Summertime, and the livin is easy and the muses are busy.
Like Christmas, the joys of summertime bring out the worst and sometimes the best in artists, and radio stations hit us with Beach Boys tunes and that super annoying Mungo Jerry "In the Summertime" at a dizzying rate. I mean, for me, "California Girls" is the summer equivalent of those damn dogs barking "Jingle Bells."
We asked the sweaty Bloodshotters, in between popsicle runs to Walgreens, to name some of their thoughts on summer music:
Interweb JP eschews all editorializing and gives it to us straight:
Favorite: "Summer Babe," Pavement
Least: "Summer Girls," LFO
Retail Pete tells us what he's liking so far this summer and getting all spins in the tiki lounge he's got set up in his basement. (Gotta agree, Jackie Mittoo is THE SHIT. As for the rum, Rob suggests peeling a hunk of fresh ginger and dropping into a Mason jar of rum and let it steep for a couple weeks. Mmmm mmmmm).
• KID CONGO POWERS - "Gorilla Rose"
The newest one from the former Bad Seeds/Cramps/Gun Club guitarist. This one just SOUNDS sweaty, like Thee Midnighters on a late summer night coke binge. It sounds like it might best be enjoyed blaring from a tinny boom box on an sun-beaten fire escape in Brooklyn somewhere while downing a bottle of Schlitz malt liquor to beat the heat.
• JAILL - There's No Sky (Oh My My)
Surfy, jangly 60's pop, with crunchy guitar lines that have some serious balls to 'em. This one is so infectious you might need antibiotics when it's over.
• JACKIE MITTOO - Keyboard King at Studio One
Jackie Mittoo was the go-to guy at Studio One, and this all-instrumental album is a testament as to WHY that is the case. These are some of the funkiest, meanest, most soulful rocksteady and reggae rhythms ever to come out of Jamaica. Pop on this record, make yrself a proper Planter's Punch (with Meyers' Jamaican rum, of course), and your summer just got at least 50% better.
• JIM JONES REVUE - Here to Save Your Soul
Maniacal, revved-up rock n' roll from the UK that (to my ears) sounds something like Little Richard fronting the Oblivions but whilst doing an immense amount of speed. I can only imagine these guys put on one helluva live performance ... You can practically hear the amps smoking by the end this one.
• DEX ROMWEBER DUO - Is That You in the Blue?
Dex's latest lands just in time to provide a killer sound track to just about anything you might be inclined to do this summer. This one smokes, friends ... just you wait and see.
BOOKKEEPIN' ANTHONY (and Detroit native):
Chalk it up to my love of a terrible town called Detroit, but Martha and the Vandellas' "(Love Is Like a) Heatwave" is one of my favorite summer songs. (Yes, not exactly about summer, but so what?).
• Lovin' Spoonfuls' "Summer In the City" - it's got a dark vibe that makes me feel a little mischievous.
• Fresh Princes' "Summertime" - I recorded and watched this music video on VHS way too many times when I was a kid to leave it off this list.
My summer faves:
• Any or all of my 14 Ventures albums.
• The Ramones are generally a perfect summer soundtrack.
When I was Junior High-aged, I loved opening my bedroom windows and blasting the Beach Boys Endless Summer album on the plastic Hi Fi my parents bought with S&H Greenstamps at the A&P (grocery store).
[Editor's note: Boyoboy, Nan's dating herself with this spate of references …. Greenstamps? Aren't those like Confederate dollars?]
Swank continues to frighten us with his downstate Illinois childhood cultural touchstones. His suggested video links help cement the horror …
• Meatloaf, "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)"
• Van Halen, "Summer Nights" (This album was huge the year I graduated)
• Van Halen, "Ice Cream Man"
• Billy Idol, "Hot In The City"
• Jonathan Edwards, "Sunshine"
The connection in my head between Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and feelings of relief are so close that, even though I haven't been in a classroom for years, I still feel better when I hear this song on the radio.
"Summer of 69," Bryan Adams ugh
"Boys of Summer," Don Henley argh
"Summer Breeze," Seals and Croft ack
"Summer Nights", John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. oof
"Summertime Blues," Eddie Cochran. Don't be fooled by pale cover versions
"Wipeout," The Surfaris Who doesn't drum along to this one on the dashboard? Wrong people, that's who.
"Surfin Bird," The Trashmen/The Cramps The La Traviata of garage/trash rock
"Summer Romance," Maggie Bjorklund I'm not just putting it on the list cuz I have to or anything. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. The vibe of a hot summer day captured perfectly.
"The Streak," Ray Stevens Oh, top 40 novelty hits, where have you gone? I am guessing, given the lack of clothing involved, that this came out in the summer, but I don't know for sure.
"I Want Candy," Bow Wow Wow My first heavy romantic interest loved this song during "that" summer. By osmosis, so did I. And the memories linger …
Favorite Bloodshot summer song:
Ha Ha Tonka's "12" 3-speed Oscillating Fan"