"Hello Banana," A Playlist by Juice Interactive (Vol. 43)
Our playlist this month comes freshly-squeezed from our longtime digital partner, turned latest acquisition, Juice Interactive — featuring Tommy James & The Shondells, Earl Hooker, Digable Planets & more
“Elevated Tracks”, A Playlist by OKRP’s Summer Interns (Vol. 41)
OKRP's group of 2017 summer interns curated this month's playlist, a meditation on youth and possibility. Check out what the next generation of advertising sounds like!
8teen — Khalid
This song — and Khalid in general — knows how to transport you to having no responsibilities, to driving through your hometown with your friends and all the windows down, music blasting. To wondering what love was like, or worrying about coming home to a parent’s punishment. Take Khalid’s alternative R&B genius for a spin, you won’t regret it.
— Anna Alonso
Waiting in Vain — Bob Marley
“Waiting in Vain” catches the classic Bob Marley vibe that so many other reggae artists try to repeat. Bob glides over the classic reggae beat and riffs, singing as he waits in vain for some love.
— Jake Lesnik
Momma’s Boy — Chromeo
A quirky pop classic about a momma’s boy who is in search for the ideal woman. The upbeat melody of the song contrasts well with the dark comedic lyrics to weave an interesting tale about the search for love.
— Tristian Montgomery
Adieu — Tchami
This song in general for me will absolutely never get old, I can listen to it five times in a row. It has that melodic chill vibe that hits home for me, but also gets you moving when the drop comes around. I know if you are into EDM, this is a trademark song for what it is all about. Let it work on you and you’ll begin to respect it.
— Creighton Hudak
iT — Christine and the Queens
With a beat that will cause every vein in your body to dance, “iT” by Christine and the Queens should be your go-to track whenever you need a moment to sway around the kitchen or take a cruise under the city lights. Regardless of your gender, I guarantee that after playing this track you’ll be screaming, “I’m a man now” at the top of your lungs.
— Zur Thibodeaux
Flowers in Your Hair — The Lumineers
“Flowers in Your Hair” is super short, but jam-packed with meaningful lyrics. This song talks about getting older and paints a great picture. “Flowers in Your Hair” is super laid-back and easy to listen to for almost every occasion.
— Lauren Mitchell
River Lea — Adele
I remember being at DTW airport (Detroit) in December of 2015, waiting for my flight home, listening to “25” on repeat. I appreciated Adele’s ability to generate a feeling of “love lost” in me even though I haven’t necessarily lost a love. The album, as is expected of Adele, weaves a narrative of regret and rebirth. “River Lea” is where the former starts to transition into the latter. It is all about Adele coming to terms with her bad habits, the fact that they are difficult to challenge, and apologizing for the impact they may have had on her partner. The river is a representation of the habits that ruined her relationship. It has made her who she is, but has also carried her down a path she can’t continue on, emphasized in a part of the chorus, saying “I can’t go back to the river.” She is leaving behind the person she was so that she can move on to the next phase of her life.
— Guy Madjar
Why Georgia — John Mayer
Mayer’s lyrics, “quarter-life crisis” and “of a still verdictless life” indicate a feeling of being lost — however, when paired with a pop melody and soft falsetto, the listener gets a warm, hopeful vibe that makes this an easy listen. This one brings me to summer road trips with mom and miles and miles of karaoke.
— Grace Paul
Sunshine — Atmosphere
This is a feel good hip-hop song with understandable lyrics, and warm sounds to match. I choose this song so listeners can be exposed to hip-hop that tells a story while still providing a festive vibe.
— John McCormick
All the Pretty Girls — Kaleo
Kaleo is an up-and-coming group from Iceland with an “indie pop,” Bon Iver essence. I love listening to “All the Pretty Girls” wh
"That Way Back Happy Walla Walla Feeling," A Playlist by Dena Blevins of Starbucks (Vol. 40)
Our 40th volume of Whiskey & Bananas playlist is curated by Dena Blevins, Starbucks Creative Director. These tracks are as energizing as a shot of espresso.
