...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sounds like summer

It's the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. My lovely city started the day off right with the annual Street Breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, little boxes of milk and juice -- all prepared & served by soldiers (so do I call it grub? or chow? or something like that). They close off the streets for the hardy souls who get downtown between 6am and 8:30am (guess which end of the spectrum I was closer to? Anyone who knows me will heartily echo "8:30! You got there AFTER 8:30!"). There was live music with a band whose lead singer looked like Bo Bice (a bit unfortunately). It was an excellent way to welcome the summer and enjoy the community spirit.

Here is a little playlist I have been assembling for the last month or so as the weather steadily turns warmer and minds turn to lighter things. This is a blend of old and new; let me tell you why. Summer is not just about you, right here & now in 2006, my friend. Somehow with the advent of June, it's every summer you've ever lived before, and those from before you were born. It's about drive-ins and clam bakes, love-ins and hip shakes. It's about being eight years old and bored out of your mind all summer long, seeing how fast you can ride your bike, and laying on your back looking at clouds for hours. It's about the summer before freshman year when you'd spend hours at the pool hoping to see your summer crush. And it's about whatever fabulous things you will do this year, standing by the grill with friends, laying on the sand nursing a Corona, or dancing your arse off at some humid outdoor concert.

So this is an aptly broad soundtrack of songs that remind me of a bunch of different summers. From the kitschy appeal of Lily Allen to the sunkissed goodness of The Zombies, there's something here for all the faces of summer. If you have the computer space, can I urge you to download the whole mix and listen to it front-to-back several times? It's not supposed to be a pick-and-choose endeavor; there's a flow here, people! A mix tape from me to you, so TRUST ME.

01. "LDN" - Lily Allen
(walkin' round London, narrating - an extremely likeable female version of Mike Skinner)
02. "Good Day" - Luce
(just feel good listening to this, so positive & pleasant)
03. "Pleasant Valley Sunday" - The Monkees
(retro goodness recreating a sunny weekend morning - "the local rock group down the street is tryin' hard to learn their song . . .")
04. "The Compromise" - The Format
(this is a FABULOUS song, from their new CD Dog Problems)
05. "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" - Looking Glass
(I remember singing this with my brother in the summer, listening to the radio)
06. "July! July!" - The Decemberists
(something about crooked French Canadians, but it fits so well)
07. "A Summer Song" - Chad & Jeremy
(could a song SOUND any more like summer?)
08. "Island In The Sun (live)" - Weezer
(where I wish I was, with a riff that distinctly reminds me of Summer 2001)
09. "Summertime" - Josh Rouse
("I remember cigarettes, tube socks, sunburns, and long blonde hair")
10. "
All I'm Thinkin' About" - Bruce Springsteen
(a summer driving song, on a long, winding road)
11. "Plan Of The Man" - The Ms
(hard to believe these Chicago fellows are modern, what with all the wooo wooo wooos)
12. "Harmour Love" - Syreeta
(the infectiously poppy opening/closing song from the movie Junebug)
13. "California Pt. 2" - Mason Jennings
("Where the next nearest neighbor lives miles away, I'll never have to mow the lawn. Right on.")
14. "I Get High" - Fastball
(yes, it's Fastball, but forget "The Way" and listen to this soulful Beatles-esque piano ballad)
15. "Long, Sweet Summer Night" - The Thorns
(Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge, Shawn Mullins - supergroup, superb song)
16. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (Beatles cover) - Al Green
(Unh. "Shut up Al Green." Teenage nostalgia never sounded so funky)
17. "I Need Direction" - Teenage Fanclub
(it's like including a Beach Boys song without including one. Perfect)
18. "Paper Scratcher" - Blind Melon
(a completely underrated gem off their self-titled debut album, LOVE the harmonies)
19. "When U Love Somebody" - Fruit Bats
(another modern band that sounds so fantastically retro, this time with handclaps)
20. "Summertime" (demo) - The Zombies
(it is NOT summer without The Zombies. It's just not. This is the classic Gershwin tune.)
21. "This Time Of Year" - Better Than Ezra
(for a newer song, this feels pretty dang nostalgic to me. "There's a feelin' in the air, just like a Friday afternoon . . .")
22. "Sleepwalk" - Santo & Johnny
(no better way to end a summer night than with this tune, an open window, and a breeze)

The way I burn it, it fits on one CD for portable goodness.

Let the summering begin!


At June 21, 2006 7:23 PM, Blogger Duke of Straw said...


LOve the mix. Could you tip me off on how to do the ez zip up trick? Pop me an email, please.

PLus, did you get my summer mix?


At June 21, 2006 9:35 PM, Blogger Bruce said...

I need sunscreen. Very nice.

At June 21, 2006 10:03 PM, Blogger c said...

very nice. you suckered me into downloading the whole zip. i'm sure it won't disappoint. (i'll be the one in the sand with the corona, btw....)

At June 21, 2006 10:58 PM, Blogger R.J.B. said...

GREAT mix! I love the Al Green beatles cover....only Al can hit those high notes & it's oh so funky.

At June 21, 2006 11:07 PM, Blogger Brian J. Hong said...

I would have chosen but "She Doesn't Get It" by The Format on the same album, but hey, you obviously have great taste in music. and you're funny too. : )

At June 22, 2006 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, stumbled across your site a few days back.

quality stuff.

At June 22, 2006 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Cool mix, can't wait to burn it and listen to it this weekend on my way to see Pearl Jam in Cinci!

Have you heard any of the weird rumors coming out of the VH1 Storytellers sessions that Pearl Jam was filming?

At June 22, 2006 11:23 AM, Blogger Stephen Kuykendall said...

Just listened to the entire 'album' good stuff as always and i do enjoy the mix, though it does remind me i'm sitting in an office and not in a beach chair enjoying the sun. oh, fie on your summery goodness.

At June 23, 2006 4:21 PM, Blogger not veronica said...

Thanks for the mix! Makes me happy.


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