28 songs for my 28 years on earth

I turned 28 today [January 3, 2017]. That means I have lived 10,220 days, 336 months, and have completed 28 rotations around the sun. Twenty-eight isn’t a significant birthday at all, but I wanted to start collecting a playlist of songs to represent each year of my life. It was hard to do because I only wanted an artist represented once. So this isn’t a “best of” or anything like that. Just a playlist… a playlist that will probably shift throughout time. Continue reading “28 songs for my 28 years on earth”


Ep. 3: Joel Marquard | Gospel Claws + Dear and the Headlights

IR White


Joel Marquard is one of my favorite musicians. He was an original guitarist in Dear and the Headlights – one of the best bands to ever break out of Phoenix – and he is the mastermind behind so many more projects: Gospel Claws (not a gospel band), the Through and Through Gospel Review (a gospel band), Samuel L Cool J, and Spiritual Warfare.

I have been a super fan of his since I was in high school and was lucky enough to get to know him throughout the years. His bands have produced some of my favorite musical memories and I wanted to get to know more about what drove him to make some of the best pop songs I’ve heard.

You can listen to and purchase Spiritual Warfare music here.

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Not Your Average Valentine’s Day Playlist

It’s Valentine’s Day and that means there is a lot of love in the air. With the love comes a lot of music to aid in the wooing of significant others. Instead of putting on classics like “You Are So Beautiful” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” here’s a list of modern pop hits and some indie tracks to play instead.

Valentine's Day Playlist

1)      “Just Impolite” – Plushgun

This synth-filled pop song has a catchy medley filled with cutesy lines like the irresistible hook “I walk the line like Johnny Cash / I made the bus in seconds flat / I called your line too many times / I’m not owantbsessed just impolite.”

2)      “Crush” – Noise Ratchet (Mandy Moore cover)

Originally, I put in Mandy Moore’s original, but remembered Noise Ratchet’s cover from the Punk Goes Pop compilation is actually better. A great song to play for that person you simple have a crush on.

3)      “Can You Tell” – Ra Ra Riot

It’s another song about yearning for someone, but still perfect to play for someone you just want to be with. Bonus for the simple, relatable lyrics, including: “What am I supposed to do / It’s hard to stay cool / When you smile at me / And I get nervous every time you speak.”

4)      “Head Over Feet” – Alanis Morissette

Here’s one that’s not too lovey-dovey, but explains the feeling of being in love perfectly.

5)      “Lovely Cup” – Grouplove

This isn’t a traditional love song, but it’s a unique metaphor. A terrific choice for having a fun dance party with someone you just can’t enough of.

6)      “Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls

Movie soundtrack songs are the best. Instead of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” here’s another choice that will make someone swoon for you. I mean that opening lyric (“And I’d give up forever to touch you”) is killer on its own.

7)      “Fix You” – Coldplay


8)      “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry

Seriously what we all secretly want. “Let’s go all the way tonight / No regrets, just love / We can dance until we die / You and I, will be young forever.”

9)      “I Just Do” – Dear and the Headlights

A terrific indie song filled with little moments that truly make up loving relationships like, “Calling to say hi on your break / In less than twenty words you made / My whole damn day and / Oh I just love you Oh I just love you.”

10)  “Never Had Nobody Like You” – M. Ward

This one is for the one you’ve always wanted, but have never found. Bonus points for featuring Zooey Deschanel on backing vocals.

11)   “Your Body is a Wonderland” – John Mayer

Ultimate panty-dropper.

12)  “I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz

Maybe things aren’t going well, but you just need the other person you’ll love them for always. This is it. It’s all a good song, but the chorus is everything: “I won’t give up on us / Even if the skies get rough / I’m giving you all my love / I’m still looking up.”

13)  “The Only Exception” – Paramore

These pop-punkers really nailed it with this love song. We’ve all been hurt and said we’ve given up on love, but once you’ve found the one, you’ll want to play this to let them know.

14)  “I’m Gonna Be” – Sleeping At Last

The Proclaimers really nailed it with this pop song, but Sleeping at Last made it into a hauntingly beautiful slow jam. For anyone how has half of their heart across the country.

Gimme Five: Goodbyes

Every week (hopefully) I’ll supply five songs with a common theme that I’ve been digging; new or old, it doesn’t matter. This week it’s about moving away and saying goodbye.


“Try” – Dear and the Headlights, Drunk Like Bible Times
Thought a change of scenery would make me feel better
Moved four hundred miles away and I’m still staring at the floor

“Lilac Wine” – Jeff Buckley, Grace
I drink much more than I ought to drink
Because it brings me back to you

“That Wasn’t Me” – Brandi Carlile, Bear Creek
But I want you to know that you’ll never be alone … I wanna believe.
Do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?

“Ghosts That We Knew” – Mumford & Sons, Babel
So lead me back, turn south from that place
And close my eyes to my recent disgrace

“On the Road” – Angus & Julia Stone, Down the Way
Jumped aboard that rolling stone
Took to the sky like a bird


It’s been awhile since I’ve done a themed-playlist. Luckily, I’ve been thinking of a few and this one is a set of songs that have beautiful ladies’ names in the titles. I’m not sure if I have perfected the flow yet, but this is as close as I’m going to get for the moment. he list features some popular songs from their respected bands, as well as some of my favorite tracks and even some I don’t listen to as much as I should.

You can enjoy the playlist here via Spotify. It is also availble via Rdio here. (Note: David Wax Museum and yellowbirddd are not currently on Rdio and have been left off…)

  1.  “Sweet Louise” – The Belle Brigade
  2.  “Lorelai” – Fleet Foxes
  3. “Yes, Maria, Yes” – David Wax Museum
  4. “Hannah” – Freelance Whales
  5. “Chloe in the Afternoon” – St. Vincent
  6. “Shannon” – Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
  7. “Miranda” – Surfer Blood
  8. “Alex” – Girls
  9. “Katy With a Y” – yellowbirddd
  10. “Mariah” – Cass McCombs
  11. “Willetta” – Dear and the Headlights
  12. “Jade” – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
  13. “Emmylou” – First Aid Kit
  14. “Ada” – The National
  15.  “Betty’s a Bombshell” – Grouplove