Way Back — Amber Mark
I love this song, it just makes me happy, the positivity of getting back to where you want to be — makes you feel like anything is possible.
I Can’t Go For That — the bird and the bee
Such a cool cover of the Daryl Hall & John Oates classic.
Better Give You Up — FKJ (French Kiwi Juice)
We’ve had a revolving door of French exchange students at our house over the years and this was one of the great artists they exposed me to.
Somthing’s Missing — The Internet
My son Alec introduced me to this band, and I immediately loved their slow, cool vibes.
Vampire — Mai Lan
As a Sookie Stackhouse / “True Blood” fan, anything with “Vampire” in it gets my attention. This song is catchy and quirky — and the artwork on the single release is gorgeous.
That’s Not My Name — The Ting Tings
This album was in rotation in our creative studio at Starbucks years ago. A bunch of us from the studio went and saw their show at the Showbox in Seattle, and it was incredible. The female vocalist Katie White was a bundle of sexy energy clad in shorts and knee-high striped athletic socks. She’s pissed in this song and is letting you know about it.
Makeba — Jain
Jain is a French singer-songwriter that grew up traveling the world and you clearly hear those global influences in her work. Another find from our French exchange students.
What You Don’t Do — Lianne La Havas (Tom Misch Remix)
I love the instrumentals they wove into this remake and her vocals are sultry and smooth.
Wish I Didn’t Miss You — Angie Stone
I’ve always loved classic R&B — this takes me there. There is such a yearning, alluring feel to her vocals — you can feel the pain in her voice.
Everyday — Lucy Pearl
Love the positivity of this song — Dawn Robinson’s vocals are inspiring and uplifting.
And a hidden classic inspired by Dena’s earliest years as a music fan…
“The Art of Jazz,” A Playlist by Keith Reinhard (Vol. 39)
Ad legend Keith Reinhard, who is also the father of our co-founder & CCO Matt, curated this month's playlist of jazz classics, complemented by Matisse visuals.
Leave Me Alone — Johnny Griffin
When people ask what jazz is all about, I always quote the great Chicago-born tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin who said: “Jazz is created by and for people who have decided to feel good, regardless of conditions.” His Chicago “tough tenor” sound on this recording makes me feel good regardless of what else is going on. I hope you feel the same.
Intermission Riff — Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton was coming onto the jazz scene about the time I was graduating from high school. Back then his sound was considered very avant-garde. I like a lot about Kenton’s music, but especially his five-trombone section that growls in close harmony on this recording. These same trombones inspired a jazz vocal quartet at Butler University in my home state of Indiana. They became famous as The Four Freshmen, with a unique sound achieved by vocalizing Kenton’s trombone charts.
Take the “A” Train — Duke Ellington
I live very close to a subway station in Manhattan, and every time I pass by it or descend into it, Duke Ellington’s theme song starts playing in my mental hum box. The song was written by his composing companion Billy Strayhorn when the young composer was invited to visit Duke at his apartment in Sugar Hill, Harlem. “How do I get there?” asked Billy. “Take the A Train to Sugar Hill,” said Duke. “It’s the quickest way to Harlem.” This recording is by the Ellington orchestra, conducted by Duke’s son Mercer, and featuring an impeccable tenor sax solo by Branford Marsalis.
Moten Swing — Count Basie
When Benny Moten played this song with his Kansas City Orchestra back in the thirties, his orchestra included Count Basie on the piano. Since then, Moten Swing has become most associated with Basie. I love the way the brass section surprises us by shouting out, in sharp contrast to Basie on piano who, as one reviewer put it, “plays little notes but gives them lots of meaning.” Moral of the story: You don’t have to be loud to be meaningful.
Stompin’ at the Savoy — Benny Goodman
When listening to jazz, I like to think of the different instruments and sections as being engaged in a conversation. Jazz people refer to this as “call and response.” One section “calls,” the other “responds.” This song is a great example of such dialogue. First the horn section calls “pah pah,” then the reed section responds, “bah da de da da dah.” A few bars later the call and response is reversed with the reed section calling and the horns responding. Soaring above this delightful conversation, Benny Goodman lifts our spirits with his clarinet solos. Goodman was another jazz great born in Chicago. The son of poor Jewish immigrants, he grew up to form, during an era of racial segregation, the first racially integrated jazz group.
