Youtube playlists from people who are on top of their music game, Friday kudos, wine for your weekend

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and Happy Black Friday!

Here at ink. there’s always a monthly playlist helping to set the scene for quiet evenings at home, busy lunch breaks, and all the other little moments I find to steal a few minutes writing. These playlists get shared, and I get the stats back to tell me that a handful of ink. readers go out and sample these musical suggestions, but for the most part, that’s not ink.’s niche. No hard feelings. The blog is thriving on the whole. My youtube channel, not as much. I’m ok letting this go.

As a fun fact, the areas of the blog that do get the most traffic? Wine posts, recipes, and the relationship/self help stuff. As a touch point, eating good food, drinking good wine, and cultivating good relationships are excellent and admirable priorities, so I’m really on board with that being what draws people into the blog! Conventional blog wisdom tells me that I should let go of the other areas that people aren’t engaging in and lean into the topics that pull the biggest audience. But what to do with you 11 devoted readers who are also tagging along with my playlist each month?

Music is a passion of mine. I played multiple instruments through college, and though I focus primarily on piano now, at any given time I’ve owned a piano, multiple clarinets, a djembe, auxiliary percussion equipment, a keyboard/synthesizer, a saxophone, a glockenspiel, and an accordion. I almost always have music going. In my classroom…in my car…during my workouts… I’ve worn ear buds to go shopping. I listen to music when I have dental work done. These are kind of random moments to set to music, but there’s always a tune in my head. My life could be a musical. I once tried writing a musical…just because I had the songs running through my head!

Still…this doesn’t have to be a music blog. I’m over it. Well…getting over it. Ok…I’m working through it right now in real time while I type! 😆

Instead of giving you my playlists, which are inspiring very few and really just more poorly curated lists of larger, longer, more followed Youtube influencers, what I should really do is point you towards the source so you can over indulge in dozens of great playlists everyday, all month long! Supporting other people’s good work is something I can definitely get behind. So let’s start with these channels that are top notch, worthy to crank up you speakers and follow immediately.

Alex Rainbird Music

Image result for alexrainbirdmusicYou can check out the Alex Rainbird Music channel linked HERE, pretty much choose any playlist, and not be disappointed. Focused on indie, pop, and rock music curated into month, season, and/or mood inspired lists, I first discovered the channel while searching for coffee shop music for a related theater production. I binge listened (is that a thing?) to an entire year’s worth of playlists looking for new music, and really enjoy the acoustic, unplugged feel of a lot of the tracks. Track lists are posted in the comments of each playlist, so you can easily navigate to favorite tracks and find them within the hour and a half music mix. Every time I’m playing one of these lists in my classroom, I invariably have staff and students stop in to see what “channel” I’m listening to. You can’t pick wrong. Every list is a crowd pleaser. Need a place to start? Try October 2017 and November 2018. Personal favorites!

Mr. Otter Music

Image result for mr otter musicMr. Otter Music falls within a similar genre of Alex Rainbird, but if you’re not into the unplugged, chill, acoustic, indie vibe, you may find a little more interest here. With definite influxes of pop and electronic influences, there is a bit more variety in the music offered, especially depending on which list you choose. Mr. Otter organizes their music by mood or keyword. Some are fairly obvious: “Chill,” “Relax,” “Monday morning vibes.” Others are a bit more abstract, “Sedate,” “Elixir,” “Composure,” and “Faded.” Picking a list is a little bit like a musical treasure hunt. Sometimes a word just sounds good. Sometimes, curiosity drives what I end up listening to because I just can’t imagine what kind of music gets typified into a list called “Drifted.” Like Alex Rainbird, I’ve rarely been disappointed with any of my choices, and I’ve been introduced to a lot of artists and music that I would never have found on my own.

Friday kudos to…

My sister and brother-in-law who stopped for the weekend on their way up to the Cities. We may not have had our annual family Turkey Bowl, but our attempts at a Madden tournament were admirable.

Those who worked on Thanksgiving, and or the day after, because the world goes on while the majority of us celebrate the holiday, and we should be grateful that other people are holding things together while we party.

The staff at Wal-Mart because I rarely shop there, but went with my sister this morning (Black Friday!…of all days to go to Wal-Mart) and the NICEST people helped us in the toy department, and the checkout, and in the parking lot.

Wine for your weekend (Friendsgiving edition!) 

Tomorrow is our annual Friendsgiving celebration, and this year it also happens to correspond with our Somm Night: Cabernet edition. We’ve previously held a Zinfandel night, which started a three-month fascination with ordering zin whenever we went out, so who knows what cab night has the potential to kick off. For Zinfandel night, we selected three bottles of wine at three separate price points and attempted to identify which was which. For this weekend we have three Cabernets from three different regions, and will attempt to identify which is which. The choices are: True Myth – California, USA; Piatelli High Altitude – Argentina; Col di Sasso – Tuscany, Italy.

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Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

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