
9. Hinds: “New For You”
10. Parquet Courts: “Wide Awake”
11. Whitney: “No Matter Where We Go”
12. Snail Mail: “Heat Wave”
13. Kacey Musgraves: “Slow Burn”
14. Kali Uchis feat. Tyler, the Creator & Bootsy Collins: “After the Storm”
15. Zacari feat. Babes Wodumo: “Redemption” (from the Black Panther soundtrack)
16. Amber Mark: “Love is Stronger Than Pride”
17. Khruangbin: “Friday Morning”

An Analysis of My First Ever Mix CD from 2002

The middle school years are awkward, and nothing represents that pre-teen angst better than a snapshot of your music tastes at the time. I’m lucky enough to boast the Beatles as my favorite band since the age of 6, but that doesn’t mean I was impervious to the songs of the moment in the early 2000s, and some of those songs were… not so good.

As luck would have it, the first mix CD I ever compiled and downloaded from Rhapsody in 2002 is still intact, which I named KROQ Hits. For those that are unfamiliar with the airwaves of Southern California, KROQ 106.7 FM is the local alternative rock radio station. It’s what my mom played in the car during my formative years, which is why my favorite song at the age of 2 was “Give it Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and why it feels like Nirvana runs through my DNA. I would venture to say that whenever you turn on KROQ, 65% of the time they’ll be playing a good song. I wasn’t quite as discerning at the age of 13.

Now, it’s time to dive into KROQ Hits and judge each song. For each of the 15 tracks, I’ll rate the overall quality of the song on a scale of 1 to 10, and then determine whether that song still fits my tastes by answering a simple question: Would I put it on a mix in 2017? I was prepared to annihilate and ridicule this mix, but while listening to it again, many of the songs I assumed I would hate nowadays are still pretty appealing to me. Let’s go through it.

 

1. Sum 41: “Still Waiting”

We’re certainly starting off with a bang. “Still Waiting,” by the skate-punk blink-182 contemporaries, Sum 41, is the epitome of spiky-haired, middle-school angst. Pop punk has kind of received a positive reappraisal since its heyday in the late ’90s and early 2000s, partly due to nostalgia, but also because the melodies and riffs were definitely catchy. I would never choose to listen to anything by Sum 41 anymore, but I still dig the energy and hooks on “Still Waiting.” Plus, bonus points for sending up the Strokes in their music video.

Rating: 5/10
Would I put it on a mix in 2017?: Nope

 
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Summer Mix 2017

Every summer needs a soundtrack. Whether you’re rolling the windows down on a road trip, mixing it up at a barbeque with friends, or chilling in a paradise somewhere with sand between your toes, the perfect tone-setting music is a requirement. Allow me to be of some assistance, with a collection of choice tracks by everyone from the Velvet Underground and Spoon to Lorde and DJ Khaled.

1. Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos: “Slide”
2. Hurray for the Riff Raff: “Living in the City”
3. Spoon: “Can I Sit Next to You”
4. White Reaper: “Judy French”
5. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: “French Press”
6. Drake: “Passionfruit”
7. Vampire Weekend: “Bryn”
8. Generationals: “You Say it Too”
9. Mac Demarco: “One Another”
10. The Black Keys: “All Hands Against His Own”
11. Kehlani: “CRZY”
12. The Velvet Underground: “Sweet Jane”
13. Ryan Adams: “Doomsday”
14. DJ Khaled feat. Beyoncé and JAY-Z: “Shining”
15. Lorde: “Green Light”
16. The Courtneys: “Silver Velvet”
17. Father John Misty: “Real Love Baby”

Float Down Stream: The Beatles are on Spotify!

Naturally, let’s celebrate with a Spotify playlist.

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The Beatles are notorious for playing hard-to-get with digital music platforms. The band didn’t appear on iTunes until 2010, and they’ve neglected streaming services since their existence — until now. Starting today, you can stream their entire catalog on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc. Let’s just say my playlists are going to get a lot more ‘Fab.’

If you’re a casual Beatles fan, or you only have meager “greatest hits” albums, then this opening-up to the streaming world gives you an opportunity to explore some Beatles tracks that you haven’t heard before. To celebrate, I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of 30 of my favorite Beatles songs that are NOT considered hits. They won’t show up in the “popular tracks” section and they won’t be featured on compilations like the best-selling 1, but these 30 songs are treasures not to be overlooked.

So come on. Turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream. Click the link here or listen below.

 
Related post: My Insane Devotion to Vocal Harmonies as Used by the Beatles