Entry 0039: Summer Mix Tape


LP: Kinkdom by the Kinks

1965 Reprise Records RS-6184, Reissue

Favorite Track: I Need You


Summer means a lot of things to me: seasonal depression, having to turn on the air conditioning, listening to people complain about how humid it is after just complaining about how cold it is, a busy time of year at work. But it also means summer mix tape time. I used to make actual mix tapes on cassette all the time. Often, they were just recording my favorite 90’s punk and ska tracks of the week. When I upgraded to making mixed CDs, I began making them for other people and met with lots of compliments, which always sort of fueled an idea that I should be a DJ. As far as I can tell, I never made a specific “I’m secretly in love with you” mix for a lady, but I know there were lyrics that she probably thought about her own secret crush instead of me.

Now I am in a position where I cannot make a mix tape for anyone. At least, not a physical one. So I am going to write out the mix tape in this blog for all of you and add a little commentary. The commentary may expand in the next couple of days because I can’t even listen to 90% of the songs on the list because of a long line of computer issues.

I stole this idea from the Onion’s AV Club’s 60 minutes of music for the band Wire. Mine is 61 minutes. I’m sorry.

Without further ado, here is your and my 2015 Summer Soundtrack:

  1. Lightning Bolt – Mythmaster (5:11) – Spring is better than summer because of the frequency of thunderstorms. This is the passing of Spring.
  2. Stiff Little Fingers – Suspect Device (2:29) – One of the catchiest punk singles from the ’70’s. That concept in itself would make a good mix tape.
  3. The Standells – Dirty Water (2:48) – It’s summer. Let’s all flock to the polluted water sources!
  4. Tinariwan – Amassakoul Ntenere (3:25) – I got turned on to Sahel sound by Crimson, an energetic mass of moving curls spring loaded to make me smile each and every time I see her. In an attempt to find more similar music, I found this. Try to get it out of your head.
  5. Leonard Cohen – Take This Waltz (5:58) – I always knew I loved Leonard Cohen. I have no explanation on why I kept skipping his albums on vinyl until I found I’m Your Man, which I knew is rare. Two months it never left my player and a couple of my friends immediately became addicted. This song was the tipping point.
  6. Ruth Brown – Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean (2:57) – This was my favorite song I discovered when I took a History of Rock’n’Roll class at university. I feel like this generation has no idea about this song and they should.
  7. Tom Waits – Goin’ Out West (3:20) – This was almost my first choice for opening track. It will be when I go out West to Seattle and Portland this summer.
  8. Wire – Blogging (3:46) – Every song of the new Wire album could easily integrate itself into a mix tape. I love the lyrics to this one.
  9. Cabaret Voltaire – Spies in the Wire (3:19) – Playing off of the last song, this is one of Cabaret Voltaire’s more accessible tracks.
  10. Telex – Dance to the Music (4:15) – Who the hell are Telex? I didn’t know either until earlier this year, but now they have been a frequent jam.
  11. Happy Mondays – Holiday (3:28) – I am almost on vacation. I am almost on vacation. It is a mantra.
  12. The Saints – Swing for the Crime (3:37) – I’ve been obsessing over trying to find the third Saints album on vinyl because of this song.
  13. the Flesheaters – Satan’s Stomp (5:42) – There is a lot of good punk mixed with horns from the late 70’s and early 80’s. By the time I came around, it all devolved into ska. What happened?
  14. Fleetwood Mac – The Chain (4:47) – Guess why I like this song?
  15. the Electric Prunes – Get Me to the World on Time (2:30) – The title is the epitome of summer attitude.
  16. Hamadth Kah – Ce Weeti (4:50) – Best cover of the Police’s Message in a Bottle. I didn’t know there was such thing as best cover for that song. I do now. Thanks, Crimson!
  17. the Kinks – I Need You (2:29) – One last fast and crunchy guitar song to make you want to start it all over again.

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