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The Second City’s Ultimate Spring Break Mixtape

By Liz Kozak | Mar 11, 2014

Second City’s American Mixtape opens this Thursday in the UP Comedy Club! To help kick off both the show and your Spring Break festivities, we asked everyone at The Second City to share their song picks for the ultimate Spring Break mixtape.

Bust out your two-deck boombox and hit record, ’cause these jams are surefire party starters.

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“Where Da Party At?” by Jagged Edge feat. Nelly. Because seriously, where da party at? No one invited me. —Punam Patel

“Blame It on the Boogie” by Michael Jackson, because we had to blame our spring break choices on something. —Carrie-ann Pishnak


Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville.” Because I have the wild heart of a 60-year-old retiree” —C.J. Tuor

“Q.U.E.E.N.” by Janelle Monae. If the motivation to dance doesn’t speak for itself, the devil-may-care, do-what-we-want attitude is essential to any Spring Break mix. —Alan Linic

“Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks. That song has always felt like the perfect transition from Winter to Spring. —Kelly Leonard

“Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The perfect soundtrack for when six o’clock rolls around and you’ve just finished wiping your car down… —Sandy Marshall

“I Believe,” R.E.M.  “I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract.” Pretty much sums up my ideal spring break. With coyotes. —Joe Ruffner

For more than a decade, my go-to Spring Break jam has been XTC’s “Stupidly Happy.” I’m not embarrassed about that at all. Because it’s a great song and not at all dumb or insufferably quirky or incredibly British. —Klaus Schuller

Jill Scott, “Golden.” This is my personal anthem to live my life like it’s “golden:” rain, snow or shine. A perfect pick-me-upper when we’re still wearing snow boots in March and April. —Dionna Griffin-Irons


“Roar” by Katy Perry. I know it’s cliché. I know it’s overplayed. But there’s a female-chest-pounding sort of empowerment behind this guilty pleasure, and after a few drinks, it’s all sorts of fun. —Kiley Peters

Shuggie Otis, “Strawberry Letter 23.” It’s full of nature-themed imagery that would seem cheesy any other time than spring in Chicago. —Alex Manich

Frank Ocean. His music makes me want to just sit back and watch the clouds roll by from my beach chair… and his name is Ocean, so… duh.  —Hope Hudson Haynes

I would have to include “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan, because every night can be Friday night in 1994! —Julia DiFerdiando


Pharrell Williams, “Happy” (from Despicable Me 2). The song is fun and light, just like spring! —Tyler Alexander

Pharrell, “Happy,” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. Sometimes you just feel like dancing! Also, he made a 24-hour version of the music video, which is pretty sweet.  —Jeremy Smith

“You Make My Dreams,” Hall & Oates —Kim Miller

“Grown Woman,” Beyoncé. I liked “Independent Women” and “Single Ladies,” so it stands to reason that I’ll love “Grown Woman.” Also, making a prediction for next year that Beyoncé’s track “Strong, Individualistic Female” is on my 2015 Spring Break Mix. —Scott Morehead


“Perfect Day” by Lou Reed AND “Perfect Day” by Hoku on the Legally Blonde soundtrack. I imagine them spending Spring Break together cruising around, agreeing that nothing is standing in their way and they keep each other hanging on.  —Caitlin Costello

Springtime =  Jefferson Airplane, the Mamas & the Papas and other cheesy 70s jams.  I don’t know… something about the sun coming back out. —Stephanie Case

“Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who —Emily Chapman

When I think of Spring Break, I think of sunshine, road trips, riding with the windows down and the radio up– WAY up. And any time “Sister Golden Hair” by America comes on, that’s a reflex action. Plus, it’s about a blonde-haired girl and by a band called America. C’mon. –Jocelyn Geboy


“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. It’s grandiose, yet super light-hearted and digestible. The ultimate “no care in the world” song. Also has a nostalgic effect on me, as I had it on a Spring Break mixtape many years ago. —Mark Burns

