Is July 31st too late to offer up my Summer Sessions mix CD? Perhaps. I intended to finalize the track list and get this link posted on the first day of summer, back in June, but at the same time I was in the process of moving from Austin to New York. I’m now in Brooklyn, and finally able to spend a few minutes thinking about this mix, and felt it was better to offer it late than not at all.
I call this one “Sea & Sidewalks,” and you might notice a bit of tension between the mellow surf sounds on tracks like “Following Waves” by the French Kicks, and the more taut urban (and suburban) soundscapes on tracks like the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City.” Still, for the most part, everything on this mix lilts along at an easy-going pace, which is somewhat surprising when you see artists listed on here with boisterous names like Shout Out Louds and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (whose “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood” contains some of my favorite lyrics).
There are actually two tracks from the French Kicks, three from Arcade Fire, and two from film soundtrack composer John Williams, whose themes for 1975’s Jaws and 78’s Superman: the Movie are as inextricably bound up with summer as the blockbuster hits from which they hail. (Superman was actually released in the winter of 1978, but this summer saw an ambitious reboot of the superhero with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, so the musical callback seemed appropriate.) Even in the John Williams selections, we have the tension between the open (shark-infested) sea, and the bustling (crime-ridden) sidewalks of that city of cities, Metropolis.
Also in the nautical camp, we have AWOLNATION’s “Sail,” and “Wave of Mutilation” by the Pixies (the UK Surf Mix presented here is way more sweet and listenable than the song’s title might lead you to imagine). On the metropolitan side of things, we have Unit 4 + 2’s “Concrete and Clay,” and “I Feel Free,” by the old Eric Clapton band, Cream.
While we’re on the subject of cream, the Divine Fits treat us to the frozen variety, with “Like Ice Cream.” Mumm-Ra’s “She’s Got You High” is borrowed from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack — and if there really are that many days of summer, this mix isn’t too late after all! It’s good for another year, at least!
There are so many versions of the classic Cole Porter song, “Summertime,” that it’s pretty much a guarantee I’ll include it on every Summer Sessions mix that I put together, and this year’s is no exception: here, the Zombies seem just as inappropriately concerned with your father’s financial status while singing about the time of the season for easy living, as they were when they sang about the time of the season for loving.
Providing another time-tested summer standard, and also inordinately interested in dad’s dollars, is Mungo Jerry with “In the Summer Time.”
Last, but not least, to take us into that sweaty purgatory between summer and fall that are the months of August and September, there’s Coleman Hawkins blowing a very chill “Indian Summer.”
I’ll see you again very soon with the 2013 Fall Collection!