Music is my most favorite thing. Any kind. All types. Each decade. Every genre. Experiencing live music is my passion and exploring “new” music is my hobby. I have an expansive library and eclectic tastes. Music is constantly playing in my world – in my home, my car, my office, and always in my head. From Beck to Bach, and the Beach Boys to Beastie Boys and almost anything in-between, if it makes me think, makes me move, makes me sing, or makes me feel…then it makes my list. Rachmaninov once said “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” He was right. One surely isn’t enough for me.
Tired of Waiting – Aaron Nazrul
The horns, the lyrics, the blend of languages, the melody and more make this one of my favorite (sort of) love songs, as it’s about longing for that lost love and the final plea before moving on from it done in a way that’s fun to listen to. A perfect choice for any playlist, plus road trips, backyard barbecues, or that lazy Sunday afternoon in Tucson.
“All I really want in this life is…to know what I want.”
Acid Raindrops – People Under the Stairs
Hip Hop is one of my favorite genres and underground rap is a passion of mine. Though this band and this song is well regarded by true hip hop heads, the average music fan may not have heard of this legendary LA duo or their melodic ode to “mary jane”. (RIP to Double K!) The lyrics are clever. The sample is classic. And the beat is bomb.
“Let the music take over my soul, body and mind. To kick back, relax one time and you will find.”
Pacific Coast Highway – The Hip Abduction
Beyond their great band name and good vibes message, The Hip Abduction blends beautiful island-inspired instrumentation, melodic vocals, and African-inspired rhythms to create what they call “wanderlust-inspired global pop” – and it works so well. This is just one of their gems and is my go-to song when cruising the California coastline or driving to San Diego with my family.
“Wander through the untouched, a smile to my new friends”
Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin) – Deer Tick
For me, it represents finding someone great or doing something incredible, but trying not to ruin it by acting on your base impulses, bad decisions, or being the worst version of yourself instead of the best. It’s something we all wrestle with daily and this song sums this struggle up in a cleverly written, “countrified” alt-rock favorite of mine.
“I am the dotted line…and you can fill me in with whatever you like.”
Sit Next to Me – Foster the People
It’s about trying to keep a friendship going following a breakup, but I just like this song because it sounds so damn good. It’s different from everything else on pop radio and unlike Foster the People’s other hits. It’s a very simple, breezy, and sexy song that just sounds cool and fits any occasion.
“Just say the word and I’ll part the sea. Come over here and sit next to me.”
Vacation – Dirty Heads
When we started Good JuJu Agency, this song really resonated with me because it’s about making your passion your profession and doing what you love every day of your life. For the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to do just that. Plus, it’s called “Vacation” which makes it the perfect pick for any beach day, summer event, or kickback with friends and family.
“I make a living out of living, yeah, that’s what I say. I’ve got one life to live, and I wouldn’t live it no other way.”
Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest
It’s one of my favorite rap songs ever by one of my favorite groups of all time from one of the first albums I ever bought. It’s my ringtone. It’s my go to Karaoke song. It’s my childhood. I know all the words. It makes me smile. It’s simple. It’s nostalgic. And when I’m hanging out and having a beer, it’s a question I ask anyone who’s listening. Can I kick it? (yes, you can). Well, I’m gone (go on then)!
“This rhythm really fits like a snug glove. Like a box of positives it’s a plus, love.”
The Sound of Sunshine Going Down – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Positivity is what Michael Franti has perfected! This song is a relaxing and refreshing homage to the happiness that can be found at the end of a long, bad day. A remix of his original, more upbeat version called “Sound of Sunshine” (which I also love) about the healing power of sunshine, this one’s more personal and more powerful, and one of my most played songs.
“The day that’s long is a day complete, so kick off your shoes and relax your feet.”
Surefire – Wilderado
Like a bear emerging from hibernation, this song is a beautiful reminder to view every new day like a deep breath, a new beginning, and to ground yourself in the moment so you never miss what each new day has to offer. The band is incredible, but this track is one of my favorites because sometimes while focusing on the future we forget to keep ourselves in the present.
“I take a walk through the tree line, getting on with father time…when do I begin?”
The Mtn. Song – Rayland Baxter
This simple song speaks to me like few others and always makes me happy when I hear it, whether it’s a camping trip, car trip, or chilling at home. It’s about traveling the road of life lightheartedly and with laughter and love behind you as the most important gifts to give – and the only important things that matter. Part love song. Part poem. All perfection!
“So I’m starin’ at the gates of all my dreams. And I can see you far inside, ’cause you’re walking down the road with me.”
Feels Like Home – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
I didn’t grow up in Tennessee but this haunting song still sounds just like home to me. It’s poetic and pure, and every note captures the moments, the memories, and the magic of being more than any song I know. The nostalgia. The smells. The people. All of it. Sung by a husband and wife, it asks beautiful questions and provides the breathtaking answers in one gorgeous song.
“Have you ever laid on your back, under a poplar tree, thinking about all your memories…”
Ends of the Earth – Lord Huron
A metaphor for ultimately discovering what matters most to you by following where life takes you and listening to your heart along the way. A song about adventure and discovery and seeing the world with wide-eyes and a wandering-soul, and doing it alongside someone you love. The music is ethereal and exciting. The lyrics are passionate and poetic. The arrangement is interesting and inspired. It’s beautiful on so many levels. I just love this song so much and I play it weekly.
“Out there’s a world that calls for me, girl. Headin’ out into the unknown. Wayfarin’ strangers and all kinds of danger, please don’t say I’m goin’ alone.”
Nonstop Disco Powerpack – Beastie Boys
Quite simply, my favorite band of all time. Hands down. No close second. This isn’t even my favorite song of theirs, but I picked it because “it’s a trip, it’s got a funky beat, and I can bug out to it!” It personifies their evolution as a group and highlights each emcee (MCA, Ad Rock & Mike D) as real lyricists and instrumentalists, rap legends, and respected activists. As a kid I identified with them and idolized the Beastie Boys for several reasons, and as an adult they’re still my GOATs and still resonate with me on every conceivable level.
“Construct a rhyme with specific intent. Flowin’ from the brain cells, right through the pen.”
Good Times – Sam Cooke
Probably my favorite voice in the history of music, Sam Cooke is one my Mt. Rushmore of top talents. His music makes me wish I was born in the 1950s and this song reminds me of car rides with my family and my dad singing every word. It’s a legendary soul song that is both nostalgic and timeless and will leave you smiling and swinging and feeling so good!
“Come on and let the good times roll. We’re gonna stay here till we soothe our souls. If it takes all night long.”
Stay tuned for Kat’s Camping Trip!
Good JuJu Agency. Marketing worth smiling about. 😃
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