“Rudie Can’t Fail,” The Clash —Kerry Sheehan

“Rump Shaker” by Wreckx-N-Effect, because duh. —Aaron Sjoholm

“Doses & Mimosas” by Cherub —Kevin Hoffman

Sisqo’s “Thong Song” is the ultimate Spring Break song. Brings back all kinds of memories of the dos and don’ts (mostly don’ts) of thongs during college, and that’s always fun! —Ruby Vega

The Heavy, “What Makes a Good Man?” Why? It’s got epic harmonies. —Paul Shoebridge

Scissor Sisters

“I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” by the Scissor Sisters. Reason: No matter what is on your feet, this song makes you feel like you are rollerblading down Venice Beach….probably in jean cut-off shorts. —Jonathan Browning

“Lime in the Coconut,” Harry Nilsson. What says vacation more than mixing lime and coconut together? —Scott Zoll

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.  Once it’s warm enough to roll down all the car windows and let your hair blow, it reminds me of fun road trips!! —Erin Conway

“Weekapaug Groove” by Phish. It’s just a great, upbeat jam— literally. According to Mike Gordon, the song’s lyrics are meaningless.  —Tiffany Smith

“What’s Left of The Flag” by Flogging Molly. Absolutely the perfect drinking song… and I hear the youngsters partake just a little in drinking while spring breaking. —Jen Hoyt


“Another Love Song” by Insane Clown Posse, because no lyrics spell out “I will do anything to impress you” like “I could kill off some bears and dogs and sh*t, just to make you a fur coat.” —Rich Alfonso

“Ride wit Me” by Nelly. Great for driving around in the sun and dreaming on the beach.  —Robert Gornik

“Big Pimpin’,” Jay-Z. The video of people Jigga-partying on yachts and sippin’ champagne gets me in the mood to party on land and chug beers. —Patrick Rowland

“Wild Night” by Van Morrison. It always reminds me of Thelma and Louise. If I ended up driving cross-country with my best friend in a convertible, with the top down, running from the law due to a slew of crimes we’d managed to pull off… well, I’d call that a successful Spring Break. —Lisa Barber

“Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. The promise of “soon it will be summertime” is the only thing has gotten me through the Polar Vortex. Three times. #seasonaldepressionisreal —Rachel LaForce


“Burn It Up” by R. Kelly feat. Wysin and Yandell. This 2005 R. Kelly deep cut makes you feel like you’re in sweltering weather even if you’re just going home to your parents’ house in Oak Park. —Ali Barthwell

Le1f’s “Wut,” because it makes me feel cool and confident, which is important when you’re a 32-year-old woman trying to pull off jorts. Plus, that bari sax is so damn jovial! —Liz Joynt Sandberg

The Saint Olaf Choir, because I know how to drink and soul search at the same time. —Claire Meyer

LFO’s “Summer Girls.” Just because. —Julie Cortese

Uh, I have a legitimate tie for best song: “Ridin’ Dirty” by Chamillionaire (definitely the hardest rap tune I know all the words to) and “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada (literally synonymous with “foam party.”) —Caroline Thrasher


I would put “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana on a Spring Break mix, because I only wear deodorant from the 90s when it’s warm out. —Neal Dandade

Real Estate’s “All the Same” is a jam! They have a clean and careless sound, perfect for getting away. —Dan DeSalva

Every SB mix needs “Miami” by Will Smith. Unless you’re actually going to Miami, in which case, come on. Don’t be cliché. —Shelby Kittleson

“Jump Around,” House of Pain. Because after a day of drinking piña coladas and margaritas, eating anything you can get your hands on, and spending a borderline-unhealthy amount of time in the sun, there’s no better idea than jumping up and down as hard as you can for a good three minutes or so. —Daniel Strauss

“Eternal Flame” by The Bangles, because a lot of different places were burning after I went on Spring Break.


 Brought to you by Second City’s American Mixtape! For info and tickets, go here.

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