Sunday, June 21, 2015

And Suddenly, It Was Summer 

image via Best of Instagram, @jimmy_chin, Ocean Mood

Without a clammer, without even making much of an effort, Summer arrived. Here in Toronto we’ve only had several sputtering starts with extreme heat one day, cold the next, punctuated throughout by heavy or constant rain. But now it’s official and it feels official. All the summer festivals are running or advertising they’ll be here soon; Luminato, NXNE, Pride, the Pan Am Games and whatever local street festival or farmer’s market demarcates your neighbourhood. This year, even Ramadan is in the summer (sucks to be you, with long days to fast between sunrise and sunset). To herald the beginning of summer, here’s a sextodecimo, democratically presented as Rdio, Spotify and Youtube playlists. Don’t ever say I didn’t do anything for you.

Spotify playlist

The Playlist

The Beigeness
Kate Tempest
Can’t get this out of my mind since I first heard it. That South (East?) London accent reminds me of other Brit artists.

Work It
Missy Elliot
For some reason, not musical, Kate Tempest reminded my of another lady of hip-hop. Plus, I’ve been hearing samples of this everywhere since the Superbowl.

Hey Darling
This album is still in rotation and this track stands out. Somehow it reminds me a bit of the kind of indie-folk-rock from a late 80s British act (someone and the Bohemians or something?)

Modern Love
Peter Gabriel
Love this album, there was time I would let it play constantly on my Walkman that had double heads that “flipped” the tape without you having to manually do it or rewind it. You see kids a Sony Walkman played audio cassettes which… oh forget it, it was like iPod.

Complicated Game
Speaking of 80s – I binged (like SUPER binged, like dangerously super-bomb-binged) season 1 of the AMC show Halt and Catch Fire which is set in the mid-80s and has a phenomenal soundtrack. No Rick-Rolling, swear to God!

The Fall
The Weeknd
The electro-pop of Halt and Catch Fire made me revisit some other artists like The Weeknd who I feel like I somehow overlooked when he first burst on the scene (plus his Michael Jackson-esque vocals also remind of the 80s).

It’s summer, you gotta dance right? This could almost be a Donna Summer era track if not for the collision of funk and Jazz interjections.

Don’t Wanna Fight
Alabama Shakes
JUMP! That’s the sound of me arriving late to another bandwagon. Still so good, it’s worth being labeled a hanger-on.

We Might Be Dead Tomorrow
I have no idea where I heard this? Maybe while watching an indie-romance comedy movie about two eccentric, independent teens discovering love and learning life lessons because it sounds like it could be in that soundtrack to me. But better.

I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
Les Go De Koteba
Um so yeah, another 80s reference. I’m just embracing my age is all! I heard and “Shazam”ed this in France (coincidentally heard Automaton right after).

Think Differently
Wu-Tang Clan
I’m trying to improve my “cred” here - but I love this track. For some reason (half-beat reasons, maybe?) I love biking to this but avoid trying to sing it aloud.

TV on the Radio
Props to a friend I saw had listened to this on Rdio. Was intrigued. Liked. Added.

Are “Friends” Electric?
Gary Numan
Another Halt and Catch Fire tune. I mean, obviously Gary Numan was what the cool kids listened to when I was in high school and his hit “Cars” made him a one-hit wonder to some. In truth it’s a wonder he wasn’t more widely known then (in a kind of big pop kind of way) when you think what other acts were getting air time etc.

This track seems to slide right in here along with The Weeknd, TVOTR, and Gary Numan. I don't have to justify anything.

The Modern Dance
Pere Ubu
I honestly did not know Pere Ubu were so old. My apologies. They still rock better than a lot of 20-something bands do.

Exit Music (for a film)
Brad Mehldau
Exit music for a playlist. Sometimes I want to leave my job, go into film making solely for the purpose of creating a film that uses this music. There’s lots to like on this Brad Mehldau record. It would also be worth opening a coffee shop that only played this album.

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