Summer Jams


[Tuesdays and Thursdays I occasionally post non-magic content.]

As someone who grew up in the northeast U.S., and who finds himself there for much of the year, I subscribe to Kurt Vonnegut's theory that in this part of the world we have six seasons, not four.

One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize that there are six seasons instead of four. The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet, and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time. I mean, spring doesn't feel like spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for autumn, and so on.

Here is the truth about the seasons: Spring is May and June. What could be springier than May and June? Summer is July and August. Really hot, right? Autumn is September and October. See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves? Next comes the season called Locking. November and December aren't winter. They're Locking. Next comes winter, January and February. Boy! Are they ever cold!

What comes next? Not spring. 'Unlocking' comes next. What else could cruel March and only slightly less cruel April be? March and April are not spring. They're Unlocking. -- Kurt Vonnegut

Whether you're someone who gets six seasons or four seasons or you live in one of those climates that's the same all year round (you're missing out, seasons are the best) we are pretty much right in the middle of summer. It will be over before you know it.

Take time to appreciate it while it's here. Even if you don't like summer. I used to not like summer too. And I would just suffer through it until autumn came. Then one day I decided that when it came to my life I would just ignore the aspects of things I didn't like and embrace the parts I do. I'm of the belief you can just choose to do that. So I don't get all worked up about the aspects of summer I dislike: humidity, sweating, annoying kids who should be in school. Instead I just focus on the stuff I like: cooling off in the pool, outdoor grilling, and babes in bikinis. 

This summer I've hiked to over a dozen waterfalls in the northeast and visited half-a-dozen drive-in movie theaters. It's been a good summer.

Here's some summer-esque music that I like. When I say "summer" music, I mean songs that give me the feeling of this time of year, not like big summer hits like "Blurred Lines" or "Fancy" or some shit. And not really "beach" music either. That's a different sort of thing. My idea of summer music is something that's lively and carefree and evocative of lazy days and hot nights. 

(60% of this list would also be on my Crush-Worthy Keyboard Player list.)

No One's Better Sake by Little Joy - Breezy with a tropical polyrhythm. This is a modern classic for me. Their whole self-titled album (which is now 10 years old) is great.

Heart to Tell by The Love Languages - I was at the shoot for this video. It was hot and sweaty and raucous, and that experience has implanted this song in my mind as a great summer song.

Swimsuit by Oregon Bike Trails - Tropicalia, folk, retro-pop? Something like that. Sounds summery to me. The band re-named itself Cayucas and re-recorded this song. It's not as good.

Boardwalk by Tijuana Panthers - A perfect two minute romantic surf-rock song. I like the live version below but the album version is flawless. (The live version you miss out a little on the "yup-yup!" backing vocals.) 

Sedona by Houndmouth - This song was actually a minor hit, but if you missed it when it first came around a few years ago, here's your second chance. This sounds like the end of summer to me. The girl left the band a couple years ago and these guys are still carrying on. My advice, dudes? Blow up the band and start over. She made the group. Well, her harmonies make this song, at least.