Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling a bit lately (and still not done), or maybe I just feel the need to unload some tracks on all of you. Either way, the dramatic swing between time spent behaving badly and the quiet lull of airport downtime has caused an interesting playlist to emerge. So, in honor of the long weekend, here’s a list of solid songs I’ve had in heavy rotation, for your President’s Day enjoyment. If you listen closely enough you can almost chart the course of my weekend’s antics.


And just to ensure you that this is Wingman relevant, you can play this on long drives with your girl sitting shotgun. She will most likely approve…at least I think so.

“Keep You Right” – Blind Pilot

“Cough Syrup” – Young the Giant

“Into The Fire” – Thirteen Senses

“If You Run” – Boxer Rebellion

“No Surprises” – Radiohead

“Love Interruption” – Jack White

“Bright Lights” – Gary Clark, Jr.

“The OtherSide” – The Roots

“Little Black Submarines” – The Black Keys

“Bad Girls” – M.I.A.

“Can’t Let Go” – Lucinda Williams

“Tighten Up” – The Black Keys

“Under Cover of Darkness” – The Strokes

“We Are Young” – Fun. feat. Janelle Monae

“For You and Your Denial (acoustic version)” – Yellowcard

“Whatever (Folk Song in C)” – Elliott Smith

“The Colored Night” – Blind Pilot

“Check the Rhime” – A Tribe Called Quest

“Hey Jude” – The Beatles

“New York” – Blind Pilot

“Bring It On Home To Me” – Sam Cooke

And there you have it: my entirely schizophrenic playlist as of late. Do with it what you will, but it has served me well thus far. I hope it does the same for you.iWINGMAN



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Oh come on, you didn’t think I’d pass up an opportunity to make a festive, holiday-themed version of my last play list, did you? I realize that these songs are pretty Christmas-specific, but sorry Sandler, the Hanukkah Song may be funny but it isn’t exactly swoon-worthy. Try these tunes in front of a crackling fireplace, and you may just get more than what was on your list this year.

  • “Welcome Home” – My Morning Jacket (from their iTunes session)
  • “Merry Christmas” – Bryan Adams
  • “In the Morning” – Jack Johnson
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Death Cab For Cutie, or Springsteen’s version if you prefer it, and similarly…
  • “Please Come Home For Christmas” – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Michael Buble’s entire holiday album, but specifically “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”
  • “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – Weezer
  • The Killers’ entire Christmas EP, but specifically “Don’t Shoot Me Santa,” “Cowboys Christmas Ball” and “Happy Birthday Guadalupe”
  • “Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24″ – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • “Christmas in Hollis” – Run DMC (um, or maybe that one’s just this girl’s favorite…)
Then if you’re in the mood for a little throw back holiday music, perhaps you should try these on for size:

  • “Let It Snow” – Dean Martin
  • “Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley
  • “Someday at Christmas” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – of all the versions out there, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s is the best, no question
  • “The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole
  • “Run Rudolph Run” – Chuck Berry
  • “Christmas for Cowboys” – John Denver
  • “Jingle Bells” – Frank Sinatra

If you must know the holiday song that every single girl loves, I have to admit that sadly it’s Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” That said, even though she may bop around to this chick crowd pleaser, she’ll also question your sexuality if it’s on your iPod.

Everyone has their own favorites, but these are a few from the female vault. Just as long as you don’t bust out any Hanson “Snowed In” album tracks or Bieber-related Mistletoe tunes, you should be fine. Keep warm boys, cuddle up with the one you love, and may Santa bring you someone special this year.iWINGMAN

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Women are suckers for a well thought-out playlist. Whether you’re looking for some background music to play while we’re at your place, trying to DJ your making-her-dinner date or just cruising in your car, there are some sure fire winners you should add into rotation.

These thoughtful little ditties are part soul-baring, part love-professing, but all couched entirely in girl-loving goodness. This is the beginning of an ongoing feature, kicked off by my own favorites, but open to suggestions from my fellow females. Hit it, maestro.

