Meh. In a word, that’s how my 2017 can be summarized. It was a year of transition, from one job to another. It was a year of endurance, as I completed my first New York City Marathon. It was a year of survival, as we escaped our burning vehicle unscathed. But through it all, music was my companion…. sometimes my comfort, other times my inspiration. This collection, which represents my favorite music discovered during the past year, shines despite any doldrums I may have experienced. Hopefully you’ll find several tracks you like, and perhaps some artists you might not otherwise hear. Please check out their other work; this sampling is only a small taste of their respective talents.
This year’s compilation, the 14th annual, is dedicated to my husband Victor, who stood by me while I was unemployed four months in between jobs. Who was my cheerleader along the entire NYC marathon course. Who saved lives getting us (me & our two dogs) out of our burning car without physical injury. Needless to say, he’s a keeper.
Sit back and enjoy this year’s collection. Thanks for listening, and here’s hoping 2018 is more…um…exciting.
A WINTERY MIX 2017
- Bridge over Troubled Water – Artists for Grenfell
- Nothing Left for You – Sam Smith
- I Don’t Think About You – Kelly Clarkson
- Love Me – Forest Blakk
- Rainbow – Ke$ha
- Dawn of a New Day – Levi Kreis
- The World is MIND – KRS-One
- Catch & Release (Deepend Remix) – Matt Simons
- If all I was was Black – Mavis Staples
- Water Guns – Todrick Hall featuring Jordin Sparks
- Don’t Call – Lost Kings
- Havana – Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug
- Honor – DJ Cassidy featuring Grace & Lil Yachty
- All with You – Ha Ha Tonka
- No Roots – Alice Merton
- Feel it Still – Portugal. The Man
- Deeper – Riton x MNEK x The House Gospel Choir
- Favorite Liar – The Wrecks
Posted in 2010's, Liner Notes
Tagged 2017, Alice Merton, Artists for Grenfell, Camila Cabello, DJ Cassidy, Forest Blakk, Grace, Ha Ha Tonka, House Gospel Choir, Jordin Sparks, Ke$ha, Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, KRS-One, Levi Kreis, Lil Yachty, Lost Kings, Matt Simons, Mavis Staples, MNEK, Portugal. The Man, Riton, Sam Smith, Todrick Hall, Wrecks, Young Thug
The Whistle Song – Frankie Knuckles (1991)
Born Francis Nicholls, this American DJ, producer & remixer helped birth house music out of the ashes of disco. His DJ work at underground clubs in Chicago in the late 70’s & early 80’s laid the groundwork for techno & other variations of house music. As house music gained mainstream acceptance in the UK in the late 80’s, Knuckles turned more to remixing & production work, forming DefMix Productions with fellow DJ David Morales. While working with artists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, & Luther Vandross, they redefined how dance mixes were produced & recorded and spawned a new generation of DJ/remixers who would come to define electronic dance music (EDM). Knuckles was recognized with the inaugural Grammy Award for Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical, in 1997. And in 2005, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. Health issues started slowing him down in 2008, but Knuckles continued to make appearances at clubs & festivals. Knuckles passed away yesterday at age 59.
Posted in House, Liner Notes
Tagged 1991, Dance Music Hall of Fame, David Morales, DefMix Productions, Diana Ross, Francis Nicholls, Frankie Knuckles, Grammy Award, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson
Perfect Day – Lou Reed (1972)
Lou Reed was a ground-breaking American musician and photographer who made a name for himself as founder of the Velvet Underground in the late 60’s. Despite their lack of mainstream commercial or sustained success, the band’s distinctive work elevated them to cult status. Reed went on to have a successful solo career during the 70’s, leveraging his poetic songwriting talent and sexually-ambiguous persona. In 1987, Reed reunited with VU co-founder John Cale, and they toured sporadically well into the 90’s. And VU were inducted into the Rock & Hall of Fame in 1996. Reed continued to be a prolific producer & contributor for fellow musicians well into the 2000’s, but also presented & published his own photography. Earlier this year, Reed underwent a liver transplant. He died earlier today at age 71.
