Updates: Mix Tape Monday Master Playlist

Hi everybody! Quick update here.

I’ve started a Youtube playlist of all the Mix Tape Monday songs I’ve posted to date and I will keep updating this master playlist weekly. I figured this would be a convenient way to listen to the tracks that have been shared on the site. I’ll also add the link to the resources page as well as within all new Mix Tape Monday posts.

Here’s the link

Happy listening, grooving, jamming or whatever you will.

Cheers!

Sarah

Mix Tape Monday: Feel Good

You know Mondays mornings can be kind of a drag.

Alright let’s face it 90 % of the time they stink. Who wants to say good bye to the weekend and get up early? It’s hard to wake up happy when you have the rest of the work week staring you in the face. But don’t let those Monday blues get ya down!

Start your week off right with these tunes and it will fly by in no time.

Jung Yong Hwa with JJ LIN – Checkmate. The first step to surviving the work week is knowing that you are not alone. When you feel like the working world is against you these boys (from Korea and China respectively) have got your back!

Atif Aslam – Jeena Jeena –  Waking up Monday morning can’t be that bad with this gentleman by your side. I can see it now, me drowsing on a boat rocking to the waves in the sunshine with Atif Aslam crooning my stress away.

Also a former flautist (7th and 8th grade represent!) I fully endorse songs that rock that flute.

Nazim Ziryab – Tchakchouka. Get yourself outta bed and put on the coffee with this rollicking tune. Who can say no to the blues guitar with a berber feel by this UK based Algerian musician?

C2C – Happy. Words cannot express how much I love this song by French DJ collective C2C. Listening to this song I feel like I can conquer any work week drudgery thrown my way. Plus dancing is pretty much required. Dancing before work (or at work) will make your day better. I guarantee.

Songhoy Blues – Irganda. Are you dancing yet? This Malian band’s joyous song is great for commuting because you can bob along to beat and maybe fit in an inconspicuous shuffle or two on the train.

Anybody  have songs that make you feel prepared for the work week ahead? Put ’em in the dooblydoo below!

Mix Tape Monday: Springtime Daydreams

Hi everyone sorry for the missing post last week! I started my TEFL certification course and I got really busy (lesson plans are hard!). To make up for it I added more tracks than usual to this mix tape.

Spring has finally arrived in Boston! The snow has melted, the birds are singing, squirrels are back to stealing hot dog buns, and I can officially see the grass. In celebration of the new season here is a mix tape of dreamy upbeat tunes to put a spring in your step.

The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s on Fire. This song by Swedish band The Radio Dept. reminds me of looking at dust motes in sunbeams. You know, sparkling and soothing all at once. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just ignore my poetic leanings and listen to You Stopped Making Sense or their album Clinging to a Scheme.

The Fin – Night Time.  Another band whose whole album I love! Japan why must you be so far away from me? I like to think of this as my “staring out the car window as the world passes me by” track. For more of their dreamy tunes try  Without Excuse and Faded Light.

Alpaca Sports – Just for Fun. Spring means cute, fuzzy animals and sweetness. Behold! I have found both in one song. Let’s all go to Sweden and snuggle an alpaca or two (They’re so fluffy I’m gonna die!).

The Pony – Good – Bye. If your daydreams need a little edge try this shoegaze track from Korean group The Pony. Listen to 왼편에서. Want more rock? I also adore their other track Disturbance.

Highasakite – Leaving No Traces.  A Norweigan band with gardens, Adam and Eve, nature sounds, and Victorian poetry references what what more do you need?

Thornapple 쏜애플 – 낯선 열대. This song starts out dreamy and slow like a whisper in your ear and then BAM! It changes pace. I always enjoy listening to this. Listen to Why for more by this Korean band.

 

What songs scream spring to you? List ’em below!