  • “Shelter” – Ray LaMontagne
  • “I Was Made For You” – Rivers Cuomo
  • “Twenty Years” – Augustana
  • “First Day Of My Life” – Bright Eyes
  • “The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind” – Griffin House
  • “You Make It Real” – James Morrison
  • “Arms of a Woman” – Amos Lee
  • “Angel” – Jack Johnson
  • “Won’t Back Down” – Mat Kearney
  • “Don’t Let Me Down” – Stereophonics
  • “Say Yes” – Elliott Smith
  • “Love Will Come Through” – Travis
  • “Question” – Old 97s
  • “Happy Ever After In Your Eyes” – Ben Harper
  • “Can’get You Off My Mind” – Lenny Kravitz
     And if that still isn’t enough to win her over:

  • “Longing To Belong” – Eddie Vedder
  • “Lovely Tonight” – Joshua Radin (or anything by him, really)
  • “The Trapeze Swinger” – Iron & Wine
  • “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie (cue up anything from Transatlanticism and you’re golden)
  • “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” – Even though it’s a Dylan song, something about the Brett Dennen and Ted Lennon version is just…sweeter. Almost makes you forget it’s actually about breaking up. No matter, still woos.
  • “No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band Of Horses
  • “First In Line” – Matthew Mayfield
  • “Atlas Hands” – Benjamin Francis Leftwich

And the granddaddy of all swoon-worthy tunes, “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. If you play that song for her and she doesn’t melt, check her pulse. Or you could just go the conventional route and throw on an entire Radiohead album, that ought to do the trick.

Of course a lot of these songs may make anyone without ovaries gag, but they’re not for you – they’re for you to win us over. Never underestimate the power of music to put us in the mood, men. Hey, it worked for John Cusack, right?iWINGMAN

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Beats That’ll Make Us Beat It

You know those songs on your iPod that you sing along to when no one’s around? Um, you should probably hide those if you you have a woman nearby – if you ever hope to see her again. There are few things sexier than a well thought-out play list to set the mood after you’ve gotten us back to your lair. On the flip side, nothing says “mood spoiler” like working your charm only to have that Kelly Clarkson song you forgot about pop up in your play list. Doh! Sorry boys, no graceful recovery from that one.

I’m not saying you can’t own cheesy music, I’m just saying you should conceal said embarrassing evidence of fan-dom by placing these songs in an inconspicuously marked play list. Something we’d never click on, like “Weight Lifting Tunes” or “Fantasy Football Draft Soundtrack.” What falls into this taboo category?

For starters, any songs by artists with the last name Cyrus, Jonas or Osmond. Likewise any songs that have a corresponding dance associated with them that gets showcased at weddings or Bar Mitzvahs are frowned upon.

Songs that cause you to sing along in an unnaturally high, testicle-crushing falsetto voice are also not ideal (think tracks by The Darkness or Mika), nor are songs by artists we’d just as soon send back to their home countries (Nickelback, I’m looking at you here).

Perhaps the best gauge of what will horrify us or make us question your masculinity is if you happen to have a younger sister, and she happens to have any overlapping tracks on her iPod, consider deleting them immediately. This means no Bieber, no Kesha and definitely no Katy Perry.

It would also take some seriously good game to make me overlook a Taylor Swift, Hanson or Creed track playing in the background while you tried to make your move – and I haven’t met a man yet who fits that bill.

On the flip side of the pop music coin, you also have the hardcore rap landmines which can be just as off-putting. Eazy E’s “Gimme That Nut” may be fun in the car or at a club, but I doubt it’ll go over well with a glass of Cabernet on the couch.

So, unless you want us to shuffle our way out your door, you might consider taking my advice next time before you hit “Shuffle.” There are plenty of tunes that make us swoon, you just have to find them. Or keep it right here, I promise to enlighten you. iWINGMAN 

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