And Sir Sun stands up

20 06 2019

Fucking summer.

It’s been a cool June so far in NYC, but you know that by July the weather will be filthy and by August, murderous.

So, in “honor” of the worst of the four seasons, some sun and summer songs.

From back in me college days:

This got a lot of play when I was living in the apartment on Breese Terrace (right across from Camp Randall stadium). I don’t know that I yet hated summer—I was probably still operating under the delusion of fellow northerners that one should be glad that summer’s here, as it least it’s not winter—but regardless, I liked this one. Still do.

This one’s a throwback to the seventies:

I didn’t have this album—this came out before my album-buying days—but my older sister had a copy of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy that I listened to, up in our shared bedroom, so I tend to associate all songs of this era with the seventies, even if I didn’t actually listen to them back then.

As to that first album I bought? Foreigner, Double Vision. I was mad for Foreigner, and at twelve or thirteen, when I started really paying attention to music, this. . . this is what I wanted.

I still listen to old Elton John. Foreigner? Not so much.

I fuckin’ love this song, still:

In fact, I hopped out of my chair and lip-synced to this as it played on my tinny computer speakers.

This would make a great song for a chorus, don’t you think? So many ways to take this.

Man, I fuckin’ loved all of early U2, and while I don’t hate them now, at some point getting their new music was no longer necessary. But this song reminds me of when it was.

This is kind of a trash song, but I do love me some Be Good Tanyas:

A friend of mine who, well, kinda of worked music festivals (as in, he had a job that mostly had nothing to do with music but sometimes did), once booked the Be Good Tanyas. They fought like hell offstage, he told me.

But the show was fine.

This one was included on a mixtape sent to me in grad school by my friend L:

I don’t know this artist well, or, really, at all, but apparently Eddie Vedder later covered the song.

Anyway, I listened to this song on my walkman on the number 2 bus taking me down Franklin, heading toward and away home.

And, of course, this is the song that’s counts as hopeful for mopes like me:

God, what a great song.

The Police was one of those bands I was introduced to by MTV. I don’t know what anyone thinks about MTV these days, but back in the ’80s they played all kinds of shit I couldn’t get on the radio.

Falls is between Green Bay and Milwaukee, so I’d listen to stations out of there (mostly Milwaukee, honestly, 93.9 (?) WQXR! and a station at 97-point-something), the relevant ones of which were either Top-40 (which I, a cool teenager, disdained) and hard rock. I was into the latter in my early teens, but once I heard post-punk and New Wave, it was all over.

Anyway, the Milwaukee School of Engineering was rumored to have a great indie station, but the signal was weak and we almost never got it up in Sheb county.

So MTV was it. It was terribly white, back in those days, which I might have tutted about, but honestly, I dug the Police and the Eurythmics and the B-52’s and the Femmes and BoDeans and on and on, so Music TeleVision fed me what I needed.

There are many, many, many, MANY more summer/sun songs, but here’s one on how to deal with the heat:

Naked is a state of mind, indeed.

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Summersongs: XTC

23 07 2014

Moar music!

Yes, I’ll continue with my Listen to the music series, but I’m feeling a bit. . . limited by the one-way trek through my cd collection. So why loosen things up a bit, and gambol thru some songs of the season.

XTC’s Skylarking is, to me, a summer album. The first single was released in 1986, smack dab in the middle of my college years, and tho’ the album didn’t come out until the fall, my (mis?) memories are of listening to this in the green months of Madison.

The most well-known song may be “Dear God”, because in 1986 in the United States it was controversial to put out a single mildly criticizing/questioning the Big Kahuna. It wasn’t until I brought home my own copy of Skylarking that I realized that I got an alternate version: “Dear God” wasn’t included.

On the one hand, I was pissed, because even though the song wasn’t that great, I liked it well enough, and I didn’t like that it had been removed. On the other hand, I probably laid out 8 bucks for the new vinyl and wasn’t about to shell out even more money just for one song.

Singles? No.

Anyway, the songs that tie me most closely to that time are “Summer’s Cauldron/Grass” and “That’s Really Super, Supergirl”. I could never figure out Andy Partridge’s attitude toward the Supergirl—was he being nasty or pouty?—but I thought, get over it. In fact, I might have liked the song just for the attitude it inspired in me.

Listen to the lovely:

And enjoy the smirk:

Bonus fun fact: I recall Andy Partridge saying in an interview that all Englishmen had two of the following three characteristics: had bad teeth, were bald, were gay. He noted that he was bald and had bad teeth.

Don’t know why I remember that, but I do.