Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vixen's Mixens: Indian Summer

Hurricane Irene has come and gone - leaving some of us without electricity and most of us with quite a bit of clean up to do. To all of my fellow East Coasters/New Englanders this week's playlist is dedicated to you! Now that the storm is gone I am hoping that we will have an Indian Summer - a little bit of extra warmth to ease us into the fall and winter.

This is a collection of songs that make me think of a warm sun, a cool breeze and young summer romance. Parts of the playlist just make me want to shake my booty like any good summer song should. Give it a listen this Labor Day weekend, while the beaches are still open and the badminton net is still up! BTW congrats to my "pony" Kate Kugler - who is getting married to an amazing man this weekend!

Shout outs to my FB peeps who recommended some fab tunes - such as Cape Dory by Tennis (thx Laia) and Baby by Devendra Banhart (thx @TrashoStereo)! Feel free to share your favorite songs of summer with me here - they may even make it onto the playlist:-)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vixen's Mixens: Special Hurricane Edition!

Although I usually only do one playlist a week, in honor of the impending East Coast Hurricane I felt it only right to provide people with a soundtrack to get you through the storm (if you have power, of course!) My Goodnight (Hurricane) Irene playlist is filled with stormy weater related tunes (including the Lena Horne rendition of Stormy Weather) as well as tunes in honor of various Irenes, such as a particularly fun throwback by British New Wave/Punk band the Photos called, you guessed it, Irene. I included some obvious guilty pleasures including Scorpion's Rock You Like a Hurricane and Christopher Cross' Ride Like the Wind. To please my bestie and #1 playlist fan Jonathan aka @TrashoStereo I also threw in Taylor Swift (Come In With the Rain) and Paramore (When It Rains.) To please my husband aka @Egocrata there is a Spinal Tap number entitled Break Like the Wind. As a special tribute to my favorite Irene I close out the playlist with one of the best movie soundtrack songs of all time....Flashdance...What a Feeling by Irene Cara. Feel free to give me feedback - glaring ommissions, etc. Enjoy and stay safe!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vixen's Mixens: My Rockin' 90s

My Rockin 90s: In honor of the ridiculously unusual East Coast earthquake we experienced today, I am offering you a Spotty playlist of songs that rocked my world in the 1990s (it's a stretch, I know.)

Back then I was a nerdy teenager super thirsty for the latest and greatest tunes. My fave magazine subscription was Rolling Stone, which I read religiously (nowadays it's Entertainment Weekly, lovingly referred to as "the bible" in our house.) When I went to the mall, I made a beeline for Sam Goody and longed for the day when I would have steady income so I could buy every album on my very long wish list. When I finally did get a job at my local movie theater, almost every dime went towards increasing my (IMO) amazing CD collection (little did I know that when I would be old enough to afford all the music I want it would be available so cheap through the interwebs.)

I was a massive Brit pop junkie - falling hard for Radiohead, Oasis, Blur, Supergrass and Pulp as soon as they crossed our shore. But I also went through the grunge phase (I totes wore my dad's flannels around my waist EVERY day as if I was an extra in Singles) and got bit by the "Electronica" fad (never was a raver though - I was waaaay too nerdy for that.) All of that music is here - along with my fave indie-ish stuff (Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Built To Spill) and my girls (aka Bjork, Tori, Fiona and Polly Jean.) Just for fun I threw in some amazeball one hit wonders (remember "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand" or "Brimful of Asha"?).

Anyhow, if you are anything like me, I think you will enjoy this trip down memory lane. I hope you have as much fun listening to it as I had making it! BTW - don't think that I forgot about hip-hop and pop - I am already working on "My Poppin' Hip-hoppin' 90s" playlist which I will post sometime in the near future. As for next week's playlist, I am hoping for an "Indian Summer." [above image from]

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vixen's Flixens: Work It!

During the slow days of summer, when network television is a desert in terms of quality programming, I turn to Netflix Instant Viewing for survival. For those of you who are in need of some genuinely funny and entertaining shows, here are a couple work place based sitcoms that I cannot say enough good things about. The fact that both of them feature Adam Scott is purely coincidental (not really - love him.) Best thing is that they are both available now on instant viewing so have fun!

