Summer Playlist

July 03, 2008

I almost never post an entry about the music I'm listening to, even though I love music and listen to it just about all day long every single day. The problem I have with people's blogs that go to music is that they end up coming across like, "Look how cool I am to be into this music that you've never heard of yet." Who would want to read that?

It's true that two of my top five inventions ever are music related -- the mp3/mp3 player (I consider that one invention), and satellite radio. In case you're wondering, my top five is rounded out by the DVR, air conditioning, and the wheel.

One night while I was walking the dogs, I decided that I was going to add a music podcast to my site. I figured out the songs that I was going to feature in the first episode. I planned to regulary feature a cover that was better than the original, and find a nominee for "worst song of all time hall of fame" each time. It would have been good, I assure you.

But then I started looking into copyrights and distribution laws, and it's a mess. Even if I was going to limit what I play to a 30-second snippit, and even if I was going to be talking over 10 seconds of that, it was completely disallowed. Buying rights wasn't feasible, and fines for just doing it anyway are more than I'm willing to gamble.

The last couple of months, I've been playing with this primitive yet useful site, I've found a ton of music that I like a lot, but more importantly, it gives me a spot to share what I'm listening to with anyone who's interested. For several weeks, I've been thinking, "Surely it will be shut down any minute now," yet it persists.

My taste in music is all over the map, but there are some seasonal trends. In the rainy cold winter, I trend toward thinking man's, folksy college rock. In the spring, it shifts to punk and hard rock. Summer shifts me in more of a pop direction -- although I'm not switching to the top 40 radio stations or anything like that, and when football season starts, I'm back to sort of an alt-rock baseline.

My go-tos this summer are currently on muxtape for your pleasure. The only one that's in heavy rotation that isn't posted is "Let's Dance to Joy Division" by The Wombats. This was the free tune of the week on Itunes a few weeks back, and I can honestly say that it's the only one of the free downloads that I've ever seen that was worth a shit at all. But because my free copy still came tied up with Itunes DRM, I can't post it for the world to hear.

The Rapture -- No Sex for Ben

How funny is that song title? I heard this one afternoon on satellite, and looked it up. It was from the GTA4 soundtrack. Video game soundtrack leads me straight to my nephew, who is a video game nerd, who of course, already had this soundtrack and was familiar with the song. Viola, it's in my playlist.

Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

A catchy gem that gets in your head and is hard to get out. I would like it better without the synthesizer, but it's my most played this year.

O.A.R. - That Was a Crazy Game of Poker

This was a band that apparently everyone knew but me. A long song, but a good one.

Rachid Taha - Rock el Casbah

Imagine having this in your party mix. It comes on while everyone sips their Fourth of July Pisco Sours, and it sounds familiar, but no one can place it. You see them wonder why a song in a language they can't even identify -- much less understand -- sounds familiar, until we get to the hook, when we all realize it's a new version of an all time classic. Good times. By the way, if anyone can identify the language for me, I would appreciate it.

Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!

I don't know where I first heard this. It takes 1:15 to get going, but then it's another keeper. This is a good one to turn up loud when you're dancing at home by yourself. If you include the Wombats song that I didn't upload, I'm listing three songs with some form of the word "Dancing" in the title. That will never happen again.

Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Yes, you heard it on the Itunes commercial during every single break of every single show in May and June. Still, it's a keeper. Chuck Klosterman wrote that Coldplay was Travis for people who aren't smart enough to get Travis, and that Travis was Radiohead for people who weren't smart enough to get Radiohead. So I'm a dummy.

Salt-N-Pepa - Let's Talk About Sex

I downloaded this a month or two ago after a debate over whether or not Salt-N-Pepa was the original artist. I bet you haven't listened to this since 1992. Listen again, it's even better now.