Summer Shimmer Shamble

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005
It is mix CD Time again! This was part 1 of 2 mixes I made last summer. Since it is summer again, it must be time to give them another listen! the idea/vibe for these mixes was that sort of heat-haze guitar shimmer sound and also that they were fun songs that made me smile, or somehow fit into my internal theories of summer. Anyway. Many of these songs came from mp3 blogs as last summer was when I got into them in a more substantial way.

1. La Discoteca - United States of Electronica -- so fun! It sounds like a party - the fun kind of party where everyone is having a good time, and not the lame kind of party where everyone is trying to be cool. I'm in the mood for celebration/ give it up we're on vacation!
2. Grazing in the Grass - Friends of Distinction This song = summer song perfection! Unfortunately, the file I have for this one has a couple of pops at the end. But the song is so great it doesn't even matter! And it's real, so real, so real, so real, so real/ can you dig it? / I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it, we can dig it, they can dig it. Can you dig it, baby?
3. Lull - Andrew Bird Oh, how I love this song! The music perfectly describes summer languor, and the lyrics describe that sort of in-between self-obsessed, transitional phase that we all end up in some time or another Being alone it can be quite romantic, like Jaques Cousteau underneath the Atlantic/ a fantastic voyage to parts unknown/ going to depths where the sun's never shone/ and I fascinate myself, sure I do, when I'm alone/ I'm rambling on rather self-consciously while I'm stirring these condiments into my tea/ and I think I'm so lame, I bet I think this song is about me/ don't I don't I don't I/ I'm in a lull
I think part of the appeal to me is also the part about being underneath the Atlantic. When I was a kid I could play in the ocean for HOURS (well, the gulf of Mexico) and I made up all of these elaborate stories about living underwater with the mer-people. anyway - I am sure it is just one of those songs that hits me just right and may not be for everyone.
4. Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple This was the first song I heard off of her new/not out album of the same name. I was hooked, immediately. I like the lyrics, because she acknowledges that sometimes things are hard and you have to keep on keeping on. if there was a better way to go then it would find me/ I can't help it the road just rolls out behind me/ be kind to me, or treat me mean/ I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine. I especially love the elaborate circusy arrangement. This song makes my heart glad. Summer makes my heart glad - it all makes sense, really.
5. Cut Your Hair - Pavement - ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh/ darlin' don't you go and cut your hair There are hitmen wearing muzzles, the second drummer drowned - it seems like Spinal Tap should be involved (all in the first 30 seconds). This song specifically addresses the Shamble portion of this mix. It is the perfect song to sing in the car with the stereo loud and the windows rolled down. Which I am sure I don't need to point out is one of the Inalienable Rights of Summer
6. Grass - XTC Sly and slinky song about the outdoors. AND it totally fits in this summer mix because a) cricket noises, and b) it was in the Summer section of Skylarking, which is a seasonal song cycle for all practical purposes. It is sung by the other guy (not Andy Partridge - although he does some fantastic harmonizing).
7. Fuga No.11 - Os Mutantes - this is in portuguese, but totally works for that summer-heat languid feeling. I could easily imagine being on a hammock reading a book and sipping a refreshing drink while Os Mutantes serenade me in the language of summer! I am so glad to know that brazilian psychedelic music can be the perfect remedy for what ails me. You never know when that kind of information will be useful.
8. Light & Day/Reach For The Sun - Polyphonic Spree - so a bunch of people ( I mean a lot - like over 20) get together in white choir robes and sing songs about sunshine. Yet, somehow, it is not cheesy like Up With People, it is wonderful. If I hear this song early on a sunny summer day, it just makes that day so much better. It's like magic.
