Well would you look at that, it’s Friday! Another end to another long work week (even though in this day and age the concept of the ‘work week’ seems somewhat antiquated…with technology, we work all weekend long, am I right? We’re always ON, but that’s a rant for another time.) On Fridays, I like to pay as little attention to the news as possible…it’s all bad anyway.
Hey, what’s up everybody… Well, it’s official. Summer’s over. Before I leave my Songs of Summer Extravaganza in the rearview mirror, I wanted to share this article I came across about the heyday of the surf music craze.
As the Disney-owned Star Wars marketing juggernaut starts ramping up ahead of December’s much anticipated release of ‘The Force Awakens,’ I think it’s worth taking a look back to the days when Star Wars was new. For those who weren’t lucky enough to live through it, I don’t think it’s possible to understand just what a huge deal this flick was back then. It was a time when there was no internet. There was no cable TV (at least not around here.) We had four or five TV channels with which to glean as much pop culture as possible; compared to today’s limitless access to literally everything that has ever existed, those were very lean years. But, we took what we could get. And what did we get? During 1977 and 1978, we got a lot of Star Wars popping up all over the TV. What sounds like something that would be awesome to kids at the time often resulted in some truly bizarre stuff.
With the arrival of late summer comes what’s becoming an annual ArtPrize censorship controversy. Artist Nabil Mousa has had his ArtPrize entry “Paradise Built on the Bones of the Slaughtered” removed from its intended venue, the Grand Rapids City Hall. The sculpture consists of a set of three welded towers displaying ashes of the Bible, the Koran and the Torah.
Here we are at the penultimate Songs of Summer song of the day; I started this way back in June (or maybe even May? I can’t even remember.) as a way to share out some of my personal favorite summertime songs, as well as an exercise in getting me in the habit of a daily posting. I’ll say it has got me posting stuff daily, and that’s a goody thing. And it has been a lot of fun picking a song every day to match my summer mood. It would’ve been nice to have gotten some feedback into others’ favorite songs, but I’m afraid my daily readers are nowhere near enough to generate that kind of a discussion. For now, at least, this blog’s still a one-way street. We’ll see what happens down the road, but at least if I’m posting stuff here that means I’m at the very least tickling some of my own brain cells.
I can’t possibly let this Songs of Summer List go incomplete without at least one classic exotica track; I figure if I’m only going to include one, I might as well use the song that gave its name to an entire movement of kitschy music.
I’ve saved the best for (nearly) last. No, this isn’t the end of the Songs of Summer…we’ve still got a few short days left before this little experiment wraps up, but this song…THIS song…This is the big one. My favorite summer song of all time. (I think I’ve said that about some of the other Songs of Summer, but this time I really do mean it.) There’s little I can say here about Frank Sinatra that hasn’t been said a billion times before. The man was a legend. And this song, perhaps just as well as any other song he ever sang, proves what a gigantic talent he was.
Another hot, sticky, humid day here in Michigan. In September, this can happen; it’s one of our more schizophrenic months, weather-wise. It can be gorgeous and summeresque, like today, or it can be cold, gray, and rainy. Sometimes it can be all these things in one day. It’s just something we have to get used to around here. Anyway, here’ some nice summer funk n’ soul to go with the soaring dew point.
Of all the bands that exploded out of the New York punk scene of the late 70’s, none saw more popular success than Blondie. But before their big new wave hits came their debut album ‘Blondie,’ (orig. released 1976, re-released 1977) which contained this bouncy little track ‘In the Sun,’ which was also the b-side to Blondie’s very first single ‘X Offender‘ (originally titled Sex Offender, but changed so as not to offend those with highly sensitive eyes.) There’s nothing better than early Blondie, so full of the raw energy that was exploding out of the music scene at the time.