Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Warmer Music's Summer 2012 Mix

Now the thing about summer mixes is that no matter what you chose, you're guaranteed to have more good songs that you had to leave off than you could include. For someone like me, this can be vastly frustrating unless you can make yourself see it as ultimately liberating - no matter what you're gonna have to skip things so you might as well just pick what you like. It's an incredibly rich vein from which to mine pop culture as youth, America, writers and nostalgia all tend to trade strongly in summer images. Everyone loves either reliving their past glories or just reveling in the warm bounties of their present situation.

Within this mix you will hear: an "r" rolled for over five seconds, complaints about work, an ode to insects, more horns that you might expect, a great Irish song called "Dancing In The Moonlight" NOT by Van Morrison, a mind-blowing unreleased Mountain Goats song, Wilco get raunchy(ish) and probably some people expressing fondness for increased amounts of sunshine. Enjoy!
1. Ride The Wild Wave - The Oranges Band  Buy The World & Everything In It
The breeziest, happiest, summeriest song off of one of my all-time favorite albums.
2. June On The West Coast - Bright Eyes  Buy Letting Off The Happiness
Bright Eyes stays just on the right side of the heartfelt/emo line on this one with some great finger-picking and a beguiling travelogue.
3. re-Fresh - Common Market  Buy Common Market
The horn sample here is so fresh it might as well be blowing a damn sea-breeze in your face.
4. July Hymn - The Decemberists  Buy The King Is Dead
Colin Meloy has more great summer songs than he knows what to do with but his hymns from The King Is Dead really nailed that dreamy pastoral sweetness of the band's new sound.
5. Sunshine - Atmosphere  Buy Sad Clown Bad Summer 9
Only slug could pull off a song this tasteless, silly and infectious and oh how well he does it. "I wish I could take THIS home in a jar."
6. Summertime - Billy Stewart  Buy One More Time: The Chess Years
I think my father said it best - "No one gets more mileage out of a song than Billy Stewart on this version of 'Summertime'".
7. Summer Job - Art Brut  Buy Art Brut Vs Satan
"If you want me there sober and straight, I guess I'm gonna be a little bit late.", like the Who, Art Brut bemoans gainful employment.
8. Summer Jam (feat. Maxine Ashley and Pharrell) - The Cool Kids  Buy When Fish Ride Bicycles
The Cool Kids are good at what they do which is rap about clothes and women in the most goddamn delightful way possible. PERFECT summer music.
9. Ethiopians - Mountain Goats  Buy Tallahassee
Mind-blowing that this song would ever be left off an album. Also a hint at John Darnielle's love of reggae.
10. Buggin' [Remix] - The Flaming Lips  Buy The Soft Bulletin
A light-hearted aside within the heavieness of The Soft Bulletin. I'm sorry Wayne, but "girls love bugs / because, that's why"? Bullflop, my friend.
11. Surf Wax America - Weezer  Buy The Blue Album
How could you resist early Weezer? And why would you want to? This song is perhaps the most fun on the Blue Album.
12. Louisiana - The Walkmen  Buy A Hundred Miles Off
Airy production and a loose performance give this song a sense of spaciousness that perfectly compliments the freedom of summer and excitement of travel.
13. Sunburn [Edit] - Chisel  Buy Nothing New [EP]
On the EP this song was coupled with an unlisted cover of The Who's "Dogs". A song about the sun's searing heat as only a pale Irishman could sing it.
14. Summertime Blues [Eddie Cochran] [Live] - The Who  Buy Live At Leeds
Love the original and Blue Cheer versions of this but the Who just destroy it.
15. Summer Song - Matt Duncan  Download His Mix
One of my favorite songs of 2011 is also one of my favorite songs of 2012.
16. Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective  Buy Merriweather Post Pavilion
I find that much of Animal Collective's output gives me problems. This, however, is pure atmospheric psych-pop brilliance.
17. Heavy Metal Drummer [Extra Verse] - Jeff Tweedy  Buy Sunken Treasure: Live In The Pacific Northwest
It's a testament to both the song as well as Tweedy and Kotche's skill that this song sounds as good as it does here. Plus, Jeff totally adds a dirty verse.
18. Hot Fun In The Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone  Buy The Essential Sly & The Family Stone
Maybe it's just me but this song should be implanted into DNA as the aural reproduction of a summer of one's youth.
19. Dancing In The Moonlight (It's Caught Me In It's Spotlight) - Thin Lizzy  Buy Bad Reputation
Quite simply one of the best songs about young love ever written. More on this one later.
20. A Summer Song - Chad & Jeremy  Buy A Summer Song
I'm a firm believer in ending all summer mixes with this song whenever possible.

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