Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Top 5 Retro Music Picks of 2013: Smooth & Simulating Creative Work Playlist

I don't know about you but my brain needs a break! When work gets rough, popping on groovy retro tunes provides an instant mood boost and rejuvenates creativity, and we Got Lucky in 2013 with some Beautiful neo-retro tunes to Lose Ourselves in Dance to- see what I did there--hear me out and listen to these new classic before you pelt me with rotten vegetables for that one:


1) Daft Punk, Get Lucky: How could I not love a straight-up classic disco song composed by ROBOTS?! The first few seconds I heard this song play I had a new favorite for life. As a longtime Daft Punk fan, I'm ecstatic they got so much mainstream exposure (and Grammy wins) for Random Access Memories. || Listen || Buy

2) Bruno Mars, Treasure: Irresistible throw-back to late seventies/early eighties funk/disco. Feeling down? Play this, it's your anti-depressant. The "intentionally bad" retro video/live performances to go with it are adorable, homage done right. (Compare to Prince's similar I Wanna Be Your Lover which I love more than I have space to articulate.) || Listen || Buy

3) Mariah Carey, Beautiful: A 1960s-style Motowney soulful love song. An apple pie all American classic. Listen and long for carefree summer drives, a languid country road stretched before you, illuminated by fireflies and moonlight. Beautiful, indeed! || Listen || Buy

4) Daft Punk, Lose Yourself to Dance: Another disco/funk song I can't stop listening to, it encapsulates the sheer joy of losing yourself to a passion. Funky yet light. I love lose myself in work to this. Random Access Memories puts a fresh spin on the early 80s transition from disco to the new. || Listen || Buy

I see what you did there, Daft Punk. AND I LOVE YOU FOREVER FOR IT. This album's branding delights.

5) Macklemore, Thrift Shop:  Since 2012 I've received dozens of messages from readers/friends/family about Thrift Shop ("I thought of you! It's You! You Must Listen!") and they were all very sweet gestures, but having it sent to me over-and-over for years embittered me. (You have to know the feeling? The question everyone asks you that you're tired of fielding?) A douchey hipster within screamed,
"I don't need no damn thrift rap song to validate my lifestyle! I know it's awesome. I have been like this my entire existence, my first trike was from a dumpster, I've been in and out of thrift shops since toddlerhood, my mother's mother thrifted, it's in my DNA!"  
Late 2013 I came to accept this bold rejection of materialism. A hip hop song about Thrift Shopping become a Billboard #1 song, and it's the first rap song that made it onto Billboard Top 100 without backing by a major record label! After a sharp economic decline The People of America are ready to embrace thrifting as an expression of individuality, an alternative to covering yourself in overpriced "brand names" to establish self worth and a personal style. Still not on my playlist but a song to respect and admire. Especially in the Hip Hop genre, rife with empty materialism and label-dropping. For anyone who doubts his talent, witness how good he is in the superior, triumphant Can't Hold Us! || Listen || Buy

Honorable Mentions: (1) Suit & Tie: I should love this, I appreciate the big band, Fred Astaire classy look but it doesn't move me. Too restrained? Still good. || Listen || Buy (2) No honorable mention for Blurred Lines as my slight guilty pleasure for that sexy stolen beat; instead I'll remember a Robin Thicke that used charm and not cockiness to Get You Alone.

I can only hope the tides of pop music are 'a changin' for the better with the latest reinventions of sounds of the past to get us moving! Thanks 2013, you weren't all bad after all. Here's a playlist of my top 5 for ya.

So let's talk music: Got any work playlists to share? What were your favorite songs from 2013? Do recommend any songs you'd think I'd like with my strong disco/soul/funk/Motown/retro music tastes? Always looking for more!
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29 comments:

  1. Happy by Pharrell. is my latest jam! I'm all over the place with music. As long as its not country! Ick! Yea, I like that Thrift song too, I like the fact that it made thrift/second hand make sense, commercialism/materialism...should be frowned upon. My kids are proud to shop thrift! My son goes to school with all this crazy cool stuff, people ask him where he got it, and he always says, "the thrift stores!" Last week, he got this cool new steam punk necklace (new, from an actual store), and went he went to school, he lied and said he got it from a thrift store! Haha, its like he was ashamed that he got it new. They call him the thrift store kid at school. He loves it!
    So anyhow, check out Happy-Pharrell!

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    1. Oh that's some good Motown James-Brown style right there, love it! Thanks for the recommendation. I love thrifter kids, my nieces LOVE it. Though the thrifting boys often get the good robot toys before I can ;D

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  2. Guess I'm a dinosaur. My playlists are filled with Zeppelin, Floyd, Doors, Skynyrd, Allman Bros... You get the picture.

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    1. I normally only listen to older music while I work but this year had so many retro offerings to choose from, had to showcase 'em. All good picks you've got there. I'M the dinosaur, I've listened to more swing/big band/Andrews Sisters than most born in the eighties? :D

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  4. I love the Temptations! And holy hell that song is GOOD, love the sun-shiney Motown sound juxtaposed with the angry lyrics and violent music video. I'd never heard of him, thanks for the tip. Gotta keep digging on his music now.