Watermelon Man — Poncho Sanchez
Talk about Feelin’ Good! How can you feel any other way when you listen to Poncho Sanchez, the Mexican-American conguero (conga player) play Herbie Hancock’s composition about a watermelon vendor? Hancock, yet another Chicago-born jazz legend, composed the tune based on the men who drove their melon wagons over Chicago’s cobblestone streets and sang out about their juicy wares. Now that you know the story, you can almost hear the words “Hey, Wa-ter-mel-on man” in the five-note melodic figure that repeats through the song. Thanks to Poncho Sanchez and other Latin band leaders, this song became a bridge between Afro-Cuban and Afro-American music.
Drum Boogie — Gene Krupa
My high school buddy, Don Neuen, and I were both percussionists in our high school band and orchestra. We both admired the great drummer Gene Krupa, who was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, and who became a handsome teenage idol. We
“Dancing in the Dark,” A Playlist by Ron Lazzaretti (Vol. 38)
We asked our friend Ron Lazzeretti, writer, director, musician and ad man, to curate this month’s playlist, presented by “Whiskey & Bananas.”
Almost Like The Blues — Leonard Cohen
There’s not much Leonard Cohen music that I don’t like, but I like his last few records best of all. It’s like when his life was nearing its end, he collected all the wisdom he’d gathered and put it all together for an awe-inspiring grand finale.
In A Parade — Paul Simon
I took a trip to the emergency room last year. Everything turned out fine, but the insanity of that scene…the vulnerability. I love Paul Simon because, like Cohen, he writes from the perspective of where he is in life. There’s nothing sadder than an artist trying desperately to still be what they no longer are. Not just because it’s pathetic. But because it prevents them from becoming that next thing. And no one seems to know that better than Paul Simon. Or the guy coming up next…
Things Have Changed — Bob Dylan
I share a birthday with Bob Dylan. So every year on my birthday, I listen to all Dylan, all day. Which is why I guess it’s natural that I think of him when I reflect on age and where I am in my life.
Lonely Ride — Jodi Walker
This track comes from Chicago singer-songwriter Jodi Walker. It’s from her record “Broken Bubble.” I love the fact that a track titled “(It’s A) Lonely Ride” plays like a sing-along.
A Little Tattoo — Ron Lazzeretti & Naomi Ashley
OKRP suggested I include a song of mine, which honestly, felt weird. Until I thought of one that featured singer-songwriter Naomi Ashley. Her last two records, “Another Year Or So” and “Trying To Fly” are particularly wonderful. I wrote this for her and we ultimately recorded it as a duet. It’s a song about an aching yearning, a sign, and the haunting feeling that you’re on the wrong track.
It’s Not Too Late — T-Bone Burnett
Here comes some of that hope I promised. Virtually every aspect of this T-Bone Burnett gem speaks to an unmistakable air of darkness, degradation and decay. But that title, that refrain tells us that, formidable as our plight may be, it ain’t over yet.
The Boat Song (We’re Getting Loaded) — Ike Reilly Assassination
Libertyville, Illinois’ own Ike Reilly is one of my favorite writers and performers. I co-created a web series called The Graveyard Show and all the music in that series is Ike’s. Like Dylan, his songs all seem oddly topical. They seem that way because they’re timeless.
Down To The Bottom — Brian Anderson
Like Jodi Walker and Naomi Ashley, I met Brian out of the legendary roadhouse, Fitzgerald’s, in Berwyn, Illinois. There’s a wonderful music community in and around that strip of Roosevelt Road that some call The Veltway. Brian is one of my heroes from that crowd and this song about where to find the truth is one of his best.