 

 

Mix Tape Monday: Sounds of SXSW

Spring is here and its the start of music festival season. In honor of the SXSW music festival that just finished up this weekend here are my favorite picks from both their international day stage and from their general line up. While I wish I could have been there in the flesh (why must you be so cold Boston?) these picks were curated and selected from my online investigations. If you got to see these bands live be sure to comment below!

Levante – Alfonso. No one will tell you that your life is shit quite as charmingly as this Italian songstress. Need more quirky doses of reality? Give Memo a try.

Toffee 太妃堂 – Vintage Love. This group of classically trained Taiwanese artists mix modern styles with traditional Chinese music. If you’re more in the mood for a power ballad, fear not! Listen to 首波抒情主打《斷》and be amazed by the sets.

Indevotion – Pretty Little Liar. Paramore and Hayley Williams fans should check this band out because (as other netizens have pointed out) I’m pretty sure this is her long lost Swedish sister.  Listen to Go Go Go Go Go! and Beating like a Drum.

La Guacha – Matorrales. I love this Chilean band! It makes me feel like its socially acceptable to tango on the subway. Listen  Tanta and Amor Platónico if you need to add spice to your morning commute.

Fuel Fandango – New Life. I cheated a little bit this Spanish duo is from last year’s festival but I had to sneak them in. Check out  Read My Lips as well.

Anyone I missed from the lineup that you loved? Or any favorite music festivals for international music? Add your comments below!

Mix Tape Monday: No Rules

 

You gotta break the rules sometime and today’s theme is no theme! What?! Anarchy! Madness! You say? Well we all need a little shaking up sometime.

Theme or not, I still love all these tracks so give them a shot and let me know what you think!

きのこ帝国 – 海と花束 (MV). I believe this band’s name translates roughly to Mushroom Empire but I’m not expert at Japanese (cough – I used Google translate – cough) so don’t hold me to it! I love their combination of dreamy lyrics set to some amazing guitar. It’s almost like hard rock shoe gaze…or shoe rock if you will. If you like this combo try 東京.

Madjo – Le Monstre.  I listen to this and wish that I could sound this sultry in French without trying (or just this sultry in general).

Tree Of Life 生命樹樂團 – I just discovered this Chinese band and I absolutely love this track (I’m a sucker for violins, guys.)  I’m hoping to find more by them soon!

Bradio – Fever. This Japanese band is just plain fun plus the lead singer has an afro that inspires my admiration. Flyers and Golden Liar are also must listens.

SALTNPAPER (솔튼페이퍼) – 완벽해요 (Perfect). Do you want your ears caressed and soothed with dulcet Korean lyrics from the inside out? Then do I have the perfect song for you.

Leningrad – Fish. Just because I can. Yes friends. I have found a Russian ska version of Tom Waits singing with a full band. There are sailor outfits, there are fabulous hats, and there may even be a tuba involved (or a sousaphone I never can tell). Want more? Here you go! Фиаско (без цензуры)

Mix Tape Mondays: Without Borders

Here are some bands to challenge your ideas of nationality as well as give you awesome music. They don’t fit into those neat little categories. Transnational, multilingual, and badass. They all offer thought provoking forays into defining modern identity without causing me to fall into a Hamlet-like spiral of existential angst. Now excuse me while I try to teach myself another language…or three.

 

Yoshida Brothers and Monkey Majik – Change. The band Monkey Majik is a Japanese Canadian band based in Japan. Their collaboration with the Yoshida Brother’s traditional Japanese shamisen is instantly intriguing. Monkey Majik sings this song in English but many of their songs are also Japanese or a mix of both. Try Alive.

White City – Space Cadet. Throw a Brit, a Swede, and an Aussie together in Kabul and what do you get? White City, that’s what! Like this try Perfect 10.

Ibeyi – Oya. French-Cuban mistresses of haunting sounds need I say more? They also  sing in Yoruba a Nigerian language. Listen to River and Mama Says. Kudoos to Abena for bringing these ladies to my attention!

