Summer Music

June 26, 2008 at 11:52 pm 3 comments

friend of mine recently wrote a post about how his iPod was filled with a strange dichotomy of music — namely:  Bowling for Soup and metal.  The post got me to thinking about my own iPod which is very eclectic in it’s music choices, but it has some definite themes going on in what I tend to enjoy and choose to put on it.  So today I’m going to try to put together a perfect “summer music” playlist of stuff I enjoy on my iPod.  Care to know what it would have on it?  Sure you do…

“Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads.  Never has a song where the singer caws like a crow been so much fun to listen to with the windows down.  Okay… in the bowels of hell, where I live, I usually have the windows up because my face would melt like a Nazi in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” but you still get the point.

“500 Miles” by Koopa.  I admit that I still love the original by “The Proclaimers” and every time I hear it I think of Johnny Depp in “Benny and Joon” and wonder to myself exactly what “havering” is.  But the Koopa version is a bit harder and kind of fun in a slightly different way. 

“Cody” by Bowling for Soup.  A happy song with some great guitar slides in it… with the line “There’s just no pleasing Queenie, since Queenie lost her mind”.  Gotta love that.

“Girls in Their Summer Clothes” by Bruce Springsteen.  This song is off of the aptly named “Magic” album which got little, if any, real airplay but is truly an amazing album and this song just reminds me of everything about summer when I was younger.  And Bruce hasn’t sounded better.

“Tell Me a Lie” by The Fratellis.  Again, what song makes you go “Ah ah ah ah” at full volume over and over?  It’s got great lyrics and a great mild punk beat.  “He’s a liar, he’s a liar, and a good one at that.”

“Skin Divers” by Duran Duran.  I admit that I adored Duran Duran when I was in high school.  But their stuff after “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” always seemed a bit lacking to me.  There were a few songs here and there that were good (I still think I’m the only person who loved the song “Big Thing” and it has virtually disappeared off the face of the earth now), but for the most part they all seemed to sound a lot like “Ordinary World” which I think may be the worst song in the history of the world… okay, it’s not THE worst… I mean there are songs like “Tiptoe through the Tulips” and “MacArthur Park” but it’s pretty bad.  But the new album “Red Carpet Massacre” is interesting and “Skin Divers” is sexy and makes me want to dance.

“Dirty Little Mind” by Jackyl.  I mean really… what other song misspells the word ‘dirty’ so many times… D-I-R-T-E-E-E-E-E-E and makes it sound so incredibly “dirty” when they do it? 

“Trees” by Marty Casey & The Lovehammers.  “It’ll be you and me, up in the trees and the forest will give us the answer.  It’ll be you and I up in the sky it’s a combination for disaster.”  Love his voice… love the whole sound of the song. 

“Baby Doll” by The Fratellis.  It’s a bit slower, and I think it’s a gorgeous song.  I can listen to it over and over again… it’s amazing and sounds spectacular loud in my car with the windows down the air conditioning on.

“Ring Ring” by Mika.  Not since “Every Breath You Take” has a song about obsessive love sounded so good.

“Tonight and the Rest of My Life” by Nina Gordon.  There are actually two versions of this song, one is the original off of the album by the same name.  The other is acoustic and is found on her sophomore album called “Bleeding Heart Graffiti”.  I like both versions, but for the moment I’m stuck on the acoustic.  It always makes me want to be at the ocean.

“Biggest Mistake” by Melee.   “I’m gonna sue JetBlue for everything they put me through”… hehe… who hasn’t wanted to do that when you miss a flight and wind up with a “certified psycho”?  I saw this band live last summer when they opened for Bowling for Soup and they were fun and this song really stood out — enough that I went out and bought their album. 

“Personal Jesus” by Marilyn Manson.  Granted, I like the Depeche Mode version too, but this one is darker, heavier and in my opinion it’s sexier this way.  “Reach out and touch faith”, indeed.

“Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank” by Barenaked Ladies.  Again, it’s a song about obsession but it’s got this strange little “square dance” feel to it that I think is fun and very ominous. 

“Chain of Fools” by Angeline Ball & Maria Doyle.  No it’s not the version by Aretha, but it’s damn good and deserves a listen.  It’s from The Commitments soundtrack, which is one of the best soundtracks I think I have heard.

“You May Be Right” by Billy Joel.  This is my favorite Billy Joel song.  I like his stuff when it’s more “rock” and less “ballad” and this works for me.   Most people seem to only remember this as the theme song from the Dave Berry-based sitcom that starred Harry Anderson.