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    1. Glad you liked it! He was definitely not what I expected when I saw his picture!!

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    2. That happened with me with Rick Astley and Jay Kay of Jamiroquai too, they've got those deceptively soulful voices.

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    3. Listening to more Mayer Hawthorne and loving it, thanks for the rec! Looove "Green Eyed Love" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYVvNcAT84A

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  5. I always love to listen to The Temptations, just so...much...good music! Also I have discovered Mayer Hawthorne - love him! My favorite track is "The Walk", listen (if you haven't already) and let me know what think. Also, Phillip Phillips is a little pop but funky too, probably my favorite of his is Volcano. One song I discovered that I never thought would appeal to me is "He Said" by Group 1 Crew. To satisfy your disco craving the soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever ought to do the trick!!! Believe it or not Kellie Pickler has some really good stuff out...."Someone Somewhere Tonight" in particular. Finally new to my favorites playlist is "Pretty Wings" by Maxwell. Well, that's my two cents!!!

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    1. Enjoying all your suggestions, they'll help me diversify the play lists :D

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    2. I had never seen the video for "The Walk"! I guess it's a take on the movie "Mr. and Mrs. Smith". You are right....what a crazy mix - lyrics and video vs. the "Motown sound"!

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    3. I didn't immediately think "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" but I definitely see it now!

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  6. My work playlist is everythingigotinitunes. Thats a whole hell of a lot of music. Now my work OUT playlist is a whole nother story. I actually love Daft Punk to work out too but pretty much everything up to their new CD. Talk about doing a 360 degree turn in your music style, holy shit. A couple of the new songs made it on various instructors playlists. I'm not a big fan. But then I vary from techno for working out. To blues but with a Little Hank Williams 3 thrown in just to keep it balanced.

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    1. I need to make some workout playlists. I thought Discovery and Human After All had some 70s/80s disco-style sampling mixed in the overall electronic/house style so the transition felt seamless to me but I'm a biased disco lover. I'm all over the place with my listening but disco/funk/soul/Motown's a big soft spot.

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  7. van, i def played the daft punk album in my store...im surprised you wouldn't play "fragments of time" that song gave me a vibe like i was living in Cali, and i never been to cali in my life! very relaxing, mellow song to work too. also i would play a lot of passion pits songs especially "take a walk" i also would play the justin timberlake 20/20 experience album and also some other store friendly songs. i would play "thrift shop" all the time but i did not have the clean version so i would only play that song when i was closing up my shop.

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    1. So true," Fragments of Time" is a perfect work tune. I also really love "Touch" (slow build up though) and "Beyond", really the whole album is perfect work listening. Love that you played "Thrift Shop" in a "Thrift Shop"!

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  8. I totally remember when Robin Thicke had long, curly, gorgeous, Hippy hair! ;)

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    1. I *love* that long hippy haired Robin Thicke, purrr....

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  9. YES to the Daft Punk! I also love using music to relax a little bit when life gets crazy!

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    1. Yes indeed, doing so now :D ! Music and a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine and your thoughts is lovely after a day of work.

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  10. I really like "Moonshine" by Bruno Mars. Has a nice retro vibe.

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    1. Oh that does have a nice 1980s retro vibe. I'd dig it if it popped on the radio but maybe not alone, reminds me of an inferior "Baby Be Mine". Love his vintage influences lately.

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  11. As my iTunes overfloweth we listen to everything from Sinatra on forward. I will say for 2013 I love Lourde .its funny but she is this generations Madonna. As Madonna and I are the same age I remember her when she first started. unfortunately she has reinvented herself too many times for me to care anymore, in the early dAys her appeal and message were similar. Lu's the Avett brothers but I'm nit sure which is new or not. I would have been a great hipster. and although I hate to admit I like Thickes new terribly sexist song I do enjoy it.

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    1. I hate the song content but it's oddly enjoyable. I've been reflecting on Madonna and although her videos were "Sexual" they never came across as gender role defining or misogynist to be as a child. TLC's, Mariah Carey's, and others in the belly-shirt-wearing ilk did but I guess Madonna carried herself with such confidence I never saw anything but an actress playing a part? Food for thought. I can appreciate Lourde's message but It's not listenable music for me. I don't mind uber-hipster music but don't listen to it on my own. Ironic because I live in the hipster-central part of town :D

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    2. Also your iTunes sounds awesome! I'm trying to branch out and educate myself on music more. I tend to keep stuck to certain genres/artists as you can see above, haha.

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  12. The "In Technicolor" EP by Jesse McCartney will make you super happy. It's got that like old school disco dancey vibe. My faves are "Tie The Knot" and "Back Together" :)

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  13. Oh, LOVE! :D Thanks for sharing, just my type, nice mix of modern dance with retro vibes.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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