01 August 2011

Mixtape Madness #8: Official Soundtrack of Summer 2011

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

Soundtrack of Summer 2011

Each year I put together a soundtrack to accompany the madness that summer brings. Typically I start with one mix, but by summer's end, I move onto a new one. Last year, I put together the 2010 mix in June. This year, I've waited until August. This enables me to include songs that either became popular over the summer or songs that resonate with a particular event. 

1- "Heatwave" by Chiddy Bang
I first heard this song in April and knew instantly it would get steady rotation throughout the summer. Philly group Chiddy Bang take a classic summer song here and make it their own. 

2- "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty By Nature
I really can not think of a song that makes me think of hanging out at a summer block party more than this one. Hearing this song calls to mind riding my bike around as a kid why the adults were chilling on the patio. It's not summer without this jam.

3- "Everlasting Light" by the Black Keys
I was a fan of the Black Keys around the time that Black Snake Moan came out, but somehow missed out on their latest album. For that reason, I didn't hear this song until a ride home after a long night of partying in June. Since that night, it has been on every mix I've made.

4- "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia
The first real party of the summer came in the form of a 1960's beach rock dance party. After that fantastic evening and a viewing of Dirty Dancing, I've been rocking a lot of music from that era, including this little gem.

5- "Dance Yrself Clean" by LCD Soundsystem
I am admittedly late to the game on a lot of awesome things. Case in point: I just started watching Arrested Development this week. Unfortunately, LCD Soundsystem is one of those things I was too late for. I first heard this song after a friend showed me the video here. I loved the video (check it out on the right), and loved the song. It has since had a couple of good summer memories attached to it, hence its inclusion here. 

6- "Safari Disco Club" by Yelle
This simple, upbeat tune is another one I heard toward the end of spring. It is a great summer tune, and it is entirely in French. If you do not understand French, it's a sing about party animals. By party animals, I mean she is basically describing a dance party attended by animals.  

7- "Mine Is Yours (Passion Pit Remix)" by the Cold War Kids
While I am a fan of the Cold War Kids, this Passion Pit remix blows the original away. This song is one of a pair on this mix that seems like it's trying to be a mid-80's pop song, and I'm okay with that.

8- "Sprawl II" by the Arcade Fire
This would be the other song in the pair of 1980's wannabes. With a good, driving beat, it has been one of my choice cruising songs this summer.

9- "Cash Flow" by Major Lazer and Jah Dan
I am of the opinion that summer can not exist without a little reggae. This song has been fulfilling that need for me this year. While I dig the whole song, it's the sick beat with the horns kicking in at the end that really make the song complete.

10- "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green
Of course this song is on here.

11- "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" by BlakRoc
BlakRoc is a collaboration between the Black Keys and various hip-hop acts. I first heard this song in a video from Esquire Magazine of Mila Kunis being hot. Click that link and enjoy.

12- "Headlights" by Night Moves
This song is just flat-out groovy, and it is a good wind down song after one of those long summer nights.

13- "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" by the Beastie Boys and Santigold
At the risk of sounding like a complete tool, this track is dope. There's really no other way to say it. The Beasties still have it.

14- "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People
This track has been getting steady rotation from just about everyone I know. Even if I didn't like it as much as I do, it would still have to be on the mix just based on the amount of times I've heard it this summer.

15- "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2
After a long delay, U2 finally got back to touring this year. In July, they played in Philadelphia. I happened to be over a mile away from the stadium that night when I heard this song coming in from the window. That had to be one of the loudest concerts ever for me to hear the music clearly from so far. 

16- "Five Years Time" by Noah and the Whale
My sister gave me a ukulele for Christmas. This is the most recent song I learned on it. Three simple chords, one awesome instrument, and it gets a spot on the summer mix.

17- "Wild Mountain Nation" by Blitzen Trapper
These guys sound like they could have fit in well in 1977. I've recently been turned on to Blitzen Trapper and this song, the first of theirs I heard, is my favorite.

18- "Warm Heart of Africa" by the Very Best and Ezra Koenig
There are those who are anti-Vampire Weekend for their obvious borrowing from African music. Well, I like it and think they do it well. On the subject of borrowing from African music, the 25th anniversary of the release of Paul Simon's Graceland is next week.

19- "Cecilia" by the Local Natives
On the subject of Paul Simon, here's a smazzy cover of a Simon and Garfunkel classic. This song, as well as several others on this mix, came my way from the Stomp/Clap mix put together on the Fuel & Friends blog. Definitely worth checking out!

20- "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
To wrap things up, it's back to the 60's dance party for this fantastic tune. I'm sure teachers and students would all be happy if summer would stay just a little bit longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!