Summer Shimmer 2

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Thursday, July 07, 2005
Part 2 of last summer's mix! Summer Shimmer 2 comes largely from movie soundtracks, excellent mp3 blogs, and my friend Blondie's Hit's of the 60's and 70's, that she ordered off of the television. Writing this up, I realized that this mix has a lot of British singers on it- I'm not sure what that means, except that it's possible I think everyone should dress like an extra in an Austin Powers movie.

1. All For Swinging You Around - New Pornographers- This song sounds so happy! The video, which I think may still be available on the matador site, featured a jumping on the bed pillow-fight, which then turned into a big synchronized dance in a school gymnasium. It makes me feel like I am having a jumping on the bed pillow fight just by listening to it, and you can't really ask more from a song. all for swinging you around/ and off your feet, all the love you found/ spinning 'round
2. Finally Woken - Jem - Jem is the Dido of the aughties. I don't even mean that as a bad thing. This song is kind of the thematic answer to "Lull" on the first disc. You see I've finally woken/ from a long sleep, I'm ready to jump/ to make that blind leap/ coz I now believe, I have the power in me/ I've got the faith baby, I can truly be free. Cheesy? maybe, but I like it anyway. Plus there are ocean sounds which are very summery.
3. My Beloved Monsters - Eels - this is from, yes, the Shreck soundtrack. I love the dissonance in the middle, but my favorite thing about this song is warbling along with my beloved monster and me/ we go everywhere together...she will always be the only thing/ that comes between me and the awful sting/ that comes from living in a world that's so damn.... mean Plus it has what I am now coming to realize = summer guitars in my head. and some nice lalala's at the very end.
4. The Tide Is High - Blondie Steel drum. Blondie. Horns. It reminds me of Florida, but I'm sure that is just because that's where I heard it first. The tide is high, but I'm holding on/ I'm gonna be your number one. There's not much else to say since I'm sure everyone knows what it sounds like and also knows it should absolutely be here.
5. London Is The Place For Me - Lord Kitchener - This has an amazing clarinet. You read it right - CLARINET! This would be a good one for dancing in an abandoned ballroom in a seaside resort town that is in decline. If you must know. London is the place for me/ London, this lovely city/ You can go to France or America/ India, Asia or Australia/ But you must come to London City I suspect there is some kind of larger meaning going on here (possibly about caribbean diaspora) but the song is so jaunty and clarinetific, that even without knowing, it is FANTASTIC. A little googling has revealed that Lord Kitchener was one of the premier Trinidadian calypso singers of his time.
6. Sunflower -The Springfields - This was one from an MP3 blog. I think this song was from the 80's - but it sounds very 60's to me. It is all very psychedelic guitar and jingle jangle sunshine chorus, so of course I dig it. In the summer/the sun shines on me all day. It looks a little simplistic reading the lyrics, but it sounds like walking on warm sand in bare feet feels. (hint: GOOD)
7. Crimson and Clover - Tommy James & The Shondells- This song sounds like the heat rising off the pavement to me - that whatever it is they do in this song, they do like nobody else. Everything is held in check and just builds and builds so when it's time to do the go-go cage dance at the the guitar break, everyone should be ready.
8. I Touch Myself - Divinyls cover by The Scala Choir - you really haven't heard this song until you've heard a girl's choir sing it. If you thought it was embarrassing to sing along with before, just you wait!
9. Closet Romantic - Damon Albarn - aaaaah! this song sounds like what I imagine a really cheesy game show theme in Britain in say, the early 70's would sound like. lots of organ, a programmed drum, and some laaaaaaaaaaa, laa laa's thrown in after the 1:30 mark. And then - my favorite part - he starts listing off James Bond movies! it's brilliant, really. Dr. No, From Russia with Love, You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Thunderball, Never Say Never Again
10. Humble Bee - John Wesley Harding This is the bee counterpart to Wild Honey on the first disc! As established there - bees = summer. I really like this song - it highlights the things I like best about JWH - clever, lovelorn (but not bitter - although JWH does bitter well too) lyrics with a singalongable chorus and a jaunty tune. This is the sting, I still want everything/ here is the twist, you're on my list/ and here's what I mean, you're still the queen/ and I want you, honey. I want you. sigh.
11. Norwegian Wood (this Bird Has Flown) - Cornershop - Norwegian Wood in Hindi! it had to be done, and they've done it marvelously. The exact same guitar and sitar as the original (which I love,riddle lyrics and all) and then out comes something that sounds right, but is not what I was expecting - the best kind of surprise.
12. River, Sea, Ocean - Badly Drawn Boy - this is a really pretty shimmery summery sounding pop song. I think it is kind of funny that the Damon Gough looks/acts like such a badboy/jackass, but writes these beautiful symphonic pop songs. It's true! ogres have layers, just like Shreck said.