The Royal Pirates – Drawing the Line. Oh hey. Royal Pirates I see you and your meta music video references. This Korean-American band have both Korean and English versions of some of their songs, cause that’s how they roll. Listen to Love Toxic and Fly to You

Add you favorites below!

Mix Tape Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup

Are you sick?

 Alright then. Consider adding these songs to your convalescing routine. That’s right! In addition to hot tea, soup, medicine, and large quantities of tissues soothe those eardrums of yours. They need love too. Wrap yourself in the fuzzy blanket of sound and forget about that headache and how cold it is outside.

Christophe Mae – On S’Attache. While Christophe’s quirky falsetto may not be for everyone I really enjoy his style (a sort of Jack Johnson jam session sort of vibe.) Plus he’s on a beach. It’s impossible to be sick and on a beach right? Check out Tombé Sous Le Charme.

Akdong Musician (also known as AKMU) – Melted. This sibling duo has taken South Korea by storm. Try Galaxy and Give Love for a more bubbly sound and a reminder that even if you’re sick the world is a pretty great place.

Nujabes – Aruarian Dance. Too sick to process lyrics? Look no further. This Japanese DJ and producer has got your back. These tracks are about as soothing as you can get. Counting Stars and Mystline will provide similar auditory relief.

Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un m’a dit. This Italian lady is a singer, actress, model, wife of Sarkozy. She nails the breathy French sound in this track and in Raphael as well.

Jhameel – White Lie. An all around renaissance man Jhameel has a vast musical range. I love many of his more upbeat rock/pop tracks but for those chill days try  Waves, and Poison.

The Chieftains – Sea Image. When you are on the road to recovery this Irish band always puts a spring in my step and me in a better mode. Listen to Boil the Breakfast Early or Chase Around the Windmill  just be warned you may be moved to dance a jig or two!

Any comfort songs I missed? Add them down below!

Mix Tape Monday: Reppin’ Rap

In my high school years I would stumble across the occasional amateur rap battle or two during lunch or between classes. I attribute the excitement of those fleeting moments of grass roots rap to the birth of my love of rap (and previously mentioned amateur beatboxing dreams).

The songs listed are much better than anything I ever heard in high school and way beyond my own ability (oh to be able to lay down such cutting and clever rhymes!). While I still can’t rap (well) I can at least listen to these songs, nod along, and practice a line or two.

 Ok or maybe not.

Salome MC – Price of Freedom. Both an artist and a musician this Iranian lady writes some rebellious rhymes covering everything from society, artistry, and ever present existential ambiguity. Like this? Try  Gonahe Vojod.

Swings – Fallin (feat Jay Park). The self titled “Punchline King” of South Korea lives up to his name with some hard hitting lines. Feeling this? Try 이겨낼거야 2 (Victorious 2)  and 달리자 (which also features many other famous Korean rappers).

Ana Tijoux – Somos Sur (feat Shadia Mansour). This French-Chilean rapper has been all over NPR lately and rightly so! I love her tracks 1977 and Shock as well.

Supersci – All Year Next Year. The 60’s almost Beatles-like electric tune to this Swedish rap group’s song immediately caught my attention. Want more? Listen to On The Grind.

Cut Killer– Nique la Police. This track mixed with Edith Piaf’s classic “Je ne regrette rien” speaks volumes about the tension surrounding modern French identity. Duly famous for the gorgeous shot it was used in the film La Haine (which go see now if you haven’t).

Shing02 with Nujabes – Luv (sic) Part 2. For all you smooth, chill beats lovers out there Shing02 is for you. Anime watchers out there may recognize him from Battlecry the theme of Samurai Champloo. There are six parts to the Luv(sic) set. Check out the full set here.

 

Whew! I may have bit off more than I can chew. There is a ton of excellent international rap and hip hop to choose from so stay tuned for updates. In the mean time leave your reactions or suggestions below!