Party Down: "Are we having fun yet?" This short lived Starz series follows a group of small time caterers in Los Angeles, with the majority of the employees treating the gig as their day job while they attempt to make it in show business. The cast is phenomenal - with a lot of cross overs from exec. producer/co-creator Rob Thomas' Veronica Mars, including Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino and Ryan Hansen, who all appeared on the CW series. Adam Scott's failed actor Henry is the sarcastic, depressive realist that anchors the show, that is otherwise filled with pipe-dreaming wacky losers who, for the most part, have no clue that they actually are losers. Henry is haunted throughout the series by one beer commercial he starred in that created a nationwide catchphrase, ala Whazzzzup?! The most original aspect of the show is that every episode takes place at a different party event, ranging from corporate retreats to a Porn awards after party. This creates a great opportunity for amazing guest appearances. Two episodes not to miss are "Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen," which features guest stars J.K. Simmons (at his foul-mouthed best), Breckin Meyer and Joey Lauren Adams, and "Steve Guttenbergs Birthday" which of course features Veronica Mars alum Steve Guttenberg in a hilarious turn playing himself. Seriously this show is amazing and not to be missed.

Parks and Recreation: What can I say - the parks department of Pawnee Indiana won me over. Led by Amy Poehler's eternal optimist Leslie Knope, the employees of this small town government office are all equal parts quirky and genuine, with a bit of crazy thrown in for good measure. According to my political science geek husband, the depiction of small town politics is surprisingly realistic. To me, though, the reason the show works is that it manages to be funny with a heart - without being overly sappy. And the depiction of the friendship between Leslie and Ann Perkins (played by the lovely Rashida Jones) is the most honest look at true female relationships I have ever seen on television (I'm talking to you, Sex & the City.) Two episodes not to be missed: "Greg Pikitis" wherein Leslie and her cop boyfriend, guest star Louis C.K. attempt to take down the titular teenager who defaces Pawnee property every Halloween, and "Telethon" which features Leslie on a crazy sugar high from eating Sweetums bars and the amazing crash that follows; BONUS - the episode was written by Amy Poehler. The first season starts off slow but season 2 and 3 are not to be missed. Unfortunately season 3 is not yet on instant, but once it is, it is totally worth marathoning!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vixen's Mixens: I Was Running

First of all, let me just say - thank goodness Spotify finally arrived in the States! I have been using the Spanish version for a couple years now under my husband's username but now I can finally have my very own. The social aspect of Spotify (aka Spotty) makes it the clear winner IMO for streaming music services - not to mention the killer library. Sharing your favorite new tunes on the social media service of your choice could not be easier, but even better is the sharing of playlists.

I was a kid who slaved over making mixtapes, ala Rob Fleming from High Fidelity. The opening and closing tracks were crucial, as well as the overall flow from song to song. You had to get the timing just right on each side of the cassette (yes I am old) to avoid - god forbid - cutting off the closing song. When .mp3s and burning cds became commonplace it was nothing short of revolutionary. Dragging and dropping was just too easy! Then when ipods and itunes playlists came into fashion it was even more mind blowing. You were no longer limited to 80 minutes worth of music! I have a party playlist on my ipod right now that has 643 songs and counting.

So Spotty is the next step in the evolution of making mixes. No need to press record, burn a disc or hook up your friend's ipod to your itunes. You only need to share your playlist with other Spotty members. Simple. Fun. Fantastic.

I will not let this technology go to waste! I will periodically (weekly, in theory) post playlists with different themes (my fave types of mixes). If I am in a sharing mood, I'll give you some insight as to why I chose what I chose and what not. Hope you enjoy.

This week's theme: I Was Running. I am by no means a fitness enthusiast, however if I do work out - upbeat tunes are a must. This is a 2 hour mix filled with pop, hipster shizz and even a Stereo MCs classic from the good 'ol 90s. Speaking of the 90s - that will be the theme of next weeks list;-) Have fun my peeps!