Beautiful (Peter Rauhofer Remix) – Christina Aguilera (2002)
Peter Rauhofer, who also used the stage names Club 69 and Size Queen, was an Austrian producer/DJ who made a name for himself as resident DJ at one of New York City’s biggest gay clubs, as well as touring internationally at various gay circuit events. He specialized in tribal house music, and he broadened his appeal as electronic dance music (EDM) became more accessible & mainstream. Rauhofer remixed for the biggest names in popular music: Madonna, Cher, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, P!nk, and Britney Spears…to name just a few. And in 2000, he was recognized with a Grammy for Remixer of the Year. Mr. Rauhofer passed away today at the age of 48 after a brief battle with brain cancer.
Posted in 2000's, House, Liner Notes, Tribal house
Tagged 2002, Britney Spears, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Club 69, Grammy Award, Madonna, Mariah Carey, P!nk, Peter Rauhofer, Size Queen, Whitney Houston
Sorry for the delay in making this post, but my recent move to Chicago & new job really kicked my butt. And I’m still catching up.
This annual compilation, now in its ninth year, represents my favorite tracks from the past year. And they’re placed in an order that fits the mood of the year, the rhythm of the songs, and how they best flow together. I hope you not only find some songs you like, but also some artists you might not otherwise hear. I encourage you to check out their other work…you won’t be disappointed.
Each year, I dedicate this compilation to someone who’s made an indelible mark on my life in the past year. This year it’s dedicated to my dear friends Martin & Waverly. Without them, my adventure to Chicago could not have taken place. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.
Enjoy! And please leave your feedback in the comments below. Thanks, as always, for your support. Happy New Year… and best wishes for 2013! xo, jr
A WINTERY MIX 2012
- Cry at Films – Bright Light Bright Light (featuring Del Marquis)
- Let Him In – Eliot Bronson & Yonder Orphans
- Full Circle – Half Moon Run
- 4 AM – Melanie Fiona
- The Siren’s Call – Darren Hayes
- Nancy From Now On – Father John Misty
- Foreign Fields – Elton John vs. PNAU
- Everyone’s Waiting – Missy Higgins
- My Kind of Love – Emeli Sandé
- Is Your Love Big Enough? – Lianne La Havas
- Feet to Follow – Jay Andrew
- Free – Haley Reinhart
- Deathwish – Bebe Black
- Born to be Blue – The Mavericks
- Fading Listening – Shiny Toy Guns
- The Unknown Faces at Father James Park – The Phenomenal Handclap Band
- Youth – Foxes
- How Deep is Your Love? – The Rapture
- Lessons in Love – Kaskade (featuring Neon Trees)
- Don’t Give In Tonight – Graham Alexander
Posted in 2010's, Liner Notes
Tagged 2012, Bebe Black, Bright Light Bright Light, Darren Hayes, Del Marquis, Eliot Bronson, Eliot Bronson & Yonder Orphans, Elton John, Elton John vs. PNAU, Emeli Sande, Father John Misty, Foxes, Graham Alexander, Haley Reinhart, Half Moon Run, Jay Andrew, Joshua Tillman, Kaskade, Lianne La Havas, Mavericks, Melanie Fiona, Missy Higgins, Neon Trees, Phenomenal Handclap Band, PNAU, Rapture, Rod Thomas, Ryan Raddon, Shiny Toy Guns, Yonder Orphans
Today marks the 1,000th post on this blog. I can’t believe what started on March 2, 2010, has made it this far. At that time, I was unemployed and looking for something to stretch my creative muscles and share my life-long love of music. My day job has come & gone… and come again… BUT my love of music and willingness to share continue.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey as well. I always welcome suggestions for post topics and feedback on how I can improve the site. Thanks to those who’ve contributed thus far. I have some plans for the near future… look for changes on the site in the next few months! Plus, I recently moved from Austin to Chicago, so you may detect a slight change in influence as I soak up all the good talent the Chicago music scene has to offer.
But now…back to the star of the show: MUSIC.