Every year before our Memorial Day Weekend camping trip to Banks Lake in eastern Washington we make a “mix tape”. Wow, I’m old. What do you call it these days anyway? A compilation CD? Too formal. A Mix CD? Sounds dumb. Oh well, anyway…

We create this cd as a sort of time capsule, documenting the popular music of the year and it becomes my summer soundtrack, mostly because I am one of those people who never changes the cds in the car. Karli also does a lot of music discovery and comes up with stuff that I would never find but usually grow to love. I also try to include songs from several other categories. Something that was just released. Someone making a comeback. Songs that were influential this last year. And there always seems to be one old song that we just discovered or rediscovered.

Because it also has to serve as the music that lives in my car for the next year, it needs to upbeat, happy and sound good loud. No slow songs unless they are incredible or fit perfectly into one of the essential categories. I also take great care in the ordering of the cd. Making the perfect mix tape is an art form that I have been enjoying and partaking in since high school. The order of and grouping of songs as well as the transitions between songs are very important.

This was the first year that we had to take the kid’s likes and dislikes into account. We don’t listen to any children’s music really, sometimes some Barenaked ladies or Jack Johnson who both have children’s albums. But really our kids just like to listen to regular music. We mostly make them listen to what we like, but the Rhapsody Tivo interface was wonky for a few months and all we could easily get through the TV and stereo system in the house was the Rhapsody Top Tracks, which includes mostly top forty stuff. Because of this the kids have developed a definite opinion about what they like and so we gave them a nod on this cd.

Nickelback for Ian, he likes the hard stuff and for some reason Nickelback is his favorite, and Flo Rida and Lady Gaga for Ada, she likes the dance tracks.

I want to keep a record of these so i am posting this here and hey, maybe you will like it too. Every song has a reason and a place and I am really pleased with this year’s creation.

1.  Make It MineJason Mraz
2. Poker FaceLady GaGa
3. Break Me Out 2.0The Rescues
4. All Around MeFlyleaf
5. I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’Scissor Sisters
6. The FearLily Allen
7. PeacemakerGreen Day
8. Burn It To The GroundNickelback
9. Right RoundFlo Rida
10. I Kissed A GirlKaty Perry
11. You Found MeThe Fray
12. Walking On A DreamEmpire Of The Sun
13. HomecomingHey Monday
14. Falling AwayJupiter Rising
15. LisztomaniaPhoenix
16. WomanizerBritney Spears
17. DecodeParamore
18. Boom Boom PowBlack Eyed Peas
19. Sink Into MeTaking Back Sunday
20. Help I’m AliveMetric
21. Sunshine Lady (Alternate Mix)Two Spot Gobi









(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)
Amazon.com Widgets

This week’s selections are rather eclectic.  My moods and influences have been varied and inconsistent this week and I think this is reflected here.  

The list starts with one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands.  If you haven’t seen Barenaked Ladies live and get the opportunity to, you must.  They are one of those rare bands that are better live than on their albums.  Karli and I were discussing that Jason Mraz is like this too.  Karli just saw Mraz last weekend and said it was amazing.  Artists that can really connect with the audience make for the best shows.

I love the song Grade 9 because these guys are similar in age to me and it reminds me so much of what that time in my life was like.  You can’t help but laugh out loud some of the references.  I think everyone of our generation fondly remembers that conclusion of every school dance and the haunting sounds of Stairway to Heaven. Oh heck, I’ve added Stairway to Heaven just for good measure.

Back when I worked for RealNetworks, they purchased the company that originated the Rhapsody service.  As a result we all received free memberships and I loved it so much I started paying for it when I left.  I even upgraded to the “to go” service so I can endlessly load up my MP3 player.  The point of that little ramble is to say that I have a custom radio station that I listen to all the time and in addition to bringing up some of my favorite songs from times past, it also helps me to discover new music as well.  Can you tell I love this service, it is the best, really.

Anyway,  this week I discovered an artist that I hadn’t listened to before that I find rather intriguing and will definitely get a good listening to from this song writer aficionado.  I have included Tony Lucca’s song Darlin’ I as this is the song that I first heard on my radio station and what inspired me to listen to more.   I am looking forward to hearing more of what he has to offer.

Another song to note on this list is Trick Daddy’s Sugar.  Although I don’t immediately turn to rap for my musical fix, my friend Matt put this on Saturday night and I have to say that this is a kick ass song.  Definitely on my list of favorite Rap songs, although as you can imagine this list isn’t incredibly lengthy.

The rest fall into old favorites that came across the wireless network to my TV and out through my stereo speakers.  Did I mention you can get Rhapsody through your Tivo service (I know, I will stop with the sales pitch, old habits die hard and good products deserve promotion).  

Enjoy this weeks selections and the fond memories of younger days.

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)
Amazon.com Widgets

I was on the Amazon associate website today and found this very cool widget. How fun, to share the music I am listening to right now. My taste in music travels with my mood and therefore varies considerably from day to day and week to week. 

This week I have been feeling unable to choose for myself and in need of an energy boost, so what better to serve that purpose than the top tracks play list at Rhapsody. That’s why you will find the latest in club rage on this week’s list. This is a little outside the norm for me, but I genuinely enjoy each one of them.

Also on my list is the lovely Sara Bareilles. This is hands down my favorite album of the year. Don’t be put off by the overplaying of “Love Song”, although I have to say that I still am enjoying that song, it’s actually one of Ada’s favorites. But, this whole album is really amazing. Her voice resonates in your head long after your done listening. The song “Between the Lines” that is in the above widget will go on my all time favorite lists. I do have to admit that part of that is because her range matches mine and this song is just so much fun to sing.

I just upgraded my Rhapsody account to Rhapsody to Go and oh my gosh, I just fell in love all over again. Within twenty minutes, my mp3 player was full of music. Just drag, drop and go. Anything you want. I am telling you, it is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

You see, Rhapsody offers the To-Go upgrade that allows you to transfer pretty much any song they have to your mp3 player. There is no individual track charge. The catch is that this is subscription content and you do not own it and it doesn’t live on your computer for you to do as you wish with it. When you delete it from your mp3 player, it is gone and if you want it again, you will need to transfer it again. The great thing about this is you can add, delete, change etc as much as you want.

Now, I am not one of those people that is all hung up on ownership. If you are, then Rhapsody in general is not the service for you, except they have a larger collection and cheaper prices for downloads than anyone else. I just don’t feel the need to own all the music I like. For those albums that I really like and want as part of my collection for years to come, I go and buy the cd. So for me, Rhapsody is just about perfect.

It is like walking into a record store and just listening to whatever you want. And now being able to take it with me is icing on the cake.

My only gripe, and it isn’t a gripe about rhapsody, is that it wouldn’t work with my iPod. This is one of the reason that it took me so long to upgrade my account. I had an iPod and it didn’t work. Well, it finally had been long enough and I could buy a new mp3 player and so I made sure to find one that is compatible with Rhapsody. I went with the Creative Zen V Plus and I have to say, i don’t miss my iPod at all. It is sleek, very small (suprisingly so) and has all the features I needed. There are many other players that work with Rhapsody available as well depending on your needs.

Now, this is not a problem with Rhapsody. Believe me, they would support the iPod if they could. The iPod does not support subscription content. Apple wants you to only be able to buy music from their store and play it in their format. It’s as simple as that.