“It’s My LIfe” by Bon Jovi.  I admit I have a weird fascination with the “talk box” that Richie Sambora uses on several of the Bon Jovi songs, but this one is definitely my favorite.  I think it’s a good anthem… “It’s my life, and it’s now or never.  I ain’t gonna live forever.  I just want to live while I’m alive.  My heart is like an open highway.  Like Frankie said, ‘I did it my way’.  I just want to live while I’m alive.  ‘Cause it’s my life.”

“…Baby One More Time” by Bowling for Soup.  Yes, I do mean the Britney Spears song.  But covered by BFS, it’s a completely different song.  It almost makes you forget that what’s-her-name ever recorded it.

“Humanity” by The Scorpions.  The closing song off of a good album about the end of humanity.  “You’re a drop in the rain, just a number not a name, but you don’t see it, you don’t believe it”. 

“American Witch” by Rob Zombie.  All right… it was hard for me to pick just one Zombie song because I think he has a lot of great songs out there.  For me it was between this one, “Lords of Salem” and “Dragula”.  But this one is a bit less… angry than “L.O.S.” and while I like the chorus of “Dragula” better, I think the overall sound of “AW” is stronger.

“Eleanor Rigby” by David Cook.  It’s from The American Idol show, but I think this version of the song is FAR better than the Beatles version… please don’t flame me… It’s my blog and therefore my opinion.

What is your Summer Music playlist?

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. William  |  June 27, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    My Summer Mix

    I hope this fits; it got kind of long before it was all over with!

    As alluded to, I listen to a lot of extreme metal, and I like it. But extreme metal isn’t summer music. It’s more of a winter taste, when it’s possible to imagine Viking longships gliding silently through a freezing fog toward Lindisfarne and infamy.

    So what do I like for summer music? When I was in Puerto Vallarta a month or so ago, I got to hear plenty of live salsa music, and though I have no idea what the names of the songs were, I can say that salsa music has such power that it can enliven even my culturally-dead Teutonic nerve endings. Nobody wants to see a huge Teuton attempting to dance to salsa music, but I’m afraid it’s true, me droogies.

    But what else?

    Don Henley, “Boys of Summer”. I know it’s technically an end-of-summer song and it’s a little more nostalgic than summer music should really be, but it has a nice sound and I just die for the line “I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac…”

    David Bowie, “Suffragette City” and “Golden Years”. I like the way the funkadelic keyboards in “Golden Years” sound like someone chewing rubber bands. Suffragette CIty, on the other hand, makes me want to shake my bippy, which probably isn’t wise.

    J. Geils Band, “Freeze-Frame”. It’s just perky and fun from a band that don’t get a lot of respect from anyone. “Centerfold” was basically a remake of this song, but not as good, I think.

    The Knack, “My Sharona” It was pretty popular to wear “Knuke the Knack” t-shirts back in the day, but I always liked this song; it’s lubricious and dirty and always made me want to shout “Wooh!”, which is not something most songs can claim.

    Bowling For Soup, “Dance With You” and “Almost”. I like these guys. I think they’re considered pop punk (or is that punk pop?) but they write good songs; I like the way “Dance With You” is written entirely without irony or humor, while “Almost” is pretty much nothing but. They’re very mature songwriters for a “mere” pop-punk band.

    Wall of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio”. It’s just not summer without Mexican Radio.

    Blondie, “Call Me”. The line “Roll me in designer sheets” always makes me want to say “Hang on, I have to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond, but I’ll be right back. What color, by the way?”

    Bryan Adams, “Summer of ’69”. I’m not a giant Bryan Adams fan, and I think his later stuff suffers, but I liked this song. It’s a tad drippy and melodramatic for summer music, which should be about dancing and singing and drinking and such, but I still like it.

    Huey Lewis and the News: “Jacob’s Ladder”. I’m not normally a Huey Lewis fan (the “Heart of Rock and Roll” is exceptionally tedious) but this song gets a thumbs-up from me.

    Village People: “YMCA”. What summer would be complete without a dash of flaming disco music?

    Sammy Hagar, “I Can’t Drive 55”. It’s overplayed and simplistic and one might even say stupid, but it’s a good rousing summer tune for afternoons when there’s nothing else to do but suck down beer and imitate Sammy Hagar, the Human Blunderbuss.

    The Ventures, “Walk Don’t Run”. A little upbeat beach music, anyone? I thought so!

