September 6

The Songs of Summer #103: ‘Havalina’ by The Pixies

pixies-havalinaHere 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.

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September 5

The Songs of Summer #102: ‘EXOTICA’ by Martin Denny

martin-denny-exoticaI 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.

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September 3

The Songs of Summer #101: ‘Walkabout’ by Atlas Sound/’What Am I Going to Do’ by The Dovers

atlas-sound-walkaboutWalkabout‘ got a lot of play on my iPod circa summer of ’09. This chillwave song by indie stalwart Atlas Sound with help from Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) has a great summer vibe to it, and music that sounded instantly familiar to me when I first heard it… I recognized it as a sample of another of my favorite summer songs, this one from a much earlier era, ‘What Am I Going to Do’ by The Dovers. This garage rock classic from 1965 is one of my favorite cuts on the essential Rhino Records box set ‘Nuggets,’ which compiled several CDs worth of the greatest garage rock songs of the sixties. ‘Walkabout‘ samples The Dovers very heavily, and in this case the end result sounds amazing. Nuggets-rhinoSince I love both songs, I figured why not just include both of them. Why not, right? The Songs of Summer is coming to an end, so why not pack as much in these last few days as possible. Neither song is really a summer song, but they’re both songs that I totally associate with the summertime, and that’s good enough for me.

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September 3

The Songs of Summer #100: ‘Summer Wind’ by Frank Sinatra

frank-sinatra-summer-windI’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.

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September 2

The Songs of Summer #99: ‘Sunshine (You’re Blowin’ my Cool)’ by Saun & Starr

saun-starr-sunshineAnother 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.

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September 1

The Songs of Summer #98: ‘In the Sun’ by Blondie

blondie-in-the-sunOf 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.

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August 31

The Songs of Summer #97: ‘Sunshine Girl’ by The Parade

the-parade-sunshine-girlAnother Monday….oof. A hazy, foggy morning here in Michiganland, with promises of a warmer, sunnier afternoon. The kind of a morning that calls for some sunshine pop. Is there a happier, more optimistic-sounding musical genre than sunshine pop? Bubblegum pop, maybe, but I’m a sucker for this thing called sunshine pop, and its summery, harmony-rich sound and unforgettable poppy hooks. And I’m not embarrassed to admit it! Not familiar with sunshine pop? Do you like the Mamas and the Papas? You do? Then you probably like sunshine pop. That knower of all things Wikipedia categorizes it as ” cheerful and upbeat music which is characterized by warm sounds, prominent vocal harmonies, and sophisticated productions.” ‘Sunshine Girl‘ by The Parade was an incredibly minor hit in 1967, at the absolute height of this lightweight but not insubstantial musical genre.

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August 30

The Songs of Summer #96: ‘Better Luck in the Summertime’ by Robert Parker

robert-parker-summertimeWe’re officially in the home stretch…just about a week of summer songs left. Depending on your viewpoint, that’s a good thing or a bad thing. A thought hit me yesterday, as I watched the gloomy rain fall, and that thought was this: ‘I’m ready for autumn.’ That’s always a big deal in the summer, that point in late August or early September, when the dread of the coming change in the seasons gives way to a little, just a little, anticipation for cooler days. But we’ve still got just a few songs left to deal with.

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