The boys and girls of summer. . .


This summer is going by with the quickness. It's hard for me to believe that the event I've been basing the whole summer on -- next weekend's Lollapalooza concert in Chicago -- is just around the corner. Since it's the only real vacation I've planned, it kind of bums me out that, considering how fast the rest of this season has gone by, it will soon be over.

I have mixed emotions about summer. While I have great memories of family road trips to the East Coast and endless days at Elmwood Pool in Omaha, I've really come to dread the heat and excessive humidity. Sitting on the back porch this afternoon in 101 degree heat, I have to say I'm excited at the prospect of Fall rolling through town.

That didn't stop me from coming up with a mix to help get through this sweaty, chlorine-drenched, sand-infested, sunburned, fighting-with-your-brothers-in-the-back-seat final month of summer.


1. "Summer is Coming" by MATT POND PA: How could I start things out any other way?
2. "Fun Fair" by TAHITI 80: I spent many a hot, broke summer afternoon walking around the streets of Chicago listening to this ode to the joys of the theme park. When I was a kid, there was a place right in the middle of Omaha called Peony Park where you went to get your theme park kick. That place is long gone now.
3. "Oslo in the Summertime" by OF MONTREAL
4. "July, July!" by THE DECEMBERISTS
5. "Summer" by MODEST MOUSE: For some reason, the part where Isaac Brock gets a page on his beeper always puts a smile on my face. I think it's the gangsta way he says, "Damn, who's paging me now?." It's nice to hear indie rock getting mindless and fun like this every now and then.
6. "California Sun" by RAMONES
7. "Surf Wax America" by WEEZER: Probably one of a handful of songs from Weezer's debut album that stand up after all these years. It also makes me want to surf, although doing so would require me to overcome my near crippling fear of sharks.
8. "Wouldn't it be Nice" by THE BEACH BOYS: You can't make a summer mix without them. It's an actual law.
9. "California" by THE WEDDING PRESENT
10. "Summer Babe (Live)" by PAVEMENT
11. "Summertime Blues (Live)" by THE WHO
12. "California Waiting" by KINGS OF LEON: This is the far superior version found on the Holy Roller Novocaine EP.
13. "Another Sunny Day" by BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
14. "The Swimming Song" by LOUDON WAINWRIGHT: Yeah, I've posted this one before.
15. "Summer Teeth" by WILCO: In case you're wondering, yes, this one does count toward my TWEEDY 100. For those keeping score, this is #11. I had a friend in Philadelphia who was obsessed with the Grateful Dead and was having trouble finding a new band to love. This song, and the album of the same title, won him over and he has been a devoted fan ever since.
16. "Wishlist" by PEARL JAM: This may not be an obvious summer jam to a lot of people, but it makes me think of driving around on Missouri highways during late summer nights while in college. There's a great Dire Straits-esque guitar solo, an E Bow, and that nice touch of the song fading out just as Vedder sings that final verse, "I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up. . ."
17. "Once Upon a Summertime" by ASTRUD GILBERTO: Summer ain't just fun and games, kids.
18. "Cabezon" by RED HOUSE PAINTERS: Probably the happiest song these guys ever wrote. It doesn't hurt that there are no lyrics. It's kind of cool when I consider that I had a group of friends who would actually enjoy when this song came on during a road trip. It became so beloved by our little circle that it could actually be used to break tension or change the mood at the drop of a hat.


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