    Meredith Brooks, “Bitch” I think this song is incredibly sexy, which probably means that I don’t understand it properly.

    The Vapors, “Turning Japanese”. And after listening to “Bitch”, why not?

    Graham BLVD, “Driver’s Seat”. This comes dangerously close to being my favorite song of all time. It’s a poppy thing, not normally my cup of tea, but I developed a profound liking for this song – it reminds me of night classes in college, driving home at midnight with nobody on the roads and my goofy Pinto tape deck turned up to 11 so I could enjoy this. I still love it greatly. But at the same time it reminds me of being alone, so it’s kind of a mixed bag of signals, but mostly they’re all good.

    ZZ Top, “Pearl Necklace” Oh, this song’s just plain filthy, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? It also has nice guitar work, probably the best off the entire El Loco album. Another ZZ Top summer song is “Just Got Paid”, which is pretty much the blue collar anthem. They don’t spell out in so many words, but you know the song title could really be expanded to “Just Got Paid, Gonna Drink Some Beer, Hope To Get Laid, Hope I Don’t Get Sick.”

    Brujeria, “Marijuana”. Brujeria is a Mexican death metal band. I don’t speak a lot of Spanish and I have trouble working out the harsh, snarled vocals, but I hear lots of words in there that I don’t think I’d want to repeat in public. But having said that, “Marijuana” is a clever (and heavy) remake of “Macarena” and I likes it! Someone needed to do it.

    Blue Oyster Cult, “I Love The Night” Back in my college and post-collegiate days I was sort of a night person, partly because I worked the night shift, and partly because being active at night was a good way to avoid the heat. And I liked this song, which seemed to offer hope that maybe someday I’d meet an actual girl at night. As it happens, I did, but she was only in the 24-hour Low-Cost supermarket to buy a new pair of L’Eggs before reporting for duty at the strip club…

    Jeff Beck, “Freeway Jam”. This is an early Jeff Beck instrumental, before he hooked up with the Jan Hammer Group. I listened to this a lot back in the days when I used to ride dirt bikes all summer, so this song, dirt bikes, dust, heat, summer, and the smell of Blenzall always get mixed up in my head.

    Eagles “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”. I don’t know why, but this song makes me want to sing and perhaps even gyrate. It’s most unseemly.

    U2, “New Year’s Day”. Yes, yes, we know that New Years’ Day is in the winter, not the summer, but I really like this song, and for some reason I find it terribly uplifting and cheering, even though it probably isn’t supposed to be. This is a problem I have with a lot of music; I apply my own emotional value to things and as often as not gleefully disregard what the artists had in mind.

    Police, “Message In A Bottle”. Just plain fun.

    The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Even more fun! This was, ironically enough, the first video I ever watched…

    The Seekers, “A World of Our Own”. This was the first song that I can actually remember listening to. It’s pretty basic acoustic folk rock, perhaps even a touch underproduced by modern standards, but I really like the message of the song, the notion that we’ll create a world of our own and everything will be fine once we shut out the flakes and nuts.

    Robin Trower, “A Little Bit of Sympathy”. We could all use that, and this is a prime slice of my high school experience.

    Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Southern Cross” and “Wasted Along The Way”. I just like to listen to these songs, especially Southern Cross, which gets more mellow and more meaningful and more peaceful the more I drink. These are “gettin’ happily inebriated” songs for me.

    Bruce Springsteen, “Born To Run”. Is there any finer evocation of what it is to be young and vital and on the road? It’s such a cornucopia of lines that tear at my guts in a young and vital and summery kind of way. Lines like:

    “Beyond the palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard” Oh my god…
    “The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive” Oh wow….
    “I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul”. Only Bruce could write something like that.

    Reply
  • 2. William  |  June 27, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I forgot one!

    Drowning Pool, “Step Up”. Better known as the ending credit music from the movie “The Punisher”, this is a pretty good slab of competent and slightly less aggressive than usual metalcore. A lot of metalcore can get pretty nasty and aggressive (check out Hatebreed, to cite just one example) but Drowning Pool manages to be metalcore that is “softer”, if that makes any sense, and it makes me REALLY want to headbang. But the funny part is here’s this song about responsibility, vengeance, revenge, standing up for yourself, taking care of business, sung by sunken-chested guys who I don’t think could fight their way out of laundry bags…

    Reply
  • 3. chollachick  |  June 28, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Wow… some of those I have in “power rotation” on my iPod anyways… 🙂 Some I’m going to have to find on iTunes and give em a listen… 🙂

    Reply

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