As everyone knows by now, I’ve been really into summer songs lately. I’ve identified my favorite summer songs (and, where appropriate, sent summer themed mixed out to friends) & I’ve been asking other people about their favorite summer songs — first just my friends, then people who read this blog, &, most recently, musicians.
So, the idea is that this summer there’s going to be a series of posts curated by artists about their favorite summer songs. Many of the people who have agreed to share their summer jams will be on the road this summer, so be sure to see them if they’re coming your way!
To start things off, we have a post by Kip Berman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The Pains are touring the US this summer (you can see dates here) before heading overseas to headline Indietracks and play a few dates around the UK.
Kip’s summer jams are as follows!
1. “Sunny Sundae Smile” by My Bloody Valentine (listen here)
People say, “you guys rip off Sunny Sundae Smile-era My Bloody Valentine.” And they’re totally right. I know why the later stuff is legendary, but to me there’s something that just hits me in the center of the chest with this song, the lyrics, music, enthusiasm, feelings, treble– I never really get tired of listening to this, or really anything off this EP (“Sylvie’s Head,” “Paint a Rainbow,” “Kiss the Eclipse”).
2. “Wild Eyes” by The Vivian Girls (listen here)
It’s really hard to pick a single Vivian Girls song, as there are several that feel extra perfect on a summer day. But there’s something about this song that feels equal parts carefree and dead serious. It hints at a sort of dangerous summer love– maybe it won’t last forever, but while it does, it’s all that matters.
3. “Girl From Mars” by Ash (listen here)
Anyone that’s been around me for more than three minutes has heard me talk about how all I want to do in life is someday write a song this awesome (and maybe play a show with The Strokes). I may never do it, but from the first time I heard this on Alternative Radio as a kid to now, it just seems like total, unabashed wonderfulness.
4. “Our Deal” by Best Coast (listen here)
This is probably going to be the song to beat for summer 2010. I really like songs that say a lot of stuff with not that many words– I think that’s a really hard thing to do. I really like her voice and vibe a lot, and the arrangements with the backing “ahhhs” and piano (right?) give it that magical 60s feeling.
5. “Today” by Smashing Pumpkins (listen here)
“Mayonaise” is awesome, as is “Cherub Rock,” “Rocket,” GeeK U.S.A. and a bunch more from Siamese Dream. But to me, this, along with “Nevermind” by Nirvana and Dirty/Goo-era Sonic Youth and the first two Weezer records is the apex of American 90s alt guitar music– equal parts raw and gooey. The James Iha lead lines with the bendy stuff is just the coolest– how come no one does that anymore?
So, an infinite thanks to Kip for being kind enough to kick this off! Be sure to support the Pains on their tour this summer — they’ll have a new single with them called “Say No to Love” (if you’re in the US, it’s being released on Slumberland and Insound is already taking preorders, UK listeners will be able to get a copy via Fortuna Pop.) “Say No to Love” is also streaming on Pitchfork (I’ll be honest — this Pitchfork stream hasn’t been working for me, but here’s an audio-only YouTube video.)
Clevelanders — the Pains will be at the Beachland Ballroom on June 6th. If you’re in the area, you should definitely come out for the show!
The Summer Jams Series will continue next week with a post by Elizabeth from Allo Darlin’!