9. Kiss Me With Your Mouth - Stephen "tin tin" Duffy - this song just reminds me of being a teenager in Florida, where every season is like summer! I also dig that it is basically a dance version of Song of Solomon.
10. Song Against Sex - Neutral Milk Hotel - Very fuzzy, very warbly, very surreal, very fantastico. VERY. It's like being plopped in the middle of someone else's dream.
11. Sssingle Bed - Samantha Fox - this song is so silly and fun. From the porn-soundtrack wacka wacka (what the hell makes that noise?) to the ooops I ran out of gas style lyrics: all I've got is a sssingle bed/ there ain't no room for your sweet head/ now ain't it a shame, you'll miss the last train/ ...I've got a one solitary, lonesome, single bed
12. You're No Good - Betty Everett - Woo! I was (sadly) only familiar with the Linda Ronstadt version prior to finding this on an mp3 blog. I mean no disrespect to Ms. Ronstadt (we share a July 15 b-day!), but this is SO MUCH BETTER! (full disclosure: I have not heard the LR version for at least 10 years) There are horns, handclaps, and Betty Everett tears it up. I believe her - she has the voice of authority.
13. She Will Have Her Way - Neil Finn This just seemed to fit, and I like Neil Finn, so there. This was Dana's theme song on Sports Night, which was an excellent series even if you hate sports.
14. La la Love You - Pixies All I'm saying pretty baby/ la la love you, don't mean maybe So fun - plus you can wolf-whistle along, if you are so inclined.
15. Grass Skirt - All Girl Summer Fun Band I believe the name of the song and the name of the band really speak for themselves, but I will add this little bit of lyric it's green and it's itchy, but I don't mind/ when it's swishing in the breeze, I feel so fine/ my bikini top is orange and red, I'm a coconut princess and I'm going to knock you dead/ in my grass skirt (grass skirt!)
16. One Two Cha Cha Cha- Usha Uthup & Chorus - this is completely crazy, but completely charming. It is a sitar-heavy dance lesson in doing the cha cha cha, with KC and the Sunshine Band references! What's not to love, for real? one two three kick/ hop two three kick/ cha cha cha! I think Rose Festival should use this song as their theme for next year. The floats would be more fun, I guarantee.
17. Wild Honey - U2 - Honey= Bees = Summer. Simple, really. I like the easy jingle jangle of this one - Bono doesn't sound like he's going to drop a lung, which is nice every now and then. did I know you, did I know you even then/ before the clocks kept time/ before the world was made
18. If We Can Land A Man On The... - Beulah - lovely crazy horns, piano, strings, what sounds like the thing you might tune a spaceship in with, and fuzzy something or another! yeah!
19. So Says I - The Shins I do love this song, but I might replace it with a different one from the same album if I were making it again. This has some nice cymbal action, and an awesome hooooo oooooooh ooooh ooooh oooh part. Actually, it fits just fine. (but seriously - Chutes Too Narrow is a great record! An embarrassment of riches!)
20. All The Way To Reno - R.E.M. this is off one of R.E.M's more recent records. I like it. It has a nice and languid pace with those extra-summer qualities of tambourine and something blooping in the background. Kind of a 60's hippie-light sound. you know who you are, you know who you are/ you're going to be a star
21. Little Eyes - Yo La Tengo - this song has the requisite shimmery sound I was looking for, and seemed the perfect one to close it out as it is a little longer and a little slower than the rest. Like some of the other songs on this mix, it sounds like being in the middle of a dream (of course they talk about sleeping and dreaming in the song, so it's not like I'm making a profound stretch here).
2 comments on "Summer Shimmer Shamble"
  1. Great and intriguing list. Many I know, some I'll check out... My favorite "Extraordinary" Fiona track is "Get Him Back" -- nice to hear her when she's in a (wickedly) humorous mode. Best-o,
    Billy at

  2. I'm torn on choosing a favorite Fiona track - I really like "Get Him Back," but I also really like "Waltz" and of course "Extraordinary Machine," and, well - I like a lot of them. I hope you find at least one new-to-you song that you like from this list - I have found so many great things on the internet - it would make me happy to pass along the favor in some small way.
    Thanks for stopping by!


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