Mix Tape Monday: Battle of the Bands

That’s right folks. This week its all about bands, bands, bands. So break out your guitars and dust off those garage band dreams cause we’re about to rock.

 

The KOXX – Trouble Maker. These South Korean guys seriously know how to rock a guitar solo plus the awesome kitsch of this video would make the Wyld Stallyns proud. They certainly deserve a post all of their own but I couldn’t make this list without including them. Rock out more with Oriental Girl and 12:00.

Ykiki Beat – Forever. I love this track and if you’re like me and playing it on repeat try listening to Young Life and Garden. When I take my next trip to Tokyo I know who I will be looking up!

340ml – Fairy Tales. Swing away in Mozambique with Moodswings and Australopithecus (ok I may have included the last one because it blatantly panders to my anthropology degree…so shoot me.)

Quest Pistols -Ты Так Красива. Oh, you thought that video was gonna be all rainbows and cuddles didn’t you? Ha! Gotcha. These Ukrainians rocking your socks? Listen to Я твой наркотик

Wir sind Helden – Nuir ein Wort. This song makes me feel like that spending a day exploring Berlin with them would be lovely. Like this? Try Denkmal and Gekommen Um Zu Bleiben.

WHOwho – Her. More music from South Korea (I had to control myself before I got carried away). If you dig their electric sound with a touch of funk check out Bye Bye and Down Below

Kabul Dreams – Sadae Man. Want to rock harder in Kabul? Well this group (aka the first postmodern rock band in Afghanistan) can help. Try Can You Fly? and  Shahab

Don’t see the band you love here? Comment below! What other bands from around the world should everyone know about? Oh….and party on dudes!

Mix Tape Monday: Femmes Fatales

I wanted a way to share new songs that I’m loving at the moment. So I came up with the idea for Mix Tape Mondays. Each Monday I’ll post around six or seven songs based on a general theme (aka whatever strikes my fancy.) Each artist should have a variety of work to choose from so if you love one song check out the hyperlinks to find more! Hopefully, it should be an easy way to explore a range of the new music out there. If I am super ambitious there will be geographic mixes as well. Who knows? We’ll work it out as we go along. But enough of my rambling and on with the show!

For my first Mix Tape Monday I bring you Femmes Fatales, fierce female artists from around the globe and different musical genres. Its like a musical buffet just a few clicks away. So put those eating pants on and feel free to get seconds (or thirds…or more…this is a judgement free zone).

Let’s hear it for the girls!

Christine and the Queens – Christine. Their album Chaleur Humaine came highly recommended to me by my fellow musicophile, Abena, and I can see why. Like this lady’s sound? Try Nuit 17 à 52 and Science Fiction for more French tracks. Actually just listen to the whole album.

Nabiha – Never Played the Bass. This video is so fun! Danish disco all the way. I love her songs Mind the Gap and Trouble too.

Yuna Zarai – Mountains. This Malaysian singer-songwriter has such a beautiful voice that apparently even Pharell knows of her greatness. Listen to Falling and Tourist.

Ailee – Don’t Touch Me. A rare Korean solo artist amongst a sea of girl bands in South Korea. Dare I compare her to Beyoncé? For more try U &I.

Egoist – Namae No Nai Kaibutsu. This Japanese band is for all you Evanescence fans out there. Yes, there may be a little black magic in the video but don’t mind that check out this song Fallen instead.

Yasmine Hamdan – Samar. Yasmine has major musical chops. Originally she was in a Lebanese band called Soap Kills but now is working as a solo artist. Want more? Try Deny and Shouei

Miss Ko –  葛仲珊 – 打破他. Like this awesome Taiwanese rap? Me too. Listen to  Selfie Addict (the video for this one is pretty hilarious)

This isn’t a comprehensive list but any means so keep your eyes out for later updates. Also Let me know which ones you liked! Or if there are some other female artists everyone should know about drop me a line in the comments below.