Summer songs make me think of something else from my Tent Guy days. We had a habit of assigning a CD to be played constantly on repeat for days on end. Recovering the Satellites from Counting Crows played for most of a week in Wisconsin. Wilco’s Being There played for several days in Virginia. On a solo drive from Chicago to Portland, I bought three CDs in a Target in Minneapolis and listened to those three CDs over and over again for the 2500 miles. Coldplay’s Parachutes, Bon Jovi’s Cross Road, and Weezer’s green self-titled album were in that rotation. That summer opened my ears to Travis and Ryan Adams and re-opened my ears to Wilco and The Jayhawks. When I left that job in mid-show (yeah, we called them shows), I left Parachutes in the truck. Riche listened to it over and over without having any clue who it was…remember this was early in the Coldplay career. Coldplay has since become a staple to summer songs, roadtrips and air travel. They got me to Austin after all. In the summer of 2003 there was about a month where all I listened to was Hard Candy from Counting Crows and Ryan Adam’s Gold. They’re connected by the relationship of Adam Duritz and Ryan Adams. Adam sings on "Answering Bell" and Ryan sings on a song and co-wrote a song on Hard Candy. Lots and lots of fishing trips had those CDs running on repeat. Summer of 2004 saw Matthew Ryan as mentioned in a previous post. Summer of 2005 was my first summer with an iPod, and boy does it make a difference. I was thinking about it yesterday as I listened to Stadium Arcadium. I keep my iPod on shuffle because I listen mainly to playlists I’ve set up, so when I want to listen to an album, I don’t hear it in order any more. Thinking back on those days of Parachutes, Hard Candy and Being There, I think I’m missing out on something by listening to a shuffle. Part of it might be the lack of complete albums in my collection these days. Of course I have all the older stuff in its entirety (by old stuff I mean anything before the complete digital age of 2004), but these days if I buy music, I rarely buy a whole album, but rather find the tracks on iTunes (or other means) and don’t waste time or money on the full album. There’s a goal for this summer, fill in the blanks on albums. Anyway, so this is a playlist of summer songs…not necessarily my summer, nor this summer, but summer. I’ve mashed them together into a one track file that’s you’re encouraged to download and load onto your iPod. It will also fit onto one CD, so if you haven’t joined the iPod revolution but still have the technology to burn a CD, you’re set with Summer Songs Volume 1. Does Volume 1 suggest there will be a Volume 2? We’ll see. There are countless Summer Songs so I can imagine making more, but sharing them in this way, I’m not sure. Maybe this is the beginning of the MKinMotion podcast revolution. Maybe I’ll record some copy in between songs in the future. Maybe I’ll get musicians to talk about their songs or songwriting behind the song. Maybe I’ll get friends to share their songs. The possibilities are there…I guess it’s more up to you than anything. Good ol’ supply and demand: You provide the demand, I’ll supply.
"Summer Songs: Volume 1" playlist (download the file) [right-click and chose "save as"]
Links below are to iTunes Music Store
1988 – George Michael – Faith
I spent two weeks in the summer of 1988 traveling around the country with my family. I had just finished the 7th grade. This song made plenty of appearances in the tape player.
1989 – Aerosmith – What it Takes
I remember counting the “Let it Go’s” at the end of the song. My concentration no longer lets me keep track of them.
1990 – World Party – Put The Message in the Box
Lots of great music came out of the late 80’s early nineties, but World Party’s Goodbye Jumbo was one of the first “Alternative” albums I bought.
1991 – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Taste the Pain
The summer of ‘91 was spent enjoying 95-cent-a-gallon gasoline in my 1979 Subaru wagon. Riche and I enjoyed lots of Super Big Gulps, Chilitos and Mother’s Milk.
1992 – Guns ‘n Roses – Yesterdays
The last great summer of high school had the BLB running in lots of different directions, but our first summer together, and how can this song not bring back fond memories of whatever you were doing in the summer of 1992.
1993 – U2 – Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
Still one of the greatest songs ever written. The summer of 1993 had lots of U2 fans scratching their heads at Zooropa. Many consider it a throwaway album but I think it still gets tracks onto the MKinMotion greatest U2 songs.
1994 – Johnny Cash – Drive On
I spent about a month with The Mad Fishicist and his family in Los Angeles in the summer of 1994. One of the greatest camping trips of my life took The Mad Fishicist, MKinMotion, The Chindo and characters from their stories in the flesh to the famous Hunter Mountain in the Mojave Desert. Good times were had by all, guaranteed. Johnny Cash was making a comeback with us, the young generation, and warming the heart of The Mad Fishicist’s uncle.
1995 – Counting Crows – Sullivan Street
I don’t remember much about the summer of 1995, but I do remember listening to August and Everything After plenty.
1996 – The Cranberries – Dreams
This is one of the great summer songs for a few years, but a special time during the summer of 1996. It makes me think how strange it was that I was ever that young.
1997 – Third Eye Blind – Good For You
Plenty of guitar for those of you that started to think I was going soft.
1998 – The Sundays – Summertime
An anthem for making iced lattes and Screamer shakes.
1999 – LEN – Steal My Sunshine
In another life, this was my theme, it’s still catchy and bright 7 years after the fact.
2000 – The Jayhawks – I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
The summer of 2000 is a bit of a blur now. I do remember The Jayhawks putting out Smile, and you better believe it did the trick to make me smile.
2001 – Wilco – Monday
That summer of 2001 on the road definitely would have developed a great left arm tan, if it weren’t for all the work done in the sunshine. A great song on a great album by a great album.
2002 – Radiohead – The Bends (No iTunes)
Summer of 2002 involved a 3000 mile drive from Portland, Oregon to Anchorage, Alaska and all the weight that it carried. Without going too deep, this song stayed in the 6 disc changer of the Jetta the whole way up there.
2003 – Counting Crows – Holiday in Spain
Hard Candy needed a store bought copy and a burned copy for me in 2003. I think I wore them both out. This song summed it all up at the time, now it just makes me wish I were at Costa del Sol.
2004 – Matthew Ryan – Fathers & Compromise
Not available for your purchase, but definitely a beautiful song. I’m not sure I’ve scratched the surface of what this song is all about. This is a live track taken from his 2004 tour that I serendipitously saw in Portland while on vacation. Such a talent!
2005 – David Byrne – Glass, Concrete & Stone
A fun song that forces you to move at least some part of your body. Has a lot of meaning for my summer of 2005. Everything’s possible when you’re an animal.
2006 – Guillemots – Trains to Brazil
A great song from a band about to explode. Maybe this year’s Arcade Fire.