Love Resplendent — Jenny Bienemann
Yet another artist from that scene. Jenny just released a record called “Every Soul Grows To The Light.” Absolutely beautiful. And this song about the redemptive power of love is sweet and reassuring without being saccharine and naïve.
Celebrate — Anderson .Paak
My favorite part of this wonderful, Sly and the Family Stone-style pick-me-up is when a troublesome reminder of the past is recalled, threatening to run the song’s good feelings off the rails. Until another voice interrupts, saving the day with, “Let it go, let it go, let it go.” Which is my new mantra.
“California Nights,” A Playlist by John Nau of Beacon Street Studios (Vol. 37)
This month's guest "Whiskey & Bananas" playlist is curated by John Nau of Beacon Street Studios in Venice, CA, one of OKRP's go-to musical production partners. Enjoy this groovy selection of 1970s California-vibed tracks.
Help Me — Joni Mitchell
A love song written by the master, Joni, featuring her impeccable voice and beautiful lyricism — one of the most underrated guitarists of her generation.
Beginning Again — Brian Auger
I bought the record Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express — Live Oblivion Vol. 1 at a used record shop just because of the cover. I went home and put on side one, song one…what the ??? My ears popped off my head. I loved the vibe, the style and chords, and if that wasn’t enough, Brian lays into a smoking jazz solo on the Fender Rhodes (he’s more known for his organ playing). The architect of what would later be called “Acid Jazz”…this guy can play! Killer jazz keyboard solos over Motown soul-inspired grooves.
Cherry — J.J. Cale
This guy is so cool! The king of laid-back! Always under the radar and often imitated…e.g. Eric Clapton. “Cherry” is just one of the great tracks from J.J.’s album Troubadour.
Stay While the Night is Young — Savoy Brown
Kim Simmonds went through many iterations of the band, this version being one of his best. A jazz influence creeps into the music on this set and newly added vocalist Chris Youlden’s blue-eyed soul baritone voice brings it.
Sandy’s Blues [Live] — Oscar Peterson Trio
From the record Exclusively For My Friends. My friend’s dad gave me a tape of this in high school. Upon listening to the intro to “Sandy’s Blues,” I realized I had a decision to make — quit immediately or listen and practice. I chose the latter. Oscar never disappoints. Watch him on YouTube…sooo good!
It’s For You — Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays
This track and record, As Falls Wichita, so Falls Wichita Falls, has always given me a certain feeling of melancholy that slowly turns to joy. I love this record. It’s a sonic exposé of the pastorale American heartland.
Any Major Dude Will Tell You — Steely Dan
JEEZ! Where are these guys coming from?? Well…a fusion of classic rhythm & blues, jazz harmony and rock n roll. The sardonic lyrics against the smooth intellectual musical backdrop (the jazz-infused chord changes) create some breathtaking iconoclastic pop music. No imitators here.
I Think I’ll Call It Morning — Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott was making music in the 60’s and early 70’s that helped tell the story of the civil rights movement and political and social injustices in America. For every poem or song that dealt with the plight of the inner city or a corrupt government, a little gem would pop on, a song of hope and beauty, this being one of them.
Gil Scott was an original! A writer of books and a seeker of the truth through his music. Hard to compare him with anybody else. With a distinctive voice and style he’s considered one the forefathers of rap music.
I Was Doing All Right — Dexter Gordon
The POET! Born in L.A., crushed it in NYC, lived in Denmark. A towering figure in jazz (literally). Total command of the tenor saxophone, deep rich tone, laid back and hard swinging, plus a dash of humor — in the sense that if you listen to enough of his solos, you’ll notice he loves to incorporate quotes from other songs (such as “If I Only Had a Brain”).
Incident at Neshabur — Santana
From the record Abraxas. I always loved the instrumentals, and Greg Rollie’s organ playing is one of my main early influences. 1970 was an exciting time for music, the lines were blurred — Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, which hit a few months earlier, helped open the door for this jazz/Latin/rock mashup! This stuff was playing on mainstream radio.
The ONLY Cat in this crazy world, Who Can master a playlist as good or dare I say it Better than Me. Splendid Podcast