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Perfect Music Playlists with Robbie P

April 11, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More

perfect music playlists

Mr. P!

When I first started dating my husband, Rob, it’s fair to say that we didn’t have an instant connection. The only thing I felt sure about is that he, like others, would make only a fleeting appearance in my life. It’s true! It’s all chronicled in the comments below pre-marriage photos of us on Facebook.

To add insult to injury, upon his first visit to my home, he incessantly complained about the lack of music. I had no radio downstairs and I didn’t subscribe to cable channels that streamed music. He asked, incredulously, “How can you live like this…with no music in the house?”

perfect music playlists

I’m pretty jealous about this.

It’s not that I didn’t like music, I just didn’t grow up with it like he did. Rob has memories of hanging out in his cool older brother’s room discovering the latest albums, going to bed with a radio near his pillow, and going to concerts with friends. He has met many legends in person including Pete Townsend, Billy Idol, Johnny Cash, Eddie Vetter, and Dave Grohl. His love of great music is infectious, and it rubbed off on me. Now, we always have music in the background and we’re always discovering new favorites.

With a few years of marriage has come a natural division of labor. I mostly take care of food sourcing, laundry, cooking, and the garden while Mr. P takes care of home repairs, making brisket, cleaning the gutters and windows, taking out the trash, and always the music. In fact, he created the playlist for our wedding, and people are still talking about it.

He’s the expert at creating perfect music playlists for every occasion whether we’re vegging out in front of the fireplace, having champagne on the patio in summer, having dinner with my parents, or cooking for friends. Let’s ask him how he does it!

Our favorite evening fireplace soundtrack? Anything by Mazzy Star.

BP: Why do you think it’s so important to have the right music for every occasion?

RP: Well, you need to have music for every occasion, whether it’s sitting around the house, having a party, or driving in the car. It’s not so much about having exactly the right music, it’s more about not having the wrong music. For example, you wouldn’t listen to Enya while driving down the highway with the wind in your hair, and you wouldn’t listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run on a lazy Sunday morning having coffee.

BP: What are some factors to consider when putting together perfect music playlists?

RP: It’s not a science, it’s an art, and anyone can do it. You have to feel passionate about the songs you’re choosing and when and for whom they’ll be played. Is it daytime or nighttime and what’s the event – is it a pool party, a swakny brunch, or a dinner party? How long is the event, and who are your guests? If you have special guests that’s a consideration too. For example, if we’re hosting Manuela (from Germany), we’re definitely putting on Nena’s 99 Luftballons. If we’re making dinner for your parents, we’ll play some Tony Bennett.

BP: What do you mean, the length of the event?

RP: If you have a dinner party, people may arrive at 6:00, nosh on appetizers until 7:30, then it’s time for dinner. And, dessert could last well past 11:00. The energy of the music should follow the energy of the party. By the time you’re sitting down to dinner, everyone’s had a few drinks, people are talking over one another and laughing and the music can be a little more up tempo to match the conversation. After dessert, the evening’s naturally coming to a close and I’m not “rocking” at that point. I’m matching the music to the tempo of the evening.

BP: What do you think is the most common mistake people make when they’re playing music for guests?

RP: The worst thing you can do is just put on a regular radio station, because commercial breaks are the death of a social event. Another mistake is when people put songs on the playlist just to make sure others listen to it. perfect music playlistsLike, you shouldn’t say, “Hey everyone, I want you to hear this song.” The music should be a subtle background that enhances the social interaction.

BP: Give us some go-to songs that can be plugged in to most any playlist for a dinner party.

RP: For getting things started, try Simon and Garfunkel Only Living Boy in New York, My Morning Jacket Golden, Elastic Bond Find a Way, George Harrison’s Give me Love, and Foo Fighters Ain’t it the Life. Once things get going, try Rolling Stones Heaven, REM The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight, Billy Bragg and Wilco California Stars, and Dr. Dog Distant Light. For winding down, I might do an entire album like Ibrahim Ferrer’s Buenos Hermanos or Wes Montgomery’s Finest Hour.

If you don’t have the funds to buy music, or if you still feel clueless about putting together a music playlist, go online to Once there, choose the “jazz” option for commercial-free streaming all night, and you can’t go wrong.

What about you? What role does the right music play in your home, and what are your favorites?

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Category: Enviable Ideas, General, Home and Garden

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  1. Noreen Farrell says:

    Tony Bennett?!!!!!

  2. Noreen Farrell says:

    How about a little bon iver, Will Ackerman or Chris Isaak? Cool jazz is always nice too.

  3. Babe says:

    Hey Noreen, I thought the same thing … Tony Bennett ! How old do those young whippersnappers think we are ? I adore ELO as background music. How did Rob manage to meet Billy & Pete ?

    • Brande says:

      Hey wait a minute…you’re the ladies who were holding up the line at Walgreens yesterday. One of you was writing a check for $5.16 while the other one was complaining that they no longer carry Zero bars. Are you being ageist against Tony Bennett? Not cool. 🙂 Seriously though, we like Tony and incorporate his music on just about every playlist. We also love Bon Iver and Chris Isaak. Robbie P is a big fan of ELO, so we’ll definitely include all of those when you visit! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to this puzzle I got as a gift yesterday. It has BILLIONS (that’s with a “B”) of combinations and I’ll never get through them all if I keep playing around online. Love you both!

  4. Babe says:

    Ageist ? Not at all, just never was a Bennett fan. I really never have been a jazz fan either, except “That old black magic” by Louis Prima & Keely Smith . Also really like Van Morrison’s “Moondance”. I like Mika, Bruno Mars, Santana, Cee-Lo Green, Cher’s “Walking In Memphis” ….I’m all over the place. Redbone’s “Come and get your Love” really does it for me, or maybe it’s just Pat & his brother Lolly that does it for me ! Good Lord they were good looking !!!! Anyway…I hope you smell wonderfully pepperminty as your Lemon Clove cake is baking and you’re amusing yourself with the puzzle ! Definitely take a pic of the puzzle & post it if you solve it ! Love to you too.

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