13. Staying Alive - Wyclef Jean - this is pretty much what you might expect from Wyclef doing a Bee Gee's song. It keeps most of the good parts of the original (the crazy bass line, some high-singing aliiiiiiiiive's), and adds a fresh touch with the rap over the top of it. The thing that mystifies me is why eating mangos in Trinidad with attorneys is something to be especially envied? I mean, mangos and Trinidad I get, but with lawyers? Why, Wyclef? Why? But mangos are one of the summer's superfoods (along with watermelon, popsicles, fresh tomatoes, basil, mint iced tea, and some other things I am forgetting)
14. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys - I don't really need to say anything about this because it is the Ultimate Summer Song. Overuse in advertising aside, this is still AMAZING! Actually, this is the reason I needed Vol. 2 of the Summer Mix - the friend who had this on CD (I did not, how sad is that?), didn't get it to me until vol. 1 was already done. And I had to have it. gotta keep those love good vibrations happenin' with her
15. Terrible Vision - Rhett Miller Rhett Miller - sigh. You've got terrible vision, if you don't see/ that I'm in love with you, how that means everything. To read it - it looks stupid. But to hear it is to swoon! This is from his solo record (without the Old 97's), and I would say he is one of the best songwriters of male heartache/vulnerability that I've heard. I really like the production on this song/album too. It sounds different than the Old 97's stuff (which I love), but different in a way I also like.
16. Four Seasons In One Day - Crowded House There are great harmonies and slightly disturbing lyrics, as is often the case with Crowded House. And then there is the brush (?) on the drums which sounds like summer rain. Four seasons in one day/ lying in the depths of your imagination/ worlds above and worlds below/ the sun shines on the black clouds hanging over the domain
17. You Showed Me - The Lightning Seeds - this is a remake of a 60's song from the Austin Powers soundtrack. I love this version - there are lots of bloops and beeps in the background and more slinky sliding around than the original. Actually, I just heard the original while shopping the other day, and I can now say that I definitely prefer this version. There's a la la la verse and lots of layered psychedelic-summer of love sounds. You, showed me how you do, exactly what you do/ how I fell in love with you/ oh, it's true/ oh, I love you.
18. September Gurls - Big Star - September counts as summer, at least usually it does in these parts. Plus, it is a great song - it has that jangley guitar that sounds uniquely summer to me. December boys got it bad
19. Red Right Ankle - The Decemberists - this song is beautiful, and one of my favorite Decemberist tracks despite the lack of gin-running uncles, whales, legionnaires, dead babies and whatnot. (ok, it does have a gypsy uncle, but he is sort of beside the point.) This sounds like a song written for a particular person, which by virtue of its specificity somehow becomes more universal. I don't know - I just really like it. this is the story of the boys who loved you/ who loved you now and loved you then/ some were sweet and some were cold and snubbed you/ and some just laid around in bed/ some had crumbled you straight to your knees/ did it cruel, did it tenderly/ some crawled into your heart/ to rend your ventricles apart/ this is the story of the boys who loved you/ this is the story of your red right ankle.
20. Teenager - Camera Obscura - this is so great! I think this came from the artist's website - I need to know if the rest of their stuff sounds like this or not. Girl singer, with a great background sound that is probably a singer, but COULD BE a singing saw. Singing saw!!! Lots of texture in a nice simple song. you're not a teenager/ so don't act like one/ sure she's a heartbreaker/ does she have one?
21. Wanderlust - the Delays - Steel drum and one of the highest-singing men in the history of pop music. I am constantly having an argument with my sister where she says "it's not even a dude!" and I fall for it every time saying "YES IT IS, SHUT UP!" This whole album (Faded Seaside Glamour) is a very summer-friendly, lovely pop confection. I would have never even heard of them if it weren't for mp3 blogs.
22. The Wheel And The Maypole - XTC - XTC do love their barely double entendres, don't they? I've got the plow if you've got the furrow/ I've got the rabbit if you've his burrow home/ I've got the pen if you've got the paper/ time is but play and I'll see you and the wheel turn This album (Wasp Star: apple venus vol.2) and Skylarking in particular show a real sense of the cycle of life/seasons. Earthy, but knocking the world off of its axis at the same time. I don't know of any other pop group singing songs about maypoles or bonfires - but that's OK since XTC do such a great job of it. Maypole, maypole, maypole/ you spun me round and knocked me off my axis mundi/ maypole, maypole, maypole/ the ties that bind you will unwind to free me one day. Anyway, this is a bit longer, and jaunty and full of life, so it seemed like a good ender.
1 comment on "Summer Shimmer 2"
  1. This one is a singing saw for sure:


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